View Full Version : QUESTION: briggs and stratton

10-11-2004, 01:21 PM
Hi everyone. Just want some feedback. What does everyone think about Briggs and Stratton especially the intek and vanguard engines. As a dealer, we have only really stocked B&S on residential units becasue of past problems with B&S. However, over the last 5 or 6 years B&S has really improved their products at least with the Intek and Vanguard. I'm wondering how the commercial guys view B&S. For example we have a particular commercial unit ZTR the has an option of a 19hp Kawi or a 21hp Vanguard. The 21 Vanguard is ALOT less than the Kawi--not to mention has more torque and horsepower. In fact its so much less (same machine just different engine) that you would have almost enough money to purchase another Vanguard engine and still be about the price as originally buying the Kawi. So what do you think?


10-11-2004, 01:24 PM
Ran many B&S engines ove rthe years. Did not like them. Had to beg the employer to switch to Hondas or Kawi's. I prefer the Hondas, just run smooth and never had as much trouble w/them.

10-11-2004, 01:35 PM
I wouldn't have any reservations about buying a mower with a b&s vanguard engine on it. I have always heard good things about them and my dealer seems to like them a lot also. I probably wouldn't want any of the other engines that b&s makes on commercial equipment though.

10-11-2004, 02:08 PM
Check Briggs and Stratton's warranty on their different engine series. The warranty for the Vanguard is 2 years Consumer OR Commercial use. I think it is impressive they have that much confidence in the Vanguard. I had a cheaper John Deere a few years ago, with a Vanguard, it took the use and abuse just fine. IMO, other Briggs engines are ok on equipment that is not your front line, use-everyday-stuff. I have a 9 hp OHV I/C on a Troy-bilt wb with estimated 700 hours, and it does not need oil added between changes...I think that is pretty good for an I/C engine.

Travis Followell
10-11-2004, 03:16 PM
Exmark has started using some vanguard engines on their mowers and Ferris has a mower coming out with a 35 hp liquid cooled vanguard. From what i,ve seen and read about them I belive they would be as good as a Kohler or Kawasaki. The larger Vanguards are made by Diahiatsu which is part of toyota. I would say that they are definately good engines and I would be afraid to get one.

10-11-2004, 03:24 PM
I'd go Kawi without a doubt.

10-11-2004, 03:33 PM
As far as the Vanguard's go, I'd almost take one over a Kawi or Kohler. I'm pretty sure the air cooled Vanguards are made by Mitsubishi ( may be wrong, I'm not 100% positive on this) and they seem to run forever. We had them on steam cleaners at a rental company I used to work for, one of the 18hp ones had 4k hrs on it.. and still ran great.. IMO they are excellent engines. As for the Inteks, they look like typical B&S quality, and I, like mbricker, wouldn't want one on a "frontline" piece of equipment either, but they look a lot better quality than the old flathead B&S products..

10-11-2004, 05:19 PM
Seems like most times I see them on commericial mowers is when someone blows a real engine! Lol. I don't know much bout the briggs and im not going to bash them, but you have to admit almost everytime you see a mower with them on, it is because the stock kohler, kawai, honda, etc has been blown up. They throw the cheapest briggs they can find on it, piece the rest of the mower together and sell it as soon as they can. For example, I saw a toro 72" walkbehind for sale on ebay a while back, it had a 16 hp briggs on it. Way underpowered, and you can tell someone wanted to get rid of it pretty bad. I think anytime you see a used mower with a briggs for sale, avoid it like the plague!

10-11-2004, 08:49 PM
vanguard is 100% japan engine, 0% american -unlike the other b&s brands

I would take one any day. Best value for your buck

10-12-2004, 04:19 AM
B&S earned a reputation in years past of being the "Yugo" of lawn mower engines. I don't care what they have done recently, I doubt I'd ever give them a shot. I can't immagine they're better than a Honda or Kawasaki Engine.

