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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14487
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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My 1990 power washer has a 11 hp Briggs I/C engine and I

Customer Question

My 1990 power washer has a 11 hp Briggs I/C engine and I can't get it to stop racing with no load and surging and eventually dying when under load. It seams like a governor issue as I don't see it moving at all. I drained the gas cleaned the tank, air filter is new, carb is new , air tube appears good , gas cap is ventalated well. I tried adjusting the screw on the governor but it didn't help . Don't know what else to do.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! I don't know it all, but maybe together we can get you a satisfactory answer!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

If you run the throttle at the carburetor and feel the governor lever, and it has no feel, push or pull, the internal governor parts are broken. There is only one way to repair the internal parts, and that is to remove the engine and split it to get to the governor and internal lever.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hello I'm not to verse in this if the governor is broken would that cause the engine to race and run for a while then shut down and not start again until it's cool? I'm not sure where the throttle leveler is is it the lever that says choke ? Also not sure of the governor lever either. if I send you a picture will that help?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

There is a link on the carburetor that goes to a log lever, and this lever is on a shaft that goes into the cylinder block. That is the governor shaft. If this lever does not move as you run engine manually at the carburetor, the governor is broken inside the engine. You can attach pictures if you like. Engine will over rev and can become damages from too much rpm

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Could you find the engine model number? example(###) ###-####B1

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Model is 254422 type 4015-01 code 88110110

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

This is older flat head engine, but it has the same governor lever as this one.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

See link below, the governor lever is the one on the far right,

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

uphigh is the connection to the lever, shaft is behind the throttle bracket, and goes direct into the crankcase.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

The wire comes around from the front and you should see it in the picture it's not connected

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

I see you'll ever know it seems to be moving but not much it's very stiff

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Wire is likley the kill wire, and has nothing to do with the governor.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

There's a spring connected to liver connected to the governor plate it seems to be holding it back I'm thinking about removing the spring to see if it freely moves what do you think

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

If the governor is not moving, it will not make any difference.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

It is moving but not enough to make a difference it appears it stays high idle but it's moving a little bit as I go through the throttle range

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

It is definitely moving from low to high throttle

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

I think your inner governor parts are broken.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Scares me but I thought you said if it doesn't move it's broken it is definitely moving to take apart the engine and find out that it isn't broken would not be a good move at this time no

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

If the shaft /lever is unhooked and it has no push /pull from it, it is not working. If it is hooked to the carburetor , it will move with the linkage but does not mean it is working.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Understood I will disconnect the letter from the linkage and see if it moves independently with that be the proper Next Step

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

I just noticed that there is a witness between the carburetor and intake to the engine could be the gasket with that possibly cause this condition

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

The gasket between carburetor and intake has to be good, not leaking, or can cause problem.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Ok I'll get a new gasket and let you know thank you

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Hello I put in the new gasket but no difference last we spoke you mentions it maybe the governor if it wasn't moving but it is definitely moving. To recap engine starts fine but after a couple minutes under load it surges and without load engines races and stalls.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Is the carburetor getting adequate fuel supply from the tank? 1/4 cup in 15 seconds?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Ok but I don't know how can I measure this

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

You would remove the carburetor inlet line and let it pour into a container. Is tank above engine ? Or does engine have a fuel pump?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Slightly above Doing it now

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Flow is good 1/4 cup 15 sec

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Anymore suggestions?

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Have you removed the carburetor and gave it a good cleaning ?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

The carb is brand new sorry I thought I mentioned it unfortunately the same condition existed before the swap

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Same problem, and no changes with lots of new part. Have you ever checked the valve setting?I know it i not adjustable, but if the valves are too tight, engine has starting problems when hot nd runs bad.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

No have not would that require taking head apart? How I know there too tight

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Breather is the opening for the valve check. # 8 in the link below. On the same side as the muffler and intake.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm not seeing it no number 8 in diagram I see 869 70 71 in the head diagram. If I Do find #8 valve check how do I check the valve(s) for over tightness?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

See # 11, vent hose, then 8, 9, and 10. The 10 are the two screws that have to be removed to access the valve spring/tappet opening, then you use a feeler gage to see if the valves have clearance. .006 inch, would be new, but as long as it is not zero, they will work.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok I will check it now
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

OK>

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

My hunch is not the valve lash. Can you think of anything else or is there a more definitive way of verifying the governor is working or not before disassembling the engine. Thank you

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Governor has a distinct feel, when engine is running and the linkage is off the carburetor. If it has no puh/pull, the governor is broken. If it has feel, push/pull, the inner parts are good.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Tuff to determine the push pull feel.if i remove the linkage and spring it will not start. But it feels very tight but i can move it up and down

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

If the linkage is hooked up and you move the throttle manually, does the governor respond and push back?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Yes

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

Then the governor would be ok. That leaves the valves to be checked.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Ok will do and let you know

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

OK>

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

I see question is still open, did you get to check the valves?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I got to it yesterday both valves are within specs. So frustrating , it seems like it has to be a fuel air issue. I'm going to change the fuel line and inline filter from the tank. I don't know what else to do. since I have two carbs , one brand new with the same conditions , it's very unlikely to be the carb . Can you collaborate another expert?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 2 months ago.

I can opt out, and see if anyone else can help. Please don't respond to me , or it will lock the question. Sorry.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Need another expert as suggested by current expert being used as he couldn't resolve issue
Expert:  Hank F. replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

From what you are describing, it does sound like you have a bad governor.

Here is the easiest way I know to explain it.

When the engine is not running, the governor spring holds the throttle in the wide open position.

When you start the engine, the governor (which is a centrifugal weight inside the engine) starts spinning.

Centrifugal force pushes a weight outward, exerting pressure on the governor shaft, and turning it.

The governor arm is connected to the governor shaft outside the engine, so the governor arm also moves.

The governor actually tries to slow the engine down.

The faster the engine turns, the more pressure that is put on the governor shaft/arm.

The point at which the force of the governor (trying to slow the engine down) equals the force of the governor spring (trying to speed the engine up) and keeps the engine running at a steady speed, is called the governed speed.

With this in mind, here is how to check the governor.

Manually move the governor arm/throttle lever back and forth between the stops. Note how much movement there is, and also how much tension is on the governor spring.

Remove the spring from the governor arm.

Move and hold the governor arm/throttle to the middle position, and start the engine.

Slowly move the governor arm to slow down and speed up the engine.

Remember, if the engine is allowed to run too slow, or too fast, the engine will shut down.

As the engine speed increases, you should feel the tension on the governor arm increase, and as the engine speed decreases, you should feel the tension on the governor arm decrease.

If you feel no tension at all, the governor is likely bad,and the engine will need to be torn down to check it.

.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you. But I'm pretty sure the governor is not broken but I will try this operation and let you know. I am thinking about detaching the pressure pump and see what happens. I read that it could also be the unloader valve on the pump
Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Hank I did what you said and the governor arm does have resistance at throttle and it lower p.m.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 2 months ago.

I don't know the pump side of this unit, so I will opt out and let someone else take over.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Relist: Other.
Expert opted out
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hello Hank , I have not herd from a power washer expert. Should I be contacting someone other than you ? Thanks Joe