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Old 05-09-2013, 07:33 AM   #1
lowes48 OP
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Need Some Briggs & Stratton (Vanguard 14hp) Advice...

Hey Guys,

Pulled ‘ol Trusty out today (1994 Cub Cadet 1440) and got the lawn mowed before the rain hit, and even though I ended up with the best looking cut I've had so far this year my 14hp Vanguard started puffing oil smoke every now and again while mowing. I stopped, removed the side covers and found that there was a lot of oil on both covers and it appeared to be coming from somewhere near the crankshaft and drive pulley assembly. I thought it might be a loose oil filter but it was tight, so that means the oil is coming from somewhere else...

After checking the parts diagrams today I assume the oil could be coming from a failed crankcase cover gasket or outer oil seal but I couldn't get a good idea of where the oil was coming from exactly due to the shrouds, grass and crud. I removed the hood, grill, shrouds, and other sundry stuff so I could get a better idea of what needs to be fixed but I didn't have time to degrease the engine and wash everything.

All that being stated I just wanted to ask what you guys think might be suspect so I'll know where to focus my efforts, and I also wanted to ask if this would be a hard fix, which if it's either of the parts mentioned earlier I think I can handle it!

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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Since you have Ron Swanson as your avatar, I'd do like Ron and tear into it yourself; if possible cast any replacement parts yourself from light fixtures.

I have no real advice other than the encouragement that enough time, money, and effort can fix anything. Hopefully more effort than money!
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:53 AM   #3
lowes48 OP
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Thanks for the encouragement, KPD! I think I've got the info I need after cleaning the engine and figuring out where the leak is coming from - crankshaft seal. I was told I could simply run a couple of screws into the seal to have something to grab onto, then pull it out. Then I can use a pipe with an I.D. bigger than the crankshaft and long enough to go down to "press" the seal in with a mallet. Sounds easy enough...

lowes48 screwed with this post 05-13-2013 at 05:21 AM
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:38 AM   #4
FixxiT
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Is this a vertical or horizontal shaft engine?
Crankcase gasket failure's a known issue on the horizontal Vanguard

BTDT, Not a superhard repair if its the gasket. Dress your crankshaft before changing the seal (or pulling the crank cover)
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #5
lowes48 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FixxiT View Post
Is this a vertical or horizontal shaft engine?
Crankcase gasket failure's a known issue on the horizontal Vanguard

BTDT, Not a superhard repair if its the gasket. Dress your crankshaft before changing the seal (or pulling the crank cover)
It's horizontal, and right in the open after taking the grill and hood off, so that makes it MUCH easier!

BTW - what do you mean "Dress your crankshaft"? Sand it down or lube it before disassembly/reassembly?
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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My riding mower engine (B&S 14 hp) suddenly started leaking oil badly one year. Turns out it was coming out from the crank seal and where the cases screwed together, I did have a loose bolt or two, but it continued to leak. Then I realized I had used some Mobil One 5w-30 to change the oil in getting it ready for spring/summer. Changed the oil back to regular 30wt like its supposed to have and no more leaks.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:21 AM   #7
lowes48 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
My riding mower engine (B&S 14 hp) suddenly started leaking oil badly one year. Turns out it was coming out from the crank seal and where the cases screwed together, I did have a loose bolt or two, but it continued to leak. Then I realized I had used some Mobil One 5w-30 to change the oil in getting it ready for spring/summer. Changed the oil back to regular 30wt like its supposed to have and no more leaks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
My riding mower engine (B&S 14 hp) suddenly started leaking oil badly one year. Turns out it was coming out from the crank seal and where the cases screwed together, I did have a loose bolt or two, but it continued to leak. Then I realized I had used some Mobil One 5w-30 to change the oil in getting it ready for spring/summer. Changed the oil back to regular 30wt like its supposed to have and no more leaks.
I did the same thing to my 95 honda civic in an effort to improve gas mileage, started leaking out of the rear crank seal. it got to where it left about a half dollar size puddle every day. switched back to dino oil and over about a month's time the leak slowly went away. I used 10-30 just like I have for years. the synthetic stuff just likes to sneek past seals that are not as tight as they used to be.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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Replaced the seal and all is well! Best $6.00 fix I've done in a while! And just switching oil wouldn't have fixed this - the seal was completely out!
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