Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

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Spike188 Canada
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Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by Spike188 »

Last fall, at the end of gardening season and when weeds were at ther peak, the 446 was used to mow them down.
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It worked the unit hard but shouldn't have been a problem. While moving a rock pile the 446 was left idling. Much to my chagrin, after several minutes of idling, the motor squealed and died. Attempts to restart were unsuccessful as the motor seemed to be seized. I checked the oil level and it was lower than it should have been but still on the stick. Using the 646, it was dragged to the front yard and left set for the winter.
This week after charging the battery, the starter would not budge the flywheel. Difficult as it was, I could reach in an rotate the motor cc wise.
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looking for a way to make rotation easier, a grinder nut wrench came to mind.
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It fit perfectly. I rotated the engine 2 revolutions and never felt a "hard" spot. I primed the carb with gas, turned the key, and it started right away. After letting it idle for a while it was put to work mowing lawn.

The question is, did a rod try to seize or was it something else?
Spike Colt - 9 & 10, Case - 108, 118, 444, 446, 448, 646, 646bh, Ingersoll 4016, 4118AH
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Eugen Canada
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by Eugen »

Hm.. good mystery here Eugene. My question is, no knocking or otherwise strange sounds? Also, since the mower was connected, maybe the mower was seized temporarily. :wave3:
Case 224, 444, 644, 680E
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myerslawnandgarden United States of America
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by myerslawnandgarden »

If the cause was truly "lack of lubrication" the rear main usually seizes first as it is the last to get oil. Being as the engine was idling, it may have seized enough to stall the engine with little damage. I think you may have that lucky horseshoe in your you know what, Spike...

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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by propane1 »

Could a stone, rock or nut have gotten in the flywheel shroud and jammed her up. Just a thought.
I know when a Kohler K series engine rod starts to go, it doesn’t fix its self. I breaks in short order.

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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by DavidBarkey »

Drain the oil and look for "matalic " in the oil . If none , I would pull the deck belt and go over the clutch checking all the bearings . Hopefully it is a bad clutch bearing . There a three in there that need to spin freely when clutch is disengaged . Check the breather and make sure none of the cab screws are missing .
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by FUTZ »

My friend gave me a commercial leaf blower that was seized. You could not pull cord. It has a 5HP, 4stroke, horizontal shaft, B&S engine. I put a pipe wrench on the shaft and forced it around, changed and added oil, and used it for years.
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by Harry »

I picked up at the curb a Poulan chainsaw that looked brand new. It was seized and because it appeared to be pristine I figured someone didn’t use oil in the gas. I managed to break loose the piston and it ran fine but when cutting the saw had no power under load. I gave it to a young man who was always tinkering on engines. I’m not sure what ever happened to it. :peace: Harry
1973 444, 1974 644, 1976 446, 1977 646, 1986 226
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by Spike188 »

If it doesn't happen again , or get worse, we may never know what caused the 446 seize up.

25 years ago we had a Toro/Honda snowblower. At last time of use, end of season, the gas was emptied and engine run until the carb was dry, then with engine warm, the oil was drained. I don't remember my reasoning for not refilling the oil before storing for summer.

Dumb idea.

The next fall I fueled it up and blew a bit of snow and the engine didn't seize. NO, it locked up.
The engine and final drive oil were all the same chamber. Nothing would turn. With the head removed the piston showed to be less than top or bottom dead center. I trimmed down a 2×4 to fit the cylinder. Light taps on the 2 by and piston quickly turned into frantic beating with a bfh. The piston began to move a bit. By turning the crank to move the piston back till it stuck again, then repeating the beating, the sticky spot was worked out.

The blower continued to get hard use for the next 5 years and never showed any symptoms of a near death experience.

My mother-in-law never was told what her favorite son-in-law did to her snowblower.
Spike Colt - 9 & 10, Case - 108, 118, 444, 446, 448, 646, 646bh, Ingersoll 4016, 4118AH
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Re: Did the 446 just dodge a bullet?

Post by JSinMO »

Good advice and good stories of some tough engines! I’m enjoying reading your experiences. I’ve had similar situations and have been surprised at how robust an engine can be.
I thought I’d throw one out that didn’t quite work. :109:
I’ve got a tiller that was my dads and between us using it for years and years I’d be scared to guess how many hours it has on it. I was tilling the garden and the B&S engine suddenly lost power and died. I went to restart it and it was locked up tight. It happened fast. I always check the oil when I run something, and in my mind I swear I did, but I couldn’t have it was almost dry. I disassembled it and here’s what it look like.
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Believe it or not even in that condition I cleaned up
The crank and piston a little and put it back together and it actually ran! But it smoked like a freight train burning oil terribly and kept dying. That one is still sitting behind the shop waiting to either magically heal itself or get rebuilt someday, which ever comes first!
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