When you need big power in outdoor equipment, there’s little that can match Briggs & Stratton’s Vanguard V-Twin. Although mostly found in riding mowers, this engine is used by Billy Goat to power several of their largest equipment models including truck loaders and wheeled blowers. Here’s what you need to know to keep this engine running reliably.
First 5 hours of operation: Change the oil. The filter does not need to be replaced.
Every 8 hours or daily: Check the engine oil level and clean the muffler and controls.
Every 100 hours or annually: Clean the air filter and pre-cleaner. Change the oil and filter and replace the spark plug. Check the muffler and spark arrester.
Every 400 hours or annually: Replace the air filter and fuel filter. Clean the cooling system and oil cooler fins.
If the engine is used in dusty areas, the cooling system and oil cooler should be cleaned more frequently.
If the engine doesn’t seem to be performing well by the time it’s due for 100 hour/yearly maintenance, the valve clearance should be checked by a professional.
This engine is designed to use regular automotive gas that contains no more than 10% ethanol or 15% MTBE. 87 Octane is recommended, but 85 Octane can be used at altitudes over 5,000 feet (1,524 meters.) Never fill the tank above the base of the filler neck: that air space is needed to compensate for fuel expansion.
If the fuel isn’t going to be used within the first 30 days of purchase, it should be treated with a stabilizer. Treated fuel can be kept in the fuel tank for up to 60 days. For longer storage periods, drain the fuel and run the engine to burn off any residual fuel left in the carburetor.
5W30 synthetic and 10W30 conventional or synthetic oil can be used in all weather conditions. Oil consumption will increase with 10W30 above 80 degrees F (27 degrees C;) if you regularly operate at these temperatures, check the oil level more often or switch to SAE 30. Using SAE 30 at temperatures below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) may cause hard starting.
If the engine is equipped with an oil pressure sensor, it will shut off the ignition if the pressure is too low and turn on a warning light. Check the oil. If it’s low, add more oil until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick before restarting it. If there’s already plenty of oil in the crankcase, the engine should be taken to a dealer for diagnosis. Starting the engine or shorting out the sensor could lead to engine damage.
The oil fill cap can be found on the top of the left cylinder head. The dipstick is just behind this cap. The oil filter is mounted directly below this cylinder head, while the oil drain plug can be found on the base of the engine below that. The oil cooler is directly to the right of the filter.
These engines hold 46-48 ounces (1.36-1.42 L) of oil. Briggs recommends changing the oil while the engine is still warm so that the old oil flows out faster.
The cleaner is below a cover on top of the fuel tank. To access it, turn the knobs on top of the cover and lift it up. Remove the nut on top of the air filter assembly and slide out the retainer and air filter elements.
The foam pre-filter should be washed with soap and water and allowed to dry before reinstalling. Do not oil the filter. The inner paper element should be tapped against a hard surface to remove any loose dirt.
Reinstall the cleaner in reverse order.
Before removing the filter, drain the fuel tank or close the fuel valve (if equipped.)
Use pliers to squeeze the tabs on the clamps holding the fuel filter to the fuel lines and slide the clamps away from the filter. Twist the filter to remove it from the lines. Slide the lines over the new filter so that they meet with the filter housing, then slide the clamps back over the ends of the lines.
The plugs are located directly below the valve covers. The spark plug gap should be set to 0.030 inches (0.76 mm.) When installing the plug, torque it to 180 lb-in. (20 Nm.) Replace the plug if it shows signs of electrode or insulator damage.
Getting Parts for Billy Goat Equipment and the Engines that Power Them
Billygoatparts.com is a certified dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, which means we can provide you with everything you need including parts for Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engines. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.