Had to buy a new mower last weekend. Ended up with a Husqvarna with the
149cc Kohler Courage engine. Decided to buy from the local dealer rather
than the big-box this time, and the version with the Kohler was 50 bucks
cheaper than the one with the Honda GCV160, which gave me recurring carb
problems on my old mower.
Anyway, I stopped by Tractor Supply later, on way home from grocery
store, on my quest for the screwdriver bit described in another thread.
I happened to glance down at their couple of low-end Huskee push mowers,
and noticed the PowerMore engine looked a whole lot like my shiny new
Kohler. Went home and looked online, and apparently there is an OEM in
China that makes utility engines for a lot of different equipment
companies. So pretty clearly my new engine was born in China. My
question would be, do these OEM companies build them any better for name
manufacturers? Or are small engines totally a commodity at this point?
Kohler web site, of course, is silent on where they get engines from.
(insert standard lament about nothing being made in this country any more)
Well, not entirely...it says they formed a joint venture in China so
they are building at least some of their product there for (one
presumes) both foreign and domestic markets. It also notes they bought
an Italian small engine manufacturer at roughly the same time for a
Found it. :^(
Looks like MTD and Kohler are sleeping with twin sisters in China- the
company names are spelled differently in the press releases, but they
sound the same, and there are usually multiple ways to translate Chinese
names into western characters. I've developed a pretty good eye over the
years for spotting common-use parts- I think the two companies are
different front doors on the same building, or they at least get their
parts from the same suppliers.
Oh well- it's a done deal at this point. It seems to run fine and have
good fit and finish, but I've only put a couple hours on it so far. I'll
just try to be gentle with it, and not abuse it as badly as I did the
Honda engine in the MTD. (which I do hope to get running again, once the
carb gasket set I ordered shows up.) If I can get the engine to keep
running again, I may even buy some replacement front wheels at HF for
it- they don't roll too well with the wallowed out centers, and they
keep canting over at a 15 degree angle.
aem sends, slightly poorer and slightly wiser....
And China makes a lot of part-for-part compatible Honda engines too
- doesn't mean any of your Honda is Chinese made, or that it has any
Chinese DNA. The Chinese are a whole lot better at ripping off other
designs than the Japanese ever were. The Japanese took, say, an
American design and modified it to make it beter - the Chinese take
that Japanese design and make it cheaper.
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