WALKER engine life

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MowJo, Dec 3, 2000.

  1. MowJo

    MowJo LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 70

    Guys, what kind of life expectancy are you getting out of your 20 hp Kohler engines? Cutters in my area are reporting an avg. of 900 hrs w/average maint. I got mine to almost 1300 hrs. I like the mower but the the engine life seems too short. Is there just too much heat in the engine compartment of the Walker? Is there a better engine to order for a Walker? How bout a Kubota?

    I also like to run the 62" deck with the mulch kit, is that deck too stressful on a 20hp engine?
  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    900 hours isn't many hours at all. I've had 3 Kohler Engines, (1) 20 HP Magnum traded it in at 2000 hours, (2) 20 HP Magnum, sold it to a friend and it has over 2,500 hours and still runs good, (3) Still use this one, 22 HP Command with 3,235 hours and still runs strong, but these are all on Dixie Choppers with Amsoil by pass filters and Donaldson air filters with coolers.
  3. MowJo

    MowJo LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 70

    I agree, 900 hours is nothing, I've had several Scags go 2 and 3 thousand hours with Kohlers. I really believe there is a heat/ventilation problem with the Walker, this mower does have a Donaldson air filter system also.

    If this is a trend with other walker machines, i'd like to know. Too much money to go down that soon!
  4. turfman99

    turfman99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    900 hours is like 45,000 miles on a vehicle. Eric seems to have it nailed pretty good. I have two Walkers at almost 3000 hours and one at 2500 hours and they are running fine. We have replaced one piston and valve seats on one engine, and will do the same to the other one this winter. I have one that at 500 hours broke the crank shaft, but the dealer took care of it.

    These are all air cooled engines and must be kept clean. Even a minor amount of dust, oily dirt can inpair the cooling capabilities. You are also looking at Eaton hydrostats that are fan cooled. That is engineered right at the edge of effectiveness if you let the engine and compatment get dirty.

    In my personal and professional opinion,and I have a Walker with 62 inch deck and mulch kit, 20hp is not enought for that combination to work and mulch effectivley. I would like to see 25hp, and I think it would work much better.

    900 hurs in our area is about 1.25 years use. Not very cost effective. That unit should have been under warranty, and if not you could probably kick a little and get it covered.

    Figure 50 to 60 miles per engine operating hour for a comparision to vehicle life.
  5. MowJo

    MowJo LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 70

    Thanks for the comments! I have upgraded to the 25hp and am happier with the extra power. Time will tell how it holds up, I am putting more emphasis on keeping it clean.

    turfman: do you remember the hours at which you replaced the piston and valveseats? the engine i replaced was probably suffering from this, heavy oil consumption, smoke and a fouled plug.
  6. turfman99

    turfman99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    One was at 1300 hours and the other at 2700 hours. Have one to do this winter at 3300 hours. Probably will just go ahead and rering it and everything elses while it's out. That engine has my best operator on it although.That does make a difference.
  7. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,354

    Our Walker 20hp had 1800hrs and talked with new owner now up to 2100 and still going, our old 16hp had 1600hrs on it and sold that also and its still mowing. We now have a 25hp with under 500hrs and a 26EFI with 150hrs. Most 20s will go up to 2000hrs if maintaned properly and even more is possible.

    BUSHMASTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    I think heat is a problem on a walker becuase of the lack of air flow, as far as thje kubota, i run the gas model ....its showing 1826 hrs on it now no problems i for see it going the distance being 3000-5000hrs yea water kooled engines are just as reliable has your trucks if you can afford it the way to go....but reringing or purchasing a replacement air kooled engine is still cheaper than buying a new mower try blowing out the engine capartment after every job and then at night with compressed air to get into those small spaces...
  9. Bobby

    Bobby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    I took off the goofy dump bed on my Walker to give it a little more menuverability. Maybe less heat.
    Also, I blow the entire machine off at least once a day. Be sure to blast the pump area with air. Blow the air from the engine exaust side through the block. This will dislodge grass buildup. Then blast the intake area.
    My 25Command has over 3000hrs and still runs good. Guess I got one of the good ones.

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