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post #1 of 59 Old 02-18-2006, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

I have a 2004 Craftsman GT 5000 with a Briggs & Stratton 26 hp ELS engine. I have been having a problem with dust bypassing the air filter and getting into the engine. I have been chasing this problem for some time now and I think I finally found where it was coming from. The air filter and intake passage of this engine were inspected and cleaned 1 hour prior to when these photos were taken. The pre-filter was also cleaned and re-oiled at that time. I had been mulching leaves and was creating a lot of dust, but in a worst case scenario it should plug the filter, not bypass it. Luckilly the engine still runs like new. I recall someone else either here or at GW reporting a problem with dust bypassing the filter on their machine (same engine) also but I have never seen a solution.

The air filter is accessed by unlatching a clasp (yellow part at top of 2nd photo) and removing a plastic cover. The air is supposed to travel up from underneath, through the prefilter and filter, into the plenum created between the cover and filter, and down through the "D" shaped opening in the gasket. Somehow, with everything in place, dust gets past the "extended life filtration system" (extended from what?).

This time I think I found the culprit. The surface that the air filter seals on the underside is composed of two pieces, the large plastic engine cover and the "D" shaped intake passage. Running my finger along the two parallel surfaces that butt against each other, I noticed that the cover surface was not very even with the intake. At one end of the intake (right side in first photo of next post) they were fairly even but on the other end of the straight leg of the "D" the cover surface was higher. I believe the air filter gasket material was compressed too lightly against the intake on that side since the cover surface was compressing it more. The photo inside the intake shows a greater dust concentration on this side.

The large plastic engine cover is secured using shoulder type screws. This method provides little to no ability to shift the cover to align it with the intake. However, these shoulder screws thread into sheet metal pieces that are attached to the engine with standard hex head screws in clearance holes. I attached the cover and loosened the screws holding the sheet metal pieces. I shifted the cover until it was aligned as evenly as possible with the intake surface and secured the screws holding the sheet metal pieces.

Since winter came after that, I have not since used this in dusty conditions. This spring I will find out if it is cured or not. If dust still finds its way in, I may put some RTV silicone in the seam between the cowl (a.k.a. cover) and the intake.

Thanks for reading,
Roger
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post #2 of 59 Old 02-18-2006, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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post #3 of 59 Old 04-28-2008, 11:43 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

Roger,

Dont know if you are still around since this thread is 2/16/06 old.... But here is my story....


This is my first post to this forum.... I believe I have the same exact situation that you have showned here.

Unfortunately, my B&S ELS 725 26HP V-twin 446777-2044E1 started smoking really bad this year with only 3.5yrs of use..... After troubleshooting, the final outcome was to do a engine rebuild.

After I look at your pictures, I now remember my engine doing the same exact thing but dumb me I didnt question it.... and now the result of that is a worn out engine.

I wished I had persued in finding this type of forum when I first gotten my GT5000 (Dec '04) and would have done something prior to the expiration of warranty.


Last week, I have torn down my engine and did a rebuild.

dismount engine
disassembled engine
de-carboned head and piston
de-carboned valves and ports
replaced rings
honed cylinder walls
replaced all gaskets
adjusted valves
etc.....

After the rebuild....... no more smoking.

Now I will have to figure out how to further isolate unclean air from bypassing the filter.

Oh yeah...... I called B&S customer service to see if there was any way they could help me by extending the warranty for the filter desgin flaw..... needless to say they were no help and up hold the cliche of " Customer no Service "....

Anyways..... B&S is on the bottom of my list for now on....

Here is a link to my pictures that I had taken during my rebuild:

http://entertainment.webshots.com/album/563241592ABmjxK
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post #4 of 59 Old 04-29-2008, 10:22 AM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

There seems to be some people that don't beleave there was ever a problem with this engine. But Briggs knows very well about the problem and redesigned the air filter cover to be held on with two screws instead that plastic yellow clip.
They did replace some engines when people noticed the problem early on. But after 3 or 4 years they can lean it to the problem was poor maintance, "so to bad for you" I guess.

Not everyone has dusty conditions so there engine will last a little longer even if it is leaking a little. But my guess is there will be few of these engines that last as long as they where ment to.

I also have the same engine and I have a little loss of power but not to bad yet. Seems the last airfilter I put on looked like it had a thicker seal around the D intake part. But It still sucks dirt.

The problem as I see it is the cover has two plastic progs going into the plastic blower housing. That part is right over the intake spot. The yellow clip is on the other side of the cover and when installed it raise's the cover a little over the intake spot. Plastic changes with heat and then makes the problem worse. This was a new Briggs filter afer 15 hours, you can see the dirt in the intake. You also can see where the filter has a mark showing it sealed, and where the mark stops showing it is not sealing. This dirt is fine and hard to see, I used a light above the camra to help.

