Lawn mower engine Q

Looking to buy a Lawn Mower .......
Majority of mowers seem to be fitted with Briggs & Stratton engines .... whenever I have had anything with a Briggs & Strtaton engines it has been very unreliable ... difficult to start, and would cut out frequently.
Everything I have had with Honda engines have started first pull, and been 100% reliable ........... is this just me, or is this common experience.
Honda (obviously) Mountfield and Husqvarna do mowers with Honda engines .. which has been my focus ...
Anybody any opinion on Mower makes the above plus- Hayter, McCulloch, Einhellm
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I've been using various lawn mowers and generators with B&S engines for years. No problems starting any of them even after a winter layoff. Honda engined mowers available from several suppliers from generic no names to the likes of Mountfield and Honda themselves. Pay your money and take your choice.
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Steve Firth wrote:

I like B&S engines - my mower starts first or second pull after wintering with a tank of year old petrol...
--
Tim Watts

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My experience too. I don't know why, but every Honda engine that I've experienced feels like you're dragging the starter cord through some sort of viscous drag device and doesn't feel like it's "spinning up" as you pull the cord. Don't like it.
Tim
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On 06/06/2012 22:13, Rick Hughes wrote:

Beware plastic carburettors is what me neighbour says....
Me a Honda convert from B&S. First pull starting and quieter.
--
Adrian C

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On 06/06/2012 22:13, Rick Hughes wrote:

Look at the prices. Honda seem to be the Rolls Royce, I've currently got a Honda rotavator on loan which is very good indeed (started third pull after three years idle), but I have a water pump with (literally) a Chinese copy of the same engine, and that's not bad at all either (typically second pull rather than first). I also have a Ryobi strimmer and a Ryobi chainsaw which never give trouble, and a bargain basement chinese two stroke generator which is better than most old British two-stroke motorcycles, I've had to clean the plug a couple of times in dozens of starts. I do have a B&S motor on a powered wheelbarrow which has no spark at all (havn't got round to investigating further) which does seem to support your prejudice.
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On Wed, 06 Jun 2012 22:13:12 +0100, Rick Hughes

I've had at least 4 B&S powered devices and they all started easily as long as the choke was used correctly or the primer used. They didn't cut out spontaneously either.
On the other hand, the Honda powered tiller was a pig to start the other day, but due to operator error - I flooded it.
Most lawn mower brands are owned by Electrolux and made in the same few factories, so brand differentiation is mainly marketing.
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Rick Hughes wrote:

Never had any major issues with B & S.
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My ride-on has a B&S engine and was fine for about 15 years (until ~5 years ago). It broke its con-rod then, so I had it rebuilt and it ran fine until a few weeks ago, when it wouldn't start. After some fiddling, it appeared the valves weren't closing properly, so it went to the menders again. It's coming back this afto, but the mender says that given the struggle he had finding parts for a 20 y/o engine, if it fails again, we should scrap it.
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Huge wrote:

20 years is good going for ANY engine.
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On Thu, 07 Jun 2012 07:48:07 +0000, Huge wrote:

Oh, I'll throw this one out there again, then:
http://www.patooie.com/temp/eng.jpg
... that was the (11HP) engine from my lawn tractor, so quite possibly the same type as yours. The oil slinger mounting bracket wore out (seems to be a common problem on these engines after years of use), the oil slinger stripped its teeth, then the top bearing/support for the synchro weights overheated and failed. It was all downhill from there :-)
cheers
Jules
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Ouch.
Looks very similar.
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Until recently I had two push mowers with B&S engines.
One was a cheap mower with no throttle or choke. Just flood the carb with 5 pushed when cold, or 3 pushes when warm. I discovered recently that they fix the governor at manufacture by bending the control lever over (!) I didn't realise this and thought it had been bent in transport so straightened it and experimented until I found how to start it reasonably easily. Still a bit of a pig. O.K. once it had started from cold - ran well and restarted well. Talked to someone recently who had a similar setup and found it a pig to start - eventually had his dad fettle it by sorting out the governor. As these are the common 100-150 entry level petrol powered lawnmowers they will have earned B&S a poor reputation for starting. Tin deck as well, so potential long term rust (although the one I sold was in very good condition after a few years of ocasional use).
I also still have (though it will sadly have to go) a Harry lawnmower with a B&S engine. This has a choke and throttle and stop control on the bars. Starts faultlessly and runs faultlessly however badly neglected and doesn't seem to use any oil. Only had one problem, which was solved by changing the plug (mower probably about 10 years old at the time). Nice alloy deck which also has a diverter so it doesn't clog when the grass collecting bag is full. Bag even has a built in tip up hinge so you can empty it without taking the bag off the mower - back up to your dumping area, tip bag, roll forward and away without even stopping the engine. So a much more complex design, and a lot more money when new. Aimed at semi-professional use.
Oh, the cheap mower had a Mountfield badge so I think the value of the brand has been cashed in some time ago. McCulloch also do entry level mowers remarkably similar to my Mountfield, and you can see much the same layout under a variety of different brand names and deck colours.
So yes, Honda engines are generally good. However a B&S with a full set of controls on a more up-market deck could well prove to be just as reliable and a bit cheaper.
So - alloy deck for a good mower. Rear roller for stripes and/or irregular lawn edges where a single wheel would dip and cause the mower to gouge. Not needed if you are just cutting a regular shaped lawn or rough grass on a higher setting.
Budget - for a really good mower you are probably going to spend well over 200 and possibly multiples of that.
Cheers
Dave R
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David WE Roberts wrote:

Nah. Ive got 3mm pressed steel and at least I can get the lugs welded back on when the repeated collisions with tree roots shear it off.

wold like a garss collector, but lifes too short. just make sure teh rear wheels atre buig fat tractor tres..

make that £1600 for a good ride on. and about £4-600 for a walk behind.

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On 06/06/2012 22:13, Rick Hughes wrote:

Down at Stennet's auctions last week, a very ratty Honda powered ride-on started first time - in gear as it happened. Oh, how we laughed as it dragged two gents across the ground narrowly missing a van before they wrangled it to a halt.
Obviously this doubled the price :-)
--
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On 06/06/2012 22:13, Rick Hughes wrote:

Thnx for all responses .. looks like my experience with B&S may have been unlucky. At least I don't have to discount B&S powered models.
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Rick Hughes wrote:

I have one that got hard to start. a valve regrind made it no better. Eventually I discovered the cable had stretched and the choke was in fact never being engaged....five minutes with a spanner sorted that.
If anyone wants a 20 year old hayterette by the way..cast chassis, good engine, needs new cutting disk. Not self power either but ideal for tough jobs on rough meadow areas where a big one wont reach.
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