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krazifan

Briggs & Stratton 18HP engine problem

18 years ago

Got a strange problem here that normal maintenance isn't helping to clear up.

I've run the tractor a half dozen times this season already and all of a sudden, it will lose power after about 15 minutes of mowing. It will act like it's going to stall and then rev back up. A few seconds later it will do the same thing and rev back up. Eventually, it does stall. It does this even when I've stopped mowing and just sit there listening to it.

To try and correct I've done a maintenance including:

- change oil & filter

- change fuel filter

- replace fuel line

- replace air filter & pre-screen

- replace spark plug

- drain gas and try fresh gas

I've also taken apart the carburetor to look for clogs or deposits and it seems fine (although I didn't have the right tool to actually clean the injector.)

What I have noticed is that when it is running OK, you can see some gas collecting at the bottom of the fuel filter. When it starts to lose power, there is almost no gas at the bottom of the fuel filter. This is leading me to believe that the engine is stalling because of a fuel problem, but I'm not sure what else to check/replace. And I'm befuddled as to why it takes 15 minutes of mowing to cause the problem.

Any ideas?

Comments (140)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    best to start yer own thread - this one's a cuppla yrs old and won't get much attention.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have 18hp craftsman tractor, single cylinder, 31H777, 0202E1 03. The mower runs for 20-30 mins, sputters and eventually stops. If I wait for it to cool down it will run until engine becomes hot. It starts easy when cold and not so easy when hot, often backfiring. I've changed the fuel filter, checked the gas cap, had the carb flushed and new gaskets by local lawnmower mechanic last summer. after reading thru the forum I'm starting to believe the valves maybe out of adjustment. Help is appreciated. scvol

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  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    scvol - one thread is enuff. You're just going to keep those who really try to help from doing a decent job.
    And, this is an old thread (like 4 yrs old). Stick with the other new thread you just started.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I share everyone's frustration with the Briggs and Stratton engines. I have a B&S 16.5 HP OHV (Model 313707) on a Gardenway riding lawn mower (2002) that I've struggled with for a couple of months. I mow about 6 acres with this mower pulling an offset 60 inch trail mower. It's not all flat ground either. So it's turned over hard for several years but I just dealt with it. I kept a new battery in it and sometimes had to put the charger on it if it sat a couple of days. Recently though, it would only run about 10 minutes (not even pulling the trail mower) and then shut down. It was strange though, if I pulled out the choke it would run a little but not much better and subsequently stall. So I would turn the key off and then restart it and it would run a couple more minutes. I would do this several times until it wouldn't restart. As the battery wouldn't have time to charge and was turning over so hard I would end up sticking the charger on it. Ugh!

    Let it sit an hour in the shade and then run again for 10 minutes.

    I replaced:
    Fuel lines
    Fuel filter
    Air cleaner
    Oil
    Ignition Coil (Took it back after it didn't help)

    I cleaned:
    Carburetor
    Flywheel

    I adjusted the bracket on muffler to get it so the exhaust pipe went into the muffler far enough. It wasn't going in very far as it always bumps into stuff. I replaced 1 bolt that was missing from the exhaust pipe.

    Because I was so irritated by pushing the mower back to the garage I decided to try to at least get the stupid thing to turn over easier and hopefully it would fix the stalling problem. I went to this guys video (See URL) on YouTube and he shows you how easy it is to adjust the valves. I took all the sides, front panel, and hood off and followed the instructions on YouTube. I didn't bother putting the mower back together as I just wanted to see if it helped.

    Holly crap, it ran great, I mowed for 2 hours, it runs quieter, it turns over smooth. (Flat ground 70 F.) I though that I just bought a new motor.

    2 days later I put everything back together, hooked up the trail mower and started mowing. However, it was 85° F. and by no means flat ground. It ran about 10 minutes and died.

    Evidently, the gas in the mower is getting heated up with all the heat retained in the engine compartment and worse on hot days. The stalling worsened when I would mow on a sideways slant.

    The guy earlier in this thread noted that he glued the rubber part of the anti spark solenoid back onto the knurled piece of steel. I decided to just take it off and run it without the rubber part. It was loose and not working correctly. I can replace the solenoid later.

    I hooked up the trail mower and mowed for a couple hours on an area that I have to ride the fender of the mower to keep it from tipping over. This was the best test as this is usually when it stalls.

