Vanguard twins - opinion from mechanics not just users

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by landcruiser, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. landcruiser

    landcruiser LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 134

    How well built are the Briggs Vanguard v-twins in comparison to the Kohler, Kawasaki's and Honda v-twins? I've been around all of them but the Vanguards and I'm considering buying a used mower with a Vanguard 20hp on it. I know they are Japanese made (Daihatsu or Mitsubishi it seems?) but I just want to know how they compare in reliability, smoothness, power, build quality, etc. For those of you who've seen these engines castrophically fail, how many hours were on them and how did they fail? (thrown rod, dropped valve, blown head gaskey, what?) Or, better yet, did these engines have a particular weakness that caused failure on a large # of them that is common knowledge? Thanks for any input.
     
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    I have run several vanguard v-twins, without any problems. I have never seen a catastrophic failure.
    Actually, in my experience, they are more fuel efficient than comparable v-twins.
    As far as being Japanese made, I thought the vanguard was a Briggs and Stratton motor made in the USA?
     
  3. landcruiser

    landcruiser LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 134

    SWD, thanks for the information. I have am pretty sure all the Briggs Vanguard engines are jap made. I have heard that the singles are made by Mitsubishi and the twins by Daihatsu (or the other way around, I'm not sure on that).
     
  4. Master of the Lawn

    Master of the Lawn Guest
    Posts: 0

    ALL of the new BS engines are made thru a joint venture Daihatsu air cooled and water cooled. Older ones were USA built. I was a small engine mechanic for 8 yrs BS was a very dependable motor as long as the oil and air filter is kept up.
     
  5. landcruiser

    landcruiser LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 134

    Master of the Lawn, do you mean all BS engines or just the Vanguard BS engines are built in a joint venture with Daihatsu? I won't be able to go look/run the mower I'm trying to buy with the 20hp Vanguard until next week but I'm sure looking forward to it. It will be my first run of a Vanguard twin. Seems like noone is very eager to comment on their experiences with Vanguards here though. Don't know if that's good or bad...
     
  6. dobehap

    dobehap LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    I had a 16hp vanguard, never a problem,

    I have a 18hp vanguard, never a problem. Easily starts, runs smooth, lots of power.
     
  7. landcruiser

    landcruiser LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 134

    Thanks for the reply dobehap. Do you know if your 16hp and 18hp Vanguards are the same size (cc displacement?) I just wonder what different displacements were used in the Vanguard twin line since you have a 16 and 18hp and I'm looking at a piece of equipment with a 20hp version. I know my 2 Kohler 25hp are 725cc so I wonder what the Vanguard twins are in comparison?
     
  8. dobehap

    dobehap LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    Vanguards:


    16hp- 480cc

    20hp- 570cc

    23hp- 627cc
     
  9. landcruiser

    landcruiser LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 134

    Thanks dobehap. I found that info along with the horsepower and torque curves from a provided link above. Glad to hear these are good engines.
     
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    Ex boss has a 14hp Vanguard on a fradan blower I got nothing but good things to say about that. Its now 4 seasons old and still starts first pull and this guy is not known for good maintenance.
     

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