MTD Chinese Engine

net_workerApril 8, 2007

I was looking at the MTD walk behind mowers at Wal Mart tonight. I saw the MTD offering with the Honda engine and then notice an engine I didn't recognize. A quick look at the ID tag and sure enough, MADE in CHINA. This was not a clone of a Honda or any other engine I have seen. I remember MTD was considering this some time back but what I heard was they were going to use a China made 12.5 HP that was not a clone. Talk of this started when Briggs took on Murray.

I wonder if MTD will force existing warrant dealers to take on this new engine along with the rest of their warranty work?


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Not sure if it matters. The engine is still probably better than the rest of the unit.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:11PM
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Hello all.

I also saw the Wal Mart MTD lawnmower OHV engines that had the made in China ID tag.
I think these OHV engines are out there in 139 cc and 173 cc displacements.
I also saw the same made in China engine on a Cub Cadet lawnmower in Home Depot.
Looks like these made in China engines will get their chance at bat this season.

Good day.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 12:25AM
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The engine i belive has been around prior to this year. I got a generator 6.5 hp called champion at a auto parts store with a house brand engine thats very simuluar in design but horizonal shaft. of couse since i got a generator the power has never failed but whenever i start it every couple months to move gas though the system it always starts right up. i also have seen a engine like it used on power equimpent at menards which is a midwest store. its been on a snowblower last season and on a pressure washer and graden tiller this year along with the mtd walk behind. the engine it self seems ok but im unsure about parts support other then call the 1-800 number or web site. also if you look at the mtd manual they do parts support but as assemblies only for each section of the engine instead of indiual parts so if you need a recoil spring you pay im sure $60 for a new shoud assembly on a $200 mower and buy a new one instead.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:38AM
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Hello all.

I hear ya eric 2007.
Stay tuned to the lawn and garden small engine technology channel. In the year 2009 we might see the launch of the OHV "Commercial duty" iron lined cylinder, dual stage air filtration, optional oil filter w/oil level alert, forged internal engine components, meets or exceeds current EPA emmission standards, 2 year Gar-run-teed to start, low tone muffler equipped, bolted on an MTD lawnmower made in China engine.

Good day.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 5:54AM
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tekumcman(Upstate SC)

Horizontal shaft versions of these have been in the U.S.
for a few years now. This is the "1st" of the vertical
shaft entrants into the U.S. market. Who could blame MTD
for trying it when they probably pay $50 (or less) for
these. When/If a failure occurs, there will be little, if
any, repairs done and a complete replacement of the engine
will be (most likely) the method of dealing with any warranty issue
that might occur. Pretty simple...if you
think about it.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:39AM
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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Exactly. This is the second year for the MTD Chinese engine. During the first year MTD did not even make parts, aside from filters and plugs, available for any kind of repairs. MTD stated that any warranty would be handled by replacement and that they wanted the failed engine returned for inspection.

Production must have been low that first year because they didn't seem very obvious out on the market but now they are showing up. These engines are not clones in appearance. I could see similarities in Honda, Intek and Tecemseh but no direct knock off of any one engine like many of the Chinese/Honda clones. Can't say how well they will hold up or be recieved by the public but MTD seems to have thought this out pretty well not to step on toes.

Once parts are made available, whatever degree of warranty repair they will decide having done versus engine replacement or the actual engine replacement will indeed be handled by MTD warranty dealers. May only be minor things like recoils and such that will themselves be probably replaced as a component. At least MTD dealers who are also Honda dealers won't need to worry about the rath of Honda for dealing with a clone because they do not look like a specific engine.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 9:02AM
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'or be recieved by the public'

The 'public' couldn't care less - all they look at is price. The one-in-one hundred thousand that even looks at a site like this is the exception.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:08AM
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It's not only MTD. My local dealer who handles Toro and Cub says that the Chinese engines are coming to dealer equipment too.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:34AM
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I think a lot of this was caused by B&S. When Briggs got into the lawn mower business, did they expect lawn mower manfs. to keep buying Briggs?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Speaking of B&S, have they yet made a B&S-branded lawn mower with (of course) a B&S engine? I thought ever since they bought Murray it would be a natural move for them, but it doesn't seem to have happened. How could they miss such an opportunity?* If they did, they could join a very exclusive club currently containing only Honda. Lawn-Boy could claim menbership when they made 2-cycle engines, but those are the only two I can think of with the deck and engine under the same brand. In fact, before the advent of the Honda mowers, Lawn-Boy was the sole member of that club. Toro and others hate to advertise that they don't make engines because there is obvious consumer interest in a mower being all from the same place.
As far as the Chinese engines, this is pretty much the death-knell for American-made mowers. Chinese mowers, not just engines, will be flooding the market in one year. I was thinking of selling my LB 10550, but if for no other reason than it is American-made, I just may keep it and continue using it as I do now, as an alternate mower.
*Okay, it dawned on me as I was writing this that B&S, as a major engine supplier to many brands, cannot risk alienating them by producing their own branded mower, particularly a high-end machine. Tecumseh would be in the same boat, which seems to be taking water. Imagine a Tecumseh mower with alum. deck, OHV commercial engine and greasable wheels. Keep on dreaming, 'cause you'll never see it. When you do see something like it, it will be a 'Wan Hung Lo' or something.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 6:10PM
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I was looking over the Briggs website and couldn't find any mention they bought Murray. It appears they might not want that known.
Whose pressure washer & generator business did they buy?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Hello all.

