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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again!

Even though our Onan is now running beautifully, my wife had begun prowling garden tractor blogs in search of what NEW thing we should buy when something big lets go.

With all the implements we have (and use, a lot), I'd rather rebuild the engine when it's time, or repower.

I see a repower kit available, with a Vanguard engine-but I've never got an answer from the vendor (via email, admittedly) on whether the kit will result in the engine turning the wrong way, as do the newer Ingersolls.

I hesitate to mention the vendor's name, as they may not have received my emails (and this is not an imminent thing, so I don't want to waste phone time for a businessman) but has anyone repowered with a Vanguard in a way that would keep things going the right way?

Thanks,
Aaron
 

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they will turn the same way your onan will they put the pump on the back with a new mount the new ingy have the pump on the flywheel I have never done this kit but looked in to it pretty heavy and decied I liked my kohler better but if I had an onan I would do the kit I was told they use less fuel and run smoother but I can not test to that


Todd
 

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Aaron,

All of the engines rotate in the same direction whether you are talking about Kohler, Onan, Vanguard, Tecumseh, Honda, Kawasaki, Robin, Wisconsin, Subaru Robin etc etc.

The difference lies in how the engine is mounted in the frame of the tractor. All of the 3 digit Case and Ingersoll garden tractors had engines under the hood with the flywheel facing the front of the tractor. When Ingersoll came out with the 4 digit garden tractors, they rotated the same Onan and Kohler engines 180 degrees in the tractor frame so that the flywheel faced the rear of the tractor.

All of the belt driven attachments had to be redesigned because the PTO clutch was now spinning in the opposite direction.

As for re-powering your tractor, this is what I recommend. Keep you eyes open on Craigslist for another 446 that can be bought for low cost. Bring that tractor home and remove the engine from it. Then, dismantle that engine, take the bare block along with the crankshaft to a local machine shop that is SKILLED in Onan engine work.

Get them to bore the cylinders to the next size of piston and turn the crank throws to the next under-size. Get them to advise you on the condition of the valves, valve seats, valve guides, valve springs and have them profile the camshaft.

New pistons, wrist pins, rings, con-rods, gaskets, seals and bearings should be installed. The block should be de-greased, sandblasted clean, have the cylinder decks checked to make sure they are dead flat. The heads should be cleaned the same way and they should also be checked for flatness.

If you and the machine shop conduct a thorough rebuild of that engine and you look after it properly, you can expect 3000 to 4000 hours of service from it. At 100 hours per year, that's 30 to 40 years.

You will spend more money to buy a Vanguard kit and you will lose the ability to have the mechanical clutch. You will have to rewire the tractor, replace the ignition switch, figure out an exhaust system, possibly have to raise the front of your hood for clearance and solve a few more problems.

Put the rebuilt engine into your work tractor and enjoy that Onan power, which is superior to the Vanguard. Then dismantle the parts tractor you bought, right to the bare frame and do a full restoration on it. The engine from your work tractor is running just fine and that's all the engine you need for a show tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well now, that's interesting.

Besides problems adapting a new engine, are you implying the torque curve of the Vanguard is, how you say, not so flat?

We use every bit of the 18 HP on our 448, especially with a winter like this. I notice when the snow is heavy and deep, the revs dip down a little and the exhaust note gets, well, rowdy, but the snow keeps flying.

Our 13 HP Honda-powered BCS also has a single stage snow thrower attachment, similar in concept to the Ingersoll unit but all gears, and even though it is only 28", in the same heavy snow conditions (consolidated roof-rake debris, knee to mid-thigh deep), it seems to fall off peak revs more quickly than I would expect, indicating a steeper curve. Sure beats shoveling, though.

Aaron
 

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Tom Hanson is an Ingersoll dealer, a member of this forum and a long-time user of these tractors. For many years, Tom owned and used a 226 Case to cut his grass and blow his snow. He recently sold that tractor to a customer and is now using a Vanguard powered Ingersoll 3000 series.

