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Smoking JD L130

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Auggie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 21 Northern Virginia
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2004-01-14          73980


Has anybody heard about this. I've got a new JD L130 lawn tractor. Bought it at Home Depot mid-summer. Ever since I got it, it's smoked at the start and always backfired. I did a tune-up but nothing changed. My local dealer checked for recalls and found none. So I went about 50+ hours until the grass didn't need cutting anymore and took it in. My dealer also did a tuneup but when I started it up, the JD smoked like crazy again. Obviously there's a small oil leak or seepage. I am not going through much oil. Anyway, when I go in to see if it's fixed, my dealer says John Deere has sent an email telling dealers to just tell users to run the mowers for a 100 hours until the engine seals. Kind of makes sense, but that's a heck of a way to deal with a $2,400 lawnmower. Has anyone else faced this problem? BTW, my 10 year-old Craftsman with the Briggs engine does not smoke.

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Smoking JD L130

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2004-01-14          73989


The engine should be broken in by 50 hours. Request another mower or before you do that ask to go out onto the lot and have the dealer show you another tractor of the same model smokes the same way. I doubt it will. Then demand a new tractor or a WRITTEN lifetime warranty of the engine and any possible components it could damage in the event of a failure. Sounds to me like your dealer is peeing on your boots and telling you it is raining. Now might be a good time to make a deal on a bigger or different model you wish you had purchased originally as well! Good luck and don't buy into the dealer's BS. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2004-01-15          74026


I haven't heard of that problem with that series of engines. I would be a little more persistant, I know you should have to be but get after them, it should be doing what it is! I do believe it might be a carburation problem as the back fire when you shut it off is gas in the muffler. ....

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Auggie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 21 Northern Virginia
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2004-01-15          74030


Both good ideas. And thanx Art. You are up way too early handling these questions. I suspect, however, that this is going to be a drawn out issue. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2004-01-15          74063


You caught my misspellings huh? ....

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Auggie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 21 Northern Virginia
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2004-01-15          74095


Yeah, no sweat. I write for a living, but hitting those keys at 5:30 a.m. can be messy. It's like my little mower: It hiccups a lot, but it runs. Thanx for the advice. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2004-01-15          74109


In this area at the Home Depot they come with the local dealers name on them. Try taking it to the nearest dealer away from them if that is the case and they will think they are stealing a customer! Engine warrantee's are not normally different from one tractor to another. I've had to eat a couple,yes I said it should be covered! Different manufacturers of chassis with the same engines complicate things. The backfire after shut down tells me the muffler is filling with gas or gas vapors and the late explosion tells me it's heat or a late spark. Sometimes the easiest is to see if it doesn't do it at a half throttle shut down or maybe 3/4 throttle. It still is okay to do this and in the past some engine manufacturers have had to recommend it as there was no readiable solution to the problem. My own thoughts on it is that the manufacturers trying to find a happy point between cold weather starting with low batteries and low rpm cranking speed needed to accomplish the feat of starting an engine that is self exciteing found another hurdle to cross with late residual spark discharge from the system. Some day they will have it licked and right now for us it is better then the alternative of hand clippers! The smoking is not right, the oil not being low is telling me it is a rich situation that is cure able with a carburator replacement at the worst. It might just be dirty, who knows what was in that five gallon can before the gas! A quick tear down of the carburator will give the direction that is needed next. If you have smoke, and you show nothing is burned except gas then chances are the gas is replacing the oil in the base. Not a good thing for long life but if caught now when there is still no long term damage would be most benificial. Try a different dealer, if nothing else try the big boys with the green hats! ....

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Smoking JD L130

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Gene
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2004-05-29          87155


Interesting, I have the exact same problem. I also just purchased an L130 from Home Depot. It even smoked the first time I started it at Home Depot to load it on my trailer. I made a comment to the Home Depot Employee "why is smoking?" He said because it is new. I don't know, but when was the last time you bought a new car that smoked the first time you started up. I now have gone 15 hours with one oil change and it still smokes on start up. I talked with a service manager at Deer Creek Equipment. He said to let it go until the 25 hour oil change and bring it in if it is still smoking. I don't know if it will get better. This could be a engine design flaw. My L130 also usually backfires when turning it off even after letting idle for awhile before turning off the key. Please keep me informed of your outcome and I will keep you informed of mine. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2004-05-29          87208


Just out of curiosity; what weight oil are you running in these engines? ....

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dirkusv
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1 CT
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2005-05-03          110667


I have the same smoking problem with the Kohler 23 HP in my L130. My local dealer said to wait until 50 hours. I'm at 65 and still smoking. So now it is up to 100 hours...next year 150 ???? HMMM ???? Also found two bolt heads missing from one of the mower deck spindles !! Broken at time of manufacture. Anyone else have this happen ?? Otherwise it is a good machine. ....

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momeyer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 16 Lebanon.MO
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2005-05-04          110689


My L130 has 80+hrs and still smokes upon starting, and always backfires when I shut it off. Bought it from a JD dealer and the service department is superb, however, thay continue to shake their collective heads on this one. ....

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Auggie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 21 Northern Virginia
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2005-05-05          110721


You are basically out of luck. I started this string a year ago and my L130 still smokes, and now has over 200 hours. A local engine repair guy said JD had a special kit with better bolts and a gasket, but my JD dealer didn't know anything about it. In fact, they worry the cheaper L tractors are going to cost business on the more expensive JDs. And it's easy to see why...not only does it smoke, but the wiring harness has no protection and rubs on sharp engine parts and the springs on the deck rub too. I lost one of those. Good luck. ....

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ArtFromWI
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2005-08-16          114961


I have a 2-month old JD L130 purchased from HD that also smokes. Called our regional JD dealership, was told that smoking upon start-up and for the first minute or two is normal as the design of the Kohler allows for oil from the breathers (I may have my terminology mixed up) to drip into the intake. He said there haven't been any issues with the 23 horse Kohler for the last 8 years or so. Before that they had an issue where the head bolts bottomed out in their respective holes before the head gasket was adequately compressed. This has been fixed (by using shorter head bolts). I was told to monitor oil consumption, but not to worry unless it exceeded 1/3 quart every 6 hours. ....

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