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Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?


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  #1  
Old 08-12-2016, 06:19:55 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

The little 3hp aluminum Briggs and Stratton I've been resurrecting is pretty much complete now. Cleaned out the carburetor, the tank, new crankcase vent tube and so on. It has great compression and starts immediately, but ran irregularly until I realized I hadn't looked at the spark plug! I pulled it and sure enough, it looked pretty cruddy with fresh oil on it. At that point I glanced inside the plug hole and saw oil on top of the piston!?!?

Like most of us I don't know the history of this little engine, but it seems to be in pretty nice shape...good compression, spark and all. Now years ago I had the habit of placing a bit of oil in any engine that wouldn't be worked on immediately just to make sure nothing stuck with time. Problem is, try as I might I don't remember if I did so with this one.

My plan at this point is to remove the head, wipe any puddled oil away, reassemble and fire it up again. If, after running for a few minutes, I find more oil......well, it looks like a new set of rings is in order despite the good compression. Am I on the right track here?
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:44:23 PM
Chris M Chris M is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston.....?

That would be my first thought also.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:13:50 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston.....?

Yes, new rings. AND with the alum. cyl. don't hone or do anything to it. Just install the new rings. Also, the alum. cylinders don't like chrome rings. Black work the best. The stock Briggs replacements won't be chrome.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:53:22 PM
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Junkologist Junkologist is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston.....?

Chrome rings are fine for aluminum bores. The pistons are also chrome plated.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:16:14 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston.....?

Just put the head back on. There wasn't much oil in there and one quick wipe cleaned it out. I did notice a couple of minor scratches in the bore though. Ran the engine and it's cooling off right now, so I'll know in a little while when I pull the plug again. If the top of the piston is dry.....good. If not, well..........

Heck, a new set of rings isn't a big deal. I just got my factory overhaul/rebuild manual this afternoon, so I'll follow their recommendations as to rings.

Thanks guys. One more operation and I'll have a nice little engine for whatever my fevered mind comes up with!
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:10:22 AM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston.....?

Actually the chrome rings is all Briggs used to recommend when re-ringing an aluminum "kool-bore" engine.

The Briggs Kool-Bore engine was a plain aluminum cylinder, fit with a chrome plated piston and carbon steel rings. You can bore/hone the aluminum cylinder with silicon carbide stones. I have used Sunnen G25-J87 stones with success in my rigid body AN-815 hone. Just make sure to clean the stones frequently and use the correct honing oils. Briggs used to advise installing chrome rings on a worn bore, as they would dig in and seal with the worn cylinder. I have run Kool-Bore Briggs engines with and without chrome rings, and the chrome rings work just fine. I have a 190000 which I bored oversize and fit a new piston with chrome rings. It has probably 150-200 hours on it, and their is a ridge at the top of the cylinder already. The chrome rings definitely bite in!

Tecumseh on the other hand used an aluminum crankcase with a silicate oxide coating in the bore. The pistons were chrome plated and the rings were carbon steel. Once the plating on the cylinder wore off, the engine was finished. You could not bore/hone the engine to bring it back. Im going through this right now with a TVS-105 im restoring. I had to buy a new crankcase to make it right again.

Those Kool-Bore Briggs engines are tough. Ive seen them run low on oil, seize up, and when cooled free back up again and continue running. Ive seen a lot of them fail when I used to frequent the local mower shop. If you maintain a good oil level and dont lug it down all too much, it will run a surprisingly long time.

Chris

Last edited by K-Tron; 08-13-2016 at 01:24:46 AM.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:47:32 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

Hi everyone............forgot to get back and post!

I removed the head and wiped any traces of oil off the piston and upper cylinder walls. Also removed a bit of soft carbon from around the valves, then refitted/torqued the head and fired it up for about one minute. After it cooled I removed the plug and looked down inside........oil. Rats! Ah, well.....re-installed the head and reassembled the engine for now.

I checked my shiny new Briggs overhaul manual and they mention chrome rings as being satisfactory. Swell! Only problem is that their website shows chrome rings as "not available to public", or some such wording. On the other hand, I can find plain rings for as cheap as six bucks.

At this point however, I tagged the engine with notes as to what it needed and will re-shelve it for now as I have a Delco Light plant screaming for attention. Of course there's a little 5s sitting right next to it..............
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:18:21 PM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

the kool bore aluminum briggs engines are not worth the time or money to rebuild new rings wont stop it from useing oil the bores in those engines are coated with a teflon type coating when its worn off they are junk but its your engine and if you want to put the time and money into it thats your choice but i would just strip off the coil and carb and scrap the rest and buy a cast iron briggs then you have somthing you can work with
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:47:23 PM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

I learned a valuable lesson on one of these Kool-Bore engines when I was a kid. Had one on a home-made go-kart and it ran fine. Got time for an oil change and seeing as I was now about 16 and the smartest engine guy in the world, and this engine ran so good - it might run even better with heavier oil in it. So I put some 40 weight in it. Got some oil on top of the piston and fouled the plug. No problem - I'm so smart I will put 50 weight in it. Got even more oil on top of the piston. Rings must be weak so I will get some 60 weight from the local HD dealership and put that in. Got about 2 tablespoons on top of the piston after about 15 seconds of running. Damn aluminum engine ain't worth a crap even if it does have a high compression head and ball bearing main. I, the smartest 16 year in the world, didn't really think about the fact that the bore looked perfect - I just pitched the engine. What I should have done is put 20 weight in it so the oil wouldn't plane by the rings and looked for a new set of rings which would have probably fixed it right up.

