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View Full Version : Briggs and Stratton V.S. Kohler


steppinthrax
08-11-2011, 12:13 PM
So Iím looking at a Craftsman 18.5HP with a Briggs and Stratton INTEK engine and a Troy Built with a Kohler Command 16HP engine. Iím leaning towards the Kohler because Iíve heard itís a better engine. I also know the Kohler has a pressurized lubrication system and oil filter. Iím not so sure about the Intek, but itís 2.5HP more (lol)!!!!

sdifox
08-11-2011, 12:31 PM
you are buying what exactly, just the engine?

SearchMaster
08-11-2011, 01:14 PM
I have a Craftsman lawn tractor with a B&S (I/C, not Intek), and the engine has been great (the rest of the tractor sucks).

Given how crappy the mower is, I'd advise you to the Troy Built but not necessarily for the engine. Let's face it - you'll use the thing so rarely (a few hours a week, half the year) that any engine should be up to the task for 10+ years.

LTC8K6
08-11-2011, 01:17 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTD_Products

Make sure to click to show the private label brands as well.

Both mowers likely came off the same line. So the engine is the only real choice.

Eli
08-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Kohler. End of discussion.

The Intek has pressurized lubrication too. Kohler makes good engines. The Intek happens to be one of Briggs' higher end engines, but I'd still go with the Kohler.

Briggs makes good engines too, but you have to be careful because they're tiered for different levels of service and reliability. IE: A bottom of the line engine has plain bearings, a middle of the line engine has ball bearing PTO and plain bearing flywheel, and a top of the line engine will have ball bearings on both sides of the crankshaft. Amongst other things.

Meghan54
08-11-2011, 02:59 PM
Is it really a Kohler Command and not the Courage?

If it's the Courage, run away....about the same crappy quality as the B&S I/C and/or Intek.

If it's really the Command, it's in the same league as the B&S Vanguard.....both the Command and Vanguard are commercial engines, not the low budget, low end residential quality engines like the Intek, I/C from B&S and the Courage from Kohler.

Eli
08-11-2011, 03:04 PM
I've not heard of the Courage. Interesting to see Kohler going with service tiers too.

Whats next, a cheap plain bearing Honda engine? :(

Edit: Thinking about it, I guess Honda has had their GC line of engines for quite a few years now, residential class. I assume they use plain bearings...

Just gotta be aware of what you're buying. Like everything else, research..

Mandres
08-11-2011, 03:24 PM
realistically, if you change the oil either of those engines will long outlive the rest of the mower.

Buy whichever one has thicker steel in the frame and deck.

wirednuts
08-11-2011, 03:27 PM
i would probably go with the 16hp kohler. briggs makes good engines but nobody ever claims theyre the best.

JeffreyLebowski
08-11-2011, 04:15 PM
I've had B&S engines in lawn mowers and go carts and never had a problem. I bought a Kholer power mower last year and it din't even make it a year. I stored it for winter like I have with all my other mowers. Brought it back out prepped it, went to pull the cord and nothing. No amounts of yanking got it to start. dumped the gas, ran carb cleaner through it and it runs off of that so I knew it had spark. Put fresh gas in and nothing won't run. Won't even try to turn over.
All I can think is the crap electric choke got borked. Said screw it and threw it away and just paid a guy to mow my yard.
That is the best lawn equipment investment.

Eli
08-11-2011, 07:15 PM
realistically, if you change the oil either of those engines will long outlive the rest of the mower.

Buy whichever one has thicker steel in the frame and deck.

This is true.

It'd probably be best to go with whatever mower is best. It's unlikely that you'll have engine problems for many years to come as long as you keep up with maintenance.

That means not leaving fuel in the tank over the winter. ;) ^^^

Pacfanweb
08-13-2011, 11:45 PM
Kohler, make sure it's cast iron. They last forever.

Got one in my riding mower, it's a 98 model and still runs like a champ, burns no oil.

BUTCH1
08-14-2011, 08:04 AM
realistically, if you change the oil either of those engines will long outlive the rest of the mower.

Buy whichever one has thicker steel in the frame and deck.

This, my first mower was a $99 MTD with a Briggs, I always changed the oil, spark plug once a year and service air filter 2X/year, it lasted only 8 yrs because I wasn't washing out the deck bottom after mowing so rust got it. Sad I had to put in the trash with a perfectly good motor..

Bartman39
08-14-2011, 11:07 AM
Even though its an MTD product this mower with the Kawasaki engine for the price would be a much better option... Sad but you see very few mowers with the Kawasaki engine but like Honda its the better option than the Briggs or the Kohler...

