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  #1  
Old 07-08-2014, 11:50 PM
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keakar keakar is offline
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Default opinions requested - briggs intek vs kohler courage

I have two mowers and I will be putting the best of everything into one to keep and the other to sell as a running mower that's a little rough around the edges.

heres the deal, I have a Toro LX 426 with the briggs engine that runs smooth and strong with no problems. the issues are the cutting deck is borked up bad and I got it sorted out mostly and it works but it doesn't cut evenly so the deck needs replacing (big $$$)

so I went buy a Toro LX 425 for a parts mower mainly just to get a good replacement deck for my mower and was blown away because it was still shiny all over even the pulleys under the deck were in like new condition with no rust or anything. the mower does have some unknown steering isues to sort out (steering wheel just spins freely) that I hope is a simple fix by replacing the gear.

the only question is since I plan to keep the mower I just got with the 20 hp kohler courage engine, should I pull that motor and put my known to be good strong solid running dependable 20 hp briggs intek motor in it?

im not sure the kohler "courage" brand engines are any better then the briggs inteks and I know most kohler engines are usually known for good quality except I have herd a lot of bad things about the courage version kohler motors being cheap lower quality and not as reliable version so I don't know if I should stick with the briggs I have been using or let it go and use the kohler and ignore the stories of how crappy the courage version engines are.

so what are your opinions on the intek vs the courage engines? both are lower end in quality and durability as basic entry level lower priced riding mower engines

now please don't base opinions on briggs vangards or kohler commander series motors since they are made to be much better quality engines then the ones I am comparing here.

thanks in advance for any input you can offer
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:36 AM
kb7722 kb7722 is offline
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I will take a Kohler over a Briggs anyday of the week. We have had two mowers with Kohlers and have never had to have any repairs. These were on John Deere L110's (17.5 Hp). They each are over 8 years old and over 500 hours. They always start. In the past we were always working on Briggs engines. We just bought a new mower with a Briggs and it has run ok but evertime you start it from cold it will rev up and down for the first full minute until it warms up. That is crap! Kohler all the way.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:38 AM
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T-TOP T-TOP is offline
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I have a 10 yeat old gravely with a kholer on it and have had no problems at all.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:02 AM
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added update:

I took a look at the kohler today to try and get it started and found the carb has thick sludge inside it. hopefully it can be saved but the butterfly is rusted badly but still functions.

the engine intake port also had this sludge in it like it was full of water condensation for a long time. I can see rust buildup on the valve seat area so I hope the valve seats aren't rusted and still seal well. cant check compression because I don't have a gauge but even if I did, the plug is set so darn far up in there it might not reach.

the engine oil looks dirty and it was low but no signs of water.

it does appear from the looks of things this guy never took care of it so I don't know if that affects your opinions on it.

I have read some comments on other forums that say either of these engines are about the same quality and will serve the average homeowner well as long as they are well maintained so im back and forth on this mainly because I don't have the kohler running yet and I can only "assume" the engine should be in as good a shape as the rest of the mower.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:30 AM
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further update:

forgot to add that

the briggs mower is a 2004 or 2005

the kohler mower is a 2007

not sure if the year made is important on these motors as far as quality
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2014, 01:23 PM
wed68 wed68 is offline
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I work on mowers as a hobby .... Yea I know I should fish more ... If the Briggs is in good shape and runs well it is the better engine ... Kohler makes some great engine but the Courage is NOT one of them


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  #7  
Old 07-09-2014, 07:42 PM
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keakar keakar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wed68 View Post
I work on mowers as a hobby .... Yea I know I should fish more ... If the Briggs is in good shape and runs well it is the better engine ... Kohler makes some great engine but the Courage is NOT one of them


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can you say whats different about the courage motors that make them not as good as other kohlers?

by the way I got the kohler up and running good now but if I keep it I will need a new carb for it because the one I have is working but rusty and corroded inside. if I decide to put it on the mower I sell, I wont need to replace it since it does work fine for now.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2014, 09:15 PM
wed68 wed68 is offline
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The Courage was built on a budget to compete against the briggs. The quality control was not as good as the Kohler Command line of engines which has an excellent reputation. Google Kohler Courage plenty of reading on the web
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2014, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wed68 View Post
The Courage was built on a budget to compete against the briggs. The quality control was not as good as the Kohler Command line of engines which has an excellent reputation. Google Kohler Courage plenty of reading on the web
I found stuff saying they use plastic gears for the cams and oil pump and other parts in courage engines, if thats true then I can understand why they have a bad rep
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2014, 10:23 PM
wed68 wed68 is offline
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Yes it is true


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  #11  
Old 07-11-2014, 06:09 AM
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I've been having Briggs and Stratton engines on every piece of yard equipment I've ran for the past 25 years. NEVER had 1 problem with the engine.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keakar View Post
I found stuff saying they use plastic gears for the cams and oil pump and other parts in courage engines, if thats true then I can understand why they have a bad rep

Briggs uses a plastic oil pump gear also....With my experiences with Briggs I say their junk...JMO though.


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  #13  
Old 07-11-2014, 07:22 AM
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keakar keakar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jldsc View Post
Briggs uses a plastic oil pump gear also....With my experiences with Briggs I say their junk...JMO though.


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not cheerleading for either brand but ....

with the briggs (as I understand it) its splash lubed so the oil pump is just recirculating and filtering the crankcase oil where with kohlers its a pressurized oiling system and an oil pump failure will destroy the motor.

if my understanding is correct then the briggs oil pump could fail and it still wouldn't hurt the engine at all. at least that's how I "think" it works. plus I think the oil pump is under a whole lot less stress and wear then a plastic cam gear would be.

I wouldn't even have asked the question if this wasn't a "courage" version motor. personally I think the kohler is a better motor with the exception that its not the courage, in which case I was thinking the briggs is better then a courage version kohler and that's the reason I wanted to ask for other "hopefully" better educated opinions rather then me just going by what I hear on the internet to see if I was making the correct assumptions about it.

well, I made my decision and will have to live with it now lol.

I swapped out the motors yesterday evening and it wasnt hard at all (my first time pulling a riding mower engine ) getting the pulley bolts broke loose by myself was the hardest part but I was surprised I had to also swap out the front end bracets as well since the mufflers mount differently and almost none of the mounting holes would line up. I wasn't expecting to have to do that but since the LX426 has the briggs engine and the LX425 has the kohler engine and the mufflers and muffler guards fit differently based on the shape of the engine and mufflers so the kohler muffler and muffler guard that fit the front end mounting brackets wouldn't fit onto the briggs.

found all the drive belts were shot under there so I have to replace those and the idler pulleys for em because they have raspy noisey bearings so that's the next project

once again guys, thank you all for every persons input and even if it was just an opinion based on ownership experience

Last edited by keakar; 07-11-2014 at 07:35 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2014, 02:28 PM
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keakar keakar is offline
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final update:

everything went fine with parts swapping, only thing is the kohler engine needs different front end guard and muffler brackets so those needed to be swapped out as well.

I learned if you replace an engine on a mower you cant just drop any engine in it like you would think so you should replace it with the same brand to avoid running into front end guards and muffler bracket mounting issues.

just sold the other mower today for the same money I bought the other mower for so I broke even and got a newer cutting deck and mower
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