RC Lawnmower part 1: How to rebuild the Briggs and Stratton Vanguard engine

Since rebuilding motorcycles is another hobby of mine, I decided to start building the radio controlled lawnmower using a cheap one with a seized up engine. I made this a tutorial to help anyone else who might need to rebuild one of these engines. Mind you I am no small engines expert (I am a motorcycle mechanic, really) but I included what I feel is everything you need to know to fix one of these yourself.

I want to give a shout out to Jacks Small engines here. Their site was very easy to use and they got the parts to me in record time.

The rest of the series will focus on the robotic system of the mower. I will be publishing my code as well as all of my work so should you want to do this to your machine, you will have all the tools ready to go.



30 thoughts on “RC Lawnmower part 1: How to rebuild the Briggs and Stratton Vanguard engine

  1. I was looking at different videos and came across this one. What caught my eye was the beautiful Honda Super 90. It was my first bike and I loved it. Glad to see one again. I enjoyed the video and learned a lot about the inside workings of the cam shaft and tappets.

  2. 17:27 According to Briggs and Stratton, the exhaust push rod is aluminum.

    " Step 7: Install the push rods through the push rod guides and into the tappets. Type of Push Rod Based on Engine:

    Single Cylinder OHV: Model Series 260700, 261700 upper push rod (exhaust) is hollow. Model Series 28N700, 28Q700, 28U700, 28W700, 287707, 310700, 312700, 313700 exhaust push rod has a red band of paint for identification and is steel.
    Intek™ V-Twin OHV: Intake push rods are aluminum.
    Vanguard™ V-Twin: All models (except 540000, 610000) exhaust valve push rods are aluminum. Model Series 540000 and 610000, all push rods aluminum. "


  3. Hello! Thanks for the helpful video. 👍👍👍 Could you tell me is it possible in Briggs&Stratton Vanguard to extract the pistons with their connecting rods from the inside – through the crankcase, after removing the crankshaft? This is in order not to remove the cylinder head. The thing is, I need to swap crankshafts from one B&S Vanguard 14 to another B&S Vanguard 16. Both engines are in good condition, crankshaft replacement is required due to the different shape of the tail section (cylinder and cone). Changing 4 cylinder head gaskets is quite expensive. 🔧
    Thank you very much!!!

  4. Why didn't you just clean the aluminum off the crankshaft instead of replacing it? Also I noticed the engine must have been running hot due to the grass clippings on the cylinders.. Not good, a cleaning access plug should be installed in the engine shroud. When honing the cylinders use a 60 degree crosshatch patern , it helps to hold oil on the cylinder walls. And don't use a scotch brite lottery pad to clean gaskets because the pad particles will cause premature wear on the rotating assembly.B&S suggest setting valve lash after top dead center of crossover to 1/4 inch after top dead center.

  5. 9:00 how NOT to install pistons.. you weaken the fragile CAST IRON piston rings..
    Antiseize on head bolts? 🤦🏻‍♂️ so much for longevity.. your head bolts will eventually vibrate loose..

  6. if you soak that crank in lye water it will eat all the aluminum off and wont hurt the steel.i do that a lot and most cranks are not hurt so you can re use them

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *