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WITom

It's official - I hate Briggs

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WITom
Never have cared for them too much. As of today, I have FOUR B&S engines all suffering from the same ills. They all start and idle fine, but open the throttle and they die. Just today, I took my trusty Honda 5.5 hp off my log splitter and put it on my garden tiller. Last fall, I rolled my portable genny with a 9 hp Honda from the garage, where it sat for two years without running, to the shop. Drained all the old gas out, added fresh gas - two pulls and she fired right up. The other Briggs are on a pull-behind yard sprayer, another garden tiller, and a water transfer pump that I would use to fill our field sprayer from a nurse tank IF I could make it run. I'm thinking of just using the little Honda for all of it, but it would be a lot of farting around moving it all the time. I have two Kohlers, a 10 hp in my 410 Allis & a 14 hp in my 1914 Deutz Allis (Sunstar), both have been good to me so far and obviously the Hondas can't be beat. I guess I'm just going to have to repower any Simplicities I can pick up that have a boat anchor in them.

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MDB
Tom, Sorry to here about your bad experiences with Briggs engines, We have two transfer pumps with Briggs engines for pumping water into the field sprayer and corn planter both have been very dependable. At present count we have 8 Simps and ACs around here, all with cast iron Briggs in them, all fine running machines. If you want to throw your Briggs away, throw them my way.....;):D

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maxtorman1234
I have the same problems with mine, We have 1 out of 5 small briggs that actually starts and runs decent. THey are finiky, and a pain. I've never had trouble with my kohlers, theyre the only way to go.:)

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Leroy
Tom maybe if you took one of them in, the shop could give you a diagnosis that may be repeateable to the others. I had bought a new Troy built that had a Tecumseh in it. If there was a boat ankor that was it . after 5 years of headaches i gave it away for 75 bucks. I know the shovel won't cause me that kind of headache. I had two kohlers one tore it self up. ane one wont run to cut grass but was able to start. I havn't tried it for a year. I have a briggs 6 horse on my 5 year old crafstman push mower Starts on the third pull always. I have a 16 horse briggs i hope to put in where the 17 horse Kohler was but i need more info.

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Greenhorn
I have an old commercial grade walk behind tiller with an 8 HP B&S. Sat out in the weather for over 3 years, never started. This spring my son-in-law wanted to try it on his back yard. Put a tube in one tire, put gas in it, started first pull. Didn't even use the choke.

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HubbardRA
I've used both B/S and Kohler. I find that Kohler engines require the most tuning and messing with. Kohler carbs constantly need adjusting. The B/S engines, once they are right, tend to stay that way and just keep running. I like both B/S and Kohler, and make my boat anchors from Tecumseh engines.

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maxtorman1234
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
I've used both B/S and Kohler. I find that Kohler engines require the most tuning and messing with. Kohler carbs constantly need adjusting. The B/S engines, once they are right, tend to stay that way and just keep running. I like both B/S and Kohler, and make my boat anchors from Tecumseh engines.
I find it odd that you find the kohlers need more messing with. myself, I cant ever get a briggs to run right. lol. I never have to adjust kohler carbs, just after i tear them down and clean them. Actually, once the vales and points are set, I never mess with anything, just turn the key and go. Now I have the bugs worked out, my engines never let me down. I can't see how they can need more messing with than a briggs. I find the briggs carbs are pretty much junk. They always leak, hard to adjust and much more complicated. I cant ever get one to work right. Is there some sort of trick to them?

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richp
Tecumseh's don't even make good boat anchors.(too much tin) All the Briggs I have owned never gave me a problem. I always thought thay were pretty easy to work on. The only Kohler I have is my Toilet, and It never let's me down.

