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Transaxle & Transmission Swap or Complete Tractor Swap?

wheelhorse c-161 hydro sunstr

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#1 Oliver 2-44 ONLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 06:43 PM

I have a 1979 Wheelhorse -161 with the Sunstrand 90-1173 hydro. I got it a year ago with good straight rusty sheet metal and a well worn k16 and worn  transaxle/transmission. I like the looks of it, and have planned to restore it but keep it as a worker. I already have a good grass cutter, so I want this worker for garden plowing, cultivating, yard work pushing dirt, leaves, small brush trimmings with a front blade, and maybe a grader blade someday. Currently the transaxle gears in the WH C-161 transaxle are shot and I've just started acquiring a few parts for it. I already have a recently overhauled K 16 to put on it

 

But I've also wished it had better hydraulics that could do more than run a lift...many be run a hydraulic tiller or a front end loader with out an extra pump. (belt driven tillers and other belt driven items seem quite the contraptions to me)  I've also thought a true rear PTO shaft and a 3 pt lift would be nice (But I find I also like the WH sleeve hitch). In other words I want a garden tractor with the things the big farm tractors I grew up with had!

 

But I've been thinking, do I want to buy a different old tractor to restore that has better hydraulics and/or a rear shaft PTO.

Then last night it occurred to me....some people upgrade the engines on their old tractors, has anyone done transaxle swap to a completely different brand. I would want to keep the horizontal shaft belt drive to not get to crazy with the swap.  

 

Yes I could go buy a new small Kubota, JD, Bolens, etc and get everything I want. I realize by the time I do the swap and restore the C-161, or rebuild another one I will probable spend the cost of a new one

........But I like to restore & rebuild things! 

Doing the complete transmission swap would probable be the most complicated thing I've done hands on, But I've done a lot of this and that rebuilding and repair over the years!

 

So here's the questions:

1. Has anyone done a complete transaxle swap, and from what brand to what brand?

2. What horizontal shaft transaxle/transmission has the best hydraulics and possible a rear PTO & 3 point capability?.

3.If I were to go the "different old garden tractor" route, what tractor would you suggest I look for that has everything on my wish list.

(strong hydraulics, FEL capable, PTO, 3-point capable, good garden & yard dirt worker! )

 

I look forward to your honest comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Tecumseh power OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 07:23 PM

Sears ff is a good tractor . It has all that stuff. I'm swapping a peerless transmission in a sears gt 18 right now. The teeth are off my reverse idler gear there are companies who make gears if you need some. I may get one made or weld them with 7018 rods and recut them to keep it for a spare

#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 08:17 PM

In my opinion, do not mess with the already engineered original designs. Most tractor hydraulics don't have the flow nor reservoir for a loader. A separate system is better in many ways. Especially when you look at contamination or break downs. That WH should end up being a nice GT when restored but, is it worth it? I don't know. I have two of them that are dead and I haven't decided yet. My neighbor warned me that some of the parts are no longer available. We will each have to decide for our selves.

 

Take a look at Case tractors. I've aquired 2 this year and am impressed. Look at this http://gardentractor...planning-guide/  .  The other possibility would be large frame Bolens. Doing this properly, you should have a tractor for each attachment so that you never have to change them. Good Luck, Rick


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#4 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 08:54 PM

Think your asking too much for that small model. There was an add-on hyraulics kit for some older tractors, but not sure what it ran or how well they worked. And, hard to find one used. Not aware of rear pto for horse, even the bigger ones like GT14's had a pulley on same area as the drive of trans to run a belt back to the tiller as example. 3pt would have to be a real late model and even then not too common. Hate to say it, but a Deere in 400 model range might be more your wish list. 3pts, extra hydro outlets front and rear, power steering. Not sure what is available for ptos.  Even some 300 series have similar features.  If you build the one you have, I would use only Wheelhorse axles and such just to make it more bolt-in or close and not cobbled up mess. Bolen's is another good brand, long as you stay in larger tractor models and they offer foot control drives then, nice.


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#5 Rock farmer OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 09:56 PM

I'd keep that tractor the way it is.
The tractors with shaft drive have the engine rotated 90 degrees from the wheel horse.
Rear PTO isn't really good for much.
The three point hitch has the advantage of being able to adjust the tilt of a plow.
But, that's about it.
If you add a front end loader, than that's all that tractor will ever do.
The added pump won't be much of an issue.

Maybe you should just keep your eye out for a better tractor!
But, that Wheel Horse is a very good tractor!

Joe
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#6 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 10:32 PM

Everyone has their own opinions on what is or isn't a good tractor, your best bet is do some research and see what speaks to you. I have learned over the years that what works for one guy may seem just laughable to another, find out what peaks your interest and most likely they will have a model that will do most if not all of what you want. With older tractors just remember you will get out of it what you put in. Good luck and hope you find what your looking for. Just a thought old cub 982 has about what your looking for.

#7 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted November 23, 2015 - 11:30 PM

I have a 1979 Wheelhorse -161 with the Sunstrand 90-1173 hydro. Currently the transaxle gears in the WH C-161 transaxle are shot and I've just started acquiring a few parts for it. I already have a recently overhauled K 16 to put on it

 

But I've also wished it had better hydraulics that could do more than run a lift...many be run a hydraulic tiller or a front end loader with out an extra pump. (belt driven tillers and other belt driven items seem quite the contraptions to me)  I've also thought a true rear PTO shaft and a 3 pt lift would be nice (But I find I also like the WH sleeve hitch). In other words I want a garden tractor with the things the big farm tractors I grew up with had!

 

If I were to go the "different old garden tractor" route, what tractor would you suggest I look for that has everything on my wish list.

(strong hydraulics, FEL capable, PTO, 3-point capable, good garden & yard dirt worker! )

Sounds like you're doing a good job rebuilding the wheel horse.  You didn't say about cutting grass, mower deck is usually a pain to change so i prefer a mower-only machine for that.  Maybe keep the horse for mowing or other light duty work?

Case is probably the only old gt that has enough flow to run a loader w/no pump.  10 gpm 2000 psi.  They made a loader series, they are tough but kinda tippy, expensive, usually pretty worn.  The hi-wheel series is a good small farm tractor with 3p or sleeve hitch and a lot of rear attachments, good ground clearance but can be tippy on hills.  The 200 series case are really nice can run all the same attachments with low center of gravity good traction.  Rear pto is hydraulic not shaft on case

Personally unless it was a quick-change scut type i'd keep a loader just for the bucket with a weight box on back, need a lot of weight out back of a loader.  GT cat 0 3ph is kinda weak and floppy to carry a big counterweight.  just my .02, good luck


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