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#1794776 - 02/25/10 09:40 AM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
1999nick Offline


Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 1084
Loc: Germantown TN 38138
I have a lawnmower with the Honda 160 aluminum engine. I purchased it in 2000, and it presently has about 550 hours on it. I have changed the oil annually, at about 50 to 60 hours. It has never used enough oil in an annual OCI to move off the full mark. Oil always looks good after a year, but I always change it anyway. I have always used M1 oil, starting out with the 5W30, and changing over to the 10W30 High Mileage version when the 5W30 became SM.

Inasmuch as this 500+ hour engine is still using NO oil, I think it has minimal wear as of now. As far as I know, this Honda engine does not have any special treatment of the cylinder. It is the cheapest engine that Honda makes, not the heavy duty overhead valve models that are used in Honda's more expensive models. It can be purchased at several small engine replacement companies for $160 to $190, so it is not an expensive engine.

By the way, I put an hour meter on this engine shortly after purchase, and have already had to replace it once, as they have an internal nonreplaceable battery that is usually good for about 5 years. I expect to replace it again within the next couple of years.

So, I would say, don't worry about whether an engine has cast iron or aluminum cylinders. Either will last as long as the rest of the machine; probably a lot longer.

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#1794902 - 02/25/10 11:34 AM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7263
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: boraticus
I doubt very much that the aluminum bore B&S Snow engine has a Nikasil coating.


Totally agreed. Nickle-silicon carbide plating is expensive and usually reserved for high-end stuff. Not to say Aluminum bored OPE engines are not treated with something, I'm just not buying that it's Nikasil.

In regards to kbowley's statement about no Chondas in commercial use? I've seen it on rehab'd commercial stuff like bucket carts, log splitters and chippers. As long as you don't run automotive 10w30 in them for hard use (15w40 instead), they'll run seemingly forever. It's just a matter of time before Briggs and Kohlers commercial line are made in China with Chinese sourced parts, if they are not already, then bolted on a $10K Exmark ZTR mower.

Joel


Edited by JTK (02/25/10 11:37 AM)
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#1794910 - 02/25/10 11:52 AM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: JTK]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: Canada
Briggs are already using Chinese manufactured key components in their engines.

As much as I hate to admit it, the Chondas that I own are some of the nicest running single cylinder OPE engines I've ever used. They've come a long way in the last five years or so.

I read somewhere that Echo uses some type of nickel/chrome bore plating in their engines. Can't recall the source though....

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#1795019 - 02/25/10 01:26 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 4121
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I have a couple of Briggs engines apart. The 3HP aluminum engine does not have a Nikasil bore. It is well scored and worn. It did not hold up well to use on an edger. However, the bore is quite hard and much harder than the surrounding aluminum. Still, it can be scratched with a screwdriver, something you cannot do to Nikasil.
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Turbo's rule.

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#1795121 - 02/25/10 02:55 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: Cujet]
Nick R Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 10488
Loc: Amherst, OH
Most of Briggs, while they may use Chinese parts, final assembly for most of them is still in Michigan, USA.
_________________________
13 Ford Focus SE 2.0L/34,000miles/Pennz Plat PurePlus 0W-20/FRAM Ultra

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#1795168 - 02/25/10 03:35 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: Nick R]
kbowley Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Portsmouth NH
I apologize...its a chrome/nikasil mix that lines the aluminum bore, not straight nikasil

"The new engines also fit well into what could be called the company's value strategy. Over the last several years, Briggs & Stratton has focused on a goal of developing a range of products that could provide horsepower at whatever value level a customer needed. Premium OEM products can use the high-end liquid-cooled twins and three-cylinder engines. Lower cost machines can use standard, less expensive air-cooled units with chrome nikasil lined aluminum cylinders that has been the main stay of the line for 40 years. And in the ranges where there is overlap, a customer has a choice of which direction to go."
_________________________
Kevin Bowley
Kevins Small Engine and Tractor Service
199 Dow Highway, South Berwick, ME. 03908
www.tinyurl.com/kevinssmallengine



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#1795197 - 02/25/10 04:14 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: kbowley]
kbowley Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Portsmouth NH
more info seems as though briggs was outsourcing some of its engines although the following is a bit confusing. From what i read, from 2007 on they are made in house in the good 'ol USA;

Acquisitions, agreements and joint ventures

Farymann Diesel GmbH (19791984) - Based in Lampertheim (near Mannheim) in Germany, this was the first foreign acquisition B&S had ever made and was a poor fit with the company's acknowledged expertise in high volume, low cost production. Despite investing in new production methods, B&S never understood the very low volume, highly customized nature of the air-cooled diesel engine market. After considering adding Italy's Lombardini to increase its presence in the diesel market, as well as a failed attempt to develop its own designs, B&S accepted defeat and sold the company to a private investor for a nominal amount to avoid further liabilities. Since the energy crisis had not affected the US market's preference for gasoline engines, enthusiasm waned rapidly at management level for diesel engines.[1] They officially completed the acquisition on May 29, 1979.

