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Hey, homestead mechanics: the tale of a Briggs short-block search

Posts: 674
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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This may be an unfinished story. Hope so.

Had a single-cylinder, OHV, 7hp Briggs & Stratton rototiller engine breakdown. A friend & I tore the motor down. It was determined, by calling around, that the required crankshaft, connecting rod, seals & gasket would cost $500 (including tax) in our region. I asked about a short-block, but the local shops could not obtain it.

With a short-block, I'd have all the other parts in good condition already, with the exception of new seals & gasket. Started searching online, and found that there are companies in the U.S. that claim to have a service specializing in buying up short-blocks. A kink is, the engine model has been discontinued by Briggs.  

But I found one supplier, Small Engine Surplus, which is probably a division of some larger company. They do business through smallenginesurplus.com. They provide a very lengthy list for Briggs short-blocks that you can search through, using your engine's manufacturing serial number (not .the engine's model number). I found my engine listed, with a price for the short block (under $190 U.S.). They enable you to order & pay online.

But they don't list a phone number. I wanted to make sure they actually had the specific unit in stock, and I wanted to learn where they are geographically located, so that I could get a good idea of the shipping cost. They have a handy little email form you fill out to communicate with their Sales department. So I provided pertinent particulars, and asked for confirmation of availability of the unit, plus the company's location info I wanted, and pressed send. I received an immediate automatic-reply email saying their Sales division got my message.

Well, it's now two weeks later, I sent the Sales dept another email ('cause I had that 'reply' from them, with the email addy)... No communication of substance coming back from this company!

Frustrating!! As we all know, there are way too many scams & empty promises on the internet. So if anybody reading this knows where I can actually get a price on availability & price for that short-block, please do let me know.
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