Last edited by Small Fry; 05-13-2008 at 04:39 PM.
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post #5 of 59 Old 04-29-2008, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

Hi guys,
Sorry to hear others are having this problem too but I'm not surprised.

GG_GT5000 welcome to MTF!

I adjusted my engine cowl to get the air filter sealing surfaces as flat as possible and worked some RTV silicone into the seam between the cowl sealing surface and the D shaped sealing surface of the air passage to the carburetors. I used a thin strip of metal to wipe sealer into the gap. After that I applied some onto the top surface of the gap and wiped off any excess with my finger. I have run it in some very dusty conditions and it does not get dust in the intake passage anymore. Of course every time I remove the cover to inspect it will drop a chunk of dirt down the intake passage and I need to clean it out again. This happens even after blowing off the outside well with compressed air and cleaning as good as possible before removing the cover. I can tell it is dirt from removing the cover since there are no small particles distributed on the intake walls as seen in the photos.

One thing I plan to do some day is convert this to a K&N universal type filter by making a 90 degree elbow adapter that will connect and seal to the D shaped surface of the intake passage. That way I can be sure I am not getting dirt in the intake, I still don't trust it 100%.

Roger
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post #6 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 07:39 AM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

I had the same problem with a 24 horse Briggs. My solution after finding out the cost to repair it was a new mower. It has a Kolher and before I bought it I made them open up the air cleaner so I could see how it worked. One of these days I am going to tear down the Briggs and see if rings will fix it.
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post #7 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 11:30 AM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

I'd think twice about using a K&N filter--they let more grit pass through than any paper type air filter will..not just my opinion,I've read many tests that they didn't fare so well on..mostly on off roading web sites ,,folks who used them on 4x4 off road trucks,where they get exposed to much more dirt than your average street driven vehicle..

I'd try to improve the seal on the stock air box, instead of spending money on a K&N filter myself..

Robert
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post #8 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 12:21 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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Originally Posted by Tractor-Holic View Post
I'd think twice about using a K&N filter--they let more grit pass through than any paper type air filter will..not just my opinion,I've read many tests that they didn't fare so well on..mostly on off roading web sites ,,folks who used them on 4x4 off road trucks,where they get exposed to much more dirt than your average street driven vehicle..

I'd try to improve the seal on the stock air box, instead of spending money on a K&N filter myself..

Robert
I wonder if one could buy the shroud and air box, (All the plastic) off the new design briggs and put it on this engine ? Seems that would be the best fix ? Gooping it up with silicone is ok If it works, it would make a good ad for Briggs also on you tube.
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post #9 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 07:36 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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I wonder if one could buy the shroud and air box, (All the plastic) off the new design briggs and put it on this engine ? Seems that would be the best fix ?


Small Fry,

Speaking of that..... I had the very same thought.... I think there is a high probability that it would work.... (B&S will NOT confirm this)


My model is: 446777-0244E1

The revised model with the cartridge filter: 44P777-xxxx


I compared my parts list (446700 with type 0025-0365 : MS5195.pdf) vs revised engine parts list (44P700 with type 0016-0884 : MS3581.pdf)

Parts needed:

part# 792301 - Blower Housing (ref# 304) $40.60
part# 795120 - Air Cleaner Cover (ref# 968) $14.50
part# 790697 - Air Cleaner Knob (ref# 467A) $2.30
part# 791237 - Trim Plate (ref# 1040) $11.20
part# 792297 - Intake Elbow (ref# 431) $13.15
part# 790690 - Housing to Elbow screw (ref# 305B) $1.40
part# 792105 - Air Cleaner Cartridge (ref# 445) $17.95
part# 792303 - Pre Cleaner Filter (ref# 967) $5.95


Parts that are identical between the two engines (identical part#):

Flywheel (ref# 23)
Blower screen (ref# 73)
Control bracket (ref# 222)
Intake manifold (ref# 50)


The only part that is questionable (?????):

Blower (ref# 1005) my engine requires #698760 --- new engine requires # 791236

**** not sure what would be the difference between the two blowers.


The total cost in parts would be $110.75 (according to B&S website pricing) ... less/sans any taxes and shipping costs.


Since B&S will NOT verify if this would work...... not knowing the difference between the two blowers would put some questions into the retro fit project.


