Kohler, B&S, and Tecumseh ... [Archive] - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

: Kohler, B&S, and Tecumseh ...


Pages : [1] 2

speedmaster
02-12-2007, 06:50 AM
Which do you think is currently putting out the best quality engines these days (last few years)? I realize that this can never be answered perfectly and is somewhat subjective. But I'm still interested in people's opinions.

To keep this discussion remotely relevant, let's assume were talking about similar engines in the say 14-19hp range, all using a real oil pump and filter (not the low-end oil slings).

Interested in your thoughts, thanks!

Chris

p.s. I know that JD use to use Kawasaki engines in some models, do any other brands use them?

Kbeitz
02-12-2007, 05:58 PM
Just listing to everybody else talk, I would say Kawasaki has one of the best engines... And of course Honda...

sonny
02-12-2007, 11:01 PM
I have best luck with KHOLER! thanks; sonny

Milwaukee
02-12-2007, 11:05 PM
I like Kohler and Kawasaki it very good motors for me.

johndeere70
02-13-2007, 02:03 AM
kohler and kow for sure. but my all time favorite is Wisconsin .

Mower_Man42
02-13-2007, 08:07 AM
I have best luck with KHOLER! thanks; sonny

I`ll also go along with Sonny, I`ll also add Kawa. singles and v twins motors.

speedmaster
02-13-2007, 08:27 AM
Much appreciated, thanks everyone!

Reep1077
02-13-2007, 10:13 AM
I go with kohlers and hondas....spent many hours working on all of them and they seem to be the best......I won't even think of owning anything with a briggs and straton on it......lol

REW
02-13-2007, 10:19 AM
B&S (Vanguard), Kaw.

AcreFarm
02-13-2007, 06:34 PM
I'd say Kohler and Honda.
My $.02

Mrwiggles2
02-13-2007, 07:12 PM
I was going to say what Kevin said, Honda and Kawasaki. I'll put my Vanguard up to any of them too, its just a sweet purring machine that pumps out power.

RED-85-Z51
02-15-2007, 02:02 AM
From Better to Crap..

Kawasaki L/C V-Twins
Briggs & Stratton Vanguards
Onans
Honda
Kohler K and M series
Tecumseh H-HH-HM series of Singles, yes, splash lubed, but it works perfectly.
Kohler Command
Tecumseh Twins
Briggs I/C Flatheads.
Briggs 5hp Flathead
Wisconsin
Wisconsin Robin
Robin Subaru
Kohler Courage

Kbeitz
02-15-2007, 05:53 AM
I cant beleve you put Tecumseh in front of Briggs I/C Flatheads,Briggs 5hp Flathead,Wisconsin.Wisconsin Robin.Robin Subaru.Kohler Courage...
I would say Wisconsin was one of the best ever made... But Tecumseh gotta be at the very bottom... Our local junkyard has tons of them... I wont even look at them...
I dont have much good to say about the new Briggs eather...

Mrwiggles2
02-15-2007, 07:47 AM
Ok, stupid question, but why are Tecumsehs so bad? I know of 5 people that have Sno kings on their Ariens just doors from me, these things are ancient and they work flawlessly? :confused: And my 10hp Tech. works great, also a snowking.

I also have a 5hp B&S flathead on my Pony tiller that may fit where you have it. It leaked oil at the muffler, head gasket, but since I put a new muffler and gasket in, it is another fantastic motor that powers through anything.

I'm not debating here, just curious because I only see what's in front of me not the big picture.lol

Mkos1980
02-15-2007, 10:32 AM
My 2 stage snowthrower has a 5HP Tec snowking and its an awesome motor. bout 10 years old and 1 pull and it runs perfect. I truely believe that its all how the motor is taken care of. I also have a 6.5 BS quantum that has well over 2000 hours in its 2 year lifespan and still running good. Its being used commercially cutting 8-10 hours a day 7 days a week. Accually its a Craftsman rear wheel drive self propelled lawn mower we use at the golf course.

RED-85-Z51
02-15-2007, 12:13 PM
I cant beleve you put Tecumseh in front of Briggs I/C Flatheads,Briggs 5hp Flathead,Wisconsin.Wisconsin Robin.Robin Subaru.Kohler Courage...
I would say Wisconsin was one of the best ever made... But Tecumseh gotta be at the very bottom... Our local junkyard has tons of them... I wont even look at them...
I dont have much good to say about the new Briggs eather...


Well, Ive had good luck with tecs...

Ive had Push Mowers with em, lasted forever.

I had a Gokart with an H50 that ran ungoverned for years and years, and only after 8 years did it finally burn oil. Honed, and re-ringed and it was back to work.
Got an HH70 on a tiller, right now it needs a new coil, but that motor is sweet. I took the Float carb off, and replaced it with a Diaphragm carb, big improvement.

