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Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

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Just Curious to see what you think

repower customs fabrications

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40 replies to this topic

Poll: Custom Re-Powers (53 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you think Re-Powers are acceptable on older machines?

  1. Yes, as long as it's done tastefully and to original spec's. (32 votes [60.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.38%

  2. No, spend the time and money in rebuilding the original or finding an exact replacement. (6 votes [11.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.32%

  3. Don't really care either way, as it's not my tractor and I don't have to look at it. (7 votes [13.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.21%

  4. Yes, only if the original or an exact replacement can never be found. (8 votes [15.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.09%

If going with a Re-Power, would you want:

  1. A motor as close to exact original spec's (5 votes [9.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.43%

  2. A motor as close to original spec's as possible (41 votes [77.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 77.36%

  3. As big of a motor you can find or install, even if it means re-fabricating sheet metal (7 votes [13.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.21%

When choosing the motor, what would you want?

  1. Same amount of horse power as the original (17 votes [32.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.08%

  2. Maybe 2 to 4 more horse power than the original had (22 votes [41.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.51%

  3. As much horse power as I can fit under the hood, the bigger the better (14 votes [26.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.42%

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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  


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Posted December 23, 2014 - 09:55 PM

I was chatting with another member here, and we got to talking about re-powers. He and I pretty much agreed on the same opinion, but it got me to thinking about what other members thought about it. I started a poll to get some feedback, but if you'd like to post your thoughts as well, please feel free to do so below. I think the poll questions pretty much speak for themselves, so there isn't a lot more for me to ask.

Now before anybody takes it the wrong way, this poll is not meant to criticize or to judge. It is merely a poll to see who would, or did, or is thinking about, a re-power for their garden tractor, and to feel out the members to see just how far they would go with it. That's all, nothing more.

If, for any reason this starts guys arguing, fighting, or gets out of hand, it will be deleted immediately. So when posting your opinions, please keep in mind that other members are reading this. No smart comments accepted.

Edited by johndeereelfman, December 24, 2014 - 06:44 AM.

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#2 MH81 ONLINE  


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Posted December 23, 2014 - 10:04 PM

When you say "can never be found', are you including the situation where it's economically unobtainable or unfeasible?
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#3 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  


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Posted December 23, 2014 - 10:17 PM

When you say "can never be found', are you including the situation where it's economically unobtainable or unfeasible?


For an example: The John Deere 60 and 70 lawn tractors used VH60 and VH70 Tecumseh motors with a tapered crankshaft. Most of the original motors are either blown up, or you can't find oversized pistons to rebuild them. Since the motors in most cases, can't be rebuilt, guys are looking for other motors to fit, like 8hp Briggs motors. They will work, but since they don't have the tapered crankshaft, you can't use the original tapered PTO. Thus not being able to use the mower deck.


Some guys will sit on a tractor until the original motor becomes obtainable, trying to keep the tractor as original to factory as possible, whereas other guys will either sell the tractor or look into repower options, not really caring about the originality, and only needing the tractor to do what it's needed to.


Did I answer your question Alan?

Edited by johndeereelfman, December 24, 2014 - 09:10 AM.

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#4 grnspot110 ONLINE  



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Posted December 23, 2014 - 10:28 PM

To me, it also depends on the overall condition of the tractor when starting out!


Example: most of my "customs" were pretty well parted out when I started.  Although the 60/"L/60" was complete except the blown replacement engine.

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#5 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 10:38 PM

I always try to keep as original as I can. I do not cut metal to make some thing fit. I will adapt things to the garden tractor so it is useable, but will not alter the tractor to do so. I have trouble even drilling a hole in something to put it on, I always do a lot of thinking about it, and before I do any thing, I consult my son as to what he thinks. Not to say that I have never done it on some attachments, but that's a little different story. Noel.

And I must say, that none of mine are show type tractors, they are mostly in the condition that I got them. They are in their working clothes.

Edited by propane1, December 23, 2014 - 10:48 PM.

