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Mowerman
Mowerman, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  Certified kohler briggs Honda tecumseh
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my intake pushrods keep bending in my older 16hp vanguard horizontal

Customer Question

my intake pushrods keep bending in my older 16hp vanguard horizontal engine. I replaced 1 and have bent 2 more after short run times. Is the ethanol in the fuel causing this and is there something I can do to this series of engine to avoid this?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Mowerman replied 6 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Mowerman :

does the engine have any issues with making a full complete rotation without any kickback or abrupt stop.

Customer:

no , the engine turns freely, There is some popping & backfire through the carb, telling me the valves are not seating, again, although things were good and ran prior to shutting the engine off. This issue first started after the engine sat. for half a year and fuel turned bad in the tank. Since, 3 times now, the push rod has bent after sitting for 2, 3 days. on the next restart after running.Lash was set at .20.I noticed the exhaust rod is steel and the intake aluminum.Being an older vanguard engine in my Argo, my suspision is that it doesn't tolerate the ethnol in the new fuels. I spoke with the argo dealer and he has seen similar problems with bent intake rods on the older models.The valve stem sticks after sitting and bends quickly and very easily.The engine was a new shortblock ,6 yrs, seldom used.I wondered if there is an update for the higher ethanol fuels? I now only use premium but cant seem to get things to keep running with out bending a push rod.

Mowerman :

sorry for the delay my computer has had me locked out. what is the exact model,type,ser. of the motor

Customer:

it's very difficult to read the series plate while installed in an argo.It was a new short block in 95 from briggs. Vanguard 16hp Horozontal shaft model.After finding the specification for lash, I reset it at 4 thou. Got it to start but now only one cylinder. Trouble shooting cause of this now. Trying to find my compression gauge and determine if I haven't now got a siezed ring. Valves are now seating as I lapped the valves before resetting the lash to insure I had valve seat and none sticking in the valve guide.I will like end up pulling the motor to tear it down. Not really looking forward to this as it's about a 50 hr tear out to remove the engine. I'm now pricing another new block asm. Getting frustrated as this engine has never ran well, always fixing something on it. Fix for a week, ride for an hour.Probably time for a different hobby toy

Mowerman :

please call me before you do anything ,i will try to helpyou.(NNN) NNN-NNNNthanks steve

Customer:

I'll give you a call later today...just wondered what timezone you might be in ? I'm in EST.Today is supposed to be a little cooler, 75-80. It's been 95 to 100 f and muggy.This hasn't helped either