Trying to decide on a z-turn mower. My preference right now is for a
Kawasaki, but I have never had a proper commercial B&S or Kohler
engine. Any preferences? I'd prefer the quietest / smoothest one.
I have a Kawasaki (husky) air blower and love it, that engine really
is nice! Burnt out a handful of B&S (I guess homeowner) engines, can't
say I like B&S at all, but I never had a vanguard.
Thanks for any comments.
Depending on how big you're going, I'd seriously consider diesel
instead of gasoline if it's available.
That said, I've all of the above plus Tecumseh and have B&S engines
still running well that are nearly 40 years old as well as the
Kawasaki and Tecumseh. I did blow a B&S 9 hp a couple of years ago
but it was my fault -- I replaced the spring on the throttle return
and inadvertently put it on wrong and over-rev'ed it and stretched the
rod-clamp before I got it cut off. I'm sure I could replace the rod/
piston in it, but Northern had a sale at the right time and I just
replaced it. Other than an old push-mower w/ a little 3 hp B&S, I
don't recall ever having another go bad before I was ready to dispose
of the mower/tractor/tiller anyway.
I did finally wear out the Tecumseh on the old JD 110 put a new
shortblock in it, but it is well over 40 years old now and has been
over uncountable acres and a lot of heavy weeds as well as the lawn...
The key ime is maintenance and not abusing any of them.
I had a vanguard engine in my lawn mower for 14 years before the lawn mower
broke and I couldn't justify the cost of the replacement part. The engine
held up fine with no maintenance.
But I was just cutting my yard. If you use your equipment enough to burn
out several engines, you really ought to get the kawasaki.
Agree with that. Engines have different torque characteristics that
can make a machine a PITA or a joy to use. The Kohler twins used in
Simplicity coupled with hydrostat take all the misery out of big jobs
and are much less $$ than similar sized Kubota, altho the latter is a
real sweetheart of a diesel. It all comes down to try before you buy
and take proper care of it after. HTH
Recently did some research on this subject and got input from a dealer
who sells commercial machines with all 3 engines. Based on % of shop
repairs and user comments, he rated the engines best to worse as
follows: (1)Kawasaki, (2) Vangard, (3) B&S.
In cases with failure under warranty engine problems, Kawasaki was
replacing the whole engine whereas the other two were rebuilding the
I bought a unit with the Kawasaki engine and have never been sorry.
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