Lawnmower Engines....

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Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Blaine »

I haven't bought a lawnmower in about 30 years.
Is the Briggs and Stratton still a high quality way to go? :?
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Bruce Scott »

My 1975 built Scott-Bonnar reel mower is still wearing the one it came with.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by mack »

I think B&S is still the best way to go. You can get parts just about anywhere. In twenty years as a master service tech for Briggs, Kohler, and Tecumseh I had the least problems with Briggs, especially when you consider the number of engines they build. Another reason I have appreciation for them is that they never declined any of my warranty submissions.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Pitchy »

I agree about Briggs they are good engines though the Predator engines are a clone at a third the price i have four of them.
I bought a yardman rider mower about 15 years ago with a 14 HP engine that still runs perfect, they told me it was about a seven year mower but if ya change oil and grease things they go a long time. :)
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by 4t5 »

I believe they are the best bang for the buck.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by mack »

I believe the Predator engine is built by Jiangdong in communist China. I wouldn't let one in my shop.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by jeepnik »

Hard to kill a B&S. Years ago as a hobby I'd find old lawnmowers folks were throwing out. Usually because the engine wouldn't start. Most of the time the mower was as ignored as the engine and totally trashed. I'd pull of the engine get a rebuild kit strip them down and rebuild them. Mostly though what they needed was a carb cleaning and new air filter, sparkplug and pull cord. I'd sell them in the classifieds. You'd be amazed how many dad's wanted one for their kids go kart.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

They all are competitive these days. Given proper. Maintenance they all should give long life. That said ,I worked on small engines for over 40 years and found Honda and Kawasaki engines to be nearly bullet proof . My 30+ year old John Deere (Kawasaki) walk behind is still running on its second spark plug and third oil change. The oil is clear and it starts on the second pull every time.
Is sat all winter and started on the fourth pull with last years gas.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by rossim92 »

Blaine wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:08 pm
I haven't bought a lawnmower in about 30 years.
Is the Briggs and Stratton still a high quality way to go? :?
they are a poors man engine. even brand name mowers use them. aka john deere, mtd and such. I only buy mowers with kohler and tecumseh engines. they hold up better. You get what you pay for. ones with an oil filter is a big big help in life longlivity
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Blaine »

I've got a pretty small area to cut....for the last 15 years I've been doing it with an corded B&D Weed Trimmer....Getting tired of that pelosi, so I imagine that I won't be able to wear out a Briggs anytime soon.....(I found out today that the B&S are still made in the USA.... 8) )
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Ray Newman »

How about a goat? The pelosi will fertilize the lawn, you'll have goat milk and goat cheese....
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Pitchy »

mack wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:14 pm
I believe the Predator engine is built by Jiangdong in communist China. I wouldn't let one in my shop.
Yea but if i get rid of everything that says China on i won`t have much left. :lol:
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Bill in Oregon »

I'd prefer a Fairbanks-Morse hit and miss, but it would make for a mighty heavy push mower. :o :lol:
Actually, I do have an old Briggs WM with the foot starter, made in February of 1940. Neat old bird.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

Well, I have a 1752 jon boat with a 35 hp surface drive motor. The motor itself is a Briggs 35 hp Vanguard industrial engine.
A very good engine...
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by piller »

I have a Cub Cadet riding mower with a Kohler engine. The first engine lasted around 150 hours. The second one won't run fast enough to cut the grass. AVOID KOHLER!!!
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:01 pm
I have a Cub Cadet riding mower with a Kohler engine. The first engine lasted around 150 hours. The second one won't run fast enough to cut the grass. AVOID KOHLER!!!
Years ago they were considered a premium engine.......guess that has changed like so many other products.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

The Kohler Courage engine has been a real looser. The big twins have had lots of head gasket issues.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Marvin S »

If a Kohler ain’t leaking and burning oil it’s empty. If you’re lucky enough to get your Tecumseh started don’t shut it off.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Rockrat »

And Tecumseh engines, I considered to be one of the best engines, long ago.

