How to Replace the Head Gasket on a Briggs Twin

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When the head gasket blows or begins to leak on your twin-piston Briggs & Stratton engine, there won't be enough of a seal in the piston chamber for the compression stroke to work and fire the piston back down. The head gasket provides the seal between the engine block and cylinder head. Replacing the head gasket takes a special tool, but it is well worth replacing on your own, as mechanics charges for small engine head gasket replacement jobs can rise well over $50.

Things You'll Need

  • 5/16-inch socket & ratchet
  • Twin-piston Briggs & Stratton head gasket
  • Inch-pounds torque wrench

Locate the cylinder head bolted onto the front of the engine block. The twin cylinder head will have the two spark plugs bolted into them.

Pull the spark plug caps off the spark plugs.

Unscrew all the bolts on the top of the cylinder head that hold it into the engine block. Use the 5/16-inch socket and ratchet to remove them.

Pull the cylinder head off. Peel the old head gasket off the engine block. Scrape away away head gasket debris left on the engine block. Do not scratch or otherwise mar the surface. Place the new head gasket on the engine block.

Set the cylinder head back onto the engine block. Finger-tighten all the bolts back into the cylinder head.

Put the 5/16-inch socket on the inch-pound torque wrench. Tighten a bolt in the corner of the cylinder head down until the meter on the torque wrench reads 180 in.-lbs. Tighten the opposite corner's bolt down to the same torque. Moving around the head, continue tightening opposite-side bolts to get the cylinder head to seal evenly down against the engine block.

Push the spark plug caps back on the spark plugs.

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