BTW just noticed the frame of this mower is stainless steel...? To bad the deck isnt of course they would not sell to many if it was...:P

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ocStoreNum=501 (http://detonator.dynamitedata.com/cgi-bin/redirect.pl?user=u00000687&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs% 2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FProductDisplay%3FstoreId%3D10 051%26productId%3D202562705%26langId%3D-1%26catalogId%3D10053%26PID%3D603315%26cm_mmc%3DCJ-_-603315-_-10368321%26cpncode%3D00-74245971-2%26AID%3D10368321%26cj%3Dtrue%26srccode%3Dcii_578 4816%26locStoreNum%3D501)

Meghan54
08-14-2011, 12:12 PM
Even though its an MTD product this mower with the Kawasaki engine for the price would be a much better option... Sad but you see very few mowers with the Kawasaki engine but like Honda its the better option than the Briggs or the Kohler...

BTW just noticed the frame of this mower is stainless steel...? To bad the deck isnt of course they would not sell to many if it was...:P

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ocStoreNum=501 (http://detonator.dynamitedata.com/cgi-bin/redirect.pl?user=u00000687&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fwebapp%2Fwcs% 2Fstores%2Fservlet%2FProductDisplay%3FstoreId%3D10 051%26productId%3D202562705%26langId%3D-1%26catalogId%3D10053%26PID%3D603315%26cm_mmc%3DCJ-_-603315-_-10368321%26cpncode%3D00-74245971-2%26AID%3D10368321%26cj%3Dtrue%26srccode%3Dcii_578 4816%26locStoreNum%3D501)


I believe that "stainless steel frame" on Home Depot's page is a misprint. I'd think Cub Cadet would mention it on their own page of that mower (the LTX 1046 w/Kawa engine), which Cub Cadet doesn't.

The web page at Cub Cadet for that mower....no mention of it being stainless....

http://www.cubcadet.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_14101_1565771_16203_-1_600000_33810



And the brochure from Cub Cadet which, again, lacks any mention of a stainless frame......( in .pdf format)

http://www.cubcadet.com/wcsstore/CubCadetCatalogAssetStore/Attachment/sell%20sheets/residential/Series1000_SellSheet_2011.pdf




Seems to me someone is wishfully thinking about a stainless frame..........

Bartman39
08-14-2011, 12:32 PM
Must be...? Funny how several other sites have this in their descriptions also...? I found it kinda strange to have a stainless frame anyhow but of course they are always making new frills for things...:D

But still would rather have the Kawasaki power over the others...:thumbsup:

Eli
08-14-2011, 03:14 PM
Yeah, Kawasaki makes great engines as well.

alkemyst
08-14-2011, 03:51 PM
How are you guys answering this when he hasn't stated his purpose for it?

Bartman39
08-14-2011, 03:59 PM
ESP...silly...:biggrin:

Dunno for sure but took it that he is buying a riding mower because that HP is kinda big for a push mower...:P But if he is just wanting an engine for an existing mower or...? Then the Kawasaki line is still a better option and just about the same price too...:thumbsup:

You do bring up a valid point Alky...:hmm:

alkemyst
08-14-2011, 04:57 PM
could be a lot of things, I think pressure washer at that level or air compressors. :)

Eli
08-14-2011, 07:39 PM
I'm sure they exist, but I've never seen a pressure washer or air compressor with that huge of an engine on it. More typically you see 5-10HP engines on those types of things.

I don't think the application really matters much though. A better engine is a better engine..it should perform better under all circumstances.

alkemyst
08-14-2011, 07:44 PM
A better engine is a better engine..it should perform better under all circumstances.

no.

Eli
08-14-2011, 07:48 PM
no.

Yes. Can you explain to us how a better engine isn't a better engine?

In what application is a bottom of the barrel Briggs engine going to outperform a top of the line Honda? Unless you're talking about price/performance/need, then I would understand and agree.

But the guy asked which was the better engine, and we told him. It doesn't matter if it's a mower, a tractor, an air compressor, a water pump or a compactor.. the answer would have still been Kohler. That was my point.

:)

Bartman39
08-14-2011, 08:01 PM
Alky this I would like to hear...? We may not agree (but remember thats ok too);)

I think the reason that Eli is saying a better engine should perform better under all conditions is the same as mine... Which is the durability of the Kawasaki small engines for a simple fact its better in both track record and design (just saw his post and was close :) )... Its like comparing old school to newer tech... Not that I dont like Briggs or Kohler but even years ago John Deere used Kawasaki engines in their mowers but stopped mainly due to cost but there are a ton of those older units still going strong while their counter parts (Briggs & Kohler) have been replaced or rebuilt in a lot of cases more than once... I know I used to work for John Deere and worked on those mowers besides the big stuff... Infact we changed so man Kohler V-twins because of lifter collapse that we had to store the warranty claim engines in their own seperate building... Also the Intek Briggs V-twins had alot of issues with the governor shafts coming loose and the governor would fly apart inside and the engine would run away and fly apart most of the time... To tell the truth I have yet to see an issue with a Kawasaki other than just normal wear and tear and possibly a starter or other minor issue... Honda quality is the same or possibly a tad better...?

