Small Engines Glossary of Briggs & Stratton Engine Terms

Published on March 20th, 2015 | by Jacks


Glossary of Briggs & Stratton Engine Terms

The Right Choice for More Leading Brands.

Powerful. Easy to start. Low maintenance. Just a few of the reasons eight out of ten leading lawn mower brands count on Briggs & Stratton to power more of their products than any other engine. That’s why you want to look for a Briggs & Stratton engine on your next piece of outdoor power equipment.

100 Years in Power.

A proven leader yesterday, today, and tomorrow. For over 100 years, Briggs & Stratton has been providing solid, reliable power that gets the job done. You can count on us to be here when you’re selecting your next mower. And you can rely on us to be here long after you’ve made your purchase.


Environmental stewardship has never mattered more. Briggs & Stratton is working hard to ensure that our products will contribute to a healthy, sustainable environment. Today, our engines:

  • Emit up to 75% less emissions than those sold before 1995
  • Are up to 15% more fuel efficient than engines sold before 1997
  • Are built each year with 98% recycled aluminum

Built the American Way.

The world’s largest manufacturer of air-cooled engines. Each year, more than 3,000 people in our U.S. factories build 10 million engines. You’ll find Briggs & Stratton engines on more lawn mowers, tillers, and snow blowers coast-to-coast than any other engine. Each time you start a Briggs & Stratton engine, you’re honoring the know-how and can-do spirit that has not only powered a great American company for over 100 years, but has also helped make America strong.

Air Filter System

Removes particles such as dust, dirt and debris from the air and keeps it from getting into your engine.

Advanced Debris Management System: Air cleaner system that forces air past the element, where large debris passes through ejection slots. Removes large dirt and debris particles for a longer lasting air cleaner element and superior engine protection.

Dual-Clean: Combination automotive-style paper filter and foam pre-cleaner for added protection against dirt and debris. Two levels of protection against contaminants protect and improve engine durability.

Foam: Reusable washable material that uses surface oil to trap dirt and debris. Simple and convenient filter system to protect the engine.

Maxi-Clean: Disposable automotive-style pleated paper filter with debris ejection slots. Easily accessible and dependable defense against damaging dirt and debris.

Oval Dual Sealing: Larger filtering capacity with two sealing surfaces for maximum prevention of dirt ingestion. Allows more airflow for improved performance, while defending against dirt ingestion for extended engine life.

Tool-Less Cover: Air cleaner cover that can be removed without using a tool. Makes it easy to change the air cleaner.

Balancer System

Mechanical device that reduces the vibration caused by the moving forces of the piston. Provides less vibration and smoother operation.

AVS(Anti-Vibration System): Patented linear balancing system eliminates side-to-side motion of traditional systems. Provides less vibration and smoother operation.

Bearing Style

Component that separates moving parts to reduce friction and wear. Simple and reliable.

Aluminum: Machined aluminum bearing surface.

Ball: Bearing type that uses small balls placed between two hardened metal surfaces. Improved durability and superior load capacity.

DU: Steel-backed, Teflon-coated bronze sleeve. Self-lubricating to withstand load and reduce wear.


Device that mixes air and fuel in an internal combustion engine.

Dual Barrel: Carburetor system that incorporates two sets of air/gas mixture flow. Provides exceptional load acceptance for greater engine balance.

Pulsa Prime: Diaphragm within the carburetor is actuated by the natural vacuum vented through the engine block to pump fuel to the combustion chamber. Simple and reliable self-actuated fuel delivery system.

One-Start: Gravity-feed carburetor system that uses atmospheric pressure to deliver fuel to the combustion chamber. Fast fuel delivery for consistent one-pull starts, better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.


Central working part of internal and external combustion engines.

Durability-Bore: Cast iron sleeve pressed into the aluminum cylinder of an engine. Added integrity and durability that withstand wear and abuse while providing improved oil control.

Kool Bore: Machined aluminum cylinder bore. Lightweight and corrosion resistant.

Single Cylinder Engine

One-cylinder configuration that is placed directly over the cylinder head. This is a simple and reliable design.

V-Twin Cylinder Engine

Two-cylinder configuration where the cylinders are placed at a 45 degree angle from each other. Inherently balanced for smooth, quieter operation.

Displacement (cc/cub. in.)

Volume of air / fuel mixture an engine can draw in during one complete engine cycle. Usually stated in cubic centimeters or cubic inches.

EZ-Drain Oil Hose

Flexible hose with large opening that makes draining engine oil on riding lawn mower engines easier. It clips to a drain pan or milk jug for hands-free, faster, no-mess draining of engine oil.

Fresh Start™

Patented fuel cap and snap-in concentrated stabilizer cartridge that automatically delivers fuel preserver to the fuel tank. Keeps fuel fresh for up to 6 months for improved starting.

Fuel Shut-off Valve

Manual device inserted into the fuel line that when turned, shuts off fuel flow to carburetor. This is useful for shutting off the fuel flow during transportation or storage.

Fuel Filter

Filter inserted into fuel line that screens out dirt and debris from fuel supply.


Prevents over-speeding of the engine by holding RPMs at a constant speed and also maintains speed under heavy load.

Air Vane: Uses air from the rotating flywheel fan to monitor engine RPMs so the governor can maintain the selected engine speed. Simple self-adjusting system that senses load and maintains engine speed.

Mechanical: This system uses gears and flyweights inside the crankcase to sense speed and detect changes in the load to adjust speed. Controls the engine speed to deliver more usable power under heavy usage.

