Big Improvements to Small Engines

Repower Article - 03/17/08

Jacobsen GK IV - Small Engines

There has been much innovation and improvement made in the area of small engine vehicles.  Hauling vehicles and golf carts that were new on the 1980s golf course and landscaping scene have seen drastic improvements in the design, steering mechanism, vehicle weight and basic functionality.  Mowers, however, have remained constant in their design and mechanics for several decades.  The single biggest area of improvement for golf course and large area mowers is in the engine. Small engines have been made to be more powerful, easier to maintain, and more efficient.  While older model mowers like those made by Jacobsen or Cushman can last for many years when properly maintained, their engines hold them back from providing the kind of power newer models can. It is not, however, necessary to buy a new mower in order to get that sort of modern power.

Take the Jacobsen Greens King IV for instance. Jacobsen has been a leading turf maintenance mowers and equipment manufacturer for over 100 years. Their Greens King IV has been a top of the line vehicle for them for over thirty years. Since the Greens Triplex Time, these mowers have been landscapers and course maintenance crews’ greatest and most reliable assets.  These machines, however, can benefit, and even last longer, if their engines were to be updated to a newer, more powerful model.

Jacobsen knows this as well as any one. Brand new Greens King IV boast new 16 or 18 horse power Briggs & Stratton Vanguard gas engines or 19 horse-power diesels.  Older models came equipped with 14 or 16 horse power Kohler engines.  So how does someone who has properly maintained their older GK IV get the power of a newer model?  Repowering is the answer. 

Repowering a small engine means installing a newer rebuilt engine into an existing vehicle.  This way, rather than swapping out an old engine for the same rebuilt model engine, a repower kit swaps out an old engine for a newer, better engine model built with the latest technology.  Repowering results in a better small engine in a vehicle for the fraction of the price of buying a new one. Quality repower professionals can sell rebuilt engines from top brands in kits that include everything a greens keeper needs to update an old machine. 

Because the Jacobsen Greens King IV is such a popular mower, there is a variety of repower kits available to choose from.  Greens keepers and landscapers have the option to repower their existing mowers with a new Briggs & Stratton Vanguard small engine or a Kohler small engine, depending on what engine is currently installed in their GV IV.  Diesel models are also great candidates for repower kits.  Each of these kits comes with the engine itself, drive line adapter, engine mounting plate, hydraulic fittings, pump mount and complete installation instructions and necessary bolts. 

Repower kits are not all created equal however. Like your original Jacobsen Greens King IV engine, you will want to make sure that the kit you purchase provides the necessary quality craftsmanship and warranty guarantee you expect from your original vehicle.  There is no reason to compromise the value of the mower by repowering its engine.  Rather, through repowering a small engine, you should be improving its value and extending its life. 

-Ben Anton 2008
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