Tom has repeatedly stated in posts on the Yahoo forum that his old Onan powered Case outshines his new Vanguard powered Ingersoll when the going gets tough. Torque curve info is out there for those who wish to track it down. The old Kohler K and M engines will kick the ass of any of the new V-twins in this area. Torque is what matters. It's all about peak torque and how long an engine will maintain near-peak torque as the RPM's begin to drop off a bit.
 

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X
To add to what Tom A said, they Onan has better torque than Vanguard, but where Vanguard has it over Onan is in fuel use.....newer design and better fuel ecomny. But for the amount of fuel I would save in a year, I'll stick with the ONAN so its there when I need like this last 17+" snowfall. And as Tom H will tell you, if you decide to sell your Case, its worth more w/Onan than Vanguard. IF i was to repower it, it would be from Jim's as he is VERY helpful and answers emails/phone calls in timely fashion.
If your able to rebuild the Onan yourself, you'll be money ahead as well, even thou Onan parts are pricey. Boomer on this site can fix you with all you need. IMHO, Bob M
 

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Depends how easily you can find another good tractor too.
Why replace the engine when a suitable replacement tractor can probably be had cheaper?

I'd vote, just buy a new used tractor, and keep your old one as parts tractor :thumbup:
 

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I agree in keeping with the Onan. A B43M 16hp produces 32 ft lbs of torque and it's a flat torque curve.
Like Hydriv mentioned a proper rebuild is expensive, but it will yield 30 + years of use. Then it don't seem so bad. :thumbsup:
 

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Hi Group,
I suggest that you who are Yahoo group members go there and find message # 96221 from Tom Hanson.
I repowered my 4018 with a Vanguard 18 and I will lock horns with any 18 Onan powered Case/Ingersoll. I sold my 448/P218 repower and I repowered my 4018 that had a P218 however tired and missused by the PO. I have no heartburn with Onans or Kohlers but you cannot buy new ones. I considered having the P218 in my 4018 rebuilt and the quote that I got from an engine shop was $1,800-$2,100 with a 90 day warranty. I repowered my 4018 with a new Vanguard of modern design that came with a 24 month warranty for considerable less money. The Vanguard uses less fuel and runs fine on the imported crap 87 gasoline that we get here on the east coast. Less fuel is not a big woop but much easier cold weather starting, the same weight synthetic engine oil year round, little to no oil consumption, parts available everywhere, reaonably priced parts, easy maintenance, and Ingersoll installs Vanguards exclusively. I'm not crazy about electric PTO clutches, but there will come a time when left had discharge Case/Ingersoll tractors will have no support for parts both engine and tractor. I mow commercially with my 448, 4018, but mainly with a Scag ZTR. Here in rocky, rooty, hilly New England no matter what machine you use it will get abuse, the stronger machines live longer. Mower blades for the N46 deck on my 448 are no longer available in the aftermarket, they may be still available at a dealer, but I used to buy a dozen or more at a time. Blades for the RM48 deck are available but expensive. I buy blades for my Scag 24 at a time and I have a blade sharpening machine, nice sharpener but very time consuming to do blades correctly.
Bob MacGregor in CT :mrgreen: :geek: :wave: :winterrules: Unfortunately!!
 

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It should be apparent to all members that I have a strong respect for Bob Macgregor because I chose him as a keystone member of this forum and gave him the "Master Mechanic" badge.

What Bob wrote about this issue, comes from his own needs as a businessman that owns equipment to go out and generate an income. From his perspective, he isn't wrong but Bob's perspective is quite a bit different than that of most members inhabiting this forum. Most homeowners put 50 hours of use on their tractor each year, on average. Bob likely averages that much usage every two weeks during the grass cutting season.

xfolkboat does not cut grass for a living. As such, many of the points that are highly valid to Bob are not nearly as valid to xfolkboat. I agree with Bob that Vanguard parts are cheaper to buy and that they are easier to find. However, the durability of the Onan engine is legendary. Therefore, once it has been rebuilt properly, the need for parts would be minimal. Thousands of Onan-powered Case tractors have been built since 1972 and there have been thousands of happy owners.

