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View Full Version : First huge business mishap.


SouthallMowing
02-26-2012, 09:23 PM
Thursday, I was changing the oil, gas filter, and spark plug, well, I pull the plug out, and I was like hmmm.... it was cross threaded. So, I go to Autozone, not in stock. Advanced Auto Parts, they have one. Back off to the mower, I go to screw it in, and it just pushes in like a thumb tack. I then compared them, they are the same size.(not engine savvy in case you can't tell by now) I look at the hole and it's stripped. Right after that I realized I pushed all the shavings into the cylinder. AWESOME!!! So after a phone call to a relative mechanic for a hundred years, I took the head off, sure enough, they're in there. So the next day I go to the local Toro "master" dealer, and get a new gasket and a HeliCoil in the hole. Around $30, total for that trip. While there I bought $650 worth of push mower. :D I get home, and start torquing the bolts back, as I get to the very last bolt to do the final torque...BAM. Snaps. After a toss of the wrench to the neighbor's house, I start drilling the bolt for an easy out. Just as the name was, it was easy to get out. So tomorrow, I'm getting another new gasket, and 8 new head bolts. I'm going to start the season off $775 in the hole. Last year was only 300. Woo! However, business is growing. I have a $1,300 retaining wall project in the works to pay it off. Anyone else have this crap happen all in a row?

willshome
02-26-2012, 10:48 PM
I wish that was the worst thing that happened last year but had to replace my plow trucks gas tank in my drive way during a snow storm. Just wait you will look back at this and laugh (or maybe cry)

SECTLANDSCAPING
02-27-2012, 04:24 AM
I wish that was the worst thing that happened last year but had to replace my plow trucks gas tank in my drive way during a snow storm. Just wait you will look back at this and laugh (or maybe cry)

I had a transmission go plowing a parking lot. I had to wait a day to tow because noone had a truck that would take a loaded dump with plow. Fixed it a few days later and now I needed a new set of injectors.

The very next week I lose 3rd gear in a different truck. So after fixing the tranny. I was so eager to test it, I forgot to plug my o2s back in. For whatever reason that ruined them. I Replaced them and had to drop the tank to do a fuel pressure sensor to pass emissions. While I was at it, I decided to do a fuel filter and broke the gas line trying to get the filter off.

Even doing the work I still racked up $2500 in repairs.

Steve
02-27-2012, 03:10 PM
I get home, and start torquing the bolts back, as I get to the very last bolt to do the final torque...BAM. Snaps.

What do you do to torque your bolts? Are you using a torque wrench or just feeling it out?

For the new guy having the same issues, would you advise them to do anything differently if they had to follow in your footsteps on this?

SouthallMowing
02-27-2012, 11:31 PM
I was using a torque wrench going in 10lb increments. Going up to 30lbs, like the dealer told me.

If a new guy was doing it, I'd say take it to someone who knows what they're doing. Engines aren't a DIY project by yourself if you are going into it blind. At least have help there.

Steve
02-28-2012, 03:48 PM
Do you feel more empowered now though that you have experimented with them more?

CHEESE2009
03-03-2012, 05:33 AM
My tractor caught on fire during the fall. I win.

LOL

Also, good morning forum.

Sprinkler Buddy
03-03-2012, 04:02 PM
I had a great year after looking at all the troubles listed here. lol

Just the normal stuff for me. A few bearings and tire issues.

Sea Lancer
03-06-2012, 11:03 AM
I had that same spark plug issue before and i just took a shop vac and sucked out the shavings then i reversed the hose and blew out the top of the piston and repeated the process several times.so far no surprises.However i think i was able to do this because i didnt run the engine at all after i dropped the metal shavings into the cylinder.

Steve
03-06-2012, 05:19 PM
i just took a shop vac and sucked out the shavings

Good idea! I'll have to remember that the next time I crank down on a spark plug too tightly.

wandfsmall
03-06-2012, 07:15 PM
I get home, and start torquing the bolts back, as I get to the very last bolt to do the final torque...BAM. Snaps. After a toss of the wrench to the neighbor's house, I start drilling the bolt for an easy out. Just as the name was, it was easy to get out.