IVe had Gens. with HM80 engines, HH100's, my dad had a Sears with an OH160, and never had any problems with them.

Ive had I/C briggs motors that were junk. Valve seats coming loose, those blasted updraft carbs some of them had...Ive got one on a Gokart right now. 8hp, Industrial plus, that vibrates like crazy, worst Ive ever seen.

Wisconsin made good engines way back when, but they were too complicated for their own good. They had those distributors, massive strokes...and from what Ive seen, when they went down, they stayed down for a while due to their complicated design.

The Wisconsin Robins were good, just a poor ignition deisign.

The Robin Subarus are decent utility engines, some run for a long time, some dont. Ive seen em go down after light use due to valve issues, and one due to a carb failure of some sort.

The Kohler Courage....well...like Ive said before...bad design, poor execution. The next KT17.

Mkos1980
02-15-2007, 12:53 PM
If the courage was such a bad motor, wouldnt there be more links online to people with problems? The only post I have seen where the motor was ripped on was from your post last year. What is so bad about those motors?

Mrwiggles2
02-15-2007, 01:47 PM
Red- the Robin/Subaru's that were put in Generators about 4 or 5 years ago were shipped with fuel in the line. It varnished and would start but then once it hit operating temp, it would quit. Couldn't restart until several hours later, then it would do the same thing. Finally, we had the warranty work done and Robin stated that several in that lot left with fuel in the carbs. After a cleaning, it still did the same thing. A new carb was sent, and now the generator works great.

Techs get a bad rap, not sure why. I wouldn't want anything else powering my Ariens, except maybe a Vtwin Vanguard...! I'll keep my LHead. I don't know anything about their Ohv Snowkings, but even though my LHead is loud, it still one great engine.

RED-85-Z51
02-15-2007, 03:04 PM
Red- the Robin/Subaru's that were put in Generators about 4 or 5 years ago were shipped with fuel in the line. It varnished and would start but then once it hit operating temp, it would quit. Couldn't restart until several hours later, then it would do the same thing. Finally, we had the warranty work done and Robin stated that several in that lot left with fuel in the carbs. After a cleaning, it still did the same thing. A new carb was sent, and now the generator works great.

Techs get a bad rap, not sure why. I wouldn't want anything else powering my Ariens, except maybe a Vtwin Vanguard...! I'll keep my LHead. I don't know anything about their Ohv Snowkings, but even though my LHead is loud, it still one great engine.


I worked on a Generator that had a R/S engine on it, and it leaked out the rear seal, the rope broke as soon as he unpacked the thing and tried to start it..It REALLY liked the gas too..
Had a 4.5hp and a 9hp hp on a pair of Gokarts, and one had weak spark after 25-30 hours..and the other had a Carb leak that wouldnt stop, even after we installed one heck of an expensive Carb kit, that took 3 weeks to get in. Id rather have a Honda Clone than a R/S.

I like the tecs myself..the bad rap comes from the poor carb design, and the fact that the con rods wont rev to high heaven like a briggs.

---------------

MKos1980, The courage is Kohlers first venture into the inexpensive/disposable engine market. They suffer from Valvetrain failures, as well as the plastic dipsticks breaking off in the motor, requiring a complete teardown to retreive.
I know 2 dealers who work on them daily, and they BOTH feel just like I do...

It is the next KT17...

Ive had em come in with low hours, already using oil too..

As much as it pains me to say it..Id rather have an 18hp Briggs AVS I/C Single than a Kohler Courage 19hp Single.

With meticulous care and maintainance, they may turn out to be okay 4-5 year motors, but they dont seem to tolerate any abuse.

My freind showed me the dealer brochure he got and for the Courage Twins it said something like "Kohlers NEW Courage Commercial line" then in super small letters it said "not for commercial use, only intended for light residential use" :biglaugh:

Wasnt it Kohler that produced that gleaming Failure that was the Aiegis engine a while back?

Worlds first OHC air cooled V-Twin for mowers etc etc..Made it so the thing couldnt be disassembled for repair..then put a dinky little air filter on it..which clogged the first time you used it, then it sucked in gritty air from elsewhere, ate the rings up...but they couldnt be replaced. :fing32:

Kohler KNOWS Cast Iron Fltties...and OHV Twins, why do they have to try and break new ground? The new ground ends up breaking them.. :fing20:

Mkos1980
02-15-2007, 03:10 PM
Which courages suffer worse? Single or the twin? Would it be wise to check the lash on a new motor in case it was setup wrong from the factory if valvetrain is an issue?

