Running Engine without Dipstick - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Running Engine without Dipstick

First post on this forum. I appreciate the help in advance.

I have a Ariens 1130DLE with the Tecumseh Snow King engine with 3-4 years of mild use on it.

Yesterday, I noticed some white oil foam on the dipstick. I understand this to be condensation of water in the oil (Amsoil 5W-30, changed about 12 running hrs ago). This is understandable because I had a few snowblowing events in the last week where I really didn't get the motor up to temp. So, this time I really let her run and get warm to see if I could cook off any of the water. To accelerate the process, I removed the dipstick while the engine was running after snowblowing the drive. I was really surprised by what I saw: almost a geyser of what I thought was steam coming out of the dipstick. So I let it run a few minutes like this, expecting that the geyser would subside. However, it didn't. Just kept on spewing. So, I get to thinking, is this really water being cooked off or is this just exhaust gases escaping through the crankcase because I gave it an easy exit path? The snowblower had a nice coating of oil all over it afterwards.

Or, do I have a bigger problem? Bad rings allowing all that exhaust gas to blow by the rings, into the crankcase and out the dipstick. That could explain the water in the oil.

Just curious if anyone has ever tried this with similar results? If not, can you try it and get back to me?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:21 PM
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Itís a splash lubricated engine, just like it sounds oil gets flung all over the place to lubricate all the critical components. Their will always be some blow by from combustion leaking past the piston rings. The breather on the side of the engine releases that pressure.

Degrease the motor, and leave it. Itís not unusual to see a coating of white film on the oil cap.

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Old 02-26-2018, 01:38 PM
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I have a Tecumseh Snow King 11 HP on a Craftsman 30" blower (2003/4 purchased in fall 2004). The top of the dipstick did show the white bubly deposits that seemed to be from water condensation. The white stuff was not far down the fill tube and the engine oil seemed fine. When I removed the dipstick on the engine while running a lot of oil came out (not just fumes) so I quickly put the dipstick back on. I figured the oil was from the splash lubrication system. There is a vent tube from the OHV valve cover that did not expel pressure or oil so I think the engine is fine.

The engine had a lot of use with me and for the last 4 years my son has used it and it performs flawlessly. So I don't think you have a problem with your engine.

I had a 1974 Tecumseh Snow King 8 hp side valve that had a breather from the valve cover on the side of the block. After 30 years of use there was pressure at the hose and oil would discharge from blow-by. Those engines are long lived.

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Old 02-26-2018, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you drmerdp and Town for the help!
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:54 PM
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There is a o ring on the cap for a reason. You shouldn't run the engine without the cap. The hot and cold cycles of snowblower use causes the condensation. If I notice the cream, I just wipe the cap clean, the oil tube if I can get some of it out and change the oil asap. I want my engines to be healthy inside so that's why I change the oil once a year or more often if I "see" the cream.

In my area it's been a someone mild snow season. Spring is in the air.

Bob
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Good point on the O-ring Ariens hydro pro. I'll change my oil soon and check on it again.
It runs great by the way.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:05 PM
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Pull that amsoil crap out of there and go back to regular good old standard oil, then you wont see that foam.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'll give that a try too.
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:01 PM
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to SBF Tim

Good practice is to let the engine warm up some before you use it / move it so it reaches operating temp. Bad idea to run it with the dipstick loose or off as it's going to leak oil. You could run it up to temp, shut it down and then pull the stick to see if it would cook off some of the moisture but you'd be better served in pulling the breather or oil sepeartor apart and making sure it isn't gummed up and that it's able to ventilate the crankcase. https://www.jackssmallengines.com/eq...lower/breather
Being so new I doubt there is any problem with it you likely just need to wipe the milk chocolate colored oil off the stick and not worry about it.

Nothing wrong with Amsoil, I run Mobil1 full syn and have no problems with condensation in my machines. Most folks here recommend full syn. There will always be arguments over which brand and weight is best. Don't want to go there

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Old 02-26-2018, 07:47 PM
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I've had white foam on the dipstick, I'm pretty sure after changing to Mobil 1. I don't know the best way to eliminate it. Getting the engine up to temperature, then changing the oil while hot, might be one approach.

I wouldn't be comfortable running the engine with the dipstick removed. Maybe you could unscrew it and leave it installed, if you really wanted to help vent things while running. That would keep the tube covered at least, to reduce spray from it.

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