Why Did My Engine Fail After Only 6 Months?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by MowerMedic77, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. MowerMedic77

    MowerMedic77 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    This is an article that I have had in my possession for over 10 years it comes from Briggs & Stratton, I am not sure how long ago they published this but it is still good info. I thought it would help give another point of view, enjoy:)

    Let's take a look at what we mean by "only 6 months":
    As a commercial user, you realize that you Briggs&Stratton engine usually operates 6 to 7 hours a day. You are probably working from 5 to 5 1/2 days a week. The engine operates at 3600 rpm. Calculate the hours for 6 months operation and you realize 900 hours usage.

    Sometimes it is hard to comprehend just what we mean by 900 hours; let's take a look at your car for a comparison.:

    The average car with and engine running at 3600 rpm would have a ground speed of about 85 mph. If we multiply 900 hrs by 85 mph we come up with "76,500 miles". If we carry out this calculation for a year, realizing that as a commercial user you can operate each piece of equipment as much as 1800 hours yearly, this 1800 hours of usage calculates to the equivalent of "153,000 miles" on your car.

    We must remember, this small engine is not water cooled, has no oil filter and frequently operates in a dirt and dust laden environment.
    Let's examine a few additional facts:
    Protecting your engine from dirt is probably more relative to it's total life span than any other single factor. The more dirt that is allowed to enter the engine, the shorter it life span.
    With the engine running at 3600 rpms, the piston will go up and down 435,000 times in 1 hour!

    The easiest place for dirt to ingest into an engine is via the air filtration system. The air cleaner on an automobile is closer to the top of the engine, elevated about 3 feet or more above the road and completely enclosed by the radiator, fenders and hood of the vehicle. To further complicate matters, the air filter on the small engine is usually located about 1 foot or less above the ground, protected by nothing, and most small air cooled engines are found operating in a cloud of dust and dirt.

    Thus, it is evident that, on small air cooled engines air cleaner/element maintenance is of great importance and must be performed frequently in adverse conditions. remember, the only difference between short engine life and long engine life, whether with a truck, an automobile, or your Briggs&Stratton engine, is the preventive maintenance program applied to the engine and equipment.

  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Good article!
  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Good Post MM

    Most would be astounded at the condition I have found air filters.
  4. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 311

    I wish the folks that designed the air cleaner system on the 7 HP Intek would have read this write up. There is practically no way to remove the air cleaner cartridge without letting dirt fall into the carburetor throat.
  5. thecrankshaft

    thecrankshaft LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    Now that is an engineering blunder.

    Good article! I can't say I disagree with anything in it.
  6. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    The only thing I would disagree with is the air filter being #1. I would say lack of oil is #1. I cant believe how much oil is in some customers equipment when it comes in...or I should say how LITTLE oil...LOL.

    But yes, I have seen some crazy packed air filters.

    I have a couple TS 400 saws here that probably have a few pounds of dust in the paper elements...LOL.
  7. khouse

    khouse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,465

    I'm working on getting parts for a Partner concrete saw. The owner said they took the air filter out because it ran better that way. Go figure?
  8. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I've got a couple I've seen that I'd love to compete with! lol

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