Briggs Engine Compression Specifications

by Alexis WritingUpdated July 11, 2023

Briggs and Stratton engines offer horsepower ratings ranging from 3.5 horse power to more than 25 horse power for all sorts of applications, including lawn mowers, snow blowers and snow throwers, riding tractors, tillers, and wood chippers and wood splitters. Knowledge of the compression specifications of the Briggs and Stratton engines you use will help you determine problems with the engine, as well as repairs needed. Two main types of compression specifications apply for Briggs and Stratton engines.

Briggs and Stratton L Head Engine Compression Specifications

The Briggs and Stratton L head engine is a durable and long-lasting engine that can have a horizontal or vertical crankshaft. The L head engine has the valves to the side of the cylinder head; it is an original Briggs and Stratton engine. Emissions regulations have curbed the use of the L head engine in many places, as it is not as efficient with its exhaust emissions as other types of engines. The compression ratio of any Briggs and Stratton L head engine should be 6:1.

Briggs and Stratton Overhead Valve OHV Engine Compression Specs

The Briggs and Stratton Overhead Valve, or OHV engine, is the replacement for the L head series of engines. These engines are more efficient with fuel consumption as well as emissions, and the valves are directly over the cylinder head, run with a cam shaft. The OHV series of engines also have a higher compression ratio than the L head engines, with a compression ratio of 8.5-to-1 coming as standard on these designs.

Other Briggs Engines

Since these two main types of engines are the only two Briggs makes, you should find that your own Briggs and Stratton engine falls within one of these compression ratios. You'll need to consult your manual to determine which compressions specs apply. Regardless, an important part of the compression testing is to determine the pressure in pounds-per-square-inch in the cylinder for your engine. If it is out of spec, you will want to rebuild or replace the engine for optimum operation.

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