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#6 superspeedex OFFLINE  


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Posted December 23, 2014 - 11:05 PM

Any time i do something i make it so it can be returned to factory specs easily.  And its always nice to have a modern day engine in place of and older one

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Posted December 23, 2014 - 11:29 PM

I'm not really qualified to comment on this in the "big picture" of this question as there are restorers, refurbishers, collectors, and users. I'm afraid I fall into the last catagory. Both of my MF's are tools to get stuff done around our acre. I dig them with all my heart and love using macho old ones when everyone else around me have ones bought at the big-box stores. It shows up in my trucks even, my daily drivers are 1955 and 1972.


My MF8E was re-powered by me well over 20 years ago. Got it with a blown Kohler which was probably original. Lots of shrapnel inside. It's been re-powered 3 times over the years, now with a 10 horse Tecumseh that does a great job. The MF12G has the original HH120 on it yet but is getting very tired. I did put a new STD bore piston and rings with a hone job in it but that only lasted for about half the summer. It is using a half-quart of oil in about 2 hours service again. I am apprehensive about spending well over a hundred bucks for an overbore piston but my biggest issue is any local machine shop is going to rake me over the coals saying it will take special tooling to bore that old of a block to the new piston.


I'm afraid for budget, purpose and time constraints, that a re-power may be my best option for my situation but I would not get rid on the HH120 or cut and alter the tractor itself. I built an "adapter" to put the Tecumseh on the 8E and would do a similar deal on the 12G if it comes to that. Wouldn't even bother me if I went down on horsepower by a few, but I'm NOT gonna hack the tractor.


It still boils down to the 12G has to cut grass, and the 8E has to be able to push snow!



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#8 Sparky OFFLINE  



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Posted December 23, 2014 - 11:29 PM

Troy -  the JD  8010  / 8020 large tractors are the ultimate paradox  . They were originally issued as 8010  s  to a miserable beginning .


They were recalled , rebuilt , and issued as 8020 's .  Trying to find an 8010 or it's specs would be  near impossible . Trying to recreate the exact circumstances of manufacturing of a certain day and time  would require exact testimony of those involved . I did it once and got flipped off for the efforts .

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#9 classic OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2014 - 12:05 AM

I always like to see garden tractors restored back to their original form, or if in decent shape, left as is. In my opinion, preserving early garden tractor history seems to be a bit of an obligation when I'm fortunate enough to come across one. As the years roll by, there well be less and less old machines to drag out of the weeds and bring back to life. What's common today will be scarce in the future in many cases, so I believe correct restorations should be done if at all possible.
We live in a time of opportunity that I think will end in the near future. There's only so many NOS parts out there to rebuild these pieces of history and we should be taking advantage of it while we can. I can't believe how easy it is to find the parts for some of these old Briggs engines I've been working on, and the prices have been far lower than one would think.
I don't get offended with repowers or mods that others do. It's their tractor, so they can do what makes them happy. I have a 16hp on my Allis B10 because it will throw snow a bit better than the original 10hp and it's a workhorse. I can always return it back to the original 10hp if I decide to restore it, though. I would like to see more correctly restored early garden tractors and maybe it's because I'm a bit of a history buff. It's a bit hard for me to vote in this thread, because there are many factors as to why people go about working on their tractors the way they do. Enjoying the hobby is the important thing, so have at it!

Edited by classic, December 24, 2014 - 12:11 AM.

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#10 Cvans OFFLINE  



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Posted December 24, 2014 - 12:39 AM

My tractors are all work tractors. The diesel engines installed during the conversions are what I have on hand .Only one exceeds the original horse power and that's for the snow blower. 

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#11 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted December 24, 2014 - 02:30 AM

I have a circumstance for everyone. Sometimes a collector (such as myself) accumulates so many of a brand that he needs to make one a little different to not only add variety, but to avoid having... Just another parts tractor.

To each his/her own. I have dragged ones out of the scrap yard just to keep the parts in circulation for others, saving Massey, bolens, craftsman, and Springfield to name a few. We live In a throw away society, and if it takes throwing away an original engine to save a tractor from the crusher... I can look the other way.

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, December 24, 2014 - 02:35 AM.

