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I know the vertical shaft motor is basically a horizontal shaft motor layed on its side but what is the reason for it? I see lots of lawn and garden tractors with vertical and horizontal shaft. What is the reason and if horizontal shaft is better why do they make vertical shaft? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I am curious.
 

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For any powered equipment I have owned, the orientation of the engine shaft was dictated by the design of the drive train and transmission or visa versa. In the case of riding mowers, a vertical shaft allows for a very simple pulley setup allowing for a straight path to the matching pulley on the transaxle.
 

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Today, horizontal shaft engines are mainly used for tractors with a drive shaft - straight shot back to the transmission. Basically everything with a belt made today will be vertical shaft, mainly for the reason given by the last poster. Efficiency and cost.

In the older designs, mainly Sears, John Deere, Wheel Horse and a few others, the cast iron Kohlers and Tecumsehs were the best engines and they were horizontal shaft designs. So the belt drives in those days used those engines, which meant side shaft input pulleys on the transmission and twisted belts to drive the deck. It was a setup that work, but not as efficient to get power to the mowing decks.
 

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It isn't that horizontal is "better" or "worse" than vertical. The different designs are to deal with the orientation of the device being driven by the motor.

If you look at a rototiiller or snowblower, the motor is turning a shaft that is mounted horizontally. If you use a horizontal shaft engine, all you need is a simple chain gear or belt pulley to connect the two and make it work. If you try to use a vertical shaft engine, you have to add some sort of gearing to rotate the drive system 90 degrees.
 

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I know the vertical shaft motor is basically a horizontal shaft motor layed on its side but what is the reason for it? I see lots of lawn and garden tractors with vertical and horizontal shaft. What is the reason and if horizontal shaft is better why do they make vertical shaft? Sorry if this is a stupid question but I am curious.
No such thing as a stupid question. Look at the very informative answers you received to your question! It is how we all learn.......
 
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