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post #1 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

I'm going to be buying an v-twin engine soon to repower one of my Gravely riding tractors and need some advice from people who are knowledgeable with Subaru-Robin and Honda engines. I've got all the Gravely specific info sorted out, so now I'm just looking for more information on the expected life, reliability and operator reviews for these particular engine brands. Parts availability and cost information would also be a plus too.

I'm looking at the Robin EH72 and the Honda GX670 or possible the GX690. I've done some research on the build quality of both the Honda GX690 and the Robin EH72 and both seem to be built pretty well. I haven't found much about the internals of the GX670, but maybe I'm not looking in the right spot. Some of the features of the GX690 are: forged steel crank, fs rods, hemi heads, cast iron sleeved cylinders and a 3 year warranty. It should be noted that the GX690 uses removable cylinders that seperate from the block, where as the Robin uses the more conventional die cast "all-in-one" aluminum block and cast iron sleeved cylinders. Both the Honda's use a 2-BBL carburetor as opposed to the Robin which uses a single barrel, but I wouldn't think that really attributes to the reliability or longevity of the basic engine. As for the Robin, the EH72 features an over-sized ball bearing on the PTO side, forged steel crank, replaceable bearing on the flywheel side, and a 3 year warranty. So, while there are some similarities between the two, there are some differences that were noted.

I've had some experience with Honda's line of 13HP water-cooled inline twins that were used on their riding mowers, as well as the small 4HP lawnmower engines and they have proven to be fairly reliable, but I have no knowledge or experience with the Subaru-Robin engines or the Honda air-cooled v-twins. I've heard that Honda's line of v-twins isn't as good as their single cylinder engines, but I'm not sure how true that is. Can anyone comment on the Subaru-Robin and the Honda v-twin engines? If you've used them or own them, how do they compare? Any problems or issues that you've come across?

Thanks in advance for any input.

, Pete
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 04:25 PM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

robin are supose to be exelent I know it is not the same but I had a robin line trimmer and it lasted 26 years of heavy use i think the robin also has a oil cooler
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

Yeah, I think both the EH72 and the GX670 come standard with oil coolers which is definitely a plus since a cooler engine leads to longer life. However, I don't think Honda's GX690 or any of the other variants in their new line of vtwins come with a cooler. Not sure why they did away with that. Thanks for your input

, Pete
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 04:48 PM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

Honda's have a spin-on oil filter as well. Plus ball-bearing crank support.

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post #5 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

Yep, all three engines have oil filters which is great. I'm glad you brought that up. I was looking at the Honda parts diagram for the GX670 and the GX690 because I was curious to see how the crank was supported, but I'll be darned if I could find a listing or picture for those crank bearings. From the pictures, it looks like the crank is supported on either end by the crankcase, which I'm assuming (again, from the pictures) has a bushing pressed into the both ends. Couldn't find a listing or a really good picture for the bearing or bushing (whatever they use). Again, I was really just curious and that was the reason why I was looking at the parts diagram, but if anyone knows, I'd be interested to know how they support the crank on the Honda vtwin.

, Pete
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-20-2010, 06:04 PM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

Both good engines... Subaru parts are harder to come by and more expensive..(in my area so might be different for you). Also more people seem to have more knowledge on working on Honda engines. I'm fairly sure that the Honda does have dual ball bearings for the crank but not %100. Besides... I'm not entirely convinced that ball bearings are all that much better when you have a full pressure lubrication system.... Car engines don't use ball bearings after all.... My preference would be a Honda.. So either way you should look at which one gives you the better "bang for the buck" and what you feel more comfortable with...

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-21-2010, 08:06 AM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

From the shop.... You should expect 1500 to 2000 hrs from these engines. Robin parts are hard to get and very pricey as someone already said. As a technician in one of Wisconsins largest dealers I see very few Robin engines on commercial equipt. Kawasaki is the preferred choice of our commercial customers.

Parts are pricy for both the Honda and the Robin. If I was contemplating this purchase I would find out where the Robin and Honda engine distributor was located and give them a call to ask any questions you may have. I dont know of any "known" problems on either engine you should be worried about.

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-21-2010, 08:08 AM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

The only way to get parts for a subaru robin is to order them at a subaru dealer, you can order honda at the honda lawn equitment dealer.

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-21-2010, 03:54 PM
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

i am a honda lover. our two cars are a 96 odyssey with 190k on it that runs awesome and drives 40mi every day and a 95 accord with 130k that goes everywhere. oh, and my 2nd mower (first is in avatar) is a 99 honda lt. Honda all the way!!

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post #10 of 10 Old 10-24-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Subaru Robin or Honda? Need some advise

Thanks all for your input. I decided to go with the Honda GX690

, Pete
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