Briggs And Stratton - Storm Responder 5500 engine casting flaw
My generator’s engine self destructed in less than one day’s operation on a light load.
I took it to a B&S dealer for warrantee repair and after a cursory inspection was told that I had allowed it to run dry of lubricating oil and that the warrantee would not cover the repair or replacement of the engine. In other words “I broke it, so I had to fix it”.
After some thought I decided to take it apart and see just how bad it was inside. It was bad! The engine was run dry and the connecting rod tried to weld itself to the crankshaft and then the rod broke into many pieces. It was bad but not unrepairable. I cleaned and polished the crankshaft and checked it for size, it was sill on size. I then started cleaning the crankcase and found a casting defect in the bottom of the engine casting that should have been found before machining and assembly.
This flaw allowed a very slow leak when cold and not running and the leak would increase when the engine was running and the operating temperature reached normal as the casting would expand making the hole larger, the oil would become thinner with heat and the added pressure in the crankcase, due to windage, would force the oil out of the sump.
Upon discovering the cause of the leak and resulting engine failure I returned to the dealer and showed the Service Manager the cause of the problem.
With this information I was ready to pursue my claim in Small Claims Court if B&S did not remedy the problem to my satisfaction.
The dealership then filed a warrantee claim with B&S and after only a few days B&S has agreed to replace the short block assembly.
I hope this information will help others that might have a similar problem. My engine’s casting flaw may be a one off occurrence or it may be a more widespread problem. The only way to know if your generator has the same problem is to stand the generator on end and inspect the engine case, looking for any disfiguration in the casting.
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