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mowin'_homer
05-17-2006, 12:45 PM
I've finally been able to narrow my search for a small machine to 2 choices: the Gravely 34Z and the Dixon Black Bear. With the Dixon being new, it is hard to find opinions/reviews on it. My question is about engine choice. Dixon offers either a V-twin Kawasaki 16hp (FH480V kai) or a single cylinder 18hp Kohler Command Pro (CV493). Kawasaki's website may have the wrong specs published as it says the max hp for the unit is 13.6. It seems to me that the twin cylinder would have more torque and power when it counts even though it's a little smaller in displacement and max HP.

I've dealt with both dealers before and they are both good so I can't use that as a deciding factor and I'm having a hard time deciding.

If anyone could offer some advice or experience, it is greatly appreciated.
thanks - M.H.

Tech man
05-18-2006, 08:05 PM
Out of all the engines we fix in a year.....

45% kohler
30% Briggs
15% Tecumseh
5% kawasaki

Our service director has all the numbers. Hope it helps.

SouthernYankee
05-19-2006, 10:25 PM
I run a gravely 34"z, I dont know anything about the Dixon that you are looking at, but the gravely is a perfect z for small gates or small yards where a bigger z cant fit. My gravely is my main mower.


As for the engine, I have the 15 hp kaw. which has really been solid in thick st.augstine grass. I used to live in Massachusetts, and st.aug is much thicker than bluegrass/Fescue mixes that I used to cut. any more info just pm me or post back.

J&R Landscaping
05-24-2006, 12:34 PM
I would go with the twin cylinder kawasaki engine. Twins run a lot bnetter and longer than a single cylinder.

DJL50
06-10-2006, 01:34 AM
Looking at ZTR's. My Dixon dealer said today that the Kohler has problems with the seals going bad. over $100 to have replaced. Said the Kohler is not what it use to be. I have a 17hp Kaw on a lawn tractor that is 15+ years old. never been worked on in that time. Plug and oil is all (and air filter)
The others may be good but you can not go wrong with the Kaw.

turnerlawn
06-14-2006, 12:52 AM
The kaw is the better of the two.The kolar blows the head gaskets.I have had them both.

airplanenut2
06-22-2006, 11:38 PM
The kaw is the better of the two.The kolar blows the head gaskets.I have had them both.
i have had several mowers with the kohler and kaw engines on them. i have had about the same amount of problems with both of them. the exmark mower is the best i have ever owned and the exmark suport group is the best i have ever encountered. i am in tulsa and the bese exmark dealer is in catoosa, only a 15 minute drive out on hw 412 past catoosa. the kohler head gasket problems went away several years ago and the kaw top crank journal that was cast wrong in some engins was taken care of by the dealer by installing a new engine on the unit, which was done quite quickly. can't sell me anything but a exmark. jay

FLAhaulboy
06-28-2006, 11:32 PM
i own a gravely 34 Z. had it about two years. i've had it in the shop a few times also. it is excellent for getting thru smaller gates, which is the main reason i bought it. it goes 9 mph, 4 in reverse. i wish it had a floating deck, rather than fixed. i paid 4,200.00 for it.

ProStreetCamaro
07-03-2006, 09:22 PM
Out of all the engines we fix in a year.....

45% kohler
30% Briggs
15% Tecumseh
5% kawasaki

Our service director has all the numbers. Hope it helps.


You telling me that Briggs and tecumseh are better than kohler? Your numbers are WAY off base. WTF would you try and lead this guy toward a kawi and make him never want a kohler? I will take a kohler over ANY of those engines any day of the week. You see kawi only makes commercial grade engines where as the others all make home owner grade engines and thus the reason for your highly skewed numbers I would suspect. I have had kawi after kawi fail to early in their expected life span yet i have NEVER had a kohler fail or even break down for that matter except for 1 coil after 2000+ hours on the engine. Our 18 magnum had over 3000 hours when we sold the mower and it still ran strong. Our 15 command ran strong till we sold the mower with 2,500+ hours and our 18 command now has 2,400 hours and is going strong. We have never gotten more than 1,500 hours out of a kawi before it kicked a rod out the side of the block and yes we maintain them and check the oil daily.

ProStreetCamaro
07-03-2006, 09:25 PM
i own a gravely 34 Z. had it about two years. i've had it in the shop a few times also. it is excellent for getting thru smaller gates, which is the main reason i bought it. it goes 9 mph, 4 in reverse. i wish it had a floating deck, rather than fixed. i paid 4,200.00 for it.


