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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been considering a project that needs a vertical shaft engine. I recently worked on a customer's Craftsman mower with Briggs Intek V-twin and was impressed with the throttle response, smoothness, and power when cutting thick grass, as well as the fact that it was a lot quieter than my Briggs opposed twins. I am just about certain that I want a V-twin for my project, but I won't have a lot of money to spend. I did some research and read that the Briggs Intek V-twins are not great. I'm still leaning toards the Intek v-twin because I have one sitting around that turns and feels like it's got plenty of compression. However, according to my reasearch it has the second design of air cleaner that is prone to "consuming dirt". This engine won't generally be in a really dusty enviroment but I want the engine I choose to last a long time. I see the Briggs Vanguard V-twin seems to have a excellent reputation, as well as having the same governor control (the bracket that the throttle wire attaches to) as the Intek, that requires very little effort to turn, which is a distinct advantage for my application. But I am afraid I could never afford even a used Vanguard. I see Kohler Commands going for pretty cheap and I think they might be good, but I don't know. Also that governor control counts too. And the more alternator output the better.
I will attach a picture of my Intek.

Thanks.
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Briggs are good engines but depending who you ask, not as good as certain Kohler engines. Some kohler engines had Camshaft problems and head problems and ignition problems. The Kohler engines seem to burn Alot more gas than an equivalent HP Briggs.

Briggs parts are much much cheaper than Kohler parts. That's why I like them lol.

Really it mostly comes down to maintenance. If the engine is kept clean, keep the valves adjusted within spec, fix any oil leaks that will eventually pop up and do regular oil changes, 1 will last just as long as the other.

I've worked on a couple that only had 150-300 hours on them and they were just completly shot either from Neglect or accident. 1 had a huge mouse next under the blower housing and it was ran like that. It overheated and burnt up the rings and got so hot that 1 of the valve seats dropped out of the head which caused the valve to hit the piston. Another one had one of those Garbage plastic twist lock oil drains on it. Neighbor lady caught it on a twig and it ripped off. She didn't notice it got ripped off, it blew both connecting rods.

Guy up the road never changes or checks the oil level in his mowers. If it blows up he'll go buy another mower. I've bought 3 from him very cheap and he has 2 more sitting up behind his shed that I have to go get here in a couple of days. Seems like every time I see him mowing it's with a different tractor. o_O


True about those air filters but you can still get anywhere between 600-1200 hours out of them before the rings are pretty much gone if you keep the engine clean. A clean air cooled engine runs Alot cooler than a Dirty engine. They are not horrible but when the filter cover gets a bit warped (which it will over time just from the heat of the engine) you will need to find another cover. Don't run them with even a slightly warped cover.

I have a 21hp intek in a Yard Machines that has just over 1200 hours on it. It has had regular oil changes but that is all. It leaks oil and it is very dirty. It's plumb worn out. It runs and mows but it is way down on power and it burns oil. There was evidence of an old mouse nest under the blower housing. So the engine probibly overheated a few times in it's life. Surprised that it didn't have any damage to either of the heads except the valve stem seals were rock hard and pretty cooked. I ended up parting that mower out. Needed way to much to fix it.

The Horizontal shaft 16hp Vanguard in my old Cub Cadet HDS2165 was used commercially to mow several Hotels down by the turnpike exit before I bought it at auction. It had almost 2700 hours on it and it ran like a top. It used no oil and had good power. I sold it to someone after mowing with it for a few years. It left here with almost 3,000 hours on it.

I did take it apart and replace all of the gaskets and seals shortly after I bought it. It was weeping a bit of oil from 1 of the head gaskets and both valve cover gaskets were leaking a bit. The head gaskets are metal and covered with a thin layer of rubberish? sealant. Truefully I could have just coated hem with spray on hi temp copper head gasket cement and reused them but I bought a full gasket set for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I made my choice. Shelled out $200 for a 16HP Vanguard. They are very hard to come by around here. At least, the very same day I sold a Craftsman riding mower that I had nothing but my time invested in, and got back my $200.
The Vanguard probably would of started if I had tried, but I'm going to overhaul the fuel system first. Carb looks fairly clean. The whole engine is quite clean. I already changed the oil and oil filter. I didn't really have a choice about the oil change. I stuck it in a yard trailer to haul it to my shop, and I took off too hard, the engine rolled onto it's side, and the stupid plastic oil drain piece broke off. I replaced it with a metal drain. Can't wait to get it started!
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