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Need help! I have a cub cadet LT1018 rider mower w/ 18.5HP…

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Need help! I have...
Need help! I have a cub cadet LT1018 rider mower w/ 18.5HP Briggs Stratton. Has been an excellent mower for 6 yrs. It just started blowing smoke out of the exhaust. It idles fine. When you apply PTO, it bogs the engine down and makes this loud popping noise. Then tries to die. I have checked air filter, intake manifold, breather tube to crank case, and found no restrictions. Got any ideas!

Thank you very much for your time.

Chuck
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Small Engine
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
6/28/2010
Technician: jcook, Small Engine Technician replied 8 years ago
jcook
jcook, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 120
Experience: 15 yrs experience John Deere C&CE technician. Briggs & Stratton MST, Instructor
Verified
There are a couple things that may be the issue here. First thing you should do is remove the spark plug and see if it is built up excessive with carbon and ash. These engines are known for leaky head gaskets, They will leak between the cylinder and where the pushrod galley. It will draw oil into the cylinder (more under a load) This will cause smoke, The oil to get dirty faster than usual. It will build up on the spark plug. It may cause some popping as well. I have also seen valve train issues. Make sure the studs that hold the rocker in place have not loosened and the clearance is correct. Look between the springs and make sure the valve guides look to be the same height. If one is different it would indicate the guide has moved. Check these things first and we'll procede from there. Talk to you in a bit.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Spark plug seems to be fine. Probably will go ahead and replace since it is the original. I did find one of the rockers to be loose. Would you just tighten to match the one that seems normal? ...................Valve guides seem to be same height.

Thanks

Technician: jcook, Small Engine Technician replied 8 years ago

Make sure the studs that hold the rockers in place are tight. I would adjust the valves. The intake will be the lower valve with the aluminum pushrod. the adjustment should be .003-.005". The exhaust will be the top valve and should be adjusted to .005"- .007"

Make sure the piston is 1/4" past top dead center on the power stroke that way the compression release will not affect your adjustments. The smoking may still be the head gasket so I would not rule it out at this point. Adjust the valves and we'll go from there. Talk to you soon.

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jcook, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 120
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Experience: 15 yrs experience John Deere C&CE technician. Briggs & Stratton MST, Instructor

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