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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1974 Sears Suburban SS16, that has served me well for the better part of 10 years, and has gosh only knows how many hours, has suffered a questionable mishap and has no compression in it's forward cylinder. I'd dive into seeing what the problem is, but I'm 8 hours away from my garage. I'm thinking that the 13 HP Predator might make a suitable replacement, at least for the time being. I haven't the faintest where I could find a good alternative engine here in the U.P. and the Harbor Freight in Green Bay is the nearest(4 hours away) source for Predator engines.

I've heard good things about the smaller ones, but was wondering if anybody here knows first hand about the 13 HP ones.
 

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The thing with these Chonda engines (Honda clone) Is they are a very Hit and miss kind of situation.. Some of them are awesome, Some of them are garbage.. it all depends on how the factory in Shanghai was feeling that day I suppose..

I would personally look around on craigslist for an older Briggs and Stratton or Honda Unit.. However If you are pressed, They aren't the worst thing in the world.

-Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sort of what I was thinking. my first choice would be a Honda, but not a lot of the brand to be found up here, and I'm hoping to find something that won't be requiring anything more than basic maintenance for a good while since I just don't have anything more than basic tools, and waaaay more things to do than fix a mower.
 

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I'd suggest looking on craigslist for a used Briggs.. Especially an older one as They have much more torque.. I remember reading somewhere that a 5 HP Briggs from 1980 was equivalent to a 10 HP Engine from 2000.. Not sure if it's quite that high, but older engines definitely have more torque.

-Stan
 

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I'm with Capstan that the Predator engines are very hit or miss. You either here ravings about how cheap and reliable they are, or you hear people blowing off about how they explode at 5 hours. I know for a fact that some big landscape companies buy them in bulk and assume that a percentage of them will fail prematurely, and they continue to buy them because it's still cheaper than buying Hondas and not having the failures. I've seen the insides of them, and they are built much cheaper than the genuine Hondas. Even the block castings are thinner and look to be lower quality, and the camshafts and crankshafts are made out of cheaper materials. You get what you pay for. However, some people have good luck with the Predators, and sometimes you can get good service out of one; it's just not a sure thing.
 

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Horizontal or vertical shaft? It could be something as simple as some chunk of carbon stuck in a valve, in that case it would be a good thing to take it apart so you don't score the cylinder. I'd throw a cheap running engine from CL on until you fix the original. If its vertical shaft, ****, a pushmower engine will move a tractor.
 

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All the go kart racers are running the Predator engines now, they did away with the flat top Briggs.
 

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I don't have any experience with the replacement engines myself but it would be interesting to find out why it lost compression in that one cylinder after you dive into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well heck, I looked around "locally" and found engines galore, but none that would fit the bill. The old Onan has a horizontal shaft, and all I found here were verticals.

Decided that since I had nothing to loose, and hoping it was just a stuck valve, I pulled the head to have a look see. The inside was pleasantly clean. The valves open and close as the should, but the piston didn't move at all.

Now, since there was no horrendous noises, clunking clanking or banging, just a sort of hesitation and a sort of "phiftt" sound when I'm guessing everything went south, and since it ran amazingly well on one cylinder, I now hope that all that has happened was the connecting rod bolts backed out and the rod with all its associated parts fell softly and completely into the oil pan.

If not for being 500 miles from my tools, and having a house to build, I'd jump right into it.
 

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:ditto: I can't believe that didn't make a noise from Engine ****! :scratch: Well, I guess weird things like that happen sometimes. I hope it didn't do to much damage to the rest of the engine. :^:
 

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OUCH!! Guess she is terminal. Those Onan aren't cheap to rebuild I heard!
 
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