A lot of guys do that, even though the manuals all say never reuse the head bolts as they "stretch" and will not torq correctly. I just hope you got the correct plug from the auto parts store around here they send out the wrong parts all of the time. Often I see a damaged mower come in due to the auto parts stores selling the wrong parts and giving bad advice.

wandfsmall
03-06-2012, 07:16 PM
I had that same spark plug issue before and i just took a shop vac and sucked out the shavings then i reversed the hose and blew out the top of the piston and repeated the process several times.so far no surprises.However i think i was able to do this because i didnt run the engine at all after i dropped the metal shavings into the cylinder.

you are lucky I would never even try that, just one shaving left could trash a $3000 engine.

willshome
03-06-2012, 07:31 PM
If your going to vac and or blow it out, I would use an air compressor blow out tool and put a magnet pickup tool in the spark plug hole

Steve
03-07-2012, 12:33 PM
A lot of guys do that, even though the manuals all say never reuse the head bolts as they "stretch" and will not torq correctly.

A very good point! It makes me wish I would read the manuals more often and not try to skim them.

SouthallMowing
03-08-2012, 09:24 AM
Update to everything. Took it to the local Toro Master Dealer, got it fixed. $98.44 was the total. Super cheap compared to what it probably really was. They always give me a discount cause I always buy all my stuff up there. They cleaned the whole engine, carb, and such, then put it all back together. So, mowing can start today! oh, wait.... rain. :/

Steve
03-08-2012, 03:58 PM
That's great news!

SouthallMowing
03-09-2012, 09:35 AM
Yeah, now to figure out how to get the trailer out of the yard, after that massive amount of rain yesterday, I need matracks to get into the back yard. But oh well, I guess I can get the trailer a little dirty. Then a good sanding and paint is well deserved, old man winter somehow got the paint to peel. Anyone want to come paint a trailer?

stevef1201
03-09-2012, 01:05 PM
:rolleyes:hahaha
I will be right there, hold your breath:D

SouthallMowing
03-11-2012, 08:19 PM
haha HURRY UP!

Talked my dad into looking for a nice 7x16 enclosed trailer, so paint can wait. However another UPDATE:

Got my mower back, runs like a champ. Still backfires when I turn it off, Dumb. But I got completed a landscaping job today, pulled about 800lbs of dirt/pebble with it, didn't even act like it was there. Before it had a power surge (for lack of better terms) Later this week ROLLING! 750 gallons of water, me on a mower, what's better?

nickeckes
03-12-2012, 11:01 AM
Well One Time I Was Mowing a Foreclosed House. The Grass Wasn't That Tall prob. 4-5in.(first time cutting this prop.) which isnt bad for a foreclosed house, i was in the back yard cutting up against the deck when i ran over a cable dog chain. . and it got wrapped around the blades(the cable was all bunched up when i hit it). . i turned the PTO off so fast i didnt even wreck anything. . the bad part was the other end of the cable was hooked to something under the deck, and i could not get to it. . i had about 2 ft of play on the cable. . so i yelled for my brother in the front yard. . i had to lift the front end of the rider in the air while he slid a lawn chair that was on the deck under it. He made sure it didnt fall. while it took me 15min to un-wrap the cable. . . I WAS NOT HAPPY :mad:

nickeckes
03-12-2012, 11:05 AM
haha HURRY UP!



Got my mower back, runs like a champ. Still backfires when I turn it off, Dumb.


it back fires because there is still gas in the cylinder. and it has to go someplace so it goes out the exhaust. . . before you shut off your mower, Idle it way down. . let it idle on low for 30sec-1min then shut it off. . . should take care of your prob.

wandfsmall
03-12-2012, 12:25 PM
it back fires because there is still gas in the cylinder. and it has to go someplace so it goes out the exhaust. . . before you shut off your mower, Idle it way down. . let it idle on low for 30sec-1min then shut it off. . . should take care of your prob.

While I agree with this as a likely description of your problem I disagree with that as your only solution. Your engine likely has a anti-backfire solenoid on it that is may not be working, or your valves could be out of adjustment since you just had your head off. It is hard to troubleshoot an engine online but this gives you a few things to look at.