LilysDad
02-15-2007, 06:54 PM
I've seen a lot of Wisconsin twins on Interstater Pup mowers. Thier good if tuned perfect, otherwise their miserable to start.

Kbeitz
02-15-2007, 07:27 PM
Snowking is a different bread of engine... Its one of Tecumseh best engines... But that only makes about 5% of all there engines... So that leaves the good Cast-iron ones they made 15% ... So that leaves the other 80% for the junkman.... And yes Briggs made some blunders to... Got to remember this is only my $00.02... And sometimes that doesnt count...

RED-85-Z51
02-16-2007, 02:29 AM
Which courages suffer worse? Single or the twin? Would it be wise to check the lash on a new motor in case it was setup wrong from the factory if valvetrain is an issue?

Ive heard some Single Cylinder Horror stories, and from what I understand, the Twin is somewhat better.

The cam gear teeth tend to develope some play, then the teeth start to fall off, until it jumps timing and you get Piston - Valve contact.

I guess it's kinda like I tell my customers..

Look at the BIG picture. Look at the Major manufacturers.

Simplicity and (snapper)
John Deere
Cub Cadet
etc etc...

JD uses the AVS single cylinder Briggs in their lower line..Same one found in Murrays, MTD's and AYP's.

Sinplicity uses the Kohler Courge Singles in their low end equipment, as well as some Single Cylinder AVS engines. Snapper uses the Single Cylinder Briggs, as well as some Kawasaki and Honda motors, but only in the more expensive mowers...While Simplicity AND snapper use the Briggs VANGUARD V-Twin in the top of the line mowers.

JD uses Kawasaki engines in ther Upper models

CC uses the Courage in its lower models, While they use the COMMAND in their 2500 and 3000 Series models.

Obviously the lower end engines are costing the Manufacturers less to purchase. They can make more money on a cheaper engine...there is a reason they dont use the Cheaper engine s on the upper level equipment. Dont you think CC would LOVE to put The considerably less expensive Courage VTWIN in the 3000 series? MAkes the same power, Both are Kohler Made...but for some reason, they opt for the More expensive Command.

Like I said, with proper care, regular oil changes, the Courage single and Twins may not be terible engines, but if you sway from a good regimine of care, they are boat anchors waiting to happen.

http://www.kohlerengines.com/common/images/jpg180/aaa16844.jpg

See in this Cutaway of a Single Cylinder Courage, see the orange and blue gears just under the flywheel?

Those are plastic. (polymer) Notice how far they are from the oil sump. On most Vertical engines, the cam gear is at the bottom, in or just above the oil level. YES, briggs ran plastic camshafts for many years, and still do, and they work fine. Purpose was to reduce valve noise and weight.

The unique thing about the Courage singles are the Twin Cam system..1 cam per valve, 2 valves, 2 cams. The Vtwins use 2 cams, but only 1 per cylinder, thusly the Courage twins are a heck of alot different then most other Twins out there..

Given the choice, Id opt for the Twin, if it was one of the other...

RED-85-Z51
02-16-2007, 02:32 AM
I wish I had some hard evidence to back up what im saying..but all I can do is tell you guys what Im hearing from the folks that work on em all the time. Some are good, some are bad, some are terrible.

JRC IOWA
02-16-2007, 03:58 AM
I wish I had some hard evidence to back up what im saying..but all I can do is tell you guys what Im hearing from the folks that work on em all the time. Some are good, some are bad, some are terrible.


You got me very worried about the courage.I ordered a lt with a twin 25hp in dec.still not in.
I have a 14.5 B&S on a 1998 snapper it has no oil filter,i change the oil every 2hrs(ya i know thats alot)So i don't know how much oil it uses?But it doesn't smoke.
I was going to change the oil on the courage every 5 or 10 hrs.
Will this help?Or a waste of money?
Will synthetic oil help?If so how soon.

Thanks for all advice

saselker
02-16-2007, 08:12 AM
I have had good luck with both B&S and Tecumseh. My old ariens had the 7hp snow king, wore it out after 20 years, rebuilt it for $17 in parts, ran it for another 10+, ran it out of oil(dumba$$), froze up the conn. rod to the crank. broke it free polished up the crank and ran it for another year. The thing always ran well and strong in spite of the abuse. Was finallly replaced with cheapo 6 hp tec tiller motor(7 hp discontinued...6 hp was direct bolt on due to identical crankcase casting), has run flawlessly for quite a few years now. I have quite a few B&S singles that have held up well, including an 8hp I/C on a leaf blower that was subjected to MANY years of commercial duty. Other than the never ending carb adjusting I seem to have to do on these things they do pretty well.

