Briggs ELS - 25 hp engine leaks oil

vinnie_s(NJ)May 6, 2011

I have posted pics of the location where it appears to be leaking, circled in red. Looks like the main (head?) gasket. I am not a mechanic, but am good a disassembling.

If I have a shop do it, what am I looking at for cost?

This engine has been flawless, and is running great. I even retrofitted that crappy yellow-clip air filter cover with the more reliable 4-screw cover.

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd78/yankees_1996/IMG_16601.jpg

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd78/yankees_1996/IMG_16621.jpg

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mownie(7)

Well, the first photo shows nothing except a puddle of oil.
The second photo, where you have circled, looks more like a leaking sump gasket from here.
The head gasket is located just to the right of the exhaust pipe Allen head bolt (the bolt on the right in the pic), so I doubt it is a leaking head gasket.
Engine needs to come out of the chassis for replacement of the sump gasket, but you might try tightening the sump mounting bolts before you go to that procedure. You might get lucky and not have to replace the sump gasket, unless you have let this leakage go on for a while.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 1:34AM
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BriggsGalaxieman

vinnie_s,

Been there....done that!

Briggs & Stratton 25 hp ELS ( Extra Leaky Sump )

I fought the EXACT same leak in the EXACT same place for about 5 years. Finally, it got so bad that there would be an oil puddle on the floor after it sat overnight. I tried everything to repair from the outside (tightened bolts, patched leak with J-B weld, etc.). Nothing worked.

Finally, this last winter I bit the bullet, removed the engine and changed the sump gasket. Not a hard job, but it takes some time. You will need a torque wrench for the 200 in-lb. torque spec on the 10 sump bolts. The Service Manual has the torque sequence for the sump bolts. If you donâÂÂt have it I can scan and post for you.

Below, I will post three pictures. The first shows the base of the block just after I removed the sump. Note that the gasket is totally missing from the area under #2 cylinder where we had leaks. The second shows the sump just after removal. Note the pieces of sump gasket in the bottom of the sump. Now I know why Briggs put that metal screen above the oil pump...to catch pieces of the cheap gasket....

When I installed the new gasket, I used a very thin coat of blue RTV gasket maker on both sides of the new gasket. The third picture shows the completed job. Note the blue RTV and no oil mess anymore....

Galaxieman
------------------

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 7:55AM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Galaxieman,

Please send me a scan of the sump gasket page. Thanks so much. I have an analog torque wrench. I figured that is what it was, but in the manual, it is listed as crankcase basket. I will need to cut the grass today, so I can get away with with it for a week. I am also on vacation next week, so I have time.

I was one of the lucky ones with regards to this air filter cover problem. I found a forum where a guy did a retrofit. So I called Briggs and asked for a list of part numbers and cost. They were so stunned that I wanted to retrofit it to avoid the problem, that they sent me the parts for free! About $100 worth. And I already had credit card in hand!

Anyway, thanks. I do have a manual with parts breakdown. Is the page on that manual?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 8:18AM
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BriggsGalaxieman

My install process was:

1. Apply very light coat of RTV on mating surface of sump housing. Apply new gasket to sump housing and press down all the way around being sure holes are lined up with gasket. Allow to dry overnight.

2. Apply very light coat of RTV to block mating surface. Assmeble sump to block and torque bolts per manual (below).

Galaxieman

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 9:48AM
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mownie(7)

It is correctly called the crankcase cover, but many of us have gotten habituated to calling it a "sump" due to the fact that when the engine is configured to have a vertical crankshaft (probably the most common configuration in OPE) the cover closely resembles a conventional oil pan (sump).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:53AM
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BriggsGalaxieman

Yeah, Mownie, even Briggs & Stratton calls it simply: 'SUMP' in their manual...see above scan.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:57AM
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mownie(7)

Briggs should have/could have added 2 more "dowel pins" to the gasket perimeter on engines in the "higher horsepower tier".
Because the sump is also the "engine mounting facility" on the vertical crank engines, the sump must carry the reactive torque forces present when the engine is under a load.
Having only 2 dowels to "stabilize" the juncture of sump to crankcase against relative movement is "under kill".
The sump bolts serve primarily to "clamp" the gasket to the mating surfaces, but it is the dowels that serve to keep things stationary against torsion.
2 more dowels at 90 degrees to the existing dowels would prevent a lot of the gasket failures.
In torquing the sump bolts it is very important that none be less that specified.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 11:23AM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Superb. Thanks! Already got the new gasket.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 11:42AM
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BriggsGalaxieman

"2 more dowels at 90 degrees to the existing dowels would prevent a lot of the gasket failures."

Mownie...That's for sure! They could use you in the Briggs & Stratton Engineering Department.....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 12:09PM
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mownie(7)

Trust me.........Briggs already understands the implications.
But if 2 dowels will carry the engine past manufacturer's warranty period...................well, they do have replacement parts to sell :^)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 2:47PM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Quick question. DO you have the torque specs on the 4 engine mounting bolts? I had a very hard time removing it. But I got it off.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 8:18AM
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mownie(7)

Mounting the engine to the frame of the tractor?
45 to 50 foot pounds will do IF the mounting bolts are 3/8" diameter.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 9:44AM
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BriggsGalaxieman

The engine mounting bolts on the GT5000 are 3/8 in. But, they are an 'out of round' type bolt that is designed to tap the hole on initial use with the engine. After that, they do thread in a little hard because the threads are not perfect. Mownie is right-on with the torque values.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:27AM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Good deal. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:29PM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Guys,

The pan is off and the leak area was exposed by missing 3" of gasket. I will post a pic.

http://s224.photobucket.com/albums/dd78/yankees_1996/

My question is on the governor crank. After I put the engine back together, and connect the governor bolt/nut, how is this set? Was I supposed to mark this? I am not a mechanic, so I don't know how it works.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 2:31PM
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BriggsGalaxieman

vinnie,

Nice picture. No wonder you were leaking oil! Exactly the same place as on my engine, pictured above. Too bad Briggs can't even install a simple gasket properly....

The 'governor crank'....It's good news and bad news....

The bad news is that you did NOT need to disconnect the governor arm there. If you had just disconnected the governor springs then the arm would have come off with the sump and be just as easily reassembled. But since you have it apart...

The good news is that it is not too hard to set properly. This is a very good video on how to adjust the governor on a Briggs V-Twin:

http://www.youtube.com/user/IFIXIT4U#p/u/0/tOoArROpM_o

Galaxieman

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:09PM
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BriggsGalaxieman

Vinnie,

Next time just post the HTML code from below your Photobucket picture and it will appear in your post like this:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:14PM
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vinnie_s(NJ)

Got it. I have some good news. Before I fired it up, I did a valve adjustment. Engine fired right up and no leaks. Runs smother than before, but it is running much higher, and I had to lower the throttle. I think it is the governor and throttle adjust, that must be wrong.

And I want to thank you two great people. It shows that a non-mechanic with mechanical abilities do a job, especially with the help I got from you two. Many thanks!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:35PM
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