    I think it's fixed and I hope someone benefits from my learning experience.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What exactly is an "anti-spark solenoid"?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi i have a b&s 18 horse twin cylinder and i have no spark. replaced coil. still no spark. plugs are good. set gap on coils with buisness card. no spark. no points under flywheel just the big round magnet thing cant think of its name at moment. ? is. is there anything else on here that can cause no spark? i even unplugged the earth wire from coil still no spark. is there a way i can check coil with meter? also the guy i got it from said he replaced the starter is it possible to get a starter that spins the engine backwards? it cranks good and fast like it should ? there is what way is it sposed to spin. any help would be great thank you. jason

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Jason Ford has created a separate thread to address the above issue.
    Please do not continue the discussion in this thread.

    And Jason, posting in multiple threads DOES NOT increase the chances of your finding a solution.
    The same members who might help you will be reading all the threads and posts, you are reaching the same "audience".

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I was trying to find help, with my Murry 18 hp lawn tractor and I was amazed and dumbfounded, when I found this link discribing the exact same nightmare problems, that I have been having with mine.
    I had attempted to rebuild the carb, about eight years ago, with a kit and it ran okay for awhile, but now I'm having problems getting it started and to keep it running.
    My problems are;
    Over heating and the engine stops running, Will not run smooth, unless the choke it pulled out, about an inch, Back fires, after I turn the engine off, always cleaning the plugs.
    I'm 66 and not to good at repairing engines, without a detailed manual.
    I have tried to read the posts above to see if I should be looking for a new mower.
    I bought a new Briggs & Stratton rebuilding kit online Sterns 520-080, as a last attempt and have been putting off rebuilding it.
    I would appreciate any tips on how to proceed, for someone, that is in way over his head.
    Thanks, Bert

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Bert,
    looking up your Stens kit, I see you have the old flat head twin.
    On the bottom side of your carb should be a hex plug
    that can be removed with a 5/8 wrench. Remove it.
    Crank the engine, and fuel should pulse out, and hopefully
    any crud/water/dirt that may be in there.
    Then take an Allen wrench, 3/16 I think, and stick in the hole and remove the jet inside and clean it, crank the
    engine some more and let some more fuel/crud pulse out.
    Re-assemble, it should run a lot better.
    The after-fire bang is something different, another unrelated topic.

    Fish

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a similar problem with a 28q700 series that has just started after 12 years+ of use. The mower stalls after 30-60 minutes of use. It can be saved by using full choke for a few minutes. The fuel filter is always empty at this point and I know when it is going to happen by watching it emptying.

    Checked filter, cleaned fuel lines and fuel cap.

    If I wait for the filter to slowly re-fill I can get another 30+ minutes.

    Mower runs perfectly before problem. No surges , no misfiring on steep slopes etc.

    Did we reach and final conclusions on this?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi all,
    I was able to get it running using a car fuel filter which proved the filter installed was wrong. The service shop had installed a filter for a fuel pump version not gravity feed. Installed right filter the problem is resolved.

    Regards
    Garry

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi and HELP :) I have a B&S Model# 406777 20hp and theres something going on.. I have one of 2 oil fouled spark plugs with black oil. The other is ok. The dipstick is showing full and clean oil. Starting is very hard and when it does fire, I get a bellow of blue grey smoke and then it is clean. It will run plowing my driveway for around half hr then it just dies as it has no gas but it is full of fuel.
    Give it 10 min or so to cool off and it fires right up easily but runs for only 30 seconds or so enough time to park it again.

    I have replaced the fuel filter, air filter, gas line, spark plugs, but it still isn't behaving.

    PLEASE help, we are expecting a lot of snow this week and I am an older guy. Thx for your help.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Harry, your troubles might be caused by one of two very different things.
    The part of your description about the 30 minute run could be caused by the gas cap vent orifice being plugged (but this scenario would not explain a fouled plug).
    Remove the cap and probe into the vent hole with a paper clip wire to break up any material that might be preventing the tank from venting air in as the fuel is depleted.
    Try to probe both the outside and the inside hole. If you have compressed air, blow out the vent holes after probing them.
    The second possibility (and this would cover the plug fouling) might be that one of the magnetos (ignition coils) is breaking down after a period of use.
    You need to try and determine whether the cylinder with the fouled plug loses its spark when the engine dies.
    The "oil fouled" spark plug might not be oil fouled (but I can't see it from here) at all. It might just be wet with fuel after it loses its spark.
    I also recommend that you create a new thread of your own to cover this issue. It was OK to present your problem in this thread for a beginning, but it would be best if you make a new thread now as issues of this nature might easily turn into a long thread all to itself.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    18hp briggs. Sucks all oil out of crankcase after 30 minutes. I think time to rebuild any ideas