How many hours on the unit? Ours has about 500 now and its been flawless except for the ******* KAWASAKI JUNK! Excuse my language but I hate kawasaki. Had to take it into the shop to fix a starting problem and the engine had ohhhhh about 200 hours on it. WAY TO GO KAWASUCKY!

lawnman_scott
07-04-2006, 12:39 AM
I've finally been able to narrow my search for a small machine to 2 choices: the Gravely 34Z and the Dixon Black Bear. With the Dixon being new, it is hard to find opinions/reviews on it. My question is about engine choice. Dixon offers either a V-twin Kawasaki 16hp (FH480V kai) or a single cylinder 18hp Kohler Command Pro (CV493). Kawasaki's website may have the wrong specs published as it says the max hp for the unit is 13.6. It seems to me that the twin cylinder would have more torque and power when it counts even though it's a little smaller in displacement and max HP.

I've dealt with both dealers before and they are both good so I can't use that as a deciding factor and I'm having a hard time deciding.

If anyone could offer some advice or experience, it is greatly appreciated.
thanks - M.H.I have the gravley, and like the others will say its a great little mower. As far as engine choice I would say its a matter of preference (who has had luck with what), I prefer Kohler. But, I would say what ever you do, dont get the dixon. I know nothing of dixon, but dont ever ever get a new mower. Exmark is the best, or right up there, but remember the 26 inch push mower when it came out? Problems. The gravley can stand up to alot, trust me. It can pull out a 52 exmark out of the mud, pull small trees, even cut grass real nice.

airplanenut2
07-05-2006, 12:00 PM
i am a dealer and work on all kinds of engines. i see problems with all of them. mostly it is the owner that don't clean the air filter often enough. or change it. i do not see a lot of problems with the exmark mowers. i sell some different brands and just do not get the dealer suport that i get from exmark. if i was going into the mowing business i would go with exmark all the way. we also sell stihl, shindiawa, husky, snapper and a couple of others.

martyman
07-31-2006, 10:00 PM
I've had no problems with my Kawasaki twin...over 300 hours on my 34z..I just bought a Toro 21" with a Kawi again...I only stay away from Briggs and Stihl.

CRbowden1
08-12-2006, 09:22 PM
I have used all types of gas motors. kohler years ago (cast Iron) could not be beat. But, today kawasaki is the way to go, then briggs. I am an old kohler fan with a 1968/1972 Case still running great. It is so hard to get kohler to back up their engines/parts for some reason. I have been switching to kawasaki for the last two years. Back Packs/Lawn mowers/weed trimmers, edgers etc. Just purchased JD 657 with 23HP Kawa and Love it/

horsequick
08-15-2006, 07:50 PM
Everyone has their preference. But for me it's Kawasaki.

FLAhaulboy
08-15-2006, 09:30 PM
my first walkbehind had a 13 hp KAW on it. i abused this engine for ten yrs, didnt change the oil as recomended, dirty air filter constantly. till the day i sold it, this engine burned no oil and always ran great! yes, my new mower has a 15 hp KAW on it also.

dfischer
08-25-2006, 02:44 AM
Mowin:

1) Clearly prostreet has an agenda. Admits it himself.
2) I suspect tech mans data is correct. But the intepretation suggested is very flawed... That is:
To uderstand a failure rate one must know both the failure quantity AND THE INSTALLED BASE. Thus, if there are twice as many Kohlers, say, then kawi's in production, an equal failure rate would still show twice as many kohlers units in for repairs... Hope I'm clear on that.

3) Kohlers "courage" motor has a less then stellar rep. I'd still happily own a command.

4) But I owned a JD 265 w/a 16.5 single kawi for 16 years before I sold it. Still running strong. You can be sure my new 757 has a kawi in it.

5) Me thinks you have the torque thing backwords. Normally large displacement single cylinder motors have better torque, and lower in the rpm range. As I recall.

Duekster
01-02-2007, 06:52 PM
Out of all the engines we fix in a year.....

45% kohler
30% Briggs
15% Tecumseh
5% kawasaki

Our service director has all the numbers. Hope it helps.


For those to mean anything would you not have to determine how many of each is out there?

Edit:

Sorry some one already made the point better than I. I should read the whole thread b4 posting.

trock123
05-06-2007, 06:32 PM
new to the board i'm looking @ getting a toro z master 300 is it reliable?