Vanguard 200 Maintenance

Vanguard 200 MaintenanceThis year, Billy Goat started offering the Vanguard 200 engine to their lineup, fitting the engine to the OS552 overseeder, PL1801 PLUGR aerator, and F601V walk-behind blower. Even if you’re familiar with working on small engines, this new single-cylinder has some design quirks that may surprise you. Here’s everything you need to know to keep this engine running.

Maintenance schedule

Before use: Check the oil level. Remove dirt and debris from the muffler, controls, and intake grille.

First 5 hours of operation: Change the oil.

Every year: Replace the spark plug. Clean the fuel and cooling systems. If the engine is performing poorly, have the valve clearance checked.

Every 100 hours or every year: Change the gear reduction oil, if equipped. Clean the exhaust.

Every 200 hours or every year: Change the engine oil and clean the air filter.

Every 600 hours or three years: Replace the air filter.


Vanguard recommends using oil that has an SAE service grade of SF or higher, while they prefer owners to use oils officially backed by the company. Several oil viscosities can be used with this engine. Vanguard’s own 15W-50 synthetic oil can be used at temperatures above 20°F, while synthetic 5W-30 oil can be used below 100°F. Conventional 10W-30 can be used between 20 and 100°F. Be aware that oil consumption will increase at high temperatures, especially if you’re using conventional oil. It’s a good idea to periodically check the oil level when working on hot days.

This engine has a dipstick to check the oil. Make sure the engine is sitting level, then wipe the dipstick clean and fully insert it into the engine to get an accurate reading.

This engine has two fill ports and two drain ports at the base of the engine. There’s nothing separating these holes, so you can use the most convenient ports to drain and add oil. Removing the dipstick lets air enter and exit the crankcase, making draining and filling it easier. The manufacturer recommends waiting for a minute before checking the oil level after adding oil. This gives the oil time to settle in the crankcase.

Currently, Billy Goat doesn’t use an engine with a gear reduction. However, if you buy a future model that has one, here’s how you change the oil:

1. Remove the fill plug at the top of the gear reduction case, the level plug on the side of the case, and the drain plug on the bottom of the case.

2. Once the case is empty, install the drain plug. Slowly add 80W-90 gear oil to the fill hole until it drips out of the level hole. Install the remaining plugs.


Vanguard recommends 87 octane gasoline or 85 octane at elevations over 5,000 feet. This fuel can contain up to 10% ethanol.

Fuel can be left in the tank during storage, as long as the fuel tank is full, and the gas was treated with a stabilizer. Before storage, let the engine run for two minutes to draw the stabilized fuel through the carburetor.

When it’s time to service the fuel system, look at the fuel lines and carburetor for signs of cracking. Remove the strainer (if equipped) from the fuel filler neck and clean it as needed.

Air Filter

Both standard and low profile air filter boxes are used on the Vanguard 200. With either version, twisting the two thumbscrews unlocks the cover. Remove the air filter, and tap it against a hard surface to remove surface dirt. Wipe out any dust inside the air box, then reinstall the filter.

Muffler and Coolant System Servicing

These parts should be cleaned with a dry rag or brush to remove surface dirt. This lets the cooling fins transfer heat, and prevents heat from the muffler from igniting debris. Never use water to clean the engine. This can get inside the crankcase and dilute the oil.

Spark Plug

The plug gap should be 0.030 inches. When installing the plug, tighten it to 180 in-lbs. Replace the plug if it’s fouled, or has damage to the electrode or insulator.

Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat, as well as their manufacturing partners. That means we don’t just carry Billy Goat parts, we also have parts to repair Vanguard engines. For fast ordering, our site has a section for common replacement parts, including spark plugs and air filters. We also have a search engine that can find parts for your specific model and serial number, so you can be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need for your equipment. Visit us at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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