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post #1 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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What have I done?

Hello all, Jim from CT here. I have an Ariens deluxe 30 snowblower and could use some direction here. Left outside for the night, with tarp on top. Turned choke knob to choke position, started right up. Upon moving the choke back to "run", the very bottom of the choke shaft broke off, so I do not know what position it remained in while I drove it around the house and into my basement. Upon getting it to the basement door, engine stalled. Tried restarting but could not pull rope very far, way too much compression. Removed spark plug, pulled rope about 12 times, put plug back in, still very hard to pull. Brought into basement, removed valve cover to find one bent push rod and one broken push rod. Also a stuck exhaust valve. Freed up exhaust valve this morning { although it moves freely, it does not go as far down as the intake valve, is this normal?}. Removed bent and broken push rods, put spark plug back in and pulled rope to see if it was still hard to pull, and it was. What could be causing this, and why would both push rods get damaged in the first place? Just changed oil before last storm and it ran just fine.
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post #2 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 10:08 AM
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Sounds like the valves contacted the piston to bend the pushrods. The exhaust valve may have a bent shaft preventing it from returning into the guide. The exhaust valve does not need to open as far as the inlet but I don't know the engine specs. Did you check the spark plug that it did not break and deposit some material on the piston that then contacted the valves?

The engine probably has a decompression valve that works automatically and now it may be stuck closed so you are working against the full engine compression.

Good luck.

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post #3 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Spark plug looks fine, not broken. I'm assuming I'll have to pull the head in order to find out if the exhaust valve is bent?
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Just spoke with someone at B&S, described what happened and they seem to think my cylinder head got too hot and I need to replace the head.
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 10:51 AM
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Strange. The Briggs engine has a geared cam shaft so valve to piston contact should not be possible unless gear slipped or possibly rocker arm failed with valve open were running engine piston slammed into the valve. You would think the valve spring would retract the valve. Is it still under warranty? Hopefully your piston is not damaged. I would pull the head.
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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considering what a head would cost, plus 2 push rods and whatever other unseen damage is inside, i'm probably better off replacing the entire engine. By the time I get done with parts and labor at the local shop it would probably far exceed the neighborood of $425.00 which I think the replacement engines cost.
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 11:00 AM
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did your engine "ingest" something when your choke broke?


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post #8 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think so. I have both pieces of the broken choke shaft, which is plastic. Can't think of anything else that could have gone in there. Not even sure how or why this happenned, I always maintained it well and kept the oil changed. Only thing different I did with the last oil change is put in 5/30 instead of 10/30 due to colder weather here.
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 11:33 AM
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+ 1 on removing the head.

I've never cracked-open a Briggs OHV however I can imagine that trying to force a bent valve through the valve guides will cause more wear/damage. Will the valve(s) have to be cut-out?


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post #10 of 30 Old 02-10-2015, 11:38 AM
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I have heard of this happening on OHV engines with a lot of hours that never had a valve adjustment. The valves get looser and looser until eventually the pushrod pops out from under it and gets bent. You would expect only one pushrod though, unless the first one hit the second one somehow.

As for being harder to pull with both of them removed that would be because the camshaft has a compression release which holds the exhaust valve slightly open during slow RPMs to assist with starting. With no pushrod it isn't pushing up on the valve.

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