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Kohler vs well, everybody else

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JPrattico

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Dec 8, 2020
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312
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New York
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Cubcadet_107
I have a Wisconsin TJD inline 2 cylinder mounted on a flail mower... cant remember how much it vibrated but i dont think it was too much. What I do know is that those 2 cylinders sound amazing!
 

dfrisk

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Nov 12, 2001
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6,318
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Dennis Frisk
DAVID - HI!, How are you? When I worked at Giddings & Lewis one of my co-workers had been the MRO buyer for Tecumseh before coming to G&L. He said the little snow blower engines with the special cooling package to prevent over-cooling were the only engine he would buy. Too many better engines available.
Our Boss, the Materials Manager had been the Mat'ls Mgr at Kohler before coming to G&L. He left because upper management forced him to source stuff off-shore or south of the border then blamed HIM for their in-shop overhead costs going out of control.
Dad had a ROOF high-wheeled weed mower, a mid-1950's vintage DR mower clone, had a 6 or 7 hp Wisconsin engine. Thing was about the size of a 10 or 12 hp Kohler. We ran it endlessly just above low idle. It would cut about a 24-30 inch swath of grass/weeds head high. The blade was exposed, dangerous but no plugging. It was powered moving forward, but manual pulling backwards to reverse.
Was fall of 1981 I was still at FARMALL, I called the Kohler salesman who handled the IH account at Louisville, a brand new 10 hp K241 without pto or starter/generator was $300 my cost. Wife and I drove up to Fond Du Lac for lunch one Saturday and picked it up.
It's terrible what happened to Onan. A new points & condensor to keep my 982 running cost around $150-$160 from Cummins. And only lasted about 40-50 hours of run time. So many poor engineering issues in the design of that B48-G.
Hard to beat the K-series Kohlers for durability and reliability.
 

dschwandt

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Mar 31, 2012
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David Schwandt
I have a 341 in my 1450.
I did a major on it several years ago and added the balance weight from Dive Kirk.
I runs smooth as silk now.
Wish I would have done the same when I did the O/H on my 1650.
 

dkirk

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Oct 20, 2003
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490
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Fond du Lac, WI
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David Kirk
Hi Dennis F., life is good now that I've gotten out of Corporate America. Regarding the Onan, yes, a real shame on the spare parts rip-off but one of the ways to kill an otherwise good product. Fortunately, lots of aftermarket producers sometimes pick up on the overpriced OEM parts.

David S., really nice to know the balance plate helped with the vibrations on your K-341. Having good rubber mounts really helps too.

With the talk on Wisconsin engines, I just have to post a picture of my TFD twin. I restored this one quite some time ago, both internally and externally. What a sweet runner and the sound is great.

IMG_2737.JPG
 

Greg Riutzel

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Jul 9, 2020
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200
Location
Lebanon, Oregon
Smooth as silk? I suppose it's relative. I also deleted the balance gears and added Kirk's balance plate plus new mounts and I have to say it's better than when I first got the 1650 as the idle and rated rpm have no shaking but there are vibes at 3,600 that are less than comfortable over time. Other points on keeping tabs on point gap/timing and carb mix have helped a lot. Still, I have taken to using a 4" foam on the seat to get through a couple of hours of mowing. Perhaps a meet 'n greet at a round up I'll get to see what's relative.
 

jstewart

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Jun 6, 2007
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jon stewart
I have a 341 in my 1450.
I did a major on it several years ago and added the balance weight from Dive Kirk.
I runs smooth as silk now.
Wish I would have done the same when I did the O/H on my 1650.