Please excuse me all, but I'm not trying to hijack this thread. Just trying to input additional data on this made in China engine subject.

I purchased a pressure washer at Lowe's that has a(tough little Yamaha clone)engine that was made in China.

Tracked this China engine source to their web page. These guys are large.

Product model:SPE175
Jiangsu LINHAI Power Machinery Corporation
Jiangsu LINHAI-YAMAHA Motor Co.,Ltd

Good day.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 12:14AM
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Anyone know the exact status of Murray at this time? I have heard a couple of things but have no idea what to believe. I do know that my Murray parts are still coming in Briggs and Stratton boxes.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:12AM
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Hi all.

net worker,

Hope this helps.

Good day

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:40AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

For the first time, I heard a Briggs and Straton engine commercial on the radio. They must be feeling the pressure if they think they need to advertise.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Hello all.

The MTD/Cub Cadet and Wal Mart 139 cc and 173 cc displacements OHV (Made in China) lawnmower engines got their chance at bat this season.

I have not read any Lawn Mowers Forum negative feedback about these engines from the users or the lawn and garden equipment repair shop guys.

Question: Are these reliable engines?

Good day.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 4:45AM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Bill, Briggs did not buy Murray, they took it over from the receivers in an attempt to recover the 40+ million owed. They did buy the Generac pressure washer and generator divisions but not the engines. Those parts can be hard to find.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:22AM
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kathy5(z5/6 Cols,OH)

I'am trying to find a rebuilt starter for 2000 MTD Riding lawn mower with a tecumseh engine(ohv155).Lawn mower shop wants $130.00, and can't find on tecumseh website (doesn't list it). This is the last thing I need to get up and running by winter,we have snow blade and son wants to use for snow removal for his grass mowing clients. If I can't find one I'am ready to sell this mower.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:36AM
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kathy5(z5/6 Cols,OH)

Sorry i put this in the wrong place.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:06AM
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I will NEVER own a chineese lawnmower engine!! I will rebuild an old clunker before I EVER own a chineese engine!!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 12:38AM
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I hope the replacement parts aren't Chinese :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:47AM
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I will NEVER own a chineese lawnmower engine!! I will rebuild an old clunker before I EVER own a chineese engine!!

Good for you jammer1!!! One day soon the American people will wake up to discover their nation is bankrupt. Our trade policies are strangling us. The Chinese and Arab oil producers, rich with cash dollars are scoffing up our treasury bills and are now buying land/infrastructure in America. They are the bankers holding our mortgage while we continue to expand our debt and export our industry. Once proud American companies are being bought up by overseas investment. Foriegn nations are holding our debt and buying up our nation. Meanwhile, American citizens greedily seek to acquire more 'stuff', produced over seas for pennies. New storage facilities are the fastest growing segment in construction. People no longer have room in their over mortgaged houses to store all their 'stuff'. Oh! Whoa to America!! and who is to blame?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 7:13AM
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'Whoa to America'

'Woe to America'?

LOL - works either way!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 9:21AM
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jammer1 - you may not soon have a choice.

Aren't all the small engine manufacturers moving to China? I head B&S definitely was.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 2:06PM
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The American manufacturers might very well move to China. I would bet, however, that Honda will continue to manufacture their small engines in North Carolina.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:47PM
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Right before I stumbled across this forum, I replaced the engine on my push rotary mower with a Chinese-built 5.5 HP engine that I bought from Harbor Freight in California. It appears to be the same basic engine that MTD is using. Here is the link to the engine description. You can also download a .pdf owner's manual.

You can't see it in the description or pictures, but the engine has a blade brake, and the linkage for that hooks up with no modification and no problem.

