kohler? or kawasaki?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by NCYARDBOY, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. NCYARDBOY

    NCYARDBOY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    I know this has probably been brought up before, BUT, do I want a mower with a Kohler engine, OR Kawasaki engine? AND WHY?
     
  2. vadeere

    vadeere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    Do you want a ford or a chevy? It is all up to you. Kohlers are cheaper on average. They also tend to be a little cold natured. I have a kohler 15 on a metro and kohler 23 on a toro z master. I love both. They run great and start easy. So the descision is up to you. Hope this helps.
     
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    my personel preference is a kawasaki on 17 hp or less because the kohler is a single cylinder and the kawa is a 2 cyl. The 2 cyl seems to have better torque.I have a 20hp 2 cyc on my tiger cub and it does fine. Both are good engines
     
  4. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    Kohler engines all the way. They are american made so parts will be a lot easier to get and also a lot cheaper and there have been so many problems with the Kawasaki engines- surging, carb problems, upper crankshaft seals blowing which eventually results in an engine failure at low hours. If it don't have a Kohler engine on it we don't buy it.
     
  5. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I remember reading something that led me to believe that the Kawasaki engines, or maybe just some of them, have a plastic cam gear that needs to be watched.

    Please tell me this isn't so! I do not own a Kawasake mower engine, but I see them being sold as a premium piece. With the timing chain/gears being SOOOooooo critical, I can't imagine this being true.

    Anyone know anything about this?

    Have a great day,
    Doc
     
  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    There was a thread last winter and some one had to replace the plastic gears but they had 4-6 thousand hours on it best I remember. Also as they wear I would rather have some soft plastic in the crank case rather than some metal floating around until oil change time
     
  7. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Yes, having plastic in the crankcase beats metal shavings, but aren't these interference engines? If they are, losing the timing system would cause serious engine damage.

    That said, since your experience is 4000 to 6000 hours, I think I would replace them at about 3000 hours. They can't be that difficult to replace. Sounds like good preventive maintenance to me.

    Have a great day,
    Doc
     
  8. Mikes Machines

    Mikes Machines LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    Do you know how long 6000 hours is? At 40 hours a week times 52 weeks a year thats 2080 hours a year. Thats 3 years at 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. I think the whole piece of equipment would be worn out before the motor lets go. I dont think the plastic gear thing is a concern.

    The parts for the Kohler are a little bit cheaper. I think the Kawasakis are a bit smoother running. Very close call. You wont go wrong with either.
     
  9. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    All I'm saying is that with a given history of this inexpensive, but highly crucial part, failing at a given number of hours, replacing it BEFORE it fails would potentially save big bucks. If you were to let it fail, it would hand grenade the entire engine. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

    If these machines are worn out at 3,000 hours, why bother putting a premium engine in them to begin with?

    Have a great day,
    Doc
     
  10. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    I have heard of some liquid cooled Kawasaki engines with 7000 hrs without any problems but i'm not sure if they have the plastic or metal cam in them.
     

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