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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 23 Project Journal


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  #1  
Old 05-19-2018, 11:20:49 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Specifically a 23CR6, picked it up today through Facebook marketplace for $30. Was looking for an older engine to tinker with... made sure it wasn't locked up, handed over the cash, and heaved it up into my truck... when I got it home I found it had zero compression, and the spark plug was busted off halfway down the porcelain... didn't take long to pop the head off, found the exhaust valve stuck open. A little oil and some light persuasion with a screwdriver handle used as a hammer and it freed right up. It's not pulling fuel through the carb, need to investigate that further, but it will run if I dump gas down the intake...

Let's see if I can link a YouTube video...


Any pointers would be appreciated!

Not sure what I'm gonna use it for, but I'm sure I'll come up with something...
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:32:24 PM
Ogrebeast64 Ogrebeast64 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 project journal

Most likely you'll have to pull the carby apart and give it a proper cleaning. Also check the tank for bad rust, clean it out, and then flush out the fuel lines after getting the carby done.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:44:59 AM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Make sure when you pull the carb apart to remove the main jet and it's adjusting screw first or you will ruin the main jet. There is a lot of videos on YouTube that will show you the proper way to take it apart. If yours in not repairable there is plenty of replacement Chinese carbs on eBay or Amazon for sale at very reasonable prices and most people have said they work just fine. They do have metric threads tho.
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:20:09 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Thanks for the tip on the main jet. I'll definitely check YouTube for reference...

I know I will need a carb kit, and the screen for the fuel filter... any suggestions for a source for these parts?

Also, once I get it running on the factory fuel system I'm gonna need a way to shut it off... the manual shows a metal strap attached under a head bolt that you ground the spark plug with... mine doesn't have the strap, it would be simple enough to make one, but I was wondering if I could tap into the ignition somewhere and use a period-correct appearing toggle switch to kill the spark...
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:03:07 PM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

You can put a fuel shutoff valve on the fuel tank to shut it off. This is a good way to do it as it will run all the fuel out of the carb thus saving the carb from damage from the fuel going bad after a period of time and damaging the carb. The fuel we have nowadays has alcohol in it that can damage carbs and their gaskets if left in the carb for a long time. You can get carbs and gaskets on eBay and Amazon. You should start looking for parts and repair manuals at the same places. My first BIG Briggs engine was a model 23AFB.

---------- Post added at 05:03:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:34:42 PM ----------

If possible get Briggs factory books. I find aftermarket books lacking in proper information and they never have enough. I see lots of factory books for sale on Craigslist, eBay and Amazon all the time. Check often to find the best prices. A extra motor or two for parts is a good idea also. If your engine has the Magnamatic type coil / magneto you can also get replacements on eBay. Check here on YouTube for videos on the types of coils used on this model and other BIG older engines.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:36:10 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Man, those new Chinese carbs are CHEAP! Reviews look mostly good, but do I want to put Chinese parts on this? I'm leaning towards keeping it as original as possible, but a new carb for around $20 sure is tempting...

---------- Post added at 04:36:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:17:27 PM ----------

I did look up the owners manual PDF on briggs' website... that should have enough info for me to get this thing going... I'm an automotive mechanic by day, so small engines are like child's play compared to what I work on all day...

I do know this engine doesn't have the magnamatic ignition... the coil is outside the flywheel, and I believe the points are under the flywheel. It has good spark now, I know coil issues tend to show themselves with heat, and I've only had the engine running for a few seconds at a time, so I guess we will see what it does when I get the fuel system straightened out...
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:21:38 PM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

I don't believe your engine has the dreaded Magnamatic ing system. Even if you did there is a older post on SmokStak that shows you how to fit a newer coil / magneto to the older engines. If I were you it would be a good idea to pickup a extra set of contact points. They are not always easy to find and can be costly depending where you get them. I have Briggs engines from 1930 to the 1970's and I am always looking for cheap extra parts. I too was a engine mechanic for 32 years and retired about 4-1/2 years ago. I prefer working on older engines from about the mid 1960's and back. Cars, trucks and old small cast iron engines.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:10:25 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Well, I've ordered a screen and gasket for the sediment bowl/filter... I'm gonna make the custom screwdriver for the jet and see if it comes out... I'd really like to use the original carb if I can... I'm just not feeling right about using a Chinese carb...
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:00:56 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

" I'm gonna make the custom screwdriver for the jet and see if it comes out.."


Sign of a real mechanic! Many times guys just grab a screwdriver and butcher up the slot.

You can run a wire from the points to a switch. Grounding out the points will kill the ignition.

