Poll. Subaru vs Kohler

   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #1  

Frank Sorbello

Gold Member
Jul 12, 2011
Power Trac PT-422
If Power-Trac offered a Kohler engine along with their Robin Subaru, what motor would you choose?
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #2  
I've owned both in a 425. Without a doubt...Kohler. In my experience, it's a far superior engine. Why? Starts when it's cold, doesn't quit when it's hot, parts are easy to get, mechanics are easy to find, more accessories (e.g., custom spin down air filter for dusty conditions), proven track record, etc....
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #3  
What Kohler??? Many of todays Kohlers are made in China and no better than the other brand, china made motors...

I'd take the Subaru Robin...

   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #4  
Very True, I used to love the old Kohlers, but they are SURE not what they used to be. Seems that most all of the newer motors are about the same anymore.

I had an old Onan I loved. but parts for them have gone nuts anymore.
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #5  
What if Power-Trac offered the Robin 28FI engine in place of the Robin 25? How much extra would you pay for that feature?

Never played around with the Kohlers, but my Robin has been (mostly) trouble free.
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler
  • Thread Starter
That option is currently available for $500 more. However I don't believe Power Trac does everything that the guys on this forum who replaced their 25hp motors with the 28hp FI to protect it from the heat build up in the tub.
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #7  
That is a pretty reasonable price for the upgrade. Would be nice if they would switch to a stock Robin exhaust header/manifold.
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #8  
Me too ! Today's kohler aren't what they used to be
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler #9  
First, for those of you chiming in that don't own a Power Trac, you aren't aware of the conditions these things are operating in....

COLD: They have to turn over three hydraulic pumps while trying to start. Cold hydraulic fluid is like glue.

HOT: For some reason the Subarus are prone to heat problems (almost certainly a design problem with the Power Trac engine compartment and exhaust system).

Since I have no experience with the Subaru, and only can go by what I've read here in the Power Trac forum, I can't compare them from personal experience.

As I've said before, my Kohler starts unassisted down to about 5F. For me, starting fluid is required after that. I've started it as low as -10F. I've heard of no one with a Subaru being able to start one at those temps unassisted. By unassisted, I mean warm garage, engine heaters, starting fluid, etc...

I've also run mine for hours during long summer days in the high 90's with no problems.

So, my Kohler has two pumps behind the engine, one pump in front of the engine, a Kohler factory exhaust exiting directly out the rear and lots of room in the engine compartment. It has a strong starter and I run Mobil1 5w30 in the engine and at each hydraulic filter change I add a quart of Mobil1 5w30 and now 5w40.

So if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know about my Kohler and reading what I've read about the Subaru's, I would not purchase a new Power Trac because of the cold starting issues and hot running issues expressed by Subaru powered PT's in this forum. I'd look for a used one with a Kohler, or re-power a used one with a Kohler.

BTW, Kohler Command Pro's are made in Wisconsin, not China.

Kohler Excels at Manufacturing Small Gas Engines | 2014-06-03 | Assembly Magazine
   / Poll. Subaru vs Kohler
  • Thread Starter
Moss, Are you the only one on this Power Trac forum with a Kohler? Everything you just stated I completely agree with. I am ready to purchase a new 425, however my experience with my 422's Subaru. I just can't allow myself to pull the trigger because I know I will regret it. I call Power Trac every so many months asking if they can put a Kohler in it and they say they can't because they aren't Kohler dealers.