I would love to know how the repower goes (or went). I have a mid 80's GT20 and the engine is just plain TIRED. I did some wheeling and dealing last year and ended up with a brand new Vanguard 18hp still in the box. Obviously cost is not a factor since I already have the new engine. I'm just hoping to get an idea of the headaches /hassles involved in doing the changeout.I've been working on mowers as a hobby for over 20 years. I can weld and fabricate, and I'm a controls technician at work, so these wiring harnesses changes or repairs are no problem. My issue is in figuring out how long it will take. I use my GT year round, and it's like losing a limb every time it breaks down and I have to go without it until I get it fixed.
Funny you should mention it...
I actually have 2 Ariens GTs--a GT19 with a daylight engine block, manual steering and a front rotary sweeper, and the GT20 I mentioned above.
Even though I haven't started to repower it, yet, I was talking with Ryan (Pager 450) about swapping in the Ruggerini 2 cyl diesel I have into the GT19, and putting P/S in at the same time. I have an orbit motor, steering shaft and wheel, etc. so the p/s part is pretty much ready to go.
I did an earlier post about possibly repowering the GT19 with the Ruggerini, and had several pictures of the engine sitting loosely in the frame, etc.
Ariens actually made a diesel GT--The GT18D, which used another Ruggerini diesel--same size block but different displacement.
There's plenty of room between the top of the engine and the hood, even though the diesel is a twin in-line with vertical cylinders. The challenge comes with the air blower--which faces the rear of the tractor. On the GT18D, the dash mount actually is perforated and has filters to keep grass, dirt, etc. out of the engine's cooling fins. To accomodate the extra length, Ariens stretched the GT18D frame 4 inches. I'd like to avoid that since it would give it a bigger turning radius, but may have to anyway.
At any rate, Ryan and I will be looking at this more closely in the next couple weeks, though I probably won't start on it until winter sets in...
I'll keep everyone posted...
As for your Ariens and Briggs Vanguard--there is a company (whose name escapes me right now) that sells a repower kit for the Ariens GT using a Vanguard twin. I have a Kohler CH18, and a Honda 610 V-twin engine, and I've checked both of those in the Ariens. The Kohler will bolt right up to the mounting, but the engine actually sits offset a little to the right hand side of the frame (as you're sitting in the tractor), and the valve covers interfere with the hood--which would probably require notching it... which I don't want to do...
The Honda's height from the base to the crank centerline is about 1 inch less than the Kohler or the Vanguard... it may work, but you'd have to swap out the driveline with the flex disks, and put in one with U-joints, or space the Honda up to be level to the drive shaft.
I'm not sure about the Vanguard but I suspect a similar situation exists.
Edited by Utah Smitty, September 09, 2015 - 11:19 PM.