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Briggs & Stratton 5s - Where to start restoring?

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Progress report:

After MUCH Marvel Mystery Oil & PB Blaster... and twisting the top and
tapping the intake valve head down with a wood block.... it still would
not come out :cool:

We removed the valve stem pin and let the spring uncompress.

We next used the Keifer Method ( Leonard Keifer that is ) of stuck valve removal. Put a wood tongue depressor between the tappet tip and the valve stem bottom (argggh... a pain to wedge it in between the spring opening). Then we turned the crank until the cam engaged the intake tappet and... squeak.. it budged up. We repeated the process by adding more tongue depressor sections & plastic knives... interspersed by removing all wedges, PB Blasting the valve stem at the top & bottom of the valve guide and the same on the tappet & its guide... and tapping the valve back down with a block of wood. Over & over until... voilà ... we hand twisted it out with the old digits (fingers). It was squeaky stuck. Somewhere in there.. we got enough space to remove the spring & pin keeper/washer.


The valve stem has what is probably a rust pit near the bottom. It's maybe 1/64" deep (WAG :crazy: ). It is the black spot about 1/2" up from the small end (4 lack of a better word) of the valve stem:


Do I need to replace the valve due to this.. or could I fill it with JB Weld & sand 'er down smooth.. or other advice?

Does the valve look to have other problems as well?

Now for the bad news (maybe not). While Zip-Lock bagging the valve for storage.. my son dropped the valve on the concrete floor. Is this enough to ruin the valve due to metal stress?

Started working on the stuck exhaust valve & tappet too. Both were stuck against each other & we like to never got enough space (not even a gnats butt's gap :crazy: ) between the two. It's not out yet.. but it's moving.. using the Keifer Method (THANKS Leonard !!!)

Thanks 2 you all for your continued help & support... THANKs HARRY :D


Leonard Keifer

Last Subscription Date
From the picture the rusted spot doesn't look too bad; I'd probably just use it. Don't JB Weld it. If it's anywhere that will rub the JB Weld will just wear out. If you're really worried about it you can get another one out of a parts engine although it might not be in any better shape.

Dropping the valve shouldn't hurt it unless you dropped it from the top of the Empire State Building!

Wow, a valve removal method named after me! I cna't take credit for it, though. Someone else suggested it to me, I just passed it on for wider use.


Re: Briggs & Stratton 5s - questions

I just purchased a b&s 5S in excellent condition and i have a few questions about it.

1st. is the horsepower really only 1hp when running well?
2nd. if i wanted to attach a clutch would i have to replace the 1/2" driveshaft with a 3/4" one, or would i need a 1/2" -3/4" adapter of some sort
3rd. what years weB&S 5S Questionsre these engines made?



I have been watching this for a while. Just wondering if there has been any progress.


Progress Question:

I've been dealing with some personal problems for the last 2 months and have not been able to work on the engine.


hope all is doing well for you dave, I myself am trying to tackle an engine for the first time, good luck with the engine and in the future


Andrew Mackey

Last Subscription Date
Welcome to the hobby! first, your compressor should be able to handle air tools - most impact guns only need 90 PSI to work effeciently. A good auto parts store should have the gun and sockets. You want 1/2" drive. The original spark plug was a J-8 Champion. They were later replaced with the J-8 J, whch had better running characteristscs, especially if the engine was using oil. The CJ-8 is a modern chain saw plug. It will work. A better modern replacement is the J 19-LM. This is the 'modern' lawnmower plug used today. I do not believe the J8-J is still available, but if you attend an engine show, no doubt one will be fir sale! They were a very common plug. If you do not locate one, drop me an E Mail, and I will look over my stash of plugs and see if I have one. Starter rope - 1/4" diameter, about 2'6" long. A rubber handle should be available from a local mower shop. I am assuming you have a wrap a rope starter cup on the crank, and not a recoil starter. 4 or 5 wraps, no more on the cup when dtarting. Any more, and the rope may get hung on the cup if the ebgine starts right away. If that happens - watch out :eek: if you get hit by the rope, you won;t forget it! I would not use JB Weld on the Valves, Replacements should be still available - cheap insurance!
Andrew :D

Smith Brother

Finding time, well I am a multi-task guy, and here is what I have found works for ME.... I am a list maker, so I have one labeled MASTER, and it list all the projects I am working on and some I would like to do. I date it and update it often. I also make a list of projects that I can do in approx. an hour. I find that often my larger projects really are a bunch of hour projects, so I take an hour out of my day to accomplish one of such. I have found that by taking an hour it does'nt really affect my day, but does give me a NICE FEELING that I accomplished something. I often am surprised at what I get done in just an hour. Recently I was given a 1956 78" Childs boat that looks like a Chris Craft runabout, and I estimate it will take me approx. 40-50 hours to restore it. Remember it is a SMALL boat. I always try to allow at least an hour per day to do something I really enjoy, so I reviewed my short time list and said to myself, Dale you can remove the plywood top which was screwed down in less than an hour, so I did such.

There is a lot to be said about "JUST DO IT". MAKE the time. Don't take me wrong, I DO TAKE TIME TO RELAX AND SMELL THE ROSES.

It works for me.


Don Garretson

Just recently bought a 5s at a garage sale for $5. It turns freely, has some shaft end-play and the rod bearings feel a little loose. Neat little engine .
FYI: the tag says Mod- 5s Typ-700023 Ser 22532. It has a Wizard 1138? plug.

I am presently cleaning the varnish from the gas tank using MEK which does not evaporate as quick as acetone.

Regarding pulling flywheels from small engines: I try to make a couple loops in some cotton sash cord and slip them under the flywheel from opposite sides. Then I hold or tie the whole thing in the air and tap on the shaft with a brass or rubber mallet. Works for me.

Removing rusty threaded exhaust pipes and mufflers: There is a commercial product called Rusty that is absolutely amazing for this kind of work! Trouble is, it is not available for retail sales. The second best thing I use is Kroil. If you really have a stuck one and can find it, Oil of Wintergreen will work, but this stuff is hard to find and also can burn skin.

I am curious about finding repair parts such as rings, bearings, points and condensers for this engine. I think I can find the gasket sets. Also I read on this site about a copy of a repair manual for this engine. Any help will be appreciated.

Leonard Keifer

Last Subscription Date
If he hasn't sold his business yet Smith Services sells Briggs parts. He's one of Harry's advertisers.

I think the book you are referring to is Repairman's Handbook, Service Manual for Out of Production Engines, 1919 - 1981 published by BASCO (Briggs and Stratton Company). Your local small engine shop may have copies to sell or you might check Amazon.com. A few years ago when I bought my two copies it was selling for around $20. Well worth the cost at twice the price.

One thing to beware of is putting more money into the engine than you'll ever get out of it if you decide to sell it.

Happy restoring.


"hows the 5s coming?"


Good news and bad news....

Good news.. I separated from the wife back in May.. and the engine did not come with me. The good news is that for the 1st time in 30 years.. I'm a happy person and now look forward to each day without depression and living a full life. :D

Bad News... The bad news is that I now live in an apartment and the 5S did not come with me. I do have a tiny enclosed storage area attached to the apt.. so I have put my Briggs WMB on the floor there and am going to rig up somesort of work bench. I've got a B&D work bench that will do in the short term. It aint much of a place.. but for these little guys.. I guess u don't need much. The engine fire and passion is still in my mind.. albeit much dimmer than before. The fire will comeback. .hopefully soon.

This stuff happens even to folks who have been married (unhappily) for 30 years to the same person.

Thank you all for your help and support on the 5s.

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