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TaxTom, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 2364
Experience:  Operated Lawn Mower business for 20 years. Can find manuals and parts for many brands.
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I have a Briggs and Stratton 16HP Vanguard V-Twin that starts

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I have a Briggs and Stratton 16HP Vanguard V-Twin that starts but then surges until it eventually stops. I have replaced the fuel filter, and fuel pump. I have also checked the float and saw no dirt in the carburetor. The solenoid activates when the ignition is turned on.

I have run out of ideas for what to look at.
It is probably a carburetor mainifold gasket leaking. It also could be a head gasket leaking but the engine is usally hard to start if it is that. You can pour a small amount of water around carburetor mounting area and if engine starts to run better it is a leaking gasket. The water stops the leak beiefly and lets the engine run properly. One more thing if you have the air cleaner backing plate off put the mounting screws back in before doing anything else, some carburetors have open passages that are closed off by those screws. Thanks Tom
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry for the late reply.

Okay I used some silicone gasket to seal the gasket better and it seems to have worked although it is still surging a little. I will continue to work on sealing the gasket better.

Can I ask you another question about the PTO on my Cub Cadet?
Sure send me the model and ask the question. Tom
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The Model is a Cub Cadet 2160 Early edition.

Last year the PTO started acting up. It would engage using the switch when I would first start the mower. After mowing for a while the switch would not re-engage the PTO after the blades would stop due to backing etc. I figured out that if I tapped the housing around the Electric PTO it would engage. This worked for the remainder of the cutting season last year and the first part of this year. Finally, the PTO shut off and I have not been successful getting it to engage.

I have replaced the switch on the dash. - No luck

I tried connecting directly to the battery and it does engage.

What can I do to avoid buying a $300 new PTO?


I sold some of those tractors, the electric clutch was a problem. The older clutches were effected by heat so be sure the area around the clutch is clean. I will cover the simple steps first: if voltage is low the clutch will not engage so check battery and connections. Try engaging clutch with engine off (igniton switch in run position), if it engages that usually means the clutch is not completly gone. The early mowers has a black clutch that could be adjusted. You will see three slots around middle of clutch approx 1 inch long and and1/8 of inch thick, you can usea a .012 feeler gauge a slide it in and if loose you can tighten the nuts until it is properly set, go around each side ot the clutch until it evenly set. Ideallly you would remove the clutch take apart and clean it, set it and replace but that takes alot of work. The later clutches were gold colored and gave alot less problems but were not adjustable. If the clutch is properly set and engages when engine is off than I would check out the reverse safety switch, this probly a two person operation. Have one person push reverse pedal while the other person watches under middle of tractor to see where lever engages switch, look at switch and see if it looks to be in good condition. Many of my customers had problems with that lever and it accidently fell off and the mower woudn't shutoff when you backed up. I would never suggest removing a safety switch and MTD put the switch there as a results of a lawsuit where peoloe didn't look behind them and backed over people and caused serious injuries. I hope this helps. Tom
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks! I'll give that a try.