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brizine
01-27-2009, 09:00 AM
Was looking at getting a zspray and noticed on there website that they now are putting briggs and stratton engines instead of kawasaki. Why would they go a step backwards? Have the briggs improved that much? I'm very reluctant to spend that much money with that engine. Maybe some of the mowing guys can chime in with experience on briggs motors.

grassman177
01-27-2009, 09:17 AM
i dont know about this, you may call to confirm that it may just be an engine option

Real Green
01-27-2009, 10:14 AM
Was looking at getting a zspray and noticed on there website that they now are putting briggs and stratton engines instead of kawasaki. Why would they go a step backwards? Have the briggs improved that much? I'm very reluctant to spend that much money with that engine. Maybe some of the mowing guys can chime in with experience on briggs motors.

As a member of the T3000 A-team, we received a strong education on small engines during our time at Turfco in Minnesota. I, like you, am a big fan of Kawasaki small engines. I have often joked that I love them so much if they made a car, I'd buy it. Either way, Turfco ran many tests on many small engines before deciding on one for their unit. Throughout their testing, it was determined that Briggs had made many leaps and strides toward building a sound small engine once again. I have had great success with the Briggs on our T3000 and have put close to 350 hours on it. My opinion is that it may be making a comeback. I am sure others out there fell differently, but I wanted to just share that with you. Take care.

HenryB
01-27-2009, 12:14 PM
As a member of the T3000 A-team, we received a strong education on small engines during our time at Turfco in Minnesota. I, like you, am a big fan of Kawasaki small engines. I have often joked that I love them so much if they made a car, I'd buy it. Either way, Turfco ran many tests on many small engines before deciding on one for their unit. Throughout their testing, it was determined that Briggs had made many leaps and strides toward building a sound small engine once again. I have had great success with the Briggs on our T3000 and have put close to 350 hours on it. My opinion is that it may be making a comeback. I am sure others out there fell differently, but I wanted to just share that with you. Take care.

You say once again. When did Briggs ever make a sound engine?

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
01-27-2009, 01:02 PM
I have to agree, I'd take a Kawi, or better yet, a Kohler over a B&S anyday... But the trend lately is B&S on mowers. I've been seeing B&S engines offered as UPGRADES on some mowers. Usually that would have been the other way around;) Maybe they have improved, I'm sure they would not use them for the Z-Spray if they were not top notch:usflag:

ZSpray Info
01-27-2009, 01:15 PM
Yes we are switching from Kawasaki to Briggs Vanguard Commercial engines. We feel is is a better match for our application. We are going to increase HP from 15 to 16. We feel the Vanguard line is very reputable. We would not gamble our reputation for reliability if we did not feel confident that this engine would be a top performer for us. Our engine cost will actually increase, so this is not a cost-cutting decision.

This engine has been spec-ed out for our application with a higher amperage charging system, no fuel shutoff solenoid to lessen chance of electrical problems, integrated aluminized muffler and intake system.

We feel due to our testing this engine will run longer and quieter. Many top manufacturers are using the Vanguard as well such as: Exmark, Ferris, Grasshopper, Scag, Turfco, and Walker. Briggs Vanguard has an excellent dealer network to better service the end-user as well.

For more info see: http://www.vanguardengines.com/vanguard-engines/detail/index.cfm?range=16.0%20HP

grassman177
01-27-2009, 02:05 PM
i hope our new one we ordered does not have this on it, i dont want to be a guinee pig for briggs, we love kaw all the way;

Real Green
01-27-2009, 02:31 PM
i hope our new one we ordered does not have this on it, i dont want to be a guinee pig for briggs, we love kaw all the way;

Trust me grassman (for what it's worth, since you don't know me other than here) :laugh:, you are no guinea pig. Briggs has done some amazing work long before others started switching to this motor. The A-team members were the closest to guinea pigs as Briggs took all of our motors back to break them down and see just how well they were holding up. I am giving this motor two thumbs up.

Not to mention, Z-Spray builds top quality and has to compromise that. Do you honestly believe that they would put their rep on the line for an engine swap and make you guinea pigs? No, they wouldn't. For your sake though, since you do sound passionate about not wanting a B&G, I hope the unit they ship you has the Kawasaki! :laugh:

grassman177
01-27-2009, 03:47 PM
thanks, plus we are full of parts to service all kaw engines. everything we have has them except our kubota diesels and the hondas for all our aerators and verticuters. dont need more parts to keep around. i guess i do have to beieve that briggs is getting better due to the high use of them now on lots of machines, you put me in my place

americanlawn
01-27-2009, 04:47 PM
Real Green & ZSpray are right on. Until TURFCO disclosed the tests they ran on several brands/models of engines, I would not have believed it either. Now I'm a true beliver in certain lines of Briggs engines compared to the rest -- even Honda & Kawasaki.

