which motor is better question honda vs B&S - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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which motor is better question honda vs B&S

I have two older snapper rer mowers to choose from that have good engines and I have a pretty new snapper rer that needs an engine so ....


while I just came to possess these mowers in the last few days, I don't know anything at all about them, both engines are said to still run good, the B&S hasn't run in a few months and the Honda hasn't run in 2 years, but was said to have been laid up just because of some sort of a belt issue and dead battery by a rich lady who just figured it was easier to pay a yard service to cut her grass rather then fix it.


B&S 12hp I/C FP Stratton quiet rider
model - 283707 / type - 0136 01 / serial - 65795434


Honda 11.0hp
model - GXV 340 / type - DE33 / serial - GJ02-2104234


both mowers had the engines replaced "at some point" so I don't know the age of either motor but both look to be in great condition and appearance and im guessing they aren't really that old but who knows ??????


I am going to choose (hopefully with your help and advice) between which of these two motors is the best one to pull off and use to put on a newer 2013 snapper rer100 that needs an engine, that I plan to keep forever

I have another old 12 hp B&S engine that is said to still be good but it has been sitting up for years that I plan to get running and im going to use that to replace witch ever engine I remove


can someone tell me which is the better engine and why I should choose it over the other one?


thanks for you help
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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Perhaps a compression check should be done on both prior to any decision is made. Good compression on the #2 choice trumps lower compression on the #1 choice in my book. I'd also pull the piston rod caps and look at bearing surfaces. Knowing the true condition is the most important thing in an unknown engine.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 10:00 PM
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The serial# of the B&S engine tells me it's a fairly old engine (in general Briggs used the serial# system until 1965, though I've seen discrepancies, then switched to the "Code" # system).

So the age and possible hours accumulated may have a bearing in your decision, parts for Briggs engines even that old are still available (I bought a ring and gasket/seal set for a 1968 B&S 3.5hp push mower engine last year at a local mower shop though he had to order them).

I'm not familiar with Honda's serial number system but If that engine is much newer it may be a better deal. Hondas are generally regarded as better built engines. That said my 1978 tractor pictured in my avatar still has its original 8hp B&S and still runs fine (has a some cold start smoke puff though) and the only repair was I yanked the points in the 1990's and put in a Magnetron retrofit kit .

Seems from what I've read over time is the L-head (aka flathead) engines ran forever where it seems the OHV models by some brands can be more problematic. we'll see how long the B&S Professional in my new Snapper HI-Vac holds up long term.
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1978 Dynamark 832, 1988 Wheel Horse 252-H, 2016 Cub Cadet XT2 LX42KH, 1961-ish Moto Mower 61-190 18" push mower, Early Snapper V21, 1978 Snapper V212PS
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dynamark1978 View Post
The serial# of the B&S engine tells me it's a fairly old engine (in general Briggs used the serial# system until 1965, though I've seen discrepancies, then switched to the "Code" # system).

So the age and possible hours accumulated may have a bearing in your decision, parts for Briggs engines even that old are still available (I bought a ring and gasket/seal set for a 1968 B&S 3.5hp push mower engine last year at a local mower shop though he had to order them).

I'm not familiar with Honda's serial number system but If that engine is much newer it may be a better deal. Hondas are generally regarded as better built engines. That said my 1978 tractor pictured in my avatar still has its original 8hp B&S and still runs fine (has a some cold start smoke puff though) and the only repair was I yanked the points in the 1990's and put in a Magnetron retrofit kit .

Seems from what I've read over time is the L-head (aka flathead) engines ran forever where it seems the OHV models by some brands can be more problematic. we'll see how long the B&S Professional in my new Snapper HI-Vac holds up long term.
I did notice the Honda specified it had electronic ignition or something like that.


I need to get a compression tester or at least do a pull on the rope handle test to feel if the engines are tight or loose.


if I understand correctly how to read the date codes on the B&S motors then that's a 1992 engine correct?


and I can find nothing on how to date a Honda, but im going to take a wild guess, that that GJ02 serial number means its a 2002 engine, which is a 10 year age difference, but neither one really looks that old

Last edited by keakar; 06-17-2017 at 02:58 AM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scocope View Post
Perhaps a compression check should be done on both prior to any decision is made. Good compression on the #2 choice trumps lower compression on the #1 choice in my book. I'd also pull the piston rod caps and look at bearing surfaces. Knowing the true condition is the most important thing in an unknown engine.
well that is good sound advice but, I am not going to be tearing down an engine just to see what it looks like inside, I am not planning or preparing to rebuild it no matter what, so its staying intact and will be used, or not used, as-is, and any decisions will have to be made without looking at the internals.


I should have both of them running soon and will be able to compare how they run and start as well before a final decision is made but for the most part, I guess I answered my own question above based on the age factors.


based on its serial number date code, the B&S is definitely a 1992 which is pretty old so even with modest use I have to assume it has a ton more hours on it then the Honda which "seems" to be an 02 im guessing.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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well got the B&S started right up easy, a little surge to it so I guess it needs a carb cleaning but it started on the first pull and seems to have great compression to it (but I still don't have a gauge to see what it realty is)


at least I got to test out all the mower functions after replacing the tranny, and everything is working just great on it.


now if I can just stop the surge or "hunting" of the idle (it does it just idling or when cutting grass) it will be ready to be sold.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by keakar View Post
well that is good sound advice but, I am not going to be tearing down an engine just to see what it looks like inside, I am not planning or preparing to rebuild it no matter what, so its staying intact and will be used, or not used, as-is, and any decisions will have to be made without looking at the internals.
Looking at bearings does not even come close to "tearing down an engine" and if done carefully (and in an clean environment) does not even involve replacement gaskets. But then an used engine replacement in a mower is not like it is in anything heavier where the first step is a compression check then you drop the pan and check out the bearings. To do anything less is just foolish in those cases but, of course, we are speaking about lawnmowers here.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scocope View Post
Looking at bearings does not even come close to "tearing down an engine" and if done carefully (and in an clean environment) does not even involve replacement gaskets. But then an used engine replacement in a mower is not like it is in anything heavier where the first step is a compression check then you drop the pan and check out the bearings. To do anything less is just foolish in those cases but, of course, we are speaking about lawnmowers here.
granted your just pulling the sump and cam out to pull the rod cap off but that is still much more involved then I wanted to be doing. I just don't see it worth opening up a lawn mower engine unless your just going to rebuild it with honing cylinder and put in new rings once you go to the trouble to open them up.

Last edited by keakar; 06-17-2017 at 06:23 PM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 07:14 PM
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To me, 20 minutes worth of work (if that) is worth it to forgo another couple hours to replace an engine in a year or two. You certainly don't need to pull the head to do it.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scocope View Post
To me, 20 minutes worth of work (if that) is worth it to forgo another couple hours to replace an engine in a year or two. You certainly don't need to pull the head to do it.
I get your point but its far from a 20 minute job to take an installed running engine out of a snapper rer mower to look at the rod journals just for the heck of it.


I mean I understand the premis, but not the part where its making any sense or is worth the 2 hours of work to drain the oil, pull the engine out, open the sump for inspection, all for the purpose to "maybe" avoid 2 hours of work in the future to replace the engine when or if it fails.


I still think your advice is good advice, if the engine was already sitting on a bench and I was just contemplating weather or not to install it, but I am talking about making a choice of removing an engine from 1 of 2 rer mowers that are complete, fully assembled, running, and cutting grass at the moment, not just 2 engines sitting out on a bench so that kinda changes the amount of work involved
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