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Need help with 18hp briggs, it runs at full rpms.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi i hav a b/s 18.5 intek Plus rider dlt 3000 model 917 275820
    I got this from a friend and the vales had backed Off so far a rod came loose. They stopped using it and i Put it back together but im getting blow back thru carb, is the motor screw or is there something i can do to fix. If i hold hand over carb i take it will pop a lil so it gets fire and gas but im lost pretty much now.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dear all. I had all of this also with a mount field tractor mower. Seemed to run lean, lose oomph and then stop after ten minutes or so. Then start again you gt the drill. B&s 11.5 hp. Noticed that it used no fuel to speak of! So I noticed that tightening the inlet manifold bolts seemed to suck petrol through more effectively. I read through the above, reset the valves, renewed the carb but same problem. Could have avoided it all by disconnecting the fuel line to see if petrol was flowing. Turns out a a plug of grass and dirt was obstructing the fuel line! Cured!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Okay I screwed up and ran engine for a couple of minutes with the blower cover off, apparently causing the motor to overheat and stall. Afterwards, I checked the compression on both cylinders and both were close to 100 psi. Pulled the cylinder head covers on both cylinders and both the valves and piston seem to be undamaged. Engine will sound like it's trying to fire but doesn't run. Only thing I do get is repeated back firs which scare the heck out of the neighbors. Checked the spark on both plugs and both seem fine. What else should I be looking at that may have been damaged by the engine overheating. This engine has been in storage for years and I recently repaired the starter. Once I put the starter back in it started right up. Now I want to kick myself for running it without the blower assembly in place. Thanks for any advice.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello, My model 31H777 18 HP Briggs is popping back through the carb just off idle and gets worse as rpm is raised. Engine will idle smooth but has no power. Valve lash set at spec, fuel filter replaced, spark plug replaced, air filter replaced, fuel solinoid working properly, coil gap at spec. Flywheel key not sheared but I am going to pull the flywheel for a closer inspection. Compression is 170 PSI. Muffler is flowing (not plugged) but is suspect for back pressure. Any other ideas are much appriciated. Thank you.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Posting to an ancient thread (hijack) seldom returns the proper attention that a new, separate thread on the new subject machine would get.
    Case in point: The previous 5 posts before Scott got no responses, and there are several more posts in this thread that went unanswered since 2006 when this thread originated.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    this engine has internal timing and not anything such as flywheel only rules taking it out, the timimg gear internally has sheared to governer, you may see a broken spring to govener externally, over time the shear increased to hitting more objects, this is internal problem and not generect carburation problem, the valves screw up due to this timing it governs the governor and everything. I found it slightly sheared and my system went to crap. These guru's on internet just fix easy stuff. Later

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I also have an 18HP Intek engine, on a Craftsman LT200 Lawn Tractor (917.273758) that I bought in 2004. Towards the end of last season it started surging and stalling after I refueled the tank. I figured it was probably old/bad gas. I had it serviced after that and it worked fine for the last couple of cuttings of the year. This season it worked fine for a couple of cuttings, then started acting up again intermittently. I cleaned out and checked the carb, didn't see anything there. After restoring everything, started it up and it ran fine sitting there. This morning I started cutting the grass, and after a couple of minutes it started acting up again. I found this site, and read all the posts. I went with the solenoid theory, and unscrewed it to test the mower. The little plastic/rubber cap on the top of the solenoid came right off. I left it off and re-installed the solenoid w/o the cap. The mower ran fine for the hour+ of the cutting. Later, I may try gluing/epoxying it back on, but that cap WAS the PROBLEM

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I Have a Briggs Stratton Murray 18 HP engine that after it has been shut off it wont start after getting hot.
    If anyone knows what is causing this please let me know .
    Thanks

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ray, if you took the time to read this thread every time it needed to cool down, it would have time cool down and run! Best start a new thread. If it cranks but doesn't start, it is likely a funky coil.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Had the same problem of running for a while the it seemed starved for fuel. replaced the thing sticking out of the bottom of the fuel sediment bowl with a short 8mm fine thread bolt and a washer. mowed three hours today with no problem. Thank you guys for all the help

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i purchased new motor 18.5 hp briggs intec plus model 31p777.after install motor runs fine but doesent have full range of rpm's idles fine but at full throttle it is only slightly above idle . the throttle cable works fine could this be governor related if so how to adjust?

