Question about Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

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Hard starting smokes white like gas is getting into cylinders

Hard to start if engine stops on top of compression stroke acts like gas on piston when it starts it'll smoke white than stops last time used had a miss under a load new plug oil filter cleaned

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White smoke in a small engine is oil. Oil in the cylinder will create too much pressure for the engine to achieve compression. Make sure the engine is not getting fuel into the oil and thinning the mixture (literally smell the oil... gasoline and oil smell nothing alike, if it smells like gas, it is). If this is the case, the carb is leaking fuel into the engine, thinning the oil and causing the oil to leak past the rings into the cylinder head, through the valves and, from there, into the exhaust to burn off. Black smoke indicates a direct fuel issue in a small engine, white is oil based.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009

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I have a Craftsman 19.5 HP Lawn Tractor. I recently replaced one of the pistons. The mower cranks very slow in a wub wub action. Spins once or twice, then stops. I can turn the crank fairly easily by hand....

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Hello rfrazierL

>>From your Description it Sounds like the Valves Require Adjusting.
>>The Following is a Basic File I made for Setting the Valve Clearances. Any Input is Appreciated.
>>**I Do Not Use the Setting Called for by the OEMs. I have Found that the Following Works Best.
>>Remove the Valve Cover (on the Dead Cylinder for Twin Cylinder Engines).
>>Check the Push Tubes and make Sure they are Not Bent.
>>Set the Cylinder you are Setting the Valves on to Top Dead Center on the Compression Stroke When Setting the Valve Clearance. Now Loosen the Valve Adjuster Lock and Using a Blade Style Feeler Gauge, Set the Intake Valve Clearance to .004in -.006in and the Exhaust to .006in - .008in. Loosen and Tighten the Rocker Arm and the Feeler Gauge is Placed Between the Rocker Arm and the Valve Top where the Rocker Arm Pushes on the Valve.
>>I have had Better Performance Out of the Mowers and Less Burnt Valves Using these Settings. Be Sure the Piston is at TDC on the Compression Stroke.**
>>If you Remove the Valve Cover and then Turn the Engine by Hand, you can Watch the Intake Valve Movement. When the Intake Valve Closes, the Piston will Just Starting the Compression/Power Stroke.
>>On Some Engines you can Us a Straightened Coat Hanger and Feel the Piston.
>>Be Careful and Don't Jam the Wire in the Cylinder. Usually the Piston will Push the Wire Out of the Spark Plug Hole with No Problems.



Apr 20, 2009 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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