10-12-2004, 04:25 AM
I have used the Vanguard series in the past, and I have not been happy with them. All together I have not had great experience with Briggs. Like Jim said, Honda and Kawaski are tons better
I still remember the first time I used a Honda, I was blown away at the quality of it

10-12-2004, 04:57 AM
I know Honda is king in the small engine department. But I would be scared to use a Honda motor over 10HP. Same thing with B&S, I would be leery. But like you said, it has more torque and you can buy a backup for the price difference. You could probably sell me one if I walked into your shop.

In all the years I have been using equipment. I have never blew an engine (knock on wood). I usually get rid of equipment before it comes to that. The carburetors on the engines are a different story :cry:

10-12-2004, 07:28 AM
been in this biz for 20 years and briggs has come a long way.in my opinion the
inteck is junk way to much warranty.now the first gen.vanguard had there problems also.but this new one is something else.this thing is(are you getting this?)rebuild able.you can bore it,put bearings in it,replace valve guides the whole 9 yards.unlike kaw. or kohler where you just throw it away.i have been over the repair book and seen them at the show.i look at everything before it hits my showroom floor.and this was no exception i ordered my ct lazers with them only.so i wont have them till dec.but it will be worth the wait.
whenever i can go with anything besides a kaw.i will do it.

10-12-2004, 09:57 PM
I have a 10 HP Briggs Intek I/C engine on my 2003 Little Wonder blower and have had NO problems with it. However on commercial mowers, Kawasaki is the best way to go. I have a 15 HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine on my new Bob-Cat mower, and the Kawi is an absolutely fantastic engine!!!

10-13-2004, 12:55 AM
[QUOTE=sawman65].and this was no exception i ordered my ct lazers with them only.so i wont have them till dec.but it will be worth the wait.

Could the reason you did this be that the CTs are only available for 05 with the Vanguard engine? This was the way eXmark could find to try to keep the price of the "estate owners model" from increasing too much. The Vanguard IS the higher quality B&S line.

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2004, 03:21 AM

Most of you know that I will seldom ever praise an MFG or particular brand. Especially not small lawn and garden engines, because I think every last stinking one of them are junk comparatively speaking. I think we settle for way too little.

But now when it comes to small engines I've had them ALL. But none compare to a COMMERCIAL BRIGGS WITH 2 YEAR COMMERCIAL USE WARRANTY. These are the duck's nutz (as somebody here says). They are reasonably priced, well built, reliable as they get, efficient on fuel, generally cheap to operate, and if you ever need them, parts are also reasonably priced, whereas the cost of major parts in other brands have made the engines disposable throw aways.

These engines also have a lot of working power for the money. But the #1 thing I can say about Briggs is they have bar-none the BEST customer service in the small engine business. I'm 100% satisfied, and you won't hear me say that often. I have never had a problem with warranty or them backing their product. Out of many, I have had issues with 2 engines, both of which were promptly totally replaced with brand new engines without issue.

I would be totally surprised if anyone could say that about another engine MFG. Most of them work harder at hunting excuses, denying service and rejecting warranty claims than actually trying to stand behind their product. Most of them have a big head and think they build the perfect engine the first time every time. So when a claim comes in, the end user is at fault and guilty until proven otherwise. Then if they can't find some way to weasel their way around honoring the warranty, they want you to wait around while their "certified" repair guy short block's it or some crap like that. So you are 'down' while they rebuild your engine with possibly damaged used parts off your old one.

Now YES, by all means I will agree that B&S has scarred their rep pretty badly in the past, and they continue to do so now. But you have to first realize the shear volume of engines they produce v/s other MFG's and the shear numbers there are out in the field. So yeah you are going to see more problems. Secondly you also have to take a look at their choices. Either build to suit the power equipment MFG (buyer) or loose huge market share. So yeah, they are pushed compromise quality and to build to suit for the big bargain power equipment MFG's. So if you buy el'cheapo power equipment or dirt cheap replacement engines, you are very likely to get ahold of a dud engine. But all the while you're wondering why the guy across town has the same type engine on a good piece of equipment, is problem free and couldn't be happier. Well DUH!!!