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john-holcomb
I have now and have had about every kind of engine and yes I really like my Honda and the two Yamaha's I have had were excellent. But I have about a half dozen Briggs and all start and run great. The trick with the carbs I have found is that they are very float sensitive. If you put in a new carb kit straight from the box the engine won't run for poop, as most often the float level is too high, idles fine but won't run at speed. With the carb apart float installed and the carb upside down [float closed] the line of sight for the float should be straight with the carb casting or 1 to 2 degree incline away from the needle. Bend the float so it sits there. That is all the forgiveness you have more incline or a decline and you have a problem. As for the carb leaking I have never stopped it I just put a shut off on the gas line and I'm fine. Good luck.

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Tom Deutsch
It seems like folks with the older Briggs like them -- they seem to want to go forever. I've had all kind of troubles with the carbs on Briggs made in the last couple decades -- surging (defined as running good), leaking or hard starting. It also seems like the old engines (of whatever brand) had more honest hp ratings or at least were tuned for torque. Are there real differences here or am I just being nostalgic? I've never done a scientific comparison so I don't know.

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Karl_Brandt
Most of the tractors & lawnmowers I have running all have Briggs engines. I have a few with Kohler engines running....Briggs throttle shafts last longer than the Kohler throttle shaft.[:0] Today I got got out mt Dads rototiller with a 5hp Briggs & Stratton,started on the first pull and we did use the tiller last year. Karl

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RayS

Graham, I hope that you don`t mind me using your picture. In the 20 odd years that I have been around these tractors I have never seen a Briggs like this, but have seen a few Kohlers. It doesn`t matter if it is a Briggs or a Kohler when it is wore out and needs rebuilt it just needs rebuilt.

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a7117puller
quote:
Originally posted by richp
Tecumseh's don't even make good boat anchors.(too much tin) All the Briggs I have owned never gave me a problem. I always thought thay were pretty easy to work on. The only Kohler I have is my Toilet, and It never let's me down.
I have issues with tecumsehs too...and yes, they don't even make good boat anchors...same with Onans. Kohlers and Briggs are much easier to work on.

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BLT
Kohler's mainstay business is bathtubs and toilets. Engines and generator sets were delveloped so they could sell more bathtubs and toilets. Briggs' mainstay business on the other hand always has been air cooled engines. Oh sure they were very big in the automotive ignition lock, but either has sold it (Stratec) or holds little stock in it. Now they have bought Simplicity-Snapper and Ferris, Generac (Only the part where they supply B&S engines) and finally MTD. All of that said, it still remains Briggs' core businees to build engines to support allied lines (Powered equipment), not bathtubs and toilets.

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BLT
quote:
Originally posted by RayS
Bob, are you sure they didn`t by Murray instead of MTD?
Ray I am wrong, it was Murray. I have trouble keeping the two seperate. They both look the same.

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dlcentral
What do the folks at Kohler do on Mon. morning fip a coin to see if they make engs or bidets[or as my Italian friend calls em boot washers!]briggs are good mower////trac engs. Koh makes good puller engs until they puke their guts,

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maxtorman1234
quote:
Originally posted by dlcentral
What do the folks at Kohler do on Mon. morning fip a coin to see if they make engs or bidets[or as my Italian friend calls em boot washers!]briggs are good mower////trac engs. Koh makes good puller engs until they puke their guts,
Kohlers seem have more power at a higher RPM. I have been mowing with my 10HP at full throttle, No problems whatsoever. That motor in the picture was rebuilt, and I Just realized the notch that should be facing the flywheel was not. THis means the offset was wrong, contributing to the problem. Also, since the kohlers seem to need to run faster, people like to get them all grimy dirty, and run them low on dirty oil. They don't cool worth a crap, resulting in a broken rod. At least thats what I find.

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bigcountry
The key to preventing a older Kohler from puking a rod is when they are rebuilt, to put a billet rod in like the Cub puller guys do. I have never seen engines ran so hard and still hold together without grenading.

