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Lombardini Engine Worn Out After 600 Hours

I have a 28 hp Lombardini engine on a Predator P28, the engine has done 600 hours and is basically worn out beyond practical repair, so I am having a new engine fitted. This will be the third engine on this machine, the first engine sucked in some soundproofing material after 30 hours which made the engine overheat, fortunately, Lombardini replaced this engine free of charge.

The present engine has sucked in dirt through the air filter, it has an oil bath air filter which I am told is the best, however, dirt has still entered the engine and caused wear that is beyond practical repair. I regularly check the air filter and to be fair in general it doesn't seem to get particularly dirty. However, I carried out a particularly dusty job a few months ago when I was grinding out a very old hedgerow and I believe this is where the problems started.

The engine started burning excessive amounts of oil, probably a couple of pints of oil an hour! The engine is actually still under warranty, but it seems like I will have to pay for a new engine as this is classed as poor maintenance. I do clean the air filter regularly, however, it is clear that dirt has entered the engine.

My question is; is there any way that I can get a new engine under warranty or insurance, thoughts appreciated.

Incidentally, I had the same engine on a Carlton stump grinder and this engine was also replaced under warranty, due to a faulty casting on the block. I don't seem to be having much success with Lombardini engines!


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  • Hi Roy,

    I'm realy surprised to learn of your short lived Lombardini engines.  I've been stump-grinding for almost twenty years, and was the first to introduce commercial stump-grinding to Anglia as a franchisee of a well known national franchise.For a DIY project I converted my old Carlton 2300-4 some years ago from a petrol Kohler to a Lombardini 9LD-625-2 diesel. This engine currently has 3500 hours on its clock and still does not burn oil. This old Carton continues to serve me proudly, and yes I still use "old School" finger teeth after having imported 1000 from China when Green teeth first appeared. Then,  I refused to accept the rip off price for Green teeth in consideration of the small amount of materials used in its manufacture compared to finger teeth,  Yes, I need to re-sharpen at a days end or replace broken tips during a days work---so what!  The cost of Green teeth and its convenience is a price I was not prepared to pay. 

    To answer your question:  I am not aware of a way to a replacement engine out of warranty. I am sorry you have had such a bad time with Lombardini engines.  Kohler/Lombardini make worthy engines to my experience. Perhaps you should improve on your maintenance.  I replace motor oil and filter every 100 hours, and clean out the oil bath filter once a week. This is why my engine has lasted.

    • PRO Supplier

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on my question Mike, I do appreciate it.

      It sounds like you have been stump grinding for quite a time Mike, I first started in 2004 with a Carlton SP2000, it was hard work but done the job! I then purchased a Carlton 4012 stump grinder that had the same Lombardini engine, interestingly enough, on this machine the crankcase cracked, Lombardini replaced this engine free of charge as apparently they had had a faulty batch of castings!

      The local Lombardini supplier and engineers have told me that they regularly see Lombardini engines with 10,000+ hours on the clock, which is good. Over the years I have owned many machines with all different types of engines on, (landscaping equipment rather than stump grinders) and I've never actually worn an engine out. All I can think of is that I carried out an exceptionally dusty job in the summer, maybe I should have cleaned the air filter out immediately as the problem seemed to arise very shortly after this job. There was literally so much dust I could hardly see the machine at times and there was a measurable amount of dust on the roof of my vehicle which was parked some way off!

      It's interesting that you are still using your Carlton, I guess that it is very similar to the 4012? I had the radio remote version which has many benefits I believe. I never actually liked the way the engine is over the cutter head and how the engine has to tilt, however, I am told that the engine is designed to be able to take this sort of work.

      I remember being persuaded to try green teeth and I believe there were three different categories, I tried the smaller size and found them totally useless as they wore the holders almost quicker than the actual teeth, which makes for a very expensive system. I did have a Carlton 7015 on demonstration many years ago and this machine had the larger green teeth on and these seemed much more effective than the teeth that I tried. It was an expensive mistake and I ended up going back to finger teeth.

      I have to say I very much like the multi-teeth cutting system on the Predator, it's extremely quick to change the teeth.

      Going back to the Lombardini engine, it is still just in warranty, however, they claim and have shown me where dirt has entered into the air intake manifold which has caused unnecessary wear. I'm in the process of speaking to my insurance company to see if they can help me, it is not a straightforward situation. I will literally be cleaning the filter daily on the new engine, however much I have used the machine, as a precaution.

      I think changing the oil every 100 hours is a very good thing to do, the recommended time is 200 hours but I'm sure it's much cheaper to change the oil regularly rather than wear metal!

      Enjoy the rest of your Christmas Mike and thank you for taking the time to comment.


  • PRO

    Petrol or diesel?

    Is this as simple as not shutting off the petrol tap whilst the machine is not being used, allowing petrol to run down through the engine washing the lubricant out?


    • PRO Supplier

      Hello Andy,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, the engine is actually diesel, so, unfortunately, the issue is not quite so simple!

      I'm going to have to be extremely careful with this new engine, making sure that the air filter is spotlessly clean! Over the past 35 years, I have owned many different machines and this is the first time that I have had an engine fail in this manner.


  • HI Roy,  Further to your 26Dec comments.  I came close to buying a Carlton 4012 but did not like the design of a moving engine to tension belts, so I stuck with my old 2300 and continue to keep it going.  Yes I started out as a franchisee with a well known stump grinding franchise in '99.  Rather than assuring the competitiveness of its franchisee's with cheap parts, they chose to treat it like an old boys club with free full blown restaurant meals for all members after AGM and regional meetings, and insisted upon VAT registration as a contractual condition even though no members had ever reached the VAT minimum to warrant registration. I stuck it out for the duration of one 4 year term, but deeply begrudged their slice of my hard earnings for what I was getting in return and effective advertising certainly was not included. One of the franchise partners owned his own printing business. Did we franchisee's see any cheap business stationary--- hell no!  The vast majority of franchisee's were what I call part time hobbyists.  It's changed ownership since I left some years ago. I have no idea what improvements have been made --- if any.

    My Lombardini engine sits just forward of the swing pivot on the 2300 but still needs to tilt, however these engines happily operate up to a 35 degree tilt. I recently had to abandon a job that required the use of my on board winch to climb steep slopes as it exceeded the engine's slope limitation.  

    On dusty job conditions and as a general rule I always work with my back to the wind to minimise ingress of dust into the engine---and at me, especially so if I am grinding away at a toxic yew stump even though I wear a face mask in those particular circumstances.

    Were you able to get a free replacement engine or some insurance?



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