Have an older Kohler K141 that I think the electronic ign. has quit. No spark at all. No wonder the people were glad to give it to me. Checked on prices for the parts, not worth it. Too bad its not one of the point ign. types.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by rossim92 »

well, I guess when you boil it down, everybody getting screwed these days.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

Marvin S wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:36 pm
If a Kohler ain’t leaking and burning oil it’s empty. If you’re lucky enough to get your Tecumseh started don’t shut it off.
Years ago I always heard Tecumseh engines were very good cold weather engines and that's what my old Jiffy (model 30) ice auger has for a motor, works pretty good too.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by piller »

New motors on almost everything are junk nowadays.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Blaine »

piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:37 pm
New motors on almost everything are junk nowadays.
Nonsense....With new materials and CNC so easy a Chinaman can do it, engines today last 2 or 3 times longer.
:wink:
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by piller »

Hack! Cough! Wheeze! and those are the sounds the engine makes. :lol:
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by rossim92 »

piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:51 pm
Hack! Cough! Wheeze! and those are the sounds the engine makes. :lol:
Sounds like my sister, she smokes like a chimney
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by piller »

rossim92 wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:52 am
piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:51 pm
Hack! Cough! Wheeze! and those are the sounds the engine makes. :lol:
Sounds like my sister, she smokes like a chimney
So does my lawn mower.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Marvin S »

I knew this would be a fun thread. Without counting them I suppose I have about 50 plus small engines right now from a 1916 Fairbanks Morse headless Z to some sort of probably Chinese OHV single in a Champion generator. I do the power of the past antique engine shows and enjoy playing with all sorts and brands.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Larkbill »

Blaine wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:40 pm
piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:37 pm
New motors on almost everything are junk nowadays.
Nonsense....With new materials and CNC so easy a Chinaman can do it, engines today last 2 or 3 times longer.
:wink:
Not to mention modern oils. I've been using Rotella 5W40 Synthetic for as long as I can remember. I have a steep hill in the back that is duplicated in neighbor's yards. Everyone but me have lost engines to oil starvation. They've resorted to switching to two cycles, over filling with oil, or NEVER going crosswise. They look at my "junky" MTD/B&S that lasted 20 years and shake their heads.

I was going to warn you. Not all high end brands are created equal. A neighbor gave me his Honda equipped Craftsman mower when he moved to a retirement condo. I loved it at first, but began having problems with it running and the first clue should have been the cheapness of parts. Turns out the commercial guys hate these things, they almost all have smaller mowers along with their big ones for tight areas. Honda build these 160s cc OHC motors by the hundred thousands, and they are built to a low price point. They almost all replaced with the Predators, which it turns out are an older Honda design that is pushrod and thus has more parts so is more expensive to built. I know others aren't impressed because of the Chinese connection, and I don't know about parts availability but the motor it's self is smoother, quieter and more powerful than the Honda it replaced. I'm hoping it lasts me until I'm ready to pay someone to cut my grass. 10 years? I'm 69.

That said, for the size job you described I'd be shopping for the cheapest self propelled I could find. Chances are it will be made by MTD and have a B&S engine. That will do the job just fine if you change the oil and clean the air filter. Don't know about you but even a 20 year mower for me would be overkill.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Marvin, you have some swell toys. Can I come over and play? 8)
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Marvin S »

Sure Bill if you up this way.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Griff »

B&S are still good engines. But... and with most all the names, they build a couple different specs. You have to know which you're getting. Anything sold at one of the big box stores will not be the same as you'd get in a name shop. My John Deere riding mower isn't even available at the big box store... model is only sold thru JD dealers. My neighbor buys and rebuilds riding mowers... has fixed a couple of mine that I've trashed... living on a farm isn't the same on a city lot... I don't know where some of the trash I seem to run over comes from... but it can create havoc with any mower! He swears by the Kohler "Commander" engines. I have one in my Craftsman mower..

Like any internal combustion engine, oil & if equipped, filter changes will extend the life of any of 'em. Carefully review fuel recommendations... Since I've stopped using the ethanol mix stuff, my carb problems have gone the way of the dodo bird!
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by mark »

I am on two acres, the wife is mowing a "Club Cadet", with a Koler Courage 22hp engine.

The mower came back from the mower shop for it's annual service.

The kin, x2 B&S run on 98 octane, no ethanol, and I do an annual oil change.

The mower shop picks up and delivers.

