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Briggs stratton 21 hp v twin riding mower oil leakage, low power,

Oil leakage, low power, different engine muffler sound, occasional backfire

This occured upon start up after sitting in the barn for 2 weeks

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  • Captain Slap May 11, 2010

    THIS sounds like a fun one.

    As for "oil leakage", define where the leak is. Now, by "leak", if you mean it is leaking OUT of the exhaust (muffler), chances are, you have your Exhaust Valve hung up, and not closing all the way.

    For the backfire, if she is passing oil through the valve, then it WILL affect the Intake Valve (and hence, how she fires), since they share the same spot on the cylinder head, BOTH being on top of the piston (I know, not a VTwin, I am talking old school, but it DOES apply here too.)

    Remember, this is assuming you mean she is leaking oil through the exhaust. In this case, yank the plug, and see if you have a bunch of oil sitting on the head (meaning, very wet but OIL), and if you have a bunch of oil sitting on the plug itself. If so, it MAY mean two things:

    1. Oil is bypassing the oil ring on the piston. It happens when mowers get wore out.

    2. Oil is bypassing your valve stem, and "seals". It happens, sometimes the valve stem guides get funky over time, or with bad oil (burnt, from heat, and too much use, not being changed), or just plain a chunk of junk got in there, and keeps either one from opening fully, or closing fully.

    3. Cracked Block- (If it cracked, chances are, it you wouldn't get it to run anyway, it would have been REALLY loud!)

    I (personally), say doing a valve job on ANY small engine is a must for basic maintenance. Most don't NEED it, if taken care of, but time, the nasty fuel they sell now, and high heat require that eventually, in the lifetime of that motor, it would not hurt it to do one to it!

    Now, sometimes, if a motor gets "cockeyed" at an angle, for whatever reason (you turned it over, lifted it up, tilted it, whatever), some motors dislike that VERY much, and will burn the extra oil that slid on over for quite some time. Usually, no more than a few hours at most, some engines being more "finicky" than others, depending on design.

    Fixes (possible): (BASIC design, for regular mowers)

    Take a look at your oil. Color Chart- Gold to Slightly Burnt Gold = OK! Black to Black Syrup = NOT OK! (Time to Change), Grey Snot to Shiny Metal Flakes Grey = OUCH! In other words, remember to change the oil! (These motors need that too! In fact, much more than a car, they are, after all, heat demons as it is!) Remember, color of your oil = Oil Pressure which = too high, or not high enough. If it is pumping nothing but snot, say goodbye to rings, and valve(s) and guides. These motors are TOUGH, and can/do take hellacious abuse. But NOT forever!

    Take an eyeball at your valves. Super easy, it will be near your muffler, a small plate, usually with two screws. Take out the screws, ease off the plate (and the gasket behind it), and there are your valves! With the plug OUT of the cylinder, turn over your motor by hand. You might get lucky, and pull the plate, and SEE a piece of junk in there right off. I have seen butterfly plate screws from the carb make it this far down! (In fact, I saw a motor beat a screw paper flat and still run....badly.)

    Watch the motion of the valves. If both open AND close FULLY, then we are looking at your oil rings on the piston as the problem.

    If one or the other DOES NOT open or close fully, then HERE is your problem, and you get to do a Valve Job! Yay! (Well, not really)

    If you want, pull the head(s) at the same time, and watch all the action. Head gaskets are cheap compared to buying new motors!

    In fact, a lot of times, you can bring push mowers, and riding mowers back from the dead with a valve job. After all, next to NO ONE (even repair shops) will do it!

    Remember, oil is located in ONLY one place: Crank Case. Therefore, it can ONLY get messed up in a VERY few ways:

    Valve, Block, Piston Ring(s). On your V-Twin, there WILL be a way to check your Valves.

    Don't forget Timing either. In other words, check your flywheel key. You know the old story, you hit something with the deck, the mower acts like it is drunk, and you can't find the fix. If the key in the keyway (designed to help you NOT destroy the motor) is bent, or busted, it WILL not run correctly, if at all! (Weird things man...)

    Best of luck, and keep me updated!



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Can you Regulate the Engine Speed Using the Governor Arm? If Yes, then Reset the Governor. **To Reset the Governor; Loosen the Governor Arm Bolt and Turn the Governor Shaft Clockwise Until it Stops. Using the Governor Arm Hold the Carburetor to Full Throttle. Now with the Shaft Full Clockwise and the Governor Arm and Carburetor Held at Full Throttle, Tighten the Governor Arm Bolt. If the Engine Still Runs Full Throttle, then Reverse the Rotation of the Governor Shaft, but Still Hold the Carburetor at Full Throttle with the Governor Arm. If it Still Runs at Full Throttle, then Check the Internal Governor.** If you Can Not Regulate the Engine Speed Using the Governor Control Arm, then Check the Carburetor Throttle Valve. If the Throttle Control Valve (sometimes called a Flap or Plate) Mounting Screws Came Out of the Control Valve, then you will have No Control Over the Engine Speed. Send me the Model and Type or Spec Numbers Off the Engine, Please. With these I can Locate the Proper Manual and Better Assist you. **The Throttle Cable Attaches to the Throttle Control Bracket. The Cable Moves a Slide that Moves a Pivot. The Pivot has the Spring Attached to it and to the Governor Arm. The Solid Link Connects to the Governor Arm and goes to the Throttle Shaft on the Carburetor. When the Throttle Cable is Moved it Moves the Pivot and the Pivot Pulls the Spring. The Spring Pulls the Governor Arm and the Governor Arm Moves the Throttle Shaft. Usually the Spring is in the Lower Hole in the Governor Arm and the Solid Link is in the Top Hole of the Governor Arm.** If you Hit a Snag or this Does Not Correct the Problem, I am Here if You Require More Assistance. Hope this Helps. Let me Know What Happens

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Yes Briggs and Stratton recommends sae 30 in most all their engines even overhead valve (OHV)
Kohler uses 10w-30 in most of their overhead valve engines

Briggs has their own bottled oil with their label and additives and can find at lowes
Kohler the same

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SOURCE: Won't start. Has compression. backfiring through

On many riding mowers there are two wires that at the bottom of the carb bowl, these wires go to a solenoid which closes a valve so gas will shut-off when the start key is turned off. When this solenoid is bad it will not close which let gas keep going to the carb so the eng will bang through the carb or muffer. Hope that this will Help. Hugh Lyon

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SOURCE: MTD Riding Mower with 21 hp OHV 1/C

the valves need adjusting

Posted on Sep 18, 2009

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