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#12 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted December 24, 2014 - 05:50 AM

I voted in the poll as I am about to begin working on 3 different 'repowers'. First will be my Ford LGT 165. When I bought it, the engine smoked so bad you had a hard time seeing where you were going. I pulled the engine and installed new rings, knowing at some point it would need bored. Needless to say, that didn't take place and I fear the piston has parted ways. I have since found another K341, but not to the AQS spec. I think it is a factory rebuilt K341S that starts easily and runs like a Swiss watch. So this will be a 'repower' with as close to factory as I can afford to do.

Next is a Sears GT18. This came with the B&S 18HP Twin. I have 2 of those engines. Finding a crank shaft for these is nearly impossible. But I have found the 18HP vertical twins have a crank shaft that can be machined (shortened on the PTO end) to work. I have one of these cranks ready to install, but I am going to use the vertical block and change it over to a horizontal. So this GT will get 'repowered' with as close to original as I can do it.

Last is a Sears GT20. This tractor came with an Onan P220. I bought it just for the engine to repower one of my FF's. Since I pulled the engine, I saw the tractor was in too good of condition to scrap (it has the factory electric lift under it that still works). So I came upon a Kohler M18 that I plan to install in it.

I enjoy working my tractors and have no where to keep a 'trailer queen'. Not that I wouldn't want one, just the reality that it is unfeasible for me. I do have 3 more tractors that are as complete to original specs as I can gather. These will be refurbished so they can be used, yet look as close to how they came from the factory as I am able to accomplish. Anything I 'adapt' on my machines is done with the thought of being able to return to factory specs at a later date ( using existing bolt holes, etc.)

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#13 MH81 ONLINE  


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Posted December 24, 2014 - 06:49 AM

Growing up on a farm, we repurposed and modified a LOT of things to accomplish the job at hand. Usually with the intention of not ruining the piece we were tweaking and making the adaptation fit the existing holes in the machine.
Repurposing was a necessity normally, because new steel was a luxury and old pieces of derelict equipment left on the farm was a good source of pieces. Paint was a frivolity. It doesn't need to look pretty to serve a function, but taking some pride in the "repair" was the norm (time constraints allowing). Time and Economics on a farm is king and making it work again when you need it without spending the food money or the mortgage was mandatory.
That mentality is in me and my kids today. We aren't afraid to repurpose things as we need them. Since joining here, I am more aware of the fact that major Modifications aren't mainstay and we do them more on a need to basis.
As for engines, repowers, etc. so far, anything we have done a transplant in, has the OEM engine again. I have been lucky in that regard and been able to locate the pieces I needed from junk units.
I have always marveled at the guys who can restore a tractor to better than new with only a can of rustoleum, some bondo, and an extra hour in their afternoon, having made from scratch and to spec, half the pieces on the machine.
I am not that guy.
I am not against putting something different under the hood if I had to, but I would try to do it as tastefully as I can. By "if I had to", I mean I will not spend money I don't have to make it OEM. The play budget keeps getting thinner. However, If I think I can wait and see if one finds its way into my life, I would be happier. If I need the unit or finding a replacement is unlikely.... Well...
I have justified it this way; it has been a rare company who wouldn't have chosen a different supplier of a part (assuming similar reliability) if the other guy was cheaper. It's probably the main reason that the brands we love had different power plants for different years/offered options/randomly used whatever. In some cases, it was the luck of the draw that it came thru with the heart it did.

On the other end of the spectrum, I fully intend to make a couple of "non stock" units before I die. I have a couple of ideas that won't fade, so Lord willing, I will be around long enough to see them thru. There are a couple of rescued, engineless frames in the junk pile that call to me. Oh, that reminds me, next time I'm cleaning the garage, I need to look for that timing gear from that Wisconsin twin out of that old stationary baler...
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#14 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2014 - 07:24 AM

I would like an essay question next time so I can share my learned opinion! LOL

Edited by toppop52, December 24, 2014 - 07:25 AM.

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#15 AfterShock95 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2014 - 07:57 AM

I say do what ever you have to do to keep them going I fell in love with old gt for the way they tried to make them look like the big boys of there time . I would rather see one repowered then here I couldn't find a motor for it so I scraped it

Edited by AfterShock95, December 24, 2014 - 08:08 AM.

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