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Briggs and Stratton Intek 20 HP engine troubleshooting

I have a Briggs and...
I have a Briggs and Stratton Intek 20 HP in a riding lawn mower. The fuel pumps have been failing every 1 to 2 hours. I put it on my other B&S engine and it does not work. I put the fuel pump from the other engine on the Intek 20, and it works. I've replaced the pump three times and now realize that something else has to be wrong. Do you have a possible explanation as to what may be wrong? Thank you, David
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
12/1/2011
James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3,708
Experience: 7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
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Welcome to JustAnswer.

Did you change fuel filter and fuel lines as well as clean the gas tank? If the screen in the tank or the fuel line or the filter is clogged. The the pump must work too hard and will wear itself out. In addition to that, check to see if the fuel cap vent is working correctly. Try with the cap off or get a new cap.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Fuel filter looks clean, much cleaner than on my other B&G engine. I will replace them both, though. The fuel tank looks very clean. There is no screen on the pick up tube in the gas tank, just the tube. I blew into the fuel line, and a small amount of black matter was injected into the tank from the hose. But, I could blow easily and the gas flowed easily into the tank. I was thinking that the problem may have been the pressure from the valve cover being too great, contributing to the destruction of the pump. I've never heard of changing the fuel lines.....

As engines sit or get older, fuel that is left in the carburetor can turn to gum and varnish and cause this and other problems.

Also, any gasoline that was left in a gas can for a period of more than 30 days must be discarded because it also has begun to turn to varnish.

Today's gasolines contain MTBE and alcohol. (Ethanol) They turn to "Junk and garbage" very quickly. Alcohol absorbs water. And they call it "Oxygenated fuels! It is the oxygen (and the water) that breaks down the organic compounds in the fuel and turns the gas to "Garbage" (Gum and varnish) The fuels we had just a few years ago had no alcohol in it and would store for longer periods of time before going stale.

Fuel stabilizers do almost nothing to prevent the fuel from going bad with the changes in today's fuels. The whole point of a fuel stabilizer is to form an oily film on the surface of stored gasoline whether in the tank or in a gas can. The idea was to keep oxygen away from the gasoline to prevent breakdown. Since the fuel is already oxygenated, the fuel stabilizer concept is null and void. These fuels start to degrade immediately upon the addition of the ethanol.

Do not buy gas from the "Discount" Stations. The discount stations get a reduced price on gas because they may be buying fuel that is nearly 30 days old already. You may be getting fuel that's nearly stale right from the pump when buying from a discount station. Purchase your fuel from the well-known stations such as Shell, BP, Sonoco, Phillips 66 etc.

ALWAYS clean the fuel tank and replace the fuel line when doing this repair or you may have to do it all over again. The inside of the fuel line disintegrates over time and these small pieces of rubber will plug up the fuel pump and the carburetor too.

Alcohol is very corrosive to rubber especially if it has been allowed to sit and oxidize.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

What if I do everything you suggest and the pump fails again in a couple of hours?

There is no warranty on answers, so I cannot promise that we know the problem..

Did the fuel pump have a lot of OIL in it?

If so, your oil level may be too high, or you may have a crankcase pressure problem.

That is any kind of leak where air (or gas) could get into the crankcase such as:

1. If the carburetor is not working correctly, it will bypass fuel through it into the oil. This thins the oil and will cause the oil to go places that it shouldn't. Check your oil ans smell it to see if there is gas in the oil. If there is gas in the oil, you will have to overhaul and clean the carburetor with a COMPLETE carburetor repair kit.

2. If the oil dipstick gaskets are not sealing correctly, it will allow the vacuum.. (Primary compression inside the crankcase) to be at the wrong levels, which will push oil out where yours is coming from.

3. If the valve guides in the engine are worn, it will pressurize the crankcase, pushing the oil out.

4. If the engine had worn out rings or a scored piston, the it will also pressurize the crankcase and push the oil out. The engine will have to be overhauled if this is the problem.

5. If for some reason the engine is running too fast, it will also cause this problem. This happens is someone has messed with the governor to get it to run faster. Also if the governor gear has broken inside the engine this will also cause the engine to run too fast.

6. If you have a blown head gasket, this will also cause the problem. In fact, this is one of the first things I would check.

James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3,708
Experience: 7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
Verified
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James W
James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3,708
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Experience: 7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years

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