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trouts2




Location: Marlboro MA
Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Points: 1276

New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Original Message   Nov 12, 2008 8:43 pm

   Stopped by HD this evening and found they had sold off most of their Ariens machines and now had many MTD's.  The engines are unmarked and there's nothing identifying the engine in the machine manual.  After poking around I finally found a small Made in China sticker under the cowling.   All the machines had these OHV's on them.  For any big and established Chinese maker MTD would be sweet contract so the engines are probably pretty good. 

   I put a Harbor Freight Central Machinery engine on an older Ariens body.  It was a 6.6hp OHV Honda design and a sweet engine.  The body was nice with a tight tractor section.  It only required a light mod to run another chute crank under the wider OHV.  I sold it to a person in the next town so I'll be able to keep track of it over the years.  We'll see how it stands up.

  With Tecumseh stopping production it’s very likely Ariens will opt for Chinese OHV’s very soon.   I know many will yank out the Chinese goods but we all did that about Japanese goods not long ago.  I now drive a great Honda and love it – 35mpg 5 speed around town, 40+ on a trip.  The Chinese are hungry like we used to be in the 50’s and are capable of producing decent goods.  It will be interesting to see where Ariens goes.  They have a big reputation to protect and if they go Chinese it will be a big feather for the Chinese makers.

Trouts2

Replies: 1 - 9 of 9View as Outline
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #1   Nov 12, 2008 9:38 pm
Sorry Trouts, but I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about Chinese engines as you are.   I certainly hope MTD did their homework before signing the contract with the engine manufacturer.  Being a motorcycle enthusiast, I know some people who have bought cheap Chinese trail bikes and ATVs for their kids.  Some brands have been pretty good.  Others dismal.  There was actually some legal action taken here in Canada a few years ago against importers of some of the less reliable brands.  Problem was that the less dependable brands had a lot of difficulty supplying parts and couldn't keep up with the failure rate.  The governing body (Transport Canada I think),  put a restriction on importation of any more failure prone machines until parts availability for repair could keep up with the failures.  That was a few years ago.  I'm sure that the historical record of certain brands will ultimately lead to either their success or failure.  The problem with weeding out the bad Chinese manufacturers is that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of brand names building small engines.   

Comparing Chinese manufacturing to Japanese manufacturing is a bit lob sided.  There is no question whatsoever concerning the quality of any small engine (or any other engine for that matter) manufactured in Japan.    After the second world war, Dr. William Edwards Deming guided the Japanese toward solid business management and developed a culture of quality design and production.  In a matter of a short few years,  dragging itself out of the ashes of the war, Japan was well on it's way to become a world economic leader and the envy of the world in the manufacture of many products.  Small engines being one of their best.  In the late 50's early 60's Japanese motorcycles put the world of motorcycling on it's ear with their small, powerful and very reliable engines.  Both two stroke and four stroke.  Brands that had previously existed unchallenged (Triumph, BSA , Matchless of Britain, Gilera, Moto Morini, MV Augusta of Italy were class leaders.  In a few short years, they were barely clinging to existence.   The Japanese have maintained that leadership for close to fifty years unchallenged.  The same cannot be said about the Chinese.   They mass produce knock-offs of Japanese  products,  copying their designs, using lower quality materials in many cases and relatively loose quality control compared to the Japanese.  I'm not saying that all Chinese engines are of poor quality.  However, while I wouldn't think twice about buying a Japanese engine even from their most obscure or lesser known manufacturers,  I'd be doing a lot of research and investigating before I'd buy one from China.   And even more so if I were the purchasing department for an OPE manufacturer. 

