Norlett 5000

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    Hello Everyone,
    I have two Norlett rotavators, both with original Briggs and Stratton engines. One is a 3hp from 1973 which I have owned for over 20 years and the second is from 1978, 5hp 5000 two speed.
    The 3hp is fantastic and runs faultlessly although there was a weep from the rotor oil seal when I first got it.
    The 5hp is a recent addition and leaks like a sieve through the main tine drive oil seals. It also appears to need a new coil pack as it starts and runs well but cuts out when it reaches temperature. I suspect if it ran long enough to get some use the oil seals might swell but I am otherwise resigned to replace them.


    1) Does anyone know the oil seal size that I need?
    2) Do the symptoms I describe suggest that the Magnatron is faulty? If so, any sources for this other than direct from USA?

    Thanks in advance




    Regarding the engine cutting out when hot, have you tried a new spark plug? I had the same issue a few years ago on a Honda lawn mower. Lost it’s spark soon as the engine warmed up. Fitted the plug into my Honda rotavator and sure enough, it cut out soon as it got warm.



    Check the valve clearances before you fit a new ignition coil (Inlet .006″ and Exhaust .010″ ).Poorly maintained side valve engines have a tendency for the valve clearances to close up !



    Definitely check the valves. Check both with the piston 1/4″ down the bore past TDC. The Magnetron electronic ignition coils usually either work or not at all. Genuine BS Magnetron coils are readily available in the UK from Briggs agents but the pattern ones from China are also available from UK sellers at considerably less money and seem to be reliable. Also bear in mind that there is a ready supply of Magnetron coils from engines that have “blown up” from a lack of oil etc.



    Hi All, Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I will try the plug and valve clearance on the 5000. Unfortunately the tine shaft seals have gone on the 3hp so I now have two machines that require new seals. I will have to dive in and try to identify / measure the seal once removed. Unless….. any ideas on the oil seal size required so I can order in advance?

    Thanks in advance

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