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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What engine, or engines are you more partial too? I kinda have been stuck on Briggs myself.
 

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I'd been pretty partial to Briggs engines too, very simple to work on and (mostly) to get parts for but this summer I needed an engine for an air compressor and bought a cheap 6.5 HP engine from Harbor Freight. Since this compressor won't be used a lot I didn't worry too much about longevity but starting would be a worry. I mounted it, filled it with oil and gas and prepared for the pull, pull, pull to start it. Nope, first pull. Next time I went to use it, first pull. I nave switched loyalty. It's unlikely that at my age I will get to test the longevity in this application. Nice quiet engine too, unlike the Tecumseh on my generator where the neighbors a mile away know when I'm running it.
 

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Bovi-Sapiens
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For walk behind mowers, I was always partial to the Tecumseh engines. They used a pressurized oil system instead of splash lube and were much more forgiving when they got low on oil. They tended to leak oil though, but the leaks were easily repaired and wouldn't leak again after I got done with them.

For lawn tractors, I used to be a Briggs fan and still love the older (pre 2002ish) Briggs, but the newer ones aren't anywhere near the quality of the old. We've been replacing heads and head gaskets like crazy on them in the shop here, so much so that I can grab all the tools I'll need before I even get the unit through the shop door. Kohler has always been a great unit for us as well, with very few issues. I haven't filed a Kohler warranty in several years here at the shop and they are on virtually all the ride on equipment we sell. Not much experience with Kawasaki but they seem pretty decent too. Honda's we don't deal with much, but my two that I've owned have been bulletproof.

For snowblowers, Tecumseh all the way. The last couple years weren't quite there quality wise, but I'll put any Tecumseh against any Briggs or LCT or Lauson or Honda any day. They just lug like crazy when you get them in deep snow like no other engine. They sound mean when you are hogging through 24" of snow but I've never choked one off no matter how hard I've tried.
 

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Caractacus Potts
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Old school cast iron Kohlers 8 - 10hp......although the old cast iron Briggs were pretty good too.
 

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early Victa 125cc and 160cc two strokes, simple design and would put put all day, the mower base was like a shallow disc and this had very little restriction when cutting grass, long or short.

had a fair dealing with the Briggs alloy bore models, but preferred the cast iron liner models, mostly vertical shafts fitted to push mowers and riders.

back in the 80's I bored out an alloy bore Briggs and made up a liner and pressed this in, a very much over size piston was fitted, and didn't that engine have some grunt,sadly I was using this mower (push mower) and the bore came away from the crankcase :rolleyes:

I currently have a Dixon Zero turn mower and this is fitted with a 22HP vertical shaft engine and I quite like these, this is the second Vee twin I have owned, the first was fitted to a JD rider and was 20HP rating.

Just before I retired in 2001 I was maintaining and rebuilding hire equipment engines and a lot of Briggs 20HP horizontal engines were used in stand on mini loaders, these engines drove a hydraulic pump for power and they also gave good service.


Photo is of the early Victa mower and a much improved model from previous models
 

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I like the Kohler engines,too.
But,the cast iron engines were HEAVY !!
Still have the one that was in the Bolens,and sooner,or later I'll repair it.

But, in the meantime,I have the 18 hp Briggs twin in it,and it works great,...plus being a LOT lighter !
In the JD, it has a Kohler single 17 hp vertical,and,I picked up a Kohler V-twin vertical,in case I want to put it in the JD.
I always liked the Tecumseh 2 cycles for snow blowers,but their 4 cycle engines never really thrilled me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For walk behind mowers, I was always partial to the Tecumseh engines. They used a pressurized oil system instead of splash lube and were much more forgiving when they got low on oil. They tended to leak oil though, but the leaks were easily repaired and wouldn't leak again after I got done with them.

For lawn tractors, I used to be a Briggs fan and still love the older (pre 2002ish) Briggs, but the newer ones aren't anywhere near the quality of the old. We've been replacing heads and head gaskets like crazy on them in the shop here, so much so that I can grab all the tools I'll need before I even get the unit through the shop door. Kohler has always been a great unit for us as well, with very few issues. I haven't filed a Kohler warranty in several years here at the shop and they are on virtually all the ride on equipment we sell. Not much experience with Kawasaki but they seem pretty decent too. Honda's we don't deal with much, but my two that I've owned have been bulletproof.

For snowblowers, Tecumseh all the way. The last couple years weren't quite there quality wise, but I'll put any Tecumseh against any Briggs or LCT or Lauson or Honda any day. They just lug like crazy when you get them in deep snow like no other engine. They sound mean when you are hogging through 24" of snow but I've never choked one off no matter how hard I've tried.
I have noticed alot of the different engine manufacturers have kinda skimped on the newer engines these days. I do have one honda to though, and your right that thing is great.
 

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RM-MN,
I have one of those HF engines on my air compressor,also.
The reviews I've seen,show a good engine.
It's actually a reverse-engineered Honda, and some parts actually fit it !!
Many people don't realize that some MFGRS,(Kohler,Briggs and even Honda,for a time)had the Chinese build engines,for them.Some were good,...others weren't.
During that time ,they reverse-engineered them,and it saved them MILLIONS,on R&D !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's about par,for that engine .
I've seen 'em higher,so you did ok .

Thankyou Sir. I bought a bobcat walk behind but the 15 hp kawi on it is kinda iffy so this is my backup plan. Im hoping after I get the valves adjusted, etc, the carb cleaned, and a good tuneup the kawi will be ok. But it sounds like it has a low end knock to it like a wore bearing, or wrist pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got it tore down getting ready to try to get everything back to factory spec. The flywheel magnet was so rusted Im surprised it put out any spark at all. Im waiting for one of those new universal valve lash wrenches to get here to get back to work on it. I put some of that sea foam in the carb. It said let it sit, and soak in good so I hope it will clear up the hesitation issue it was having.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What is the difference between a Briggs 17.5 hp engine, and a Briggs 17.5 hp powerbuilt Briggs engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Kawi is fine the po had forgot to turn off the fuel valve so I believe now after I changed the oil twice the knock is gone. Im thinking it may have had a pinch of fuel in the crankcase with the oil.
 

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PJ
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I lean towards Kohler engines. Pricey, yes, but aren't they all. I have one 25 hp kohler engine with over 1700 hrs on it and have had to do two things to it from new, replace one valve cover gasket and last month replace the carburetor with a new one, 45 bucks. Secret, keep clean oil in them and keep the cooling air passages clean. The original carb just wore out. PJ
 

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PJ
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Never liked the old Wisconsins on the old square bailers because they were always a pain to start, of course some had an electric starter, naturally ours had a crank! I will say, once we got it running, it would run flawlessly and never quit. Loved it when PTO drives came out!
 
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