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johnmonkey

How to find an engine rebuilder

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johnmonkey
Good day gents, simple question - how does one find a reputable small engine re-builder? I have a Briggs 16 hp that I want rebuilt. I googled "small engine re-builder + Washington dc" and only had one shop in the area. My local guy doesn't like to do rebuild. Any suggestions? thanks. jh

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MrSteele
Depending on WHY you think it needs rebuilt, you may be able to do it yourself. If it has had a ring break and has the bore worn strangely, or it is too far beyond standard bore diameter (or whatever the bore is), then you should only need to find a machine shop to bore it farther, or to sleeve it back to standard. Get a manual and do the work yourself, it is not that difficult. There are those here that consider a rebuild putting an engine completely back to original specs, and I do that when I can. A new set of rings in a cylinder that is worn, but not beyond tolerance, is just as good as restoring an original bore, or even a new oversize bore. Chrome rings do not wear a cylinder wall, but the rings eventually wear out. (I am likely to get arguments with that statement) Do it yourself!

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DMedal
quote:
Originally posted by MrSteeleA new set of rings in a cylinder that is worn, but not beyond tolerance, is just as good as restoring an original bore, or even a new oversize bore. Chrome rings do not wear a cylinder wall, but the rings eventually wear out. (I am likely to get arguments with that statement)
(hey, no arguments so far) To determine if the cylinder is within specs I need what for a tool? I'm used to using an outside micrometer, what's the inside one called? Am I right that ring wear (in a good cylinder) can be checked by checking the ring gap? That implies breaking open the crankcase, one wants to figure this out before starting lest it lead down an expensive parts path. I've got an M18 I'm cleaning up with lovely looking cylinder walls but only 70lbs compression and it looks like it has been burning oil. Comments and/or opinions welcome. -Don

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acfarmer
There are 4 young brothers that operate a shop near Winchester VA that will rebuild your engine I've done some business with them and have found them to be very reliable and reasonable.If you'd like their number I can get it for you.

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johnmonkey
Thanks for the replies, Winchester is about 90 miles away. I will keep them in mind, but they are a wee bit too far. one reason I asked is that I got a 16 hp Briggs complete and I don't have much time. The other reason is that I got an 18 hp Briggs I/C twin completely in pieces (I mean totally dismantled 8C) How should I go about getting her rebuilt? I'm not even sure where to begin XX(. A parts diagram and then what???

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Roy
"The other reason is that I got an 18 hp Briggs I/C twin completely in pieces (I mean totally dismantled" John, Send the 16 hp Briggs and that useless box of 18 hp twin parts to me. I promise to give them a good home. Or, I can pick them up in about a month. :D

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ambler
John, You need to do some diagnosis. A complete rebuild on that engine is $900-1000. Machining 300, parts 300 labor 300. Run a compresion test and a leakdown test, is it leaking past the rings or the valves? IE were is it hissing? Pull the head, How much does the piston wiggle at TDC. What are the valve conditions? Do you have spark?

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MrSteele
The inside one is an inside micrometer, and is available as is the outside mic. You can use a good(stress on GOOD) set of dividers on the inside of the bore, then measure the divider with an outside micrometer. Specs are available either on the Briggs site, or may be available here on this site. Before rebuilding, if the engine is not apart or is not causing real problems, I would check anything else that could cause troubles as you describe, such as valves not closing completely, before I would take the trouble to tear one down. "most tech schools in your area have a small engine coarse and will rebuild your engine if you pay for the parts.Check it put." Samson, it has been my experience with tech schools here in north Alabama, that you are taking the life of anything you take to them in your own hands, and may well get something in worse shape than when you took it in. I'd check the school out very well for reputation before I would allow them to work on any of my toys!

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B.Ikard
Couple of things to ponder: What do you want in the finished product? When I put an engine together I go back to factory spec on everything. I'm a perfectionist,and like things right. I won't build an engine any other way and definitely won't stand behind one any other way. You will be getting a new engine when done. You might be OK with less, lots of people are. Beware there are a lot of "rebuilders" that call a set of rings a "rebuild"....they give the cheep price. A clean and organized shop is a great indication of quality work. A 16hp Briggs is a quality engine that deserves quality work IMHO... Good advice on asking at an auto parts store or auto machine shop. The kid that sharpens blades around the corner does not need to learn rebuilds on your engine. Brent

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acfarmer
If you are saying the young men I mention are inferior mechanics let me set the record straight these guys do better quality work than several of the shops that I have taken things to that had so called 'factory trained' mechanics and were alot older. Age of the mechanic has absolutely no bearing on how good or bad a person's work is in my experience.

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B.Ikard
quote:
Originally posted by acfarmer
If you are saying the young men I mention are inferior mechanics let me set the record straight these guys do better quality work than several of the shops that I have taken things to that had so called 'factory trained' mechanics and were alot older. Age of the mechanic has absolutely no bearing on how good or bad a person's work is in my experience.
Uh...you kinda lost me with this one. Not talking about you, your post, or the young brothers.... But since it is my turn: I've been in the mechanic field 25 years or so. I currently supervise 9 mechanics in the power generation field. Nothing builds skill like day in day out experience on the job. Training with experience yields a better technician. You get used to repeat failures, trends, repair tricks, factory service bulletins, oddities with the equipment, etc. Bad service comes from several factors.....lack of tech skill.....bad management......bad dealer policies.....poor communication....bad attitudes to name a few. Generally you grow older as you gain experience. Usually that would mean a younger tech would have less on the job training than an older tech. I've seen some sharp younger people and a lot of younger people who discovered how much they didn't know as they grew in experience. I was in the latter category- Age is not the determining factor-experience is. IMHO these allmost allways go hand in hand. My 2 cents Brent

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acfarmer
How much is there really to learn about rebuilding a 1 cylinder Kohler engine? The best tractor pull engine builder I know of is around 30 years old and has been building engines that have held up and beat most all of the ones that have been doing it for years.He helped me build an excellent engine that has taken many first places and has never had a problem and its been run extremely hard.Younger people are usually more open to new technology than the older ones and whereas older folks like myself sortof like keep doing what works even though better and newer techniques and materials come along,but it all boils down the individual reagardless of age.

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