Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don't mind an oil leak on an old machine, but not on a brand new E110 with 3 hours on it. I mind very much when the leak is from the valve covers and the oil drips directly onto the muffler, causing a very smoky condition and the potential for a fire soon after you start it.

I was curious about a small puddle of oil under my brand new mower. Oil was seeping from the valve cover, which is directly above the muffler.

It seems that the geniuses who manufactured the 19HP engine on this mower did not use a gasket on the valve cover. They just applied some compound. On examination I saw some was squeezed out when the screws holding the cover were tightened.

I say "tightened" sarcastically. There were no locking washers on the screws, and no evidence of any thread locking compound. One of the screws was only finger tight. So, they saved maybe 5 cents on not having a gasket, and ditto on the lock washers, caring not that an oil leak onto the muffler could start a nasty and unexpected fire.

Just wanted you guys to know that the bean counters at John Deere are finding ways to make these things cheaper and cheaper, without regard to safety, longevity or quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
Briggs and Stratton is the manufacturer of these engines. They haven't used valve cover gaskets in years. The sealant is very robust if applied correctly and bolts are tightened. Sorry for your issues. I am sure your dealer will take care of it.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,724 Posts
I don't mind an oil leak on an old machine, but not on a brand new E110 with 3 hours on it. I mind very much when the leak is from the valve covers and the oil drips directly onto the muffler, causing a very smoky condition and the potential for a fire soon after you start it.

I was curious about a small puddle of oil under my brand new mower. Oil was seeping from the valve cover, which is directly above the muffler.
That is a bummer, especially over the hot muffler.

It seems that the geniuses who manufactured the 19HP engine on this mower did not use a gasket on the valve cover. They just applied some compound. On examination I saw some was squeezed out when the screws holding the cover were tightened.
Actually, it was Briggs and Stratton who built the engine. The book says if it has a gasket then replace with a gasket and if no gasket then use silicon sealer. Go figure. That black silicon gasket material actually does a better job of sealing the valve cover than a paper gasket - if applied correctly. I've had the covers off these 31000-series engines a bunch of times adjusting the valves and just yesterday replacing the head gasket on my brother's LA105. We applied a thin bead of Permatex Ultra Black to the valve cover and no leaks whatsoever.

I say "tightened" sarcastically. There were no locking washers on the screws, and no evidence of any thread locking compound. One of the screws was only finger tight. So, they saved maybe 5 cents on not having a gasket, and ditto on the lock washers, caring not that an oil leak onto the muffler could start a nasty and unexpected fire.
There aren't supposed to be lock washers on those bolts or thread locking compound. You have to be very careful tightening those bolts as they only get torqued to 5 ft-lb. Since they thread into the aluminum head they will strip out very easily. I've always torqued them to 5 ft-lb as instructed in the engine manual and never had any leaks.

Just wanted you guys to know that the bean counters at John Deere are finding ways to make these things cheaper and cheaper, without regard to safety, longevity or quality.
I'll admit, not having an actual "gasket" does seem like a cheap move but as stated above, the proper silicon sealer actually does a better job at keeping that cover oil tight. But it must be applied correctly. It's possible they had a small gap on yours in addition to the loose bolt. It is VERY easy to pop the cover off, scrape off the old silicon material and apply a new bead. You'll only lose a couple teaspoons of oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Problem fixed WITH GASKET

I don't really buy the argument that the miracle sealer Briggs & Stratton uses for its valve cover gaskets is better than using a sealer WITH a real gasket. After all, mine did leak oil onto the muffler of all places, so why is that better? All that B&S wanted to do is save a little money. Very, very little.

Anyway, the missing gasket was a nice rectangle with four holes. Easy to make in 5 minutes with an X-Acto knife and some gasket material. It's now on the engine with Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket on both sides, and the screws have blue Loctite on them, so they're not falling off any time soon.

No more oil leaks, and in my book that's the way engines should be built, big or little.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,724 Posts
I don't really buy the argument that the miracle sealer Briggs & Stratton uses for its valve cover gaskets is better than using a sealer WITH a real gasket. After all, mine did leak oil onto the muffler of all places, so why is that better? All that B&S wanted to do is save a little money. Very, very little.
I don't think anyone said that. :) We were saying that the gasket sealer does a better job than a plain gasket. I agree that a gasket with sealer would probably be the best. BTW... you can get a OEM B&S valve cover gasket for around $4.

Anyway, the missing gasket was a nice rectangle with four holes. Easy to make in 5 minutes with an X-Acto knife and some gasket material. It's now on the engine with Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket on both sides, and the screws have blue Loctite on them, so they're not falling off any time soon.

No more oil leaks, and in my book that's the way engines should be built, big or little.
I suspect your problem was the bolt was never tightened in the first place. When properly torqued to 7 Nm those bolts will never come loose. You may regret the use of blue loctite on those bolts when it is time for the 200 hr valve adjustment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I may be in the minority but I'll take a sealant based gasket any day.

No more trips to the dealer to purchase a gasket or paying $15 in shipping for a $1.50 gasket.

I've not had one fail that was properly done. Unfortunately, it appears that yours was not properly torqued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Why not let warranty fix it? I had a problem with my blade break and getting the deck to stay level. Lowe’s picked it up took it to the JD dealer and returned it. No charge. Great service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I was surprised on my first non gasket valve cover. But have had good luck with them.

Lock washers and loc/tite for a valve cover There is nothing like drilling a bolt out in pot metal.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top