4271 Rutland Dunn Road, Oregon, Wisconsin 53575
I am a first-time writer to GEM. I would like to share my experience with a Briggs & Stratton model FH kick-pedal engine I recently purchased.
After I put an ad in our local paper, a fellow called me with some old engines he had. The FH caught my eye as I had been searching for one. It appeared complete except for the fuel line. After checking it over it seemed as though it was frozen up. I took a chance anyway and bought it, hoping I could save it. It is a 1927 model.
As usual, I immediately started working on it when I got it home. After I removed the pedal and shroud, the flywheel removal was difficult because the wax substance surrounding the coil had melted onto the flywheel, giving the impression the engine was frozen. Much to my delight, it wasn't.
I cleaned the wax substance from the inside of the flywheel and the armature shoes. Then I sanded the points with some 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The plug wire was badly weather-checked, so I replaced it. I searched for a fuel line but could not locate one. I made one from 3/8' copper tubing. The tubing was slightly small, so I brazed a coupling on each end making it fit nearly perfect. I siliconed each end to prevent any fuel leaks.
I looked in the fuel tank it looked very rusty. I decided to remove the tank from the block and clean it thoroughly. I used a wire brush attachment on my drill to clean it. It's a good thing I took it apart, because the baffle between the fuel tank and the block was pitted. After sanding it lightly, I noticed some pinholes in it. I applied some JB Weld over the entire pitted area. The next day I coated the fuel tank with some gas tank sealer and dipped the baffle in it to further ensure that it would not rust or leak. I replaced the rusted and kinked chain in the kick-pedal, made a new gasket for the fuel tank and put it back together. After filling the crankcase with oil and filing the fuel tank, I tried to start it. Nothing!
I checked for spark, and it was very weak. I replaced the condenser with a comparable one I had and tried it again. After about four or five kicks on the pedal, it started. Only a small engine enthusiast know the feeling I felt when it started.
I'm guessing the engine probably has not run in 40 years or so. I am currently searching for other style Briggs & Stratton overhead engines or Maytag engines. I also would like to encourage readers of GEM to write more articles about kick-pedal engines.