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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've touched on this before, but I am open to suggestions.

I have an 18hp Honda that I am planning on putting into my 444, though I have heard concerns from others here about that, so:

1) Why should I NOT use the Honda?

and

2) What engine would you recommend I use instead (keep in mind ease of obtaining parts and serviceability)? Be specific with the engines in replies, not just a brand; i.e. Briggs horizontally opposed twin, Kohler single piston, etc.

I don't mind trading for another engine, I just happen to have the Honda right now.


Thanks!
 

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You've already got the Honda... what have you got to lose, other than time spent fiddling? Personally, I LIKE the fiddling so to me it's a no-brainer. But if you don't want to mess with it then order one of the repower kits the other folks mentioned.


Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm with you on the fiddling, bob. I enjoy the challenge. I've just seen other folks say they wouldn't use the honda, so I was just looking for discussion and opinion.

Also, this isn't yet my primary tractor, so some extra time is not a big deal.
 

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As long as time is not a factor I say rebuild the Kohler. Probably cheaper in the long run also. But if you think you'll be happier with the Honda go for it. Also while you are at it try and keep track of all the changes you have to make so it can be easier for the next guy who wants to try it.
 

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I would ask the question whats the story with the 14HP Kohler that's in the tractor? If you rebuild the existing engine you don't have to worry about the possible new pump bracket and possible new shaft size and length (have to cut?), love joy half, wiring, possible new exhaust and clearances. Do you have the time? Another consideration is cost, I have found several kits out there with V twins but for a minimum $1700-2000. My understanding is that the 14HP Kohlers are relatively inexpensive rebuild.What HP/model is the Honda? BTW I thought it was verified by a member a few months ago that Ingersoll used a few Honda's in some of their loaders. JMHO
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
 

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If I found myself in your position whereby I owned a 444 with a worn K engine and I also had a Honda sitting on a shelf in my garage.....................I'd put the Honda into the tractor providing that I intended to keep this tractor for the next ten years and use it as my daily worker. I would not get rid of the K engine. Instead, I'd gather up the parts I needed to rebuild it and then at some point during that 10 year stretch, I'd do the rebuild as time and money permitted.

Installing any "foreign" engine into the 444 has two hurdles that must be jumped. The first one is to obtain a PTO clutch shaft that will bolt onto the Honda flywheel and the 2nd one is to fabricate a decent exhaust system. The rest of the issues are minor. Some wiring changes, choke/throttle, fuel supply and making sure that the crankshaft is at the correct height/position. Ten years down the road..........if you want to restore the tractor or sell it to someone with that process in mind.............changing it all back to OEM is not difficult if all parts removed are boxed and set aside.

Honda makes fantastic engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Honda in possession is a GX610 18hp V-twin. The story of the original 14 horse Kohler is that I don't have it and never have. I bought the tractor sans motor with the intention of putting one in myself and using it for a working tractor and keeping my 3012 as the mower. I wouldn't mind finding another single piston Kohler to use, preferably a 16hp.

I'm not a purist, per se, so hood modifications and the like don't bother me. In fact, I would go to a (gasp) bulgy hood if need be.

From what I've found, finding an engine with a flywheel pto shaft is the tricky part. Hence asking around here for the stub shaft. There is a machine shop where I work, I may have to enlist some help from them.
 

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When I dropped a Kohler V into my tractor, I had little problem finding a Flywheel PTO assembly in various sizes. I even believe I found it available from a Paypal place, which is why I remember it.

So, I dont know if finding the same for a Honda would be much different... its not like its a Rare engine in the states at this point. So, even if you buy one, you will just need to pick a shaft diameter large enough to have it machined down to the size you need for the clutch you intend to use. Usually, they are all pretty long.
 

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WVshooter said:
The Honda in possession is a GX610 18hp V-twin. The story of the original 14 horse Kohler is that I don't have it and never have. I bought the tractor sans motor with the intention of putting one in myself and using it for a working tractor and keeping my 3012 as the mower. I wouldn't mind finding another single piston Kohler to use, preferably a 16hp.
I'm not a purist, per se, so hood modifications and the like don't bother me. In fact, I would go to a (gasp) bulgy hood if need be.
From what I've found, finding an engine with a flywheel pto shaft is the tricky part. Hence asking around here for the stub shaft. There is a machine shop where I work, I may have to enlist some help from them.
Sounds like the Honda is the way to go in that case. I'm going to vote for the Honda! Please keep us posted, love to see pictures/tech of all the steps of the install if you go in that direction. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
:222: :446: Best Regards, Rich
 

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It would be alot easier to fit the stock engine back in. The power would be very similar

For you, a Command would cost more to alot more than a rebuild. You would use less fuel and the front end would be lighter. But the engine has a smaller power band and isn't nearly as well built.
 

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JMTC - having contemplated a similar scenarion with a Briggs Vanguard (just because I already had it), I quickly realized (after several nights writing down the steps) that I could (and DID) sell the Vanguard for much more than it cost to find and rebuild a Kohler. All else was a complete bolt in! But the tractor came with all the parts and a busted block/cam/etc. I found a block from a Ford/Jacobson or Cub, don't really remember.

I'm thinking that Boomer put a Honda in one of his, so you might tag him for his thoughts.
 

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I know this is an old post, but I'd like to hear if there are any new opinions. I have a tired 444 and a really tired 446. I plan to rebuild the 444 but not till the winter weather passes as I need it for blowing snow, I have been looking at repower kits for the 446 and was wondering if anybody has any new info on them. There is quite a price difference and I'd like to know why.
 

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I myself would try to keep it original however if that's not possible I would call Jim at Jim repair. Pretty sure as suggested that Boomer does have one with a Honda. Am pretty sure he would give you some answers
 

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My vote is a Honda if you can get all the attaching parts. Simply because they are so dependable. Almost all ag equipment companies that need gas power have used or switched to Hondas because of their dependability. [You don't want 150 head of hungry bawling cattle to feed by hand because the feed cart won't run!] With proper maintenance it will outlast you.
 
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