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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Briggs and Stratton crankcase cover won't come off completely


Hi Eric:

I have an old Coleman Vantage 7000 generator, that has a Briggs and Stratton 14 hp Vanguard V-Twin OHV engine.  One day when just doing the usual generator test run, I heard something "break" and the engine quit.  Sounded like something good size broke (I don't think the crankshaft or camshaft, perhaps a rocker arm broke.  Anyways, got carb off, generator head off (this was tricky but the internet is a good source of info), and able to easily see crankcase cover.  Removed push rods and valve covers. Drained oil. Took crankcase cover bolts off in cross pattern.

My problem is this, the cover slides up nicely for abou 3 inches then stops. I have tried to ensure all tappets are out of the way by tipping the block upside down, then on it's side.

It feels like something is stopping the cover from fully coming off. I can slide the cover back down and it fits perfect again.

Is there  trick to these engines? or is the "broken" piece, rocker arm, or whatever it is: keeping the cover from coming off?  or do I need to pull off the heads to "free" something up?

Thanks for you time.

Make sure the crankshaft is clean from rust.  I use sandpaper to clean cranks.

It the governor causing the cover not to come off?  Is there a dip stick preventing the cover from coming off?

If you can move it 3 inches you should be able to use a bright flashlight and see what is preventing the cover from coming off.  I would try to set number one cylinder to top-dead-center to see is that helps as well.

Let me know if you can see anything holding the crankcase cover on using your flashlight.


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Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

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