Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Antique Engine Community > Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, Lauson, Maytag, Nelson, Wisconsin and other small air cooled engines. Sub forums for mowers, scooters and powered eqipment.

Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines

Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.


this thread has 53 replies and has been viewed 11989 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-02-2012, 03:47:47 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

My brother and I had this engine going over 15years ago now, since then it has been stored in various places, unfortunately for the last 10years it has been outside under a tarp but so far it doesn't seem too bad. We feared the engine was seized at first but this turned out to be a load of leaf litter ans general rubbish caught around the flywheels.

I don't know how rare these old Briggs models are over the pond but I've never seen one in the UK. I also had no idea it was this old until a few days ago when I researched it online.

I would like to know as much as I can about this engine so if anybody knows any information and would like to share it I would be very grateful. Things like what colour would it have been? What sort of things would it have driven? How was the petrol tank mounted? (It didn't come with a tank). Also the Briggs logo decals, where can I get them?
I would really love to know how it came to be in this country, I bet it's got a few stories to tell.

Anyway, here's some pictures to start with. I don't have much time these days as I explained in my welcome thread but I hope to restore this engine to a very high standard.









Thanks for looking
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Ianhw77k For This Post:
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:16:45 AM
rusty iron's Avatar
rusty iron rusty iron is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Litchfield, Ohio, USA
Posts: 168
Thanks: 55
Thanked 143 Times in 74 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Model R's are a rare bird on any side of the pond. There are 7 different variations and the RC seems to have the highest survival rate. For the most part they all used the same gas tank 12" long by 6" diameter and it had a small screw-in gas cap, more like a plug. Somewhere in the 5000 serial number range they changed to the more fimiliar bayonette type cap that was also used on many other engines. The early tanks had saddles soldered directly to the tank which bolted to a cast iron bracket which bolted to the engine. The later tanks used strap-on saddles. Your engine also had a small cylinder shield that attached to the head with that small screw.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R W gas tank 001.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	68.8 KB
ID:	141290   Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R W gas tank 004.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	78.0 KB
ID:	141291   Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R cyl shield.jpg
Views:	58
Size:	48.0 KB
ID:	141292  
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rusty iron For This Post:
  #3  
Old 08-03-2012, 03:26:12 AM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Thanks, that makes a lot of sense now.
I doubt I'll ever be able to find an early Briggs tank over here, in the meantime I have a tank from an old J.A.P engine that will do the job.
Now you've got me wondering if the engine will run cool enough without it's cylinder shield as it looks like this helps the air run around the cylinder. I expect it will be fine, I'm not gonna be running it under much load anyway.

Next job is to take the flywheel magneto apart and make sure everything is OK. I hope to remove the base plate and check the crank out as well. If everything looks OK then I will be painting it and putting it back together.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2012, 03:43:32 AM
rusty iron's Avatar
rusty iron rusty iron is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Litchfield, Ohio, USA
Posts: 168
Thanks: 55
Thanked 143 Times in 74 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

You should be just fine without the cylinder shield. It's effectiveness is debateable. Just be carefull when you remove the mag plate. It's pot metal, and usually a very tight fit due to expansion. Try to break the gasket seal then try to rotate it out of the block. Be patient or you'll be looking for another mag plate! Also be carefull when you remove the mounting screw on the far left side of the mag plate-it's right next to the coil. It's very easy to damage the coil with the edges of the screwdriver while turning out the screw.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rusty iron For This Post:
  #5  
Old 08-03-2012, 09:30:25 AM
grega's Avatar
grega grega is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Schuylerville, New York (Saratoga)
Posts: 1,252
Thanks: 62
Thanked 1,097 Times in 388 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

I don't believe any early Rs ever had a decal. my RC has the remnants of a decal on the top of each shroud. Its serial # is in the 4500 range. however my plain R doesn't have any kind of decal remnants ever thou it has about 90% of the origionial paint. it is in the # 2XXX if i remember correctly. All R series engines were painted black by Briggs. Be careful with the carb they are impossible to find and very expensive. also you have the origionial muffler witch isn't all that easy to find.
-Greg
__________________
"There only origionial once"
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to grega For This Post:
  #6  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:58:20 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

This is all good stuff, I can't thank you enough.
This RC is serial number 3888 which I believe to be from June 1931. It would be nice to get a decal on it, especially one of the older style ones, as I've seen them like that before on videos on youtube.

So looks like black is the way to go, I was hoping it might have been a more interesting colour but we haven't got a black engine in the collection so at least it will stand out.