Wish I was 16 again with what I know now...
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:59:06 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

That little story about the oil weight is interesting........interesting because the oil in the sump looks suspiciously heavy to me.

Despite comments about Kool-Bore cylinders, it still might be worthwhile to re-ring it and change to a 20 wt. oil. I should have pointed out that this is strictly a utility engine as far as I'm concerned and it may have only one more use to me. After that, I'll find a kid that needs a free go cart engine!
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:59:32 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

Actually George, you never ran the engine enough for it to warm up and tighten up all the clearances. That engine will use oil for about 20 minutes. Remember, aluminum expands when hot, so those engines are built with a lot of "slop". Guys would come into my shop and show me how much "wiggle" they had in the valves, and "look at the piston. I can move it sideways". That's normal!
Forget about trying to make a high tech engine, just put some oil in it and run it. If it smokes some, just make a mosquito sprayer out of it. Run it and have fun with it. Also, until somebody can prove to me that they are smarter than the B & S Engineering Dept, use #30 Detergent oil, and change it regularly.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:29:19 PM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdstew View Post
Actually George, you never ran the engine enough for it to warm up and tighten up all the clearances. That engine will use oil for about 20 minutes. Remember, aluminum expands when hot, so those engines are built with a lot of "slop". Guys would come into my shop and show me how much "wiggle" they had in the valves, and "look at the piston. I can move it sideways". That's normal!
Forget about trying to make a high tech engine, just put some oil in it and run it. If it smokes some, just make a mosquito sprayer out of it. Run it and have fun with it. Also, until somebody can prove to me that they are smarter than the B & S Engineering Dept, use #30 Detergent oil, and change it regularly.
Word...................
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:27:06 PM
Tom Schaech Tom Schaech is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

I concur fully with gdstew. Often worn valve guides in the aluminum cylinder engines wear causing oil to pump past the stems and into the combustion chamber. The aluminum engines were NEVER coated with anything in the cylinder bore. Trust me...I didn't spend the better part of 40 years now working on these things and attending countless factory schools. The older aluminum cylinder engines from 1958 into the early '60s came with two options...a cast iron sleeve and the all-aluminum bore (Kool-Bore). CI sleeved cylinders used a bare aluminum piston and Kool Bore engines had the chrome plated piston. How to tell without puling the head? Look at the model number, i.e. 61502 is sleeve bore (second digit tells you that); 60502 is a Kool-Bore (hence the "0" as the second digit). Obviously if one was looking for replacement parts this was critical in that a bare aluminum piston in a bare aluminum cylinder bore would seize up after getting hot. I have many NOS pistons that clearly state on the box "for sleeved cylinder". Sorry for being long winded--my life's hobby/avocation has been Briggs and Stratton.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:28:32 PM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

Back when economics was on the borderline of repair or replace, I did a few aluminum engine rebores. Oh you can't bore them. Oh there's something special about those cylinders. Oh you can't hone aluminum. So why did B&S offer oversizes.

I'd bore them to size then just glass bead blast the bores for a finish. Perfect. Every one of those ran like a top. Most people that honed them had no understanding of the huge amount of flushing that must be used while honing to get the crud out. They'd chatter the hone or build up material and ruin the job.
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Old 08-13-2016, 11:05:28 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

My father had 2 different hones, 1 for cast iron and 1 for aluminum. On the aluminum, he would use Crisco for a lube. later we got a Kwik Way boring setup and used it for several years.

One note on re-ringing or boring. Before doing either, check the crankshaft connecting rod journal. It just makes sense that if the cylinder is worn enough to require rings, wouldn't that journal also show some wear? Engines that didn't "knock" before, would, after getting new rings.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:38:40 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

Thanks everyone! Actually, I think gdstew is correct.........I never ran it long enough for a fair evaluation. I'll mount it on my test plate again and let 'er rip (with fresh/proper weight oil) for at least 30 minutes, pull the plug and have a look see.

I suspect it's in better shape than I realized, just judging by the overall condition of everything else on the engine. As for it being a "one time use" engine, that's all I'm going to ask of it for the project I have in mind. Once that's over I'll re-evaluate it and remove valuable parts if conditions dictate.

Of course, my grandson IS getting old enough for a go kart........................
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:57:09 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Excess oil on top of Briggs piston?

SAE 30 oil, and make sure to fill to full mark with the plug screwed in, or to the top of the fill if only the base filler available. Also, you might check and see if the original oil ring is stuck in the ring groove. If you found gummy carbon on top, stands to reason it's on the rings too. A stuck ring will pass oil. You need to run the engine for at least 10 to 15 minutes under a load to see if it is burning oil. Less than that, aluminum won't expand enough to stop oil from passing the piston. Champion J-8 or J 17 LM plug too.
Andrew
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