Push Mower Engine Blowout - Is it toast?

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Hi folks - well, I don't know much about small engines, but my assumption is that my engine just blew and is a goner - but would like some backup on my plan to move on to buy a new one:
Its a 6HP Briggs & Stratton, Craftsman push mower. Today while mowing, clanking got loud and heard a crack...mower stopped...looked down...a piece of the side of the engine casing(?) had cracked off and something protruding from inside is now poking out. Blackish oil splashed around the area. There is now a hole in the side of the casing and you can see in to the motor, gears, etc. Some background: yesterday the mower locked up. I assumed it was a fuel issue so drained fuel from tank and carburator, cleaned out carb, reassembled carb, added fresh fuel, added some oil. Mower started right up after this. My assumption now looking back is that I don't know that my oil level was high enough. I only added a little yesterday and had planned to add more today and check levels. I'm starting to think I added enough yesterday to get the mower running long enough to burn through the oil I added, but then probably overheated it enough to blow the engine?
Regardless, this is a $250ish mower - am I right in assuming an engine replacement isn't worth the effort (for a consumer to hire out) and I should just plan to buy a new mower?
Any thoughts are appreciated.
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There is(was) markings on the oil dipstick to indicate high/low oil levels. If you added "some/a little" oil, but didn't check the dipstick, that makes you a dipstick.
Let this be a lesson. Buy a new machine, but recycle the old one, the metal is recyclable!
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I figured someone would step in to be a little harsh on the OP.
Seriously to OP, check around and maybe a repair shop has a similiar engine taken from a mower with a rotted out deck. Or, an engine that's close enough.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
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There is(was) markings on the oil dipstick to indicate high/low oil levels. If you added "some/a little" oil, but didn't check the dipstick, that makes you a dipstick.
Let this be a lesson. Buy a new machine, but recycle the old one, the metal is recyclable!
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On 4/29/2012 5:55 PM, stratfordone wrote:

Nah, they aint worth fixing. By the time you put a new plug, oil change and fuck around sharpening and balancing the blade, you're better off to buy a new $100 special from McLowes Depot.
Sometimes you can get them even cheaper if you buy them at end of season.
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Joe wrote:

maybe $2-300 --- no way, no where you can get a new mower for $100, most of the best sales are happening now also
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in my neighbourhood. I fix them up and sell/give them to friends who need mowers and keep a spare around in case my 30 year old beast quits. I re-engined it with a chinese "kit engine" (honda clone) last year. Usually the problem with the "curbside specials" is water in the gas, sometimes a broken starter rope or bad wheels. I keep the wheels off those with serious problems to replace the bad wheels on decent mowers.
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Sounds like the engine siezed up, and threw a piston rod. I'd want to take it to one or two repair shops, near you. See what they say in person. It's very possible one of the shops will have a used mower with a rotted out deck, and can use the other motor to get your machine going again.
Also ask them to show you how to check the oil level, typically there is a dipstick. On a 6 HP engine, the complete oil capacity is typically about 20 ounces. So, with no oil showing on the dipstick, add three or four ounces, and check again, until the oil shows.
I'm sad to read of this. Checking oil is a simple thing, but the results are expensive.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Hi folks - well, I don't know much about small engines, but my assumption is that my engine just blew and is a goner - but would like some backup on my plan to move on to buy a new one:
Its a 6HP Briggs & Stratton, Craftsman push mower. Today while mowing, clanking got loud and heard a crack...mower stopped...looked down...a piece of the side of the engine casing(?) had cracked off and something protruding from inside is now poking out. Blackish oil splashed around the area. There is now a hole in the side of the casing and you can see in to the motor, gears, etc. Some background: yesterday the mower locked up. I assumed it was a fuel issue so drained fuel from tank and carburator, cleaned out carb, reassembled carb, added fresh fuel, added some oil. Mower started right up after this. My assumption now looking back is that I don't know that my oil level was high enough. I only added a little yesterday and had planned to add more today and check levels. I'm starting to think I added enough yesterday to get the mower running long enough to burn through the oil I added, but then probably overheated it enough to blow the engine?
Regardless, this is a $250ish mower - am I right in assuming an engine replacement isn't worth the effort (for a consumer to hire out) and I should just plan to buy a new mower?
Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Most of the time it's just easier to buy a new mower, but if you are really attached to the mower, you can look at the engines that Harbor Freight sells. You may find one that matches up with your mower housing. The bolt pattern and shaft design are the key things to look at.
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I keep hearing about this free stuff but have never seen it. In particular, I'd like to find one of the people throwing out recent vintage computers once they've become bogged down with malware. But there's a good reason my mower says Snapper on the deck and Yard Machines on the motor. Costco decided to carry a Snapper mower this year. From above it resembles the YM with a plastic nose and butt. A look underneath reveals that on the S both axles are well supported by sheet metal while the YM is just pastic bolted onto the deck.
m
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If you want to know why Costco carries them and Wal Mart does not, read this http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/open_snapper.html
Then read this http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html
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I'm familiar with the content of both articles. The first one in particular resonates because when I bought the Snapper mower late December 2001 the dicounted price was no doubt a consequence of the events detailed in that article. Especially now, $250 doesn't buy a mower that can take over a decade of engine busting pounding.
m
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2012 06:18:51 +0000, Fake ID wrote:

