Tired Briggs and Stratton on Log Splitter - Replace?

sem67October 26, 2009

Perhaps this message is premature, as I haven't even started it yet. A friend got a new log splitter and gave me his old one yesterday. Couldn't argue with the price! I didn't see it run, but he says it does and he has been using it for years and up until very recently. It's a tiny splitter with a Briggs and Stratton 3.5 HP motor (did I mention "tiny"?). I'm guessing it's at least 35 years old. The engine number is 92902 0451-01.

Guess my questions are these... where is a good reference and source for replacement engines? I'm assuming this old engine isn't made anymore, so I'd have to find an "equivalent". Do I just make sure everything simply bolts up (shaft length, mounting holes, etc.)? If I find the engine simply needs a bit of attention, is there a good source for parts?


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canguy(British Columbia)

The code number on the engine indicates the date of manufacture. A Briggs dealer can give you the current replacement if there is one listed, there are currently good prices on certain engines. Parts are readily available for the old one.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:29AM
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That flat head engine (if it's an old flat head?) will run for about ever. all you probably need to do if the guy checked and changed the oil is probably decarbonized the combustion chamber, clean the carb. and maybe change the points and condenser. when you have the head off you can see if the block bore is worn (probably not) by a ridge at the top of the bore, don't be confused by carb build up at the very end.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 5:53AM
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Thank you for the feedback. I'm hoping to check it out this weekend. Knowing Dave, I'm sure he maintained it well. Although the splitter is covered in grime! The first thing on my list is to "Gunk" it and clean it really good. Then I'll address the engine and possibly change the hydraulic fluid.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:16AM
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Took a brief look at it last night. Just pulled the plug, air filter and checked for spark and tried starting it. What baffles me is that it has spark, but the engine won't even "pop" over with starting fluid sprayed into the cylinder or carb. Could the carb be so "fouled up", that it's not allowing air through for any ignition at all?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 8:14AM
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You next step would be to see if it has compression. A valve maybe stuck open? Again if it's a flat head just take the head off and look see what's going on inside?

Don't take but couple of minutes. Then you can put the rope fan housing back on and pull the rope and see if the valves are opening and closing, check for piston slap, ridge wear. Clean up the head gasket, with the piston up clean up the piston, valves, head using a wire brush or wheel brush on a drill. There also probably a bunch of crud in the gas tank and it's not up common for the up tube screen to be plugged or rusted so bad that hardly no gas will flow.

I would clean the tank by taking the carb off it and clean the carb. now with it cleaned up getting fire, and you priming it with carb cleaner it should take right off. If it don't then I would remove the flywheel and make sure the timing key hasn't broken and the timing is off.

all of this will cost you nothing but time! then if it won't work look for a replacement and caulk it up to experience you've gained by trying to get it going by doing routine maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 7:18PM
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Got it going today! New plug. Blew everything out with air. Took the tank and carb off, cleaned and reinstalled. Changed the oil (twice... the second time after the oil was good and hot)and did a Sea Foam treatment. It was a bit difficult to start, but once running, it was fine. Although it had a pretty widely oscillating tempo. Fast and slow... fast and slow. But later in the afternoon, I bought a new air cleaner to replace the totally ruined one that was on it. Actually... I had been running it without the air cleaner to facilitate the Sea Foam treatment and I also doubted that it would even run with the gummed up old filter. Anyway... with the new air cleaner on, the oscillating tempo was gone... ran as smooth as could be!

I didn't get to the points today. Where I got my parts, they had the replacement coil that does away with the points. It was $36... didn't buy it. But might, if you think it would help with the starting. I do have to yank on the cord quite a bit to get it running. BTW... last night, I didn't have much hope for the engine as my compression test showed only about 50 lbs. But it sure doesn't run like it has low compression.

Thanks to all for your suggestions. Perhaps I can keep this little engine running for a long time.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 5:52PM
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50 pounds is alittle low decarbonizing may help (my old tiller engine had about 60 and it done OK), you never mentioned if you done the comb. chamber? cleaning the head, piston, valves, gasket, and reseal the head may help( don't worry about the head gasket 99% of the time it can be reused by just cleaning the carbon off and the surface it mates against, it's pretty thick and will reseal providing it don't get tore up upon removal), but if it runs good and has enough power to work the splitter then I would use it.

Points may help in starting but it could be the diaphramn in the carb. (when you pull the rope the diaphramn pulls the gas up into the carb and that gas gets sucked down to the piston and provides fuel for starting, once it starts the vacuum of the moving piston draws fuel through the carb. and the carb. provides the amount to keep it running smooth) especially if it fires right off when you prime it with carb. cleaner down the carb. with the air filter off. Old engine sometimes can be hard to start due to the old parts in the carb. and points pitted and burned and lower compression.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 7:15AM
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RC... haven't looked at the head yet. But it was running great. I think the diaphragm is suspect and not pulling the needed fuel to start easily. Once started, it runs great. I'm going to find a replacement diaphragm and see how that goes.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 9:29AM
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