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View Full Version : Blown Vanguard Engine - 4 hrs after rebuild


ERICKS
08-09-2001, 01:14 AM
What would you expect from the shop??

Just as a preventative maintence move, I took my old 36" Ransome with a 14HP Vanguard to my favorite shop and ask them to go through the engine since I thought it was making an unusual sound. They tore it down, basically said there was nothing that needed to be done after checking all tolerances and re-torqueing everything. They put a new muffler and replace the main gasket, and charged me $489. I was happy to pay it, if nothing else, for the peace of mind I could finish out the season.

I put it to work and after four hours on the job it threw a rod and cracked the block. I took it back, the guy was embarrassed, loaned me a Dixey Chopper and said he "would make it right". He said he was going to get a Kohler for it. We didn't discuss who would pay for what (I know... probably a big mistake).

I know before he origionally tore the thing down we talked about the Kohler and he said he could find one for about $750.

Here is my question, what is fair here. I don't think I should have to pay the whole cost of the new engine and installation (again). What would you expect??

Doug

ArboristSite
08-09-2001, 02:45 AM
I would expect to pay for the new engine and get reimbursed for the $489 bucks you already paid. You are a commercial guy, and he will make it up someday making good on this one. I had to "eat" some jobs when I knew I did nothing wrong and it was their fault. I have had problems with the vanguards doing this, so that isnt a big surprise. The surprise might be that they didnt find that out when hearing it/tearing it down. Dont ever spend that much on a Vanguard again. Use it and when it dies, get a new one. For a few bucks more you could have had a new engine put on there originally. The guys seems honest if he gave you the dixie to use. So you should have no problem working out something. If he doesnt count you losses and find a new dealer. I have been on your side also and they dont take care of it. Everyone needs to put food on the table, but when they eat theirs and yours......show them the door.

Richard Martin
08-09-2001, 07:33 AM
WOW! That was a lot of money to do basically nothing. Over the winter I sent my Kaw 14 out and had it bored, new rings, new piston and a gasket set for $343.00.

I would certainly ask for my money back!

Or you provide the engine and he provides the labor. Alamia has 14 Kaws for 675.00 and 17's for 795.00. Muffler and shipping are included.

ERICKS
08-09-2001, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the input. What is Alamia??

Doug

racerdave
08-09-2001, 10:22 PM
www.alamia.com (http://)

A good source....

David

John DiMartino
08-10-2001, 10:24 PM
Richard,the 14 Vanguard is V-twin,yours is a single cylinder,big difference in prices when it has double the parts.I do agree however,that the price was steep,I wouldve just repowered it for peace of mind,rather than pay 489 for basically a muffler.

ERICKS
08-20-2001, 12:52 AM
If you are interested, here is how I settled up with the repair guy. He put a new 14HP Vanguard back on the mower. He charged me $377.00 for the new engine and labor to install it. Adding 377 and the original 485, the total was $862. He said that would be close to the price to have had the engine installed in the first place. I was a little disgruntled he put a Vanguard back on, I ask him to go with a Kohler. I'm not sure why he didn't do what I ask unless he thought I wouldn't pay for it and wanted as little in it as possible.

anyway, I'm mowing again.

Doug

racerdave
08-20-2001, 10:36 AM
Doug, did you keep the Chopper?

David

ArboristSite
08-20-2001, 09:07 PM
Does this guy have experience in business? I would definitely would have worked something out with him before you proceeded. If you dont it would create other problems. Like it did in your case. You are happy now that you are mowing. Wait till next time when the briggs gives out. You will think back on that transaction and be real upseat.

John DiMartino
08-20-2001, 10:03 PM
Arborstite,the briggs was fine before he brought it in,it never gave out,until the dealer took it apart,I would never take off a glassy smooth,quite, 14hp Briggs twin,and put on a thrashy ,noisey kohler.The briggs have held up great if they are maintained,no worse IMO than any Kohler,I know of at least 10 briggs 16hp Vanguards with over 5000 hrs on them,still strong.The only trouble they give golf courses is carb after years of use,wil need to be replaced,when the thottle shaft wears out it wont idel goodyou gotta expect that on an engine with that high hours.

