Dead Intek 18.5HP - Options

gramac125March 16, 2010

My B&S Intek 18.5hp single cylinder (31P777-0299E1) decided to let the sunshine into the crankcase thanks to a broken rod - I bought it second hand with low hours so suspect it may have had low oil or something previously but it is well and truly dead now. I'm new to all this so would appreciate any and all suggestions - am trying to keep costs down. To complicate matters I live in Australia so parts are more expensive than in the US - be good to find a supplier there that would ship to here. Anyway my question(s) are 1. Should I replace with the current model of the same engine (which is now 17.5hp apparently) 2. Should I consider a twin cylinder - an Australian supplier is selling 18hp Vanguard twins - is this an easy swap? 3. HP - how much is enough - will I notice a big difference if say I went to a 15.5HP Intek - only mowing a bit over an acre. 4. Rebuild with a short block (is this a cost effective solution by the time you factor in gaskets etc. Appreciate any suggestions.

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Well, if everything else is ok, i would go the new short-block route. And, after you get it all back together, don't forget to put oil in the engine, if it isn't in it, already! No use replacing good parts, if they are ok.
Granted, a complete new engine is easier to do, but then, you'll have a bunch of spare parts laying around, which isn't bad, but you may never need them. Not to mention the extra cost! And, do install a fuel shut-off valve, in the fuel intake line from the tank! And, use it faithfully! Saves BIG BUCKS later on!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:31AM
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"And, do install a fuel shut-off valve, in the fuel intake line from the tank! And, use it faithfully! Saves BIG BUCKS later on!"

This is what most often happens to these engines, the oil becomes contaminated by gas leaking past carb float needle, oil isn't checked before using and, wham.

I would not go with a larger version of this same engine. Vanguard is an excellent engine but probably cost twice as much plus parts for these are very expensive if and when needed.

Mowing 4 acres? You don't say what size deck you have, if it were me, I would want at least a 60" deck mowing that much which would call for a 25 or so more hp.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:49PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Walt, I think he is only mowing a bit over an acre. There is very good pricing here on some replacement engines, short blocks plus labour don't make sense in many cases. I would suggest checking with a local shop.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 11:14PM
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"Walt, I think he is only mowing a bit over an acre."

Yeah, I misread the #4 into it.

B&S is confusing on their engine ratings. IF the 15.5 hp is a 28 series, model number starts in 28, I would prefer moving on up to the lowest hp rated 31 series. They tend to stretch and stretch these engines. SOME l5.5 hp ones were 31 series in which case it would be fine and don't think you would notice much if any difference.

Still don't know what size deck you are running.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 8:17AM
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Thanks for your input folks and sorry I haven't replied before now - had ticked the box "send me an email when you get a reply" and hadn't seen any sowas thinking I had no replies. I can't help but think that fuel shut off issue is the culprit as I checked the oil level before and it was fine - after the engine blew it was low - thought it must have flung some out but this makes more sense. What sort of $s are these motors in the US? - I wa\s quoted a "special" price of $1100AUD for a 15.5 Intek from localshop but there is one on ebay locally for $847 - details are 15.5HP OHV Premium Intek series. Model 31E677.0133.B1 with the std. universal 1" shaft. The deck is 42" and while I have 1 1/4 acres there';s lots of gardens so nota big job - only went with 42" as it was a good deal swcond hand - or so it seemed :(
Thanks for your help & any more suggestions much appreciated - Graham

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 9:43AM
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Hi, My 19.5hp intek has also blown a hole through the side of the block. What option did you yake? I am also in Australia. Cheers

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:05AM
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