John Deere 925A w/Kohler 27HP EFI

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rreyn1812, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Chevy z71

    Chevy z71 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,052

    I would rather have a kawi then a kohler.
  2. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,469

    Me too, any day of the week given my druthers. Too bad I didn't have that choice when I bought my Z720. So far though, the Kohler is doing fine.
  3. Chevy z71

    Chevy z71 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,052

    Yay kohlers are good i would just rather have a kawi.
  4. rreyn1812

    rreyn1812 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    When I first bought a commercial machine I did some research and tried to find out as much about different engines as I could. My first JD, a 737 w/23HP Kawi didn't last 400 hrs because the guy who had it before me did not maintain it correctly. My next JD, a 830A w/27 HP Kawi now has 492 hrs on it and is running strong, but I have the dealer do all maintenance except for oil & filter changes. I also have a BobCat w/20 HP Kawi and it is running excellent at 95 hrs. Previously I had a single cylinder Kohler 18HP in a Craftsman mower that did a good job and I sold it after 3 yrs still running well. Systemic problems with an engine group are pretty quickly identified and either redesigned or they die a quick death, e.g., Kawasaki big block cam and valve train problems (redesigned).

    All engines are complex machinery that will have's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The when is estimated by the manufacturer by analyzing all the parts and assemblies that make up the engine and is documented in a prediction of Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). Unfortunately, I have not found this information to be readily available to the consumer. Bear in mind that to have a MTBF of 500 hrs, there will be many engines that would fail at greater than 500 hrs and many would also fail at less than 500 hrs. For those that fail badly and early in it's life, it leaves a bad taste in the owners mouth, while those that don't fail until they have run over 2000 hrs generally are thought to be a great engine and the owner is happy. Our individualy experiences generally define how we feel about a particular engine.

    Like most guys, I want an engine that lasts forever and gets great gas mileage. The problem is it's generally a "crap shoot" about any individual engine/mower that I might buy. A friend has a Grasshopper front deck mower with a Kohler and it used oil from day one. We just need to do "due diligence" and make sure that we don't overlook an engine problem that has been identified in something we plan on buying. Lawn Site can be very valuable in researching engine problems.

    I like the Kohler's hydraulic lifters and EFI, but it is more complex and cost more. Kohler states that the increased cost should be paid for in about 600 hrs. It is obviously a good engine and my research has not turned up any realy systemic problems with the engine. Kawasaki's are also good engines and I have seen very few systemic problems with them. Each manufacturer makes great claims about their particular brand. We each have to be comfortable with the decision we make whether it is Kawasaki, Kohler, Generac, B&S, etc. Good maintenance is one key, as well as some amount of luck! The most I can do is make the best educated decision I can and then make sure that I have all maintenance done regularly!!

    I would buy any of the major manufacturers engines in a mower if I had a good local dealer support. When my engine breaks, and it will, I want a good dealer mechanic available. For me, that's my main concern!
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    I know its been a while since you all posted on this but this is my thought. I have a 17 year old woods with 1700 hours on the kubota diesel and does not use a lick of oil. I just bought a kubota zd326. It comes with a 2 year unlimited hour warranty, you can buy and additional 2 years on it, which is what I am going to do. Ill have somewhere between 3000, and 4000 hours before the warranty it out. Kubota makes awesome machines, and the best thing is that they make everything, its not a bunch of parts made by a bunch of companies thrown in a brand name frame and mower deck like jd, scag, toro, and I could go on. Kubota makes incredible gas engines too, they last as long as the diesel because they are basically the same block.
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,377

    basic engineering...diesels last longer than gas engines...4 strokes last longer than 2 stroke engines :)
  7. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    not always true, but that is the general rule. The reason is because of how heavy they are built. Also, if I would of got a kubota gas I would of still got the same warranty. Kubota has the only cast iron block I know of for small gas engines. They always use to be cast iron, then they switched to aluminum and everything got cheaper along with it. There are also 2 stroke diesel engines, most people have never heard of them, but those are awesome engines.
  8. LawnCareNoobie

    LawnCareNoobie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    I've been saying this forever, JD needs to make a zero turn with a smaller diesel. The 997 is great (31hp Yanmar), but it's just too big for my needs. They have the compact tractors with smaller diesels (24hp? 27hp?) they need to put them in a zt.
  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    I wish they had a diesel option for every mower. Toro and grasshopper has the smallest diesel which is a 52inch, I don't think kubota has a 48 inch diesel, but I can remember. They might. Yanmar makes diesel all the way down to 5 HP
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  10. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I think that may be one of the things you start to see in the coming years for Deere. They have built a nice mower in the 900 series and I doubt they have any intentions of changing the mower in the near future, so I think you will start to see more engine options coming.

    If they do a smaller diesel, I would imagine it would only be available on select models as it wouldn't really make sense to throw a diesel on the 910 models.

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