None of the mowers is used commercially.

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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Pitchy »

piller wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:51 pm
Hack! Cough! Wheeze! and those are the sounds the engine makes. :lol:
When they stated capping off the idle mixture screw and factory set them so lean is why they cough and sputter at idle.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by stretch »

I've always had great luck with Tecumseh in the old Craftsman self-propelled mowers.

About 5 years ago, I was given an old one, got it running, and now use it as a brush
cutter in ditches and the woods. Works great! Change the old frequently, especially
when new. My "good" Craftsman is probably a decade old. (I hit a piece of lumber and
broke some things underneath, but the motor's still good! :wink: )
The Tecumseh Snow King was a GREAT motor. Very hard to kill.... Old Briggs stuff is good, too.
My 8 HP chipper has a Tecumseh engine, and I've beaten on that thing for almost 25 years.

The Chinese stuff is hit or miss. (No pun intended! :lol: ) I've got a 4K generator
with a Chinese engine, and it's worked just fine the last 5 years. I've also heard
A LOT of horror stories about the Chinese engines. Change the oil often on ANY
small engine, especially early on.

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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

Marvin, you have some vintage "walking tractors" there.
I have a BCS walking tractor with a 12 hp Kohler Command Pro 12 engine. A few years back I was talking to a service tech at Kohler about my engine and he stated that my particular engine was made for Kohler by Kawasaki and is a very good engine.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by gundownunder »

Yea but if i get rid of everything that says China on i won`t have much left. :lol:
Yep, and that includes your underpants and the shirt off your back.
But if you have a choice and can buy an old reliable motor that will run forever on just a carby overhaul (or maybe even pick one up on a rubbish dump), why would you choose to buy cheap chinese throwaway crud.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Marvin S »

TraderVic wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 6:35 pm
Marvin, you have some vintage "walking tractors" there.
I have a BCS walking tractor with a 12 hp Kohler Command Pro 12 engine. A few years back I was talking to a service tech at Kohler about my engine and he stated that my particular engine was made for Kohler by Kawasaki and is a very good engine.
I have a 25hp command pro in my grasshopper and it runs well but weeps oil from every gasket on it. There’s a couple BCS dealers here, nice machines but very expensive. Kind of like a Grasshopper front mount mower.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

Marvin S wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 8:46 pm
TraderVic wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 6:35 pm
Marvin, you have some vintage "walking tractors" there.
I have a BCS walking tractor with a 12 hp Kohler Command Pro 12 engine. A few years back I was talking to a service tech at Kohler about my engine and he stated that my particular engine was made for Kohler by Kawasaki and is a very good engine.
I have a 25hp command pro in my grasshopper and it runs well but weeps oil from every gasket on it. There’s a couple BCS dealers here, nice machines but very expensive. Kind of like a Grasshopper front mount mower.
I've had mine about twenty years and have had very good luck with 3 of 4 attachments. The lawn mower attachment is an odd design and a bit troublesome. Overall a very easy starting and reliable machine. They have switched engines multiple times since I acquired mine and understand have gotten a bit spendy.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Marvin S »

I done some mowing yesterday with a repowered David Bradley, 2 hp B&S is all that’s needed.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

Marvin S wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 11:03 am
I done some mowing yesterday with a repowered David Bradley, 2 hp B&S is all that’s needed.
I use a sicklebar attachment quite a bit, very useful in areas of taller grass, etc. I will detach the snowthrower and attach the tiller shortly. Sickle later on.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by AJMD429 »

I also have a BCS walk-behind 'system', and the engine has been great. Kohler I think.

It is a mid-90's vintage, with the GREAT tiller, a sicklebar, and the chipper-shredder.

I also got their 'brush-hog' 30" rotary mower, and that thing is a monster. Blade just like a big tractor mounted one; so heavy it coasts well over a minute if you shutdown and have the clutch disengaged. It is awkward to maneuver, so I really just use it occasionally now.
Is that the one you have, TraderVic...? I know they make a wider 'lawn' style mower too.

When the kids were little we had a five-acre area of erosion-control and wildlife plantings with shrubs or small trees 10 feet in a grid, so I'd mow random "maze" paths through it with the rest 4 ft tall or so, and the kids would chase each other through it. Sadly we quit as they got just a bit older, and they barely remember that now.