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a carb linkage problem and need assistance.

    The B&S 31P777, 0296-E1 engine on my 6 year old lawn tractor failed to start (first time ever). I checked fuel pump, spark and got the engine to kick-over and run briefly when directly injecting carb cleaner into the intake.

    FYI, the lawn tractor sat in the garage for 5+ months through our Texas drought and 100 deg F summer. Thinking my problem was old gas and varnish build-up in the carb, I took off the carb and cleaned it. Now I am having trouble with reinstalling to see if I have solved my original problem.

    The "link-choke" rod fell off the "bracket control" assembly and I cannot figure out it fits back on.

    Does anyone have a link to, or an illustration of a bracket control assembly that shows how the link-choke rod is mounted in the assembly?

    Thanks in advance for your time and support. BK (aka Phread)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The most common used is the single throttle/ choke control style. This one the rod is directed back from the choke shaft with the hoop end being fed though a slot on the control bracket. When the control is pushed towards the choke mode, the flat tab on the little arm in the bracket pushes on the loop end of the rod thus closing the choke.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Posted by fisher40037 (My Page) on Mon, Sep 6, 10 at 16:42

    Bert,
    looking up your Stens kit, I see you have the old flat head twin.
    On the bottom side of your carb should be a hex plug
    that can be removed with a 5/8 wrench. Remove it.
    Crank the engine, and fuel should pulse out, and hopefully
    any crud/water/dirt that may be in there.
    Then take an Allen wrench, 3/16 I think, and stick in the hole and remove the jet inside and clean it, crank the
    engine some more and let some more fuel/crud pulse out.
    Re-assemble, it should run a lot better.
    The after-fire bang is something different, another unrelated topic.
    Fish
    Fish Thank you so much for this post I just solved a 4 year old headace that had been getting worse after a carb rebuild. My Home built Backhoe is now running like a charm thanks to you Fish. Briggs 18hp vtwin off of a Crafsman riding mower is powering my hoe like it has never done before.
    Homebuilt

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Please bear with me gentlemen.I'm widowed and don't have a clue as to the problem.Here's the story.My tractor wouldn't turn over although it sounded as tho it would.A guy hooked up my battery charger but shortly thereafter,the charger began to smoke.I actually thought the guy transposed the positive & negative.I hooked up a new charger and the tractor started.It ran for about 4 days w/o a problem.I was the one using it.A guy wanted to help me out and used the tractor.After turning it off,it wouldn't start.He continued to try to start it.Another guy tried and told me that the starter was smoking.I put a new starter on it a yr.ago and I have a hard time believing the starter is bad.It's not the battery cuz I had it checked.I read,in this thread,that someone had problems with the coil.How can I be sure the starter is bad and not the coil or visa versa? I know you guys are probably irritated by me asking what seems to be a small problem but after all I was kinda forced into learning how to use my tractor.Take note,I never have a problem when I'm the one using it.My problems seem to happen when it's others who use the tractor.I do use a trickle charger during the winter so I don't have a problem starting the tractor in the summer. I'm appreciative of any help you can give me.Thanks so much.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    bargainhunter -
    1. lending out yer tractor is like lending out yer checkbook or yer wife - proceed with extreme caution - at best.

    2. we need some facts on what make/model of tractor you have, also engine make/model/type...
    3. remove battery - clean battery cable connections - take battery to shop that can do a LOAD test and hydrometer chk.
    4. post back in a new thread your info/results - this one is getting old/too long.

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As to the riding mower that stalls sputters and dies after 15 minutes I probably have the solution. This happened to me and any post I seen was telling me the gas cap was clogged, all this technical other stuff that was obviously just to confuse someone because they didnt have a clue what was wrong. At one point I remembered when the mower was new, when I turned the switch to the on position I heard a clicking sound. This was the fuel solenoid located on the bottom of the carb. I unscrewed it to see if it was gummy and it wasn't so I screwed it back on and still no clicking. I decided to order one and it was between $45 and $55. Then I researched what it does and it simply cuts the fuel off to carb when you stop the engine. So I bypassed it, don't think a professional would tell you to do that and I'm not either but I had already put an in-line cutoff on my mower because when I am finished, I simply turn the in-line valve closed and in 30 seconds or less the engine dies and no fuel is in the carb to get gummy. If you dont have a cut off valve you will need to clamp your fuel line off before you remove the solenoid, simply unscrew the solenoid and replace it with a short bolt. If you can't find a bolt then you may do this. I found a rubber washer like whats in a faucet repair kit about 1/16 and I used a leather punch to make the hole larger in the rubber washer. On the solenoid you will see a small black cap on the end of the needle, remove it and the small metal washer. Slide the rubber washer on the solenoid and that makes enough space so the needle doesn't cut off fuel in the carb. So no matter if the solenoid is working or not bypass it because even if it is working, they tend to get stuck closed after engine is hot. Bypass it and your mower will run just fine!