Thanks for the information about the carb as well, at the moment the throttle butterfly is stuck solid so I will be extra careful when I come to work on it. I think it may need to sit in a pot of diesel for a few days and I'll see how it goes.

I'm so surprised on the condition of this engine, especially considering it's age. They really built them solid in those days, even the blower housings are pretty thick plate and haven't rusted through anywhere.

Does anyone have a power/RPM rating for this engine as I can't find one anywhere?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2012, 04:18:14 PM
John Newman, Jr.'s Avatar
John Newman, Jr. John Newman, Jr. is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Posts: 5,301
Thanks: 759
Thanked 3,243 Times in 1,657 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

According to the information on the ASECC web-site, (which was provided by Bob Learned), the Model R is rated at 3 hp. Does not state what RPM, but probably under 2000. These old long-stroke engines do not like to rev very high.
Here is one I am restoring. It is crank start. Have the tank for it, but it has rust through pin holes. It is the type with the small filler hole. Had to make a filler cap / plug for it. Copied the home-made one that is in my Model Q engine. Still needs a carb. Had to buy a mag side blower housing through eBay from a Model Q since the original (with ID tag) was missing. No idea what the S/N is on this one.
I painted this one with RustOleum Industrial Stainless Steel on the crankcase and RustOleum Industrial Green on the tin. For heat resistance, I used DupliColor Engine Enamel Gloss Black on the cylinder and DupliColor Engine Enamel Aluminum on the head

Thanks Junkologist - Didn't see this chart the first time around...
asecc.com/data/briggs-horsepower
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R 001.JPG
Views:	169
Size:	81.8 KB
ID:	141322   Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R 002.JPG
Views:	177
Size:	89.9 KB
ID:	141323   Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R 003.JPG
Views:	157
Size:	79.6 KB
ID:	141324   Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R 004.JPG
Views:	154
Size:	88.6 KB
ID:	141325  
__________________
John Newman, Jr.
Saint Louis, MO

I Can Probably Fix That

Last edited by John Newman, Jr.; 08-03-2012 at 04:30:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to John Newman, Jr. For This Post:
  #8  
Old 08-03-2012, 04:24:54 PM
Junkologist's Avatar
Junkologist Junkologist is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Avon, Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,493
Thanks: 3,118
Thanked 3,856 Times in 1,731 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Your engine is 3hp at 1800 to 2400 rpm.

These are great running engines. Here's my Bready Cultimotor with an RC Briggs on it.

__________________
Mike

Check out my engine videos at https://m.youtube.com/user/Cletrac
SmokStak member #146
Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Junkologist For This Post:
  #9  
Old 08-03-2012, 05:16:45 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

I expect I'll keep to the lower end of the rev range, she is an old girl
I've seen that video before, very interesting. I suppose that would have been a lot cheaper than keeping a horse. I've got no idea what the little pulley on mine was designed to drive, it only looks about 4" in diameter. I've got a water pump to show it with though, hopefully it will turn some heads next season.

Nice pictures John Newman jr. You've done a fantastic job there. That Rustoleum paint is good stuff (if a little expensive over here), I plan to get some for mine.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2012, 04:47:23 PM
nutgone nutgone is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South East United Kingdom
Posts: 202
Thanks: 45
Thanked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Hi, I'm Ianhw77k's brother, Matt (otherwise known as Nutts or Nutgone on line), I would like to thank you all for your help so far with this engine, I must admit we had no idea just how old it was. We were given it when we were in our teens (we're twins, you see). We were heavily into stationary engines as kids, I kinda took charge of getting this one going back then, we gradually lost interest during our late teens to early twenties, which is when all our engines went into storage with my sister.

Now we're getting back into the hobby, I've already restored my old British Tarpen generating set & got that running, here's a quick before & after pic....




Now we've got one engine each, from the collection, to get going. My brother has this Briggs & I've taken on an old WW2 Homelite army generator. There's still a couple more engines, at my sister's place, which we'll move on to once these are going.
I'm sorry to say my thread on the Homelite hasn't received any replies yet, which is a shame, as I think they are pretty common over there in the U.S. But they're very rare over here in the U.K. & I'm learning as I go with this one. here's where the thread is....

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=108002

Maybe it's just a little lost in this huge forum, I'm sure someone will come along soon & offer some help/info.

Anyway, thanks again to all of you, we'll be sure to keep you all informed of our progress with this engine, it's good to know we have something so special & so old, in our collection, I'm keeping all the pics of this one here:
http://photobucket.com/nutgonesbriggs
But need to update the album. I think from there you can navigate your way to pics of our other engines.

