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#487851 - 03/05/06 07:12 AM Best small engine
nomochevys Offline


Registered: 11/26/05
Posts: 383
Loc: Ky
What do you think the best small engine is and why?
I am partial to briggs vanguard engines as I have had good luck with them but Im sure others have had good luck with others also. From all of my research it appears that Kawasaki has the best reputation. Im curious what others think.

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#487852 - 03/05/06 07:50 AM Re: Best small engine
Bror Jace Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 4854
Loc: Saratoga, NY

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#487853 - 03/05/06 09:11 AM Re: Best small engine
HEV Offline


Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 327
Loc: Great Central Valley, CA
My Honda's have been great. I've heard nice things about the Vanguard. I'm not that big on B&S though. Been burned too many times with low quality parts... To me, engineering is a huge element. Just look at the Chinese copy cat versions of the the Honda motors (shame on them). From all accounts, they are a very good motor, in large part to their superior engineering. To me, if B&S wants to re-establish themselves as a premere small engine maker, they need to make the Vanguard line (or something veryh similar) their standard engine. Dump the flathead engines.

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#487854 - 03/05/06 10:10 AM Re: Best small engine
GoldenRod Offline


Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 1151
Loc: Clovis, CA
I repair and rebuild small engines for a hobby; and after being into all of them, my favorite is the Robin. The design and quality of materials in their engines are first rate in my opinion.

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#487855 - 03/05/06 03:50 PM Re: Best small engine
TurboLuver Offline


Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: SW Ohio
The honda is an excellent engine. I have one on a power washer, not sure on the hours, but it still starts as easy and quick as when it was new.

I have a snapper rider with the Vanguard that has over 2100 hours on it with no repairs.

I also have a John Deere rider with the water cooled Kawasaki that has over 1500 hours, it had the infamous plastic cam gear that did fail and was replaced with the updated steel gear,but other than that has been a fine running engine.

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#487856 - 03/05/06 03:59 PM Re: Best small engine
Fatboymoe Offline


Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 462
Loc: Stockton, Ca.
I have seen Wisconson Robin engines go over 3000hrs before giving up the ghost. These engines are pricey, but the reliablity was second to none.
If i were going to build something to last, these engines would be at the top of a short list.

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#487857 - 03/06/06 12:59 AM Re: Best small engine
nascarnation Offline


Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 616
Loc: Indiana
I'm not a fan of Honda but I read a post on a RV board from a guy who ran their 2000 watter for basically 2 yrs straight (10,000+ hours) and the only problem was wearing out the plastic cam lobe. That is impressive.

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#487858 - 03/06/06 01:00 AM Re: Best small engine
GoldenRod Offline


Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 1151
Loc: Clovis, CA
Fatboymoe,

The company is now called Robin/Subaru for some strange reason.

The rest of you guys,

I hate to be the barrier of bad news, but Mitsubishi makes the Vanguard for Briggs & Stratton. Companies find it easier to contract out rather than trying to get around patents.

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#487859 - 03/06/06 02:52 AM Re: Best small engine
416Rigby Offline


Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Florida
The most bulletproof small gas engine ever made was the original Wisconsin engine. All cast-iron and forged-steel, taper-roller bearings on the crank, and Stellite valves. We used these to run irrigation pumps 24/7. Typically, they would last 20 years.
As for modern engines, Honda, Robin-Subaru, and Kawasaki engines would give the best results. Yep, the Vanguards are Japanese-made, which is why they are the only Briggs engines worth owning.

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#487860 - 03/06/06 08:33 AM Re: Best small engine
nomochevys Offline


Registered: 11/26/05
Posts: 383
Loc: Ky
I find it interesting that there is such support for the Robin engines. I dont doubt that they are very good. Im wondering why some of the major players such as deere, cub, simplicity, and others dont offer them on their mowers and such. Is it a cost factor?

I also find it intersting at this point that there is not any big support for Kohlers. You know they made a big impression with the K series long ago and many thought that the sun rised and set in Kolers you know what. I have had briggs and kohlers k series engines most of my life and think the briggs are the best all things considered. Not knocking the K series at all here. I do know that kohler has had some problems as of late.

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#487861 - 03/06/06 07:52 PM Re: Best small engine
nascarnation Offline


Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 616
Loc: Indiana
My 97 Polaris ATV has a Robin engine.
325cc 2 cycle
It's a great engine, but I'll never run it long enough or hard enough to know how long it will last.

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#487862 - 03/07/06 08:54 AM Re: Best small engine
Locomotive Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 124
Loc: Kansas City
Robin/Subaru is actually owned by Fuji heavy industries. My order is Robin,Honda,Kawi,Kohler,Suzuki 2 stroke, Briggs, Tecumseh. Goldenrod you are correct about the vanguard and they are well made. Kawi has a few issues and kohler also but that is what is available in the commercial mower industry 90% of the time.

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#487863 - 03/08/06 05:14 AM Re: Best small engine
Turk Offline


Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 7992
Loc: MN
Believe it or not:

I own a 17.5 HP B&S engine, run it hard wide open for 3+ Hours a shot every week in severe dust and bouncing conditions for the last 10 years.

I have had not a lick of problems with it !!! [Happy]

Good quality engine or just lucky...????

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#487864 - 03/08/06 08:40 AM Re: Best small engine
Lazy JW Offline


Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 267
Loc: Idaho
quote:
Originally posted by 416Rigby:
The most bulletproof small gas engine ever made was the original Wisconsin engine. All cast-iron and forged-steel, taper-roller bearings on the crank, and Stellite valves. We used these to run irrigation pumps 24/7. Typically, they would last 20 years.
As for modern engines, Honda, Robin-Subaru, and Kawasaki engines would give the best results. Yep, the Vanguards are Japanese-made, which is why they are the only Briggs engines worth owning.

Hard to beat those old Wisconsins. I am very partial to my Kohler 7 hp K-series on my Troybilt tiller. It is over 20 years old.
Joe

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#487865 - 03/08/06 09:37 AM Re: Best small engine
Master ACiD Offline


Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 2364
Loc: sebring, florida
for residential use the honda gc over head cam engines are very tough to beat as far as i am concerned. i havent ever had a chance to use a robin/subaru engine so i cant compare them to honda.

question for you guys. the b/s engines that are made by mitsubishi, are they just made by mitsu or were they actually designed by mitsu? if no, then who designed them? are they metric?

who makes the generag engines? anyone know who designed generac engines?

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