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Which twin should I consider?

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I've been thinking about changing up my Kohler 16 to a V twin. The 16 runs great but I still would like more power to drive my 2 stage blower. I have been looking at the Briggs Vanguard, Honda and Kohler. I see Kawasaki also has some engines in this class. Obviously I need the right crank dimensions, I have to stay within a certain crank height for the belt guard and I have overall clearance to consider.

I would appreciate any suggestions or experience anyone has to offer. I do not want to use an Onan. My intention is likely to put the 16 back in the 416-8 keeping it original and selling off the 14 Kohler that came out of the original 314H I started out with.

Thanks

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I've been thinking about changing up my Kohler 16 to a V twin. The 16 runs great but I still would like more power to drive my 2 stage blower. I have been looking at the Briggs Vanguard, Honda and Kohler. I see Kawasaki also has some engines in this class. Obviously I need the right crank dimensions, I have to stay within a certain crank height for the belt guard and I have overall clearance to consider.

I would appreciate any suggestions or experience anyone has to offer. I do not want to use an Onan. My intention is likely to put the 16 back in the 416-8 keeping it original and selling off the 14 Kohler that came out of the original 314H I started out with.

Thanks

I would go with either a Kohler Command or a Kawasaki twin. If you have the $$ by all means pony up and buy a Kohler Command EFI (fuel injected) engine!

Almost all commercial mowers now a days have kawasaki and kohler twins, only a few have Briggs engines and if they do they are 30+HP

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The Briggs Vanguard Twin is a good choice and several small engine suppliers make a Wheelhorse drop in kit using the Vanguard.

TT, (Terry), has one on a tractor he uses and I saw another Vanguard on a members tractor not too long ago. The Vanguard is a pretty good motor. We used a "community Log Splitter" with a Vanguad on it for over 10 years with no issues what so ever. And it is sadly abused!

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Humm...I don't know, Mary Kate or Ashley? :eusa-think:

The Kohler twins? :ychain:

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Try to get or download actual power curves of the engines you are considering. The reality is an 18-20 HP V-Twin won't end up giving you a whole heck of a lot more to work with than the M16/K341. I do have some re-power experience with Honda GX610/620's and Briggs (Diahatsu) Vanguards and they are both among the best small air cooled engines made. The Kohler Command is excellent too, but not many places sell them as re-power kits (Kohler doesn't like doing that, for warranty reasons as they don't know the application) so any special fabrication for fitting there would be up to you. But the 18-20 HP versions of most V-twins available won't run circles around the K341/M16, you have to go up more in HP, which can be bigger physical size and higher price tag.

-Mark-

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I was thinking 22-24 HP and I had not considered fuel injection. I doubt I would spend that much extra. The engines I was looking at were in the $1400 range. My first thought was the Vanguard but looking for the experience here first. I also need to know what to expect with the change over.

Thanks for the replies so far.

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I have seen the Robin-Suburhu engine at 25 hp. not sure if it would fit. I think some RS members have used it. would a Diesel work better for a monster 2 stage blower vs gasoline??

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I mentioned a diesel when he bought parts, doesn't want one. They do stink, make a lot of noise, but haven't had any situations to really work the motor. If we ever get snow this winter maybe the plow will make it work. Biggest Kohler I've had was only a 14, and mowing a field it did good, but then so does my ranger with a 13 horse....

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What model Wheel Horse are you going to put the V-Twin in.

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It's a 314H with 520 front end, steering and rear wheels. Last year I switched it up to a 16 Single. I love the old cast iron singles and it does a great job but my first pass with the blower is 300 feet and even taking it slow with the 16, it was working pretty hard. I miss the smoothness of a twin so have been thinking about doing this. Thought I would ask you guys for your thoughts.

Littleredrider is right, I really don't want a diesel. The ones I have seen really belch a lot of smoke and they are noisey. I spend a couple of hours in the seat mowing so something smooth and quiet like the Onan...(did I say that???) is what I am hoping for.

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16, 18, 21 and 23 HP Briggs & Stratton Vanguard are the smallest. The big block Vanguards are a lot larger. I put a 18 HP Vanguard on a 1977 C-120. I raised the Vanguard 3/4" to get it at the right height with a couple of 1/2" flats and a 3/8" plate. I checked the Honda and Kohler V-Twins and they were too large to fit on my C-120. You have more room on yours but I would measure carefully.