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to nutgone For This Post:
  #11  
Old 08-13-2012, 04:34:51 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

The carb is now all freed up and looks ready to go, unfortunately I haven't had any time to get to work on the engine itself but I'll find time soon. In the meantime I have another question.

As I would like to get this engine restored back to showroom condition I want to get it right. I know the colour is black from the factory but what was the HT lead like? Was it cotton braid? What colour was it?
I'm thinking of painting the flywheels/blowers red as I've seen them in pictures like that but not sure if this would have been a factory finish or not.
Also which spark plug were these engines fitted with in 1931? And what end to the HT lead would it have had? Plain brass or a bakelite cap etc?

Any help is much appreciated.

Ian
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:00:32 AM
rusty iron's Avatar
rusty iron rusty iron is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Litchfield, Ohio, USA
Posts: 168
Thanks: 55
Thanked 143 Times in 74 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Most manufacturers of the day were not as concerned with the finish of their products as they are today. Most of the old stuff had style, it was designed and engineered from peoples immagination and heart rather than computer programs. They didn't need flashy paint to look attractive. They used what they had and in many cases they used what they were able to obtain. The majority of letter series Briggs engines were black, all black. They sprayed the whole engine, after it was assembled, and sometimes assembled with parts that were not proper for that particular engine, again they used what they had. Carburetor bin #1 is empty so grab carbs from bin #2, get production out the door. Many engines with original paint have runs in the paint and bare spots where the paint did not reach, but they looked presentable so out the door they went. Plugs and wire were among the few things Briggs did not produce so if Champion was behind on shipping then maybe they would use Edison plugs until Champion got caught up. The original Briggs engines i've seen usually have the orange asbestos braid wire with black asbestos braid loom (looks just like the cotton & asphalt products made today) and they usually have the captive-ring type spark plug terminals. It's nice to know what they looked like originally but make it look the way you want it to look.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-14-2012, 02:18:55 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

I see what you are saying and I know how some people hate over restored engines but I would like to make a special effort with this one because it is so rare, especially in this country.
At the moment it has a Champion 8com plug in it so as long as it runs well with that, that is the way it will stay.
I'll get some black cotton braid HT lead or whatever seems to come from that period. The plan is to make this engine look like a Briggs show engine, something they would have shown off at some sort of machinery festival at the time. As close to a concourse finish as I can get.

Thanks for the advice
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-17-2012, 08:05:56 PM
nutgone nutgone is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South East United Kingdom
Posts: 202
Thanks: 45
Thanked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

I always leave a few runs in the paintwork, just for originality, you understand....

(Actually, I really do. If I happen to have a few runs, & let's face it, it happens to the best of us, I don't worry too much about it. They're so obsessed with Health & Safety at shows over here that the public rarely get close enough to an engine to spot them anyway)

I think black HT lead will look wrong on a black engine, how about this stuff....



Here's where it'll be coming from anyway....

http://www.gsparkplug.com/shop/

They do a nice orange with black flek, but it's plastic coated (they call it "Gloss" finish, I think the cotton stuff looks better)

& we've already got one of these in the shed (I used the other one on the Homelite)....



Although I prefer these....

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:02:29 AM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Basically I want it to look American, so if there was any fine details the Americans were doing differently to us in the UK back then, I would like to know about it.
I'll have a look through the different HT leads and see if anything suits.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:15:14 PM
nutgone nutgone is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South East United Kingdom
Posts: 202
Thanks: 45
Thanked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

As some of you may know I am Ianhw77k's brother. In an effort to move this project along, & to lighten his load a little, I took the carb back to my house to have a go at restoring it. I didn't get any "before" pics, but you can see them on the engine pics already posted.

Anyway, I managed to get it apart, get all the spindles moving again, clear all the jets & put it back together. But it didn't look very "restored", so I thought a coat of Rustoleum silver would look good. I took it apart again & coated the pot-metal parts.

Then I turned my attention to the brass bits, they were looking very bad. I tried various different things, sanding, polishing, wire brushes, wire wool, even the Dremmel-type tool I usually find so useful, but nothing was doing the trick.
I finally put all these bits in a jam jar with a little battery acid, just enough to cover everything. Then I gloved-up, removed them, rinsed them all & gave them a going-over with a brass wire brush.....

I think the results are pretty good....






The black on the screw heads is an old fashioned, high-solvent, permanent marker pen, & it seems to be wearing well.

