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  #1  
Old 12-25-2013, 05:42 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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Best 12-15hp vert engine [thinking about a repower]

I've got a thread going in the "equipment" section, also.
I've got a Husqvarna "Rider 13", articulated front mount mower. Same as the 850-12 [model sold in North America, I believe].
I got it for next to nothing [$100] as it had a rusted out deck. It is a well built machine, late '90s ['98] that has outlasted the support of its' manufacturer, so a "factory" deck was unavailable [probably why I got it so cheap]. After trying to find a deck, unavailable in the States [$200US], and not wanting to spend $7-800NZD for one here [European import], I built my own [for about $85 matl. +$175 bending,welding] fabricated out of 3mm electrogalv. So far, the deck is working well. I'm looking at getting some new blades, but that is a standard wear part. Suggestions on blades?
I'd also like to repower with something a bit more modern [fuel efficient, quiet...] than the flat head 12.5 B&S, although this engine does run well. I can cut aprox 3/4 acre [in 7 distinct areas] in about an 1.25 hours, and the mower burns about 4 liters [about a gal.]. So, not awful, but could be better, more power, quieter...
Anything to stay away from? Best brand/model?
Husqvarna made a 15hp model with a Kawasaki engine, but I'm fairly sure that I can find a "donor" engine from a lawn tractor, and I'm looking for an engine to be on the lookout for.

Thanks, John
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2013, 09:38 AM
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BigFish BigFish is offline
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In my learned opinion, you'd be crazy to switch motors! Think about it: ya got no pushrods to bend, valves to adjust, and very rarely do ya hear of a valve stickin, etc. Parts are readily avail and cheap. Now I don't keep track of fuel mileage, but I can't see ya improving on it by goin to a bigger motor, but like I always say, I ain't a cutter, I'm a fixer, so W.T.F. do I know ( or care ) about mpg?
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Old 12-26-2013, 02:46 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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There is something to leaving it as it is. There is a large [7 liter] fuel tank for extended running.
I'm a builder/carpenter/contractor. I used to do some business for real estate agents in the negotiations for the sale of a house. I did a lot of roof cleaning. Had one pressure washer, excellent homeowner 6.5hp flathead. That thing was always running out of gas, not sure how big the tank was, seems as though I remember pouring a bunch of fuel into it. Every time it ran out of fuel, down the ladder, gas it up, start it up, up the ladder.
I went to look at "commercial" units at the old Eagle Hardware. They were willing to sell their demo/floor model Honda powered, Cat pump unit for what I could sell my flat head pump for. Then, I could wash a roof in one climb up the ladder. You get tired sooner than the Honda runs out of fuel. Had a generator, 10hp flathead, 5,00watt, gas hog.
Just wondering what some of the better motors were that had come on grass cutting machines
I'm guessing Tecumseh is right out?
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:30 PM
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BigFish BigFish is offline
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I suppose an OHV could be a tad more efficient, prolly depends on the application.
I don't know which is more popular, but the ones ya see the most of on commercial ZTRs etc. would be Kawasaki, Kohler, and, of course, Briggs. Ya don't see to many Honda powered units. Most all in OHV.
As a wrench, I prefer Kohler. They seem to have a better track record than Kaw.
Others will disagree.......
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:48 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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I've been looking/researching [some old archives from LS have poped up] and the engine that I'm leaning towards is a B&S Vanguard in the 14-16hp range. I think that this will be easier to find, though, as stated, I'm in no hurry.
I'll keep my eyes peeled, and if either the Command, Vanguard, or a Kawisaki becomes available for the right price...
I just wanted to eliminate the Inteks as viable candidates [which now I know to stay away from].
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:00 PM
pugs pugs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFish View Post
In my learned opinion, you'd be crazy to switch motors! Think about it: ya got no pushrods to bend, valves to adjust, and very rarely do ya hear of a valve stickin, etc. Parts are readily avail and cheap. Now I don't keep track of fuel mileage, but I can't see ya improving on it by goin to a bigger motor, but like I always say, I ain't a cutter, I'm a fixer, so W.T.F. do I know ( or care ) about mpg?
You still adjust valves in those engines. However if you are going to adjust them you might as well do a valve job since you have to grind the valve stem to adjust the clearance.

As far as new engines in that size range you are probably stuck with either Briggs Intek singles or the Honda single. Kohler stopped making their singles in that size range. Kawasaki starts with twins at around 16 or 14.5hp depending on rating system. Briggs Vanguards start at 18 twins I think. I am assuming this uses a vertical shaft engine.

How much room do you have on the machine around the engine?
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:10 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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That is the one thing I'm most concerned with, space. The Vanguard is a v-twin, and a bit wider. I've been looking at the LxWxH measurements, the height is the same at 310mm, width is the problem as the steel battery holder is on the left [as sitting on the seat]. The bonnet [hood, engine cover] has room, so I think it'll fit. The old I/C was quite wide around the fly wheel/ cooling fan.
I emailed a guy that does a lot of repowers [Jim's Tractors] and asked him about space required for a Vanguard vs an I/C.
The 14/16hp Vanguard is about 100cc smaller, and 2-4hp more, so some increased efficiency to be had.
Yup, vertical shaft.

Thanks, John

Last edited by yankdownunder; 12-26-2013 at 10:14 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2013, 11:05 AM
04cubcadet3235 04cubcadet3235 is offline
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Keep it, if you need it more quiet you can possibly weld a car muffler to the exhaust. It works very well to quiet those engines down, but don't get rid of it they do last forever.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:52 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04cubcadet3235 View Post
Keep it, if you need it more quiet you can possibly weld a car muffler to the exhaust. It works very well to quiet those engines down, but don't get rid of it they do last forever.
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2013, 05:00 PM
yankdownunder yankdownunder is offline
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Yup, I used the mowe again yesterday. Smooth and enough power for regular maintainance.
I found a Massey Ferguson lawn tractor with a 14hp Vanguard. Deck rusted, engine runs. He only wants a couple of hundred for it. Imau look further into this. It is old, as it is a single cylinder, the newer 14hp are v twins.
Any one know about the bigger single cylinder Vanguards?
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