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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to start on a golf cart project soon and need some info on these 2 engines. I've heard they're both good but the B&S has more performance potential. I'm not really interested in performance parts since i'll be going from 9 HP to over 20, but that may change in the future.

The Honda kit is a little more expensive and 3 HP less. They both have a 3 year engine warranty.

Basically I want to know which would you pick and why. :trink39:
 

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That's a tough call! Those are two of my three favorite engines... I do have to say though that in my opinion the Honda is still a more reliable engine. The design is just so bullet proof. It looks to be a better designed and stronger built engine. You hardly ever see or hear of one blowing up. But you do see a few Vanguards with tossed rods. Granted there are more Vanguards out there than Hondas and Maintenance plays the biggest factor in their life... You can't go wrong with either one.. Just my two cents worth!


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Hmmm...The Vanguard is more robust, but t he Honda is a very proven design, there is a racing pedigree with the vanguard twins though...

Id probably go 13hp Chinese single, and build it up with the money I saves.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm leaning more towards the Vanguard. Both are strong engines but like you said Red, the Vanguard has way more performance potential. I've heard there's zero performance parts for the Honda and I don't want to get the itch for more power and be stuck.

Building a knock off is a good idea but the 2 kits i'm looking at are a complete package. Engine, wiring harness, cables, belt, drive clutch, and mounting plate. A custom mounting plate must be made since EzGo golf cart engines are part of the frame kinda. Which complicates engine swaps. SO, it must be one of these 2 engines.

The company selling the B&S will even install the performance cam, "rev kit" and timing advance key or sell them to do yourself. And people have said they have great customer support. The B%S is looking like the better choice to me.
 

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Showing my ignorance- what kind of hopped up golf cart is this?? I had no idea people did this.

Going from 9 to 23, and looking at the potential to modify for even more power? Wow :) Sounds fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's actually a pretty common thing! 9 HP is fine for moderate terrain with around stock height tires, but not nearly enough for tall tires and steep hills/thick mud. There's actually kits for a 30 HP Vanguard and i've seen them built to 60+ HP! That's down right wicked.
 

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Put on the billet flywheel, advance the timing about 4*, do the rev kit, billet rods, shave the heads, upgrade the carb...dual tuned open pipes...sky's the limit with the briggs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You got me drooling...
 

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They don't want to make them too good. Hurts the bottom line. I was originally going to say that if any of the makers offered a "Pro" series with steel rods or at least forged alum rod [ with insert brgs ] then you would be addressing the main cause of [ premature ? ] failure. Probably wouldn't even cost them $25 per rod at the factory level. Motors would last forever. Then it hit me about the value of replacement sales to a company's bottom line :)
 

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You got me drooling...
Go down to the ATV forum and a guy has a thread with a hotted up Vanguard powered golf cart.

Back in the 90's I had a dirt bike / atv shop and somebody gave me a Vanguard twin powered pressure washer with a bad pump. I thought it would be cool as grits to put the motor in a small street bike using a belt drive to the clutch and a separate 5 or 6 speed tranny along the lines of an old Brit bike [ that all appeared to be designed by the same guy ]. Too many ideas and WAY too little energy.

I should also add that at that time I had a Honda NT650 Hawk which was one of the coolest V-twins ever made. It probably wouldn't have taken long to start asking myself what was the point of spending time and money on the Briggs .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I checked it out, thanks! That's exactly what I want to do minus the long travel front suspension. I'll just do the regular 5" drop axle lift.
 

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They don't want to make them too good. Hurts the bottom line. I was originally going to say that if any of the makers offered a "Pro" series with steel rods or at least forged alum rod [ with insert brgs ] then you would be addressing the main cause of [ premature ? ] failure. Probably wouldn't even cost them $25 per rod at the factory level. Motors would last forever. Then it hit me about the value of replacement sales to a company's bottom line :)
Actually, the GX630 has forged steel rods with insert bearings.:fing02:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, especially if there's no rev kits or performance parts for them.
 

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I was just making a joke since I am the one that said that steel rods would be good. The most common catastrophic failure seems to be broken alum rods. The obvious solution is better alum rods or steel. The life of the motor should be dramatically extended. Even if there was an oiling failure usually you just wipe out the rod bearing and it's possible to catch it before the side of your block lands in the dirt.
 

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Actually, there really is no advantage to a steel rod on one of these things, running under 4500 rpms. If you run out of oil, the babbit inserts seize and spin in the rod...ruining the rods, so you still end up replacing 200 dollars worth of rods...and they can still break and take out the block.

the GX-630 has a forged crank, which is awesome, but really...not needed at all.

Aluminum rods break from overspeeding or lack of lube...however they are inexpensive to replace.

Its a Catch22 on a stock engine...

On a race engine, you want billet aluminum rods.
 

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I just seems like the Hondas have the potential to go 1000's of hours and then be rebuilt and go more 1000's. It seems like the other engines that go many thousands eventually toss the rods out the block.

Of course, what good is a multi thousand hour motor on a 1500 hour unit ???? The 420 JD garden tractors of today have diesels.
 

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rayjay, I'd bet that steel or cast iron rods would fail also when put into the same situation as the aluminum rods. They do not like to twist with the crankshaft, so they break. The reason is inadequate oil to keep the 'wave' of lube and prevent metal-to-metal contact. Once that happens, and you get some transfer, no oil will fit between the rod and journal, and it 'wraps' ... once, for a partial turn...
I think any rod would fail in that circumstance. The old Chevy 'stove bolt 6' had dippers to lube the rod bearings. Then they went to 'spray tubes' that squirted directly into the openings on the big end of the rod, and finally went to full pressure lube. I *think* each time they improved the 'accuracy' of the lube flow, the available hp increased, and the rpm range was increased. Of course I do not have my old shop manual any more and the car is likely razor blades somewhere, but I'm pretty sure the dippers could not pull the same rpm range as the fully pressure lubed engines, no matter what their rods were made from. Steel or iron will take more load than an aluminum rod, but if the bearings fail on any of them, it's likely the rod will fail also. Though I did have a Tempest with a halfa-v8 that had a spun connecting rod bearing. Don't think they ever changed the oil in that engine. I filled it with el-cheapo STP stuff, and drove it home, with a replacement engine in the trunk. It rapped a lot at idle, but made it. Insert was paper-thin in some spots, and the journal looked as if it had been gone at with a file. The rod did not break, but I just didn't drive it real hard either.
Maybe it would make a difference... I don't know.
tom
 
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