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Suburban 12 Engine Swap?


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#1 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 11:27 AM

My 1970 Suburban has served me well for a few years now but I'm having some issues and I'd like some expert options...
Last summer I was mowing some way-too-tall grass/weeds with it, I must've overheated it (though I'm not certain) and the HH120 locked up on me. I let her sit for a few hours, pulled the plug, dumped some oil down the cylinder, got it broke loose and it ran again. She's definitely hurt though, down on compression and burning oil. No more mowing duty as I don't think it can handle the rpm now (there's a hint of a knock too but it's inconsistent).

My question is this: Should I attempt to rebuild the engine or do a swap? I have a K301 Kohler out of a Ford that's a good solid engine but it appears that the swap may be challenging due to the size of the Kohler as well as the clutch idler bracket issue that these swaps always encounter... Thing is, I don't know what a rebuild may cost plus if I do rebuild it I'd want to get rid of the SSI while I'm in there and that leads to even more money... What would you guys do if you were me?

#2 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 11:38 AM

I love my Tecs, but the issue with these older ones is finding rebuild parts, i.e., oversized pistons, rings and connecting rods. If you do find one, be prepared to bend over. I personally would try to find another good running Tec or swap in something else.

The only swap that isn't going to cause you any headaches is another Tec, but there are ways around other motors. A lot of people are doing them.

Do an SSI swap is still going to run you a min of $100 if you can source new parts cheap, most run around 150 to do.

 

If I had to do it and had the extra $$$, I would look for a single cyl 9-12 Hp diesel and go that route.

you can always get an 11 or 13 Hp Harbor Freight Predator and swap in one of those, usually for under $300



#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 11:50 AM

You won't know what's up with the teccy until you open it up.

Is it smoking?

Head gasket issues? warped head from the overheat?

 

there is always the Predator option, but you won't know until the dissection


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#4 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 02:34 PM

I am not sure how these aftermarkets hold up, but I am betting that for the price they will do quite well. I have an hh120 engine I just pulled, same as yours besides it didn't lock up on me. (smoked burned oil). I tore it apart and all I can see is that the rings are worn and the piston its self is a little worn. The cylinder walls look good and no ridge. (hard to hurt these cast iron cylinders with an aluminum piston). Anyway I am betting that if I hone it out and just pop a piston and rod kit in there she will be good to go. 

 

http://isavetractors...tecumseh-hh120/

 

Above is the site was looking at ....remember: I am just hashing this idea out with you because I have an engine that I would like to get running good again to. 

 

As far as fixing anything on these tecys things could not be any simpler, I like the quality and set up so much that I am going to try and keep it. If I do try the aftermarket stuff I am going to try the piston and rod as a set. 

 

As far as the SSI is concerned if its working I would keep it , you can always swap that out later if you have an issue, unless of course you just want to get it all done at once knowing the old SSI is a ticking time bomb.  You can put the original SSI on ebay as a working set and it may pay for your conversion.

 

Think of what it takes to swap vs what it takes to repair, I think the repair is cheaper and easier....thats my thoughts anyway and I think the way I am going to go with my stinky engine. 



#5 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 14, 2016 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for all the input guys! Yes, it is smoking, plenty of blowby, oil loss, loss of power, etc.
I love the idea of putting a diesel in it but that's probably out of my budget, if I'm gonna swap engines I'd rather put that old Kohler in it than a Predator. I already have the Kohler, parts are easily available and they're fairly bulletproof. My SSI is working just fine but if I'm gonna tear everything apart I'd rather just do it once and get it over with.

You may be right though as far as tearing mine down though to see what the damage is, if it only needs a piston, rings, bearings and gaskets it might be worth fixing. I've never been disappointed in it as far as power goes and even though it's hardly a rare tractor I wouldn't mind keeping it original...
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#6 det12187 ONLINE  

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Posted July 15, 2016 - 07:33 AM

Hard to beat a Predator, quiet, modern,  and very fuel efficient. I have done two so far and only issue has

been with belt tensioner mounted on engine which is corrected by mounting it on a pedastal.


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#7 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 15, 2016 - 07:44 PM

Do you have any write-ups on the predator swap? I'd be curious to get some more info on it...

#8 det12187 ONLINE  

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Posted July 18, 2016 - 07:43 AM

Basically I marked existing engine location as reference for new engine location. Then a measurement noting location of of

belt tensioner that was attached to engine and height to be able to creat a pedastal to mount tensioner on.

You will have to trim front grill for clearance and will have to attach a extention with a down turn for the

predator exhaust which will go throught grill. Headlights will have to be relocated to front of tractor, I used fog

lights. You will also have to make a spacer shim for the drive pulley 1 inch shaft to 3/4 shaft.

 I was creating a working tractor not a restoration so you do what you  have to do to make it

work mind set.






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