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Liquid Cooled........is the maintenance a hassle?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wayne Landscaping, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Wayne Landscaping

    Wayne Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    Ok, so i need to know the difference. I want a 29DFI Scag 72" Tiger Cub because of the fuel savings and the longer life, this engine is liquid cooled. My friend has a 31hp air cooled, he says that it requires almost no maintenance and that a liquid cooled and DFi would require too much maintenance and to many electronics. I want to hear from people who have had experience with both and if they feel that the hassle of these lc engines is justified by their long life and fuel savings, Thanks!
  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    I have a 52/23 lc kaw Scag TT and the only additional maintenance I do over the air cooled one I own is flushing radiator at end of season. As I replace mowers I will use nothing but liquid cooled, longevity, quieter, overall a positve experience for me.
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    I dont really see how maintenance could be considered a hassle. If anything, there is less maintenance with a lc engine. As it will run cooler, oil will last longer. Flush radiator and thats it...not sure what is such a hassle there?
  4. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    I have a 17 hp Kawasaki with 900-1000 (not ex sure and to snowy to go look lol) I flush the radiator but I noticed last fall that I have a head gasket leaking and some anti freeze in the exhaust. Im not sure I will purchase another water cooled engine, just based on my numbers the savings arent there. But I understand that the engines should get more life from being water cooled.

  5. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    The only addition maintenance on a liquid cooled is flushing and keeping the radiator free of Debree, possible fan belt adjustments. An LC engine does have some issues a AC engine doesn't, you do have the possibility of water pump failure.

    We quit paying the extra bucks for LC, because by the time a AC has worn out and a LC engine's longevity comes into play, we have gotten rid of the mower.
  6. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Posts: 483

    I'll never buy another liquid-cooled. Usually spring a leak about 1200hrs somewhere. Get the big briggs you'll love it. I have a 31hp 72 exmark and that thing is a beast.
  7. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    I think that liquid-cooled engines are the ONLY way to go. My Kubota ZD21 is liquid cooled and is a smooth runnin' machine. There is a reason that all auto's are liquid-cooled.......

    Just keep an eye on the coolant level and there should be no problems. us flag
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    LQ only, tired of the problems with an air cooled engine surrounded by sheet metal, seats, bumpers etc. nothing but great places for clippings to collect and make the engine run a little hotter
  9. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    i would only buy a lc if i had lawns that i was running the mower for like more than 3 or 4 hours straight. you have way more to go wrong with a lc than air and it seems all the guys i know with the kawasaki's on any machine have to do the head gaskets between 800 to 1400 hours. weightlifter
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    And I would say that the large majority do the same.
    Heck, most start dumping mowers at around the 1,000 hour mark give or take.
    Most don't want to own a potential 'nag' unit that is outside the warranty period.

    PERSONALLY, I know that "in general" the good life is there in excess of 2,000 hours with the liquid cooled Kawasaki's. But someone would have to PROVE to me that the fuel savings is there with the 29hp DFI engines. The numbers I have seen printed don't show that.

    So... If I'm spending that much money, I'm going with a liquid cooled 3 cylinder diesel.
    Case closed.

    Otherwise I'm keeping it simpler and cheaper with air cooled gas.

    If I were going with a 72" I would want power too. I would be looking at the 31hp Turbo Diesel for fuel savings and longevity, or the 31hp Briggs Vanguard for raw power and cost savings.

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