My Briggs Model 'KH'

Newer Engine Retrofitted just for the Fun of It

| May/June 2004

For several years, I toyed with the idea of building an engine out of an air compressor. Each time I saw an article in Gas Engine Magazine about another homemade creation, the interest was rekindled, only to fade each time for a lack of resources - especially because I didn't own an air compressor.

After I completed a Briggs & Stratton Model FH restoration for a friend (January 2004 GEM), I set my sights on an overhead-valve Briggs. Since retirement income precluded the purchase of such an engine, I decided to make my own and call it a Briggs & Stratton Model 'KH.'

I started with the crankcase from a 3 HP horizontal-shaft Briggs & Stratton Model 82000, but it was missing several components including valves and a connecting rod. I appropriated these parts, as well as the crankshaft, flywheel and ignition coil, from a 3 HP Briggs & Stratton vertical-shaft lawn-mower engine of older vintage.

When I told local old-iron enthusiast Don Spero what I was planning to build, he said he had something that just might be useful for this project. The next day, he presented me with a sealed box. When I opened it, I found a brand new aluminum head, complete with installed valves and attached rocker arms! A quick check revealed the head was made for a cylinder with the same 2.375-inch bore as the block I was using to make the Model 'KH.'

Getting to Work

One problem became immediately apparent, however. My original plan was to use an atmospheric-intake valve and bring the exhaust-valve pushrod up through the original valve guide. That plan was impossible with the new head assembly since its valves are mounted at an angle, and the rocker arms protrude beyond the side of the head.

About this time, John Heath's article about his Curtis Crudo homemade engine appeared in the September 2003 GEM. Taking some inspiration from John's Crudo design, I decided to move the tinning gears and camshaft outside the crankcase as he had done.


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