Changing engine on walk-behind

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by accuratelawn, Nov 4, 2000.

  1. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    I have a 48 inch with 121/2 Kaw.
    I was thinking about putting a 14 on it. The mower cuts good, but with heavy growth and/or leaves, the cut is not the greatest.
    Do you guys thinks the 14 would improve performance?
    Is it worth the time and money?
    BTW the mower is only 6 months old. The 121/2 coming off could be used to replace an older engine on a 36 walk-behind.
    Thanks for the input!
     
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I just replaced a 14 with a 17 on a 50" Wednesday. The improvement is dramatic and will save me from having to buy a bigger machine (read ZTR) for a few years. I was ripping through tall thick grass with it today at over 7 mph. I got my 17 HP Kawasaki from Alamia for $795.00 including shipping. A 14 would be better than a 12.5 but not as nice as a 17.
     
  3. Five Star Lawn Care LLC

    Five Star Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,005

    i would save the money by doing it yourself and go ahead and put on a 17 kaw w/ elec. start. Its well worth the extra money in my opinion, u get more power, and easier starting.
     
  4. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    I planned on doing it myself. Does not seem too difficult. I also thought about putting on some larger tires. 13-6-6.5 now. Wouldn't 15's help, bettter traction and smoother ride?
     
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Since I also did this (the taller tires) 3 or 4 weeks ago I can tell you what happens. The ground speed picks up. If your mower will do 6 mph with 13s it will do 7.2 mph with 15s (see my post above). The taller tire will also smooth out the ride slightly. Traction is affected by the amount of air in the tires. At 25 pnds. the center of the tire buldges up and as a result the machine only gets traction on about 4" of the width of the tire. Lower pressure will result in more contact patch and increased traction.
     
  6. lakegastonla

    lakegastonla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    The larger tires would also raise your deck on a walk behind and on a fixed deck that would probably mean you could not cut any grasses that grow by "runners" (centipede, bermuda, St. Aug.,etc...) because your lowest cutting height would be too high. I would think about it before I spent the money for new tires&wheels.
     
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    My first mower was a 38" with a 17 HP Kawasaki engine. It would cut down TALL grass with out problems. There is nothing like having power. You need to keep the blade tip speed at max to cut good, so the bigger the better when it comes to engines on mowers. Good luck.
     
  8. The 15" tires are a must when using a sulky. The 13.5" ride is rough and will cause more damage to the turf (small tire applies more torque). I inflate my drive tires to 10 psi.

    If I was going to replace that engine I would buy a 16hp
    OHV Tecumseh for $530 w/ free freight. I have a 12.5 on a 44" belt and the engine=blade speed is awesome.
     
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Lawrence Stone wrote:

    <b><i>If I was going to replace that engine I would buy a 16hp OHV Tecumseh for $530 w/ free freight. I have a 12.5 on a 44" belt and the engine=blade speed is awesome</b></i>

    Hey Larry, I don't mind the fact that you like Tecumseh engines and I like Kawasaki engines. That's a matter of personal preference. But can you tell us where to buy them or give us a link to these Tecumseh engines for cheap? I'm sure there are people here who might like to look at them. Oh, and is that 16hp OHV engine a V-Twin? The Kawasaki I keep refering to is and it is SMOOOOTH. And as an added bonus it came with a charging coil much to my suprise!
     
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

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