Make a friend with your local B & S dealer. Carb parts should be in stock
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:15:21 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

It seems that with every passing year the B&S flow-jet carburetors are becoming more and more of a chore to disassemble. Other than the few new old stock engines that I have picked up, just about every flo-jet I have worked on has had a stripped out, bent or corroded main fuel jet. I do not even try to take them out anymore. I remove the entire carburetor and submerge it in my ultrasonic cleaner for two hours before I even attempt to take it apart. 180* distilled water and simple green seems to do the trick every time. I have effortlessly removed completely stripped and corroded main fuel jets which would have otherwise required hours of careful drilling and extracting to remove.

Chris
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:57:19 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

I'm pretty sure it's got something to do with the garbage they pass off as "gasoline" these days... the main jet is really putting up a fight in this carb. I haven't been able to extract it yet, I was able to get the needle out, and blew some compressed air and carb clean through the jet, and I even got the motor to idle pretty nicely for about 15-20 seconds, but then it flooded... likely a needle and seat issue, but I can't get into the carb yet...

Funny story... I've got the motor sitting on a makeshift bench consisting of a chunk of 3/4" plywood on top of an old adirondac chair, and my neighbor came over to chat about the motor, and when I told him I just had it running, he asked how I kept it from bouncing around and falling off the chair. It's so heavy it just sat there and never even moved...
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:01:27 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

I managed to get the jet out on my lunch break today! It was already a little messed up, so I applied a little heat with a butane micro-torch, and jammed a small torx bit into the jet, and worked it back and forth and back and forth...until it came out. I'll just make sure the kit I order includes a new jet...

I think I'm gonna pull the sump off the motor and clean it out good, that way I don't have to worry about any junk in the oil.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:29:56 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

B & S removed the jet from their kits a few years ago. Also, if your carb has a removable seat for the float needle, it's not in there either! I normally didn't sell kits to customers, just the real parts that they actually needed.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:35:00 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

I've seen some "aftermarket" kits that have the jet included... either way I need one... I think I could probably get away with a jet, a needle, and a main gasket...

Also, I'm starting to think about what I will use this for... with the 6:1 reduction it's not going to be a go kart motor... what would it have been originally used for/ what would you run with it/ what should I run with it? Also, would it be "acceptable" at a show, or would I be the idiot that showed up to a classic car show with a 90's Chevy Malibu?
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:58:58 PM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

At a old engine show the gear reduction would be a bonus in my book. I have a box of misc carbs I recently bought. There was a large Flo-jet carb in the box that need work to save it. I tried to remove the main jet with the magic screwdriver along with magic oil and magic fire. Not gonna happen. I drilled a hole thru the jet with a 1/8 drill bit and used the proper size square Proto Easy Out and got it out. The carb body is ok and will be rebuilt at some point. I am trying to get rid of stuff that can't be saved. I have several Briggs model N engines that have a lot of broken fins. I will strip them of their savable parts and toss the blocks. I have a old Dodge van full of engines and parts that I recently bought that I need to get on the shelf freeing up my van.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:11:23 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Here's a question... the gear reduction is lubricated with crankcase oil, and there is a plug on the bottom to drain the gear case, but there's no indication in the PDF owners manual on refilling the gear case after an oil change... I would assume that filling the engine crankcase with oil would fill the gearcase, but I try to avoid assumptions... I would hate to damage the reduction gears by not properly filling the oil...
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:58:11 PM
EvilDr235 EvilDr235 is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

I would drain both and then refill the engine til full. I would then pull the plug on the gear reduction unit and see how much oil comes out.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:45:45 PM
gdstew gdstew is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

oil for the reduction unit and the engine are 2 different cases. There is a crankshaft seal inside the reduction unit preventing engine oil getting in. Fill the engine as normal.
The reduction unit uses the same kind of oil as the engine. Normally, there were 2 screws on the side of the reduction, 90 degrees apart. This made one screw level regardless of how the unit was rotated. ( The unit can be turned 4 different ways and the cover can be rotated). Usually had fill on top till came out side.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:44:04 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

There's definitely only one plug on the reduction gear case, on the bottom. I think I will try EvilDr235's advice to fill the crankcase and then drain the reduction case to verify that oil is reaching the reduction gears...
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:35:41 PM
JonathanPatton JonathanPatton is offline
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Default Re: Briggs and Stratton 23 Project Journal

Also- I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond! Even though I'm mechanically inclined, and I know my way around a tool box, I don't have a lot of "real" experience with small engines (I've messed with a few as a kid, but I didn't really know what I was doing), so I appreciate the insight shared in this thread, and in this forum as a whole!
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