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I have an old Arens rear engine riding mower that with an 8hp ? Tecumsha that won't stay running. I will start and run ok at idle, but when I engage the blade it stalls. It got progressively worse to the point where it won't stay running at all and it tends to blow white smoke when I pull the starter rope. Any ideas where to start ?



Thanks, Chet
 

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the neighbors mower did that. brand new snapper rider. i cleaned out the main jet and performed a few non-warranteed adjustments and the thing will now cut small trees down without skippin a beat. not clear on the white smoke ? in my field that means coolant being heated in the combustion chambers. possible raw fuel indicator !
 

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I would bet you've got low compression due to bad sealing between valve faces and seats or maybe valve guides or perhaps rings, probably all of the above if this an old engine that has never been rebuilt.. I think it's time for a rebuild.
 
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