Friday, May 15, 2009

Briggs and freakin' Stratton

Honestly, I mean, how many mechanics will do more with a spark plug than to gap it, and to check that there is spark going to it! Yup, judging by the jolt through my fingers, there was plenty of spark, so the magneto, points and everything electrical is working. Maybe its air. Clean the air cleaner. Okay, so all I did was blow it out...and maybe order a replacement on line, hopefully this will do for now. But it was working last week, so I can't think that the air cleaner would have packed up suddenly! Its not something air cleaners DO! Maybe its gas. Well, its all new gas, and judging by how nicely it is blowing through and creating a nice petrochemical fog in the air there is nothing gummed up or sticking in the carb. Maybe its getting too much fuel! A sunken float comes to mind. And it might still be a problem. But the excess fuel doesn't seem to be there all the time...or else the carb would be swimming in it, the float in a carb does the same thing as the float in a toilet. if it fills up and stops "floating", the toilet runs. And in a carburated engine, the fuel just keeps on running in. Sunken carb floats...possible but unlikely.
The delicate balance of the counter loaded springs of the governor. Hey, that could be it! Oh wait, that broken spring...its a red herring...its only there to keep the linkages nice and tight. They don't have them on ALL Briggs and Stratton engines, and nobody seemed to know why it was there. Well, I re-attached it on and it made no difference. Of course, it took me an hour to track down "where" to re-attach it, and to find out what the blessed thing is actually there for!
Changed the oil AGAIN, all that fuel collects on the walls of the cylinders, and trickles down into the oil pan. Dangerous at worst, annoying at best, always a source of excessive and needless wear.
So, we have air, spark, and fuel. How about timing? Oh wait, the only thing that will throw a B and S engine's timing off is to get a flywheel to shear the key on its shaft. And this has not happened. Took me an hour to discover that little tid bit of info!
Well, after a full day of tweaking, checking on line, perusing forums with amazing amounts of non-applicable information, perhaps just go back to the beginning.
Spark plugs. Gapped and clean. disengage the thing from the wrench where it was sitting happily. No cracks in the ceramic, lets see what the spark looks like. Ow Ow Ow Ow Ow (repeat as necessary as the voltage jolts through my hand in quarter second intervals) and observe that there is "something funny" about that spark. Turns out, the spark is there, but is being shorted backwards through some defect in the spark plug.
Replace spark plug with spare from the snow blower. Works fine.

funny, I don't feel fulfilled.....

1 comment:

Pacific College Mom said...

I used to have an old Indian, loved the blessed thing, but hated it just as much. Blinking British bikes, it leaked oil like a sieve, but the saying went that if it didn't leak, how would you know you had any oil...

Seems like another life, really, and I guess it was! Sure do miss it sometimes!