I was recently given an Ariens 1542 hydro tractor, dead motor...prior owner ran it out of oil until it died, then tried to restart it which resulted in a whole bunch of clanking of loose parts inside the motor when you crank the starter. Since it burnt oil anyway I'm thinking a repower is a better option than attempting to repair/rebuild, but in all honesty I don't know whats loose inside without disassembling the thing.
The original motor is a Briggs 15hp OHV single piston engine, model 311707, type 0138-E1. Google seems to be telling me that this engine has been replaced by a 17hp version and I see the current model Ariens comes with a 17hp motor as well, which suggests that maybe a 15 was a little underpowered?
So I'm looking for a replacement engine, a used direct replacement is thus far impossible to find, new plants are starting at $700 and got up from there, which is cost prohibitive for this project.
What I'm wondering is what are my options that I can consider? Am I limited by the hood's clearance to a single cylinder briggs or can I look at twin engines? Am I limited to Briggs or will a Kohler engine work just as well? Are there hidden issues I'll have to address if I switch brands like output shaft size and motor mounting positions?
Thanks all, hope to be up and running for the summer grass cutting season and maybe locate a snowblower for it as well.