Re: Valve rod question
Curiosity got the better of me and I knew I had to see it for myself. I took the engine off the mower and tore it down. Much to my surprise, the intake cam lobe was worn right off! I have NEVER seen an engine do this, especially since the intake cam lobe is nearest the oil sump and would have more than ample lube. How could this happen? The owner is very good about oil changes and keeping the machine up but it came to this anyway.
Also, in the cylinder there's a spiral scratch. It's very odd. I've seen scoring on the stroke of the piston but I've never seen scoring in a spiral design that looks like someone took something and screwed it into the cylinder. It's not honing marks either because the scoring goes around the cylinder half way and at a distance of about 1" from TDC to maybe 1.5" down, spiraling as if it was screwed in clockwise. I don't have an answer, but the guy doesn't want to put the money into it and he bought a new machine.
I'm relating this to everyone in case they come up against this themselves. Very odd failure indeed. It's a shame. The rest of the machine is in good condition. I may fix it myself and sell it. Cams are around $85 so it's not too bad.