In closing, I would like to question the desire/need for MTD to buy Chinese engines.  We've already seen the pending demise of Tecumseh.  Why wouldn't MTD go to Briggs & Stratten or other North American manufacturers for engines?   If B&S and the other N.A. manufacturers cannot keep up with demand then MTD would not have a lot of choice.  Therefore understandable that they'd to go to the Chinese.  History leads me to believe that MTD is going the Walmart route.  If such is the case,  and other OPE manufacturers follow suit, we might see the demise of small engine manufacturing in North America in due course.  Only time will tell how well the Chinese engines hold up.  If they are reliable, that's a good thing for us consumers.  However, it might just be the death knell for B&S, Kohler and others.       

coasteray


El Toro! 1028 LXE
Tecumseh 358cc
10hp


Location: NE Washington State
Joined: Mar 3, 2008
Points: 142

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #2   Nov 14, 2008 4:02 am
Since Ariens, as an example, has already used Briggs and Stratton engines, I would be a bit surprised if they switch to Chinese engines.  If so, they would have to be more than certain of the quality, otherwise, the reputation of Ariens could be greatly harmed.  For the late 2008 season, Ariens will be using Briggs and Stratton, leading me to think they will go that route.  It is interesting that their decision could contribute to the future of domestic engine manufacturers, for good or ill. 

By the way, while at Lowe's, I noticed a Briggs on the Troy-Bilt "Storm 3090" and "Storm 2840" models, but "Troy-Bilt" OHV engines on the other Troy-Bilt "Storm" models they had (#2410 and #2620).  Looking on the underside of one of those engines, I found a sticker that says "Made in China".  This look at these blowers at Lowe's lines up exactly with the 2008 Troy-Bilt snow blower brochure I have. 

I'm hoping that at least Ariens and Toro will go the Briggs route.  Simplicity is already owned by Briggs, so we know those models are going to stay Briggs.  MTD, which owns Troy-Bilt, may go the Chinese route except for their top-end models, as they have with Troy-Bilt blowers.  We can only wait and see what happen for 2009 next fall.
This message was modified Nov 14, 2008 by coasteray


  El Toro! 1028 LXE - Tecumseh 358cc 10hp   Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #3   Nov 14, 2008 2:48 pm
coasteray wrote:
Since Ariens, as an example, has already used Briggs and Stratton engines, I would be a bit surprised if they switch to Chinese engines.  If so, they would have to be more than certain of the quality, otherwise, the reputation of Ariens could be greatly harmed.  For the late 2008 season, Ariens will be using Briggs and Stratton, leading me to think they will go that route.  It is interesting that their decision could contribute to the future of domestic engine manufacturers, for good or ill. 

By the way, while at Lowe's, I noticed a Briggs on the Troy-Bilt "Storm 3090" and "Storm 2840" models, but "Troy-Bilt" OHV engines on the other Troy-Bilt "Storm" models they had (#2410 and #2620).  Looking on the underside of one of those engines, I found a sticker that says "Made in China".  This look at these blowers at Lowe's lines up exactly with the 2008 Troy-Bilt snow blower brochure I have. 

I'm hoping that at least Ariens and Toro will go the Briggs route.  Simplicity is already owned by Briggs, so we know those models are going to stay Briggs.  MTD, which owns Troy-Bilt, may go the Chinese route except for their top-end models, as they have with Troy-Bilt blowers.  We can only wait and see what happen for 2009 next fall.


More Chinese........Just what we need.   Well, the writing's on the wall.  Or should I say on the bottom of the engine.  

I'm all for competition/capitalism but I'll tell you, the playing field isn't level.  How can our manufacturing bases (U.S. & Canadian)  compete with thirty cent an hour labour?   I've been saying this for over ten years:  We have to curb our consumption of Chinese goods!   Well over ten years ago, I started to keep track of gifts under the Christmas tree.  Even back then, the preponderance of gifts were made in China.  Now, it's almost exclusively Chinese made goods.  Even higher end products such as digital cameras, audio/video gear, power tools etc. are from China.  Last Christmas, I was surprised to find one gift that was made in Indonesia and another that came from Mexico.   I can share some solace with you though.  I went to Canadian tire to pick up an new hand operated can opener.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the high end can opener ($5.00) was made in the USA.  The other cheaper, ($1.39) old fashion type with the bottle opener on the end was made in Great Britain.  So there you have it.  We're being reduced to building can openers.... 

