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View Full Version : 26 hp B&S or 20 hp Kawasaki for FreedomZ


Stan200
01-14-2011, 02:09 AM
Looking for some advice. I have my heart set on a 48" Scag FreedomZ and I'm just waiting for the Early spring sales (I hope). I mow about 1.5 acres, mostly flat, some hills on the sides. The 20hp KW is about $400 more than the 26hp B&S. My question is what is the difference? I want something that will turn over 10 years from now and won't feel underpowered. Does anyone know what the internal or quality differences are? and, knowing hp isn't everything, does a 20hp KW engine equal a 26hp B&S in the field? I'm not a gear head so any advice is appreciated

jonathanone
01-14-2011, 09:13 AM
There were some wise words here- or wise to me anyway, to avoid any engine that has the words: professional, industrial, commercial etc on it-if Briggs were truly a pro engine would it not have a remote canister air filter either already on it or available as an option?

One Vanguard was quite enough for us-not even 300 hrs with synthetic oil at roughly double the recommended interval-remember the Vanguard is allegedly 'their' BEST with the ELS or now the 'Professional' series below that.

One Connecticut dealer, who does warranty work for Briggs, Honda and Kawasaki said that Kawasaki was the most reliable with corn gas and that Briggs was the most unreliable-the new Honda was described as very quiet and 'interesting' but they were withholding judgement for a while as it is a brand new engine-from Japan, which I found encouraging.

I am beginning to hear some very positive comments about the Kubota gas engine-2 cyl-, made in house and near bulletproof ??-I found out that Kubota owns their own iron mine in Canada, and that they pour and machine the entire diesel engine - can't help but to wonder how much they do with the twin gassers.

TheOctagon
01-14-2011, 09:47 AM
There were some wise words here- or wise to me anyway, to avoid any engine that has the words: professional, industrial, commercial etc on it-if Briggs were truly a pro engine would it not have a remote canister air filter either already on it or available as an option?

Apparently Briggs heard you because the new Pro engines can be equipped with canister type filter system built right in. Actually looks like a pretty cool design. They are not probably not quite to the standard of the kawi though.

One Vanguard was quite enough for us-not even 300 hrs with synthetic oil at roughly double the recommended interval-remember the Vanguard is allegedly 'their' BEST with the ELS or now the 'Professional' series below that.

Sometimes changing oil too much isnt any better. How many dry starts do you get when you change that often? Vanguard engines have a 3 year warranty commercial or residential. I have a 26hp kawi liquid torn apart right now with 187 hours on it and has no oil pressure. You cant base a whole engine mfg on one engine problem.

One Connecticut dealer, who does warranty work for Briggs, Honda and Kawasaki said that Kawasaki was the most reliable with corn gas and that Briggs was the most unreliable-the new Honda was described as very quiet and 'interesting' but they were withholding judgement for a while as it is a brand new engine-from Japan, which I found encouraging.

The Vanguard engine line is also built in Japan. I know honda is in a different league but they also dont build anything over about 24hp. Now when i see a 30 plus HP engine from them i'll start to take notice. Robin subaru is also a very tough engine but they lack in the hp department as well.

I am beginning to hear some very positive comments about the Kubota gas engine-2 cyl-, made in house and near bulletproof ??-I found out that Kubota owns their own iron mine in Canada, and that they pour and machine the entire diesel engine - can't help but to wonder how much they do with the twin gassers.

I have always loved what Kubota builds. They seem to put a ton of thought into their designs for engines. I would like to see them as an option on more mfg's.

TheOctagon
01-14-2011, 09:49 AM
Looking for some advice. I have my heart set on a 48" Scag FreedomZ and I'm just waiting for the Early spring sales (I hope). I mow about 1.5 acres, mostly flat, some hills on the sides. The 20hp KW is about $400 more than the 26hp B&S. My question is what is the difference? I want something that will turn over 10 years from now and won't feel underpowered. Does anyone know what the internal or quality differences are? and, knowing hp isn't everything, does a 20hp KW engine equal a 26hp B&S in the field? I'm not a gear head so any advice is appreciated

20 hp should be more than plenty on that 48" cut. If you plan on maintaining your property and not cutting foot tall grass all the time you will probably be much happier spending the extra 400. Both engines should last you as long as you need but in this segment i would say the kawi is probably more refined and smoother. Power should't be much different either.

Stan200
01-15-2011, 02:10 AM
Thanks for the help. From what I hear I'm definitely going with the Kawi.

Thanks again

jonathanone
01-15-2011, 07:55 PM
Octagon, I agree that one failure doesn not mean that the product is not any good, but from now on we will let someone else find out just how good the Vanguard is; when a dealer who services most of the brands says that brand x is better than brand y I tend to believe what is being said.
As to dry starts with more freqent oil changes, I need to think about that-in a way it does make sense to me.
I did find the remote filter on the Briggs site but it states that it is only for the L/C and Vanguard line, I sent an email out to see if this will fit the 'Professional' series.
Many of the Honda engines I have seen say, 'made in Thailand' it was interesting to see the 'made in Japan' label appearing again.

TheOctagon
01-16-2011, 05:18 PM
Octagon, I agree that one failure doesn not mean that the product is not any good, but from now on we will let someone else find out just how good the Vanguard is; when a dealer who services most of the brands says that brand x is better than brand y I tend to believe what is being said.
As to dry starts with more freqent oil changes, I need to think about that-in a way it does make sense to me.
I did find the remote filter on the Briggs site but it states that it is only for the L/C and Vanguard line, I sent an email out to see if this will fit the 'Professional' series.
Many of the Honda engines I have seen say, 'made in Thailand' it was interesting to see the 'made in Japan' label appearing again.

The Filter set up on the new professional series i havent found on their website yet. I didnt get a photo of it but essentially it is built into the shrouding of the engine not an separate unit. Works on the same principal though. There are also two access ports in the top cover to easily clean out the debris in the cylinder cooling fins. I believe the engine series is going to be called commercial series or something like that instead of the regular professional series.

TheOctagon
01-16-2011, 05:20 PM
http://www.outdoorpowerequipment.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=43E91E7F6E244F4C9357F73BE3523C30&nm=News+and+Features&type=Publishing&mod=Publications::Article&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=EB912238A6F049099C63D2175FFBCE82&AudID=CC89A83758524B50A259F8625D73475B

about 1/4 of the way down the page is a picture of the new briggs with this cyclonic air filter system.

jonathanone
01-17-2011, 09:38 AM
Octagon, good info gotta see one up close.

TheOctagon
01-17-2011, 09:54 AM
Thanks Jon, If i'm not mistaken one of the major downfalls of that engine was the fact that it had poor filtration. I believe it went through several changes, but i think this is by far the best one yet. I believe they also have a heavy duty bearing package and micropolished crank as well. Options on the old professional series but standard on this one.