Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

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Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:16 pm

I am in the market for a new self-propelled lawn mower. I always buy Briggs engines. I see their new, premium line of mower engines, the EXI series, does not require the oil to be changed, ever. Just check and add is all you do. I'm not comfortable with that, so I have been doing some snooping. On mowers I have seen, there is a plastic shield held on by three screws on the bottom of the engine, above the blade. It looks to me like if you remove the blade and drop that shield, you could change the oil. I asked Briggs themselves, but they want $22 to answer my question. It may be time for me to abandon Briggs and go with Kohler. Do any of you guys know if there is still a drain plug in the engine? Nobody at the big box stores seems to know. I don't see longitivity being a long suite of an engine that you can't properly service.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by CrazyCanuck on Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:15 pm

Many years spent as a small engine mechanic (licensed & self-employed) has led me to think that this "never change oil" idea of Briggs' is a bad idea. While the idea is good in concept, I think that Briggs is overly optimistic about how well customers will maintain their equipment and so there will eventually have to be oil change kits with instructions made available.

Engines .... we bought a new lawn mower this year. I do the big areas with a 1972 Ariens snowblower that has an OEM 26" deck attachment. My wife does the areas around the house. For years she used a mid-seventies Lawnboy that had been rebuilt more times than I care to remember. It was the only thing she could start given her short stature. This year we bought an MTD 21" mower with a Kohler XT8 (iirc) engine. My 5' tall wife of some 50+ years of age can start it with one easy pull. There are no controls, only the engine brake bail, so no chokes or throttle to worry about. We used one last year at the local cemetery and after sitting for the winter it started with one easy pull.

Also under-rated are the MTD "Powermore" engines. They are excellent engines and also are auto-choke, single speed. Coincidentally ... they "look" as if they are made in the same factory with the same parts as the Kohler ....

As always ... fresh premium fuel, clean air filter, sharp blade all make a difference in how well they will perform.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by CrazyCanuck on Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:17 pm

Additionally .... oil drains are not necessary if you use an oil evacuator (vac pump). I have used one in my shop for years....wouldn't be without it.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:36 pm

Many years spend as an ASE certified Master auto mechanic tells me that not changing the oil in anything, let alone an engine that runs in as much dirt as a lawnmower engine, is not a good idea under any guise.  I do not have an oil evacuator, but would consider one if I can get it and if it does not cost more than the mower is worth.  Do you know, specifically, if the new Briggs EXI engines actually have a drain plug under that plastic cover.  

I appreciate your input on the Powermore engines.  MTD uses those pretty extensively.  John Deere does not make "walk behind" mowers anymore, there is no local Toro dealer, Wlamart took over Snapper, so that leaves Sears Craftsman and some type of MTD as my only options. Craftsman is now made by MTD.

I am still using a 1989 Snapper and a 1993 John Deere PZ 14 that run like new and are dependable as the sun rising in the morning. But they are harder for me to push on my hilly lawn than they were 30 years ago. I have decided that a self-propelled walk behind might be the ticket. We have a two year old Murray in AZ and I like it, but it is strictly push. 

Thanks for your input, CC.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:02 pm

My Briggs and, Sratton is over twenty years old. I used to let a meighbr to use it on his lawn as long as he maintains the repairs. He never did. It broke down last year. A friend of mine started repairs on it. He has to find time to finnish it.
New blade. My neighbor ran over rocks.
New body part. He hasn't gotten it, yet.
Fillter. Replaced. New spark plug. Replaced.
New pull rope. Replaced.
Engine runs like new. Starts on first pull..
He cleaned it up for me. When he gets the new bracket installed, It will continue being a good lawn mower.
I'll ask my friend where the oil plug is..

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by 75X11 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:41 pm

My guys are Black & Decker.  sorry. Very Happy
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by willy3486 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:19 am

My previous lawnmower was a sears craftsman. It was one of the mowers known for blowing out oil if it got on a hill and also for not cutting smoothly. The thing never did good, sears use to be good stuff. Last year I read about the snapper riding mowers that you have the engine behind you, Like the one Forrest Gump used. I found one that was suppose to be a good running one and got it. The guy just did what he could to get it going and flip it. After I got the Snapper I got rid of the sears but had a Murray on its last legs. 3 mowings back the murray died so I started only using the snapper. Over the last year I replaced the idler wheel or whatever its called, a pulley that I didn't like the sound,a belt and also the carb. So I have about half in it that the newest low priced mower would have cost me.

