Loose intake valve on Techumseh flathead

Aquired a “new to me” riding mower powered by a 10 hp Techumseh. After replacing the igniter, rode it briefly across the property.

Now, it wouldn’t start. Compression read 0, and there was occasional backfiring out the intake when trying to start.

Just pulled the head, suspecting a melted piston (it was running pretty lean). No problem there, but intake valve stuck open (exhaust works ok). In fact, valve came out of the engine with modest hand pressure.

So, anybody have an idea how to fix? I’ve never done much internal engine work on anything before, other than head gaskets. I guess the valve must have pulled out of the keeper…so do I replace valve, spring, keeper?

Thanks for your help!

Just go to Northern Tools and buy a replacement engine, preferably a B&S or Kolher. Everyone I know (and myself too) that has had a Techumseh engine, had trouble with them.

+1 for @keith. Tecumseh has been around so long it would seem that they could get their act together by now.

Those are great engines and really was upsetting when they went away. I’ve got the repair manual but its not very descriptive on the valves. You should take the breather cover off and take a look to see what parts are laying in there. Either the valve broke, the spring broke, the retainer broke, or just came off. You can try putting it back on but you would need a spring compressor. Once you see what’s going on, you may want to just take it to a shop and have the valve replaced and reseated. Especially if you’ve got it all apart so the time is minimal. Take a look first though. You’ll be able to compare the other valve to see what happened.

I got the valve, etc out and the spring retainer is damaged…valve pulled right through it.

Probably talk to my mower guy about replacement part. New engine’s out of the question: if this doesn’t fix it, I got a trip to the scrap yard coming.

Not to disagree but a replacement engine at NH will be in the $3-400 range unless you go with their throw away Powerforce Chinese engines. I’ve had three or four Tech engines and all have been fine. I did have to have a valve reset under warranty on a snow blower but that was it if you took care of the carbs. Also replacement engines can be a pain trying to get the right shaft length and diameter, etc.