Does anyone short block anymore?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by oldrustycars, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    gat a guy with a locked up Kawasaki 14 horse on a Deere LX176 rider. that engine is obsolete, small engine warehouse has a short block for 495. a complete new Kaw (im not even sure it would fit, i'd have to research it more) is 1000. they have a Briggs that they say fits well for a retrofit for 695. this is supposed to be a low hour machine that got run without oil. im thinking the time to switch everything over is going to eat up the savings of a shortblock real quick. he just mows hos own small yard, so im not concerned about the Briggs at all. I like briggs engines. so...does anyone even use shortblocks anymore? after all, time is money.
  2. Dweezil

    Dweezil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Very rarely anymore, just because of what you were saying, time is money. Warrenty work is about the only serious use I'm aware of, or where a short block is the only thing avalible anymore. In most cases your better off getting a newer moter any way, usually quieter, better on gas, and built with better materials depending on how old the motor that went out is.
  3. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Yes time is money....and money is money.

    I just put a Kohler 25hp short block w/new heads in my 96 model Walker. Took me a half a day on Saturday to do it and now I have a like new mower. Block, heads, valve kit cost just a little over a $1000. Dealer wanted $2700 to put in a new engine. I could have gotten a new engine for $1600, but that 500 bucks I saved doing the work my self, bought New tires, and several other things to complete the rebuild of a good useful mower.

    I have a block/heads ordered for my 2000 26hp Walker. Should be here Monday. Funny thing, the same parts for the 26hp efi were $6 cheaper than the 25hp.

    So yeh, time is money, but if you are able, and have the tools and know how to do it yourself, you also can save a bundle of money.

    Just for info a new Kohler 26efi for a Walker is running at $2500. So I will save about $1300 on that rebuild.
  4. Dweezil

    Dweezil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    That's worth it, but like you said, your doing it yourself. If you had to pay labor to go with that, the new engine would be cheaper in most cases.
  5. Partsangel

    Partsangel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    in a case where the engine has low hours like you have said you might consider a shortblock but in most cases people try to put a new shortblock together with there old Carb, Ignition, Starter, OHV Head and in that case its just a waste of time. I have always recomended replacing the whole engine because of the time factor and you also get a full warranty 2 yrs in most cases and a new shortblock only carries a 90 day warranty at best.

    Mike AKA Partsangel
  6. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    The difference between a two year and a 90 day warranty is something to consider. But my way of thinking is that I have never had an engine go bad under warranty, always just after it expires. :) You might say I play the odds, but for me it has worked so far. If it does catch up with me someday, at least I'll be money ahead.

    Besides if I had to depend on warrantys to keep my equipment running, I'd definitely look for another brand.
  7. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    When I got laid off from the phone company back in 94,I took the small engine class at the local college. Was three nights a week, 4 hours a night, for a year and a half. Only reason I took it was because, #1 the state paid for it, and gave me the tools to work with. #2 I just started my lawn business and wanted to maintain my own equipment.

    So you can imagine in that year and a half I got to work on some junk that should have been trashed. Some folks demand that you fix it as cheaply as possible, even if it means putting on a carb with a blown bore. That's one reason I will not go into business repairing other than my own stuff. :)
  8. lucforce

    lucforce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223


    In your situation, I would put some hard numbers down on paper and let your customer decide. Keep in mind that you should tell him/her about the parts that that would be reused, and that those parts on a new engine have a warranty.

    How long has this machine been sitting?
    Is the starter still in working order?
    Is the Ignition system still operable?
    What is the condition of the carburetor?

    Once you add the price of new filters, a sparkplug, and any single additional component that you later find to be faulty (not including the additional labor time), you far exceed any "savings" that the customer might have seen versus the complete engine cost.

    Yes, you stand a potentially greater profit from a repair. But, the customer is likely to be better served with a new engine- you did say that the kawi engine was already obsoleted, right.
  9. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    ive already pretty much made up my mind to use a whole new briggs. i charge less than a shop does, but you have to put up with me doing things my way. just my luck i'd short block it the run into a carb or ignition problem.
    thanks everyone.

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