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Briggs ZZ flywheel key

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Old 04-03-2010, 03:26:32 PM
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JKWidener JKWidener is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

This is just a question for reference. When was the ZZ briggs and such built? Could it have been during the war time and maybe alluminum was not available, including for the briggs factories? This would maybe explain some steel keys.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:04:02 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

I think Sean B. is pretty spot on on one thing but might be a tad off on another.

Careful reading of the Briggs books leads me to conclude that the real nature of the holding power of the flywheel/crankshaft interface should be the taper. Briggs makes a point of suggesting actually capturing the flywheel rotation and smacking the wrench for the nut with a hammer to tighten securely. This will make the taper joint very solid insofar as twisting, and thus the "soft key" is pretty much an alignment device and its ability to shear only comes into play with an improperly tightened flywheel or in an extreme case of shock load which should never occur.

If one compares the taper joint of an old Briggs flywheel to the taper joint used on an old small generator armature to crankshaft joint, it suggests to me that the flywheel taper, while having substantial twisting stability, is actually fairly easy to separate, accommodating the inevitable flywheel removal for ignition servicing and so it is designed with this in mind and incorporates an easy guiding and aligning device with the key.

Trust me. The generator taper is not easy to dislodge, comparatively. They often have no key, but I have not found one yet that showed any sign of twisting but most are pretty hard to separate. Even the easy to separate armatures I've played with show no sign of twisting but they don't need a key because that kind of alignment is not a requirement.

I have a nasty little habit of leaving the flywheel nuts kind of loose on my little Briggs type engines so I can pop them off easily and clean the points, since they can "get dirty" just sitting around. This is probably not such a good idea, but an aluminum key would mitigate damage that might occur from my lazy ways. At least I don't break a fin off my flywheels, owing to my less tight nuts!?!

I think we can all be a little delusional about our engines and it is easy to make statements that can't be proved. Heck, I do it all the time. I reconcile it by using words like "probably", "maybe", and so forth.

I find it entirely possible that Briggs could have sent out engines with steel keys, even if that was not general policy. Imagine (there's one of my qualifying words again!) a production line going full tilt. Maybe it is wartime. The aluminum keys are slow in arriving and stock is getting low.

Some production foreman arrives with a pallet of steel keys and says " Use these. To hell with the book. The steel ones work just fine. I remember 30 years ago, when we ran out of aluminum keys during the F series and we used steel and nobody ever gave a hoot. 40 years from now, nobody will care!"

Yeah, it is just a make believe story, but it something like it could have happened. Or make up your own scenario. How about: Engines are flying down the assembly line. Joe Blokes is dipping into the wrong box of keys and nobody spots it until lunch time. The boss man is asked what do we do. He says: "nothing. Let 'em go down the line. I worked at " Doodlebang engines for years and we never used soft keys and I gotta quota to meet."

I think we can all agree that the engines will run with either type of key. Just us loose flywheel jockeys and absolute correct freaks have to use soft keys. In my case, I just misplaced the aluminum key for one of my Rusty Briggs trio engines but I want to do a quick test so I'll just slip a steel one in there, temporarily........
Old 05-01-2010, 06:56:05 AM
Dave Wight Dave Wight is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

sky I would have to agree with you on the use of steel keys in the older briggs engines.I have 3 briggs "B" model engines 1945, 1946, and 1947 all have steel keys. all of the modern day engines that I have toyed with all have alumuim keys.just trying to save big argument fella's hope this helps resolve this case thanx dave
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:46:05 AM
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Jonathan Widelo Jonathan Widelo is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key


We’re not trying to say without a doubt that every Briggs engine you will find modern or antique will have an aluminum key in it. All we are trying to say is that the Briggs manuals state that a "steel key should not be used" this is what the manual says no matter how much you know, have seen or have done you can't change the fact that the manual says what it says. (I quoted exactly what it said word for word, in a previous post) This doesn't mean that everyone followed this guideline back then or now. Sure steel keys will work just as well as one made of aluminum, but are they correct, no they are not correct. All of us antique engine collects are in a way historians, since we collect, restore and share information on engines that have history attached to them. When they were built, who owned them and what they were originally used for. You seem to be taking this topic way to personally, in fact you made an elaborate post in another part of this page detailing how you’re not going to post here again, since you “were so disrespected” . If you’re so done with this topic why do you continue to post on it. Except the fact that your first suggestion to this topic that, yes using a steel key would work just fine, but to say that it is factory correct that all engines you have found had them from the factory is incorrect. Unless you were there the day that particular engine was put together on the assembly, purchased it new in a sealed shipping crate that was sent directly from the factory, no one will ever know for sure if said engine came with that key from the factory or not.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:19:54 AM
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Everett Hayden Everett Hayden is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

I gotta say, I go through two to three f series engines a year. The mix of keys is about 50/50 "in my experience" I will guess. Some of the aluminum keys are badly damaged and several times I have found it downright impossible to get them out of the groove. Other times, I have found steel keys used that were the wrong size, both too small and too large as well. The early fh manual DOES say what it says.
If Briggs and Stratton in their misguided moment actually used aluminum ones, were they a lollipop shop too? Sorry Sky but you left yourself wide open for that one! LOL. Come on Sky, swearing only takes away from some of the good points you make from time to time and demeans the respect you might otherwise gain from making a arguement well grounded in fact and documentation. I've used steel myself Sky but I like to use the soft keys if I have em, just for the sake of installing what the book calls for.
Lest you respond that my ears are too sensitive for swearing, the last 35 years of my working life was in fire stations so, I have heard plenty. I have heard enough to know that a man who makes his case without swearing or demeaning others will be more likely to make a
case others will consider. For whatever that's worth to anyone.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:41:03 PM
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

The point is im done arguing the fact. And dont apreciate being called a liar. I think i've made myself clear.
Old 05-01-2010, 10:57:20 PM
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Junkologist Junkologist is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

I'd like to know who you think called you a liar.

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:13:45 PM
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Chris J Chris J is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

I have never chimed in on this thread, But I only have to say a couple things, I do not know about briggs engine since I dont collect them or work on them, But I would have to agree with the masses here about an Aluminum Key because their is no sense in arguing with what the ORIGINAL manuel says. I dont care what any of you guys run into when you tare them apart, but there is no arguing with what the original manuel says.

Also I know a few of the guys that have chimmed in on here, some I know better than others, many of whom Have said aluminum, including "Partsman" and I know for a fact that he knows his stuff.

My main point here is not to argue with what the manuel says which is what you are doing Sky, I have read most of this thread, and I didnt see anyone targeting you but yourself saying that people are targeting you. I think this thread will probibly need to be put to an end before someones feelings get hurt again, or anything else happens that does not need to happen. But still I can not see the point in arguing with whats on paper. On other notes, Cant we all just get along
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:18:49 PM
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

When you stop beating around the bush, half of you did. Now i'd really like to be done with this thred. It's agrivaiting to know that i cant state the matter of truth to the original gentlman that started this post without having a bunch of nay sayers blowing down my back. Now if you'll excuse me, i got bigger fish to fry and life's to short to stay pissed. Right now i dont have any hard feelings on anyone, let's keep it like that.
Old 05-01-2010, 11:26:18 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

So we're all agreed then it's aluminum key for the flywheel on a Briggs ZZ as stated in the manuals of those that have them but a steel one will work if you're in a pinch.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:46:44 PM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: Briggs ZZ flywheel key

This has gone far enough.
I've wiped a couple personal attacks and the thread stops here as any further redeeming qualities seem to have run out.
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