I'm gonna check my local area if there are any "salvage yards" for lawn tractors.. who knows.... maybe i'll be lucky to find all the parts needed for the retro fit at a lower cost...
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post #10 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 07:53 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

I don't know about K&N filters on off road trucks but they do a real good job on four wheelers and dirt bikes. I used to ride in the Kermit sand hills (TX) and no problems. My grandson has a Honda 250R with a huge K&N on it and it has never sucked any dirt. All that said, if I were converting an engine from it's original filter I would go with a foam filter and a Filter Skin or stretch a panty hose overit. Nothing gets thru those.
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post #11 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 08:59 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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Originally Posted by GG_GT5000 View Post
Small Fry,

Speaking of that..... I had the very same thought.... I think there is a high probability that it would work.... (B&S will NOT confirm this)


My model is: 446777-0244E1

The revised model with the cartridge filter: 44P777-xxxx


I compared my parts list (446700 with type 0025-0365 : MS5195.pdf) vs revised engine parts list (44P700 with type 0016-0884 : MS3581.pdf)

Parts needed:

part# 792301 - Blower Housing (ref# 304) $40.60
part# 795120 - Air Cleaner Cover (ref# 968) $14.50
part# 790697 - Air Cleaner Knob (ref# 467A) $2.30
part# 791237 - Trim Plate (ref# 1040) $11.20
part# 792297 - Intake Elbow (ref# 431) $13.15
part# 790690 - Housing to Elbow screw (ref# 305B) $1.40
part# 792105 - Air Cleaner Cartridge (ref# 445) $17.95
part# 792303 - Pre Cleaner Filter (ref# 967) $5.95


Parts that are identical between the two engines (identical part#):

Flywheel (ref# 23)
Blower screen (ref# 73)
Control bracket (ref# 222)
Intake manifold (ref# 50)


The only part that is questionable (?????):

Blower (ref# 1005) my engine requires #698760 --- new engine requires # 791236

**** not sure what would be the difference between the two blowers.


The total cost in parts would be $110.75 (according to B&S website pricing) ... less/sans any taxes and shipping costs.


Since B&S will NOT verify if this would work...... not knowing the difference between the two blowers would put some questions into the retro fit project.


I'm gonna check my local area if there are any "salvage yards" for lawn tractors.. who knows.... maybe i'll be lucky to find all the parts needed for the retro fit at a lower cost...
Did you notice the 446700's had two different filter lids with that same flat filter. One screws on vs our yellow clip. Check out page 6. Looks like these where the first quick fix before they went to the cartridge filter. I didn't go threw the parts #'s like you did but these parts might work better then what we have now.

http://www.briggsandstratton.com/pdf...100/MS5195.pdf
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post #12 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 09:47 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

The only thing about the other housing that uses the lid with either a 2 bolt or 4 bolt hold down...... is trying to figure out which carburator intake elbow it uses.... There are a total of three intake elbow.... ours and two others... it is trying to figure out which of the two elbow, 431B or 431C, goes to which lid ( 2 or 4 bolt lid ).... Then you still have the issue of the filter being a flat panel type vs the cartridge. I have seen a B&S 23HP Intek motor on one of those zero turn rider with the new cartridge filter system at my locak Northern tools retail store and it seems like a much better filter system. There is alot less contact sealing area to go wrong in the cartridge type vs our flat panel type.

For now... im gonna just do with what I have and try to ghetto fix/address the problem before investing all that dollars into a whole new filter system.
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post #13 of 59 Old 04-30-2008, 11:38 PM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

Yup, Briggs knew there was a problem. but most of these engines crapped out within a year, or 2, and were passing oil like mad.

Briggs always replaced the motor with the new style, with the oval cartridge, and screw on cover, no charge.

3.5 years...no way briggs is touching that one, and rightfully so.

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post #14 of 59 Old 05-01-2008, 01:07 AM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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Originally Posted by RED-85-Z51 View Post
Yup, Briggs knew there was a problem. but most of these engines crapped out within a year, or 2, and were passing oil like mad.

Briggs always replaced the motor with the new style, with the oval cartridge, and screw on cover, no charge.

3.5 years...no way briggs is touching that one, and rightfully so.

For this type of engine and to be marketed as a "ELS (Extended Life Series)" brand.... I would have expected to recieve at least 8~9 years of trouble free service... But since there is a design flaw and they knew it, then the "ELS" is false claim...... I got only 3.5 years of service... I guess I was one of the lucky ones then.... yeah, right, sure....

as a customer...... guess the next time around.... there isnt going to be a B&S mounted in my next tractor.... " rightfully so "....
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post #15 of 59 Old 05-01-2008, 06:05 AM
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Re: Briggs & Stratton 26hp ELS air filter problem

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Originally Posted by GG_GT5000 View Post
For this type of engine and to be marketed as a "ELS (Extended Life Series)" brand.... I would have expected to recieve at least 8~9 years of trouble free service... But since there is a design flaw and they knew it, then the "ELS" is false claim...... I got only 3.5 years of service... I guess I was one of the lucky ones then.... yeah, right, sure....

as a customer...... guess the next time around.... there isnt going to be a B&S mounted in my next tractor.... " rightfully so "....
This is one of the key reasons I sold my nice 2004 GT5000 with just a few hours on it with this design engiine, did not want to have the problem or spend $$ fixing a new machine.
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