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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm sure I've read about this problem before? Maybe it was on the Tractor Forum? Anyway, a search didn't find it.

Fired up my Deluxe 24 Platinum yesterday - it always starts first or second pull, very impressive!
After about thirty minutes of blowing the engine started making a grinding noise and losing power - I shut it off immediately.
Pulled the plug and poured Seafoam in the hole - just in case. Couldn't pull the engine over with the rope, tried electric start - nada!
Pulled the dipstick, nothing showing, so I drained the oil (very easy on this engine) - not much came out, what did was 'silvery'. Put fresh oil in and started looking for the problem. Noticed a slick on the right side, beneath the engine. Closer inspection showed that the 'oil filler' cap on the right side had come undone and puked oil out, tightened it as much as I dared. Removed the belt cover and managed to turn the engine over with a breaker bar and socket on the pulley bolt. Cranked it over with the electric starter to remove the Seafoam, replaced the plug and it fired up without any bad noises.
Since this happened, doesn't seem to have lost any power but the exhaust has an oily smell now, I'm checking these plugs and the oil level daily. Is there some way of ensuring these caps don't loosen? Does Loctite work on nylon?

Thanks for your patience.
Al
 

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If you still have the old oil, you can send it out for testing. Is this thing under warrantee? "SILVERY" oil isn't a good sign.
 

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Their usually a tapered thread, but you be careful not to over tighten. I would use Loctite blue. or some kind of thread sealant would be preferable.
This is a plastic cap. It's generally not a good idea to use liquid threadlock on plastic, it can degrade some plastics. If you really wanted to do that, I'd try it on a spare cap first, but I'm not really comfortable with the idea. Worst-case, the plastic starts to come apart, dropping into the oil, and then maybe the cap comes off anyhow.

The plastic oil caps that I've used are typically a straight thread, with an o-ring under the cap. As you tighten them, you compress the o-ring. Is that the style used here? Is there an o-ring under both caps?

I like the safety wire idea, if there was a practical way to do that. They shouldn't loosen in the first place, of course, so you shouldn't actually need a safety wire. Hopefully it just wasn't fully tightened last time.

One thing you can do to make them easier to monitor is clean up the caps, and make a line from the cap, to the engine block. With a Sharpie, or similar. Now you can see at a glance if the lines are still lined-up, meaning nothing's moved, or if something has started to loosen. You can still check it by feel if you'd like, but you'd have another easy way to check at a glance.

I'd change the oil one more time, right after running it, to help flush out any remaining shiny stuff in the oil. Doing it right after shutting it down will have more of that stuff suspended in the oil, and therefore more likely to drain out.
 

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Oil fill caps falling off are not an inherent design flaw and no thread locker needed. Properly tighten it when installing. Looks like someone broke a nub off the one that didn't fall off and might have gotten a little shy on the other.:sad2:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the fast replies.

The plugs don't use o-rings, though that may be a good fix. I like the wiring idea and will look into it.
The 'tabs' on the plugs are of a ramp design, you can tighten them but they can't be easily undone - though I took this one out with my fingers after tightening it this morning - after changing the oil for the third time. Maybe I can find a replacement in metal with a hex head?
I will take this engine apart in the Spring to see if there is damage to the crank/piston/rings.

Thanks again.
Al
 

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tighten those by putting a screwdriver across the nubs and turning.

I'd be far more concerned about the silvery oil than if the plug stays in.
 

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tighten those by putting a screwdriver across the nubs and turning.

I'd be far more concerned about the silvery oil than if the plug stays in.
Yup. At least 50% of the engine longevity is erased and it could go at any time without warning.
 

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This is starting to look like a common problem.
In what respect? If these were on brand new machines before the first oil change that would be a problem but what is the age of this one and have the oil fill caps been removed previously? 3-4-5-6 or more years from production, how long do you think it should stay tight after removal by an owner?
 

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low oil. drain oil silvery ,broken pull cord, = seized con rod. we have to remember these motors have splash feed con rods, no oil 30 mins is a long lucky time before the alum rod locks up tight to the crankshaft making for a large paper weight
 

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In what respect? If these were on brand new machines before the first oil change that would be a problem but what is the age of this one and have the oil fill caps been removed previously? 3-4-5-6 or more years from production, how long do you think it should stay tight after removal by an owner?
I'd argue the caps should stay put indefinitely, until they're removed :)

It seems odd to me that they have ramps on the nubs, so they're kind of meant to be tightened, but not removed. How are you supposed to drain the oil, then? Is there another plug somewhere that *is* easy to remove?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd argue the caps should stay put indefinitely, until they're removed :)

It seems odd to me that they have ramps on the nubs, so they're kind of meant to be tightened, but not removed. How are you supposed to drain the oil, then? Is there another plug somewhere that *is* easy to remove?
You are correct. I'm guessing these engines are used in a variety of applications? In this case, it has a filler tube and a dipstick so these caps have no purpose. The oil drain is a capped pipe at the engine base, making it very easy to drain - thankfully.

Did another oil change last night after about two hours use, oil came out clean. I'm sure I haven't 'dodged the bullet', there must be some internal damage, hopefully it is limited to the piston/cylinder. Spring is coming but it has snowed every day recently.

Not sure how old this machine is, I must look up the model and serial #. I bought it 'used but never used', the owner moved to a town house shortly after buying it, stored it at a friend's place - just in case.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Exactly. Use it until it explodes. And it will, eventually. Then re-power.
Or, in my case, re-build. I'm very happy with this engine (apart from this problem) and I can't see any point in replacing it. As was pointed out previously, these caps have been there for years without leaking, I will find a fix for the problem. :nerd:

Al
 

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Thank you all for the fast replies.

The plugs don't use o-rings, though that may be a good fix. I like the wiring idea and will look into it.
The 'tabs' on the plugs are of a ramp design, you can tighten them but they can't be easily undone - though I took this one out with my fingers after tightening it this morning - after changing the oil for the third time. Maybe I can find a replacement in metal with a hex head?
I will take this engine apart in the Spring to see if there is damage to the crank/piston/rings.

Thanks again.
Al
I always use a screwdriver and slip it between the nubs and give it a little more to ensure it won't ever unscrew due to vibration. Maybe replace that cap with another plastic one if you can't tighten it tight enough because the nubs are broken off of it already.

Because it bound up due to no oil in the engine, in the future you want to look for metal shavings in the oil as you drain it. You will find out in a short time if the motor is damaged. Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Realizing now that they don't ever need to come out, maybe just glue 'em in there with some liquid gasket or the like? Semi-permanent but if you ever did want to remove them you probably could without too much hassle...
You read my mind - "a little dab will do ya".
Thanks.
Al
 
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