max hours

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Detroitdan, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I'm sure this has been covered, but my search feature won't work. And if this belongs elsewhere I apologize for that too.

    What is the average hours to expect from a small engine? I realize there are about a zillion variables, like maintenance and so forth. Plus all the different motors. I'm just looking for a generality. Been looking at some used equipment, and would like a better understanding of what's low hours and what's high hours. When would you not consider a purchase due to hours. My friend told me the dealer told him that 1500 hours is about the normal lifespan for the average mower engine. Would you agree?

    I'm most likely going to end up with a 23 hp Kawasaki. Seen some with 900 to 1300 hours, also seen a lot that have already had new engines. I don't anticipate putting a huge amount of hours on, but if a 1300 hour motor is only going to give me 200 hours no matter what I do, maybe not worth it. Or would the right deal make it worthwhile even having to replace the engine before long. What's a 23 Kawi go for nowadays?

    Any suggestions as to preventive maintenance if I do get something relatively high hours, like different oil weight or timing/spark mods?

    Thanks for the input.

    JABBERS LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 459

    I have a 2001 Exmark 26hp efi. The motor has 1200 hrs on it and still running strong. I was told from the dealer I should get about 2200 - 2500 hrs before I have to re-power. A good tip is to use synthetic oil (I use Mobile 1 tri synthetic) after you drain your break in oil. Once you go synthetic you can never go back or else risk engine failure.
  3. Bo614

    Bo614 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Really the only way to know the answer to your question is to now how well the mower was taken care of before. I know you probally wont know this answer but if the mower was taken care of it will last longer and if it wasnt then...well it wont last as long. I would price a engine for that and ad that to the price of the mower and if its still cheaper then anyone you can find then i would go for it. if not then look for another one:usflag:

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    a good rule of thumb is 100 hours per 1 HP ( 20 Hp-2000 hrs,25 HP-2500 hrs)
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    thanks, this is good info. I'm actually a little enthused now, because I was thinking that 1500 max was a little low, plus the dealer said 1500 is max for an air cooled. But then, dealers want to sell stuff.

    Just tried out a used Bob Cat ZTR, 1700 hours, new head on the motor, Peco system with it, guy wants $4500. At first I thought it was too much considering the hours, but the cost of the collection system included makes it a pretty good deal. Five minutes after I drove it the owner called and said he was picking it up and going to use it, because his new one hasn't been delivered yet and is on backorder.
    I figure if I buy something with some hours on it, I need to get two seasons out of the motor before I can afford to replace it.

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