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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. Just wonder if anyone knows where in Maine I can have my 18hp Onan rebuilt? And also the approximate cost. I'm sick of dealing with it chewing up oil and smoking all the time and just want to have it gone through/rebuilt. Pistons, rings, valves possibly bored.
Thanks,
Steve
 

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Case446 said:
I don't think it needs a complete rebuild, just pistons rings valve. But anyway, I guess its cheaper to buy a brand new motor....
Another member here had an Onan professionally rebuilt by an experienced shop and the cost was around $1600 if I recall correctly. If you do a repower with a quality engine such as a Vanguard you will have at least that much invested by the time you're done with necessary tractor modifications. And, the resale value of the tractor will be less with a different engine.
 

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Case446 said:
I don't think it needs a complete rebuild, just pistons rings valve. But anyway, I guess its cheaper to buy a brand new motor....
Let's say that you decide to re-power the tractor instead of rebuilding the Onan.

You will have to choose between a Kohler, Honda, Kawasaki, Generac or Vanguard engine.

The physical size of those V-twins will dictate how much you will be required to modify the hood of your tractor. The sides of Ingersoll models with Vanguards have bulges for clearance. Some engines required the hood hinge to be raised up.

The wiring of your tractor will be different than what is needed for the new engine and you may have to change your ignition switch.

The main issue will be the PTO clutch. Your mechanical PTO EZ clutch won't work on the new tractors unless you pay a machine shop to create a special main shaft to bolt onto the flywheel of the new engine. Therefore, you will be forced to buy an electric clutch. Expect to pay around $300.00 for that plus you still need some sort of adaptor to mount it to the flywheel. Oh...you will need to drill a hole in your dashboard for the switch to operate the clutch. Of course, you will have to buy that switch and a separate fuse as well as add the wiring to hook it up.

Moving now to the back side of the engine, you will have to find a motor with the correct size of crank stub. You may have to cut that stub down because they are usually longer than what is needed for a Case tractor. You will also need a mounting bracket for the hydraulic pump and you have to make sure that the engine you buy had threaded holes to accept a pump mount. The engine must be positioned on the frame of the tractor correctly so that the PTO pulley lines up with the mule pulleys for the snow blower and mowing deck. You must make sure that the engine is not mounted too high or too low or the stock belt lengths won't work for driving the deck or blower. Most likely, you will have to design and fabricate a mounting plate for this new engine because the current holes in the frame won't line up with the new engine's mounting holes.

The other stuff such as redoing the fuel line, choke cable, throttle cable etc will be a piece of cake compared to creating a new, custom exhaust system. You will need a new muffler, exhaust flanges, pipe and a bunch of pipe bends. A TIG welder is the most ideal method to weld up the many joins between pipe bends and straight pieces. With some luck, you should be able to turn out a nice looking exhaust system after a few days of work.

On the other side of the coin, you could remove the Onan engine all by yourself. If you have some experience with engines, you could dismantle it. If you don't have that experience, then you could just put the engine in your trunk, take it to a local engine shop and leave it with them. They will dismantle it, measure the cylinder bores to determine wear, taper and whether the bore is oval or round. They will measure the crankshaft journals to see if the crank needs to be turned. The valves and seats will be inspected and the springs will be tested. At that point, they will be able to tell you if the block needs to be bored and by how much. They will advise if you need new valves, seats, guides and springs. The camshaft can be profiled to make sure you are getting all the lift you should be getting. The head and the top of the cylinders may need to be re-surfaced if they are not dead flat.

Once they do all the necessary work and reassemble the engine, all you have to do is to put it in your trunk, bring it home and put it back in your tractor. It will bolt right back in with no measuring, no fabrication, no modifications. Everything will fit. Everything will work and you will have an engine that should be OK for another 20 years of use if you take care of it.

Unless you intend to keep this tractor for AT LEAST 10 years, do not do either one of the above. Sell the tractor as it is and go buy something newer with lower hours.
 

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I spoke with these people.

Portland Automotive Machine Services
5 Laurence Dr, Gorham, ME 04038
(207) 699-2460


They are a machine shop that have experience with Onan CCK, CCKA and CCKB engines. If they can rebuild those, then doing a BF or BG is not a stretch. They can bore your cylinders, turn your crank and decide if the camshaft needs to be sent out for profiling. Since they are about 20 minutes from your place, you might want to pay them a visit, look over their facility and discuss the costs for various aspects of the rebuild prior to putting a wrench on your engine.