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maxtorman1234
quote:
Originally posted by bigcountry
The key to preventing a older Kohler from puking a rod is when they are rebuilt, to put a billet rod in like the Cub puller guys do. I have never seen engines ran so hard and still hold together without grenading.
Personally, I find the key is to keep them clean, and oil up. Also, The 16HP rods are much stronger. They're great to use in a 14 or 12

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D-17_Dave
I find that too much comp. on the K341's and simular when rebiult are the downfall on the K series. I think they just have weak rods. I would agree with Maxwell, if I were to rebiuld a 341 I'd certainly put in a billit rod for the extra protection. Like the pics show, the more stuff you cram in the engine, the more stuff you have that can go wrong. As for the Briggs carb's I too have had my share of leaking needle seats, but I find rotten gas and improper cleaning and instalation is the real problem there. This happens on any brand carb. now. I wouldn't take a load of ingine engines to the scrap yard. And for Onan's, 30 plus years old and still on the standard bore and as smooth running as it is, you'd have to pry it out of my hands for me to give it up. Always starts quickly and is the only one I know of of this vintage w/ replaceable rod bearings. I just wish Briggs made a cast iron twine of that vintage. Now that would have been a BRUTE.

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BigSix
WITom: The dying upon opening the throttle that you describe, is exactly what the 5 hp B&S on my tiller will do, if the mixture is too lean (say if the fuel in your engine has turned to "varnish" and blocks some of the tiny passages in the jets, etc...?). Assuming you can get the engine up to a decent RPM (not at idle) you could try richening the mixture until it starts to misfire slightly, checking that the exhaust is starting to smoke black, then try opening the throttle, and see if the stumble has gone away. Then, lean the mixture out until it's proper, but you can still have little or no stumble upon opening the carb. (You may have to richen the mixture just to get it above an idle, or use partial choke). You could also clean the carb thoroughly, as this could very likely solve your problem. One other thing: I believe the B&S engines with the carb sucking fuel right out of the tank all have a flexible diaphram-type fuel pump, which can become holed and not function properly. Also, a vacuum leak in the 1/4" pipe that runs from the breather to the carb (to power this fuel pump diaphram) would not be conducive to the carb getting fuel--that pipe needs to be making a good seal with the rubber boots at both ends of it. Good luck and let us know! Hmmm....it seems I can't agree with some here, but I must tell you that the 1970's era B&S 5 hp. on my tiller has sat outside for the last three years, under a crappy tarp, and it's tilled my garden every year. One year, the points plunger seized up in the bore, but I just had to free it up. This year, it started right up, and it's got one of those "suction" carbs, that sit on top of the tank? I never thought they were the best, but this one works flawlessly, and is easy to tune, mixture-wise, if you ever need to adjust it. I had the plug foul up, due to the used plug being full o' carbon to begin with, but a little wire brush and back in business. That engine always starts in 1-3 pulls. I have a 1995 B&S on my Northern Trencher, and I had to clean that carb and tank of contamination, when I got it. It too wintered under a tarp (year round, actually) and it starts up in 1-2 pulls. Both of these engines idle smoothly, and the Trencher's engine is the quietest non-Honda I've heard. It's not overhead valve, but does have a gravity feed tank. It says it's an "Industrial" model on the label. However, the 5 hp Tecumseh, on the 1972 Yardman Sno-bird I have, has perhaps been the most reliable small engine I've ever known. I can't tell you about the carb, because I think I've only had the fuel bowl off twice in 17 years. It starts whenever, below zero, or mid-summer, if I need to move it. I do use Stabil in the gas, over the winters, however. Perhaps I'm just lucky with 5 hp engines? LoL The 10hp in the 2110 runs very well, always starts quickly, etc.., despite a very worn throttle shaft, which is on my list. I can tell you I think I'm going to love the 14 hp in my buddy's Wheel Horse GT-14, (that I think I'm going to buying off of him, soon--Yaye!). It seems to be massively built and, until my recent fuel contamination issues, ran like a clock, after I went through the carb. I've ordered the fuel pump and will go back though it all shortly. So, it seems weird, but I've had excellent luck with the Tecumseh and Briggs.

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