Briggs & Stratton 24 Hp V-Twin push rods in engine

BattleSproutMay 13, 2014

I had the push rods (both aluminum and steel) disconnect and made there way into the engine somewhere. I bought the replacement pushrods installed rechecked the clearance and sealed everything back up. The local repair shop said 'no can do buddy thats a blown engine waiting to happen, give us 500 bucks and the engine we will take off the bottom take out those push rods and give you back your engine."

Now mind you after I did the repair the mower sounds great again (started it up for about 5 minutes), I have not taken it for a ride as yet.

I just wanted to pose the question is it possible those rods will just stay at the bottom of the engine and play dead and not mess anything up at this point? now I would guess they have been out of posistion for about 4-5 months of mowing, due to many sluggish, near stopping, no power mows at the end of last year until now.

I just haven't read anything about push rods getting sucked into the engine, bent, loose, but not lost. any insight would be welcome.


Model 445677-0413-e1

This post was edited by BattleSprout on Tue, May 13, 14 at 21:58

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Yes, there have been a few cases on this forum where Briggs Vee Twins have lost push rods and they ended up in the sump.
So far as I can recall those members pulled the engine, removed sump and retrieved the bent push rods.
I don't know of any cases where people have knowingly run their engines with bent push rods lurking in the sump.
I can imagine a few ways a push rod could completely wreck an engine. Two push rods in there might increase the likelihood of destruction.
But I can't imagine anybody being able to say for certain that you should risk leaving them in there.
Do you suppose you reached your expertise level/limit with the push rod installation and valve adjustment?
Or do you just want to play the lotto with your engine?
Yours is a vertical crankshaft engine. As such, there is a lot of activity and moving parts in the "bottom of the engine".
Not even close to being similar to a part falling to the bottom of an automobile oil pan in a horizontal crankshaft engine.

This post was edited by mownie on Wed, May 14, 14 at 0:22

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:16AM
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Yea Id say I would be hesitant to pull the engine I really just don't know how thats done. Its funny you say the word "expertise". It reminded me how I fixed it in the first place. After putting in the new push rods I noticed the exhaust valve spring wouldnt compress and just bent the new push rod like it was made of butter. At this point I was pretty bummed out. So I took my hammer and whacked the spring and low and behold the spring moved like it was supposed too. that pretty much sums up my level of expertise.

I then straightend the new bent push rod as best I could and put the bad boy back into position. reasembled and test started it.

This post was edited by BattleSprout on Wed, May 14, 14 at 6:43

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:41AM
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***"After putting in the new push rods I noticed the exhaust valve spring wouldnt compress and just bent the new push rod like it was made of butter."***
The above statement is referring to the incident that has just happened, is this correct?
If this is correct then your problems are just beginning.
The scenario in which the valve would not depress, and bent the new push rod instead............pretty much indicates that at least that valve has a valve guide that has come loose in the head and caused the original failure (where 2 push rods disappeared). Your "whacking with hammer" apparently knocked the valve guide back down enough to permit the push rod to depress the valve without bending.......for now.
But I assure you, you have not "fixed" anything and the valve guide is going to move again and you will be right back where you were before.
Usually, when valve guides and/or valve seats loosen and move in a cylinder head, it is due to overheating of the cylinder, and overheating of a cylinder (or both cylinders in case of a Vee Twin) is due to blockage of the cooling duct work by excessive build up of grass clippings, or by RODENT activity. Mice love to get inside the cooling shroud of air cooled engines to make nests and food caches. Often, the first indication of a rodent issue is when an engine overheats and causes damage to the cylinder head.
At this point you are probably faced with replacing at least the one cylinder head you have had the issue with.
There is a fix for "curing" the problem of valve guide migration but it is at a skill level and tools requirement level a tier above most mechanics.
You need to at least remove the flywheel cover and look into the ducting to confirm or deny any blockage that may be the root cause of all the bad stuff you have going on now.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Mownie's above post contains much wisdom. You need to replace or repair that head, you did not fix it and get those stray pushrods out of there. There are lots of good used heads out there, I have maybe 4 myself but they are not for sale as I plan to use them.

I do have the fix Mownie refers to, since it was the exhaust valve guide, perhaps you may know someone with the equipment and ability to fix it.

Address below IF you want it, put in proper format and remind me, engine model number and what you want. I can also send you a Service Manual for your engine.

Walt Conner
wconner5 at frontier dot com

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:29PM
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