What"s up with Hustler and Kawasaki?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by HenryB, May 24, 2014.

  1. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    Both of these companies seem to be having issues. Strangely enough Hustler chooses to use Kawasaki's most problematic motor,while they are already dealing with their own non motor related issues.
    I like both companies but it's mindboggling some of their decisions or lack of decisions. Kawy's Big Blocks have been blowing up since 2009 I blew up two on Bobcats and now six years later there seems to be no fix. :dizzy:
    Honestly their smaller engines seem to have gone down in quality and dependibility.
    Hustler, I ran from 2004 thru 2007. Multiple issues clutches, blade switches,pig tail patches and other electrical issues. Multiple wheel motors and hydraulic problems and then the XR7 cutting issues. In many ways I think Hustler is very innovative but they always seemed bordering arrogant when I'd contact them. These are issues a decent backyard mechanic could fix and I'd be told I was the only one or very few were having these issues but thanks to Lawnsite we know better. Do they want to get rid of a Stockpile of Kawy engines and bad wheelmotors they already purchased? I hope they hear what us professionals are saying.
    I feel there both good companies but this is not that hard to remedy. Yes I've run every brand known to our industry so I feel my opinion means something. There are so many engine options out there now, why is Hustler using these BB Kawy's
  2. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,168

    They evidently got a such a sweet deal from Kawasaki it could not be turned down. When I speak of sweet deal, I mean one that puts more money into Hustler's pocket. There is definitely something going on between Hustler and Kawasaki unknown to others, anyone with common sense would know if you offer a broader selection of engines your sales will be much higher.

    There are many devoted Chevy owners, as there are many devoted Ford owners as well. You have the same thing with Kawasaki, Kohler, and Vanguard engine owners, and with Kohler offering the only BB engine with closed loop EFI, it is beyond me why Hustler does not offer a choice.

    You would believe there should be more units sold when offering an engine brand option. I can promise from my experience with Kohler's EFI since 2006, there is no doubt in my mind I would have ordered my last new Super Z with the Kohler ECV980 if having the option.

    My FX1000 is running fine since the new cam install, but who knows with these engines what will happen next. What concerns me is their engineers are not smart enough to get the bugs worked completely out of this engine in the long time they have been in production. I never hear of this type thing going on with Kohler or Vanguard. I was told by Kohler when they first introduced EFI into their engine lineup it about drove them crazy trying to get the bugs worked out. The gentleman then told me, "we've had no issues with our EFI system since getting the bugs worked out," and at that time he said it was about 3 yrs. the engine had been trouble free. This is what made my mind up to try their EFI, and it has been the best engine I've ever owned or operated on any mower.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,428

    In 2000 kawi had issues with their (at that time new) V-twin 17s.

    Kawi has never been THAT reliable.

    I think it's likely they are a 'cutting edge' type company that takes a while to get things right….v twin 17s were new…now there doesn't seem to be issues, but its nearly 15 years later.

    Briggs has always been a solid company and Ive never seen much issues out of a kohler (with the exception of the aegis line) But both these companies are dyed in the wool conservative, with the relative innovation speed of a rusting boat anchor.

    with kawisaki there will be a trade in innovation vs reliability, you simply can't have both, or everyone would be doing it for pennies on the dollar.
  4. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,168

    If this is the case, how has Kohler advanced so far ahead with electronic fuel injection? Kawasaki has an open-loop system that is not even worth discussing in the same conversation with Kohler's closed-loop system. Kohler has brought a big block engine into production with a top of the line fuel injection system using Delphi components, the same components as used in most all vehicles.

    Vanguard is working hard on a closed-loop fuel injection system of which I was told will be comparable of Kohler's system. Vanguard said they wanted to be totally certain it was bullet proof before releasing their fuel injected Vanguard to the buying public, and they were shooting for the fall of this year.

    From what I've just stated it appears to me Kawasaki is the engine company far behind. Kawasaki has not learned to build a decent fuel injection system to this point in time, and the reason I suspect they ended up with their open-loop DFI is for the fact they've not figured out how to make a closed-loop system work with their engines.

    When unable to build a trouble free big block engine after all these years, designing and implementing a closed-loop fuel injection system would be like them trying to build a rocket that can reach the moon.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,381

    Sorry to wedge in but do you know anything about this Kohler engine. Local dealer is replacing blown Kawasaki engines.

  6. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,168

    Sorry, I know absolutely nothing about this engine.
  7. aroddy

    aroddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    that engine is noting but a kohler courage twin with slightly higher oil pressure pump -re-designed fan shroud for cooling and a "cyclonic" air filter design.....
  8. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,527

    The whole system is collapsing because of debt and other various reasons, get ready to take cover and wait for Jesus. :usflag:
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,428

    Thats pretty much what I was saying… Briggs won't bring out anything new until it's tested to death. Dyed in the wool conservative.

    Kohler is using something exactly the same as EFI on trucks and cars… not innovation, very little RnD, just adapting already available tech.

    Nothing wrong with that, it just makes them more reliable.

    Kawisaki is always trying new stuff… most of the time it doesn't work and takes them a decade to figure out how to make it not a complete mess.

    Im not a fan of kawisaki, prefer briggs and kohler myself.

    Kohler has had a good EFI for a while now.. a little pricey, but Ive seen over 2600 hours out of one with little trouble, so, technically worth it.
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,474

    Briggs has nothing to do with building Vanguard engines or anything else other than being the importer for them since that was their agreement for going in half on the factory with Daihatsu where the engines are built.

    Yes, Kawi BB engines have had their share of problems, but I have owned a boatload of Kawi's now. I still own several, and never had a problem with any of them. Heck, my little FC420V is 24 YO now, and still runs like new. I can't say the same for Kohler anymore. I like their closed loop EFI system, but their carbed engines are nothing close to what they used to be in quality. I'll take the Kawi's and you keep the Kohlers. It's a win win deal.

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