Kawasaki 29 DFI LC

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Just wanting some feedback on this engine. If you run one I would like to hear your reports on preformance. Fuel economy (already heard one bad report), reliability, power, Kawasaki service, etc. Am I right in assuming its the 27 hp basically souped up a bit with the DFI?

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Are you buying a tt.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    2 gallons per hour fuel consumption is what my digging turned up.
    Can't say rather it is true or not though.
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I'm keeping my options open. It will be a while before I buy. I would like to have more power than the 29 but Kaw has a good reputation. Still not 100% on the Vanguard wagon. But after using both, no doubt the Vanguard has a tremendous power advantage, but is it as reliable? Or is the DFI reliable for that matter. After all the home work I did last time still made a mistake so I'm just sitting back learning all I can. No buying mowers in the winter for me, just a little investigating. Wonder what the price difference is between this and the big block Vanguards?
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We've have one on our 61" TT.

    Absolutely love it. No compliants what so ever. I've never really did any type of formal fuel consumption calculation. Everytime we jot down the hours we forget when we fill it to calculate the gallons per hour. We keep meaning to do it but never follow through...

    Reliability...tough to say. We've owned it since june/july of '05 so there is not much of a track record there. It starts when I want it to. Although a little more difficult with the colder weather. Have to put the throttle up a little higher and it takes two cranks instead of one...no biggie. Only first thing in the morning, after that its ready to go basically the rest of the day.

    We did have a 'stator' (SP?) go on it earlier this year which was under warranty. No questions asked. After looking at it my dealer said he was going to call the kawi rep. He called back and said no problems its under warranty won't cost you a dime. No big deal couple days out of service...three I think. Knock on wood no other problems. So therefore service for us was good.

    As far as power is concerned it has plenty of it. It can handle thick, wet springtime grass with one pass. Rarely do we have to perform two passes...maybe on one or two sections never the entire lawn. That is with the stock blades on it.

    I believe were the power really shows is on our hills. It handles them really well. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have to slow down but again these are pretty decent size inclines.

    Currently we have a set of high lifts on the TT that we use along with our soft bagger. Works really well. This is were (IMHO) the engine really pulls through. It never leaves any trails cause of the suction/vacuum that is created and it packs that thing to the gills. However, with this combo going up the incline the mower will come to nearly a crawl. I don't know what would happen with a smaller engine. Don't get me wrong...it still cuts well...its just really slow going at the top of the hill. But again, no trails or need for a second pass.

    As far as the 'its a souped up 27 with DFI'...

    Before we purchased the TT we had a demo unit of a 61" TT with 29 LC/EFI kawi and a TORO 61" with 27HP Kohler. TORO wasn't willing to demo any bigger engine...made my decision even easier that SCAG (really my dealer) was willing to demo me a TT with the combination I wanted whereas TORO said all that we can do is demo you a 27 kohler...anyway...not the point.

    We (brother & I) had these two mowers side by side for about a half days worth of cutting. They both performed really well on the first few accounts. When we drove to the next two accounts with the hills...they didn't even compare. We started them both at the bottom and worked our way up. The TT with the 29 kawi literally pulled away from the 27 kohler up the hill...both with blades engaged...especially with the blades disengaged. It wasn't even close. And, yes, the cut was fine for the both of them. There was no clear cut winner in that department in our opinion.

    Hope this helped some/any
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    I would go for the briggs... maybe even the air cooled version.
    I'd have to have the numbers on them to decide on this one.
    (this is a rare thing for me)

    I'm totally clueless about Scag pricing, but if they are like most, I have trouble justifying the L/C V-Twin pricing because a 3 cylinder L/C diesel can usually be had for little more... and when I look at the overall cost effectiveness it's hard to see going L/C gas.
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    29hp not enough?? good lord man. I have had the big hp mowers and I will never buy one again... it just doesn't make sense to me. The higher hp motor costs up to 2k more and it will burn .5-1gph more. This really really adds up when a mower is mowing 40 hours a week every week. My crews had a 28 efi hustler 60" and I have replaced it w/ 23hp 60" and there is very little difference in power, but a whole lotta difference in price. 35hp is for bush hogging if you ask me.

    I would just get the 27 kohler TT. I have an '06 TT w/ 27 kohler and it has plenty of power, it is reliable, and gets good gas mileage. The one thing that scares me on the LC is the radiator... one more thing to go wrong and maintain.
  8. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    2 GPH, I think that was what Shady Brook came up with using one. I was hoping that it was an isolated problem and not the norm for the DFI which claims fuel economy as one of it's strong points. If the 2 GPH is true then it gets much worse than my carbuarated Kohler with very little extra torque. I like the Kaw reputation for reliability but so far I've seen very few positives that would make this engine worth trying. 745 cc with 44.3 lbs of torque is nothing to brag about on paper anyway. And like I have said in previous post we played around with both engines at Expo and the big blocks would take off with full stick without loosing rpms while the Kaw would drop and take awhile to catch up. Well really it never did catch up to the big block Vanguards. I wonder why I hadn't been hearing much about this engine. Too many changes going on right now, especially with Kohler coming out with big blocks. Wonder who will use them? Scag and Exmark seem to be locked in with the Vanguards and who knows about the reliability of a new engine. They certainly didn't do their home work with the 30 Hp Kohlers.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    -BTW, we purchased our 61" TT w/rear soft bagger and the 29 LC/EFI kawi for 12k. I believe the bagger was right around 2k installed. So the mower itself was about 10k.
  10. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    (Bushhogging) Well after two weeks here thats about what I do alot of the time. I have to be able to clean up abandoned real estate, bi-weekly's, and normal weekly lawns on the same trip. Spring growth will strain even a 27 hp on some of my weekly accounts. The last mower I bought, the 27hp/60" Super Z could definitely used some more ponies. My conditions are probably not typical of most suburban type mowing that most of you do. I get called for all types of stuff and have one guy that runs a bush hog for me on a by the job basis. I spent the weekend in Louisville and watched alot of the lawn care guys there work. It's a totally different ball game there. They use alot of WB's, push mowers, and small ZTR's. The lots are smaller and alot more complex than what I am used to and they have to haul alot of different equipment for all these task. Lots of curb jumping. All I need is a big ZTR, trimmers, blowers, etc. Small ZTR's and WB's are pretty much nonexistent here. Diesel Grasshoppers are the most popular, followed by big Scag ZTR's. Average lots may run .5-2 acres. 10-14 day accounts make up more than half of my business and we get over and inch of rain per week on average (55" per year). My first Exmark (great little mower) was a 23hp/60" cut and was I ever miserable trying to cut this thick stuff. Made for a long day. Your right about the radiator, could be one more problem. That's why I'm asking I guess.

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