One lung or two/Hydro drive or no?


Old 06-10-04, 02:39 PM
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One lung or two/Hydro drive or no?

Looking for some opinions facts or just experience on Lawn Tractors. I have 2 now and intend to sell one, prob is which one.
First one is a Yard Machine Single 14.5 OHV Briggs with a 7 Speed shift on the go drive. I bought it new 8 yrs ago and have modified the steering control and such as needed to keep my 1 acre mowed. I have never had to mess with the engine or drive at all.
Second is Yard Machine, (Possibly craftsman, green and white limited edition?? but rest of the decals have been scrubbed off by previous owner) Twin 18.5 OHV Briggs with Hydro static drive.
It began surging more than a year ago and this fella tried a few things with no luck, and it has set since then. I have it running again went through the carb cleaned only, and still seems like it is running lean, it surges at times when the choke is pushed in or going from low throttle to high briefly then smooths out. My query is I have a carcas with a 17 HP OHV Briggs that I was given to fix and found that it let go a rod cap or rod, and was given the dead beast.
So I guess I was looking for info on reliability of the single vs the twin and the different drives as well.
Its apparent the twin has more power as I mow where the single needs a tap of the brake the twin does not.
Of course which ever I decide to keep and sell, I intend to have both running in top shape.
Thx in Advance

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Old 06-10-04, 03:21 PM
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If the choice were mine, I'd keep the hydro. You said it is labeled a Yard Machine (just as the 14.5 is) but you thought it was a Craftsman. If in fact it is labeled a Yard Machine, this, as well as the other one, are both MTD products. The surging is likely carburetor related and needs a soaking in a good bath-type cleaner (I recommend NAPA #6401 cleaner (be cautious with this cleaner as it is very powerful and caustic)) and rebuilding the carb with a kit. Spray cleaners just don't have the sack to cut through the tough varnish. The only monkey wrench about your description on the second one is that you say it's a 18.5 OHV. Briggs has never sold a overhead valve engine in this horsepower. Are you sure it's not an L-head engine? As for the 17 horse, this (in good condition) is, in my opinion, the best of the three engines. If it can be resurrected with little cost, I'd choose this one.
Old 06-10-04, 09:41 PM
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I'll second that...keep the hydro. When you clean the carb, pay attention to the main jet. You can remove the bowl drain plug and access the main jet through there. Use an allen wrench to unscrew it and clean out the carb behind it. That's a common problem area that doesn't always get cleaned.
Old 06-12-04, 11:46 AM
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Hmmm Puey I guess I was unaware of any L type engine but you are correct at least the 17HP and 18.5HP are labled as twin and no mention of overhead valve...So I have a nother venture thx for catching that. Also I did find a bit of the label under the seat and the 18.5 is also MTD I think built for Wards.
A good bath and kit in the carb has it running like ready for race day
I did get the 14.5HP cleaned and tuned and out for sale now, and plan on getting the 17HP off the frame and inside for closer investigation.

Thx for the input


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