I replaced a 4 or 5-year-old 5.5 HP Briggs to get something that was easier for my wife to start. (Yes, I'm one of those equal-opportunity guys who lets my wife mow the lawn, and who does everything he can to make the job easier for her.) The Briggs would usually start from cold, or even after winter storage, on the first pull, IF you really pulled hard and fast, which she can't do, and when starting it hot, it might take several pulls. Also, in the first couple of seasons, we had to make several repairs (mag, carb, oil burning [we used Briggs-specified 30 wt.]). I decided to try a more modern OHV design, and opted for the cheapest new engine I could find.
So far -3 weeks and 3 mowings - so good. The engine has no primer but has a manual choke. I modified the control plate so that the old throttle cable controls the choke and a new cable controls the speed. The engine came set up for governed single speed operation and the carb mixtures are non-adjustable, but by modifying the linkage (There goes my 90-day warranty!), adding the second cable, and backing out the throttle minimum-speed stop on the carb, I now can control the speed and operate the choke from the handle. It still has a fixed maximum speed stop to keep things from blowing up. Even though there are no mixture adjustments, the things idles down just fine once it's warmed up.
The engine is very easy on gas, is easy to start, and seems to have a little more power than the old engine. Mounting it was okay. The Briggs only used 3 holes, but I elongated a hole on the deck so I could use four bolts.
I apologize to anyone who has problems with buying Chinese, but after 2 Tecumsehs, 3 Briggs, and (years ago) a couple of Clintons, all with pretty decent service, this last Briggs soured me on buying another one, and I didn't have the bucks for a Honda. So I tried Harbor Freight's offering. (I think you're right; it doesn't appear to be a clone of anything, but knowing the history of Chinese one-lungers, they probably did a lot of "borrowing".) We will see how well we like it in a few years. For now, I'm very happy with it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 5:44PM
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just don't idle it down too much or you lose the oil splashing from the dipper. I never let a non pressure lubricated engin run too slow.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:12AM
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The big Tecumseh V-twins we run in our racing tractors turn out to be made in the Czeck Republic! Good engines though.

I know a guy who was able to repower a big Simplicity snowblower with one of those blue Chinese horizontal engines. The whole engine was about 150 bucks and he has not had a lick of trouble with it. The thing is a dead ringer for a Honda except for the blue paint.

I figure since Honda has already taken over so much of the market, what's the difference if another Asian country jumps into the ring. Alot of the American made stuff was already hit hard by Honda so I would love to see Honda get the wind punched out them.

There's definately too much Honda butt kissing in this Country. It's like worshiping a golden calf for petes sake!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Well, Honda makes the best stuff. Go to any power equipment rental place and all you find is Honda engines. Honda keeps efficiency up and cost of ownership down. I don't know when the American companies are going to get a clue that they would take seriously. American Companies - efficiency? what's that? Dang 'ol Japanese have NO oil wells so that's why they've been more efficient from the get go. Reliability of Honda is legendary like the Samurai. These Chinese engines run great until you need parts, then the cost goes way up! It's funny, these Chinese engines have spark plugs from "Torch". Go to Torch's website and you'll very quickly find that the site is poorly designed and most of the technical text has been copied and pasted from NGK's site. I bet the folks at NGK are flattered if not ready to punch torch's lights out. Hey if it comes down to using Asian stuff and you're politically conscious, then buy the Honda from Japan(A Democracy) instead of the FAT DUNG LO from Communist China.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 12:14AM
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I am unhappy with the purchase I have made. I asked the sales clerk who made the engine on the Model 247.29934 front tine Craftsman tiller. He said that he believed that it was Honda made and I ask him if there was a way he could find out. He made a call to some Lady somewhere at Sears and stated that she had said something to the effect about royalties if the Honda name actually appeared on the machine. It did look like the style and make of Honda engines I had previously been familiar with so I was satisified with that and came back yesterday morning and made the purchase. I had been looking at Husqvarna at Lowes for $399 but was not getting good info on the "LCT" engine /China made that was on the Husqvarna at Lowes. Upon arriving at Sears, I noticed that the Husqvarna there was also $399 with a B&S engine and included a reverse option. I sacrificed the reverse option thinking I was getting a Honda motor. B&S certainly being my second most preferred small engine, I now discover that the Craftsman engine that I feel stuck with is made by MTD via the following info:
Thanks for visiting us online.

That is a MTD brand.

M&D Mower & Appliance
I have approximately 30 minutes on this machine today but would now and certainly would have originally paid the additional $10.00 in price for the Husqvarna tiller had I know that I was getting a made in China inferior product. Curtis W. Ball

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 10:52PM
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