You and I must have different definitions of 'vintage'. The sorts of systems that I class as vintage are at least 25 years old, and malware isn't an issue :-)
It very much depends on where you live; I used to be in an area where there were quite a few high-tech companies, and computers of all descriptions (from "vintage" to year-old PCs) were being tossed out daily. Now I live in the middle of nowhere and I've found four machines in four years of asking around (and one of those was 200 miles away)

Yeah, there's a lot of crap out there these days :-(
cheers
Jules
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On May 1, 7:39am, Jules Richardson

They are all crap without oil.
RonB
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On Tue, 01 May 2012 13:52:21 -0700, RonB wrote:

Ha :) Only when they're running (briefly)...
I think some of the B&S engines had some Magic in the crankcase which would stop them from running if they were low on oil, but I don't know how common that feature is - probably not very if it added to the cost (and it probably wasn't infallible anyway)
cheers
Jules
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On Sunday, April 29, 2012 5:55:16 PM UTC-4, stratfordone wrote:

With a big chunk missing, oil all over the place, and things poking out...
YA THINK maybe there's no fix to it?
Hindsight being 20/20 and all maybe you should've done a little more when it started giving you problems the first time around. Like, actually checking the oil level rather than just randomly "adding some."

If you were to replace the engine yourself, you could probably do it for about $150 or so with a Harbor Freight engine... For you, I'd recommend just junking this mower and buying a new one. Paying someone to replace this motor will definitely run you well over $300, more than the mower is worth.
FYI, this mower probably blew up due to your own negligence and ignorance. If you want the next one to last longer, you would do yourself a huge service to learn the basics about small engine maintenance.
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On Tue, 1 May 2012 08:11:50 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

started giving you problems the first time around. Like, actually checking the oil level rather than just randomly "adding some."

$150 or so with a Harbor Freight engine... For you, I'd recommend just junking this mower and buying a new one. Paying someone to replace this motor will definitely run you well over $300, more than the mower is worth.

you want the next one to last longer, you would do yourself a huge service to learn the basics about small engine maintenance. I HAVE welded the chunk back into the case of an engine in that condition, and popped in a new rod and piston after disolving the aluminum off the crank from the siezure - but That was 40 years ago in Africa. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that - - -
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On Tue, 01 May 2012 12:09:20 -0400, clare wrote:

Yeah, I had the same thought. JB weld might be all that's needed to fix the crankcase, a new rod seems to be $22 online, so the unknowns are whether the crank is saveable* and what other damage there might be...
* or if a local repair place has a pull from an engine (they seem to be around the $50 mark via ebay, but I often find ebay prices to be on the high side).
I've no idea how mechanically-inclined the OP is; if it were me I'd at least pull it all apart and assess the extent of the damage before making a call.
cheers
Jules
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( snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca) writes:

started giving you problems the first time around. Like, actually checking the oil level rather than just randomly "adding some."

$150 or so with a Harbor Freight engine... For you, I'd recommend just junking this mower and buying a new one. Paying someone to replace this motor will definitely run you well over $300, more than the mower is worth.

you want the next one to last longer, you would do yourself a huge service to learn the basics about small engine maintenance.

Was the crankcase cast iron or alloy?
What did you use to dissolve the aluminium off of the crank journal?
He should inquire about the cost of a 'short block'.
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On 1 May 2012 20:14:11 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (M.A. Stewart) wrote:

started giving you problems the first time around. Like, actually checking the oil level rather than just randomly "adding some."

about $150 or so with a Harbor Freight engine... For you, I'd recommend just junking this mower and buying a new one. Paying someone to replace this motor will definitely run you well over $300, more than the mower is worth.

you want the next one to last longer, you would do yourself a huge service to learn the basics about small engine maintenance.

and didn't touch the steel. I uses the zinc alloy "scratch rods" and a torch to weld the case. Don't think JB would stand up too well in that application, but then again I've never tried it.
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( snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca) writes:

started giving you problems the first time around. Like, actually checking the oil level rather than just randomly "adding some."

about $150 or so with a Harbor Freight engine... For you, I'd recommend just junking this mower and buying a new one. Paying someone to replace this motor will definitely run you well over $300, more than the mower is worth.

If you want the next one to last longer, you would do yourself a huge service to learn the basics about small engine maintenance.

I repaired a 3 HP(?) B&S horizontal crank motor that had a cracking motor mount flange, which was leaking oil. It was an alloy motor mounted on a Wacker compactor. Man did that thing vibrate. The part that the motor mounted to was very rigid. It wasn't perfectly flat, which caused a strain around the flange. I stripped the motor down to the bare block. All the parts inside were perfect. I put all the parts in zip-lock bags to store. I cleaned the crack comprehensively inside and out. I took the block to a specialist welding company that did aluminium welding. They welded the crack inside and out. They did a nice job for a reasonable price. Using plastic brushes, I scrubbed the block out in a pail of hot soapy water, flushed the block with a water hose, air dried it with compressed air, and then WD-40ed the machined surfaces. I put the bare block on the mounting surface of the Wacker. It didn't sit flat. I could rock it back and forth slightly. I measured a couple thou or so gap around the flange that had been cracking. I went out and bought some brass shimming sheets and fitted a shim underneath the motor to remove the rock. I reassembled the motor, mounted it on the Wacker with the brass shim, it ran as good as new. It never re-cracked. It was a good little motor that worked very hard as a rental tool.
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