Troy tiller update on engine blow up

I have an early 80's Troy bilt horse tiller. I was telling you the other day that it "blew up". It is a heavy cast iron techumseh 6 horse
elctric start engine. I took it slightly apart this weekend.. I was able to move the piston rod assembly out the top with my hand. The only thing that seems wrong is the bottom of the rod that attaches to the crank disintergrated. Can I fix this by just replacing the rod and using the existing piston/rings? The crank journal the best I could tell did not have any chunks or anythign missing from it.
It seems alot cheaper than buying a new engine. I only use the tiller in the summers to till between the rows of my garden.
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stryped wrote:

Is the crank in good shape. If it is, _I_ would try it.
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If the case is ok and no scores on the cylinder then you are in good shape to put a new connecting rod in the thing and get a few more years on it.
Tecumseh engines are very prone to this, in fact the rule around here is never start a Tecumseh from the side only the front as it is that common to throw a rod in the things, especially in the first startup in the spring.
The part is cheap in the 15 buck range and most good shops will have them in stock. (I wonder why they are best sellers)
http://tewarehouse.com/Catalog/0579 has a range of rods for your particular model
On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 10:50:20 -0400, "Michael A. Terrell"

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Where are the cheapest places to look for the rod?

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http://tewarehouse.com/Catalog/0579
On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 09:54:30 -0700 (PDT), stryped

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stryped wrote:

Yes, as others have said, you can just replace the rod.
The likely cause of the bottom end disintegrating is from the rod seizing on its journal. It is very likely that this left some aluminum rod "welded" to the journal. (Assuming that you have an aluminum rod without a bearing insert.) It is VERY important that no aluminum be left on the journal. Your best way of ensuring that is to remove the crankshaft and spray the journal with oven cleaner (e.g., Easy Off). The oven cleaner is lye and will dissolve the aluminum without affecting the journal. Be sure that the oven cleaner is lye (sodium hydroxide) - there may be cleaners without it. For someone at your experience level, I would NOT recommend using any abrasive on the journal.
Did you mark or record the position of the piston relative to the block when you took it out? I always put them back the same way, although I don't know how important it is. Does anybody know?
Bob
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I'd do it. I've done it.
Wes
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