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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I have owned lawn tractors (to include Lawn & Garden) with Kohler, Kawasaki and Yanmar Diesel engines!

What are your favorite engines and why? Interesting stories of amazing feats from an engine would also make great reading!!
 

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Wow, I bet you will get all kinds of opinions on this one.

Anyhow, I had a 14 HP Kawi single cylinder "thumper" in my 240... never any problems for 12 year. I've had a 18 HP V-Twin Briggs in my LX288 for 11 years... no problems. I just hope the new 22HP Kawi V-Twin in my X320 is equally as reliable.

My neighbor has an older Cub Cadet with a Kohler engine in it. While he's had several issue with the tractor, none of them have been engine related.

To be honest, if John Deere would run the Honda V-Twin motor in their tractors, I would have NO problem with it.

With that said, I think a well made diesel is the ultimate tractor engine, at least for power, torque and longevity.
 

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The best engine I have ever owned are three engines. Yanmar 3 cylinder liquid cooled diesels in my 332 has a 16 HP, my two 455's have a 22 hp and my 2210 has a 23 HP engines. These engines are great for fuel economy and power. The only problems I have with them is alternator bearings, fuel pumps, glow plugs and normal maintenance items. Two of them have OVER 2500 hours and still run great. My next choice is my 322 with a Yanmar 3 cylinder liquid cooled gasoline Yanmar. Same engine as the 332 except it is a gasoline model. It purrs like a kitten.

The old Kawasaki engines were probably the best air cooled engines. I bought a GT275 new and really liked the 17 HP engine. I replaced it with a 345 with a 20 HP engine which has had ignition and carburetor problems. The plastic cam gear in the newer models has changed my opinion of Kawasaki engines.

Just my opinion,
GotDeeres
 

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In a lawn machine, I love the yanmar diesel, but its not because its a yanmar, its because its a diesel. They do not bog down in the thick grass and combine that with a good deck, you have one hell of a machine.

Gas engines 15 hp and under I love Honda, but for performance and anything over 15 hp, I love Kawasaki.
 

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My 445 has nearly 1600 hours in 16 years on the meter. The Kawasaki has worked well. The only repairs have been a front cover gasket, one ignition coil and replacement of the damn plastic timing gear. I can overlook the gasket and the coil, but not the plastic camshaft gear. Poor choice of material.

If I may, my favorite engines of all time have to be the John Deere 404 and 466 six-cylinder diesel. Great performance; great reliability and the sound is better than any music. Both of these engines have an very recognizable sound.

My next tractor will be a John Deere, of course. It will definitely be a diesel. I love the sound of a diesel and the smell of the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, I bet you will get all kinds of opinions on this one.

Anyhow, I had a 14 HP Kawi single cylinder "thumper" in my 240... never any problems for 12 year. I've had a 18 HP V-Twin Briggs in my LX288 for 11 years... no problems. I just hope the new 22HP Kawi V-Twin in my X320 is equally as reliable.

My neighbor has an older Cub Cadet with a Kohler engine in it. While he's had several issue with the tractor, none of them have been engine related.

To be honest, if John Deere would run the Honda V-Twin motor in their tractors, I would have NO problem with it.

With that said, I think a well made diesel is the ultimate tractor engine, at least for power, torque and longevity.
I have not had a bad engine yet either, and I'm with ya on the diesel!

.............My next choice is my 322 with a Yanmar 3 cylinder liquid cooled gasoline Yanmar. Same engine as the 332 except it is a gasoline model. It purrs like a kitten.

The old Kawasaki engines......... The plastic cam gear in the newer models has changed my opinion of Kawasaki engines.

Just my opinion,
GotDeeres
Yanmar/gas? I was not aware of such a creature!
Plastic cam gear on newer Kaws? Do you think they do this on the walk behind size engines too? I just ordered a new WE85....kind of concerning!

In a lawn machine, I love the yanmar diesel, but its not because its a yanmar, its because its a diesel. They do not bog down in the thick grass and combine that with a good deck, you have one hell of a machine.

Gas engines 15 hp and under I love Honda, but for performance and anything over 15 hp, I love Kawasaki.
Again, I agree with the diesel idea. I have no experience with non dirt-bike Honda engines although I just purchased a new JD pressure washer with a Honda...too new to have opinion yet!

My 445 has nearly 1600 hours in 16 years on the meter. The Kawasaki has worked well. The only repairs have been a front cover gasket, one ignition coil and replacement of the damn plastic timing gear. I can overlook the gasket and the coil, but not the plastic camshaft gear. Poor choice of material.

