liquid cooled or air cooled???


Old 07-19-04, 01:20 PM
hobbs_m's Avatar
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Location: USA
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liquid cooled or air cooled???

wanting to buy a good john deere mower...g series 20hp or more

what are the differences in air cooled and liquid cooled mowers??? benefits??? etc???


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Old 07-19-04, 02:36 PM
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Benefits: Cooler engine temperatures; Longer engine life expectancy; Maintains oil quality longer (due to cooler running);
Disadvantages: Generally more involved work required when servicing and doing preventative maintenance...In other words, if you pay a shop to do the service, your bill will be steeper. If you do the work yourself, plan more time than usual to so such; Radiator gets plugged with grass debris and needs to be cleaned frequently (very important to do this regularly); And the obvious, more areas for break-downs.
If the decision were mine to make and money was no object...Hands down, the liquid wins.
Old 07-19-04, 02:48 PM
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Location: southern louisiana
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benefits: Steady operating temperature, runs cooler than air cooled engines

drawbacks: heavier than air cooled engines; requires periodic maintenance; has radiator, water pump, rubber hoses, possibly a thermostat, water jackets around the engine, and coolant, all of which have to be clean and in good working condition or else problems will show up; and more expensive when buying a mower


benefits: ligher, more basic design, easier to maintain, less expensive when buying a mower, almost maintenance free

drawbacks: runs hotter, air fins need to be cleaned just like a radiator on a liquid cooled engine, needs constant air flow (which is provided by the flywheel) in order to cool itself

On air cooled engines, the oil not only lubricates but also does some of the cooling (which is why a straight 30 weight oil is recomended)

On liquid cooled engines, you have more components to fail but you have a better cooling design.

If you can afford the price of a liquid cooled engine and you don't mind occationally checking the coolant level and making sure the radiator is clean, then it would not be a problem for you.

If you are the type of person to just start the mower and mow the lawn and save it up without doing any maintenance, then an air cooled system would be better for you.
Old 07-19-04, 10:39 PM
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Hello Michael!

In theory, water-cooled is better. The difference in theory and practice is different in practice, than in theory. (stole that from one of the mods on this site, lol). If we are talking about kawasaki engines, I wouldn't trade a 14 or 17hp air-cooled engine for 2 water cooled engines. The 14 and 17hp kaw engines are virtually bulletproof and usually well outlast the equipment they are bolted to. If they ever do start to smoke, they can be re-ringed in almost all cases. The water-cooled engines, on the other hand, don't seem to last as long, have more problems, and when they start to smoke, teardown usually reveals a completely worn out engine that is not rebuildable. That is my experience.

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