[2]Daihatsu Briggs & Stratton (DBS) - In an effort to stave off Japanese competition during the 1980s, B&S entered a 50/50 joint venture with the Daihatsu Motor Company in Japan. Located in Shiga Prefecture (50 miles from Osaka, Japan), construction on the then-57,000 square-foot plant began in December 1986 and was completed in April 1987. This joint venture was notable for the manufacture of vertical & horizontal crankshaft engines from 12.5 to 22 hp (16 kW) under the Vanguard brand. Today the plant employs roughly 100 people on two shifts and manufactures Vanguard V-twin engines ranging from 14 to 36 hp for foreign markets.

[3] The Mitsubishi Agreement - The Vanguard line initially consisted of three single-cylinder engines and several V-twin engines. The V-twins, made by DBS, had sold very well but the single-cylinder engine models, originally produced at B&S's Menomonee Falls plant, didn't fare so well. B&S needed to solve this problem, so, following discussions with several Japanese engine manufacturers, entered into an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. B&S produced only certain parts for the engines, while Mitsubishi was responsible for overall production and shipping. The completed single cylinder Vanguard engines were shipped directly to customers worldwide. B&S had exclusive marketing rights only in North America, Europe & Australia/New Zealand. MHI had exclusive marketing rights (under their own brand name) in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea & Japan. In other countries both companies competed with the same product under their own brand names which led to considerable friction, and together with escalating production costs and quality issues in Japan, caused this otherwise successful relationship to fail. B&S commenced marketing US made engines under the Vanguard brand in early 2007.

[4]The Komatsu Zenoah Venture - In May 1987, B&S entered into an agreement with yet another Japanese company, executing a 10-year contract with the Komatsu Zenoah Company of Tachikawa, Japan. Under the terms of the contract, Komatsu would manufacture a 2-cycle, 4 hp (3 kW) engine, in which B&S would purchase and distribute in the U.S., Europe & Australia/NZ. Said Fred Stratton, "This venture was not successful, because the rising price of the yen made the engine too expensive in the U.S


Edited by kbowley (02/25/10 04:15 PM)
_________________________
Kevin Bowley
Kevins Small Engine and Tractor Service
199 Dow Highway, South Berwick, ME. 03908
www.tinyurl.com/kevinssmallengine



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#1795202 - 02/25/10 04:21 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: kbowley]
kbowley Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Portsmouth NH
[edit] Innovations
The Aluminum Engine - This was introduced in 1953 as a means of having a lighter-weight engine for applications such as lawn mowers or string trimmers. It was improved five years later in 1958 with the introduction of the Kool-Bore (all aluminum) and Sleeve-Bore (aluminum, with a cast iron cylinder liner).


Easy-Spin Starting - This was introduced in 1961 as a means of cutting in half the effort of manually starting an engine. This had replaced all means of starting on all B&S engines except for electric start systems.[6]
But in 1982, as new U.S. federal safety regulations required every small engine manufacturer to add emergency shut-off switches to lawn mower applications, company engineers discovered that engines with the Easy-Spin intake were unacceptably difficult to restart. The Easy-Spin was moved to the exhaust valve, but this move presented mediocre power output. Where that was an issue, a mechanical compression release was used. The intake valve Easy-Spin had continued to be used on B&S's larger engines, but was then shelved in 1997 due to new emission regulations.[7]

Their engines now are usually fitted with a dead man's switch to halt power immediately in the case of the operator getting injured by the tool. On Briggs and Stratton engines, this works by applying a spring-energized band brake to the flywheel, with the engine's default state as braked. The operator must hold a handle to remove the engine brake, with any release of this handle causing the engine to immediately stop again.


The Sno/Gard Engine - Introduced in 1966, this innovation was exclusively designed for engines powering snow blowers. Prior to 1966, customers of the snowblower had complaints about protection of the engine from the elements of winter. B&S met the needs of these customers by designing special features for this engine such as an air-intake shield, a starter clutch shield and a specially-designed housing to cover the spark plug and carburetor, as well as providing heat for the latter.[8]


The Synchro-Balanced Engine - Also introduced in 1966, this innovation was designed as a means to curb vibrations caused by the high RPM and torque of lawn mower engines, especially in riding lawn mowers. The design was a series of counterweights placed along the engine's crankshaft.[9]


The Twin Cylinder Engine - This engine was introduced in 1977 as a means of competing with B&S's rivals, particularly Japanese firms like Honda who were cutting into traditional B&S fare by producing lawn mower engines (and later, complete lawn mowers). These first models were rated 16 hp (11.9 kW) and displaced 40 cubic inches (656 cc), but were joined in 1979 by 42 cubic inch (694 cc) models rated at 18 hp (13.4 kW). The original price for the 16 hp (12 kW) version was $70 lower (at $228 USD) than their single-cylinder cast-iron version bearing the same HP rating.[10]



Industrial/Commercial (I/C) - This series of engines, initially ranging from 3 to 18 hp (13 kW), was introduced in 1979 as B&S's answer to certain high-quality, commercial-grade engines produced by their rivals (mainly from Japan; see also the Twin Cylinder section above). These engines have such high-tensile features such as Stellite bearings, sleeved cylinder bores and paper air cleaners.[11]


Briggs & Stratton HYBRID - In 1980, at the tail end of the energy crisis, Briggs and Stratton developed the first gasoline-electric hybrid automobile. "The Hybrid" was designed by Brooks Stevens and powered by a twin cylinder 16 hp (11.9 kW) Briggs and Stratton engine and a large electric battery.


Magnetron Electronic Ignition - This solid state ignition system, introduced by B&S in 1981, eliminated the ages-old points and condenser setup that had plagued many customers who had used a gasoline engine for years. This setup is also available in retrofit kits, but these are only compatible with B&S's external ignition engines produced since January, 1963. However, its rival Tecumseh had made a capacitor discharge ignition setup since 1968, for their cast iron engine models, expanding it to vertical shaft engines powering lawn mowers in late 1976 before the setup came full circle in August, 1984 for all of their engine lines. The Magnetron was actually born out of the Magnavac system, introduced by B&S in 1976.[12]


The QUANTUM Engine - Introduced in 1986, this engine series donned higher performance, quieter operation and easier starting. It would go on to become one of B&S's most popular lawn mower engines.

The Raptor Engine - The engine which many of Briggs' flatheads, including the I/C, are modeled after.

The Animal Engine - Briggs' race-modified overhead valve racing engine, based on their stock generator engine.
_________________________
Kevin Bowley
Kevins Small Engine and Tractor Service
199 Dow Highway, South Berwick, ME. 03908
www.tinyurl.com/kevinssmallengine



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#1795541 - 02/25/10 11:00 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: kbowley]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: Canada
kbowley:

Pardon my skepticism, but where are you getting the information that the B&S Kool bore engine is lined with chrome/nikasil? The data you have provided specifically states that the Kool bore is an aluminum bore. I've never seen any data from B&S claiming that their aluminum Kool bore engines have any type of coating whatsoever.

Do you have a link to support your claim that their aluminum cylinders have a chrome/nikasil coating on the cylinder? Please post it if you do.

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#1795673 - 02/26/10 07:09 AM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
Nick R Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 10488
Loc: Amherst, OH
Originally Posted By: boraticus
kbowley:

Pardon my skepticism, but where are you getting the information that the B&S Kool bore engine is lined with chrome/nikasil? The data you have provided specifically states that the Kool bore is an aluminum bore. I've never seen any data from B&S claiming that their aluminum Kool bore engines have any type of coating whatsoever.

Do you have a link to support your claim that their aluminum cylinders have a chrome/nikasil coating on the cylinder? Please post it if you do.



While it is indeed a straight aluminum bore, they did do something to it to make it stronger and smoother than usual. I cannot recall offhand what it is, but I know that it makes it impossible to bore it out (a difficult task anyway, especially in the flathead engines) because the surface of the bore will be entirely different than the original.
_________________________
13 Ford Focus SE 2.0L/34,000miles/Pennz Plat PurePlus 0W-20/FRAM Ultra

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#1795749 - 02/26/10 08:44 AM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: Nick R]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: rudolphna
Originally Posted By: boraticus
kbowley:

Pardon my skepticism, but where are you getting the information that the B&S Kool bore engine is lined with chrome/nikasil? The data you have provided specifically states that the Kool bore is an aluminum bore. I've never seen any data from B&S claiming that their aluminum Kool bore engines have any type of coating whatsoever.