Damn might be the reason I went with a Kawasaki on my new ZTR mower...?

alkemyst
08-14-2011, 08:02 PM
there is a lot to what is the best engine for an application. You saying the above is really ignorant to the argument....especially without knowing what the application is.

alkemyst
08-14-2011, 08:07 PM
Alky this I would like to hear...? We may not agree (but remember thats ok too);)

I think the reason that Eli is saying a better engine should perform better under all conditions is the same as mine... Which is the durability of the Kawasaki small engines for a simple fact its better in both track record and design (just saw his post and was close :) )... Its like comparing old school to newer tech... Not that I dont like Briggs or Kohler but even years ago John Deere used Kawasaki engines in their mowers but stopped mainly due to cost but there are a ton of those older units still going strong while their counter parts (Briggs & Kohler) have been replaced or rebuilt in a lot of cases more than once... I know I used to work for John Deere and worked on those mowers besides the big stuff... Infact we changed so man Kohler V-twins because of lifter collapse that we had to store the warranty claim engines in their own seperate building... Also the Intek Briggs V-twins had alot of issues with the governor shafts coming loose and the governor would fly apart inside and the engine would run away and fly apart most of the time... To tell the truth I have yet to see an issue with a Kawasaki other than just normal wear and tear and possibly a starter or other minor issue... Honda quality is the same or possibly a tad better...?

Damn might be the reason I went with a Kawasaki on my new ZTR mower...?

With certain brands in the mix it can be an easier arguement....

However, in general with engines like this you have rpm range, fuel consumption, noise / vibration, etc.

Hence without a real application how can anyone say otherwise...for all we know this guy is looking to just pressure wash a wood fence.

Zenmervolt
08-14-2011, 08:14 PM
Is it really a Kohler Command and not the Courage?

If it's the Courage, run away....about the same crappy quality as the B&S I/C and/or Intek.

If it's really the Command, it's in the same league as the B&S Vanguard.....both the Command and Vanguard are commercial engines, not the low budget, low end residential quality engines like the Intek, I/C from B&S and the Courage from Kohler.

Your understanding of B&S engine lines is misinformed.

- I/C was the "Industrial/Commercial" line (hence the name). Far from being "low-budget", the I/C line of engines were some of the highest-quality small engines on the market.

- The "Vanguard" name was applied to BOTH commercial and residential models; if the "Vanguard" logo is red, it's residential, if yellow, then commercial. The "Vanguard" name was previously used for the top-tier models in residential lines. When B&S rebranded their residential line recently, they removed the "Vanguard" name from their high-end residential models and used the "Vanguard" name to replace the older "I/C" designation for their commercial engines. Older residential models will have "Vanguard" engines with the residential red and black logo; new commercial "Vanguard" engines will have the commercial yellow and black logo. (Either that, or there was a lot of bleed-over of the Vanguard engines onto residential power equipment before the "I/C" line became the "Vanguard" line, but I'll swear I remember red Vanguard-branded engines floating around before the lines got rebranded.)

- The "Intek" name was applied to mid-range residential engines that were pretty OK for light-duty use.

- The "PowerBuilt" name was applied to entry-level residential engines which tended to be junk.

ZV

Eli
08-14-2011, 08:19 PM
It kinda seems like Alky is just arguing for the sake of arguing.. ;) I've been around small engines all my life.

98% of all small gasoline engines have a 3600RPM redline. If you meant torque curve or power then fair enough, but again 99% of the time they're very broad and flat with peak torque being the same across the whole useable RPM range. The OP did note the peak power difference between the engines, and we still recommended the Kohler over the Briggs. Fuel consumption is a good one, but overall durability easily trumps it. Same with noise and vibration.

Within the confines of your specific application, a better engine is a better engine and the application doesn't matter. IE: It doesn't matter how robust a certain 10HP engine is if you need at least 14HP.

The concept isn't really that difficult to understand. We're not talking about cars and their engines with their myriad of variables and performance points. In the world of small engines, the engine that will last the longest is king. Most small engines are actually considered "stationary" engines, even though the devices they power may not be all that stationary. They're all designed to be run at more or less a constant RPM when doing work. So whichever engine will last the longest is the one best suited for the task.

