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Author Topic: Considering engine replacement  (Read 3089 times)

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Offline kelLOGg

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Considering engine replacement
« on: July 15, 2017, 09:40:58 pm »
My 15 year old MP32 came with a Kohler Triad 16HP engine. It is beginning to use oil bigtime and rather than repair it I am considering replacing it when the time comes. The link below is not complimentary of the Triad series; hence my consideration to replace it.
http://www.lawnmowerforum.com/showthread.php/98-Engine-Kohler-Triad-OHC-16-Not-a-good-engine
Any other Triad series owner who has experienced problems?

16HP has served me OK but am leaning to 20HP but no more. I contacted Cook and I can get a 20HP Kohler Command for about $1500 plus shipping. Should I even stick with Kohler? Is there an obvious alternative choice that anyone just swears by other than diesel? (At my age I will probably never recoop the diesel cost.)

Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
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Online pineywoods

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 10:09:18 pm »
When the time came to replace the 16 hp briggs on my mill, I lucked onto a kawasaki V twin liquid cooled engine off a lawn tractor. New ones are available from several places. Comes complete with cooling system, weighs about the same as a comparable air cooled. These are industrial engines used on quite a few pieces of equipment. Almost a bolt on swap for me. So far about 3000 hrs on it, I'm tickled.
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Offline scleigh

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 11:14:55 pm »
Bob. Look at Honda also.

Offline MbfVA

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 02:37:57 am »
Whether you buy there or not, Amazon and eBay are good ways to compare specs and prices, especially on popular brands like Kohler, Honda, Briggs.  I like the comment about liquid cooled--they certainly are quieter in most cases for example.  The 35 hp Briggs on my swing mill is really noisy.

 $1500 for a 20 hp motor sounds high to me.   When I was considering buying a Norwood HD 36 without an engine, I think I had a lower local quotation than that for a GX690 Honda ( but consider whether or not the fuel tank and muffler are included).  It was 22 hp in the configuration I was seeking-- my memory is not clear at this point, but I believe there was a 23 or 24 hp version available for more money.  Watch out for net versus gross hp ratings.

Usual comment from members of this forum is to get all the horsepower you can fit on your machine and afford.

Some people really like the Predators sold by Harbor freight.   Like a lot of HF tools, they certainly seem a lot cheaper, so much so in some cases that even comparing total cost of ownership with a major brand but using a shorter life for the Predator, they can still be the winners.

And one more question: have you checked the cost of rebuilding your engine? There are so many places around it will do that, and many manufacturers sell rebuild kits.  You're going to lose horsepower with any newer engine due to creeping EPA rules, one more thing to consider.

The GX690 Honda used to be rated at 28 hp, for example, until they "re-tuned" over time to achieve increasingly strict EPA specs.  Now the otherwise almost same engine only gets a maximum of about 23 hp.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 02:52:58 am »
In today world of gas engines my choice would be Kawasaki or Honda.
I think at one time  Kohler was a very good engine so was Briggs.
Times has changed and things got cheaper. At one time I had over
3000 gas engines in my collection so I got to play with them all.
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 09:59:13 am »
Thanks for the replies. I have time to make an informed decision. If I could trust my judgment on a used engine that would save me a lot of $ but...not my skill.  Maybe the price quoted on the Kohler was high even with a muffler - I have heard a lot of good things about Honda and saw one for ~200 less but with no muffler. We'll see.

Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2017, 03:23:38 pm »
Bob,The fella I bought my WM LT30 from had installed a Honda GX 670 on it.I have not had any problems with it or any of the other Honda motors on other machines.It is a little cold natured but shouldn't be an issue in N.C.
 The stories I read here about Kohler's would make me a little nervous.
Mick
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 04:31:09 pm »
In the winter on the Honda's 20 hp and over you need to cut a cardboard piece to cover most of the fan area of the pull starter.
They say it runs much better that way
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 05:26:56 am »
Bruno,I cover the shroud on my Honda,about a 6'' disc,when the temp starts staying below 30.It makes a big difference.Honda does not recommend using the cover below 40.Honda makes a cold weather shroud but there is no need to spend the money.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 07:09:59 am »
What's the purpose of the disc? to impede air flow for cooling? otherwise it cools too much? Any engine I get will be electric start. Do they require a disc cover?
Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 08:39:08 am »
Bob, the disc/cover is put over the air intake on the front of the engine to limit how much cold air can go through the engine, normally for cooling the engine!
For example, my 25hp Kohler gets very tempermental when the weather starts getting cold, so I block off about half of the grill and the engine is then allowed to produce more heat and it runs better!
I hope this explains it to you OK!
~Chuck~
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Offline SineWave

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 08:12:25 pm »
Can't beat the price on the Harbor Freight Predator 22 hp Chondas...