Do you have a link to support your claim that their aluminum cylinders have a chrome/nikasil coating on the cylinder? Please post it if you do.



While it is indeed a straight aluminum bore, they did do something to it to make it stronger and smoother than usual. I cannot recall offhand what it is, but I know that it makes it impossible to bore it out (a difficult task anyway, especially in the flathead engines) because the surface of the bore will be entirely different than the original.


Being that there is very little information available on the B&S aluminum bore manufacturing process and it's called simply "aluminum bore", it leads one to believe that the aluminum used for the cylinder is probably of a much higher and harder aluminum alloy or sprayed/coated with something to enhance wear and friction resistance.

It would be nice to know what process is used for aluminum bore engines.

Here's a link to some interesting reading in this regard:

http://www.uschrome.com/aluminumenginepaper.html

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#1796073 - 02/26/10 12:23 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
addyguy Offline


Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 13427
Loc: Canada
How long does an aluminum-bore engine last?

Ask a former Chevrolet Vega owner. He'll tell ya!!!

:P
_________________________
2003 Mazda Tribute LX V-6, 171k miles.
Oil: QS Defy 5W-20; Fram Ultra XG2 filter.

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#1796152 - 02/26/10 01:16 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: addyguy]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2533
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: addyguy
How long does an aluminum-bore engine last?

Ask a former Chevrolet Vega owner. He'll tell ya!!!

:P


Let's not forget that we're talking about a piece of OPE that see a few hours of use per year in cool, clean conditions. There's no real comparison to an automobile.

I had a buddy who bought a brand new Vega. The first disposable car. I think it was shot at four years old. Body rusted off. It burned a fair amount of oil but it didn't stop running.

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#1796719 - 02/26/10 08:44 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: boraticus]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 4010
Loc: Charlotte, NC
The aluminum bore B&S engines use a special high silicon alloy and the bores are chemically etched with some sort of conversion process. I knew what it was at one time, but have forgotten the info. The pistons are treated as well and use different rings then the iron bore engines. It has to be a low cost process because it is only used on their budget priced engines.

The Vegas used a similar bore treatment and the pistons were iron plated. The biggest problem with the Vega engines was porosity in the alloy blocks and therefor various oil and coolant leaks. A fellow I worked with owned one. He was on his 3rd. engine when he traded it at around 24k miles. The bodies were real junk and the seats were killers.

Chevy actually made a special order alloy 427 big block for Corvette racing. Didn't work very well.
_________________________
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again!" unclepaddy

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#1797297 - 02/27/10 12:08 PM Re: aluminum bore briggs-expected life [Re: Oldmoparguy1]
tomcat27 Offline


Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 2488
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: Oldmoparguy1
The aluminum bore B&S engines use a special high silicon alloy and the bores are chemically etched with some sort of conversion process. I knew what it was at one time, but have forgotten the info. The pistons are treated as well and use different rings then the iron bore engines. It has to be a low cost process because it is only used on their budget priced engines.

The Vegas used a similar bore treatment and the pistons were iron plated. The biggest problem with the Vega engines was porosity in the alloy blocks and therefor various oil and coolant leaks. A fellow I worked with owned one. He was on his 3rd. engine when he traded it at around 24k miles. The bodies were real junk and the seats were killers.

Chevy actually made a special order alloy 427 big block for Corvette racing. Didn't work very well.


I hate to admit, but I personally owned a 76 Vega, bought it new. it had 70k miles on it when it got trashed in an accident - and I was on the original engine. so, 3 engines at 24k - there's something else going on with that story.

As far as Briggs, I was at their factory last Monday; they have 3 plants in the Milwaukee area alone. I have rebuilt lawnmower engines - my first one was a Briggs 3.5hp with 400-500 hours on it. The only reason I "rebuilt" it was because I was taking a small engine repair class. the cylinder walls were perfect with the cross-hatching still looking new. the only "problem" with the engine was some valve stem wear - so I installed inserts and put the engine back on the mower.

I don't konw how long your engine will last - but keep using synthetic, keep warming it up, and I bet you will be suprised by the results. If and when its time to repower, please purchase a Briggs replacement, as we need the jobs here in America. truth be told, the reason I was at Briggs was because I need a job and was interviewing. my last day at my "current" job was yesterday. my wife lost her job last november after 20 years.

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