the amazing flathead Briggs

In the past I've tinkered with quite a few Briggs engines, ranging from 3 HP to 15 HP- and they never cease to amaze me.
We have a 3 HP and 5 HP that we put on a go-kart, that hauled an adult and child quite briskly with a cent. clutch and chain drive- to the point it overpowered the chassis.
The 12-15 HP engines are real torque monsters in the 2 tractors I've worked on.
What amazes me about them is how simple they are- anyone out there soup these up, if so, what results ?
I was given (2) 3HP Briggs that were both blown up and not running, that were attached to water pumps. The head and valve seat on one was broken, the other had a broken connecting rod. I took the rod/piston from one, used the crankcase and head from another...
started right up and ran- and hauled ass on the go kart, with 2 people on it.
amazing machines. Now I'm itching to get a Ford flathead V-8...
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UNIVERSAL MIND wrote:

Flatheads are simple, but dated machines. Ford flatheads are a real PITA compared to modern pushrods or overhead cams. Some flatheads are very great looking machines- Indian flathead motorcycle engines are one. The finned head is a great looking piece, but you loose quite a bit of horsepower which is why most motors are overhead valves now.
The briggs engines are simple because they can be. Easy to keep working, cheap to maintain.
Kirb
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yes, I'm aware the OHV engines make about twice as much power and breathe better, but the flatheads are way easier to work on- and less parts means more reliable
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UNIVERSAL MIND wrote:

I'll put a honda OHV against a briggs any day of the week. I work for a union contractor and even the field workers want the Honda engines. WAY more reliable in heavy use. Never had to tear one apart in 10 years. Briggs? not the same fate.
I guess if you want to work on them the briggs are great, but I'll take a Honda if I never want to see the insides....
Kirb
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Now lets compare price. Both are great but not in the same price bracket. In most cases for residential use the Briggs will outlast the equipment it is mounted on. But for lasting power and starting ease the Honda is worth the extra buck.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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Mel M Kelly wrote:

When you have 4 guys in the field costing your $150 per hour, saving $200 on a generator gets burnt up fast if it won't run. I started buying honda engines for my home equip and never had one regret. I don't have to mess with them- change oil, maybe a spark plug. That's it. Starts everytime.
Kirb
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