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Big Block Talk! Everything about swapping a big block engine into your cart!



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Unread 02-27-2014, 08:24 PM   #31
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

Jason--I feel your pain. I worked on an 18 vanguard once that drove me nuts for almost a week. It was doing pretty close to what your engine is doing. The engine I worked on didn't have 30 minutes run time on it. It was most of the time hard to start and when it did start, it would backfire most of the time through the exhaust. It was only on one cylinder. The very last thing I checked was the valve lash. One cylinder was too tight. I tried to set the lash but was having a little trouble. I then decided to read the book and instead of setting them at TDC on the compression stroke like I was doing, I found out you have to set them at 1/4 inch past top dead center on the compression stroke. The engine ran at 3600 rpm all the time in the heat so I set the valves at .006 instead of .004. It ran like a top. I'm not saying this is the answer for you but even though you said you checked the lash, it might be worth your while to check again. Try setting them at .006 and see what happens. If someone had told me to reset the valves on a new engine I would told them they were crazy. Just trying to help.

Dave
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Unread 02-28-2014, 11:39 AM   #32
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

Dave, thank you. i would have never guessed that small of a change would make a world of difference as you described! luckily i have all weekend to work on this beast so i will be diving into it tonight.

i will setup all valves to .006" and give it a go. thank you for the explanation, i needed someone to put it in a perspective like that. i came here for help and i appreciate everyones input

and just to make sure i am checking and setting the lash correctly what is the procedure for these engines? i have asked local mechanics and friends around here and everyone seems to have a different opinion or method.

Jason
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Unread 02-28-2014, 11:44 AM   #33
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

I had a similar problem with a 25 hp motor. This motor had 2 separate ignition coils. One coil was going bad.
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Unread 02-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #34
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

Jason---Here are a couple of references:

This one is straight from Briggs. Look down toward the bottom of the page.

http://www.vanguardengines.com/service-support/frequently-asked-questions/answer/servicing-the-valves/?body_0$tbKeyword=

This one is from a mud engine company. It gives what different lash settings will net you.

http://www.mudbuddy.com/opencart/ind...y&path=117_120

I have no idea if this is the problem with your engine but I thought it was worth a try. Good Luck

Dave

Edit: Don't know why the first one didn't come through as a link. Maybe it's cause I'm old and don't know what I'm doing. Copy and paste it I guess.
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Unread 03-01-2014, 03:59 PM   #35
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

ok that seemed to really help. i can feel both sides warm up and no backfiring. after reading more into it i was measuring the gap wrong at TDC and this resulted in my readings being off. Three of the valves measured .003 and one (on cyl 1, the prob child) read .001!. i have them all set to .006-.007 and she seems to be on the healthier side of things! throttle response is much better to, i can feel the 23hp now!

i do appreciate the perseverance to push me to check the lash, i never in a million years think to check the lash on a new engine!

i still seem to have a hard start issue though. i was hoping this would resolve itself with the valves but no such luck. even if the engine is warm she struggles and i have to play with the choke and throttle to get her to fire over.

what should the plug gap be? these are standard champion plugs from B&S.
EDIT: nevermind, i found .030 on B&S website

any suggestions?

also, what is a good idle RPM to shoot for? about 1200?

jason
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Unread 03-01-2014, 07:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

check the flywheel key I've seen crazier crap happen but no seriously check the woodruff key at the flywheel annnnndddd a cheap fix too :thumbsup:
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Unread 03-01-2014, 07:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

Jason---glad resetting the valves helped. If you read the info on the mud engine site I gave a link to, you read that valve lash is:

.004 for higher speed
.006 for more low end torque
.005 for middle of the road

You make the choice. Now you know how critical the lash is on these engines. My advice is to set the lash exactly like you want given the above choices not going over .006. Then if you still have a starting issue at least you are confident your valve train is right.

These big block guys can help you with idle RPM. I have no idea what it should be.

Good luck with it

Dave
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Unread 03-01-2014, 09:15 PM   #38
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

ok not sure how to check the woodruff key, assuming i need to take off everything attached to the flywheel?

i reset all 4 valves to exactly .005. this is on a street bike so i need both high speed and deep torque to get my big butt going!

jason
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Unread 03-01-2014, 09:20 PM   #39
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

This motor is on a bike?
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Unread 03-01-2014, 09:24 PM   #40
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Default Re: intermittent dead cylinder issue- vanguard 23hp

yea, i am restoring and repowering a 1962 cushman silver eagle. my dad had one when he was kid so we repowered one for him with an 18hp vanny (that motor had/has NO problems unlike mine) for nostalgia sake. then i came across an old 1962 for a really good deal and thought it'd be cool to ride with him instead of my harley.
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