Re-Powering a Vintage Gilson
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This is breaking news so to speak and will be a little light on detail. I am going to rely on pictures to tell a lot of the story. With Gilson snowblowers in service since 1966 it was inevitable that time would march on and pose some repair problems. One such problem stems from advancements in small engine technology. The day of the overhead valve engine has arrived and along with it came obsolescence of the venerable Briggs & Stratton L-Head engine series. While repair parts are still in good supply short blocks and complete new engines are no longer available.

This problem has been mounting for a few years and we have begun to see a number of cases where vintage Gilsons have been given new life with the installation of current model engines. I have not had the opportunity to make such a conversion so I am lacking in exact technical details. Please do not contact me asking if a certain engine will fit your machine, I do not know. I will try to provide some guidelines for evaluating an engine purchase.

Speaking mainly of Briggs and Stratton engines in the 6,7 & 8 horsepower families there seems to be a lot of good news. B&S kept the same mounting pattern for the engine. This applies to both the Vanguard and INTEK engines. To my knowledge there was never a snow rated Vanguard model so focus your energy on an INTEK model. Following are some feature considerations: