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Looking to buy a Cub Cadet 42" for my small yard (in Western PA with sometimes thick, wet grass on a slight slope). Any comments/recommendations on the Intellipower engine vs. the Kohler or are they basically same same? The Intellipower is $200 cheaper at the big box stores.
 

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Welcome to the forum! From some quick reading, it appears that IntelliPower is also an EFI (fuel injected) system. This has pros and cons.

When it's working properly, it should be a little quicker to start than a carbureted engine, and can do a better job of governing the RPMs to hold them steady. Note that, personally, I wouldn't consider either of these to be a big deal. Especially not for summer use. For something like a snowblower, easier cold starts might be a bigger consideration.

When it's not working properly, troubleshooting becomes somewhat more difficult than with a carburetor, and replacement parts for that system will be more expensive, vs a carbureted engine.

EFI isn't bad, some other brands, like John Deere, have offered it (on select, more-expensive machines) for a long time (going back to around 2000?).

Personally, I'd be more inclined to go with a carburetor, myself. If a carb develops problems, it can be cleaned and rebuilt with around $20 worth of parts. And you can often buy an aftermarket replacement carb for maybe around $40 or so. An EFI system's replacement parts would be more expensive, and there more different items that could have a problem.
 
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Welcome to the forum! From some quick reading, it appears that IntelliPower is also an EFI (fuel injected) system. This has pros and cons.

When it's working properly, it should be a little quicker to start than a carbureted engine, and can do a better job of governing the RPMs to hold them steady. Note that, personally, I wouldn't consider either of these to be a big deal. Especially not for summer use. For something like a snowblower, easier cold starts might be a bigger consideration.

When it's not working properly, troubleshooting becomes somewhat more difficult than with a carburetor, and replacement parts for that system will be more expensive, vs a carbureted engine.

EFI isn't bad, some other brands, like John Deere, have offered it (on select, more-expensive machines) for a long time (going back to around 2000?).

Personally, I'd be more inclined to go with a carburetor, myself. If a carb develops problems, it can be cleaned and rebuilt with around $20 worth of parts. And you can often buy an aftermarket replacement carb for maybe around $40 or so. An EFI system's replacement parts would be more expensive, and there more different items that could have a problem.
Thanks for the response! Great to know... now I see that the Intellipower is an EFI (hard to get stats of the big box websites sometimes!) I really want to get one from a local dealer anyway and the EFI seems to be a big-box exclusive.
 

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Welcome to the forum! From some quick reading, it appears that IntelliPower is also an EFI (fuel injected) system. This has pros and cons.

When it's working properly, it should be a little quicker to start than a carbureted engine, and can do a better job of governing the RPMs to hold them steady. Note that, personally, I wouldn't consider either of these to be a big deal. Especially not for summer use. For something like a snowblower, easier cold starts might be a bigger consideration.

When it's not working properly, troubleshooting becomes somewhat more difficult than with a carburetor, and replacement parts for that system will be more expensive, vs a carbureted engine.

EFI isn't bad, some other brands, like John Deere, have offered it (on select, more-expensive machines) for a long time (going back to around 2000?).

Personally, I'd be more inclined to go with a carburetor, myself. If a carb develops problems, it can be cleaned and rebuilt with around $20 worth of parts. And you can often buy an aftermarket replacement carb for maybe around $40 or so. An EFI system's replacement parts would be more expensive, and there more different items that could have a problem.
I agree the EFI cubs have china made engine and parts would be expensive. In my opinion they have to many parts that may fail.
 

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Is the Kohler a Courage or Command series? The Courage is a low priced China built consumer engine and imho no better than the knockoffs. The Command is industrial quality and the price reflects that.
 

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IMHO, it's a bb exclusive because it's the cheaper model, and one of the main ways it's cheaper, is by putting in a cheaper engine.

I'm sure that Intellipower engine works fine, and will last for years, but I expect it to be a throwaway engine, in that, if you keep it a long time, or use it enough for the engine to need parts, you will have difficulty finding parts for it. If I were buying that tractor, and planning on using it for an extended period (say, years more than the warranty period), I would opt for the Kohler engine, which will have better parts availability.