We  North Americans, as a society have to start making some noise about this.  I do not believe that the difference between Canadians and Americans is a whole lot more than political.  Sure, there are some differences but, if I woke up in a hotel in Minnesota and didn't know where I was and didn't see any flags or handle money, I'd have a hard time figuring out where I was.    Despite our geo-political differences, I think we share a lot of the same values.   Having a decent paying job, a roof over our family's heads and the liberties we're accustomed to are just a few.  If we continue to allow foreign manufacturing to erode the very foundations that our countries were built on, big trouble will be looming large in the not too distant future.  I've begun a personal boycott of Chinese goods.  I'll tell you, it's damned hard to do.   At the very least, if left with no choice but to buy Chinese, I make it known to the vendor that I'm not particularly fond of the Chinese taking economic control over my country.   If you feel the same way, start letting people know about it.     Rant over.     

This message was modified Nov 14, 2008 by borat
coasteray


El Toro! 1028 LXE
Tecumseh 358cc
10hp


Location: NE Washington State
Joined: Mar 3, 2008
Points: 142

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #4   Nov 17, 2008 3:43 am
I stopped by HD today while driving home, and thought I'd check on the engine situation again.  There were Ariens 927LE, 624E, and 520 snow blowers, all with their Tecumseh engines (624E with OHV), then there were the Yard Machine (MTD) snow blowers, all of which had the Chinese engines (same underside-of-the-engine "Made in China" notice on the big sticker), the exact same engines as their Troy-Bilt blowers have at Lowe's.  Then I saw a Yard Machine (MTD) log splitter (25-ton) with a Briggs and Stratton, a Yard Machines rotary-style leaf blower (on wheels) with a Honda engine, a Yard Machines lawn edger (on wheels) with a Briggs, and then a Cub Cadet (MTD) chipper/shredder/vacuum with that same Chinese engine sticker once again. 

So the picture is very clear that you have to really watch out.  Yard Machines using Briggs, Honda, and Chinese.  Just depends on the machine and model. Cub Cadet's "own" brand of engine is a Chinese brand with no label.  I hate it when they can't be honest enough to put a company logo sticker on the engine.  What are they trying to hide?  They must think we're stupid.  MTD and other North American manufacturers should label these engines with the name of the manufacturer in China.  At least Tecumseh, Briggs, Honda, and other major North American/Japanese manufacturers have identification.  If nothing else, it's a sign of an established manufacturer who actually wants people to know who they are.  What a novel concept!

Please, Ariens, Toro, Husqvarna, MTD, etc., go with Briggs or some other very good big-name engine, not the Chinese no-name engine. 
This message was modified Nov 17, 2008 by coasteray


  El Toro! 1028 LXE - Tecumseh 358cc 10hp   Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #5   Nov 17, 2008 8:30 pm
You will notice that if the engine is a domestic product, it has it's name prominently displayed.  The manufacturer wants you to know it's their engine.  I doubt that the North American OPE manufacturers want us to readily notice that the engine on their product is made in China.  I'm surprised you even found a label indicating that the engine is of Chinese origin. 

 I bought a Vermont Castings barbecue at HD last year.  They had another brand (Ducane) on the floor that I was interested in.  I asked the sales manager, not the clerk, where the Ducane was manufactured.  Her reply was that it was built in the U.S.  I looked over the paper work, sales brochure, manual etc. for a country of origin.  Couldn't find anything.   I looked all over the exterior of the machine.  Nothing.  Finally, I got down on my hands and knees and looked inside the cabinet where the propane tank is kept.  Waaaaay at the back on a little sticker, written in letters barely legible, it said "Made in China."  So I get up and interrupt the sales manager who is speaking to my wife.  I asked her "So, help me out here.  When did China become a part of the U.S.A.? "   She said Pardon."    I replied "You said this Ducane barbecue was built in the U,S.  There's a label inside that say it's made in China."   She responded  "Well, that's news to me."   Not surprising.  HD staff aren't that knowledgeable of many of their products and if it's of Chinese manufacture, I'm certain that Home Depot and most other large box stores aren't waving any banners to let the customers know.   So, a consumer has to closely scrutinize the product for it's country of origin if they want to know where it was made. 

