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Old 09-11-2020, 07:42 PM   #1
nickdalzell1
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Default 13HP rebuilt engine sheared flywheel key

Has anyone had the flywheel woodruff key shear off like a lawnmower before? we just put an engine (rebuilt) into a TXT (2012 model) and the owner said it ran great three times and the fourth time it made a loud bang and now keeps throwing the clutches off. When it came into the shop I replaced the bolt that holds on the drive clutch and used an impact to tighten it down. Tried to start the engine it backfired and low and behold the drive clutch bolt spun off and the clutch fell off the crank. I also heard something rotating from the engine fan area. I thought it threw a rod so I removed the engine and started taking it apart. When removing the fan and flywheel (the part where the magneto and coil are) the flywheel just fell off. I found the key or rather what was left of it in two pieces, it definitely sheared off. Probably made the timing go all to hell and do weird stuff like self-loosen the primary clutch bolt.

Engine otherwise seems fine from what I can gather. We are waiting for a woodruff key for it but my concern is what on earth made it shear off to begin with? On a lawnmower it has to stop the engine cold (such as hitting a rock or something) to shear the key like that. I can't think of a single thing that can lock up an engine on a golf car without having some evidence such as internal damage or a broken connecting rod or seizing. Nothing seems wrong with the engine other than the sheared key.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:36 AM   #2
Blind Old Coot
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Default Re: 13HP rebuilt engine sheared flywheel key

Had a riding lawn mower that would shear the key with no load on the engine. I made a steel key for it and never heard about it again. That was not first choice for a solution but the machine was already beat to snot when I found it and riding is better than pushing.....

Mind you, it ran very well when it did run until the key would shear.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:39 PM   #3
nickdalzell1
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Default Re: 13HP rebuilt engine sheared flywheel key

I'm wondering if reusing the keys after a rebuild is such a good idea? Maybe that's it? We've been doing it for years on the old Robin twins, but perhaps these 'Thumper' 13HP engines are too much?

I have my share of experience with (mainly) Briggs and Strattons wanting to rip my arm from its socket when the key shears, it makes them kick back really badly ripping the pull rope right out of your hand. Always hated that. Would happen even if I babied the mower.
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