Offline iffy

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 06:40:03 pm »
I have a Chonda (Chinese Honda) 22 hp (aka predator on my mill. It was on sale for $699 and I applied a 20% off coupon to it. Shipping was $6.95 to my door. Yes, the decimal point is in the right place.
It has been a pretty good engine but make sure u run the fuel out before storage as the Jets have a tendency to partially plug.
I broke a piston in mine and it was entirely my fault. The only thing they do not show availability on is the piston & rings. They put in a special order to China for the parts and told me it would be 10 weeks. That was in September. Last part of January they sent me notice that the parts were shipping.
Meanwhile I had rounded up a Kubota 3 cyl dual fuel afrom one brother an then the other brother told me he had an extra 4 cyl diesel off the drive system for a center pivot (abt 20hp).
I ended up fixing the chonda as that was the easiest rout but I now have enough spares for a lifetime
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 08:28:16 pm »
Parts is the only reason that I would not buy a Chonda....
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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2017, 10:36:56 pm »
Go diesel you'll never look back.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2017, 09:57:03 am »
iffy - what did you do to break a piston?
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Offline iffy

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2017, 10:03:03 am »
Something incredibly stupid. Apparently some water leaked in thru he air cleaner. I didn't know this & put fresh gas in it & tried to start it. It was trying so I gave it a little shot of ether & it ran for a few seconds . Cranked it again with a shot of ether & it started. When it tried to die I gave it another shot to keep it running & that with the water finished it off.

Offline Ox

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2017, 10:07:19 am »
Criminy - I've done that trick for the last 25 years.  I guess either I've been really lucky or the pistons in the older engines are a bit stronger.  Likely a bit of both.  Thanks for the reply - I'll hafta stick that in my little brain and hopefully it'll stay...

(chanting with my head bowed, eyes closed and two fingers to my temple):  Chonda engines don't like steam, Chonda engines don't like steam, Chonda engines don't like steam...  :laugh:
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Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
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Offline iffy

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2017, 10:30:11 am »
Since many of the other parts interchange with Honda I bought a Honda piston & rings & the bore is the same but pin height is different.

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2017, 11:00:47 am »
If the wrist pin height is different, does it make up for it with a different piston crown height?  What about the weight of the piston - is it near enough the same where it doesn't throw the balance of the engine off?  I've always heard these parts are basically interchangeable but to what degree I wonder...
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2017, 11:27:52 am »
I don't keep ether at my shop. I seen way to many small engines damaged with it.
Instead I keep an old pump oil can filled with gas. Works great for me.
It also works good on wasp nest.
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Offline iffy

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2017, 12:43:49 pm »
Once I saw the pin height was a lot different I didn't proceed with weighing.

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2017, 05:29:14 am »
I have a friend who is really into John Deere riding mowers and he says he has a Yanmar 3 cylinder water cooled 18 HP engine on one of his Deeres that he will give me. What do you guys think of Yanmars?

Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
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Offline ladylake

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2017, 06:05:30 am »


   Great engines that sip fuel, keep in mind it will weigh around 200# more than your old Kohler.   Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2017, 06:44:18 am »
   Great engines that sip fuel, keep in mind it will weigh around 200# more than your old Kohler.   Steve

 :o Really? My current Kohler is under 100 lbs. If it is almost 300 lbs, I'll pass.
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer

Offline ladylake

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2017, 07:17:35 am »


  My 3 cylinder 29HP Isuzu is right at 300# with the radiator and all of the fluids, I'm thinking that 18HP Yanmar is quite a bit smaller so maybe just over 200#.  You can mount a windup garage door opener on your mill to help lift the extra weight.  Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline sawmilllawyer

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2017, 11:38:06 pm »
Yanmar diesel motors are the standard in the nautical industry, very dependable, durable, long lasting engines. Like said above weight might be an issue. Just my two cents.
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2017, 06:52:37 am »
Maybe I misunderstood my friend but I think he said it was a "gas" engine. Looking on Yanmar's site I see they make only diesel.  >:( I'm really not up to more sawmill mods to make a heavy diesel work. I'll stick to gas.
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2017, 08:19:27 am »
We run yanmars on spray trucks.  You really got to watch them...they burn so little fuel you will forget to check the tank.. That would be a nice engine to have there Bob.  But i am only a tiny bit from being a hoarder.   Banjo
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2017, 09:49:22 am »
Yanmar does make some diesel engines that are aluminum. They are in the smaller hp and used on generators water pumps and such. I would check out what he has and it's weight. They are very fuel efficient.

