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Silly question about engine replacements


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#1 DL-North ONLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 11:16 AM

This is less for the guys who "restore" and more for the guys who just want a working machine, but

 

why haven't I seen/read of any Onan transplants in Bolens tractors?

As they are the premium engine in the class, I would have thought a few would find there way into a Bolens. 

 

Dan

 

full disclosure, I worked at Onan for many years in a past life. I was a diesel guy though, not a gas guy.

 

 

 

 


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#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 11:39 AM

What model  machines would you be putting an onan in?

not knocking your choices but Onan is definitely an odd choice as the parts are about 10X more expensive, even when compared to the Wisconsins many of the tubeframes used. Normally I see guys wanting to do a re power because they dont want to spend the time/money to rebuild the original engine and often go with a harbor freight ect. engine thats cheap.


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#3 Tecumseh power ONLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 11:40 AM

Thinking it is a cost issue as onan parts are mega dollars. Unless you would have a spare onan laying around
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#4 LPBolens ONLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 12:24 PM

The Onan twins and the Kohler K-series twins seem to be dimensionally similar. In fact, I have known of some people mistaking one for the other. (Were they copying each other?) That said, as expensive as it is to rebuild a K-series twin, doing the same to an Onan is FAR worse.


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#5 jms180 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 12:48 PM

This is less for the guys who "restore" and more for the guys who just want a working machine, but

 

why haven't I seen/read of any Onan transplants in Bolens tractors?

As they are the premium engine in the class, I would have thought a few would find there way into a Bolens. 

 

Dan

 

full disclosure, I worked at Onan for many years in a past life. I was a diesel guy though, not a gas guy.

full disclosure you must have worked at the Fridley MN facility. I worked at the Huntsville Alabama facility for many years. I think Onan engines is a good very powerful engine in its time. 


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#6 DL-North ONLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 04:16 PM

I was just curious, yes, I know Onan parts are pricey, and maybe it's because I see lot's of them here in the Cities.

 

Yes, I worked at the Fridley plant, '74 to '91, most of the time in the engineering lab in the L(A) series diesel group.  

The only time I was at the Huntsville plant was when they were just starting to build the L series there.

I was down for a week as they built the 1st engines on stands, before the line was built.

 

Back then, hundreds of gas engines were tested each year in the lab, and many were sold to employees very cheap, a few guys even had a side business buying and selling them, the only constraint was they had to hold them for a year before selling. 

 

Yes, I was thinking K twin to O twin.  And will confess, these days I'd probably look 1st at a OHV design, I have no idea which though.

 

Dan


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#7 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted February 24, 2016 - 04:36 PM

I like my 3 Onan's! The Kohler Magnum 18 is next!


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#8 Jmotuzick OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2016 - 06:28 PM

Parts cost to much, that is when you can find them. I would take a Kohler over everything else. I'm new to the ohv engines but Kohler for sure. If it has a Kawasaki I would fix/rebuild. Onan would be my last choice! If it had a onan when new I would repower with Kohler. No parts support makes for a poor product even if it was made to last like the onans.
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#9 Onanparts OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 11:45 AM

Parts cost to much, that is when you can find them. I would take a Kohler over everything else. I'm new to the ohv engines but Kohler for sure. If it has a Kawasaki I would fix/rebuild. Onan would be my last choice! If it had a onan when new I would repower with Kohler. No parts support makes for a poor product even if it was made to last like the onans.

No parts support? Nothing could be further from the truth. Any Cummins Dealer, they have owned Onan since the late 80's, have U.S.A. made parts for engines going back to the 1960's. Cummins has a huge warehouse in Memphis with millions of spare Onan parts. Any John Deere Dealer can get you Onan parts. A large number of Independent dealers are online offering genuine Onan parts as well.

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one shows the difference between some of the Onan opposed Twins and the Kohler OHV V-Twins. Note that the "Modern" Kohler Twin has a plastic and aluminum oil pump. The Onan pump is made of cast iron & steel. The Kohler cam and crank bearings are integral or part of the aluminum block.

 

When the Kohler block is worn out, it gets tossed in the scrap bin. Onan blocks use replaceable cam and main bearings. Bottom line: Modern small engines are made to be "disposable" not rebuildable. The cost of Kohler parts is right up there with Onan, but at least the Onan parts are made to last.

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#10 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 05:50 PM

I have 4 Bolens QT16 tractors still running the Onan twins they came from the factory with and 4 that were repowered after the original Kohlers died. 2 of those have Onan twins and the other 2 have Briggs. My favorite engine is the Onan.

 

Paul


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#11 Onanparts OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 07:15 PM

I have 4 Bolens QT16 tractors still running the Onan twins they came from the factory with and 4 that were repowered after the original Kohlers died. 2 of those have Onan twins and the other 2 have Briggs. My favorite engine is the Onan.

 

Paul

Onan is my favorite too, but I'm biased just like you! ")

 

If you post the full model and spec numbers from the Onan ID plates on your QT16's that came from the factory with Onan engines, I should be able to post up the Onan factory production orders for them. Here are a couple Bolens examples. What I need looks just like this: BF-MS/2404A.

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#12 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 07:29 PM

Diesel is my overall favorite, but in gas engines, I'm an Onan guy.


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#13 Onanparts OFFLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 07:42 PM

Diesel is my overall favorite, but in gas engines, I'm an Onan guy.

Onan made more Diesel engines than gas. Air-cooled & water cooled. 1cyl, 2cyl & 4cyl. The J-series were around from the 1960's up to the early 90's. :)


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#14 Paulgo ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 07:54 PM

Onan is my favorite too, but I'm biased just like you! ")

 

If you post the full model and spec numbers from the Onan ID plates on your QT16's that came from the factory with Onan engines, I should be able to post up the Onan factory production orders for them. Here are a couple Bolens examples. What I need looks just like this: BF-MS/2404A.

Nice! I will get those numbers and PM them to you in a couple days. Thanks!

 

Paul



#15 DL-North ONLINE  

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Posted May 15, 2016 - 07:58 PM

I don't know about more diesels than gas, they made/sold a pile of gas RV gen sets in the 70's and 80's, but they did sell the J series for a long time. Before I was hired in '74, they sold enough small sets to run the overhead oven to bake the varnish on stators/armatures/windings. By fall 74 they shut down the overhead and all the baking was done in batches in the oven room. The overhead never ran again. 

 

When I started at Fridley, the J block line was still against the south wall, IIRC, it was about 100 yds long and a raw casting was placed on the west end, and a finish machined block came out the east end.  Very impressive.

 

Even though I worked for years on the L/A diesel development, putting all the development money into it basically killed the gas engine. If they had put some dollars into it to give it OHV and injection, things would have been more interesting.  Though that likely would have just delayed things, as Cummins sure didn't want the small stuff.

 

And some trivia for Onanparts,

do you remember the Q and/or P series diesel engines?  Not sure if they ever got in production,

the Q was a 1 or 2 cyl vertical cylinder air cooled to replace the small J series.  

The P was a IIRC 4 cylinder flat opposed air cooled for the military.

Both of these were in development when we were doing the L/A's. We shared lab/shop space with them. 

 

 

Dan


Edited by DL-North, May 15, 2016 - 08:11 PM.

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