This thing now runs like a newer mower. Starts the first time, and no real issues. If the grass is not to extremely high it looks like it has been manicured. The old sears and murray looked like we had been visited by aliens and they left crop circles. It is a older late 90s snapper I think.The way it runs and looks I can probably get another 10 years hopefully out of it or more. I saw all kinds of info and links to buy new motors for these. I can understand why, the older snappers are built like a tank. I may buy a second one that has a motor blown and get a replacement engine to have a spare mower. The worst thing about it is that if the grass gets to high it doesn't seem to be forgiving as the other mowers were.

If I was looking for a replacement I think I would look for a good used older mower. Even if I got one of the older snapper mowers I might even think about replacing the engine. The older ones just seemed to run forever if taken care of, at least before the days of OHV and valve adjustment.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:48 am

I considered electric, but I can't find a self-propelled one, and they are not recommended for my "tough" conditions anyways. We are going to the "City" to look at Sears one day this week. Our neighbor goes thru lawn mowers like most people do hair cuts, and he has a new Craftsman self-propelled walk behind with a rear bagger and a Kohler engine. He is satisfied thus far, so that is good enough for me for a start. I may also consider a Murray from Walmart. I just need to know more about oil changes in those new engines.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by 75X11 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:55 am

One thing to consider with an electric is they weigh less than a gas.  That could be an offset for a self propelled.  Many cordless jobs include battery weight and lead acid batteries make a mower of 90+ pounds.
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by CrazyCanuck on Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:20 pm

So, I just happened to be in a big orange store today and saw that they had Toro mowers with this "no oil change" motor .... I took a scan of the QR code and it takes me to the B&S website where the parts and operator manuals are available. I did not see any oil drain under the machine when I flipped it over, nor does one show in the parts listing :

http://m.briggsandstratton.com/qr/1412225808637/

cheers

John

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:54 pm

I don't see one, either. Thanks CC. That really helps.

Where can I get one of those oil sucker things? Are they expensive? That may be a necessary piece of equipment.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by CrazyCanuck on Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:30 pm

There are several sizes and styles of Pella oil suckers, but this is the one I use in my shop.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002EPSF7E/ref=s9_dcbhz_bw_g263_i3_sh

I use it for oil, diesel fuel and gasoline. The unit as it arrives is not designed for gasoline, but if you change the o-ring on the plunger to a style that is gasoline resistant, it will handle the fuel with no problems. I have had three of these over the years, and my current one is about five years old and has probably sucked the oil out of 500+ engines (I only work part time now - semi retired...) My previous two were used in a full time lawn and garden shop that employed three mechanics full time and they also worked flawlessly for many years once the plunger o-rings were upgraded.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:41 pm

Thanks, that will give me something to consider. I leaning toward abandoning my beloved Briggs and Stratton engines in favor of something more serviceable. Your comment about this being a bad idea and subject to revision is well-taken. I think I'll set this newest "technology" out. I'm considering an MTD-built Craftsman with a Kohler engine on it.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by jerryhawthorne on Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:18 am

Come on WC., living in San Tan Valley you really have grass? Rolling Eyes The only grass in Sedona is on golf courses. I do have one neighbor who had a very small patch. We just don't mow further North from you. No one (very few) even have grass. Heck, even weeds don't grow now with the heat and lack of rain.
Best, Jerry

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:28 am

I do have grass in San Tan Valley. Grass IS legal in AZ. Both brown grass and green grass....... Very Happy

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by willy3486 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:38 am

Wildcat445 wrote:I do have grass in San Tan Valley.  Grass  IS legal in AZ.  Both brown grass and green grass....... Very Happy
When I lived in Tuscon AZ as kid we had brown grass on the front yard. We have different name for the brown grass here in Tennessee, we call them pebbles or rocks.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:39 am

The brown grass I was referring to is the kind you smoke. Embarassed

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by 75X11 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:45 am

pale
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by willy3486 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:46 am

OK, we have that here as well. But its not legal. I live in what is called the nursery capital of the world. It probably has more tree farms per square mile for domestic use than anywhere in the world. Chances are if you buy a dogwood, magnolia,weeping willow,etc it came from within 20 miles of my house.With that said one thing the growers of "brown grass" will do is to plant their grass between the trees the nurserymen plant. That way its hard to see from the air. One day a helicopter flew close to my house and was hovering over a place about 1/2 a mile away. I told my wife there would be a drug bust. Sure enough they got s fellow who grew trees that had planted "brown grass" between the trees. He probably had 2/3rds of the 150 acres of trees filled with the grass.