On a separate note, I find the "IntelliPower" technology as Cub describes it, as being just the usual stupid marketing words. From this page Cub Cadet Introduces IntelliPower™ Engine Technology , they use a bunch of fancy words to describe something that's been on small engines for ages, namely a governor. EFI helps with starting/running more efficiently, but it's also not some Cub-exclusive technology.
 

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RoyM, reading between the lines, I'm guessing this is more of a Courage-type engine, rather than Command.

dave_r, definitely true that governors are nothing new. But I've spent time trying to optimize the governor on my Tecumseh-OHV powered snowblower. Mechanical governors aren't perfect. I was getting some RPM drop, and watching the carb, the throttle plate hadn't yet been opened all the way.

I do feel that electronic governors, like what is maybe more common with EFI, can offer improvements there. As a simple example, a mechanical governor is just weights and springs. But there is nothing time-dependant. It won't open the throttle further if an RPM sag lasts longer than 2 seconds, or whatever.

But an electronic system likely has the ability to more accurately monitor RPM. And the smarts could be clever enough to incorporate time into the response, while avoiding RPM oscillations from an overly-sensitive mechanical governor. Adjust to a load, but if the RPMs are still too-low after a certain amount of time, continue opening the throttle further.

My Honda EU2000i generator has a carb, but electronic throttle control. It seems to basically hold RPM perfectly, compared to my mechanical-governor Generac, which sags as you add a load. Generac has you set it to 61-63Hz with no load, IIRC, and it would drop to 59-60 as I increased the load.

Of course, there's also the question is whether this matters. Mowing your lawn at 3550 RPM instead of 3600 is probably not going to be a problem :) I'd probably go for the Kohler, if just for parts availability & support.
 

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Wet, thick grass, on a slight slope. Hmmm....I think I'd stay away from big box store models. Not only are those built to be low price competitive with the other big box store branded machines (cheapest parts, and sometimes inferior frames and transmissions), they beguile the buyer with all kinds of hype, including exclusives like EFI.

Remember if the engine is a cheap component, so is the trans and the deck.

I honestly wouldn't want to tell anyone what to do, but I've found that a cheap price, and lots of hype, are long forgotten when the machine won't run, or it breaks down just when you need it, and long before it should.
 

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kohler kt 7000 series engine mtd use is the replacement for the old sv/courage series . it's simply the lower end line of kohler motors . the other is the name used for the efi powermore mtd has made in china for them.
 

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First, good idea going to a dealer to begin with. I've heard issues with the XT1 in person and on line. I'd at least feel more be comfortable getting it from a dealer, but would avoid mostly for the trans. Though of course there are various models of the XT1. Just going up to the 46" deck gets the Kohler Engine.

Second, for the same price of the XT1's, you might be able to find a couple year old XT2 with a better engine and trans if that is something you'd consider. I had an XT2 with a Kohler Engine for 3 years and it treated me fine. With the 20" tires, it is lighter and my bumpy yard made for a not so smooth ride. Though, deck removal is very easy along with routine maintenance.

There XT2s were given a make over for this year and worth a shot, maybe you could talk the dealer down on an older XT2 model if they have any. My XT2 new in 2018 was $1,999 plus tax, which is what the XT1 46" with Kohler is these days.
 

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Thanks for the response! Great to know... now I see that the Intellipower is an EFI (hard to get stats of the big box websites sometimes!) I really want to get one from a local dealer anyway and the EFI seems to be a big-box exclusive.
It's easy to spend other people's money, and collectively, we are decent at doing that :)

But it seems, from my reading, that (regardless of brand) engine troubles are less common than transmission problems, etc. Most lawn tractors have a K46 transaxle, which is light duty, it does best with mowing flat lawns. If you're going to be towing things with it, etc, that is likely overloading it.

Depending your incline, you may be better served, and may get more years of service, from a somewhat heavier-duty machine. If you were open to used, as @Mike514 said, you might be able to get more machine for the same price, or maybe even less.

Personally, I'd rather have a heavy-duty machine, with reasonable hours and in good condition, than a new light-duty tractor with a warranty. That's what I did last year when buying my new-to-me tractor. I was lucky enough to get what's essentially an XT3, for less than the price of the base XT1 model.
 
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