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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Mower
    MTD - Yard Machines

    motor price or rebuild?

    Hello I have a 1988 MTD rider 38 inch cut with a 12.5 BS IC motor. The mower was given to me from my dad who passed away so it does have sentimental value. The tractor looks like new and so I have a question. The carb allowed gas into the oil for a season, it does leak oil from several places, and it seems not to charge the battery. I know its old but how much would it cost to rebuild this engine or too buy another BS motor? the mowes all steel and waxed like a car! Dont like the crap they have at big box stores. thanks

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  3. #2

    2,500 Post Club

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    2,547
    Location
    Illinois
    Mower
    kioti/rhino finish mower

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    I think you could repair the engine for less than the cost of a new motor. With carb kit, new gaskets(most likely sump gasket is most of it) possible alternator change, around $150 if you do the repairs yourself. If dealer repairs engine probably $350-400. New engine may be economical in the long run instead of dealer repairs.
    ILLINOIS ENGINE, BEECHER CITY, IL
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  4. #3
    Grass ala Mowed's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    207
    Location
    Suffolk Virginia
    Mower
    Toro Super Recycler with Kohler engine

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    Yes, it probably comes down to who's doing the work. Costwise, it usually breaks down like this - parts < a new motor < a dealer rebuild.

    If you have a good set of hand tools and you're comfortable with working on the motor, go for it.

  5. #4

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    reynoldston's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    3,468
    Location
    Marion,NY
    Mower
    Ferris, John Deere, Wheel Horse, Toro

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    doesn't sound like much to repair, clean the carburetor, a seal or two, and maybe a loose wire. A lot less work them changing the engine... Things I would do to it, new engine or not is all new fuel lines, all new filters, fresh oil and fuel, new spark plug. sharpen the blades

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    854
    Location
    150 west of tulsa
    Mower
    Murray

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    Quote Originally Posted by velozp View Post
    Hello I have a 1988 MTD rider 38 inch cut with a 12.5 BS IC motor. The mower was given to me from my dad who passed away so it does have sentimental value. The tractor looks like new and so I have a question. The carb allowed gas into the oil for a season, it does leak oil from several places, and it seems not to charge the battery. I know its old but how much would it cost to rebuild this engine or too buy another BS motor? the mowes all steel and waxed like a car! Dont like the crap they have at big box stores. thanks
    There is no way I would put money into a 12.5 hp Briggs engine that is 24 years old and that had gas allowed to enter the oil for a season.

    Reason being these engines were not intended to be rebuilt. Sure parts are available and it's done every day but if they were manufactured to be rebuilt they would have replaceable bearings and cylinder liners.

    Some will say " I can hone, put new rings on a new piston and rod assembly and it'll be good to go". Don't forget the valves, guides, cam shaft/lobes and carburetor etc. are 24 years old also and if you happen to get a good scald on the piston and ring job the remainder of the components don't match and seldom run right very long. In my opinion this is a good recipe for disappointment. Replace the engine with a new one if the remainder of the tractor is in excellent condition.

  7. #6

    2,500 Post Club
    reynoldston's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    3,468
    Location
    Marion,NY
    Mower
    Ferris, John Deere, Wheel Horse, Toro

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    As I recall he didn't want a box store cheapy. Yes if you have to have it fixed at a dealer at over 65 dollars a hour labor I sure would want to know something before hand what has to be done or money spent. If you can fix it yourself you would be looking at less then a 100 dollars and it sounds like it was well cared for. Yes you can buy a new mower for around a 1000 dollars but are you going to be any better off then what you have? This is something you would know and have to decide on? No one can give you a true answer on a forum without physicality looking at it. Who knows what can be bad once it is running, like noisy and bad bearings, belts, engine knock, etc. If it was a well maintained mower you should be OK with a ?

  8. #7
    Grass ala Mowed's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    207
    Location
    Suffolk Virginia
    Mower
    Toro Super Recycler with Kohler engine

    Re: motor price or rebuild?

    "The carb allowed gas into the oil for a season." I was a little hesitant with my first post, but on reflection, if this means the engine was run for a season with gas diluted oil, and you want to keep the tractor, a new engine might be the best option. Costs a little more, but everything is new and unscored and it'll probably have a warrenty.

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