Onan's were the engine choice of John Deere, Sears, Wheelhorse, Gravely and many more brands that produced GT's that are just as tough as the Case. Those tractors are also still in use today and are collected, restored and taken to shows by proud owners. Parts for Onan's are not going to disappear from the landscape for a long, long time because those engines are also powering thousands upon thousands of welding machines, portable generators and other equipment.

The demand for parts is quite high. The garden tractor collecting hobby is still in its infancy but it is growing every year. Whenever there is a void for a particular part, someone will come along and fill it. HAPCO does just that for the Deere collectors, Jim Daenzer and Steve Guider have produced parts for early Case and Colt tractors. Just look at the world of car collecting. You can build a Model T Ford or a 32 Ford with aftermarket parts.

Hundreds of aftermarket parts are sold for Packards and now the muscle cars of the 60's and 70's are being looked after with the blessings of Ford, GM and Chryco. Eastman could stop the whole Ingersoll program tomorrow and in short order, people would step up and fill the gaps left by them. As I see it, this is a once-in-a-lifetime decision for xfolkboat. If he stays with the Onan engine, then anyone can work on this tractor because all of the Service Manuals apply to it. Also, the parts book and operator's manual are 100 percent relevant.

When you stick a "foreign" engine under the hood, you create an instant problem for yourself. If something goes wrong with the tractor and you have to take it to someone for repair, they have no reference material that is 100 percent correct to help them with parts replacement or with the repair. They have to figure out what was original, what was modified and what was used to make it all happen. Someone has to pay for that extra time. Guess who?

And if you go to sell a re-powered tractor, no dealer will touch it because of those reasons and most private individuals will shy away from it because of the potential nightmare that can come with re-powered units. If owning an Onan powered tractor frightens you, then sell it. Go and find a Vanguard powered 4016, 4018, 4020 or 4020PS from the 90's. Those can be had for less than 2 grand.
 

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Hi Tom,
Is Linamar still producing the P series/LX700 series in Canada? And if so may they be shipped to the US?
I will say this that my 1985 448 that I repowered in 1996 with a new P218 that was spec 10936 which is setup as a replacement for B series Onans in Case/Ingersoll tractors, is the best machine that I ever had and I recently sold it to a friend here in CT.
The B48 that was original to the 448 had some grief and was overhauled and put back in. Whomever did the work wasn't carefull when he reinstalled the front bearing housing and the flywheel and the garter seal was folded back for about 40-50 degrees of the circle. This let engine oil leak by and helped to plug up the cooling fins which in turn lead to overheating of one cylinder and connecting rod breakage. Onan engines have peculiarities as every engine does and one needs to know what they are when dealing with them. However there are basic maintenance principles that the technician must know and exercise for every maintenance situation and the lack of these appears to an increasing problem as time goes on.
At any rate, the skill and expertise levels of the folks here varies greatly and this has a dramatic affect on the outcome of maintenance performed on their machines.
I will go to the Onan engine section and post what I have experienced to keep Onans happy and running.
I don't like being down to one Ingersoll so when all this frozen crap clears out I will look for a 4000 series machine be it Onan or Vanguard powered and renew its life!!!
Zero turn machines cut grass very well but do nothing else, Case/Ingersolls cut grass very well and do everything else very well also.
To give you and Idea of how I have used my Ingersolls, I stock repaired Hydrabagger blower housings and repaired and rebalanced impellors!!! Many of you don't know the significance of this statement.
Mad Mackie in CT :wave: :geek: :shock: :roll:
 

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Linamar is alive and well and living in Guelph, Ontario...about 45 minutes west of me.

All production of Onan branded engines along with Linamar branded copies of the Onan were permanently discontinued about seven years ago. There was no way that the engine, as designed, could be modified to meet the stringent emissions regulations that began in California and found their way elsewhere.

