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Briggs engines: "Vanguard" & "Intek"

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by americanlawn, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Are these just as good as other air-cooled engines like Kawasaki, Honda, Kohler? In the past, we didn't think so, but now we're thinking twice. I just bought a 1979 Snapper mower with the original Briggs engine that still runs like new. Now I see mower companies are using the improved Vanguard & Intek Briggs engines........Bad Boy, Bush Hog, Exmark, Ferris, Grasshopper, Scag, etc.

    Any thoughts? Thanx.
  2. kartracer2000

    kartracer2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    I always thought Briggs were good motors and I've never had any problems with them other than when I raced karts and we were turning them at 10,000RPM:laugh: As far as mowers, fun go carts, tiller, anything I've always liked them!
  3. ex lawncare retailer

    ex lawncare retailer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    They're using them to hit pricepoints usually. When the Scag Wild Cat debuted, they used Briggs Intek ELS to achieve a $5999 target. Kaw and Honda are both better engines with tighter tolerances.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    As far as one brand being better than another one could argue all day and get no where. When it comes to longevity a lot has to do with care and maintenance.

    Intek I view as Briggs' entry level engine. Warranty I think is 1 year homeowner and 90 day commercial. Vanguard is usually Briggs' higher horse power somewhat heavier duty engine. Honda makes a great small engine so does Kawasaki. I am not so much a fan of Kohler's engines but that is a person preference.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    To answer the question, no.

    The Briggs is likely the most often used economy engine, even thou we do use them commercially but it is cheaper than the rest. Both the Vanguard and the Intek run good for many years, and I dare say Briggs makes the best economy engine, they are not bad engines by any stretch but it is a budget solution.

    The Kohler on the other hand, I would have to say this is the first American-made engine that really performs like a foreign engine. They just run and run and run, I have very few problems with Kohler thou they do age.

    Kawasaki's are too expensive for my taste but they are very good.
    Same with Hondas, very nice engine.

    No doubt, it is still and always possible you get a Briggs that runs super and better than the rest, or vice versa.
    We do have to remember these are all produced on an assembly line, and as such there exist tolerance variables.
    Meaning you get what you get, hope you got one of the better ones, enough said.

    For myself I like Kohler, but as was said this is personal.
  6. edgarpoe

    edgarpoe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Interesting (to me) topic, talking with the mechanic at my dealer yesterday, I asked about the Vanguard line of engine. He told me he his repairs with them have been minor, and with similar frequency of Kawi or Kohler. The gas versions of the Vanguard are a Mitsubishi-made engine, and all Briggs does is slap a Briggs label on it, and sells it. According to the mechanic, the diesel versions are made by a German company (he didn't know who). But I did ask, if you had to pick a gas engine, Kawi, Kohler, or a Vangard in the 27-31 hp range, who would you pick? He said:
    1) Kawi
    2) Kohler Command Pro
    3) Vangard
    Even though the vangard was ranked last, it was not out of performance, but the reputation of Kawi and Kohler is that much stronger. Given more time, the vangard has a chance to prove itself like kawi and kohler has.

    This is an old thread, and I have done a few searches looking at other vangard posts here on the site. It seems that few commercial users trust the vangard. I wonder, if it didn't have a briggs label, but say a Kubota or Mitsubishi label, if folks would be so quick to dismiss what is in my mechanic's view a darn good engine?

    I know I am guilty of that, as I have been bitten by bad briggs engines enough to steer clear of the entire company. If the vanguard didn't have the Briggs label...would I even post this message? (nope, I'd just ask who had heard of vangard, and ask if they were good)
  7. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    I have read somewhere that the big block Vanguard was made by Toyota but I am not sure it is true...
  8. ken gustafson

    ken gustafson Inactive
    Posts: 237

    I built my own log splitter....just the way I am about things I care about. I wanted power to spare in splitting firewood so no messing around. I built a 50 ton hortizontal...verticle logsplitter...used a ram off off a 966 Cat loader and all of the other "power" stuff". I bought a 16 horse Briggs engine and have split about 1200 cords of firewood with it in the last 9 years. Change the oil 2 times a year in engine and once every other year in hydraulics. This setup has been very nice for me. Not a single problem in anything...can split the wood in any direction I choose but when doing against the grain...LOOKOUT... just like a grenade...so I do not do that but power to spare and NO problems.
    So my answer based on my experience...the 16 horse Briggs engine is just fine.
  9. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    I recently repowered a 1990s 4 wheel Gravely tractor with a B&S Vanguard 35 HP engine. Gravely used the Vanguard 16 twin to replace the Kohler Magnum 16 in the 2 wheel line in the early 1990s also. They were easier on the gears than the Kohler single and lasted just as long.
  10. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    Joint venture with Diahatsu, which is part of Toyota.

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