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If You Had A Choice To Rebuild Or Get A New Engine?

engine replacement?

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#1 maxedout OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 11:39 AM

If you had a choice would you rebuild your old original Kohler or re-power with a new Engine?

I am trying to decide what I'd like to do in the future with my John Deere 210,214 tractors as in way of engines. I know due to age that my engines will either need a complete rebuild which is well beyond my own capabilities or a re-power which is well within what I can do.

The cost of a rebuild isn't that bad unless I ran into something really bad inside the engines. I've got a quote on a re-build for the 214 and actually I was surprised it was cheaper than I had thought. Around $350 including boring the engine and parts and labor.

I've got a quote on a re-power for a Briggs 18hp with the kit to switch it over included for $1900.00 bucks which I thought was very expensive. It's expensive considering the ages of my tractors and the expense of re-packing the transmissions and belts. To re-power I'd have well over $4000.00 dollars in a near 30 year old machine and honestly I can't justify spending that money to my wife.

I can purchase a much newer gt for less and have all the new advancements in engines and transmissions.

Granted I love the old John Deere tractors because they're built to last a life time.

I'd guess everyone has asked these questions a million times and all here have been faced with this. In my case I have very limited income due to my disabilities and our income is based upon my wife's check solely. That said, I would still like to make the right decision and what will last a long time.

What's your opinion guys?

#2 OldBuzzard ONLINE  



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 11:49 AM

Re-build, no question.

A good re-build would be good for ANOTHER 30 yrs.

I doubt that any new engine you could replace it with would give that kind of service.

Edited by OldBuzzard, June 26, 2012 - 11:50 AM.

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#3 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 11:58 AM

For me I like to keep as original as I can, plus you can't beat the old Kohlers they are great engines.

If I did have to replace one I would either find an old one to rebuild or I would do a diesel conversion.

IMO That $350 for a rebuild is a great price! Just the parts alone to rebuild yourself usually costs around $100.

There is no real wrong answer to this. No matter what you do for a power source, You still saved a Classic machine from going to the melting pots in China.
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#4 Ryan313 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 26, 2012 - 12:14 PM

I agree with the others. I would do a rebuild. Not only is it cheaper, but you can keep the originality of the tractor better. Also, like Chris said, the old kohlers are the way to go!
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#5 maxedout OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 12:15 PM

Oh sweet JOY! When I saw replies I had to come see! Thank you guys you are helping me in so many ways by thinking a re-build is the way to go!

No worries about these tractors going to China to be melted in my life time! Nope as long as I am living they'll be safe running or not. I traded blood sweat and tears to claim them and no ways would I let either go!

I can't afford a restore and really for my purposes of owning them it would be money better spent to do as suggested and get them old Kohlers purring like kittens!

Yes I like that keep it original concept! Love it and both my tractors are as original as they can be right now!

You know, I was never a real Kohler fan until I started playing into the GT hobby and really like them. Least the 2 I have because one they're a little easier to work with than engines made today. I like how well they made them and the fact they made them with a re-build in mind!

Thank you guys for replying and I hope many others here also reply!
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#6 bowtiebutler956 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 12:28 PM

I'm not sure I can say anything the others havn't already said, but I would rebiuld for sure! These old Kohlers are tough engines, and far better than any modern engine you could replace it with! I just rebiult a K301 in my Wheel Horse recently, and it cost less than $200 for parts, and machine shop work. :thumbs:

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 12:29 PM

It can be a personal choice, where ther are pro's & Con's to either choice.
I know my brother put one of the small engine Warehouse Kits with the 23 Hp Briggs Vangard in his John Deere 420 last summer.
He knew he would run it till it dropped and not be concerned with resale value or originality.
It makes for a sweet running machine.
Still he misses the Onan and wishes he had rebuilt?

#8 bgkid2966 OFFLINE  



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 12:50 PM

A rebuild is definitely the way to go. The old Kohlers are great. My K301 is a survivor thanks to a rebuild. If you are not good with assembly, I am sure your machine shop will do that for a few bucks more.


#9 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 01:58 PM

Rebuild 100%!!!!!! That motor will last you a long time with a good rebuild! Like others have said, nothing beats a good old Kohler!! Plus, I think keeping it original is always a good choice!

#10 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 02:32 PM

Rebuilding a Kohler is not that hard. Plus you have the folks here to help you along. I say rebuild. Only way I would go repower is if the rod was hanging out a hole in the side of the block!

#11 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted June 26, 2012 - 03:19 PM

I have a 314 with a cracked block in a JD314 and am looking for a replacement Kohler K engine. One of the reasons the rebuild kits are so expensive is that the engine they use is a high quality commercial duty Vtwin. In researching why they use this engine I found that it is actually a better fit physically than many of the new engines, most of which are the slanty cylinder Honda clones. Even the commercial quality Kohler, Subaru etc singles have adopted this angled cylinder design. The situation is probably easier to deal with in a 200 series because the crankshaft runs crossways in the frame. When trying to see if a cheaper single cylinder engine would fit in my 314 I realized that the frame of the tractor was built around the oil pan in the K series and that makes it very difficult to fit a new single cylinder engine in. The crankshaft is higher on the new engines because the mounting tabs are at the bottom of the oil pan. On the Kohler the oil pan hangs down below the mounts.
If your engine is just tired and hasn't coughed up a balance gear or a rod then I think it would be much easier and cheaper to rebuild. A good quality new single cylinder engine will run you 700 or more and then you have to make it fit which may not be easy or cheap. 150$ or so for parts and if necessary another 150 at a machine shop and you could have an engine that will last you a long time and I'm pretty sure it would out power one of the new engines of the same HP rating. I guess my vote is for rebuild as well!



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 03:35 PM

Rebuild all the way. Especially an old Kohler. There easy to do and parts are relatively inexpensive.

#13 RoosterLew OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 03:47 PM

SO i guess I should preface with ; "Please, none take this personally"
I hate to see a classic piece of American history ruined with a Japanese...or worse yet Chinese engine.
I will never believe that is a good Idea!
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#14 tinbender7 OFFLINE  



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Posted June 26, 2012 - 06:16 PM

you could rebuild 4 engines and still not have what it cost for 1 new replacement, and still have the classic complete.

#15 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2012 - 06:59 PM

I agree with what all the others have stated. I am getting ready to rebuild one myself. Good Luck !!

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