We put in Castrol Syntec motor oil (full synthetic 10W-30) after the first 40 or 50 hours, and we ran it the rest of the year without changing oil again. After over 300 hours on just one oil change on the Briggs Intek, it never used any oil whatsoever.

With four years in development under their belt, TURFCO took it one step further...... They took our (first) T3000 back to Minneapolis so they could have Briggs "tear apart" the engine to evaluate any worn parts. TURFCO did this on several units that ran in 2008. Now that's proactive service that you don't get from most companies. So it's no wonder why Z-Sprays are switching too.

BTW, Briggs is an "American company" :usflag: compared to Kawasaki & Honda.

ted putnam
01-27-2009, 05:46 PM
Today I went to the Small engine shop I have do all of my service work to pick up some parts I had ordered. While there, I took a look at some of the new mowers they have for sale. They are a Grasshopper dealer. I'm not a "mow guy" but it is my understanding that Grasshopper is a good quality mower. They had 5 or 6 mowers they just got in and sure enough, they had B&S 24hp engines on them. So there must be something changing with B&S. I will say this. A few months back I saw something on TV about B&S closing a plant here in the U.S. and moving to China. Same reason was given for the move as many other American companies. Decreased Labor Costs. I do not know if this is still the case(whether they actually went through with the move)

DUSTYCEDAR
01-27-2009, 05:54 PM
ok so briggs is now the best?

Jimmy1289
01-27-2009, 06:15 PM
I find it very hard to believe that all of a sudden Briggs is as good or better than Honda or kawasaki. If the prices of all these engines are comparable, I would not even chance messing up a good thing by switching to briggs. Just my 2 cents and trust me, I have had them all and do not want to go backwards with all the problems I've had with Briggs and Stratton engines over the years.

americanlawn
01-27-2009, 06:50 PM
Latest I heard.... Milwaukee, Wisconson is still located in the United States. :usflag: It's the home of Harley Davidson (got one), Western snow plows (have several), and Briggs (have them too). If you really want to compare JAP or CHINK products....look at small engines like Honda, Kawasaki, Suburu, etc.

I prefer to support "American companies". my 2 cents worth

SpreadNSpray
01-27-2009, 06:50 PM
That's great if Briggs and Stratton are now building a better engine here in the USA! I know the Vanguard line was built by DBS or Mitsubishi in Japan. Not sure if they still are.

One thing I know is I have had very good luck with Honda. Not luck though. Their engines are proven, durable, dependable, easy to start, easy to maintain and good parts availability. Not that I can complain about Kawasaki, they are good too. It's just real hard to beat a Honda. I wish it was an American company I could say that about. It's also the little things like heavy duty recoils, switches, choke levers, wiring..heck even the paint last longer on a Honda.

Engines and machines need to be proven. They need to be used and proven long term in the field by employees and everyday guys before they get a blue ribbon.

Briggs and Statton has a lot to prove to turn their reputation around.

When you have employees walking around in the spring betting each other what piece of equipment will start on the first or second pull...Their money is on the Honda's.:laugh: Mine is too.

americanlawn
01-27-2009, 07:11 PM
TURFCO spent four years testing many engines (more than any other company). They had their pick of many. Like you, they initially leaned toward engines like Honda, Kawasaki, and others....and the cost difference wasn't much. Now "Z-Spray" has recently chosen Briggs. I'm no expert, but if the two highest quality manufacturers of ride-ons are going with Briggs, I beg to differ.

One of lawnsite's requirements (in order to post) is to have extensive experience regarding products (like Briggs engines). Something to think about.

