Briggs & Stratton, 23-HP V-Twin Vertical Shaft Engine
May 1, 2010 (Updated May 9, 2011)
Review by termy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Easy To Start! Runs Excellent! Burns Clean! Reliable! Quiet Running! Lots Of Power!
The Bottom Line: This is a quality engine for tractors. It has the power and the torque to get the job done. As long as its maintained, it will also be reliable!
This is a Briggs & Stratton, 23-HP V-Twin vertical shaft, overhead-valve Intek engine, that are primarily installed on tractor mowers. To be more specific, this is the engine that is installed on my Husqvarna YTH2348 tractor. I have owned my Husqvarna for nearly 3-years, and have had no problems with my engine.
Recommend this product?
Originally, Husqvarna and Craftsman, were installing the first Intek V-twins on tractors, which utilized the clip on air filter design housing. This became a huge problem because, the air cleaner housings did not seal properly, which allowed dirt to get into the engine, thus causing premature engine failure. While the engines were covered under warrantee, B&S neglected to do a recall on them, the same way Toyota neglected to do a recall on their recent vehicle snafu.
Though B&S was not hit as hard as Toyota was in law-suites, B&S quickly took action, and began construction of a new engine design, this became the Intek V-twin extended life series, or as it is most recently known, XRD (Extreme Reliability & Durability) series. Though B&S didn't want to ever admit their short comings, to those who brought their machines into the dealers, I appreciate that they corrected the problem.
The extended life series & XRD series engine, utilize the 4-wing nut air filter cover housing. So, if you are planning on purchasing an older model tractor, look out for that. If you see the yellow clip design, run away fast!
COMPANY INFO: Founded in 1908, Briggs & Stratton has been one of the most widely known small engine companies, in the world. Located in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, B&S in my opinion, has been making some of the best engines to go onto lawn mowers, pressure washers, ETC. Their original cast-iron engines were known for their durability. However, the company's success was not established, until following the development of lightweight aluminum engines in 1953.
FEATURES: This engine has a 724cc-displacement equal to 23-HP. It has electric starting, (12-Volt) and uses separate choke mechanism. This is a EXT/XRD series engine, Intek Overhead-valve, vertical shaft. It has a 3.12 cubic inch bore. It has a twin-cylinder design. This engine uses a dual-element air filtration system. First line of defense is the pre-foam cleaner, the second filter is a automotive-pleated style. Runs on gasoline. Electronic ignition. Spin on oil filter, and full pressure lubrication system. Oil capacity is 64-ounces. This engine uses a mechanical governor, and vacuum fuel pump. Uses a float carburetor. Auto compression release, 3,400 top speed RPM. (Revolutions Per Minute)
Manufacture Warranty: 2-Years Consumer/ 1-Year Commercial.
Husqvarna Warranty: 1-Year Parts & Labor
MY THOUGHTS: I was very lucky when I purchased my tractor, as at the time, I didn't know about B&S's snafu. I ended up getting their extended-life series installed, instead of the POS engine design they first came up with! It really makes you think, weather or not they spend the time these days to test these engines? Its one thing to test an engine on a dynamometer, its another to put it through, real world experience.
So, obviously, B&S intended us to do that part for them, and paid us by replacing our engines under warrantee. They should have just instituted a recall instead of hiding the truth. Hopefully, after Toyota's very well known snafu, all companies have had a wake up call. And consumer reports should up their game as well, as we rely on them to bring us this information!
THE AIR CLEANER: What I like most about this engine is how easy it is to get to the air filter. All you got to do is unscrew 4-wing nuts, and the cover pops off. The first filter you will see is the cartridge filter, the second filter bellow it, is the foam pr-cleaner filter. The pre-cleaner is designed to trap the large sized particles, while the cartridge filter is designed to trap the micro particles. Because of the new housing design, I have had no troubles with the air cleaner, and the filters are easy to clean via compressed air.