Bartman39
08-14-2011, 08:22 PM
there is a lot to what is the best engine for an application. You saying the above is really ignorant to the argument....especially without knowing what the application is.

Alky... Honestly what do you mean...? I work in the construction world and see day to day what is in use and what the guys say about it too... From severe duty to a kids gocart everyone wants a Honda or Kawasaki powered unit... Now if your meaning the China knockoffs then they are just copy that is below just about anything...

Give me more specific apps and we can go from there...

Oh and BTW about a year ago I bought a 13HP Honda pressure washer for the company I used to work for... 4000psi @4.0gpm it would kick @zz (cut paint off a truck and cut hyd hoses if not careful) There are pressure washers from 5hp to 30hp+ and up...(all about gallons per min and what pressure of delivery)

Evadman
08-14-2011, 08:34 PM
realistically, if you change the oil either of those engines will long outlive the rest of the mower. Buy whichever one has thicker steel in the frame and deck.
This man speaks the truth. Both B&S and Kohler are good engines, and are unlikely to ever give you a problem if you perform the maintenance on them. Skimp on the maintenance, and you will kill either one of them.

Eli
08-14-2011, 09:37 PM
Oh and BTW about a year ago I bought a 13HP Honda pressure washer for the company I used to work for... 4000psi @4.0gpm it would kick @zz (cut paint off a truck and cut hyd hoses if not careful) There are pressure washers from 5hp to 30hp+ and up...(all about gallons per min and what pressure of delivery)

Yeah, I kinda figured.. But the OP did mention "Craftsman", so I figured it was residential duty stuff. ;)

3chordcharlie
08-14-2011, 09:44 PM
I really like the older Kohler Command Pro motors. Just sold an 11 year old machine, with probably 3-4000 hours, and the motor (Pro 13HP) still started first pull, ran strong, quiet, and all that good stuff.

Most new things lately have come with Kawasaki twins, which are maybe a little quieter and likely more fuel efficient, but I haven't got one over 4 years old / 1200 hours, so I can't comment on real long-term reliability.

TheAdvocate
08-15-2011, 09:25 AM
Is it really a Kohler Command and not the Courage?

If it's the Courage, run away....about the same crappy quality as the B&S I/C and/or Intek.

If it's really the Command, it's in the same league as the B&S Vanguard.....both the Command and Vanguard are commercial engines, not the low budget, low end residential quality engines like the Intek, I/C from B&S and the Courage from Kohler.

Bah, I have the Courage (XT-6) on my Ariens average-cheapie push mower that you can buy at any home depot. I'm not going to claim it's great, but it's worked fine for the last couple of years. It over-revs a bit, and it almost never starts on the first pull (but always on the 2nd, always - even after the winter). I think that latter problem has to do with how short the pull is. Probably the shortest I've ever seen.

Anyway, I had to mow through some pretty significant growth that was wet/clumpy last weekend, and it only stalled once, in the very thickest patch. My old B&S mower would have died a hundred deaths in that mess. It's decent for a low end residential mower. It is a little thirsty, though I also like the oversized gas cap and tank that's easy to fill and to see if full.

revvbasher
03-15-2013, 04:15 AM
It kinda seems like Alky is just arguing for the sake of arguing.. ;) I've been around small engines all my life.

98% of all small gasoline engines have a 3600RPM redline. If you meant torque curve or power then fair enough, but again 99% of the time they're very broad and flat with peak torque being the same across the whole useable RPM range. The OP did note the peak power difference between the engines, and we still recommended the Kohler over the Briggs. Fuel consumption is a good one, but overall durability easily trumps it. Same with noise and vibration.

Within the confines of your specific application, a better engine is a better engine and the application doesn't matter. IE: It doesn't matter how robust a certain 10HP engine is if you need at least 14HP.

The concept isn't really that difficult to understand. We're not talking about cars and their engines with their myriad of variables and performance points. In the world of small engines, the engine that will last the longest is king. Most small engines are actually considered "stationary" engines, even though the devices they power may not be all that stationary. They're all designed to be run at more or less a constant RPM when doing work. So whichever engine will last the longest is the one best suited for the task.
I'm sorry to say this Eli but your dead wrong about briggs and stratton engines redlining at 3600 rpm. The reason why is because once i overrevved a 17.5 hp lawntractor by basically while the lawn tractor is at FAST position which it runs at 3600 RPM i was able to go to the throttle linkage by the motor and really run it a full throttle which i know was past 3600 RPM because is sure did get loud quick.

I see you started a new thread about this but will say you need to let the dead stay dead and in peace... (necro thread)

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