Jimmy1289
01-27-2009, 07:22 PM
All I'm saying is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's not about a cheaper price, why change something thats working great and proven.

ant
01-27-2009, 07:38 PM
i ran a Vanguard on a scag years ago with no problems with the motor

turfsolutions
01-27-2009, 07:47 PM
How do the engines warranties compare??? If they are building the best engine they should put their money where there mouth is. I do like the idea of supporting american companies as long as they are putting out the best products that is.

ted putnam
01-27-2009, 08:27 PM
Hmmm...Let's see...I'm 43 yrs old. I've been mowing my lawn or my parents lawn since I was about 9. Every one of the mowers I've used has had a B&S engine on it except for my present push mower(Kawasaki) My rider still has a Briggs. Hell, I even blew up a couple of my dad's when I was a kid from not adding oil. I'm not sure but I think that probably qualifies as "extensive experience". So I guess I can post according to LS rules. I was not bad mouthing B&S. I was only stating that I had seen a TV program(48hours,60 minutes or one of those) that was reporting on a Briggs plant closing and the reason why. They're obviously beginning to "up" their standards if they've been able to "lure" manufacturers of quality equipment that stake their reputations on their own products overall performance to switching from small engines with "proven" performance (such as Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler). JMO

turfsurfer
01-27-2009, 08:42 PM
I have not been a fan of the "regular" Briggs engines seen on some of the cheaper equipment. However, in my opinion the Briggs "Vanguard" line is a totally different animal. I'm still running an Exmark walkbehind mower with the 16 HP Vanguard that I've had since 1998. Still starts on the 2d pull and have had zero issues with it over the years.

grassman177
01-28-2009, 12:16 AM
we still want a kawi, we are calling in the morning to ensure our recent order is the 15 kaw. like i said, no problems and we stock all the needed parts already. good choice for us. i have heard great things aboutr the b&s bigblocks. those seem to be great power houses

br549oicu8
01-28-2009, 08:39 AM
WE ARE getting the Kawasaki!!!
Much easier to stay with what we already have 2 of as far as filters, etc....

t rich
01-28-2009, 09:07 AM
Just for the record. We have been looking at Briggs Vanguard for some time. There support and quality is excellent. Over the past few years we had had some quality issues with Kawasaki. We will put any engine on you want, but our focus is on reliabilty and service. Our attiude has always been, the more reliable our equipment is, the less down time you have, and less warranty issues we have. We will continue to offer Kawasaki engines on our entire line. As always we appreciate your comments and imput.

grassman177
01-28-2009, 09:19 AM
very useful info mr rich. always top notch

FdLLawnMan
01-28-2009, 10:16 AM
I live 60 miles north of Milwaukee and know several people who work at B & S, Kohler and worked at Tecumseh until they folded. I myself worked in the engine industry in engineering for nearly 35 years before retiring from that line of work and doing applications. Once an engine manufacturer gets a reputation it is very hard to change that reputation. Every engine manufacturer has various lines of engines from ok to very good. B & S was built on making cheap engines for lawnmowers for the Wal-Marts of the world so they had to be cheap and they made a lot of these engines so that is what there reputation was built on.
I myself have had or used engines from every manufacturer out there that was mentioned in this post. In my own opinion I have less issues with my Briggs and Kohler engines that I have had with my Honda's and Kawaski's but that is such a small sample as to be meaningless. What I am saying is that all engine manufacturers have good engines and also some bad engines. Briggs has made tremendous strides in upgrading their engines the past 10 years and the Vanguard line is a very good line of engines. It was originally designed by Briggs and was made by Mitsubishi but I am not sure what where is made now.
I have had zero problems on my Briggs on my T3000 or my pressure washer. I am sure LT Rich did due diligence on testing the engine would not want to hurt their reputation by using a crappy engine.

brizine
01-28-2009, 11:23 AM
Well after much time googling both engine models and the advice from lawnsite members, I have come to the conclusion to trust Mr. Rich's judgement on the motor switch. I did find forum threads with both engines having over 3000 hours on them. I would rather support an american company if the product is equal to or better than a import. Mr. Rich has done nothing but improve his product since its introduction and this should be no different. I look forward to ordering a new z-max soon. Thanks for all the replies.

Brian

br549oicu8
01-28-2009, 12:48 PM
The guys at Z-Spray are awesome and I know they look after us, the end users. For my choice I wanted a Kawasaki for a couple of reasons over a Briggs. We have 2 other machines with the exact Kawi engine and they have been great. We carry plugs, filters, etc to fit these in stock so it's nice to have that continuity. If I hadn't already had 2 Z's with the Kawi AND Andy told me he was sold on the Briggs I would most likely get one with a Briggs.
Personal preference is always a factor but I am surely not totally closed to new and especially better!!!
Hey...the Briggs Bluesbusters band in Louisville at the Expo rocked!! I hope their engine rocks like that!!!