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K301 to M10 in Ford LGT 125 engine swap/build


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#1 alsparl OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 09:51 AM

Scenario:  We have a great dedicated lawn tractor to mow with but need/want a dedicated lawn tractor with a push blade for snow removal and minor dirt and gravel push.  We were asked by a neighbor to take a Ford LGT 125 chassis closed side (full hyd) with blade (less K301 engine, side shields, and deck) to the dump but we asked if we could keep it so it became ours.  We also have a Kohler M10 engine from another lawn tractor that made itself available as well.

 

Considering the blessing of receiving the chassis unit, and having the good running M10 engine, we wish to attempt to fill the void by installing the M10 engine in this chassis.  We fully understand these engines come from different eras thus why I am here to ask some questions/opinions on this swap.  We have both the original set of Ford K301 engine mounts as well as the original Cadet M10 engine mounts so we have some options before having to custom those mounts.

 

First, because the different era of engines and components, is it safe to say the easiest manner in which to wire this machine is to simply make a new "clean" wiring harness? Or use the existing one on the chassis?  I ask as this unit will be basic and will not have any PTO use.  Our thoughts were for simple headlights, tail lights, battery charging, ammeter, and starting motor.  The only safety switches we may keep would be the foot pedal and seat.  Since there is no mower or snow blower, we feel "comfortable" eliminating the reverse switch and the PTO switch altogether.  Plus we are thinking the "fresh" wire might be nice instead of using the 30+ yr old stuff already installed.  I have wiring diagrams for both the original Ford machine and also the Cadet machine to use as guides.

 

Secondly, does anyone have an reservations about making this swap?  Is there anything you more experienced folks would be willing to suggest before we get started.  

 

We are not novices but also not overly seasoned individuals thus why we want to gather pros, cons, suggestions, ask for wisdom and opinions before beginning.

 

Please let me know if you  have any questions.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration as it is appreciated.

 

Aaron



#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 10:24 AM

Sounds like a nice project. New wiring may be a good way to go.



#3 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 02:32 PM

It may just go in. Too bad you can't just swap the engine with your neighbor. Download the manuals from our Manuals Section. You will love that Ford. Good Luck, Rick



#4 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 04:51 PM

M10 is a solid state ignition version of the k241 which shares the same dimensions with the k301.  My only concern is possible differences between oil pans and mounting options.  I am sure the Ford guys can offer some more insights into this.  



#5 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 04:53 PM

I have no idea of the mounting holes in an M10 oil pan. It's a possibility it may bolt right in. It depends on the oil pan. And we need a spec # to know what the K301 had on it.



#6 pryan05 ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 05:51 PM

I just google a picture of an "m10".  It should be pretty straight forward.  If you are handy, have grinder a drill and some time you should be able to get that done with good results.  We seen all kind of motors put in these Fords and all turn out well.  If you decided to go for it ask question on this forum and post pictures and you will find that it is very helpful.  Lgts are great tractor, you'll like the foot operated hydro.  As for your question about the wire harness.  You will likely have to make a new on because the magnum motor is solid state and doesn't need power rather needs to be grounded to be shut off, making a bit easier for a seat safety circuit.  I would get the motor in the chassis and then deal with the wiring.   

 

Good luck and please share your project.

Ryan  


Edited by pryan05, September 27, 2017 - 06:01 PM.

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#7 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 06:39 PM

Probably need a different ignition switch!



#8 alsparl OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2017 - 09:57 PM

Thank you for all the responses thus far.  The chassis did not have the engine as it had self destructed many moons ago, so it was simply a favor to take the chassis from neighbor.  That means I have no idea of spec number it was.  The oil pan itself on the M10 is a drop pan however, I am thinking the original Ford mounting brackets may take care of this.  Otherwise, the Cub Cadet mounting brackets that were still with the M10 are actual risers.  They are 1/2" (1/4" on each side) narrower than the inside of the frame rails; so yes, they can site on the frame rails if the original Ford brackets do not work making it option #2.  The Cub brackets come with vibration bushings top and bottom so it will not be a direct bolt, which I like as well.  And thank you for the advise on getting the engine installed first; I was thinking that was the direction we needed to go but appreciate the confirmation.

 

I have been blessed to have parted out numerous other machines when neighbors, friends, and family have needed to get rid of things.  I have also been leaning towards using the Cadet wiring diagram which I see as a bonus as I have most all the electrical components.  My reason for using the Cadet wiring is that is where the engine came out of.

