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liquid cooled vs air cooled

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hawkeye, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. hawkeye

    hawkeye LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Besides the obvious difference between these two types of engines what are the pros and cons between the two? I appreciate the input!
  2. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    Generally the liquid cooled engines will last longer, get better fuel economy and create less pollution.

    The cons are theyr'e more expensive, have more parts to fail that can cause catastrophic engine failure and require slightly more maintenance.

    You have to balance that against the lower initial cost of the air-cooled engines.

    In our experience due to the initial higher cost and cost of maintenance it's about a wash. so we stick with the air-cooled engines (kawasaki's).

    We depreciate our machines over a 5 year period so at that point they're actually "costing" us money and with the 179 deduction and expanded depreciation schedule that's now available it's even more of a savings to sell them off and buy new ones.

    We've been getting 3,000 -3,500 hours out of the Kaw's before we have to replace them.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Same here, I was talking to my dealer a while back, he was working on one at the time. he STRONGLY advised agaist it. " I think he hated working on them" seems this one anyway, spent more time in the shop than out.

    Telling off on my self here, when I was younger, I used to rack dirt bikes. I was so amazed when liquid cooled engines come out. Ther were GREAT. no issues at all. I just cant see why, they have not perfected it in mowers.
  4. hawkeye

    hawkeye LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    A scag dealer told me the cost difference between the air cooled engine and the liquid cooled engine is only about $100- that being said is the liquid cooled a slam dunk for that little bit of difference? Will the liquid cooled be quieter?
  5. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    Be careful.... where they get you on that one is their not comparing engines of the same HP.... other dealers are doing that too. Bobcat is so bad that their "price comparison" is between a 26HP water cooled and a 37HP air cooled engine! yep only about $150 for 10 or more less HP!
  6. hawkeye

    hawkeye LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    For the $100 the difference is the 26 lc kawi vs the 25 ac kawi
  7. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    I'd jump all over that! And I don't see how they can do it... the radiator costs over $100, never mind the pumps, hoses, mounts more complicated engine block and heads.....
  8. Grassman6

    Grassman6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I've been a loyal water cooled LCO for over a decade, but lately my favorite dealer stopped receiving liquid cooled from the factory. In fact, they won't even be offered in 2009, for the gasoline engines. Everybody seems to be going to big block air cooled, so that's the direction I'm heading. Toyota owns Dahatisu and builds a big block for Briggs called Vanguard with more than fours year's use in the lawn care market. So by weeks' end I will be cutting with 30 hp Vanguard air cooled which the experienced mechanic promises 3000+ hours if well maintained, and I am a maintenance freak.
  9. N.TX

    N.TX LawnSite Senior Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 473

    I can see a big problem with it. If for any reason the liquid cooled leaks the coolant out you more then likely wont know it until you burn your engine up. I talked to a guy around here a few years ago that burnt two liquid cooled engines up that way.
  10. grassaholic

    grassaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    The guy you know who burnt up 2 liquid cooled motors must not pay attention to his "idiot" light or lights on his mowers. My Liquid cooled
    Walkers have an idiot light that comes on and a very loud audible beep that notifies you of a situation like that. As far as liquid cooled being less reliable than air cooled goes..... An air cooled engine can develop an oil leak that gets on the cooling fins and starts to collect dust and debris. Before you know it, the engine overheats and burns up, just like the liquid cooled in your scenario. I'm sure we could both go on and on and on with different ways a liquid cooled or air cooled engine could fail. The bottom line is maintainence. If properly maintained, the liquid cooled motor will outlast the air cooled motor.

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