By the way, the Vermont Castings was made in the U.S.A. and it's a fine barbecue indeed.  

This message was modified Nov 17, 2008 by borat
chopper


Joined: Oct 28, 2008
Points: 32

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #6   Nov 18, 2008 9:07 am
About the only Chinese made things that are any good are their pu-pu platters.
coasteray


El Toro! 1028 LXE
Tecumseh 358cc
10hp


Location: NE Washington State
Joined: Mar 3, 2008
Points: 142

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #7   Nov 20, 2008 1:17 am
I'll add another log to the fire.  I stopped by Sears today and looked at their snowblowers.  They had their entire line on display.  Good for me.  Their top three models all have Briggs and Stratton "Snow Series" engines, the ones without throttles.  Their lower three medium duty models all had the exact same brand of Chinese engines (different sizes, of course), complete with the same emission sticker than says "Made in China" in the lower right corner.  On top of that, the control panels and controls of these models, except for the top-end model (#88106) which is a Husqvarna with the Craftsman label and a red paint job, are probably either Troy-Bilt or Yard Machines.  I've got the brochures for both Craftsman and Troy-Bilt.  Comparing the pictures, they sure look alike for some of the models, except for the headlight.  However,  the control handles look alike.  There was one Craftsman model that looked very similar to a Yard Machines model on display at Home Depot. 

This is my observation, anyway.  It's no surprise if Craftsman models are coming from MTD.  No news there.  It explains why Sears' snow blowers have the Chinese engines.  Troy-Bilt, Yard Machines, Craftsman are all in the same MTD pot, apparently, and it doesn't matter whether it's HD, Lowe's, or Sears.  All the same stuff.  What a joke, and it's everywhere you go.  No wonder Honda, Ariens, Simplicity, and Toro all seem to stand above them. 
This message was modified Nov 21, 2008 by coasteray


  El Toro! 1028 LXE - Tecumseh 358cc 10hp   Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #8   Nov 20, 2008 1:14 pm
Just goes to show that it pays to do our homework. 

Joe average consumer isn't very savvy when it comes to buying just about anything.  Their usual shopping parameters are: biggest number for least money.   To them, an MTD with a 12 h.p. engine and 32 inch wide clearing path is better than an 8 h.p. 24" Ariens etc.  Regardless of the fact that the engine is Chinese and the auger gears are off of an electric can opener and the chassis is the thickness of tin foil.  

The irony of it is, that these very same consumers tend to be the least maintenance oriented.  So in the long run (more likely short run), they'll have a problem with the machine.  It will probably happen when they need it most and the machine will be out of service for two months because many of the other similar machines will be in for repairs too.  Then it's the hoops and hurdles they'll have to jump through and over to get anything done by the box stores.   This forum has a lot to offer prospective shoppers if they heed what's being said by the knowledgeable participants.    

This message was modified Nov 20, 2008 by borat
mech12


Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Points: 273

Re: New MTD's with Chinese OHV's
Reply #9   Nov 20, 2008 3:17 pm
 

Dear CPD Tecumseh Dealers,

 

 

By now many of you have received letters from Toro and Ariens announcing that Tecumseh Engine Division will no longer build engines after December 2008. This is true. We want you to know that CPD has inventory in our warehouses to keep you servicing and replacing engines for the unforeseeable future. CPD does not anticipate a reduction of services in the immediate future.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact John Hedges, Director of Sales and Marketing at (800) 364-7938.

 

We appreciate your years of dedication to CPD and Tecumseh and anticipate many more years to come.

 

Sincerely,

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