If I may, my favorite engines of all time have to be the John Deere 404 and 466 six-cylinder diesel. Great performance; great reliability and the sound is better than any music. Both of these engines have an very recognizable sound.

My next tractor will be a John Deere, of course. It will definitely be a diesel. I love the sound of a diesel and the smell of the exhaust.
Referencing another thread we were both communicating in, while I stated I do not mind plastic (general comment unspecific to type of..) on my hood or fenders, I do not know that I like the idea of it in my engine! Do you remember how many hours the engine had when you replaced the plastic camshaft?

The 404 you mentioned, is that a JD 404 cubic-inch? I would love to find an old 4#20 series....I think I have that right! Do you have one of those old engines?

DRobinson,

I agree. I love the smell of diesel exhaust in the morning. I prefer it to Folgers. :morning2:

GotDeeres
Glad I'm not the only one loving that exhaust fragrance....but prefering it over Folgers!? Hmmm, next time I'm in the barn with the doors closed, the Yanmar running and my John Deere coffee mug massaging my lips with......I'll give that some sincere contemplation :unknown:
 

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OneMarineE5,

I wanted a 332 diesel but could not find one. So, I bought a 318 with a 2 cylinder 18 HP Onan. This is another good engine. I saw a 322 on $Bay and that is when I also found out about the Yanmar 3 cylinder 18 HP gasoline version. It is the same Yanmar engine except with spark plugs instead of injectors. I bought the tractor just because I liked how the engine sounded. Then I finally found the 332 which is only a 16 HP diesel engine. I never needed any more HP with it. The last 4 tractors I bought have been diesels and that will continue. :thumbup1gif:

GotDeeres
 

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USMC Sergeant:

My 445 plastic cam gear went down at around 800 hours. I think I have written on here before that the equipment manufacturers should have learned from the automotive companies that plastic timing gears don't last. The excuse that I have heard from auto and JD people is that they use them because they are quieter. I think that quiet is an excuse and not a reason. Who cares if their tractor engine is quiet? I enjoy listening to them.

The 404 cubic inch was used in the 4020 series, which was a great tractor. The 466 was used in at least the 4240 and 4440 series, and maybe more, but those are the ones that I am familiar with. The 404 and 466 have a distinctive sound that is recognizable instantly. Unfortunately, I don't have an engine or 4xxx series tractor. I have a rather long toy wish list right now and one of them falls right behind a 2320 or 1026R and a new F-150 Eco-Boost.

Don
 

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20 hp Onan

I had 2 - 20hp Onans and they were great. Did not burn oil, no major failures and boy did they do the work. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
USMC Sergeant:

My 445 plastic cam gear went down at around 800 hours. I think I have written on here before that the equipment manufacturers should have learned from the automotive companies that plastic timing gears don't last. The excuse that I have heard from auto and JD people is that they use them because they are quieter. I think that quiet is an excuse and not a reason. Who cares if their tractor engine is quiet? I enjoy listening to them.

The 404 cubic inch was used in the 4020 series, which was a great tractor. The 466 was used in at least the 4240 and 4440 series, and maybe more, but those are the ones that I am familiar with. The 404 and 466 have a distinctive sound that is recognizable instantly. Unfortunately, I don't have an engine or 4xxx series tractor. I have a rather long toy wish list right now and one of them falls right behind a 2320 or 1026R and a new F-150 Eco-Boost.

Don
I would love to find a running 4x20 series with the 404 ci myself, with 4wd. I hear ya on the long wish list.....I just don't think I make enough money to support this habit!


OneMarineE5,

I wanted a 332 diesel but could not find one. So, I bought a 318 with a 2 cylinder 18 HP Onan. This is another good engine. I saw a 322 on $Bay and that is when I also found out about the Yanmar 3 cylinder 18 HP gasoline version. It is the same Yanmar engine except with spark plugs instead of injectors. I bought the tractor just because I liked how the engine sounded. Then I finally found the 332 which is only a 16 HP diesel engine. I never needed any more HP with it. The last 4 tractors I bought have been diesels and that will continue. :thumbup1gif:

GotDeeres
I had 2 - 20hp Onans and they were great. Did not burn oil, no major failures and boy did they do the work. :good2:
Onan? there's an engine I forgot about. Other than seeing one on an old WheelHorse, I have no experience with these (I think I'm correct about the WheelHorse?).

I would love to have any of the Yanmars!!!!
I keep reading they are great engines, I have to admit that sitting on a lawn tractor that sounds like a tractor.....is kinda neat :dance: So far the experience is enjoyable! You know, the smell and all......
 

