The First Pull

| November/December 2000

2224 Wyandotte Drive Oakville, Ontario L6L 2T5

In the late 1920s Briggs and Stratton realized the need to build a larger engine with a higher power rating. The F series engines that were currently being constructed were only rated at ? to ? HP. The company's result was the model Q. It turned out to be Briggs and Stratton's first flat head engine. As large as this engine was constructed, its power rating was still only 1 HP.

I wanted to add one of these engines to my B&S collection, and finally found one for sale at the Portland, Indiana, show on August 25, 1995. Del Packard, a long time B&S collector, had Model Q engine serial number 3303 for sale at this show. Once we had settled on a price, Del loaded it into a cart and hauled it out to the parking lot for me with his lawn tractor.

Restoration of this engine did not begin until January 11, 1998. In dismantling this engine, I found that it had been restored at least once in the past. As the engine came apart I discovered the usual mixture of old and new bolts, missing pieces, and the fact that the drive side shroud had rusted badly and had been repaired. The muffler, gas tank, rope start pulley and crankcase breather were all homemade or non-original.

The shroud repair consisted of an oversize aluminum plate that had been riveted to the surrounding metal on the inside then levelled with an abundance of plastic body filler. This repair was functional but, being somewhat of a purist, I decided that I would endeavour to repair the hole with sheet metal. I had never attempted this type of repair before but, after glass beading the area, I started by cutting back the feathered edges to clean metal of full thickness.

Next I bought new sheet metal of the correct gauge and cut a piece to the exact shape of the hole so that the fit was as close as possible. After clamping the piece in place, I brazed it to the shroud and found that, regardless of how many clamps I used, the new metal piece did buckle slightly in some places due to the heat. Once the smoothing and final finish coat of paint was applied, I was pleased with the result.


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