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Larry Rarus

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Posts: 315


Oct 27 09 4:46 PM

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I know this a Clinton engines web site but I thought a comment on the recent demise of Tecumseh engines (Tecumseh is still in business but has divested itself of engine manufacturing) wouldn't hurt. Apparently this happened over a year ago and I'm amazed it occurred with nary a ripple across the field. In fact, I only learned about it a couple of weeks ago. "And then there were two." So, that leaves us with Briggs & Stratton and Kohler as the only American companies producing small engines. Is that correct? I'm not certain whether Wisconsin is still around but I think that's the case. There may be a couple of smaller manufacturers here in the states but certainly nothing else on the scale of B & S or what Tecumseh used to be. One could argue that foreign manufacturers are using American labor to produce their engines here (e.g. Honda and Kawasaki). However, while I'm grateful jobs are available, I still have to bemoan the fact that these are offshore companies and that an industry virtually created here has been ceded to the Pacific Rim. I am particularly annoyed by the inexpensive engines making their way here from China. You've seen them in just about every available outlet like Harbor Freight and Northern. They offer relatively high horsepower for very short money. The thing is (aside from not employing American labor) that they're disposable. Try finding a decent parts network, not to mention that it's likely easier to financially justify replacing one altogether rather than to spend the time and effort to fix a broken one. OK, I'm off my soapbox.
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#1 [url]

Aug 10 10 10:06 PM

My dad and I have had Kohler, Briggs, Clinton and Tecumseh engines over the years and nothing runs as good as they do. I recently saw the disposable engines you spoke of in Harbor Freight, they look nice, but will never last like American engines.

My brother-in-law use to work for Tecumseh Products at Tecumseh, MI(about 3-4 years ago). He was in corporate offices as a QA person, he went to India, China, Mexico and other countries to audit the parts made for tecumseh engines and other tecumseh items. He said over and over the quality is terrible from these countries. All these parts were assembled here from these sources, nothing much was manufactured here anymore.

One more American product has been Walmartized, made cheap to throw away next year.

I grew up about a mile from the Tecumseh Products plant and headquarters, it is just an empty shell now. Use to employ over 3000 people at one time.

Mike in Ypsilanti

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#2 [url]

Mar 14 11 12:35 PM

Well figuratively speaking Tecumseh is coming back, the new owner of Tec struck a deal with LCT engines (yes chinese) to offer their engine with the Tec or Lauson name on it. My experience with lct is they are typical throwaway engine and not worth the money, so stay away from any chinese engine they are junk.
As far as Kohler & Briggs they are making low end engines in china but the bigger engines are still USA made and alot of parts are now chinese for competitive reasons.

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Posts: 457

#3 [url]

Mar 19 11 3:41 PM

Such a shame companies do this these days. Some day we will all kick ourselves for it.

Email me if you want parts or engines at [email protected]

60+ engines.
Thousands of parts.

Wheelhorse- RJ-35, RJ-58, 550, 401, 1054, D-250
Choremasters, Midland Walkbehind, Mellinger paddle-wheel

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#4 [url]

Jul 22 12 8:46 AM

Just reading this topic and have to say you are not the only country going through this. Villiers lister JAP all gone from the uk. Here in Australia ronaldson tippet was the biggest manufactorer of engines in the southern hemisphere but imports killed them. We had lots of other company's also disapear from cheap imports. I have clinton, tecumseh, wisconsin and kohler engines and they are so well made it feels like an honor to work on them. From the uk i have listers petters villiers and jap engines and they are also very good engines. Try fixing a chonda engine and yes, cheaper to chuck it and buy a new one. It is sad but that is where the world is at the moment, hopefully the future holds a different path.


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