A common breakdown on 16-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engines is a blown head gasket, which prevents the proper pressure seal needed in the piston chamber to combust gasoline. The head gasket is located between the cylinder head cover on the front of the engine where the spark plug is and the engine block. Replacing the head gasket yourself will save you the mechanic's fee for this simple task.
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Things you need
- 9/16-inch socket
- Foot-pound torque ratchet
- Replacement head gasket
Pull the spark plug cap off of the spark plug on the front of the Briggs & Stratton engine.
Unscrew the eight bolts holding the cylinder head onto the front of the engine block with a 9/16-inch socket.
Pull the cylinder head off. Peel the old head gasket off of the back of the cylinder head.
Place a new head gasket onto the back of the cylinder head.
Replace the cylinder head back onto the front of the engine block and finger-tighten the bolts back into place.
Put the 9/16-inch socket onto a foot-pound torque ratchet. Tighten a corner bolt on the cylinder head at 55 foot-pounds. Tighten the bolt on the opposite side of the cylinder head at the same foot-pounds. Continue this opposite tightening pattern until the cylinder head bolts are all tight.
Push the spark plug cap back onto the spark plug.
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