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So I have a Cub Cadet 530 SWE that has the 357cc 83 Series OHV Horizontal Shaft Engine.

Here’s the back story. I got the blower all ready for the winter, checked oil level, everything is good. Over the past 3 months I’ve gone out and started it about once a month, it sits in a heated garage.

Yesterday I went to start it and pushed the electric start and all it did was hum at me. No engine movement. So i checked my choke, gear, safety key, oil, etc... and like a dumby I pushed the button again and same thing, buzzed for 1-2 seconds and nothing. I then tried to pull start & it wouldn’t budge. So i pulled the recoil assembly off (the housing with the rope) & tried to turn the flywheel and I can’t even turn it 1 full rotation - see the video:
It sounds like the piston is hitting the head and that’s why it stops??
I’m clearly way over my head here, but this is where I’m at. Before I tear off the head and/or sump, this is what I’ve done:

1. Emptied all oil and took out spark plug.
2. I can feel a good puff of air out of the head when i spin the flywheel, but don’t feel much vacuum when going the opposite way.
Would a stuck valve cause this problem?
3. I want to check the valves and make sure they’re fine and gapped properly.
4. then i might as well take the head off since the valve cover is already off.
5. All else fails I take the whole sump apart.
Oh I also want to remove the electric starter first and make sure nothing is jamming the flywheel, I’ll do that next probably.

So I’m an average joe grease monkey but have never tore down a whole engine.
Does anyone have any tips on what might be causing this??? I just don’t get how the flywheel can spin freely, the piston moves up and down properly but then just stops when it gets all the way to the bottom or all the way to the top.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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Welcome to SBF!

Pulling the valve cover sounds like a good 1st step to me. By your description (I can't listen to the video where I am currently), it sounds like the head is hitting a stuck valve... If that's the case, hopefully it's not bent.

(edit: I reread your post...you already have the valve cover off. you can unbolt the rockers and see if the valves move in/out.)

Valve stems can get sticky from carbon &/or varnish. Seafoam does a good job dissolving the gunk; I freed-up two of my neighbor's Honda (OHC) engines this summer.
 

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I suspect a stuck valve or possibly a loose piston rod bolt that has backed all the way out of the threads.
 

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Put a wood dowel into the spark plug hole, see if it moves when you turn the engine by hand. IF it doesn't, it's a rod, if it does, it's a valve.

If you go to home depot to get a dowel, find someone that knows what one is. Last time I had to say to the guy "ya know a round piece of wood"......
 

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Put a wood dowel into the spark plug hole, see if it moves when you turn the engine by hand. IF it doesn't, it's a rod, if it does, it's a valve.

If you go to home depot to get a dowel, find someone that knows what one is. Last time I had to say to the guy "ya know a round piece of wood"......
i asked for a lynch pin when i was at home depot, he looked at me as if i belonged to the white hoods club, sheash,
 

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Put a wood dowel into the spark plug hole, see if it moves when you turn the engine by hand. IF it doesn't, it's a rod, if it does, it's a valve.

If you go to home depot to get a dowel, find someone that knows what one is. Last time I had to say to the guy "ya know a round piece of wood"......
:funnypost:
Funnnny, but true.
 

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I missed where he said the piston was moving. Did he see it? Or assume it based on the engine moving by hand like in the video?

Ticonderoga #2, brings me back to grammar school. What was the other one? DIXON! Those were the 2 pencil companies. Today, in Jersey City, NJ, the Dixon factory has been turned into condos/lofts. Dixon Mills.
 

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Bent valve or bent connecting rod (piston) . . .

Some disassembly may be required.
 

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Sounds like you might have a broken connecting rod.

So I have a Cub Cadet 530 SWE that has the 357cc 83 Series OHV Horizontal Shaft Engine.

Here’s the back story. I got the blower all ready for the winter, checked oil level, everything is good. Over the past 3 months I’ve gone out and started it about once a month, it sits in a heated garage.

Yesterday I went to start it and pushed the electric start and all it did was hum at me. No engine movement. So i checked my choke, gear, safety key, oil, etc... and like a dumby I pushed the button again and same thing, buzzed for 1-2 seconds and nothing. I then tried to pull start & it wouldn’t budge. So i pulled the recoil assembly off (the housing with the rope) & tried to turn the flywheel and I can’t even turn it 1 full rotation - see the video: https://youtu.be/icxsN-f8oNY
It sounds like the piston is hitting the head and that’s why it stops??
I’m clearly way over my head here, but this is where I’m at. Before I tear off the head and/or sump, this is what I’ve done:

1. Emptied all oil and took out spark plug.
2. I can feel a good puff of air out of the head when i spin the flywheel, but don’t feel much vacuum when going the opposite way.
Would a stuck valve cause this problem?
3. I want to check the valves and make sure they’re fine and gapped properly.
4. then i might as well take the head off since the valve cover is already off.
5. All else fails I take the whole sump apart.
Oh I also want to remove the electric starter first and make sure nothing is jamming the flywheel, I’ll do that next probably.

So I’m an average joe grease monkey but have never tore down a whole engine.
Does anyone have any tips on what might be causing this??? I just don’t get how the flywheel can spin freely, the piston moves up and down properly but then just stops when it gets all the way to the bottom or all the way to the top.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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That noise sounds a bit more external to me and if you have an alternator on that engine a magnet may have fallen off inside the flywheel jamming up on the stator mount.
 

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That noise sounds a bit more external to me and if you have an alternator on that engine a magnet may have fallen off inside the flywheel jamming up on the stator mount.
Good theory, if everyone keeps thinking of all the possibilities, we'll have this motor running in no time.:icon-stooges:
 

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Don't forget to pull off the belt cover and possibly the belts to rule out a problem in the drive train.

I was thinking connecting rod until you said you can feel air moving through the spark plug hole. Now I am thinking valve like everyone else.

Something on the flywheel side is also a good thought. Magnets are possible, but I once had a hedge trimmer where the coil broke loose and jammed the flywheel.
 

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Sounds like a stuck valve not opening, therefore, causing the cylinder to compress to the point where you can't readily turn the crank. Take the valve cover off and I bet you will see a bent pushrod and one valve that you can't move by hand. Take the head off, and try to free it with solvent etc. Or get a replacement head on ebay and swap the whole thing out.
 

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My old 30 year Mtd with a 10 hp Tecumseh,died on me last winter,it felt the same as he is demonstrating in his video,when I rotated the crank it would jam up.After taking it apart, I found pieces of the connecting rod in the base. . After a close inspection I saw a crack in the casing,but was lucky it didn't blow the side out and have a oily mess over the driveway lol.


Something is up on either side of the piston. Above is a valve, below is a connecting rod, but because it rotates, doesn't mean the piston moves.
 
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