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I've got a 20hp v twin Kohler on an exmark mower that I've not been thrilled with. It has just under 300 hours on it. I've changed the oil at 50 hr intervals,used premium oils and Wix filters as I do all of my equipment. But...this Kohler blows huge clouds of blue smoke on start up and has since hour one. When shutting down ,if I dont shut it off at half throttle,it will knock and run on...what I call dieseling. I use premium or mid grade fuel,but it doesn't seem to matter. I'm guessing I have leaking valve guides and probably alot of carbon buildup on the piston that is causing the pinging/knock at shutdown. I just dont understand why it did it when new, before it had a chance to build up the carbon on the piston.Anyone have any ideas?
 

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I am a Kohler fan. I grew up running a '71 JD 120 with a Kohler single. That engine soldiered on with nary a problem for 17 years. My father "upgraded" to a diesel 332 which sipped fuel but most everybody in the family hated to run (the tractor, not the Yanmar engine). He got tired of the problematic 332 and graduated to a 455 4WS. Now that's living!

I've since also used a '91 Walker 16-hp Kohler single and an '07 Walker with a Kohler twin. Both Kohler engines have performed flawlessly, unlike the Kawasakis that my brother and a co-worker had in their 345 Deeres. Both started to experience engine issues around 800-hrs. My brother now runs a Ferris with a big Briggs twin which he really likes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've got a 20hp v twin Kohler on an exmark mower that I've not been thrilled with. It has just under 300 hours on it. I've changed the oil at 50 hr intervals,used premium oils and Wix filters as I do all of my equipment. But...this Kohler blows huge clouds of blue smoke on start up and has since hour one. When shutting down ,if I dont shut it off at half throttle,it will knock and run on...what I call dieseling. I use premium or mid grade fuel,but it doesn't seem to matter. I'm guessing I have leaking valve guides and probably alot of carbon buildup on the piston that is causing the pinging/knock at shutdown. I just dont understand why it did it when new, before it had a chance to build up the carbon on the piston.Anyone have any ideas?
My first JD, an L130 had the Kohler V-Twin...it too would diesel when I'd shut it off, and sometimes would produce a loud back-fire! Beyond that, I loved that engine.

I am a Kohler fan. I grew up running a '71 JD 120 with a Kohler single. That engine soldiered on with nary a problem for 17 years. My father "upgraded" to a diesel 332 which sipped fuel but most everybody in the family hated to run (the tractor, not the Yanmar engine). He got tired of the problematic 332 and graduated to a 455 4WS. Now that's living!

I've since also used a '91 Walker 16-hp Kohler single and an '07 Walker with a Kohler twin. Both Kohler engines have performed flawlessly, unlike the Kawasakis that my brother and a co-worker had in their 345 Deeres. Both started to experience engine issues around 800-hrs. My brother now runs a Ferris with a big Briggs twin which he really likes.
May I ask what sort of problems the Kaws produced?


Second that I do
Enjoying coffee right now...Folgers in fact....just wish it was mountain smoked (exhaust)....:laugh:
 

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i love the yanmar engines, imo there the best
 

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My favorite is the Kawasaki FD620D. True from '93 to '98 they had plastic cam gears, mid '98 and up are great from the get go. The highlights are: first lightweight liquid cooled gas twin in a lawn tractor, excellent starting, extra controls to prevent shut down back fire, QUIET!, and so smooth. I loved mine, and time will tell if I like my new yanmar 3TNV76 as much. My beloved kaw was in a 99 425 with 1450 hrs. It would not take a drop of oil in between changes of avg. 60 hrs. I only have 4 hrs on the yan, sure is not as smooth or quiet...
 

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My favorite is the Kawasaki FD620D. True from '93 to '98 they had plastic cam gears, mid '98 and up are great from the get go. The highlights are: first lightweight liquid cooled gas twin in a lawn tractor, excellent starting, extra controls to prevent shut down back fire, QUIET!, and so smooth. I loved mine, and time will tell if I like my new yanmar 3TNV76 as much. My beloved kaw was in a 99 425 with 1450 hrs. It would not take a drop of oil in between changes of avg. 60 hrs. I only have 4 hrs on the yan, sure is not as smooth or quiet...
Hey XSKIER,

I was not aware the plastic cam gears were discontinued. Having just bought a WE85 walk behind with an aircooled Kaw, that gives me some comfort!

I hear you about the Yanmar Diesel not being as smooth and quiet! Not that I think I'm telling you something you don't already know, but it is nice knowing the noise is not the result of a design flaw but of the inherently high compression ratio that helps make a diesel a diesel!

Hope you grow to love the Yanmar engine just as much!
 

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Diesel rattle = good music. This fits in with the other thread about the smell of diesel exhaust.
 
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