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KAW Liq. Cool or Kohler ???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mwallingford, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. mwallingford

    mwallingford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I am about to approach my local Toro dealer about purchasing a new Toro 500 series mower with a 60" deck that has either a 28 HP Kohler or a 27HP Liquid Cooled Kawasaki engine. I know that the KAW will be more expensive, but how much difference is there in these engines? I know the liquid cooled engine will give me a longer engine life. Will it be worth the diffeence in price? NEED YOUR OPINIONS!!:blob2:
  2. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 304

    I know that everyone assumes that the liquid cooled engine will last longer , but I'm not so sure that it really does last a great deal longer.

    Does the Kohler engine that Toro uses have the oil cooler radiator on the side of the engine ? [it is optional,not all OEM's order it] If that oil cooler radiator is used, Kohler says the engine is "semi liquid cooled". The V-twin 23,25,27 engine has only been around for about 7 or 8 years now, but I can't think of any that I have heard of that wore out yet. When they first were introduced Kohler had head gaskets that blew, and spark modules that failed, but after the new design bugs got worked out it has been as good as the Kaw engines. Kaw has had their problems with cam bearings, main bearings, seals, that were as bad as anything Kohler ever did wrong.

    The big advantage an air cooled engine has over a water cooled is the absolute reliability of its cooling system.

    Radiators need to be cleaned out regularly,and not just brush grass off the screen either. I mean get in there with an air hose and really blast all the dust out of its fins.

    Over the years you will replace hoses, fan belts, water pumps, and maybe even a radiator, in addition to the regular coolant changes and flush outs nacessary.

    Other than cleaning out dry grass and dust, there is no cost of upkeep to an air cooled engines cooling system, because there are no wear parts to replace.

    For the most part, the whole mowers are wearing out at about the same rate as the air cooled engines wear out. Do you know of many good useful Z riders out there that have worn out engines ? The ones I'm familiar with have 3000+ hours, worn out hydro pumps, beat up worn out decks, broken back seats, crapped out idlers and belts - but the darn engine still starts and runs somehow , even though it's smoking and is low on power. My point is that by the time an air cooled Kohler is ready for the bone yard , so is the rest of the machine, so how are you going to get back the extra dollars it cost to buy and maintain the water cooled engine ? And frankly, it's an engine that I'm not at all sure will last any longer than the Kohler anyhow.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    IMO I would never own another Kohler period.

  4. rob1325

    rob1325 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 685

    I have liquid and air cooled. I don't really like Kohlers anymore do to the many problems I had. The liquid cooled egines I have have been great. I have one with 2,200 HRS and one 1,875 Hours and they both run very strong with NOT one problem yet. There is more maintence but not much more than aircooled. My air cooled motors at those hours have power loose issues. If you plan on keeping machine for loog haul get the liquid. If you plan on keeping for while and trading in then get air cooled.
  5. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    I will not buy another peice of equipment with a Kawasaki engin on it, period.

  6. mwallingford

    mwallingford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    What might be the cost difference between the 27HP Kaw Liq. Cool and the 28HP Kohler??
  7. floridalawncare

    floridalawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    what will probably make your decision is how long you will keep your machine. th l/c will last a little longer cause of the ability to control the engines temperature better. this makes it possible to machine the engines parts to the required size of a given running temperature, and jet the carb. for best power and fuel economy at the same given temperature range. a/c motors are put together to run with a very wide range of temperature in mind and not able to zero in on a specified temp. the l/c will re-sale for a little more too in most cases.
  8. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I would steer clear of the 27 HP Kawasaki FD750D ... I'm assuming that's the engine that you're talking about. Some issues that I have with it:
    Proprietary air filters: $30 per filter
    Radiator: Another headache to keep up with, can't be repaired, costs $400 to replace.
    Radiator fan: blows all of the dust/dirt/debris right TOWARDS the air intake. Longer engine life? I doubt it.
    Kawasaki does NOT sell short blocks ... you must replace the entire engine in the unhappy event that you have that much trouble.

    On the other hand, I understand that Kohlers are easy to get parts for and they're cheaper.

    I'm steering away from Kawasaki.
  9. bayfish

    bayfish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    I've had good luck with Kohlers. The only Kawasaki I have is on a seeder. A liquid cooled should last longer and perform better over the long haul. Go for it.

    Also...2 motors on my list to stay away from,
    Briggs and Stratton
  10. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    Well it seems pretty annoying to have to put 10W-30 oil in the Kohler and SAE 30 in everything else. I just like Kawi b/c of the same oil grades.

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