Question about Troy Bilt 5.5hp Self Propelled Mower

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Have a Troy ilt with the Honda motor. Started easy ran a bit then started blowing smoke out the exhaust. Head gasket?

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Hi and welcome to FixYa, I am Kelly,
I doubt it is a head gasket. First check to make sure the oil level is not over-serviced. Then if the oil level is correct and after 10 minutes it is still smoking you will have to remove the breather assy on the side of the head where the valves are and clean the reeds with solvent. (might require a good soaking) The crankcase is over-pressurizing causing oil blow by via the valve stems. Sometimes you will experience up to 4 minutes of oil smoke if you have tipped the mower in any direction other than flat. If that is what caused your oild smoke episode it will clear and there is nothing you need to do other than let the engine run. If it easily repeats the smoking after running for a bit routine you most likely have a sticking crankcase / valve breather reed. Cleaning it usually will correct the excess smoke problem. You should be able to remove the breather without removing the carb for cleaning.
If you have a head gasket failure the engine simply will not start. Since the engine is an overhead valve design it is possible to have a head gasket fail but..... highly unlikely unless someone has done recent maintenance on the valves and disturbed the head gasket. I have not seen a honda head gasket failure that was not induced by someone doing maintenance on a cylinder head. The design of the head even with minimal bolt tightening torque will allow the engine to run just fine and not ruin the head gasket.
Should you require more information I will need your exact engine model number from the crankcase of your engine just aft of the oil fill tube on the base of the crankcase.
Thanks for choosing FixYa,
Kelly

Posted on Dec 29, 2010

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