Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:17 PM   post #1 of 6
jerry_nj
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Default Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

A couple of days back I resurrected a thread I started in 2009 when I replaced the Head Gasket in my 2005 (about 200 hours) B&S 18.5 Intek cylinder engine. It was burning oil badly. It started by blowing smoke when I engaged the mower. In the end it blew visible smoke all the time. The head gasket replacement cured the problem, if only temporarily. The replacement now has about 100 hours on it and it started blowing smoke when the mower deck is engaged. I restate the problem here under a subject that may attract the knowledge/experience that I need.

I have read this engine has a history of head gasket failures. It seems to me that B&S would come up with a stronger gasket or something to protect its "good name". Has anyone seen anything on a repair that would last more that a few tens of hours?

Is there any advice on how to check the web (B&S Web Support) to see if the company has taken any steps to mitigate this very poor design?
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1989 Craftsman LT 12 HP 38" 2-blade deck - Retired

1993 Craftsman GT6000 18 HP B&S twin L-head 44" 3-blade deck, - Avatar and duty GT
2005 Craftsman DYT4000 42" 2-blade deck - B&S 18.5 Intek - new head gasket twice in 500 hr. Was hit by a Pine tree blown down by Hurricane Sandy Oct.2012. But I now have the PYT9000 and a real mowing machine
2011 Craftsman PYT9000 B&S 26 HP Professional and 46" 2-blade deck. Wife said "ANOTHER TRACTOR?"
I replied "Yep"
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:08 PM   post #2 of 6
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Default Re: Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

Not sure about the 18.5 Intek or B&S Web Support. I took both my 18's to a machine shop to have the cyl's bored. I don't see why not let a machine shop check the Cyl and head fit, and make sure you torque to spec, then run the engine up to operating temp, let cool and re-torque.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:40 PM   post #3 of 6
ben2go
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Default Re: Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

A check to see how true the surfaces are would help.Years ago,when I was in vocational school,we used something to coat the head gasket on an old big single Wisconsin engine.

Ahhhh,here it is.

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Old 04-23-2011, 06:45 AM   post #4 of 6
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Default Re: Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

Proper Torque specs and torqueing sequence is essential. This should take care of the problem
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:55 AM   post #5 of 6
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Default Re: Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

I did take some care to torque in sequence, but I never checked again after running the engine. I thought I'd check it a day back (ya, gasket is likely already destroyed) but noted I have to remove the exhaust pipe to get to some of the bolts. That and the fact I couldn't fine the torque sequence or correct torque lead me to just "test" the bolts I could reach and all seemed tight.

Remember, the engine gasket failed out of the factory with about 200 hours on it. I have head this is common with this particular engine. i.e., a bad/weak design. Or, the factory isn't installing the head correctly on some engines in this line.
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1989 Craftsman LT 12 HP 38" 2-blade deck - Retired

1993 Craftsman GT6000 18 HP B&S twin L-head 44" 3-blade deck, - Avatar and duty GT
2005 Craftsman DYT4000 42" 2-blade deck - B&S 18.5 Intek - new head gasket twice in 500 hr. Was hit by a Pine tree blown down by Hurricane Sandy Oct.2012. But I now have the PYT9000 and a real mowing machine
2011 Craftsman PYT9000 B&S 26 HP Professional and 46" 2-blade deck. Wife said "ANOTHER TRACTOR?"
I replied "Yep"
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:45 PM   post #6 of 6
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Default Re: Is there a "fix" for the B&S 18.5 HP Head Gasket?

Proper torque is essential but it won't make up for a faulty design. It's the bolt pattern that results in the failure.
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