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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:

New guy here, Frank-in-Tallahassee.

My XUV550, new in August of 2012, 77.4 hours now, has started to smoke. Looked under the bed and seats, and found a bit of engine oil around the dipstick grommet at the block, but it seems to be getting onto the hot exhaust pipe which is quite high up as well. It also seems to me to have a LOT of crankcase puffing, but I don't know what "normal" puffing should be. I was thinking that if it has excess pressure that it might be pushing the oil out. If I spray everything clean so I know it's dry and oil free, and take it for a half mile spin, there is fresh oil around the dipstick base, but it doesn't appear to be anywhere else. Can that are scatter oil up high and onto the exhaust pipe?

It runs fine, and other than the smoke from the oil frying on the exhaust pipe, you would not know that there is anything wrong, so I'm not thinking that it is anything really serious, just a leak somewhere. That said, I hobby in old farm tractors so I have just about every tool, but I am not up to speed on what these B&S Vanguards have for quirks.

Could really use some pointers. And I have to ask...warranty is only 12 months on these, right?

Thanks in Advance!

Frank
 

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Could be just the oring on the dipstick tube or could be building excess pressure in the crankcase due to a leaking head gasket. Contact your dealer with your concern and have the PIN# of the unit ready. Even if out of warranty Deere will likely step up on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I'll see the dealer tomorrow. There seems to be a lot of crankcase pressure, and that leans me towards a head gasket, but not knowing these engines, I don't know that normal puffing is.

Looks to me now like the oil is coming from the fins and blowing against the dipstick tube, and then running down to the grommet.

The oil is getting caught up in the air flow from the fan and over the fins, and then blowing as far as hitting the drivers side chassis wall before it collects and drips down. Only some of it is hitting the exhaust pipe.

Hope you're right about Deere covering this. The thing has not run but one hour a week since I bought it new.
 

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Welcome to the forum fboerger!!!!!! Please let us know what the dealer says.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dealer says no warranty help...

Dealer says that the crankcase cover gasket is what is leaking, and the gator at 18 months and 78 hours is not covered in any way. I am extremely disappointed in green and yellow today. $950 to fix it as the engine has to come all the way out. If the engine was not sitting in a Gator, Briggs and Stratton would cover it for three years.

You guys just don't realize how many green machines I have owned, operated, and repaired over the years, starting with a '29 GP, '41 "H", '48 and '49 "A", and then the complete rebuild of my current '56 '70' Diesel. My 4310 TLB and 855 are currently in use on my little farm, and I keep those repaired in my own shop complete with lathe, surface grinder, and a little milling machine, but I just can't bring myself to tear into this one, so I'll let them have at it.

This was the first brand new John Deere anything that I ever bought. I've had better luck with used stuff because the wrinkles are rung out of them, but this one sure takes the cake.

Thanks for letting me rant.

 

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I hate to hear that. Nice looking tractor by the way!!!!!
 

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Ask for a special allowance thru the TCSM. This is a well known failure. Even if they wont cover all of it, they may cover at least half. Also, they are WAY high on the repair. Engine R/R is 4 hrs. Replace gasket and seal another hour at the most. Ok thats 5 hours. Kick in another hour for just because, thats 6. At a labor rate of 80/hr, thats 480 plus parts... Yur getting ripped off.
 

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Try 1\3 1\3 1\3. Then the dealer and TCSM will be more willing to do it because its only 1\3. They like to match what the dealer puts in. So the dealer and tcsm cover 2\3 of it combined and you do 1\3.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Try 1\3 1\3 1\3. Then the dealer and TCSM will be more willing to do it because its only 1\3. They like to match what the dealer puts in. So the dealer and tcsm cover 2\3 of it combined and you do 1\3.
So what is TCSM? I need some help here on the acronyms. I'm not sure that this dealer is all that keen or knowledgeable when it comes to helping people like me who have fringe warranty issues. I'll need to be able to spell it out for them.

But 78 hours!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, the gator came home today, and what with the limited test drive I could perform, all seems well. We settled on 1/3-1/3-1/3, so my bill was $250. Still stings a bit, but they did try to help what they could I do believe. They said that it was a front cover gasket failure, so that oil would seep out and get caught in the air stream, which blew it out and against the frame and sheet metal. Sort of a tough thing for me to believe on a new motor (78.2 hours now) but we shall see.

Many thanks to all who helped me with advice. Y'all did save me some money, that's for sure.
 

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Good deal!!!!!!!! I am glad to hear you are up and going.
 

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Glad to hear they all stepped up and took care of you. Now go run the crap out of it! The reason for the gasket failure was a bad design on the gasket. Now go run it hard and make sure the problem doesnt return.
 

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Did you find out if they actually had to remove the engine just to replace a valve cover gasket? I'm getting ready to replace the one on my forward cylinder and looks like it's pretty easy. Remove the body panels under and behind the seat and then two bolts in the cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My problem was not a head gasket, but the front cover gasket, so yes, they did have to remove the engine.

Now for the bad news... two weeks after the repair, and three hours later, I think it blew a head gasket last evening, while idling at the mailbox. Puffing blue smoke, excessive crankcase pressure out the oil fill hole.

Is there a crankcase vent on this engine? We'll see what the dealer says about this, but geeesh! I think it's a lemon. Not happy.
 

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Man I hate to hear that. Hopefully they will step up to the plate on this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Gator comes home from the shop this Friday, and as I am on the road, it will sit until I can drive it around Saturday afternoon. Called the dealer to find out what they found and what they fixed so that I could keep a close eye on it in the future, and they said it had one bad head gasket, so they replaced them both.

So, from the beginning, I was correct in my diagnosis.
 
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