I was a bit dubious about using battery acid on the brass bits, but it turned out well. Just for the record they were only in there for about 2 hours, maybe a little more, but certainly nowhere near 3. I didn't want to leave them in over night & come back to a jar of nothing but dissolved metal carb parts from the 1930s!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-30-2012, 07:43:48 AM
nutgone nutgone is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South East United Kingdom
Posts: 202
Thanks: 45
Thanked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Also, at last weekend's rally I saw an old fuel tank for sale. It was a bit too long & a bit too thin for this engine, but it was only £5 & I thought it was going to be our best hope. The JAP tank we were going to use just wouldn't look right at all.

So I bought the tank & took it back, where I discovered it was actually a dual chamber tank, with a small part for petrol & a larger part for paraffin/kerosene. But one of the filler caps was missing & it only came with one tap, so was incomplete anyway.

The whole tank measured 14" by 4.5" so I decided to cut off most of the smaller chamber & re-solder the end on, making a new, shorter tank with the filler hole in the middle. This would be close to the correct 12" long, but a bit thinner than the standard 6". (This tank now measures 11" by 4.5")

My first attempt at soldering wasn't very good, I left the original divider plate in & soldered the end cap close to it, but this just melted the solder for the divider plate & the whole thing leaked & rattled......



Only after I gave it a coat of primer did I decide to have another go. So I removed the end cap, managed to remove the original divider plate, cleaned it all up & re-soldered the end cap back on.
I've never been very good at soldering tanks, I've always been very good at electrical soldering though. I discovered my problem was too much heat. I don't have an old copper iron, so I have to make do with a blow-torch. Also at last weekend's rally was a propane blow-torch, with hose & regulator, previously I was using a Mapp-Gas torch, which was way too hot.

So I turned the heat down & tried again. This time I managed to solder the end cap on & repair the bits I had over-heated before (like the tank seam). It all came together very well & as an added benefit it doesn't leak! Not bad for a second attempt!....

Here it is with final primer coat....



& here it is just after my second attempt, with the bits I removed....



Now, I expect someone will come along & tell me I've destroyed some rare tank off something (it has "Rotherham's Coventry" written on the cap) but I don't care, I think it'll look good on this engine. I know it's not exactly right, but the proportions are pretty close, & some of these older Briggs engines did have a thinner tank (I know the R models didn't, but it should look good nonetheless)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:05:17 PM
nutgone nutgone is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South East United Kingdom
Posts: 202
Thanks: 45
Thanked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

I managed to get a coat of Rustoleum black on the tank last night.

Not the best bit of painting I've ever done, but probably quite authentic in it's roughness I think....

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-02-2012, 03:51:06 PM
Ianhw77k Ianhw77k is offline
Registered-I
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: East Sussex. England, United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

Got the magneto off, plug out of the head and barrel off tonight. There seems to be quite a bit of side to side play in the big end, a fair bit of end float in the crank and some scoring in the piston. Not sure how worried I should be about this

Internals seem to be in good condition though, just a lot of cleaning to do.

Looks like I need a set of American spanners now, I've got metric and British imperial so what am I looking for, AF sizes or is that too modern? Sorry but I don't have much idea when it comes to American engines

There is also a strange oil feed that seems to pump oil under the piston, how it does this I don't know as I'm pretty sure there is no oil pump. Very well made engine though, some lovely engineering in there and most of the nuts and bolts seem to come undone pretty easily. The hardest part was getting the mag off, had to take the whole engine side plate off with it but that will be Nutgone's problem to sort out


Pictures to follow on in a day or two.

Ian
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:23:22 PM
John Newman, Jr.'s Avatar
John Newman, Jr. John Newman, Jr. is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Posts: 5,301
Thanks: 759
Thanked 3,243 Times in 1,657 Posts
Default Re: Briggs and Stratton RC (1931) Restoration.

There should be a pump...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Briggs R Oil.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	81.0 KB
ID:	143885  
__________________
John Newman, Jr.
Saint Louis, MO

I Can Probably Fix That
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to John Newman, Jr. For This Post:
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Briggs & Stratton Model 6S Restoration Harold Stratton Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 14 10-24-2011 06:16:58 PM
Briggs and Stratton 3.5 HP Restoration! Skandia600 Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 0 10-10-2011 05:42:53 PM
First Briggs&Stratton Restoration Project Updates Hit and Miss kid Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 7 02-13-2008 05:50:23 PM
During and After Briggs & Stratton 5s Restoration B. Riley Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 0 11-04-2007 10:33:21 PM
New here, Briggs & Stratton restoration project red_metallic Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines 14 09-25-2006 02:47:26 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:38:14 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2019 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277