Portable engine eliminates problems caused by fuel contamination

  • 18-Jan-2010 02:53 EST

The TransportGuard switch (red handle) keeps fuel from leaking into the engine during transport.

Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power has expanded its Vanguard line of single-cylinder engines and unveiled a system designed to reduce problems in portable equipment. The line includes a combined ignition and fuel shutoff valve that will help keep gasoline out of crankcases.

The TransportGuard system simultaneously shuts off the ignition and the fuel, removing the chance that users will forget to turn off the fuel valve before they transport portable equipment. That feature is important since gasoline can leak into engines that are vibrated while being moved.

Automatically shutting the fuel line keeps fuel where it belongs, reducing the possibility that leaking fuel will cause fouled plugs, hydraulic lock, cylinder wash down, and dilution of crankcase oil.

Fuel in the oil drastically reduces viscosity, causing increased friction and wear that shortens engine life. TransportGuard can save equipment owners and rental firms money by slashing downtime and repair costs.

TransportGuard will first be employed on four Vanguard single-cylinder engines with gross power ratings ranging from 5.5 to 10 hp (4 to 7 kW). Other aspects of the engines have also been redesigned.

The water-repellent air cleaner now offers 27% more filter area than competitive units while also employing a triple-seal design that decreases dirt, dust, and debris intake. The metal fuel tank has been mounted directly to the engine block. The tank has been revised to reduce emissions and save fuel. A sediment filter traps sediment in a clear bowl that is easily drained with a valve that doesn’t require tools.

On the engine itself, deeper ribs on the cylinder head add strength and increase cooling. A forged crankshaft with dual ball bearings reduces friction and heat. The PTO bearing races are heat-treated to enhance lifetimes. An oil sensor automatically further protects engines by shutting down when oil is low.

Briggs & Stratton has also expanded its Big Block V-Twin engine line with horizontal shaft models that have 25 to 35 hp gross (19 to 26 kW) as well as vertical shaft models in the 30- to 36-hp gross (22- to 27-kW) range. The new members of the line feature a low rpm engine option that cuts fuel consumption while also reducing noise and vibration.

The low rpm option reduces engine speed from the standard 3600 to 3200 rpm. Though engine speed is decreased, revised belt pulley ratios keep the same speed for mower blades. This technique creates a “reserve torque” that can be used when the machine handles heavier workloads, much like an overdrive gear in a car.

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