I just read the PDF on those Kirk Plates.............do you take the balance shafts out, if the motor has them?
 

dkirk

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Oct 20, 2003
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490
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Fond du Lac, WI
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David Kirk
Jon and Neil - yes, balance gears are removed and replaced with the balance plate. The stub shafts that the gears run on, can be left in place. The plate is designed to provide the same reciprocating balance factor (approximately 50%) that the gears provided. The gears eventually need replacing otherwise they will replace themselves by ventilating the engine block. The balance plate is reliable and will not fail if installed per the instructions.
 

rjruchti

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Sep 9, 2019
Messages
98
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Roger J. Ruchti
I picked upa IH Cub 1650 with as snow thrower as as rolling frame, No engine was included as the PO had loaned it out an they bower ran it out of oil. I did not want a shake and bake Kohler back in there if could help it. Looked for over a year for a good used engine, including Kohler, I could get that was reasonable price wise. Found a twin 16 hp Vanguard with low hours. Had to do a lot of fab work to get things lined up but it is mounted solid to the frame. Not a lot of use yet as we haven't had the snow but at least 25 hours and no issues with the mounting. Had the entire build with pictures on a CC site (don't remember for sure which one now) . After the build was done the site owner and I parted ways. He did not like me proving him wrong as he constantly informed me (in a round about way) he knew all there was to know about CC and Kohler was the only engien to use in one. I may not remember the site but I darn sure remember his user name and he is still lurking around. My avitar is of the build , even though Mr owner deleted 2/3 of the build process. Don't let anyone tell you a B&S Vanguard twin won't fit in a wide frame Cub Cadet. Cant use the side panels.
 

jkoenig

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Sep 14, 2002
Messages
993
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Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
Here’s one in a seized, and now at auction 782 WITH side panels:

DB90856E-3506-4D6D-B438-43D6BAC698B7.jpeg


D95B6059-39A0-4D21-9573-2E4186B83B36.jpeg


Of course, a 782 is made for a twin.
 

rjruchti

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Sep 9, 2019
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Roger J. Ruchti
782 has different side panels. 782 panels would work on mine except I didn't relocate oil filter.
 

jstewart

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Jun 6, 2007
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61
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jon stewart
B&S is probably the way we will have to go in the future. Not sure if there is a way to put an oil cooler on them, I think that could be key to making them live longer.
At the university here, back in the late 80's early 90's they were running JD 935 front deck mowers, they came out with Onan motors, but later JD cheapened them up with B&S 18 twins...................the B&S didn't last very long before the rods went out and they converted the newer ones back to the Onan. Later they got the liquid cooled engines
 

1811Cub

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Jul 13, 2020
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520
Location
Elkland, PA
For a "modern" design air cooled OHV small engine, the Kohler Command is "it". I hate the Briggs with a passion, and would never consider one as a repower. I would go with a Honda before a Briggs.
 

Neil Mullins

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Jun 5, 2021
Messages
208
Location
WV
I had real problems with earlier B&S 16-18 HP horizontally opposed twins. Oil consumption & even worse connecting rods ventilating the case. Engines that were purchased new & well maintained failures at around 500 hrs. Don’t know about durability of the newer OHV “V” twins. I’ve owned 2 v twin Kohler 23 HP both on welding machines. 1 has 2600 hrs the newer one has 1900 hrs.
Other people I know with Honda powered equipment swears by it.
 

1811Cub

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Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
520
Location
Elkland, PA
I have had the bent pushrods/pulled valve guides issue with the only twin OHV Briggs I've owned-around a 2004 model year. It also leaked oil like crazy.

My current experiences with Honda small engines are GREAT. I have two 3000psi gas powered pressure washers, both Honda single cylinder powered, and a Husqvarna AWD bagger push mower. All start effortlessly, and are SMOOTH, QUIET and sip fuel.

There is one series of Briggs small engines I actually DO like. The old 3.5/4 HP flat head push mower engines have always lasted a long time with me, and started well. I have one that has outlasted two decks, and still doesn't use oil. Never chucked a rod in any of them either.
 

jstewart

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Jun 6, 2007
Messages
61
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jon stewart
I remember the early days of B&S twin cylinders................total junk, no cast cylinder, couldn't get them to run on both cylinders, when you shut them off a massive backfire as the dead cylinder finally fired. Right about that time they came out with the Magnatron ignition which helped. We even had trouble on the single cylinders pushing oil past the fiber plunger into the points and shorting things out. Converted them to Magnatrons and you could plug up the point plunger hole.
 
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