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Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft


For my first attempt at making a model engine i thought to save on casting costs i would just use a...

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  #1  
Old 12-04-2005, 12:23 AM
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Question Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

For my first attempt at making a model engine i thought to save on casting costs i would just use a lawnmower engine and make a new base for it and add a couple flywheels. Has this ever been attempted before??

Jordan
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

I Haen't Seen That Done But, I Have Seen Briggs 5s And Briggs Fh Converted To Hit And Miss. I Have Pictures If I Could Figure How To Upload.dick In Central Pa.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:25 AM
BWegher BWegher is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Sure.
The first rotary mower engines were horizontal PTO converted to vertical PTO
and some were 2-strokes.
Flywheels have a big impact on RPM.
Don't forget that you will have to adjust spark timing. Easier to find an engine that has a mag that can be turned. Most B&S don't have that.
The splash oiling will be messed up. And the carb will have to be turned, etc.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Here is an example of a Briggs FH that has been turned into a Hit & Miss engine. An excellent job, I think.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:51 AM
Leonard Keifer Leonard Keifer is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

If you're going to attempt this conversion I'd stay away from the vertical shaft, too many possible complications. Briggs 5S or 6S should work or possibly a Clinton model 700 or 800. I've seen the Briggs conversion, don't remember seeing a Clinton conversion.

The Briggs FH looks nice because of the external push rod but I hate to see a restorable FH cut up. Besides to me it would be hard to justify chopping up a $250 - 300 engine. But each to his own.
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

There is one for sale on Ebay right now. Item #7567414039. I also seen a couple of these engines at Steam Corner about three years ago. They looked like a lot of fun!!
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:36 PM
George Fair George Fair is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Hi Jordan,

Back in June of 2001 “Gas Engine Magazine” was desperate for material and printed a story about a homemade engine that was called “The VBS Engine”. It was made from VOLKSWAGEN parts, BRIGG (& Stratton) parts and SCRAP.

The following site has more pictures of the “VBS Engine”:
http://members.fortunecity.com/nitro.../yougotme.html

Please do not use a collectible engine for your project! If your homemade engine starts easy and runs I’m sure it will attract attention at old engine shows. Spectators are always interested in something different.

George Fair
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Hi George,

I have no intentions of using a collectable engine. If I find one that is missing lots of parts i'll use that one instead of a complete one.
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

About 10 or 12 years ago, I got interested in hit-n-miss engines. Only problem was, I couldn't afford one. So, I took an old 11 HP briggs and "rearranged" it a bit. Now I have a hit-n-miss briggs. I used most all of the briggs parts (crank, cam, piston, governor, connecting rod and cylinder) and a few home-rigged parts. I made a frame out of 3" channel and some 1/4" plate steel, mounted some pillow block bearings for the crank and bolted the cylinder with 4 bolts through the head, cylinder and flat plate. The flywheels came from old textile machinery I bought for 3 cents a pound. And, I almost forgot, it's Chevy powered (points, condenser and coil). It runs great and draws a lot of attention at shows. I had it at Portland this year, anyone remember it? And, by the way, I used a vertical shaft engine. The valve arrangement is perfect for hit-n-miss setup.
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MVC-001F.JPG   MVC-003F.JPG   MVC-006F.JPG   MVC-004F.JPG  
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

wow...thats odd.

doesn't that take some inginuity? i'd like to do something odd like that but i lack the machinery. thus i cant do off the wall stuff...but i sure can try!
but guess im doing some sort of good, i've done alot of things in the past that was said that couldn't be done... hehehe
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Euart View Post
About 10 or 12 years ago, I got interested in hit-n-miss engines. Only problem was, I couldn't afford one. So, I took an old 11 HP briggs and "rearranged" it a bit. Now I have a hit-n-miss briggs. I used most all of the briggs parts (crank, cam, piston, governor, connecting rod and cylinder) and a few home-rigged parts. I made a frame out of 3" channel and some 1/4" plate steel, mounted some pillow block bearings for the crank and bolted the cylinder with 4 bolts through the head, cylinder and flat plate. The flywheels came from old textile machinery I bought for 3 cents a pound. And, I almost forgot, it's Chevy powered (points, condenser and coil). It runs great and draws a lot of attention at shows. I had it at Portland this year, anyone remember it? And, by the way, I used a vertical shaft engine. The valve arrangement is perfect for hit-n-miss setup.
This place never ceases to amaze and inspire me.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Let me lay it right out- if you try to take a vertical shaft engine and turn it 90 degrees to be a horizontal shaft, the engine will seize in relatively short order. Most small engines are splash lubricated and the shape of the crankcase and oil dipper are specific to get the oil where it needs to be. A horizontal cannot be used vertically and a vertical cannot be used horizontally. I understand that vertical shaft engines from lawn mowers are cheap to free- but either leave it vertical or find a horizontal shaft. Do not put work, time and money into an engine that will seize from oil starvation.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Homade-

