Looking to add temp gauge to LA150

Gumby83

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Threads
7
Messages
74
During the winter, I'm gonna be pulling the engine (Briggs 24HP twin) due to the oil sump gasket leaking badly. I'm gonna inspect and reseal the engine as well as take care of maintenance it needs as the tractor has +/- 600 hours on it and I know not all of the required maintenance has been done on it.

Although the engine is air cooled, I've been thinking I'd like to add a temperature gauge because I'd like to keep an eye on it. It hasn't been acting as if it's running hot at all, but since I'm gonna have the engine out and disassembled, I figured it's as good a time as any to add one. I was wondering if anyone has added a gauge to one of these engines, where you installed the sensor, and what brand sensor/gauge did you use? I've found plenty of sensor/gauge kits for water cooled models but they include sensors intended to be mounted in a cooling passage. I did find a head temp sensor that would be very easy to install (https://www.amazon.com/Cylinder-Head-Temperature-CHT-Sensor/dp/B00BFF8ABK/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=auber+instruments+temp+sensor&qid=1604018011&sr=8-5) but it doesn't include a gauge and I'm not totally sure what it would need. My experience is with negative temp coefficient sensors but I haven't yet found time to determine if that's what this sensor is.

I was also curious if there's any other suggestions for what I should do while the engine is out. I'm planning to replace the steering shaft gear as it's stripped and the front spindles as they are worn. The tractor is in overall good condition, it just needs a little TLC.

I'm a professional auto mechanic and we also do plenty of small engine work at my shop so I'm not at all intimidated by anything on this mower - just need some tips and suggestions.

Thanks.
 

Scrubcadet10

Lawn Addict
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Threads
137
Messages
3,387
I'd recommend replacing the PTO seal also.
I've personally never heard of anyone adding a temperature gauge to an Air cooled engine, doesn't mean it can't be done. as long as the cylinder head cooling fins are clean of mouse nests and grass clippings, and you don't run the engine slow when mowing, the flywheel fan will keep it cool.
Might also want to put some anti-seize on the crankshaft PTO, so that way if you ever need to remove the pulley again you won't find it Rusted to the crank.
 
Last edited:

tom3

Lawn Addict
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Threads
25
Messages
1,577
I've put a gauge on engines before by making a metal bracket for the sensor bolted close or against the block. Get the oil temp with this, heat will conduct through the bracket to the sensor with very little loss. Also did this for the hydro transmission to see actually how hot it runs, sensor down in the fins, around 120 degrees on a hot summer day. Kind of surprised me, thought it would be much higher.
 

Hammermechanicman

Lawn Addict
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Threads
11
Messages
1,577
Go cart racers have used this type of head temp guage for many years.
The most important temp is cylinder head temp.
You can also get temp guage kits that have an L shaped bracket that mounts a temp sensor and then is attached by a cylinder head bolt.
 

PTmowerMech

Lawn Addict
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Threads
247
Messages
1,618
The last sump gaskets I changed, turned out to be the darn oil quick change plug. Lesson learned. I check them all now.
 

Gumby83

Active Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Threads
7
Messages
74
Thanks to all who’ve responded. This forum is a bit different from some of the others I’ve been on, so I’m not sure how to quote multiple posts at once (maybe not an option because I’m on the mobile site?) so here’s the next best I can do...

I meant to elaborate a little more on why I wanted a temp gauge - besides just being the kind of person that likes to monitor basic engine operating conditions (such as temp and oil pressure), part of my reasoning here is that I’d be able to see a potential problem before it causes damage. A temp gauge is an easy way to do that, because although I don’t know what temp it should be running at, I’ll be able to get an average temp as a baseline, then watch for it to be exceeding that temp as a warning sign.

Scrubcadet10 - I bought what should be a complete gasket and seal kit online a few months ago when I originally planned this project. After deciding to wait until winter, I put it in a place that I’m sure to have forgotten about by now and will eventually give up looking and buy another one , so I’ll make sure to have a PTO seal ready if my kit doesn’t already have one.:D

The only air cooled engine I can think of that had a temp sensor on it was my 1972 Honda 350 motorcycle. But I never needed to mess with that engine beyond a few minor repairs, so I’m not sure what type of sensor it was or where it was mounted.

Tom3 - thanks for the idea. Did you mount the bracket using existing studs or bolts, or some kind of epoxy (jb weld/other)? Was the bracket open ended (such as an L shape) or enclosed somehow?

Hammermechanicman - thanks for the suggestion to look at racing applications - wasn’t even on my radar.

PTmowerMech - I’m certain it’s the sump gasket that’s leaking. When I first got this mower, I could tell it had a bad leak but there was so much grime and dirt on the engine I couldn’t tell where from. I thoroughly cleaned it using hot water, then watched for the leak with the engine running - oil was definitely coming from the sump gasket. That said, I don’t care for the quick drain valves either - I’m considering replacing it with a ball valve or something similar that doesn’t rely on spring tension.
 

Scrubcadet10

Lawn Addict
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Threads
137
Messages
3,387
if you want to quote multiple posts, hit the 'Reply' button in the bottom right corner of each post ;)
 

PTmowerMech

Lawn Addict
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Threads
247
Messages
1,618
The yellow EZ Drain ones? there's one on my cub, i'm going to replace it this spring with pipe and a cap.
I need to find or make a tool to fit those things. I can never seem to get the monkey wrench in some of those to get a good grip with enough room to turn them. I believe they're 15/16ths. But a socket doesn't fit over then, even when the plastic removed, because of those little nipples that slide into the plastic parts grooves.
 
Top