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Arrgh! Briggs Sputters Smokes


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#1 amecks OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 09:51 AM

I have been working on a Mackissick Stump Grinder with a Briggs Vanguard 185432 single cylinder engine. The engine will start easily but the idle is rough, the idle speed is high and stalls when lowered to normal idle speed. The idle air screw has some effect but will not help the problem. When I pull the throttle slightly it sputters and pops, puffs black or white smoke, and when the throttle is pulled quickly it will stall. The engine can revved to full throttle only by easing it up gradually, and then sounds and runs normal at high speed. I have replaced the carb with another clean carb and replaced the ignition coil with another good coil. The centrifugal clutch works OK. Any ideas? I am at a loss. Thanks. Al.

#2 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 02:09 PM

1st Welcome to GTt amecks!

What is the history on this engine? was this running good then gave you problems?

Has this engine been taken apart (internally)?

There are a few things that could cause this

One is an air leak from around the carb, or even a blown head gasket.

could be a valve not seating properly

could even be a timing issue, Flywheel key sheared or marks on the cam and crank could be off.

could be the governor was apart and not adjusted properly also.

Just figured I'd throw a few ideas at you, But I would really need a little more info to narrow it down for you.

Good luck. Chris

#3 amecks OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 02:37 PM

Hi Chris, I work at a Taylor Rental and this is one of our machines. This engine was running OK a month ago and has not been apart internally. Air leak - didn't seem like it was leaking but it now has new gaskets and spacer so it is even less likely - but hey its possible, you know. Head gasket is OK. Valve seating - probably not, I did a leak down test and it was pretty good. Flywheel and key are in excellent shape. Maybe the governor. I have instructions on setting the governor so I'll check that.
Thanks for your help. Al.
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#4 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 02:42 PM

Being a rental. anything is possible. I'm sure you have seen were people are removing the Honda engines and returning them with a clone.

Anyway, Might be that the renter though it wasn't fast enough for them and they tried getting more power by adjusting the governor.

Good luck! Let me know how the governor adjustment goes. :thumbs:

Edited by chris m, May 08, 2012 - 02:43 PM.


#5 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 03:01 PM

The more I read your symptoms, and go over things in my head. I tend to lean more to timing being off, it is acting like one of the valves is hanging up or not seating at the right time. have you checked the Valve lash?

Makes me wonder if a renter swapped engines on you also.Do you guys keep record of the engine serial numbers on your equipment?

#6 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 03:10 PM

Amecks, welcome to GTTalk. Reading your first description of the problem you are having makes me think it is a fuel related issue so I checked the Briggs & Stratton Fuel system T/S guide and the one thing that kept popping up with all your symptoms was Fuel Quality. Have you tried draining the tank and putting fresh fuel in it? Also here are some suggestions from the Briggs T/S guide
Jet, Main Fuel

Restricted, Passage
Jet, Pilot
Governor
Head Pressure
Pump Pressure
Inlet Needle & Seat
Float
Porous Casting
Fuel Quality

I know some of these you have checked out but some may give you some direction. Good luck.
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#7 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 03:18 PM

Amecks, welcome to GTTalk. Reading your first description of the problem you are having makes me think it is a fuel related issue so I checked the Briggs & Stratton Fuel system T/S guide and the one thing that kept popping up with all your symptoms was Fuel Quality. Have you tried draining the tank and putting fresh fuel in it? Also here are some suggestions from the Briggs T/S guide
Jet, Main Fuel

Restricted, Passage
Jet, Pilot
Governor
Head Pressure
Pump Pressure
Inlet Needle & Seat
Float
Porous Casting
Fuel Quality

I know some of these you have checked out but some may give you some direction. Good luck.

Thanks for jumping in! I am a bit under the weather today and having a hard time thinking.

#8 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 03:35 PM

No problem Chris, Hopefully it will help or at least give him something to think about.
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#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2012 - 07:46 PM

Thanks for jumping in with all the suggestions guys. The only time I've had symptoms like that was when a flywheel key let go on a Tecumseh 11hp ohv on my snow blower. Started out with these symptoms then it wouldn't start at all. Thats already been checked. I hope we hear back about what the problem was.

#10 amecks OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hi guys,
I am reporting in. I have other machinery to work on and this machine is for when I have some extra moments. Yesterday I adjusted the governor - no change. I checked the float/needle/seat and found the float needle scruffy so used the spare. While the carb was off I visually set the idle screw (throttle opening). On starting it seemed to be idling better and I actually lowered the idle slightly and I was able to adjust the air screw. Idle still rough, engine cuts out when throttle opened normally, stays running if throttle opened very slowly. Same as before. But I did notice that when it was revved up and I held it there for about 15 20 seconds, the engine quit - almost like run out of fuel. It did this twice. I rechecked the fuel flow - good. ( I have replaced the fuel twice already and cleaned the tank).
As to the renters swapping the engine - we have all serial numbers documented. But on a few of our machines they would be doing us a favor if they swapped engines! This particular machine has been out only once this year and was running OK when it came back.
Next time I work on it I will check the valves for sticking and recheck the possibility of an air leak.
Thank you all. Al.

#11 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 06:05 PM

Amecks, I just thought I would throw this out for some thought. I was over helping a buddy of mine with some back log today. He had a Craftsman LT2000 in for service. He had changed the oil, filter, air filter, adjusted the valves and sharpened the blade. When he pulled it in to the shop last night it ran fine. Today he changed out the spark plug an NGK but got distracted with customers. This afternoon we fired it up an it was terrible, sputtering, back firing, coughing and it didn't respond to throttle movement very well. Put the old plug back in and smooth as glass. Got another new NGK plug and it was fine. I don't remember if you have changed the plug out yet or not but that was the first time I saw a plug do that. I was ready to start looking at the flywheel.
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#12 chris m ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 06:09 PM

Amecks, I just thought I would throw this out for some thought. I was over helping a buddy of mine with some back log today. He had a Craftsman LT2000 in for service. He had changed the oil, filter, air filter, adjusted the valves and sharpened the blade. When he pulled it in to the shop last night it ran fine. Today he changed out the spark plug an NGK but got distracted with customers. This afternoon we fired it up an it was terrible, sputtering, back firing, coughing and it didn't respond to throttle movement very well. Put the old plug back in and smooth as glass. Got another new NGK plug and it was fine. I don't remember if you have changed the plug out yet or not but that was the first time I saw a plug do that. I was ready to start looking at the flywheel.

Wow! That can sure throw you off. Thanks for the info.

#13 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 06:55 PM

Wow! That can sure throw you off. Thanks for the info.


Neither Dale or I had ever seen an engine behave like this just because of a plug. Dale, who has over 30+ years working on Motorcycles and small engines, was ready to pull the flywheel to check the key.

#14 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2012 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for that info. Bill. It just proves that you can't take anything for granted when working on machines. I've been burned by bad parts before and it's no fun at all. At least a plug is cheap and easy to change. Somewhere on here I heard somebody else complaining about NGK plugs so maybe there are occasionally bad ones out there.




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