Your statement is not true. You can covert vert to horiz engines IF and ONLY IF you make new oil slingers and drill new oil return passages from the valve spring box. If done carefully the engines will last indefinitely. I have several that I converted many years ago. They were all done as 'try and see" projects that lots of people said wouldn't work.

I redesigned the slingers and passages simply by thinking about where the oil pool would be, and arranging the slingers to dip into it and throw some at the bore, the valve spring box, the rod and main bearings, and the cam.

You are correct Homade that if these oiled points are starved of oil the engine will seize and usually go bang.

Don't dip too deep in the oil pool, or you will burn oil, or won't reach max rpm and power.


The carbs and tanks got remounted sideways.

Give it a try on an old or scrap engine Jordan.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

If you use the right engine the gov. gear slings oil in both orientations. My advice if you wish to stand up a lay down but do not want to take it apart just put more oil in so it contacts the end of the crank... I was always one to do what people said couldn't be done and have had a lot of fun doing it.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:11 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

In the early 1960s B&S made an effort to reduce inventory by making a 'universal engine'. It was an aluminum block, of about 5 or 6 HP. The block and sump plate was designed so as it could be used as either a vertical or horizontal engine. The fuel tank had a mounting bracket that allowed it to be mounted either on the shroud or the head, the updraft carb needed only a manifold change to be used on either position. The engine had both a rod slinger as well as the rotary slinger for vertical shaft use. I know they exist, I had 2 of them, NOS that were being tossed in a dumpster by an old shop. As I was told by the shop owner, the idea was great in theory, but the demand for these engines did not justify the costs of manufacture. His shop received 10 of the type, and the 2 I got were still there over 30 years later! I still have one in my garage, in the vertical shaft configuration, the other went to a well known collecter of B&S engines here in NJ.
Andrew
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:56 PM
Gary Davis Gary Davis is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

This is one of those Briggs double mount engines. It is mounted vertically currently on an old 60s George tiller. Gary
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Years and years ago back in Nebraska there were two brothers Harold and ? Barr. They took two aluminum block briggs(?) engines (hor or vert shaft? I don't remember) and attacked them with sawzalls. They made open crankcase hit and miss engines from these old engines, modified the cranks for double flywheels. They had the drip oilers for cyl/piston lube and I don't remember if it was squirt can lube on mains & rod or what. It seems the valves were in a new fabricated head but am drawing a blank. I will ask my brother how much he remembers and if he does will have him add. I will get with my dad to see if he has any pics to scan as well.

I was probably 15 or younger but still remember they were hit and miss.

Thanks for reminding me how old I am.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:32 AM
Kevin Pate Kevin Pate is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

Seen this done before at shows around here. Saw one up in Gray, TN once and asked the guy about it. He used an old "n" Briggs block with a mechanical governor and the head was off of a European scooter with overhead vlaves in it. I think
I have photos of it laying around. Would have to scan them and put them to disk. Keep thinking about doing a project like this one day whe I get the time and my other stuff running properly...
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:49 PM
Danny J Danny J is offline
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Default Re: Converting A Vertical Shaft Lawnmower engine to a horizontal shaft

I remember those engines M Pavlik (my brother) talked about back in Nebraska. I like him don't remember much except they did fabricate one of the blocks out of plate steel and it used the original governor as a throttle govern, the other was a hit and miss.

Here are a couple of pics of one we have been working on that consists of many FH parts and some plate fabrication for the tank top and crankcase. We are still looking for a proper flywheel and or cooling fan assy.
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engine1 (2).jpg   engine2 (2).jpg  
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