High Oil Fill

Oil tube is mounted to be accessible at the top of engine. Provides easy access to check and fill oil.


Measurement of an engine’s rate of doing work over time (rpm x torque / 5,252). Power to get the work done.

Ignition System

Activates and controls the combustion of fuel in an engine.

Magnetron: Electronic ignition system generated by a rotating magnet and coil assembly. Ensures dependable starts with no maintenance required.

Lubrication System

A system that stores, cleans, cools, and re-circulates oil through the engine to lubricate and cool its moving parts.

Full Pressure Lubrication: Similar to an automobile engine that continuously delivers oil under pressure to critical engine components for maximum lubrication and long engine life. A high-efficiency pump in the oil pan supplies lubricant to the crankshaft and connecting rod-bearing surfaces.

Pressure Lubrication: A controlled flow of clean oil to bearings for less wear and longer engine life. A high-efficiency pump in the oil pan supplies lubricant to the crankshaft and connecting rod-bearing surfaces. The Pressure Lubrication System incorporates a premium spin-on oil filter.

Splash Lubrication: A gear-driven dipper or slinger in the crankcase distributes oil to components, preventing clogging of small passages. On horizontal crankshaft engines, the dipper is attached to the connecting rod. It picks up oil from the reservoir and spreads it across bearing surfaces as the piston travels through the cylinder. On vertical crankshaft engines, a spinning gear with paddles is immersed in oil and slings lubricant throughout the crankcase.

Mechanical Compression Release

Device that keeps a valve open to release combustion chamber pressure and automatically returns to normal with the engine’s centrifugal forces. Automatically reduces compression force to provide smooth, easy starts.


Designed to reduce noise, improve performance and resist corrosion.

Lo-Tone: Benefits – Quiet operation and good tone quality.

Super Lo-Tone: Benefits – Quieter operation and better tone quality.

Quiet-tone Max: Benefits – Quietest operation and best tone quality.

Oil Capacity (oz.)

The recommended amount for holding, storing, or accommodating reserve oil.

Oil Cooler

Mechanism that keeps engine oil cool to extend oil maintenance intervals and engine life.

Oil Fill

Allows access to check and fill oil to prevent over or under filling of oil.

Starting System

Electric Start: Uses a battery-powered motor to start the engine via a key switch or button. Hassle-free starting. Just turn the key and go.

Electronic Fuel Management (EFM): A system that electronically monitors time, engine speed and temperature to simplify and optimize engine startup for ride engines. Provides the easiest starting system for ride engines.

Prime ‘N Pull: System that requires priming to deliver fuel directly to start an engine. Delivers the right amount of fuel to system for dependable starting.

Ready Start: System that automatically senses engine temperature to deliver the right amount of fuel to the carburetor. Does not require priming or choking. Just pull for power.

4" Rewind Starter: Spring-return mechanism that returns the rope and handle to start position. Reliable self-returning starter that saves time and energy.

5" Rewind Starter: Spring-return mechanism that returns the rope and handle to start position. 25% larger for reduced pulling effort and easier starting.

Smooth Start: High-output ignition coil and specially tuned carburetor. 20% easier to pull.


A measurement of force needed to cause an object to rotate. Power to get the work done.

Valve Design

Any of numerous mechanical devices by which the flow of liquid, gas, or loose material in bulk may be started, stopped, or regulated by movable parts that open, shut, or partially obstruct one or more ports or passageways.

OHV: Configuration with the inlet and exhaust valves located in the cylinder head above the pistons. Better optimized performance that runs cooler and cleaner for longer engine life and improved fuel economy.

DOV: OHV configuration with direct actuation of the valves through a unique lever system. Patented new design that delivers more responsive power, less noise, and smoother operation.

OHC: Configuration with the cam shaft, inlet and exhaust valves located in the cylinder head above the pistons.

Side: Configured with both valves side by side within the cylinder block, typically parallel to the cylinder bore. Simple and reliable with less overall maintenance.

Weight (lbs.)

Total weight measurement of standard engine configuration.


Over 80 upgrades to the Extended Life Series™ and Intek™ Series of riding mower engines that provide eXtra Reliability and Durability, easier starting, quieter operation, and cleaner emissions.

ZTR Package (Heavy-Duty Package)

A group of features designed to maximize the durability of a V-Twin engine for large riding lawn mower and zero-turn radius tractor applications. Includes a pressed-in sleeve bearing to accommodate a high belt load, a super-polished crankpin bearing, and a shock load resistant crankshaft. A high-output starter motor for easier starting under load is optional.

From Briggs & Stratton

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About the Author

Jack's Small Engines has been providing parts for outdoor power equipment online since 1997. We also run a service center for outdoor power equipment like riding mowers, snow blowers, generators, chainsaws, and just about anything else.

3 Responses to Glossary of Briggs & Stratton Engine Terms

  1. Lois Hall says:

    I need to know how to replace the spring on my lawn mower it keeps going fast and slow
    Need to see how it is placed on the mower.

  2. Jeff Boyd says:

    Please explain if the pressure lubrication systems used today could fail and cause an engine seizure? I know there are No safety features that will prevent this so if I get 25 years from a splasher type will a pressure type fail sooner if its maintained properly?

  3. Paul Sumner says:

    B&S 6.5hp Intek lawnmower engine; engine RPM is too low for South Florida grass. But there is no throttle cable assembly, of yesteryear, to increase RPM above what is governed too low. Can a throttle be retrofitted? Or is there a heavier spring to increase RPM. I’d put RPM at 1/4 of potential engine speed?? There’s got to be a way to increase RPM output?

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