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:36 pm

Back in my drinking and singing days, there were about a half dozen of us who would get together on Friday evening and play UNO. We would make tequila sunrise in a dish washing tub, usually a gallon of taquilla, two gallons of orange juice and the requisite grenadine. We would use soda straws and all of us would sip on this concoction and play UNO. Whoever was sober enough to write his or her name on the blackboard when the tequila sunrise was all gone did not have to buy to make the next round. We would play UNO and make up "improved" lyrics to songs. "You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Front Wheel" was a popular adaptation for truck drivers. "The Brown Dead Grass From Home" a modification to "The Green Green Grass Of Home" was one of "our" specialties. My personal specialty was an adaptation of "Red River Valley." I will save sharing the lyrics for another time. Rolling Eyes


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Troy-Bilt 21" Mower model 466

Post by Greg Davis on Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:09 am

This week I bought an old lawn mower at a local auction place that was holding an online auction. It has a Briggs & Stratton Quantum 120000 motor on it.

I should preface this by saying I know next to nothing about motors, but this vintage self-propelled mower came with an operator's manual and the Operating and Maintenance Instructions for the motor.

As this mower has obviously been sitting in someone's shed or barn for many years, I decided it needed a good doing over before I even attempt to see how it runs. So first I cleaned up all the old spider webs and cocoons, then I drained the old black motor oil out. Next I'll clean the air cleaner. I don't think it has a fuel filter, but if I find one I'll check it too.

Is there anything else I should do? The maintenance manual doesn't offer much additional guidance, but I'm guessing I'll need to replace the belt that drives the self-propelling feature. Not really sure how I'll do that or where to find a replacement belt, should one be needed.
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by 75X11 on Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:22 am

http://www.ereplacementparts.com/


http://www.outdoordistributors.com/
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by CrazyCanuck on Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:16 am

The 12 cubic inch Quantum motors are about the best of the Briggs L-head mower engines. Typically they use a paper air cleaner without a foam pre-cleaner, but a few of the upper end mowers used the foam. The paper air cleaner usually just needs to be blown out. Assuming that the motor will not start, the single most common trouble with these motors that keeps them from running is stale fuel. If needed, the carb is removed by following the steps listed below.

If you wish you can remove the starter shroud and start and fuel tank first, but it's not required. It just makes the work easier.

NOTE : before doing this work, remove the air filter, squirt a bit of fuel into the carb throat and pull the rope. If the motor starts and stall, then you know that the trouble is fuel related. If it will not start with a prime, then you might have other problems. The second most common problem with Briggs motors that do not run or run poorly is a sheared fly-wheel key. If you get to that, let me know and I'll guide you thru' the replacement.

Carb removal :

- remove air filter cover and filter
- remove the three screws (5/16" socket) that hold the air filter backing plate to the carb
- disconnect the fuel line and drain the tank
- remove the two screws (3/8" socket) that hold the carb to the carb mounting plate
- pull the carb straight back, then rotate it 90 degrees to remove the throttle link from the throttle shaft

The carb kit is part #498260 and the air filter backing plate gasket if your fuel system has a primer is #795629. Don't over-tighten the air filter backing plate when you reinstall it. If it has a primer, the plate can distort causing the primer air passage to leak and thus not prime. Tighten those screws evenly and just enough to be snug.

Have fun!

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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Greg Davis on Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:07 am

Thanks. Based on everything I can see at this point, I doubt there is any stale fuel in the lines at all. Looks bone dry and clean to me. I'll buy some gas today and give it a test.

I checked the serial number, and if I am reading things correctly it was made in July 2002. So at least it was made this century. Wink
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Re: Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engines

Post by Greg Davis on Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:18 am

Engine and self-propel operational status confirmed.  It took a while for the idle to settle down and smooth out, but after that it ran smooth as glass.
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