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Thread: How do Subaru Robin OHV engines compare to Briggs OHV and Honda OHC engines?

  1. #1

    Default How do Subaru Robin OHV engines compare to Briggs OHV and Honda OHC engines?

    I'm talking about in the 5-6HP size range.

    I've looked at the Honda GC OHC and Briggs OHV at the local Tractor Supply store, but I've never seen a Subaru Robin up close. The throttle mechanism on the Honda looked pretty flimsy compared to the Briggs, and being able to reliably set the throttle is pretty important in my application.

    Anybody have enough experience with them to give me an opinion?

    Roger
    Last edited by winchman; 10-30-2008 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    1,047

    Default

    I had extraordinary bad luck with the Robin Engine supplied with my old snapper commercial lawnmower. I'd never buy from snapper again due to that.

    The Robin engine came with a cut o-ring on the gas filler, cross-threaded bolts that made it leak oil, 20 cord pulls to start it and the carb gummed up after a few years and it wouldn't run.

    It was cheaper to buy a new engine than fix it. I don't know know if their new engines are like this or if this was an abberation but I've sworn off of Snapper and Robin after 3 years of this fiasco.

    --Cameron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Muskoka Ontario Canada
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I am not a big fan of the Subaru Robin engines. They are not as smooth running as the Briggs or Honda and parts can be difficult to obtain. The Vanguard line from Briggs is every bit as good as Honda and Briggs dealers are everywhere. I'm a Briggs dealer so I have a biased opinion. I have several Vanguard engines on equipment I rent out and they have proven to be very durable. I am sure everyone knows how rental equipment gets treated. Honda makes a quality product too but in this area parts are difficult to obtain and cost more than the same parts on a Briggs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    NL
    Posts
    1,392

    Default robin

    I did small engine repairs back in a former life!
    Subaru Robin, Robin,and Wisconson Robin are great engines.
    (all the same just different names)
    In my opinion there are better then Honda and FAR better
    then Briggs or Tecumseh.
    They were mostly found (around here) on commerical pumps,gen sets,tampers,etc.
    Usually in rental shops or construction/road repair companies.
    They would run forever and a day!
    Parts were a little harder to find, but you rarely need them.

    eddie
    please visit my webpage:
    http://motorworks88.webs.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,990

    Default Subaru Robins Good

    I own a aeven horsepower pressure washer Ryobi with this engine and it aleways starts first pull, I have had it for 4 years and it is actually a decent tool. I fog spray the engine for winter storage and usually change the oil yearly. Have no complaints but ive had my honda rototiller engine need a brand new carb (270 bucks) and it has a nasty rod nock also. I wont buy any honda stuiff anymore i think they are getting there small engines made in China.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mid-Michigan USA
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Be aware that the OHC Honda engines are their "cheap" line.
    Those are not designed to last anywhere near as long as
    the OHV series. The OHV Honda and Briggs Vangard series
    are both good engines for a high usage application.
    If this something that won't get a lot of hours on it the
    OHC Honda is a nice running engine, no where near
    the OHV in build quality though.
    Parts and service if you care will be much more widespread
    with the Briggs.
    Dave P.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    971

    Default

    I've had a 6 hp Vanguard on the kid's go-kart, and then on my Burning Man art-car for 10 years or so... excellent engine, very robust. The only problem I've ever had w/ it is broken recoil starting lines :-), but a 10 mm wrench will remove the starter and you can then use misc. rope if you're in the desert...

    It has run flat out in 100+ F in very dusty conditions, in rain, snow, ice, etc;
    it's very easy on gas as well.
    Bart Smaalders
    http://smaalders.net/barts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Any of the three are decent engines but I would pick the Robin for the crankshaft bearings, sleeved block, easy starting and overall reliability.

  9. #9

    Default

    One of the engines I'm looking at is a Briggs and Stratton model # 118432-0140.

    I've got a book that identifies the 118432 it as an 11 cubic inch horizontal shaft with a ball bearing on the output end, splash lube, and recoil starter.

    Is there any way to find out the meaning of the 0140 code?

    Roger

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Muskoka Ontario Canada
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Hi Roger, I have sent you an e-mail with a parts breakdown for that engine. It's on my wife's e-mail, can't seem to log into my own.

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