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Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 2
Adro54 Offline OP
Hi everyone,

Please take pity on a rookie here.

I have a Victa 550 Corvette with Briggs and Stratton 158cc engine - bought new at GYC in maybe 2012 and have had much fun keeping it running since.
Raised 2 kids in the meantime and somewhere in the ensuing madness I think I have probably messed a few things up.

Has always started well but once it warms up prone to rough idle, black smoke, dirty spark plug etc. Some years ago I replaced the diaphragm between carby and fuel tank and have always managed to mow my lawn with it.
Rough idle sometimes improves by tipping it backwards and letting it fall back on a hard surface (no idea why this is so).

Struggling to find any documentation to clarify:

- Correct set up of governor spring(s).
- Correct spark plug specs and gap.
- Correct rpm (I have a laser tach. for measuring this off the blade).
- Any info about how the auto-choke should be tweaked.

Appreciate any resources or tips that can get me back to the right setup. I tried searching the Briggs and Stratton website for the model and type as pictured below (0)01802 0186 but got zero results back.

It is too good to junk but obviously not set up right (probably due to my tinkering)

Thank you in advance!


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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,086
Likes: 80
Hello Adro

Firstly welcome to the forums

I have added the photos for clarity/to help future patrons

As you have identified, you have one of the last 158cc briggs L head (flat head side valve) engines.

Though yours is made in china, they are amongst the hardiest engines ever made and what they lack in refinement, they make up for in longevity

Firstly, you have been sold the incorrect governor spring. The one you require is this one

It fits through holes as per my photo annotation

The RPM to set it at really depends on your lawn care habits. Since I regularly mow and prefer to leave the mower running idle (yes 'dangerous') whilst emptying catcher, I tend to set mine to 3000 rpm so I yield a lower idle speed for warming the engine up and so I don't get a face full of grass when removing catcher.

You can go up to around 3300rpm (they came from factory at about 3150) but I wouldn't suggest going any higher as the alloy conrod won't like it long term

Plug is a Champion RJ19lm or NGK BR2LM at 30 thou inch plug gap.

This engine has no auto choke - it relies on primer to start

If you mean how to adjust the rpm, it is adjusted by bending the tang forwards or backwards (as per annotation) to slow the rpm by reducing spring tension, or tightening spring tension. DO NOT adjust by bending the spring.

I would personally pull the carby again, clean everything (particularly mesh screen on the tube going down into tank) with new diaphragm and gasket

Your fuel tank paint is flaking off - which indicates to me you have a small leak between the carby and tank.

If you save the old gasket and put it back together (from top to bottom) old gasket, new gasket, diaphragm, and tighten the carby as per this briggs illustration, you should be fine.
Do not torque them down like a head bolt, just tight with a phillips screwdriver

There are clear signs of dirt ingestion into your carby.

Please clean the air filter in hot soapy water, then dry and re oil by squeezing/rubbing 2 table spoons of oil (preferably chainsaw bar oil if you have it) thoroughly through the filter, then blot out excess with a rag.
If you do not reoil, the filter will do practically nothing

lastly, the model number is actually (0) 10T802 - which is why you got no results

Hope this helps


Attached Images
model.JPG (102.46 KB, 41 downloads)
carby.JPG (122.1 KB, 40 downloads)
pulsaprime.JPG (59.62 KB, 40 downloads)
1 member likes this: Adro54
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 2
Adro54 Offline OP
Hi Tyler,

I was really way off on that spring - can't imagine how that came to be so wrong but got to assume that was stupidity on my part.
As for not oiling the filter sponge when I last replaced it, guilty as charged.

I will follow your instructions, good to know its a rugged engine (it might still survive, in spite of my best efforts otherwise).

Clearly I'm confused about the governor linkage that is on the side opposite the spring - I got the idea this was a thermostat controlled arm from watching youtube but under the cover it certainly does look to be a different setup - so thanks for clearing up my erroneous assumption there.

Have a great day,

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