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2017, 10:39:02 am »
Going from gas to diesel, the real bear is weight, especially with manual mills. I looked at the options, and elected to stay with gas, BUT, there is another option. Gas engines are set up to run way rich for the extra cooling. Kawasaki makes some liquid cooled V twins that almost as frugal on fuel as a diesel and they weigh about the same as a comparable air cooled engine. To go diesel, you will need to address the weight problem. Do a search on "faster up for older woodmizers" Shows how to add some garage door springs to help the up-down mechanics.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2017, 11:30:10 am »
 I didn't go back through the thread to see what the original poster's needs were, but given the cost and the weight of a diesel, that's a lot of upfront cost & bother unless the usage is going to be heavy enough, no pun intended, to justify the disadvantages.

 One additional feature of any liquid cooled engine, is less noise. The disadvantage is the user has to keep up with antifreeze and associated problems.  If it's  going to be your only diesel engine, there's a new fuel supply to keep up with as well.  Wish we could make this simple for you.

I have no knowledge of modern aluminum diesel engines, certainly there have been improvements, new alloys, etc.,  but I can tell you this: heat and aluminum historically do not play well together in the world of internal combustion . I hope they solved that problem  well enough to stand the rigors of diesel.  My mother had a 1962 Oldsmobile F 85 with an aluminum engine which was a hunk of junk. Left us on the side of the road waiting for emergency service several times before we finally ditched it.  The service manager at the dealership admitted that they had replaced more than one warped block and/or head.

Someone with more knowledge of the mechanical world please correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't there some problems with the GM diesels of the 1980s related to the materials they were made up?

What happened with the harbor freight option, or am I mixing up my threads?
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Offline ladylake

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2017, 02:26:42 pm »
I have a friend who is really into John Deere riding mowers and he says he has a Yanmar 3 cylinder water cooled 18 HP engine on one of his Deeres that he will give me. What do you guys think of Yanmars?

Bob

 If I could get that engine free it would be going on my mill, putting a torsion type garage door spring on a mill is no big deal and should lift 150# or so.  I put one  my mill, nice and neat.  Diesels sip fuel with very little problems and have way more torque.  I went from a 27HP Kohler to a 29hp Isuzu, the Isuzu uses 1/2 as much fuel and cuts way faster, plus oil changes are 200 hours vs 50 or 100 for a gas motor.  Steve
Timberking B20 12000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Dino setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2017, 02:57:19 pm »
There is only one horsepower rating formula for any internal combustion engine, regardless of the fuel type used.
The only real difference is torque of a diesel engine happens at lower rpms .  Horsepower and torque are directly related.
Diesel engines don't rev up very high, so they make less horsepower on average than gas engines.
Gasoline powered engines in garden tractors typically have peak horsepower at about 3000 rpm and horsepower falls off quickly below that . Diesel engines in our compact tractors typically have their peak horsepower at about 1000-1500 rpm and horsepower stays up throughout most of the rpm range. A diesel engine, however, has a much broader power band.
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2017, 03:20:47 pm »
I checked the dry weight on my Kubota engine in my lawn mower and I was surprised to find out it only weighs 169 lbs. That yanmar may not weigh enough to worry about. Find out the model number and get a dry weight on it. Mine is a 3 cylinder 21 hp.

Offline BigZ La

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2017, 09:28:57 pm »
With a little more time on my hands I checked how much the 3 cylinder engines weigh in the John Deere mowers and to my surprise the heaviest one, the 3TN75 weighs 160 lbs. All the rest were lower weights with many weighing less that  125 LBS. With those weights I definitely would go with a diesel especially if it's free. You could even get the electric clutch to run on them.

Offline SineWave

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2017, 07:12:57 am »
I have no knowledge of modern aluminum diesel engines, certainly there have been improvements, new alloys, etc.,  but I can tell you this: heat and aluminum historically do not play well together in the world of internal combustion . I hope they solved that problem  well enough to stand the rigors of diesel.  My mother had a 1962 Oldsmobile F 85 with an aluminum engine which was a hunk of junk. Left us on the side of the road waiting for emergency service several times before we finally ditched it.  The service manager at the dealership admitted that they had replaced more than one warped block and/or head.

Well, lots of Hayabusa riders and F1 drivers would disagree. I think a lot of the kinks have been worked out with aluminum, what with the Nikasil cylinder coatings and whatnot.

One huge advantage of aluminum is that it is waaaaaaaaaaay ahead of cast iron or almost any other material in its thermal conductivity. This is part of what makes it so difficult to weld (you need a large welding power source), but also what makes it good for radiators and for light, high-output engines. It can dump a lot of heat FAST. (You'll realize this if you ever pick up a piece of hot aluminum after welding it.)

