Kohler of Kawasaki

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by blairbuc, May 26, 2002.

  1. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Well around the 25 horse catagory I would be interested in user comments between these two engines. Torgue, longevity, getting parts,tech assistance, cost of parts or anything else that made you take one over the other.
  2. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Although I don't have those particular 25hp engines, I do have Kohler and Kawasaki engines. I've found Kohler engines to be hard to start, run rough, vibrate, and are loud. My Kawasaki engines start easier, run smoothly, and are quieter. My Kawasaki engines are also much easier to do maintenance on.

    Hope this helps.
  3. LeoS818

    LeoS818 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    Tvov We have big kolhers and kaws. I would say the way you described the small ones can be said for the larger ones also.
  4. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    this is just from my personal experience.
    never had a problem with a single kawasaki engine. anywhere from 10hp up to 23HP. once we did have a 12.5 kawasaki motor die, but it was over 12 years old at the time.

    Kohler, we have had two kohler engines(22Hp, and 25HP), and although they run decent, im just not too crazy about them. the 22HP ran well until the 2000 hour mark, then it dropped a cylinder. we sold this mower shortly after that. the 25HP currently has 600 hours, and we just had to replace the starter.$250.00-OUCH(operator fault, not manufacturer-delbert left the key with the starter going while the engine was running) it doesn't seem to like to start in cold weather, but other than that, it runs decent.

    Overall i prefer the kawasaki, but that is just my opinion. Kohler seems to have what i refer to as a chevy 350 tick. it always sounds like the motor is ticking, but that is just how they sound. just like a chevy motor back in the day :)
  5. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I've used both of the "larger" motors and have had far less problems with the Kaw.
    The 23K on my Viper is a great engine. Plenty of power and very few problems.
    They are both good engines though. Tough choice.:eek:
  6. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    Ohiolawnguy, now that you mention the 350 chevy tick, what the heck is that. My Chevy has that also and it got to the point were I would listen to others wondering if it was just my 350. My guess is either piston slap or the lifters. If you know the answer, please let me know.

    As far a the Kohler vs Kaw. you have not made my day, since my Hustler has a Kohler 25. Well, better next time.
  7. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I run Kohler 20, 22, 23, and 25hp engines. I have found that if you can live with, and get through the problems they always seem to have in the first 100hrs, they are great engines. I guess they don't have any quality control at the factory. After I get the initial bugs worked out they are dependable and inexpensive to repair. I have found Kawasaki engines to be very troublesome about carb. problems. I have used double fuel filters on some and still have frequent carb. problems. Also, when repairs to the Kawasaki are needed, parts and labor always seem to cost a lot more than on Kohler repairs.:)
  8. blairbuc

    blairbuc LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 154

    mowingman: thanks for the come back on the Kohler,which is what I put on the Hustler for the same reasons you put down. One thing you might check on the Kawasaki "carburater problem" is what I posted before. Kaw. wants the heads pulled and ports cleaned every 350 hours. I don't have a clue why and I think it is extreme, but they fear carbon build-up which may be your problem, I thought with the new formulation of gasolines and additives on the market, those days were over. My Hustler dealer said I'll order any way you want, Kohler or Kaw, but they sited the 350 hour head pull and the parts and costs issue and said most guys want Kaw. but they felt over the long haul of parts availability and cost I would like the Kohler more. They also ran the two in their tall fields of Bridgewater CT and felt the Kohler had a slight edge on torque. Even on cold nights when they start everything and put it in away, the mechanic said the Kohlers start better, but again, he said 16 out of 20 guys will go Kawasaki and ignor what they say.
  9. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    blairbuc, all my hardcore chevy friends tell me that it is just the lifters making
    that ticking sound. they claim there isn't much you can do about it short of a major overhaul on the engine, and replacing a bunch of internal parts.(i'm not a mechanic, so i gotta trust what they say) my first car was a nova with a 350, and it ticked like crazy.

    the ticking sound is supposedly completely normal as long as you aren't using an excessive amount of oil, and the engine is running smooth.
  10. scottb

    scottb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Ive would like to know where you guy's found Kawasaki motor that were easy to start. I have never found one to start better than a Kohler. I always figured thay couldnt build a decent motorcycle for off road use they couldnt build adecent lawnmower engine.

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