View Full Version : Walker L/C Gas or 26EFI?

07-23-2001, 10:03 AM
Am considering purchasing a new Walker.
I am impressed with the 26EFI technology but am equally impressed with the QUIETNESS of the L/C Kubota gas engine. Longevity notwithstanding.

Search did not come up with any comparisons on these two.

Does anyone have any firsthand (or secondhand) experience with these two that can offer any insight?

Thanks in advance.

07-23-2001, 01:00 PM
i've run both. i prefer the 26hp efi, it is 100lbs. lighter (better on hills) and has less fuel usage. They are still too new to telll longevity.

The kubota gas has an excellent track record and there are some out there that have a couple thousand hours on them with no problems.

They are both nice units!!!

07-26-2001, 12:18 AM
I'm a mechanic at a dealer in nothern ILL and have found that the walker is not at all a service friendly machine. Kohler engines are notorious for slow oil leaks and in the walker, to clean the cooling fins periodically you have to pull the engine to do so. In the past month alone my shop has put 3 short blocks in and done two valve jobs to walker mowers due to over-heating from clogged cooling fins. They are a very high maintenance machine. I suppose if you have the time and can do without your machine fairly often the walker is a good choice. Don't forget the engine is only about 3" above the ground and right in all the dirt and debris. It is a good grooming mower don't get me wrong but it is not a high production machine. Good Luck

07-26-2001, 08:54 AM
The problems you're describing sound like they are all related to the Kohler air cooled engines. Am I right in this?
What is your opinion of the Kubota L/C Gas? Do they share the same issues?


07-27-2001, 09:36 AM
You are confused!

We are talking about mowers, not bush hogs.

I've never had to pull any engine to clean the cooling fins on any Walker. Maybe on other mowers.

The question is towards the 26EFI or l/c Kubota engines.

I have a 92' Kubota diesel (old 16hp) with over 5000 hrs. on it with no major engine problems. I've had some electrical and fuel problems (connections, switches, injectors) but the engine is still strong.

I have a 2000 26 EFI with over 600 hrs. and it has never missed a lick. It is my machine of choice.

So much so, that i have a 2001 now!

07-27-2001, 06:04 PM

Your comments strike me as strange. I have a friend who has 3 walkers and never has had a maintenance issue.

Like anything mechanical he does the maintenance like clock work to insure top performance.

I guess he just got the jewel of the bunch! He cuts approx 50 acres one week and close to 80 the next.

gene gls
07-27-2001, 10:36 PM
I have a 1996 20 HP 48" GHS unit with 1850 hours as of today and NO engin problems. On any air cooled engin you have to keep the engin clean of debree. I blow out the engin and compartment every morning when I change blades and check oil. I use a long air nozzle with a rubber tip to into the smallest of areas.


07-30-2001, 01:32 AM
I guess I am going to agree with the mechanic here. I used to be the largest Walker dealer in Denver. They always came in packed with crap in the cooling fins. I also agree it is best to pull the engine routinely to clean it out. Doing this will reduce the heating wear on the machine. I have seen some get so hot that the whole machine caught on fire. I have also had the engines get so hot it warped cyliners and heads. If you look on the shroud of the engine on the new Kohlers (they didnt used to have this) they put a little cut out held on by a 5/16 screw. Take that off and blow them out weekly at least. I also feel Kohler does everone a disservice not to have all service manuals and tools available to the dealer when the engine comes out. I am not saying its not a good engine, it is. I had a fuel problem with one. Fuel pressure in the non efi unit is 1lb and on the efi unit 39lb. Huge difference. They dont even have testers available yet for half the stuff. They are also trying to make it harder for you guys to work on. At the Kentucky expo this year they were showing us this program you have to hook up the engine to and it will detect the problem for you, just like a car. I thought it was great, for the dealer. No more on site fixes. You will have to take it in unless its simple or obvious of course. I would also agree with les as it is a high maintence machine. Have extra belts handy. Hope this helps. I can tell you good and bad stories on Kubota's if you would like. We are the dealer that checks out and test all prototype equipment and I have seen just about everything with them. I would listen to Les other than he doesnt know that it is a high production machine. It might not be as fast as some but does get jobs done faster (catching only). Good Luck!

07-30-2001, 01:49 AM
Thanks everyone for your input.

My impression is that the Kohler requires more frequent preventive maintenance than other engines in this class.

I have not heard as much feedback regarding the L/C gas Kubota.
I will interpret this as meaning that you mechanics/dealers do not see them in the shop for repairs as often and that is of course a good thing.

Thanks again.

07-30-2001, 02:01 AM
I usually didnt. When I did it wasnt a Kubota problem. I had several vapor lock a few years ago. Walker hadnt vented the fuel tank enough with all the heat. We actually had to rerout the fuel line on every Kubota gas we sold. Walker is extremely slow on reacting to new problems. We actually made the first few repair kits. Its like they have this idea that they cant screw up. Or if its a engine problem, they pass the buck and dont put pressure on the engine manufacture and in the case above they were the ones.that need to react. Its like a ma and pop manufacturing plant. Dont get me wrong its a large plant, but run ma and pa like. Bob Walker is a good 'ole boy and dont expect anything to change. They actually came up with an awesome idea that we were testing the prototype on and it never came to be. They were going to build walkbehind (hydro) mowers. That you could exchange decks on from the sit down machines. This means you would have a very versitile walkbehind mower. That idea would have been awesome. It had a few kinks. It was extremely sensitive. They just scratched the idea.:cry:

07-30-2001, 10:24 AM
I've been thinking of the best way to reply to this post. From most responses it looks like heating issues seem to be the most concerned. Like aroboristsite said, Kohler does have a removable clean out cover on the Walker. I would recommend to add this to any Kohler engine. If you read the owners manuals of most air cooled engines, they recommend removing all shrouds and covers and clean the cooling fins every 100 hours. Lets get real. This never happens, but if you have the clean out kits on, in about 10 to 15 minutes you could have the fins cleaned out using compressed air. The kits can be added. You do have to have the blower housing off. There are two part numbers from Kohler for them, 2575520-s (black) and 2575521-s (zinc dichromate). They are $9-10 and include the template to cut the blower housing and fastening hardware. And as far as liquid cooled engines, the radiator fins have to be kept clean, if not you end up with the same problems as air cooled. Some manufactures have electric fans that reverse air flow through the radiator every 5-10 minutes. I agree that Kohler is slow on testing equipment, but also the above mentioned testor shown at Louisville can be put on a laptop and back in the field for testing. More expensive that way though.

07-30-2001, 10:36 AM
True it can be put on a laptop, but it wont even be availible to distributors until November at the earliest. This means they have had the engine out for a couple years with out the proper equipment to test this engine. Even if a customer bought the software. There is no way he is going to let his crew bring the laptop with them to diagnose problems on the spot. True Kubotas need to be cooled also. Cant wait for Kohlers Liquid Cooled EFI next year. What a mess. I know that people are chewing butt to Walker about this engine. Some people have been down for over three weeks due to them dragging their feet. The reaction time is much too slow. Thanks for posting part numbers jman. I hope everone uses them.