Ask them what the charge to bore one cylinder, turn the crankshaft, do a valve job providing no parts are needed. An experienced shop can usually tell you the maximum amount a rebuild will cost you if they have to do every procedure known to engine rebuilding.

I also spoke with this shop.


Engine Works Unlimited
1246 Roosevelt Trl, Raymond, ME 04071
(207) 655-2651


They too are experienced with Onan rebuilding and are about a 40 minute drive from you.

Places with their own machine shop and Onan experience are out there if you phone around. All I did was Google "Yellow Pages Maine" and then select Yarmouth. Then I chose "Engines - rebuilding" and looked at the listings that came up before choosing two likely candidates. If I can do that from Canada, anyone can do the same thing right in their own backyard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you very much for your feed back and taking the time to do the research for me! I will start by contacting those machine shops and see what they have to say. In your post before your last one, you listed off all the engine choices i had and I noticed Onan was not on the list? Can you not buy new Onan motors anymore? I wouldn't even consider replacing with anything BUT an Onan.
Thanks again
 

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Onan stopped building the engines due to EPA regulations. They were built for a few years in Canada by Linamar until production was discontinued entirely. Many continue to believe they are the best engine for our tractors due to the high torque and long life.
 

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Case446 said:
Thank you very much for your feed back and taking the time to do the research for me! I will start by contacting those machine shops and see what they have to say. In your post before your last one, you listed off all the engine choices i had and I noticed Onan was not on the list? Can you not buy new Onan motors anymore? I wouldn't even consider replacing with anything BUT an Onan.
Thanks again
Bart is correct.

However, like all manufacturers, Onan made their engine for a large variety of users who had different requirements. Every engine produced had a specification number on it that tells a story about how it was made. Things that changed are oil pan design, whether it came with an oil filter, how many amps the alternator put out, what speed it was governed to and what the crank output shaft looked like. Places such as Small Engine Warehouse bought up thousands of these engine. Some of them are not very popular due to the way they were spec'd. But that doesn't mean that YOU can't buy one of those engines and change the spec to make it work. Let's say the engine was perfect except it had a tapered crank stub. If you can find a Case crankshaft that has standard size journals, then that crank could be polished and inserted into the engine. If the tapered shaft is long and large diameter, then the crank could be removed, put in a lathe and the taper changed to straight shaft. Slow moving engines can sometimes be bought really cheap.

It's all about doing your Onan homework after getting a list of engines and the spec numbers for those engines from the places that liquidate them. Go to the FAQ's and find the "Where to buy STUFF"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am on vacation next week so I plan to go and visit both of these machine shops and see what they look like and see what they have to say. I have to get the ball rolling so I can get back on my tractor! Ive decided to stop using it until it is fixed :sad: I dont want to do anymore damage to the motor and make it worse. I will let you know what I find out.
Thanks,
Steve
 

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I think Bob MacKenzie lives in your are.....look in member page and try to convince him to help you.....GREAT guy and very smart senior guy. At least use him as sounding board.......be sure to replace main AND cam bearings along with boring and crank turned if needed. BE SURE to check oil pump and remove oil bypass......CLEAN BLOCK/CLEAN BLOCK before reassembleing if doing it yourself w/Bob's help. TAKE no shortcuts and it will easly last another 30+ yrs. But if gas is in oil, fix that first.......it may not need rebuilding yet......use straight 30 oil over 40 degrees. Bob M
 

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Hydriv is correct. I spent around $1600 to have my b43m completely redone and that's with me providing the .020 pistons, old style cam bearings, and rods. I did have the complete rotating assembly balanced which added to the cost along with shaving the heads and engine block surfaces flat. Mine had to be bored and the crank turned along with a valve job.

FYI the engine ran "good" prior to the rebuild. The engine in my 226 that you see in my YouTube videos here... http://www.youtube.com/user/mjoe7?featu ... PnD22i10Pk is the one I had rebuilt and put it in the 446 I restored. It ran good considering all that ended up being wrong with it. :headscratcher:

To save some money bring it to them dismantled, they may charge for having to tear it apart, :eh: or at the very least have all the tin off and the intake/carb along with coil plug wires, exhaust, starter ect. taken off before bringing it to them. This is what I did and they still charged to dismantle it but not as much as it would have. This may be something to ask them about when you visit. :wink:

Good luck. IMO it's worth it! :thumbsup:
 
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