10-13-2004, 07:40 AM
[QUOTE=sawman65].and this was no exception i ordered my ct lazers with them only.so i wont have them till dec.but it will be worth the wait.

Could the reason you did this be that the CTs are only available for 05 with the Vanguard engine? This was the way eXmark could find to try to keep the price of the "estate owners model" from increasing too much. The Vanguard IS the higher quality B&S line.

i could have got them with the kaw. on my first two orders but we here in east tn.have had nothing but trouble with them.

10-13-2004, 09:35 AM
>>>lawn and garden engines, because I think every last stinking one of them are junk comparatively speaking. I think we settle for way too little.<<<

I couldn't disagree more.

I am very impressed with all the available 2 cyclinder engines on the market used on commercial power equipment, (note commercial not talking the junk home-owner stuff...i'm talkign Kawi, Honda, Kohler and B&S Vangaurd maybe Intek)

If you consider what type of performance and durability we are getting out of a very small power plant its really amazing. I belive we are getting more durability and performance when all things are considered than even car and piston airplane engines.

Most engines used on ZTRs are running a constant 3600 to 3800 RPM plus and many operators (unwisely) increase their RPMs. It is more the norm in our shop that we have machines from LCOs that have set their RPMs to 4,000-4,200 RPMs. (1st thing we do on almost all repairs is put a tach on the motor)

ZTR and other commercial application engines are running as many as 10 hours a day 5 or 6 and somtimes 7 days a week at a CONSTANT 3600 PLUS RPM. Whereas car engines do have higher spikes in RPMs but with transmissions usually you see a constant RPMs in the 2,000 range (depends alot on engine and tranny set-up) What you don't see is 3600RPMs constant on cars and trucks. Spikes in RPMs within the desgin limits when the tranny is shifting are less damaging to the engine than constant RPMs. (ask anyone how many cars they have blown up doing emissions tests on them when they get the wheels spinning and the RPMs constantly up high)

I am a pilot of single engine aircraft and single engine piston engines on most planes rarely operate above 2400-2600 RPM. Max power (REDLINE) on a Cessna 172 and Piper Archer/ Warrior is 2400RPM and we pull this setting back when we are at cruise so not to redline the motor. (we only use max power at takeoff and initial climb). Also, virtually every piston aircraft engine has a reccomended time between overhaul of 2,000 hours (a few 2500). If the plane is operated commercially, as in for flight tranning or rental, the overhaul schedule HAS TO BE followed. This means they are only expecting the engine to go 2,000hrs before being overhauled--and the price of overhauling a 4 or 6 cylinder piston aircraft engine can easily exceed $15,000.

Compare this to ZTR engines that can easily with proper maintenace and care go 3,000 PLUS hours and continue to operate for hours and hours and hours at a constant high RPM setting. We are also operating these motors in the harshest enviroments possible with a small oil supply. Plus manitnenace by many LCOs is less than desirable compared to aircraft which get supurb maintenace. Overhauling our motors are cheap compared to piston plane engines.

I'd like to hear why someoen thinks the engines are all junk? more details.

anyone agree or disagree?


Travis Followell
10-13-2004, 09:59 AM
I'd have to say that I agree with you Steve.

10-13-2004, 10:12 AM
I have a 48 snapper pro bought it new in 95 to start my buisness it had a 16 hp vanguard. Its all i used till i bought my first ztr a snapper also in 98 i figure it has about 6 thousand hrs on it. It dropped a valve after about 4 thousand hrs but got it fixed and it ran good for another 2 thousand before it did it again. I have to say i definetly got my moneys worth out of this one.

10-13-2004, 11:03 AM
I have a mower that I use and have for several years on a weekly basis that cuts 5-9 of our gated lawns yards every single week that has the B&S V-Twin Vanguard and it has never missed a beat at all. All I have ever done to this engine is kept the oil and filter changed.

Big Wes
10-13-2004, 06:40 PM
BRIGGS & SCRAP'EM..............Hate 'em