ArboristSite
08-20-2001, 10:11 PM
John, that is not the point. He said that he wanted the thrashy, noisy Kohler and didnt discuss what he was going to do with the customer. I am not saying one is better than the other, but 5000 hours is definitely exagerating. I dont care how much maintenence you do, that isnt going to happen.

Fish
08-20-2001, 10:18 PM
The 14hp Vangards around here are single cylinders, did they
make a 14 hp twin also?
Fish

John DiMartino
08-20-2001, 10:21 PM
5000 is no exaggeration,it is honest hours,i am coming up a 4300 on one of my greensmaster,and have 3925 on another,they are 1987,and 1988's,they have kohlers,and have been rebuilt a few times.In the early 90's Toro switched to the briggs 16hp it will run 5000+ easily.I did a lot of checking into the Vanguard before i bought one,I was leary of it,being a Briggs and all.These engines are tough,they are on Toro greensmasters,the run every day,a lot of hours,and I do not exaggerate.New greensmowers are pushing $20K ,we,and other golf courses run the older units into the ground,after they run 5 yrs/2000 hrs on greens,they go to collars and aprons,for 5 yrs,then to tees,we have a 1967 unit,a Jacobsen that we use for backup,it has over 8000 hrs on it,still runs.

ArboristSite
08-20-2001, 11:03 PM
I realize there is a major difference between briggs and its vanguard models, I think the Vanguard is a decent engine, in the twin models. I have seen too many valve problems with Vanguards, though. I am surprised to hear of your engines lasting that long. I have never seen one last that long, and I have been around tons of engines. I used to service 9 home Depots, True Green, RBI, Brickman, you name it, I served them in Denver. Maybe you take care of them better than these guys.

John DiMartino
08-21-2001, 12:25 AM
There is one thing I can think of ,to explain the reason briggs Vaguards live so long on Toro's.They are governed to 2850 max RPM's.There are stickers over the mower,saying do not run engine above 2850RPM,or warranty on machine,and engine will be void.It says permanent damage will be done to the machine.We have ours set at 2800,it sounds like its running so slow,but thats 2800-this may expalin why they run so long.

ArboristSite
08-21-2001, 11:45 AM
Ahh, I see. Interesting and a good point.

mowerconsultant
08-21-2001, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by John DiMartino
There is one thing I can think of ,to explain the reason briggs Vaguards live so long on Toro's.They are governed to 2850 max RPM's.There are stickers over the mower,saying do not run engine above 2850RPM,or warranty on machine,and engine will be void.It says permanent damage will be done to the machine.We have ours set at 2800,it sounds like its running so slow,but thats 2800-this may expalin why they run so long.

John,
I could be wrong here, but doesnt Toro set the engine for the rpm listed ?
I was under the impression that the hydraulics on some of those units are rpm sensitive.

Anyways, I am a Briggs MST (master service tech) I personaly have seen Vanguard twins last over 5000 hrs...

Another good reason they may run em lower is that most of the engines used on outdoor power equipment reach there max torque curve around the 2800 to 3000 rpm........

Later
Pj

Richard Martin
08-21-2001, 05:26 PM
Pj wrote:
...........................
Another good reason they may run em lower is that most of the engines used on outdoor power equipment reach there max torque curve around the 2800 to 3000 rpm........
...........................

Wouldn't you want an engine to drop into the peak torque range as load increases instead of dropping out of the peak torque range as load increases?

Fish
08-21-2001, 08:05 PM
Not wanting to cause trouble, but what are the model and type
numbers of a 14hp twin Vangard? I just have never seen one.
I want to look it up on Brigg's site.
Fish

John DiMartino
08-21-2001, 09:27 PM
My Toro's all have 2850 as the max RPM's.Im sure it is the hydraulics that are the limit,because the Jacbsen greenking has the same Briggs engine,but it runs at 3600 max.There are alot of greensmasters out there with over 5000 hrs,I would think more so than commercial lawn care stuff,since greensmowers tend to cost 3-5X as much,and are usually maintained better and have a better life than a mower bouncing arouind o na trailer all day,so I would think they would last longer.