THE OIL FILTER: I like the fact that this engine utilizes an oil filter. This means that any contaminates that get into the oil, such as dirt, or internal oil sludge, will get trapped in the oil filter. They are designed the same way an automotive filter is, except they are smaller. The oil filters are around 2.5"in diameter. This type of process works because, this engine has a full pressure lubrication system via an internal oil pump.
THE FUEL PUMP: In order to feed this engine with enough fuel, especially since most tractors have fuel tanks in the back, this engine utilizes a vacuum fuel pump. There is a tube that comes from the left side valve cover, to the fuel pump. This transfers the crankcase pulses to the fuel pump. This is what powers the pump, to pull fuel from the lines and into the engine.
THE CARBURETOR: This engine uses a float type, dual barrel carburetor. This design, allows it to feed two cylinders simultaneously, and allows for less hesitation on throttle acceleration. Because the EPA has new regulations now days, governing the use of operating engines, the EPA implemented a new law, that nobody can be able to adjust a small engine carburetor. They feel that too many people have been adjusting their carburetors too richly, thus causing extra C02 gasses.
While, this does improve clean burn engine efficiency, it also is a downfall. If you live high up in the mountains, your engine will not be able to run. You will have to take it into your dealer, to have them replace the main jet inside the carburetor, and it will not be covered under warrantee. Where as, back in the old days, all you had to do, is adjust your mixture screw one turn richer.
THE SPARKPLUGS: This engine takes two sparkplugs, one on the left side, and one on the right. They are installed at the front of the engine, which makes it easy for me to install and remove them. The engine takes Champion RC12YC sparkplugs, and you should replace them once every 50-hours of use.
MY EXPERIENCE: So far, in the almost 3-years I have owned it, this engine has been pretty reliable. The only problem I had with it in the beginning was it was hard to start. This is because my dealer failed to adjust the overhead-valves. I removed the valve covers, and adjusted my intake and exhaust valves, on both sides of the engine, to 005. Yes, on paper it will state to do it to 010 - 012, but in real world practices, it needs to be 005 - 004. Properly adjusted valves, allows the engine to start with no hesitation, which is less wear and tear on the starter motor, and the wiring.
For a V-Twin engine, it is surprisingly quiet! I would say it runs at 60-decibels at low idle, and maybe 75-decibels at full throttle. It is a powerful engine too, cause I can mow 6" of grass at 1/4 throttle. (2200-RPMS) I can mow 12" of grass at 1/2 throttle, (2600-RPMS) and 30" of grass (Field Grass) at full throttle! (3200-RPMS) I can haul loads up to 600-pounds at low idle, (1500-RPMS) so the engine does have a lot of torque as well! I had installed an oil pressure gauge to my tractor last year, so I know the oil pump functions at 60-PSI.
The engine never overheats, due to overhead valve design, and the use of full pressure lubrication. Where as a splash lubrication system, would not be able to perform on a incline. This is why many people have destroyed engines, due to mowing on hills. This will not happen with this engine! Its very easy for me to do maintenance on this engine, and I like to run Marvel Mystery Oil through my gas and oil, as to help maintain the engine life.
CONCLUSION: Though Briggs & Stratton make a better engine, such as the Vanguard V-twin, they are really not woth the cost, unless you want a engine that lasts over 20-years. As long as you maintain these Intek V-twins, they will last you 15 to 20 years. Abuse these engines, and you can expect them to die in 5-years. This is by far not the best engine on the market, or the most reliable. However, its been a pretty reliable engine for me, and I don't have any problems with it. 5 out of 5.
Thanks goes to Dawn for adding this product to the database so quickly!
I have ran regular SAE 30 oil in this engine for 3-years now, the engine has continued to run strong in all that time. However, as I wish to extend the engine life, and wish to do less oil changes, I switched out the Delo 400 oil. I am now using Valvoline 10W-30 Max Life Synthetic. Before I did this though, I ran MMO in the oil for 3 months to clean out the crankcase and carbon deposits.
FYI: These engines are made in the USA!
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