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BANG. OMG. RUN

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BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby AJB Temple » 04 Aug 2023, 14:42

So, garden charity opening on Sunday. Yesterday was forecast dry so I was sent out by wifey, who was unfortunately at home, to mow. I have a circuit that eventually covers all the grassy bits I am supposed to cut, and was on lap 1. Sat atop the machine thinking how long is it to beer o'clock, I thought, this machine sounds odd. Headed back to the garages to have a look, when BANG. Like a grenade.

Obviously, very calmly indeed, I ran off. :lol: I very rarely move faster than snails pace.

b782dcbb-6259-4268-96a6-8e0425095618.jpg
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One of the pistons (one of one actually) had decided to make a break for it. I did consider whether it could be patched up with some gaffa tape, but on reflection thought "this engine is f&cked"

After consultation with financial controller (who is not fat) ordered a new engine today. £1k delivered. And that is on special offer. :shock:

Was a close shave actually. I was wearing shorts and got a small oil burn on my leg and a shard of USA not very good alloy embedded itself in the pedal mount, about 5mm from my foot.

As a pure aside, I think Briggs & Stratton engines are rubbish. This is a 500cc Intek, pressurised oil feed single cylinder motor. 19.5bhp. I replaced the camshaft about 100 hours ago (due to idiotic design of let off valve which fails on all of them eventually) and was surprised at how rudimentary the engineering is. Much prefer Honda, but this is a vertical shaft motor (1" imperial) and the bolt mountings will only fit a Briggs, without a lot of welding of brackets anyway.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Trevanion » 04 Aug 2023, 20:38

Wow, that's a pretty significant failure! It could've been lethal if it shot a piece of casting into your thigh or upper body.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Lons » 04 Aug 2023, 21:20

Should have bought a Honda. ;)

Lucky escape, could easily have resulted in a voice pitch sa couple of octaves higher.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby AJB Temple » 05 Aug 2023, 00:21

Indeedio. Luckily the wedding tackle was unscathed on this occasion. :shock:

Not convenient as apart from the cost, doing an engine change is about 4 or 5 hours work including deck off, sharpen the cutters, belt change, all fluids etc. Dirty and fiddly job.

This motor has only done about 430 hours. I could do an engine rebuild with a short unit, but as I don't know what other damage has been done until I take it off, it's not worth the risk I think.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Andyp » 05 Aug 2023, 07:03

Glad no serious damage.
Why would something like that happen?
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby SamQ aka Ah! Q! » 05 Aug 2023, 10:17

Adrian, I had a rally-driving mucker who had this happen to his Beamer 2002 because he had "shaved too many thou. off the head" in order to gain more compression. His lightening-quick stamp on brake and clutch probably saved two lives that day. I utterly doubt you have 'fettled' your grass wagon to David's extent, but it really does beg a huge question: "WHY?" You are about to take possession of a similar engine...to echo AndyP, may I please be so bold as to suggest this needs kicked up to B&S as a matter of priority? A forensic strip down might at least shed some light on such a catastrophic failure; there might be others pending?

Like the others above, so glad you are in one piece. Your femoral artery cannot have been far from the emerging (presumably speedy) hardened metal previously known as "piston".
A pragmatist inside a perpetual optimist, heavily influenced by an experienced cynic, wrapped around an aging relic.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby AJB Temple » 05 Aug 2023, 10:19

Usually Andy, caused by low oil and overheating. But not in this case as I did oil change and filters under four hours use ago. I won't know for sure until I strip it (might not bother as it is toast anyway) but guess either pressure oil feed fault or con rod broke.

These machinery motors are quite basic. They rely on oil and air cooling - there is no radiator system. No gauges either obviously. But engine ran for under 4 minutes and I checked the oil before starting. Over filling can be an issue (too much pressure) but not in this case.

B&S engines are not a patch on Honda.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby AJB Temple » 05 Aug 2023, 10:27

Yes Sam. It's a 4WD tractor mower so engine in stock trim. It's 8 years old and done only about 440 hours so should not have failed, but Briggs only guarantee the engine for 3 years ( spoke to them on Friday) and that model has been phased out. I am getting an updated version at a good price but frankly the design is poor as it relies on a mechanical compression relief valve for starting and these are feeble. The oil pump is not great either. Maybe they have improved it now.

I was lucky. It blew the side out right where the flip up engine cover has an aperture for the deck drive so the metal bits were unimpeded when they flew out.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Andyp » 05 Aug 2023, 10:28

I have a Honda mower and without tempting fate it has not missed a beat in 16 years now. I am ashamed to say it is not maintained as well as it should. I have changed the oil just once in that time, cleaned the plug a few times and just fitted a new blade. Gets about 90mins use weekly during the season. the cutting deck is made of some alloy and my careless navigation of tree stumps and fence posts have knocked a few pieces out of it so it does not look pretty. Until it breaks I will not fix it.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby sunnybob » 05 Aug 2023, 10:39

[quote="Andyp" Until it breaks I will not fix it.[/quote]

AHHHHH, the repair shops dream customer :lol: :lol:
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Malc2098 » 05 Aug 2023, 11:55

I seem to recall that Honda made their CG125 bike for developing countries and it was designed and built for little if no maintenance in its lifetime. They kept the camshaft in the engine side with OHV, rather than the CB125 which has OHC and camshaft bearings were prone to wearing.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby Woodentop » 15 Aug 2023, 11:13

Had an MTD with a B&S 12hp just had to replace this year, nothing wrong with the engine done 19yrs, just short of an acre to cut, but tin worm got the deck, welded it up last year but gave up, DW will use it to pull the trailer around, got a new Husqvarna 214 TC Comfort, very pleased with it so far.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby AJB Temple » 15 Aug 2023, 11:31

My son and I replaced the engine on Saturday. I bought a new, upgraded and slightly more powerful Briggs & Stratton 500cc vertical shaft unit mainly because I didn't want to faff around repositioning the drive belt set up (three belts all with different controls) and altering the engine mounts, exhaust system and fuel tank shielding.

The UK supplier reckon that B&S have improved their manufacturing quality a lot. Interestingly there is no run in period or early oil change (first change is at 50 hours) but I will do it at 5 hours anyway as there is a very easy drain system and the filter is dead easy to get too.

It took us 2 hours to fit the new engine, most of which was figuring out how to deal with the wiring loom connections (which have changed).

I wonder if B&S have improved quality due to lost sales. Stiga shift a lot of ride on's now, as their out front deck design with electric lift and tilt etc is very easy to use. But for the smaller engined machines (up to about 400cc) they have now got their own STIGA brand engine (made in PRC I expect/surmise) and for the more robust gear and 4WD variants they have switched to Honda motors. Prices have gone up a fair bit too. I know some Honda engines are also made in PRC now.
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Re: BANG. OMG. RUN

Postby clogs » 15 Aug 2023, 18:08

I was left a time cutter,227 zero turn mower with a 16hp Honda V twin.....
needed a new engine....only available in the States......$2,500 plus taxes n shipping....

It got the only new motor that I could afford....B+Stratton 18hp single cyl...
change thee oil twice per year.....just waiting for the cam to go....

just what else can u do.....?

should have bought a D Kubota......
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