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Liquid cooled vs. Air cooled

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kps2389, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. kps2389

    kps2389 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I'm looking for a new mower and have mixed things about liquid cooled mowers. Do they really run up to 1000 hours longer then air cooled? Are they worth the extra money? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    On any thing I have ever read, they are rated to last 2 to 3 times longer than an air-cooled unit with proper maintenance. I don't know the factors that are involved, but I can see why just by thinking about it. I haven't heard any complaints on the liquid-cooled till yesterday in fact. The city of Paris tried the Super-Z's with the liquid-cooled Kawasaki, and said they had alot of problems with it i.e. overheating, etc. They are looking at the Bad Boys for this year, and said no way to lc. They also had major problems with their cub cadet tank with the Generac motor. You and I both know some cities treat their equipment, and with 230 acres to mow I think they run them harder than most lco's. On the other hand, LC's are getting really popular around here. Thats mainly what I try to run, just because of the longer lifespan ratings. Our mechanic just got back from Kawasaki school and he said they were leaning toward lc and efi looking at the future. I couldn't imagine you not getting 2 to 3000 hours out of a lC machine after everything I've heard. Nearly everyone's list around here has a LC motor on it being diesel or gas.
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I have one water cooled engine and I have to say that so far I dont really see the advantage of it...all though it hasnt ever given any major trouble....both head gaskets leak some and I have to add some water from time to time

    Just my 2 cents but its just more stuff to go wrong and extras maintenance.....But If I were to be mowing a large complex that was 30 -40 acres in one place that the mower ran for extended times with out shutting down and cooling then it may be more feasible. Most residential accounts you are mowing 1 hour or less and then the mower gets a chance to cool down

  4. Grassbuster

    Grassbuster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    From what I was told - you really only need L/C if you run more than 50hrs. per week. I have always had L/C and found them more difficult to service. I am buying a new mower this spring and its going to be air cooled Kawasaki.
  5. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    Because of their constant engine temperature, liquid cooled engines keep their power stable in hot weather and under harsh conditions.
    For the same reason, they last longer and burn less oil than air cooled engine.
    In fact, air cooled engines are actually oil-air cooled. It is the oil which transfers most of heat from the "hot" parts to the "cooler" parts of the engine. Heat produced at the cylinders is "dissipated" in the air flow surrounding the engine.
    In liquid cooled engines, the oil doesn't have to work as hard, stay cooler and last longer because most of the heat produced is transferred by the coolant to the radiator and evacuated to the air in a much more efficient way.
    With minimum preventive maintenance (like replacing ducts when they go "soft" to the touch and flushing the coolant every two or three years to prevent any corrosion in the system), a liquid cooled engine should last "forever".
  6. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,848

    Unless you keep the ma chine for more than 2000hrs it's a waste. Most machines need a lot of nickel and dime items at 1500-2000 hrs. The engine could last til 3000 hrs but the rest of the machine will be shot.
  7. oghfm24

    oghfm24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Run em both, ac 20 hp kohler and lc 24.5 kubota. Water adds weight but I trully prefer the lc in the hot months. Henry B has a really good point, I seldom run my machines past 1500 hrs because the hydros can go. The fuel injected air cooled engines seem to handle the heat much better and add no weight to the program. Should last 2500-3000. Think about it, when they started FIing cars they installed better filters and they quit flooding and washing the cylinder walls down and always had the better fuel air ratios and engines just started lasting longer. I'm gonna try a fuel injected one next time.

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