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Looking for an older {affordable for me) JD mower/garden tractor - maybe GX series. I'm not sure I'll have a choice but I would like to read opinions on the Kawasaki air cooled vs the water cooled. I'm leaning toward the water cooled but it does add another system to maintain.

Also, while here, comments on the Yanmar diesel,

Thanks, Bob
 

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For me, this is an easy answer.

Once I went water-cooled, I didn't even think of air-cooled again. (445,Fuel Injected).

Once I went diesel, I never thought of using a gas engine on these machines again. I liked it so much, I bought another one. (455)
 
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And for another perspective, water cooled is great, especially if it gets hot where you are. But, it is something else that needs maintenance. If you (and all the owners before you) maintain(ed) it well, it will last a long time. If not, your results will vary.

Diesel is also great, but it comes at a price premium usually. Some people really hate the smell of diesel (and not just in the morning).

It comes down to what is available and do you want to wait for exactly what you want, when looking at used machines. Diesel machines tend to be more expensive, have higher hours, and bigger decks. While 1800 hours might not be a lot of hours on the engine, it is on the rest of the machine (which is generally the same as the one with a gas engine).

For the GX class machine either is probably fine.
 

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I vote diesel. my 332 used 1/2 the gas the 318 uses.
 
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I have had 214, 318, 425 and now 455. The water cooled 425 was by far the smoothest and quietest of all. The 455 is noticeably stronger and equally louder with more vibration. If you want a mower that you can run without ear protection the water cooled Kawasaki’s are really hard to beat. If you don’t have a huge area to mow, I’m not sure the diesel is worth the major premium in cost. I love my 455 but I would like a 425 or 445 for a mower in my longer term plan.


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And for another perspective, water cooled is great, especially if it gets hot where you are. But, it is something else that needs maintenance. If you (and all the owners before you) maintain(ed) it well, it will last a long time. If not, your results will vary.

Diesel is also great, but it comes at a price premium usually. Some people really hate the smell of diesel (and not just in the morning).

It comes down to what is available and do you want to wait for exactly what you want, when looking at used machines. Diesel machines tend to be more expensive, have higher hours, and bigger decks. While 1800 hours might not be a lot of hours on the engine, it is on the rest of the machine (which is generally the same as the one with a gas engine).

For the GX class machine either is probably fine.
100% agree. Unless you live in an area with an abundance of tractors or live in an extremely hot climate, buy what's in the best overall condition, not because it's water-cooled or not. I have a GX345 mainly because that's what was on the market at the time.
 
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once I went water-cooled, I didn't even think of air-cooled again.

Once I went diesel, I never thought of using a gas engine on these machines again.
This ^^ except I skipped the liquid cooled gas job.

Another vote for the 'Bota diesel.
'Bota? I think that's thing's got a Yanmar but could be wrong. Kubota and Yanmar both make good diesel engines.

And for another perspective, water cooled is great, especially if it gets hot where you are. But, it is something else that needs maintenance.
Air cooled engines need cooling system maintenance too. Look how many people have neglected to clean the cooling fins and had a valve guide come loose. They also run hotter and don't last as long.
 

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Oh and get the diesel. Not only does it run better, produce more torque, and last way longer before rebuild than a comparable gas engine, it also sips fuel compared to it's gas counterpart.
 

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What are your duties now and future plans for the next machine? I don't want to bog you down with a bunch of ideas and find you only need a low maintenance easy to maneuver with the ability to change and buy inexpensive attachments.
 

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Yeah, starting with the tasks you want to accomplish with a machine is always a good idea, unless budget is of no concern. Then you can just get an X739 or X758 for mowing duties and then a CUT for when you need a bigger machine, and perhaps a Gator or UTV to get around your hundreds of acres 😉
 

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'Bota? I think that's thing's got a Yanmar but could be wrong. Kubota and Yanmar both make good diesel engines.
I think you're right... see avatar/'Bota on the brain... 🤪:whistle:

My snowblower is a Yanmar diesel which has also been flawless (at nearly 30 years old); both brands are great favorites up here in farm country. 🍻
 

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I have 2 air cooled Kohler Commands and 1 Kawa FD620D liquid cooled, all 3 are horizontal shafts. The Kawasaki is one fine, quiet, smooth running engine. I wish all my machines had it. Nothing wrong with the Kohlers but the Kawa is a nice piece of work.
 
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I kinda look at the air vs water cooling question the same as getting a car with/without cruise control. Both cars will get you there. They probably will last the same amount of miles in their lifespan. Cruise control is just nicer. Water is quieter, warms up faster, etc. But air cooled isn't the end of the world. And air cooled has less to break down.

I'm at the point where diesel is just a preference. The cost/benefit isn't there. But there is absolutely something intangible to hearing that diesel engine humming along. I'm bidding on an x740 next week at an auction. I'm more interested in the tractor capabilities, and the diesel is just a cool to have.
 

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I kinda look at the air vs water cooling question the same as getting a car with/without cruise control. Both cars will get you there. They probably will last the same amount of miles in their lifespan. Cruise control is just nicer. Water is quieter, warms up faster, etc. But air cooled isn't the end of the world. And air cooled has less to break down.

I'm at the point where diesel is just a preference. The cost/benefit isn't there. But there is absolutely something intangible to hearing that diesel engine humming along. I'm bidding on an x740 next week at an auction. I'm more interested in the tractor capabilities, and the diesel is just a cool to have.
RE: Diesel

Obviously depending on the needs of the user, there's also the performance part. I've had the 445 and now 455 that both utilize shaft-driven implements. The diesel performance compared to the KAW performance is night and day when it comes to power and getting bogged down. This applies to both the 60" mower deck and the 47 dual stage blower that I've used on both units
 

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Agreed on diesels having more "uumph" to power through. It would be interesting to see the torque curve comparisons on the 445 vs 55. I'd bet the diesel wins by a large margin.
 

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I have a JD 322, with a Yanmar water-cooled GAS motor. It's much quieter than the air cooled JDs I've owned in the past. Maintenance is minimal. Go water-cooled.
 

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Really like the Kaw liquid-cooled engine on my GX345. No problems with that feature.
One thing that wasn't mentioned in the replies is that the liquid-cooled engines run alot quieter than an air-cooled version.
Another plus (and not knowing where you're located) is that if you ever put a cab on the tractor, it will be somewhat easy to plumb in a heater.
 
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