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Hi, I recently bought a used Ariens 624, with a Tecumseh OH195SA Engine.
The woman from whom I bought it said that there was an oil leak. She said that it was coming from somewhere up near the top. She said that it was a fairly fast leak. She sort of indicated an area underneath where the muffler and the ignition key are located.
I thought it might be something easy, like the oil breather, or a seal. I should mention that the machine looks brand new. It has been very lightly used.
to make this as short as possible, when I got it home I realized that one of the two oil plugs, not the drain plug but the two yellow plugs, of which there is one on either side, was missing.
Could it be that it only seemed like there was a leak because the engine vibrations was causing oil to spray out of the open hole?
I guess I can simply start it up and see what happens, but I just wanted to see what someone else thought. Thank you very much!
 

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Could it be that it only seemed like there was a leak because the engine vibrations was causing oil to spray out of the open hole?
I guess I can simply start it up and see what happens, but I just wanted to see what someone else thought. Thank you very much!
With a breach in the crankcase, the breather was likely gushing oil as well.

You definitely want to seal that up before running again. Hopefully it didn't run too long low on oil.
 

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Thank You! She actually ran it for me for about 15 seconds. For what it's worth, it started right up, and sounded ok. I'll get another plug and see how it goes. The thing looks brand new, and was $100, so I didn't invest THAT much. Thanks again!
 

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With a breach in the crankcase, the breather was likely gushing oil as well.

You definitely want to seal that up before running again. Hopefully it didn't run too long low on oil.
the missing oil level plug yes, the breather! excessive crankcase pressure will cause some vapors to come out the breather, but with a wide open crankcase filler it's impossible for pressure to build up enough to allow the breather to work

add another vote for a hopeful no problem internally esp on a splash feed motor
 

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I had a husqvarna a few years ago that the plug came out of. It was blowing oil out of the hole pretty hard. I would not have wanted it running like that for long. I found the plug on the ground. My solution, considering that these are not needed as a filler plug / oil is added thru the dipstick hole. I cleaned them up good and permanently sealed them up with oil resistant sealer. Didnt want to risk another incident and not notice until it was too late.
I saw one at the dealer after that. It was pretty much new and having the engine replaced because of the plug coming out and the owner ran it out of oil. Keep an eye on these plugs!!
 

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the missing oil level plug yes, the breather! excessive crankcase pressure will cause some vapors to come out the breather, but with a wide open crankcase filler it's impossible for pressure to build up enough to allow the breather to work
Breathers malfunction with pressure (higher cc pressure relative to atmosphere).

In otherwords, you don't need high pressure to blow oil but rather lack of vacuum (lower cc pressure relative to atmosphere) which the breather is designed to maintain.

Vacuum (lower crankcase pressure relative to atmosphere) is required to pull the reed closed.

Equal pressure inside/outside the crankcase will prevent the reed from closing resulting in excessive oil exiting the breather.

I've personally experienced this on an old H35... when the owner tried sealing the oil filler with a wire-nut.

from the Tecumseh OHV service manual:

BREATHER PASSING OIL
1. Check the oil level, make sure the engine is
not overfilled. Also verify that the viscosity
rating on the container of the oil being used is
to specification.
2. Check the angle of operation. Avoid prolonged
use at a severe angle.
3. Check the engine R.P.M. setting for excessive
R.P.M. using a vibratach or other tachometer
and compare it to the R.P.M. settings found
on microfiche card # 30 according to the
engine model and specification number.
Adjust the high and low R.P.M. as necessary.
4. Check for leaking or damaged gaskets, seals,
or "O"-rings. External leaks may not be
evident; however, the leak may prevent the
engine from achieving a partial crankcase
vacuum.

5. Check the breather for damage, dirty
condition, or improper installation. The oil
return hole(s) must face down.
6. Check the engine compression using a
compression tester. If the engine has weak
compression, determine the cause of weak
compression: worn rings, leaking head gasket,
or leaking valves. Follow the compression
tester's procedure.
 
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