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Old 01-20-2010, 11:55 PM   post #1 of 40
tpolley
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Default old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

dad gave me the old wizard tiller today. it currently has a briggs 5hp horizontal shaft. the tiller is 30-40 years old. the engine was swapped in '96 or '97 with some junk that was behind my buddys dads shop. it hasn't ran since. i don't know the history or condition of the internals of the engine. i spent the evening tinkering with it. it had no spark so i took the flywheel off and the wire from the magneto to the point is bare in spots. i figure i can buy the parts for $30 to $40 and fix the spark. i still dont know the condition of the rest of the engine. for all i know it may not have any rings left. we just moved, i don't want to get off to a bad start with the neighbors by fumigating the neighborhood when i till the garden.

what would y'all do? how much trouble/money could it be to rebuild the engine vs buying a new used engine off craigslist?

should i just bite the bullet and buy the parts to fix the points, a carb kit, and a set of rings and rebuild the engine? i don't know the first thing about small engines, i found instructions on youtube on how to remove/install the points. i'm sure i can stumble my way thru a rebuild. plus i have a few mechanic friends that may help.

say i do buy a newer engine, do they all have the same bolt pattern and shaft diameter and key? do i have to stick with a briggs or can i get a kohler ot tecumseh?
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:47 AM   post #2 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

I'd pull the engine off and keep it together, just in case. In the meantime, try to come up with a replacement engine. You've got 2-3 mos. before you will be tilling, so time is on your side. Even if you go new engine, you can get a clone from Harbor Freight for $99, only twice what the replacement parts for your engine would cost.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:11 AM   post #3 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Gilson, my favorite tiller, makes the tiller I believe. I have owned one for almost 40 years, mine is Sears branded but it is a Gilson.

You could possibly get this going for a little money or it could drain the bank and either way you may end up needing a part that is no longer available. There are a few Gilson tiller parts available as aftermarket, very few.

Look closely for a tiller model number it may begin with GIL. If you need help with the engine post the model, type and code numbers.

A leakdown test will tell you the engines combustion condition prior to disassembly. Sitting as it has it may have fuel varnished stuck valves. Check the fuel tank for rust. Not all carburetor pick-up tubes are available but you would need engine numbers to learn this.

If you learn, it is a Gilson tiller I have five different Gilson manuals I will share free.

I doubt you will find another brand engine that will replace the Briggs. If you do it will be a Tecumseh but that is a whole different set of problems.

Leakdown test:
http://www.supramania.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2229

http://www.kartingtechinfo.com/tech/leakd.htm

They do not get any cheaper than this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94190
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:28 AM   post #4 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

the model number is GIS 6798A76. it's hard to read but thats pretty close.

i saw those harbor freight engines on their web site last night. they're probably much cheaper than a used briggs. i may go that route. i need to take some measurements and see if it'll fit.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:33 AM   post #5 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

That one looks just like mine, mine was completely redone and I gave it to my brother. I got the tractor mounted cub tiller. does yours have the cam pulley on engine for reverse, (much harder to find) or does it use the reverse belt tension arrangement?
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:44 AM   post #6 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizard99 View Post
That one looks just like mine, mine was completely redone and I gave it to my brother. I got the tractor mounted cub tiller. does yours have the cam pulley on engine for reverse, (much harder to find) or does it use the reverse belt tension arrangement?
i can't figure out how it works to be honest. i grew up watching my dad use it but i've never used it myself. it's supposed to be a 2 speed with "power" reverse but the only lever only has two positions: forward (go) and reverse (stop). the lever moves a belt tensioner. i don't see how to put it in reverse or how to change speeds. i will take some pictures of it tonight and post them. maybe you can tell me if something is missing. if it is it may not be worth fixing up if i can't get the parts.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:48 AM   post #7 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

yep, sounds just like mine, my bolens had a cam pulley but my extreme heavy duty wizard had a weird belt tensioner pulley arrangement for reverse. It was my brother that actually figured it out after I gave it to him. I will ask him.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:00 PM   post #8 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

I'd just file the points and tape the bare wire up,see if it has spark,and RUN it till it blows..I have 4 of those old Briggs 5 HP engines and they are pretty tough ,they do smoke some ,but not so bad they'll fog the yard up..these engines are still pretty common and you can probably find parts in a mower shops "boneyard" or other places,or new,as a last resort..all that goes wrong with these is the points corroding,or the carb diaphram goes bad from sitting and the carbs need cleaning..as long as the valves seat ,arent stuck,and it has some compession,I bet it'll run once you get spark back in it..