You don't want to mis-treat it, though ... it'll still warp like a pretzel and it still gets galvanic corrosion to beat the band, and it's famous for leaving its threads on steel fasteners...but it's not as bad as it used to be in the Corvair days...

Have you boys seen the "race" chainsaws they make out of old aluminum Oldsmobile V-8 engines? 
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2017, 03:44:29 pm »
Put a ripping chain on that thing and mount it on an Alaskan chain saw mill and then go to the sawmill shootout!
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2017, 07:31:41 am »
My friend brought his John Deere mower to me to see if the engine would be suitable for my mill. It is long and narrow so it will fit under the hood of a riding lawn mower and it is 9 inches to long to fit on the mill. It is a gasoline Yanmar. Oh well, nice try.


 

 
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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2017, 06:22:15 pm »
That may not be a bad option yet, Bob. It very well could be a mich better engine than a kohler ( imo, it wouldn't take much)
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2017, 05:09:02 am »
I am considering a Honda gx series 20HP. It is an easy fit - same bolt pattern as the Kohler.
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2017, 06:35:44 am »
Bob,
I was hoping you would come back to the Honda.My GX670 has been a good performer.Technical support has never been a problem......or needed.Also the red color goes well with your Cook's mill.
Best of luck,Mick
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2017, 10:18:01 am »
Honda's and Kawies are very good engines.
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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2017, 09:13:45 pm »
As far small gassers go, honda would be my first pick.
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2017, 08:24:11 am »
All I know about Kawis is, I had a 12 or 17hp in a John Deere 175 mower and I thought it needed a starter and called the dealer (this was nearly 20 years ago) and they wanted something like $400 for a starter.

I asked, "How much for a complete new engine???"

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2017, 11:00:52 pm »
I too went with a Honda (20.8 hp).  Was surprised to see the "made in China" sticker,  I guess what isn't these day.
Mike

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2017, 02:05:31 am »
All Honda vertical-shaft lawn mower engines on both Honda lawn mowers as well as other brands (Toro, Sears, etc.) have been cast, assembled and shipped from the Honda plant in Swepsonville, North Carolina since 1982. That facility makes hundreds of thousands of engines every year, with many exported to Latin American and European distributors.

Now some of the larger, horizontal-shaft engines used in Honda generators, snowblowers, and pumps are made at Honda plants in Thailand. However, the vast, overwhelming majority of Honda engines sold in the US come right out of the Swepsonville plant.

If it says it's made in China I bet it's a clone.
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2017, 03:13:08 am »
According to Honda's web page the GX series is made in Japan, Thailand or China. Those are the commercial rated engines.

The US plant builds the GS version which is a lighter duty engine, and would be used for lawnmowers etc.

If you bought via a legit Honda dealer it's probably a legit Chinese Honda.
If it's "grey market" then it's anyone's guess who actually made it.
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2017, 07:19:17 am »
The best price I have found for the Honda GX 20.8 HP is 1199.99 + shipping (no muffler) from an un-mentionable company so I bet it is made in China. That's a red flag for many. Maybe this is a naive question but if Honda write the specs for a product and verifies the plant can meet them (which to me is the minimum of good business practice) why does it matter where it is made? (It is not my intent to throw a grenade in the kitchen and leave  :o)
Bob
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 07:52:33 am »
The Chonda engine I have on my mill is a 22 hp, listed for $899, on sale for $699. I had a 20% off coupon so another $140 off and shipping was $6.95 to my door. If you discount my screwup with the ether, it has been a pretty good engine. The external parts look just like the external parts on the Honda I have on my welder/generator. I know the piston is different, and would assume the rod is too, but don't know about crank or other internals. My only real complaint about the engine is non-adjustable carb jets and if it sets for awhile the Jets may get varnish build-up & run lean. However, my Honda did this too.

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2017, 11:00:24 am »
The cure for all carburetor related illnesses is a fuel shutoff valve that is used to run the carb dry of fuel religiously every time one shuts the engine down.  Of course, this isn't required if the engine is used every single day, but for more than a week shutdown it should be run dry just to be safe.  Most small engines today don't have the shutoff valves on them anymore.  I've installed these valves on everything I own and between this and using non ethanol gas I've solved every single engine problem I've had.  All my engines now start on the first or second pull after opening the valve after a long winter sitting.  It's truly a thing of beauty. 

Just sharing what's worked for us and maybe it'll help at least one other person.
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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2017, 06:37:44 pm »
My 2016 GX630 20.8 hp Honda has been verified through Honda Small Engine Product Registration as a valid SN that was manufactured in China.  Just the facts Ma'am!
Mike

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Re: Considering engine replacement
« Reply #52 on: August 10, 2017, 09:02:41 pm »
Mike, that source is good to know about. Thanks.
Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer