Short version: I assembled my mower following the instructions listed in the owner's manual. The engine died on the fifth use. It is broken beyond repair. Neither Troybilt nor Briggs & Stratton will honor their warranty. So I essentially bought a piece of trash from Lowe's. Long version: we have 3-issues at play and both Troybilt and B&S are ignoring their responsibility for all 3.
First, the directions in the instruction manual are terrible. On the phone with Briggs & Stratton reps, and their "Authorized Warranty Service Center reps" I am being told that I should have put more oil in the engine than indicated ANYWHERE in the instruction manual. It is almost comical. On the phone they tell me, "you should have put the whole canister of oil in the mower prior to using it." And yet, when I ask them, "then why don't the instructions say that?", they say, "well, we don't know how much oil is shipped with the product, so we can't put it in the manual."
So because of a disconnect between B&S and Troybilt, they can't clearly state in the instruction manual: "FILL THE CRANKCASE WITH 18OZ OF OIL BEFORE USE."
No, actually, they could state that whether the mower was shipped with 1oz of oil or 100 oz,...right? But instead the manual tells you to place engine level, clean oil fill area of any debris, remove the dipstick and wipe with a clean cloth, insert and tighten the dipstick, remove the dipstick and check the oil level (it should be at the top of the full indicator on the dipstick), if low add oil slowly into the engine oil fill. DO NOT OVERFILL. After adding oil wait one minute and recheck the oil level. Replace and tighten the dipstick. So again, at no point do they actually tell you HOW MUCH OIL to put into the mower.
2nd issue. The manual then says, "Make sure you add oil to the instructions in this manual. If you start the engine WITHOUT OIL, it will be damaged beyond repair and will not be covered under warranty." Again, I put oil in the engine (about 12oz initially and I refilled it twice to a reading of full on the dipstick ...being mindful not to OVERFILL) and yet, I am being denied warranty service. If the manual properly said, "IF YOU START THE ENGINE WITHOUT FIRST ADDING 18oz OF OIL,...." I would have PUT IN 18oz of OIL. And I would not be typing this email today. I'd be mowing my lawn.
3rd issue. There are grass clippings on my mower from the 4 times I used it successfully. If the mower was shipped without oil in it, clearly I put oil in it to get it to work!! Also, should the mower have become "damaged beyond repair" when operating at 3/4 the level I now know was required? No. This is a bad product. Don't buy it.
As it currently stands, Troybilt refuses to help or even put any pressure on Briggs & Stratton to honor their warranty. Briggs & Stratton tells their Authorized Warranty Service Center that they will not honor the warranty BUT, if I want to send the mower to their corporate offices AT MY EXPENSE, they'll look at it again. No thanks, I've spent enough already. Until they change their mind, I have no choice but to try helping other prospective buyers from making the same mistake in working with these two organizations.
P.O. BOX 702 MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN -- What's wrong with this company Briggs & Stratton and their faulty engines? Whatever happen to Quality Craftsmanship for example. I had recently Bought 2 years ago an Agco lawn tractor with a Briggs & Stratton 16 HP Vanguard V twin OHV engine in it and the motor was new 2007 Model # 303777 Type 1032-E.
The engine was maintained regular and filter changed. Yesterday I had changed the oil again and filter after the storage from the winter and the mower ran fine for about 15 minutes and then there was a loud knock and then a loud bang and the engine died. So I looked at the engine and oil was coming out of the top of the engine and I had pulled the plugs and checked for compression and the right head was dead.
This kind of figures and I should have known better than to buy it because I had purchased a John Deere riding mower with the same type of engine but a 20 HP prior to this one and the problem that occurred on that was the seat for the exhaust lifter had popped out of the cheap cast aluminum head and screwed everything up.
Today I had spent 48 minutes on hold with Briggs & Stratton. But to no avail I had given them the motor information such as Model # 303777 and the type 1032-E1 and the code # 00040511. And there is no recorded of it this motor was new when it was installed on the AGCO 1616h mower and the only info they did have was for a snapper made in 1999 and this one has a 2006 family tag # YBSXS.4802VC for California emissions tag. So they are off on that.
So I guess the warranty will not be honored whatsoever and I would not recommend any kind of lawn equipment or any type of Briggs & Stratton gas engines they are undependable pieces of junk comprised from Japanese & Chinese and other imported crap.
It's simple Buy USA made machines. Not the John Deere with B&S engines. I had a John Deere 140 from the earlier 70s that had a Kohler cast Iron engine that was a workhorse never died ran all day without problems & I wish I had kept it but it was not enough for 5 acres.
I had wasted for the 2 mowers with the B&S engines close to $3,200.00. So if you're reading this and plan on buying a Mower with a Briggs & Stratton cast Aluminum engine be wary because you'll be posting here also and I can say I told you so. I'll post some pictures here later of them in their current state after being shot with 12 gauge slugs that about all their good. For now buy USA or German motors.
I own a genrac 6500 generator with a Briggs 10 horsepower engine. The engine and generator are fine, but the nikki carburetor is too finicky. Every time we have bad weather forecasted that may cause a power outage I have to dissemble the carb and clean it in order to get the engine to run. I am sick and tired of this process. I have tried using stabil in the gas, extra filters in line, and running the carb dry to no avail. Last year I had a new carb put on the engine at a cost of nearly $100. dollars and still have the same troubles. My conclusion is these carbs have to be run often to keep them clear.
I have atiller with a warbro carb which gets run no more often than the generator that has never given me any trouble. Just shows which is in my opinion is the better carb.