 

My primary concern is making sure the drive shaft and connections are straight and true.  From everything I have read thus far, it appears the Ford driveline components may not be as "forgiving" as the Cadet driveline if not exactly straight due to the 6-bolt/triangle make up instead of the 4 bolt/cross.  But, I am one to check and recheck so hopefully taking it slow and doing things the correct way the first time will pay off.

 

Thank you all once again and I will certainly report back once progress begins.

 

Aaron


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#9 alsparl OFFLINE  

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Posted September 30, 2017 - 10:55 PM

A quick update:  as we were attempting to test fit the M10 engine in the LGT125 chassis, we found the deep sump oil pan (Kohler 47-041-07) seems as if it will not work with the original chassis engine mounting brackets used with the K301.  The bolt pattern was correct but the brackets would not snug up due to the drop part of the pan and the size of the flywheel shroud.  As a reference, the K301 oil pan is Kohler 47-199-09.

 

We then attempted to use the original mounting brackets from the M10 that were used in the Cub Cadet chassis from which this engine came.  They were simply too wide.  We then turned them around (switching sides) and they were still too wide and the sump pan was resting on the front axle carrier.

 

With that being said, we believe we need still need to use the Ford engine mounting brackets to keep the drive shaft height as close to original as possible.  By viewing and comparing the parts books for both the K301 and the M10, both engines used a connecting rod cap w/ splash arm and both engines used a sump style oil pan.   My question now becomes is the sump style oil pan on the K301 different than on the M10 as in material or beveled edges that would allow it to fit the engine mounts?  Or, is the flywheel housing on the M10 larger than the K301 where it is causing interference? 

 

There are just a couple things we are thinking about at the moment along while reviewing the parts books one more time to ensure all the parts are present and we are not missing anything that might gain us the clearance we need. 

 

I apologize but I didn't take any pics this time.  I will do better moving forward.

 

Thank you for your time, consideration, and feedback as it is appreciated.

 

Aaron



#10 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2017 - 05:29 AM

Ok, dont bother using the ford mounts they suck! Cut the rubber mounts off the frame with a grinder. Then install the flywheel adapter to flywheel and put engine in place and get the driveshaft aligned correctly. Block up the engine how ever you can so it looks square and true and measure for the mounts. I think you can use the cub mount bars for this. As long as there is no interference with sub frame or steering your good. Cut to length the size needed to fit bars in frame and weld them in!
Your almost done after this.
To use original harness you only need to install a relay. I have posted in other threads on how to do this. It is ridiculously easy, way easier than re wiring the entire tractor.
I grafted a Kohler 20hp Magnum twin into the same tractor in about 4hrs so it is pretty easy.

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Edited by skyrydr2, October 01, 2017 - 05:35 AM.

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#11 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2017 - 05:32 AM

And a link to the finished product..https://youtu.be/bwNKgYHe7hw

#12 pryan05 ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2017 - 08:01 PM

That is a great idea with the relay... easy peezy!



#13 alsparl OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2017 - 10:34 PM

Thank you very much for the information on your build as well as the wiring aspect.  I wish our donor engine was a flat bottom like your M20 cause it would be a no brainer on what we need to do. Unfortunately, due to our donor engine having the sump oil pan, its a bit more complicated, especially when we need to take into consideration the location of the front axle carrier.  Regardless, I will certainly take a much longer, in depth look at this project with your advice and see what we can accomplish.  :)  Thank you once again for your time, feedback, and guidance as it is appreciated.

 

Aaron



#14 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2017 - 08:00 AM

In your case you could either weld fitted tabs to the frame or cut a hole the the square plate for the sump to drop through.
The biggest obstacle is keeping the driveshaft away from the steering column/gear.
I have installed 4 differnt engines in this style LGT and by far the most challenging gas engine, was a twin opposed Briggs. The Kohler Magnum twin and Kohler Command Vtwin fit easy. My Kubota powered LGT 165 was the most challenging.
That took about 3 weeks to get in correctly.

Edited by skyrydr2, October 02, 2017 - 08:01 AM.

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#15 alsparl OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2017 - 09:55 AM

Understood as the comment of cutting the hole for the pan sump to go through the pan was what I was thinking about but did not know if it would work.  Thank you for confirming that as well as giving other bits of experience, I do appreciate it.






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