Kawasaki 26 FX or Liquid Cooled for Scag Wildcat

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ajordan193, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. ajordan193

    ajordan193 LawnSite Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 460

    Looking at purchasing a 52 inch scag wildcat with the tripple bagging system. I have the option of two kawasaki engines. The Kawasaki 26hp Liquid cooled and the Kawasaki 26 Fx engine. There is about a $1,000 difference in price between the two. Suggestions?
  2. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 944

    i always prefer air cooled on mowers...just less that can break or leak down the road
  3. AuburnHort2005

    AuburnHort2005 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 147

    ditto, water pump failures, etc...
  4. TheOctagon

    TheOctagon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Air Cooled all the way! I am not a huge fan of the 26hp kawi liquid. Air cooled is just way too simple.
  5. ajordan193

    ajordan193 LawnSite Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 460

    Thanks for the reply's guys. Air cooled it is.
  6. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,397

    As with most things there are pros and cons for each engine. The air cooled is cheaper initially and there is less to repair "down the road". On the other hand, the liquid cooled engines run a more constant temperature, and because of that, most knowledgeable people (that I've talked to) agree that they will last up to 50% longer. As I said, in my opinion, it's "6 one way and 1/2 dozen the other".

    I think you'll be happy with either one.
  7. TheOctagon

    TheOctagon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I agree that in theory they should last 50% longer under the correct conditions. On the other hand i have seen far too many 2000 plus hour air cooled engines to really feel the need for anything much longer lasting than that.
  8. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,397

    Yeah, I've seen a lot of air cooled engines that have a lot of hours on them. It'd be hard to find an accurate average life span of air cooled versus liquid cooled.

    I just sold an IH Cub 154 Loboy that had almost 8K hrs on it's liquid cooled engine, and it still ran like new... and, used absolutely NO oil. But, it only turned about 2400 rpm (WOT) so that's not a fair comparison.

    Just one more subject that boils down to "to each his on". :)

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    Im for air cooled all the way. Its to hard to keep the liquid cooled engines clean when it gets windy out. They work fantastic when they are clean. But as soon as they get dirty you have absoutley no airflow to your engine.
  10. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I anticipated that problem with mine, and the solution was to take a piece of fiberglass window screen, cut to proper size and lay over top of radiator, using the factory wire mesh (much larger screen grid) to hold it in place.

    It works very well, just unclip factory screen remove, shake off , and replace. It catches all but the smaller particles which appear to be going through the radiator and not causing any problems, at least it has not clogged up. Peridoically use an air compressor and blow from hot air exhaust side up to back flush anything out of radiator .

    I'm homeowner, not commercial, mowing just under two acres. It has been so dry here sometimes that when I finish that piece of screen appears totally clogged up, but enough air is getting through to cool then engine. The temp gauge stays in middle of green whether screen is clogged or freshly cleaned.

    I bought the LC version because I perceived it to be quiter than the air cooled model and I have enough hearing loss from shooting sports, that I do not need any more. When I bought my '06 model the LC engine only cost $100 more than the AC version, I would not pay $1000.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011

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