Opinions wanted- Cub LT1022- ELS656 engine

jkp62

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My neighbor offered me her Cub LT1022 - ( has running problems ), I have yet yo get into what is wrong with it. Might be just in need of new filters, fresh gas . 264 hours. What I am curious about is the Briggs ELS 656 22 HP engine. In my GOOGLE search, so far, I am not finding much info on the engine ( at least not much positive ) . The tractor itself looks to be several steps up from my Husq YTH1542XPG , possibly except the 15 horse Kawasaki vs a 22 ELS 656 . I love the idea of a project, but don`t want to spend too much on getting this running properly if this engine is a poor design, destined to early failure. Thanks in advance
 

bertsmobile1

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The ELS from memory was Extended Life Series and has a cast iron bore so it is one up from the basic mower engine.
Nothing particularly wrong with them, hundres of thousands have been fitted.
Some will always be duds, that is why we have warranties .
Very few people write in and say " mower works fine "
Cubs are not what they used to be , a mid order commercial grade machine , but I would have one above anything that came out of the AYP or MTD factory if I had to pick one.
Cub have heir parts & service manuals available as a free down load which is always a bonus.
 

cruzenmike

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Outside of a catastrophic engine failure, it should not be too difficult to get it running. Based on the age and the fact that it was likely used with Ethanol containing fuel, there are a number of issues related to hoses and gaskets to consider. Go through the normal array of checking and replacing routine maintenance parts as you never know exactly how the previous owner took care of it. With 264 hours on it, the machine should have had 6 oil changes minimum and a couple of spark plug and air cleaner changes in it's lifetime. Maybe ask your neighbor some questions about the prior maintenance so that you can better understand what you are getting yourself into?
 

ILENGINE

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The ELS series was also equipment with washable air filters, and supposedly upgraded oil filters. Which for most people got tossed at the first service and got replaced with standard filters.
 

HarmonySeeker

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In My Opinion, give it a shot. There are plenty of folks who like them, so you could always sell it if you end up liking your Husky better.
It is the Top-of-the-Line Mower that comes out of the MTD factory, y'know.
And for some reason, parts are plentiful and rather inexpensive.
Perhaps this is due to them having to make many replacement parts and thereby lowering costs in bulk?
Who Knows?.........
 

jkp62

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So no one has a warning regarding this Briggs ( ELS ) series motors . I realize how it has been maintained is crucial , which I don`t know . But , some designs are bad from the beginning, some not. I just want to know if this is a descent design . Thanks
 

HarmonySeeker

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So no one has a warning regarding this Briggs ( ELS ) series motors . I realize how it has been maintained is crucial , which I don`t know . But , some designs are bad from the beginning, some not. I just want to know if this is a descent design . Thanks
As bertsmobile sez, they fitted thousands with 'em and if there was enough warranty work, you'd hear about it.
Just like those mid 90's Craftsmen motors. Notorious.
My go-to is to put the mower/engine numbers in a YouTube search and see what comes up, then make up my mind.
If it's in as nice condition as the picture shows and you can have it at minimal cost, I'd certainly take the shot myself.
Do you live near Ohio? I'll pick it up.
 

cruzenmike

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Any ONE person with a bad experience with their ELS, which has likely happened, COULD give you a warning about the ELS series of engines but what would that persuade you to do? A person with a bad experience is 10x more likely to share it than a person with a good experience, that is unless they are being coerced into giving feedback.

If what the others are saying is true, the ELS is neither the best, not the worst engine that Briggs has made. The ELS is certainly not to the quality and performance of a Vanguard series engine but it isn't their worst engine either.

All the same things could be said for Kohler as well. Courage, not the best, 7000 series, arguably better, Command Pro, better than the others?

I don't have the specs or copious amounts of data to "prove" the ELS to be either great or terrible, but I did own one and short of a fuel related carb issue and a governor that I broke by mistake (fiddling with governor arm during full throttle), the engine ran smooth and had plenty of power. When I got rid of my Cub for my Exmark, the mower had almost 300 hours and it was running perfectly.

At the end of the day you just gotta go with your gut and should you decide to embark on this journey set a limit for when you call it a quits; just in case the problems get too costly.
 

HarmonySeeker

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I didn`t post a photo, but it is in nice shape. I live in Western NY, Rochester area .
Here's a link I found interesting on this site. Good reading:

I have a cousin or two in North Tonawanda. Haven't seen them in years. I thought your area was still in the Snowblower forum part of the year with all the snow you got!
 
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