Had it not been for those regulations, I believe that Ingersoll would have kept right on using Onan's and Kohler Magnums.

Those who are seeking a new engine should speak with Boomer as he apparently has access to some.
 

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Hi Tom,
I wasn't sure what the Linamar status was. Air polution and emissions has largely become a political football in my opinion with the manufacturers and users of small engines being the loosers in this "Game"!!
Bob MacGregor in CT
 

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club.
last summer i did score three brand new short blocks, and one brand new complete engine.
B43G short block 1 1/8 crank (a 110xxxx engine that can be use as a P or a BM or a BG)
T260 taper crank (sold to ME)
NHC 1 7/16 crank (used in thousands of skid steer )
B48G prototype complete (sold)
i WILL continue to look for more.
as far as i know some P short blocks are ava.yet. (2200.00)
thank you. boomer
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Fascinating stuff-Hydra Bagger impellers in stock? Whoa...

I'm maybe a little closer to 75-100 hours a year, what with lawn/field mowing, leaf collection, snow removal and log splitting on our place, plus carting soil around the property. My 448 shows 3343 hours on the meter, which stopped working a few years ago-but it runs beautifully, uses nearly no oil despite all the attempts at nest building by the unfortunate mice who think the engine looks cozy.

I'm no collector, but I prefer older style equipment that can be repaired easily by me, plus I have a lot of implements-all used often-that would be expensive to replace if I switched to a modern tractor.

Resale value of the tractor isn't a big issue, but usability, reliability and ease of maintenance are. I guess this conversation will continue.
 

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Replacing engines is always a hot topic. I think it's a matter of use and what you plan on doing with your tractor that is key to the final determination of repower/rebuild original.

Some people are purists and believe it is sacrilegious to repower with a newer engine. Like putting a 350 in a 55 Chevy.

OTOH, the people that put a 350 in their 55 and upgrade other components want to drive their 55 with minimal problems. Like putting a Vanguard in your Case.

I have nothing against either camp so who is correct? Neither and it is a pointless argument. It's a matter of what you expect from your equipment. If you repower, chances are you will never look back and continue to enjoy your tractor in the application for which it was designed many years into the future with a minimum amount of engine trouble. If you bought the right tractor and chose the right repower, you will probably go to the grave with it so resale isn't an issue. If you chose not to repower, that's great too, but I would advise picking up any Onan parts you come across because you know parts availability won't be better in the future and prices aren't coming down.

I have a few Onan's buried in the rafters that I have not seen in some time. If I do not use them, I will drag them out in about 10 years when I retire we'll see what they bring, (along with some 55 Chevy parts, lol).

Now git on those tractors and git some work done! lol :razz:
 

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xfolkboat said:
Hello again!

Even though our Onan is now running beautifully, my wife had begun prowling garden tractor blogs in search of what NEW thing we should buy when something big lets go.
Forget the engine issue, were can I find a wife like that?? Mine trys to keep me off the internet so I won't buy anything else!!
 

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Tom A/Group
But those Onan/Linmar engines could still be made TODAY and sold to repower those CASE/JD/Miller welders etc.....as a replacement engine are not required to meet Calf or any other emission test..... Kohler still make limit number of spec's of K seris engines. So Linmar/Briggs could have continued making L head engines, just in smaller quanity had they wanted too. Smaller build numbers do increase costs. Bob M
 

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I agree. However, let's look at the big picture. There were crank output shafts that were splined, tapered and several different diameters and lengths of keyed shafts. There were 16, 18 and 20 HP engines. How many short runs would Linamar have to do to make 100 crate engines for each spec? Who would store the engines while buyers were being sought? What would the price be?

Today, guys can find brand new Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler, Vanguard twins for $900.00 to $1800.00 to repower what they have. If I was adamant about having a B43, I'd just go buy a donor tractor and then rebuild the engine to install in what I was restoring or find a good running, used B43 and use that.
 
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