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Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines

Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.


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  #1  
Old 08-27-2019, 02:16:53 PM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is online now
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Default Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.

Yesterday I located a Clinton model 498-0301-137 engine I had bought 7 years ago at a garage sale. It had been MIA for several years. I pulled it out from it's hiding place and cleaned the spider webs and saw dust off of it. It took about a hour to get it running after cleaning the points and putting in a fresh spark plug and spinning it over with a drill rather than the recoil starter. I ran it without the factory fuel tank because I am still cleaning the glass bead out of it and was happy with the way it ran. After cleaning it, I noticed how clean and original it appears. Most all the original paint is still on it as and most of the decals have survived. It also has a SAF-T VUE air cleaner on it. I want to say I love my old Briggs engines, but this and my other Clinton engines and built so much better than My Briggs engines. Ball bearings on both sides of the crank. A dipstick to check engine oil. Better recoil starter setup. Cast iron flywheel vs pot metal flywheel that a lot of small Briggs engines use. Everything about it seems better made. Maybe this is why The Clinton Engine company went out of business because their engines cost more to build, so less profit. What was the cost difference between Briggs and Clinton similar engines ? So the line has been drawn in the sand, what is your thoughts about Briggs vs Clinton engines. As far as the older and bigger Briggs cast iron engines I feel they very well built. I have no aluminum Clinton engines to compare to Briggs aluminum engines. I may be able to post some pictures later today. I hope this topic does not start WW3.

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Old 08-28-2019, 09:35:03 PM
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Default Re: Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.

Well today I got another Clinton engine running today. It is a model 990-100 and serial number 3062590B. All it took to get running was cleaning and adjusting the points and a new spark plug. The engine is very similar to the 498 series engine. The 990 model uses a intake manifold where the 498 engine has the carb bolting right on the cylinder block. The carbs on the two engines are slightly different. The points cover on the 498 model has a wire bail to keep it on and the 990 model has two screws to keep it on. They both appear to have the same base / oil sump. The 990 model also has a SAF-T VUE air cleaner, but not in as good shape as the 498 model. It seems Clinton engine models share a lot of the same parts. I have 3 or 4 more of these type engines to check out. I also have two 700 series engines to check, but they are two far buried at the moment to get to. And I have one series 414 engine to check. Looks like I need to pickup some Clinton service manuals and parts manuals in the near future.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:49:51 PM
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Default Re: Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.

I do love my early Briggs as well and there are some models like M series, 2" bore series, Model 14 series that were great runners and stand out models. But every single cast iron Clinton I've ever had that was the series that used the Timken bearings and had a Carter float carb ran like a clock and vibrated very little. I think they most certainly were built a little better than Briggs and just as good as the old K series Kohlers, maybe better. Clinton should have went after Kohlers market back then not Briggs. Maybe they would still be around selling engines made in China now like the rest. The only weak point on Clintons was ignition at times.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:29:34 PM
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Default Re: Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.

I just started working on a Clinton model 900-4128 with serial number 8443724-A. I believe it is a newer model. It has a aluminum base, a plastic dipstick and a horizontal mounted air cleaner with a replaceable round filter. It is a 3-1/2 hp engine. I don't remember where I got it, but the gas tank still has gas and it smells good. Of all my Clinton engines I only bought the model 498 and the model 414. All the other were given to me for free when I bought several Briggs engines over the years from a guy in Oregon. When I test the model 900 engine, I post the results here. I hope to see my picture person in a few days and will try to get some pictures posted.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:26:50 PM
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Default Re: Briggs & Stratton vs Clinton cast iron engines.

Well just got done running the model 900-4128. Like the others it only needed the points cleaned and the gap set. Used the plug that was in it and it also ran good as the other two. I have 3 more of these style of engines, but they are probably need more work to get them running. They appear to have lived a harder life and may be missing some parts. I must say I have enjoyed bringing these engines back to life. I now need to make a intake manifold for the Clinton model 414 so I can mount a Briggs Medium Flo-Jet on it. I hope to find a mini bike or go kart to put one of these engines on. I also have a mid 1940's Briggs model B engine with a Kohler 800 watt generator that has been waiting for several years to be brought back to life.
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