My favorite BCS feature is having a four speed transmission for the tires separate from the PTO means you can till even dry hard clay without it running away like a Troy-Bilt will do. A few years ago though I got a five-foot tiller for the Deere 2520 Utility Tractor and now use it the most.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by TraderVic »

AJMD429 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 9:17 pm
I also have a BCS walk-behind 'system', and the engine has been great. Kohler I think.

It is a mid-90's vintage, with the GREAT tiller, a sicklebar, and the chipper-shredder.

I also got their 'brush-hog' 30" rotary mower, and that thing is a monster. Blade just like a big tractor mounted one; so heavy it coasts well over a minute if you shutdown and have the clutch disengaged. It is awkward to maneuver, so I really just use it occasionally now.
Is that the one you have, TraderVic...? I know they make a wider 'lawn' style mower too.

When the kids were little we had a five-acre area of erosion-control and wildlife plantings with shrubs or small trees 10 feet in a grid, so I'd mow random "maze" paths through it with the rest 4 ft tall or so, and the kids would chase each other through it. Sadly we quit as they got just a bit older, and they barely remember that now.

My favorite BCS feature is having a four speed transmission for the tires separate from the PTO means you can till even dry hard clay without it running away like a Troy-Bilt will do. A few years ago though I got a five-foot tiller for the Deere 2520 Utility Tractor and now use it the most.
Yes, it sounds like it. I used the sickle mower a lot to clip weeds under my high tensile wire perimeter fences. We retired from the cattle business three years ago, so I use it a lot less as I've been dismantling fences and rolling up the wire.
The snowthrower is quite impressive, as you know the tiller works very well too. An impressive machine.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by marlinman93 »

Back about 32 years ago I bought a brand new Wards mower with B&S engine. Started it up and 5 minutes later it tossed a rod out the side of the block. Wards put a new engine on it, and it's been flawless ever since. Last year I bought a new TroyBuilt and my neighbor got my seasoned Wards mower. He loves it, and uses it regularly.
The new mower has the Briggs & Stratton easy start engine that has no choke or throttle, and is guaranteed to start first pull. It does all that, and I have no idea how? I hope it lasts as long as I'm around. It was on sale at BiMart for $199 last year, so sure can't beat the price. Half of what i paid 32 years ago for the Wards mower.
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Blaine
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Blaine »

marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:38 am
Back about 32 years ago I bought a brand new Wards mower with B&S engine. Started it up and 5 minutes later it tossed a rod out the side of the block. Wards put a new engine on it, and it's been flawless ever since. Last year I bought a new TroyBuilt and my neighbor got my seasoned Wards mower. He loves it, and uses it regularly.
The new mower has the Briggs & Stratton easy start engine that has no choke or throttle, and is guaranteed to start first pull. It does all that, and I have no idea how? I hope it lasts as long as I'm around. It was on sale at BiMart for $199 last year, so sure can't beat the price. Half of what i paid 32 years ago for the Wards mower.
That sounds like the one I just bought this morning....$199 at Home Depot... Troy Bilt with the B&S easy start.....
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marlinman93
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by marlinman93 »

I did find out after setting all winter that "easy start" is a misnomer. It took about 4 pulls to start. Last year never more than one pull. And after the first start this year it was just one pull after that long nap.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Vall, I miss my BiMart!
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Rockrat »

Have a Tecumseh on my Rototiller, that I inherited from my Grandfather. Gotta be at least 40 years old. Went to the shed today to get ready to put it to use after its winter snooze. Put some avgas in it,set the choke to full and about 1/3 throttle. Started on the first pull.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by Pitchy »

Picked up this old Briggs last summer a 16 HP if i remember right, it sat under a tarp for years.
Put gas in it cleaned the points which are on the outside of the engine in the little box which i like and it started right up.

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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by .45colt »

Memory lane there Old Pard.....My dad had a "Tiger Tractor" when I was a little with that motor on it . when Your five years old it was the size of an earthmover... :lol: It was a sad day when it went down the road.
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Re: Lawnmower Engines....

Post by 4t5 »

TORO personal pace mower here, starts easy, TORO brand engine.
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