Alright.. Just finished installing a Briggs 18hp in my Case 444. Runs great.. mows like a champ. A few odds and ends that need finished.. figured I would find a forum and post them for some ideas.
The #1 thing on my mind. The engine is now bolted directly to the frame. I have seen this done in many pictures of repowered Case tractors but the reason this bothers me is because I know the frame does have a certain amount of flex..I would hate to fatigue the bottom of the engine and end up cracking the crank case over time.
The repower kit I bought did come with a solid mounting plate but it raised the engine about an inch off the frame and there was not enough room under the hydraulic reservoir for the pump. I could have raised the reservoir, but that would raise the battery, then I would have to raise the hood.. thats a big snowball. Anyway.. I may possibly be able to squeeze some rubber bushings in between the frame and the engine to give it a small bit of free movement. The supplied plate was solid but would still offer a great deal of flex vs. directly bolted to the frame rails.
The second issue is the hot air from the engine cooling now blows directly on the firewall, and also my legs. The hydraulic tank is damn near boiling after an hour of mower.. and so are my legs. I am thinking about making a heat shield that stands off about 1/2" from the existing one (which contacts the hydraulic tank). The new shield would extend slightly past the sides of the center console which would keep the air off my legs as well.
The other option would be to fabricate some air diverts that attache to the engine its self and direct the air out the sides. A shield would probably work just as well..
Of course the other OTHER option would be to spin the engine around and drive the pump off the flywheel.. hmmm
Anyway.. if anyone has gone through this and fixed these things or has any ideas I would love to hear them!