Here a picture of mine. You can see there isn't any room left with the crank shaft in the original location.

SAM_0055.jpg

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I have to think a 23 would do it. R U saying the blocks change size after that?

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Gary

Quit playing games and get serious!!! I think you should go the route of a kubota 4x4 with a loader and 3pt blower. You'll be done in record time!

Then we're gaurenteed no snow this year.

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hey gary,if the honda will fit id go that route,i have a 13 honda on one of the girls and its very powerful,reliable and easy to get parts for,but i never need any,i own about a dozen small engines and the hondas are very,very good motors,i see the 24 horse advertized to fit in the 520,but ive actually never seen it,good luck and let us know what you find out,up here in the great white north im not totally sold on deisels,i own one buy if its real cold out which happens up here all the time they are a pain to start

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The 20 hp ONAN has plenty of power for the 2 stage blower and should be reliable with the proper maintenance and care.

As far as I am concerned nothing runs and sounds as good as the ONAN.

If ONAN is not an option, then other options that I would consider include the older opposed twin cylinder K and M series Kohlers in the 17 to 24 hp range. You could also have your 16 modified to produce a lot more power. You could check with someone like Brian Miller to see if that is a viable option and what the cost would be. I am a purist and I would try to keep my wheel horse all wheel horse.

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"i own one (diesel) but if its real cold out which happens up here all the time they are a pain to start"

I have 1985 diesel Mercedes cars and discovered that proper valve adjustment is the key to easy starting in the winter, at least for my diesel engines. They will start immediately at zero degrees with no block heater.

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When I was stationed up there, I bought a magnetic block heater from Canadian tire. Even with 20/50 in the pan, heated it right up and started without pumping that crap out of it. That good be an option, but magnets don't stick to aluminum very well tho. Break out the duct tape!!!!

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My tractor is garaged so the cold weather starting is not an issue.

Yes Jack I agree the Onans have a great sound and are powerful.

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A 18 through 25hp command will fit right in, I have one in a 300 series We made our own mounts. Wasn't hard

Duane

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I have to think a 23 would do it. R U saying the blocks change size after that?

The 23 Vanguard is length 12.52" width 16.02" height is 17.68". The 25 Vanguard is length 14.92" width 19.53" height 28.54" according to the Brigg & Stratton site.

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hey gary,if the honda will fit id go that route,i have a 13 honda on one of the girls and its very powerful,reliable and easy to get parts for,but i never need any,i own about a dozen small engines and the hondas are very,very good motors,i see the 24 horse advertized to fit in the 520,but ive actually never seen it,good luck and let us know what you find out,up here in the great white north im not totally sold on deisels,i own one buy if its real cold out which happens up here all the time they are a pain to start

There is a huge differences between the single cylinders and twin cylinder hondas. The twin cylinder hondas are not nearly as good as their single cylinder counter parts. There is a reason why you do not see many many twin cylinder hondas on commercial grade equipment. When they break I have seen that crankshafts snap, and they are also overheat as the flywheel is not that big and does not provide adequate cooling. This is where Kohler and Kawasaki reign supreme. However the briggs big block vtwins are actually made by toyota and are great engines. Again I would go the route of a kohler, but people do go the route of a briggs as they are cheaper.

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I am partial to Kohler, but I'd heard the Vanguard was a good engine too and of course so is the Kawasaki. CRE 1992 thanks for the heads up on the Honda. I was not aware of this issue until this post.

Thanks everyone for your help. Baerpath that sounds like what I am looking for. Crank shaft dimensions are the same and the belt guard lines up. Making up a piece of plate for the motor mount does not sound like an issue. What HP did you go with?

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The Kohler Command sounds like a good choice especially the fuel injected version which would eliminate the carburetor problems with the fuels containing ethanol.

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The Kohler Command sounds like a good choice especially the fuel injected version which would eliminate the carburetor problems with the fuels containing ethanol.

Except for the strong possibility that 10 or 15 years from now you could run in to problems with the electronics involved for the fuel system, and of course all the special FI parts will be "obsolete." Kawasaki had troubles with their EFI systems when the ethanol fuels first started hitting the market, so no fuel system is totally immune to problems in the future. Handa is still sticking it out with carbs.

-Mark-

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