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Are new Briggs engines any good?

2026 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  john9001
After a long and ugly battle with Home Depot, I ended up trading my 3-y/o Powermate 5kW/6.25kW generator with it's Subaru EX30 engine for a B&S 5.5kW/8.25kW generator. The Briggs is powered by a 1450-series engine (14.5 ft-lbs).

I really liked the Subaru engine, and hated to dump it, but the case seal was bad and the HD contractors were too incompetent to fix it. The motor weeped a bit of oil from the bad seal, but was maintained and tuned exquisitely (by me) and ran like a Swiss watch. I would've done it myself, but it was still under engine warranty - unfortunately, the small-engine shop HD uses are a bunch of blithering boobs. HD ultimately offered to take my generator back and give me a new one. The closest thing they had was the B&S (Storm Responder).

I'm really not a big fan of B&S motors in general, at least not the new ones (especially compared to something like the Subaru EX30). As an emergency piece of equipment, this thing needs to run good and be reliable / trouble-free. Should I be worried, or are these engines OK?

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Not sure how well it relates but I have a 2005 snow blower with an 8.5 hp briggs. My experience is poor. It blew a head gasket last year. I replaced the head gasket but now it runs very lean, needs at least 1/2 choke to idle smoothly (idles is a loos term since it runs at max rpm's at all times, no throttle).

I'm guessing that the lean condition caused the head gasket to fail due to high exhaust temp which is where the gasket failed. When I bought the blower it had sat for a year or two because the original owner developed heart problems and was no longer able to run his snowblower. It seemed to run fine the first 2 years I had it, and I thought I kept stabilized fuel in it and started it every so often in the summer to keep things fresh but I guess it wasn't enough.

I agree with what red posted earlier about the carb being very sensitive to ethanol. I shared the story because I thought it gave more credibility to my opinion than to just say that I agree with red. I have the fuel shut off valve ready to be installed when I tear down the carb. Dry carb storage for me from now on. Good thing I have a 38 year old blower that runs like brand new to step in when the 7 year old blower is broken.

As generators by there nature are rarely ever run, and always stored for extended periods I would recommend strongly that you get a fuel shut off, drain the carb, and run dry every single time you use it (after).

Slight tangent, can closing the fuel shut off and running with the carb plug in do damage?? I would think that of the fuel pump is pulling on a sealed system it would be bad (I have an outboard that I am afraid to unplug the fuel line and let it run until it dies for this reason).
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