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What is this solenoid supposed to do? How can you just take it off and the engine still operate? :^)

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mownie, he must have placed it in the cup holder. i'm pretty sure it just must be located somewhere on the tractor to work...

  • 12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That must be it.

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    the fuel tap on the fuel tank can be removed, on the end of the tap is a filter, replace this filter. I had this issue and by process of elimination i found the root cause. Hope this helps someone out there, I know its a old posting from 2006. Goodluck

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i have the vanguard b&s 18hp v-twin engine with pull start and electric.it was given to me recently,but it is in a few pieces.
    what i am having trouble finding is a workshop/repair manual.
    what i need to find out is where the parts around the throttle/choke and covers go.
    its missing the starter motor and one of the pawles for the pull start.i think this must be an older type engine as i cannot find any numbers stamped on the engine block.
    i really do need help.
    regards.
    sean38

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I looked for your e-mail in your profile and saw it was not there.
    If you want a manual e-mail me.

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    thanks heaps mownie.i really appreciate your help.

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i found this starter on ebay,does anyone know if it will fit ?
    or is it a different part number ?
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Briggs-and-Stratton-Ride-On-Mower-Starter-Motor-11-16HP?item=251078242167&cmd=ViewItem&_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D2%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D5372710400389410331#ht_3130wt_700
    if its not right,would anyone in australia have one they dont need ?

    thank you
    sean.

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi. i have a briggs 407777 0128 e1 991101yg with nikki carb
    runs fine but the engine losing power and starts smoking when pto is turn on and engine rpm are brought up half way and sometimes it works fine for a few mins.
    carb been rebuilt complete all new parts other then float, valves check, fuel cab taken off, changed fuel pumps, coils have been check with putting a differnt one on. any other ideas briggs dealer doesnt know what to do with it and neither does briggs tech people

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Needs a cam

  • 10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm having a problem I replaced the fuel pump diaphragm because I was getting bad gas flow but now the fuel pump isn't drawling and pumping gas at all does anybody have any ideas that I can check? I even put the old diaphragm back in and it won't work the little bit that it was.

  • 10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Create a new thread of your own making to address the issue you are having. This thread is simply too old to be adding to.
    In your new thread, include the engine model and type numbers you find on the engine.
    I feel you might have chosen this thread because you have an 18 horse Briggs, but you have no idea how many different 18 horsepower Briggs engines there are with different styles of fuel pumps. The model and type numbers will be pin point precise on the engine and parts.

  • 9 years ago

    I have the same engine, had the same problem, the carb. has a electronic fuel shut off, when the engine gets too hot, it shuts down. there are 4 areas on the engine that the owners manual says to keep clean and free of debris, clean these areas, and try it again, if it doesn't work, Amazon sells them for $36, good luck (UT)

  • 8 years ago

    Where is the carburetor located? If the muffler is right below the carburetor, and the heat shield is missing, you could have the gas vaporizing in the carburetor. I had that issue when I replaced my muffler. With this the case, it will run well cold, but once it has warmed up, it runs like crap.

  • 8 years ago

    I have a b.s. 42A707. Cannot get fuel from the fuel filter to the carb. Engine runs fine when I introduce fuel into the carb directly. Any ideas


  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    using catch can, test for fuel flow to carb inlet by cranking engine. Be careful of fire. if flow OK, remove carb, disasm, soak overnite in liquid carb cleaner - probe all openings/orifices with stiff brass wire and magnifier - blow out with compressed air- reasm using only fresh gaskets and needles/seats from rebuild kit. retest.

  • 8 years ago

    "using catch can, test for fuel flow to carb inlet by cranking engine. Be careful of fire."


    I would point out this will do no good as the engine has a fuel pump built into the carb. As mentioned way back up on this very old thread, check the vacuum impulse line from the engine block to the fuel pump. This will be the bottom line, gas line is on the side IF you took the fuel pump apart, did you find and properly replace the 2 tiny springs?

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

    Walt Conner

    wconner5 at frontier dot com

  • 8 years ago

    good catch, Walt...