All that being said I have a buddy in the landscaping business that is NOT impressed with the newer B&S product including the vanguard. sais the older I/C line was decent but thenewer stuff just doesn't hold up(leafblowers etc).

He has said on several occasions that he would not buy anything with a B&S again.
Looking around his shop I see Hondas and Kawasakis on all the newest stuff, there are some older machines with b&S intek motors but he says he'll try to sell them before they crap out. Usually a homeowner will buy them and they last quite some time(a week of comercial use is a lifetime for a H.O.).

For bigger twins he says the kohlers are ok but not nearly as good as the Kawasaki motors for reliability. Claims to never have had a plastic cam gear failure......

Funny thing is otherwise he is a good old american iron kind of guy. Will not even consider buying an import car/truck, bike or heavy equipment for that matter.

Mrwiggles2
02-16-2007, 08:24 AM
Red,,,, boat anchor, good one!

I think what you mentioned is correct, the cam teeth have that phenolic resin right? I don't think they are metal. I think proper maintenance is key and they specify oil with those engines, I think they want synthetic run in them. But, it will be interesting to see how many hours those engines can pile on before failure.

LilysDad
02-16-2007, 10:58 AM
[QUOTE=Kbeitz]Snowking is a different bread of engine... Its one of Tecumseh best engines... But that only makes about 5% of all there engines...

I don't disagree but, what is the difference between the Snow King and the rest?

RED-85-Z51
02-16-2007, 01:05 PM
You got me very worried about the courage.I ordered a lt with a twin 25hp in dec.still not in.
I have a 14.5 B&S on a 1998 snapper it has no oil filter,i change the oil every 2hrs(ya i know thats alot)So i don't know how much oil it uses?But it doesn't smoke.
I was going to change the oil on the courage every 5 or 10 hrs.
Will this help?Or a waste of money?
Will synthetic oil help?If so how soon.

Thanks for all advice

Twin should hold up better than the single.

Those old 14.5 Briggs were nice engines. I ran one 4000 rpms for a long time, oil changes every 50 hours, no oil filter or anything.

2 hours is excessive to say the least. :sidelaugh

You should run Conventional oil in the Courage for at least 10 hours for break in, then if you like run Synthetic, or a Synthetic blend. I wouldnt change the oil more often than 20 hours.

Ive got an 8hp briggs on a Snapper that uses a touch of oil, I change the oil yearly, add it as needed, and run it full throttle often, it never seems to complain.

On the JD 316, and the WH 416, I change the oil every 25 hours, and the filter every 50 hours. So far both still run like new.

The M10S Kohler on my 310 WH has like a 2.5 Quart Capacity, and after 25 hours, the oil is still golden.

The smaller the oil capacity, the more often you should change the oil.

RED-85-Z51
02-16-2007, 01:07 PM
[QUOTE=Kbeitz]Snowking is a different bread of engine... Its one of Tecumseh best engines... But that only makes about 5% of all there engines...

I don't disagree but, what is the difference between the Snow King and the rest?


I know they dont run air filters... :omg:

Mkos1980
02-16-2007, 02:09 PM
Should I precheck the valves?

Mrwiggles2
02-16-2007, 04:22 PM
Iowa, how are you changing oil every 2 hours? That isn't excessive, that obsessive, as in obsessive compulsive!!!! Yikes!

RED-85-Z51
02-16-2007, 04:44 PM
Should I precheck the valves?


I wouldnt bother. Any problem should present itself early on.

Thankfully, the warranty is pretty good, they dont give ya a hard time.

Sailingamerican
02-16-2007, 05:06 PM
Well, Honda is my choice. My tractor has a 20 B & S engine with oil pressure and filter. If I did not get it so cheap I would not own it. I have a 13 hp Honda pressure washer and a Honda Generator which run great. The Gen is 29 years old and starts every time. I have 3 Honda outboard motors for my Sailboats. One is an 84 model and always starts on first pull. When Honda started the auto line he used the best steel he could find. I do not know about the new cheap line of Honda engines on the mowers and small gens. Many of the small B & S engines do not even have bushings. The shaft runs on the casting. I only have 33 hours on the tractor and it seems to be fine. I need to get a manual for the tractor, ******** SY4500 stick $650 with 19.2 hours. Can't go wrong. Like new. I can repalce the engine and still be ahead.

JRC IOWA
02-16-2007, 08:32 PM
Iowa, how are you changing oil every 2 hours? That isn't excessive, that obsessive, as in obsessive compulsive!!!! Yikes!


:sidelaugh
Ya i know it is a alot.It takes a quart and 1/2 and only takes a min to change.i bought the mower from my brother and knowing him i'm just making up lost time.
I'll they to work on the obsessive compulsiveness....how about 5hrs. :ROF