29HP Vanguard weak starter.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ARN Greencare, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    All the dealer wants to do is sell me a battery, but Grasshopper equips their machines with Deka batteries, which are good batteries. Plus my battery passes load test, and when tested with either a Solar or SPX tester, it comes in around 40CCA higher than the rated 540CCA everytime... And if I take it to any other dealer close by, they put it on the back burner cause I didn't by machine there, not a good way to earn a new customer.

    I am wandering about the valve adjustment, the thing runs noticeably better. It used to lope, flutter and pop out of the exhaust when sitting there running free at about 1/2-2/3 throttle. While it is still not the smoothest, it is acceptable now. I am hoping my fuel economy improves too, this thing absolutely drinks fuel.
     
  2. HydroMan#1

    HydroMan#1 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 4

    id throw that pos Briggs in the garbage. acr probably broke on it. i also believe Briggs just throw the valves into the motor with out properly seating them. every Briggs (i have worked on a crap ton) I have worked on have leaky valves and are away way out of adjustment.
     
  3. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Yeah, never again will I buy a Briggs. I am taking it to a dealer probably tomorrow seeing it is finally cold enough to reproduce the problem. I finally, after ten days and a number of Emails, got a hold of Briggs tech dept via E-mail. I now have a case number, and the guy at the tech dept says that starter should never pull anything close to 400 amps. Gonna be amazing if all I need is a starter after all this aggravation. But hey, I guess that is Briggs service for you. Right?
     
  4. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Update;

    So after the valve adjustment and some cold weather, this thing still will not start when cold. I did finally get Briggs to look into it and get a case number for my issue. It is now at the dealer, and we will see from here.
     
  5. Walker56

    Walker56 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,199

    Please keep posting updates. Did you ever call Briggs Corporate Office?
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    I got a hold of them VIA Email actually. I wanted text copies of conversations, cause I have decided that I am going to get this resolved one way or the other, and they are not going to simply brush me off like a dead flea.
     
  7. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    OK guys, here we go, the problem has been identified, and being addressed, no thanks to any of the local dealers. Apparently, the engineers at Grasshopper were spot on, and have addressed this issue. (More on that later.)

    I also got a hold of Nate at B&S, and he said there is nothing wrong with the amp draw/voltage numbers I am giving him. He gave me a few things to try that did not work, and he was adamant that my hydro drives were the culprit. My next test was to unlace the belt from the drives and try to start the machine. And guess what? The thing fired up in low 20 degree weather, and the starter turned the engine faster than on a warm day with the belt on. I reached down and turned the drives by hand, and I will bet you it took probably 20ft lbs of torque each to turn those pumps, much less at an RPM fast enough for the engine to start.

    So I called Grasshopper and they gave me the part number to the release tool for the hydro drives belt tensioner. So seeing they have made a tool for this, and have redesigned the tensioner arm according to what they told me, this is not an isolated issue.

    And BTW, there is no compression release on the Vanguard engines, at least not in the current ones.

    All in all, problem assessed and a fix is under way. HOWEVER, this sucks on the part of B&S, cause there are countless other machines out there equiped with other engines that have a starter strong enough to start without disengaging the drive pumps. And I would hate to see one of these Vanguard Big Blocks tied into those bigger 21cc pumps on the 400 series Grasshoppers, mine is only 16cc.

    Pitiful fuel economy, lackluster power, cheesy beyond cheap valve train, starter not strong enough to turn cold hydro drive pumps, (at least not 16cc or bigger,) my opinion of the Vanguard is very, very low. Even less than Kohler. I doubt this engine will last 2000 hours, unlike my FD Kawasaki's that would make well over 4000 hours without breaking a sweat. Kohler's would make between 1800 and 2100 hours before using oil and smoking became a problem, but at least they would fire up on cold mornings.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Walker56

    Walker56 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,199

    Glad you finally got to the root of the problem.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  9. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,892

    And BTW, wrong !
     
  10. ARN Greencare

    ARN Greencare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    No there isn't, not on any that is pertinent to the one mentioned in this thread. Smaller ones, yes, but the "Big Block" ones, no there isn't.
     

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