If yours has the "double crankshafts" your pretty much stuck using that engine,or a Tecumseh with the same setup..otherwise you'll lose reverse,and I'm not so sure a honda clone will have the same size crank or the bolt holes needed to mount the belt idlers,etc either..be a lot easier to fix whats there,in my opinion..I doubt a "crappy" engine was swapped onto it,who'd bother wasting their time doing that??..
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:52 PM   post #9 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

I agree with Tractor-Holic My MTD tiller looks alot like your wizard and it has a 5 hp Brigs on it . It smoke some and I do put a condenser in it once a year ( It has been like that with the condenser since it was new 30 years ago .) but it works hard with little head aces . It is a good work horse but it is like a bucking bronco the way it throws me around . I figger a condenser is little to pay for all of the work it gives back .
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:44 PM   post #10 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Your tiller looks almost exactly like mine that I acquired from a friend about 10 years ago, it sat in his back yard for years with out being used and he was hauling it off to the junkyard, fortunately I showed up before he left with it, I took it home clean the gas tank and carb, changed the oil and gear oil and put a new spark plug in it and believe it or not it started on the first pull; it has been a good strong tiller for me ever since, it smokes a little but does the job well. It is the power reverse model with both forward and reverse operating on pulley tensioners with the drive pulleys fitted directly on crank shaft. I have never had the reverse belt on it but it looks like it would need to be mounted in a figure eight to function properly. I would love to find a user/parts manual for it.

I can take pics and post them if you like.

Here is the info on the tiller.
STOCK CODE: 4XC 6790
MODEL NUMBER: GIS-6790A76
SERIAL: 757183
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:03 PM   post #11 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Quote:
you can get a clone from Harbor Freight for $99
If you don't want to get too deep into your current engine, I'd agree with this strategy. However, there isn't much to be lost by trying to file the points, insulate any bare wires, see if you have spark, and checking compression & leakdown.

The other strategy is to keep watching craiglist or the classifieds. I picked this beauty up for $50 the other day. She's a little small, but works beautifully!

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Old 03-29-2010, 10:52 AM   post #12 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFS View Post
Your tiller looks almost exactly like mine that I acquired from a friend about 10 years ago, it sat in his back yard for years with out being used and he was hauling it off to the junkyard, fortunately I showed up before he left with it, I took it home clean the gas tank and carb, changed the oil and gear oil and put a new spark plug in it and believe it or not it started on the first pull; it has been a good strong tiller for me ever since, it smokes a little but does the job well. It is the power reverse model with both forward and reverse operating on pulley tensioners with the drive pulleys fitted directly on crank shaft. I have never had the reverse belt on it but it looks like it would need to be mounted in a figure eight to function properly. I would love to find a user/parts manual for it.

I can take pics and post them if you like.

Here is the info on the tiller.
STOCK CODE: 4XC 6790
MODEL NUMBER: GIS-6790A76
SERIAL: 757183

I've got an old Wizard Tiller as well. Looks very much like the poster's pics, except mine looks in a little better shape. I'll try to take some pics and post as well later this week. Yes the power reverse belt is supposed to be a figure 8, but I don't think mine is on. (I just till going one way.) I have the manual for mine also. It doesn't get much use, so it should look better than the poster's tiller.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:16 AM   post #13 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Reminds me of the one I got from the inlaws.. I ended up using a solid state ignition system in it.. Works like a champ.. Especially after I drained the milky white oil out of it.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:46 PM   post #14 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

Stan the Air Man:

Thanks for the Leak-Down Links...
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:29 PM   post #15 of 40
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Default Re: old wizard tiller with 5hp b/s. rebuild or repower?

wildncrazyguy, pictures would be appreciated for a possible restore. i gave up on the engine. i probably could get it going. i'm trying to convince the wife it would be cheaper and easier to replace it with a horrible freight subaru ohv engine. she wants to buy a new used tiller. the only new used tiller we can afford will be a cheap pos. i'd rather repower and repaint the old wizard. anyone know if all briggs and stratton 5hp horizontal shaft engines have the same shaft diameter or if they vary? what is the diameter. 3/4?
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Last edited by tpolley; 03-29-2010 at 02:45 PM.
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