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Ford LGT 195 Kohler Command 23HP Re-Power

ford lgt 195 repower

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#1 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 01:09 AM

I've been bouncing around between projects and selling stuff that I don't need or won't get to, and what do I go and do last weekend?  Buy another project.  And how did this seed get planted in my head?  A few years ago I saw a Ford LGT 195 at a Ford/New Holland dealership south of me when I was passing through and I stopped to see it.  It was big, heavy, old, and uncommon so I was automatically interested.  Then I see one here on the site, and I comment on the thread and it peaks my interest yet again.  Some time goes by and I'm browsing Cragslists around the state and I see an ad that was titled something like, "Junkyard Bound".  I look at the pics and in the collection of garden tractors I see a big Ford LGT 195.  The ad didn't even mention the Ford and it just said make offers before it goes and gets junked.  The seller and I agree on a price and last weekend I go and get it.  The tractor has a 60" deck with it and the sheetmetal was practically dent free on the tractor, plus it had pretty good tires on it.  The engine was not so good though......it sat outside and it was stuck.  I did get it freed up tonight, but I'm not going to use the stock Kohler K532. 

 

I bought another tractor this week just for the engine.........yes another tractor.  It's a Cub Cadet 2550 wanna-be "heavy duty garden tractor" with a Kohler CH23 engine.  If they have to put a decal on the tractor stating it's a "heavy duty garden tractor" then more than likely it's not.  Anyway, the engine says 21HP on the air cleaner but it's a 674cc displacement and it says CH23 on the ID tag, so I'm guessing Cub Cadet just called it 21HP so they could up-sell people to get the next model up with a 4" wider deck and an air cleaner emblem that says 23HP instead of 21HP.  I really don't like these bubble looking, wanna-be "garden tractors" that Cub Cadet made after the Cyclops at all, and I don't think they even come close to the Cyclops tractors, especially the Super Garden Tractors like my 2082.  There's no comparison at all when I parked it side by side with my 2082.  It's built much weaker/cheaper and it would never do what my 2082 could do, so with that being said I had no issues yanking the engine out (the only good part of the tractor in my opinion) and parting the rest of the machine out.

 

So now I have a BIG Ford LGT 195 which I pulled the old Kohler K532 out of, as well as the cobbed up wiring harness, and a Kohler Command CH23.  I did a lot of measuring, studying the dimensions of both engines and comparing them, and I figured out that it's going to be a somewhat easy swap.....so far at least.  I have a muffler/exhaust system already for a Kohler Command and it looks like this work perfectly.  It's from a Cub Cadet 1863 Cyclops tractor.  Next, I'm using the factory electric PTO that's already on the engine from the Cub Cadet 2550 because it uses the same width belt as the LGT 195.  I don't know as of yet if I can use the stub shaft from the K532 because it may have a different bolt pattern compared to the Kohler Command.  If it doesn't work I'm going to get a 7" long stub shaft, but the only issue is that the Command stub shafts use a 1" keyed shaft compared to the 1-1/8" stub shaft on the K532 so I'll just need to get an adapter to make it 1-1/8".......not a big issue at all really.  Now that the stub shaft issue is figured out, I simply mount the drive shaft coupler to it and I'm set.  That's where I am at this point and I just did this all in 2 days after I got out of work. 

 

So what's next? 

 

-Mounting the engine, which is really going to be not too bad at all because there's tons of room in the 195 engine compartment and the engine mount is big and flat with very few objects in the way.  It seems like the guys that did modern V-twin swaps on LGT 145 and 165 tractors had A LOT of fabrication work because the engine sat "in" the frame rails instead of "on" the frame rails like in the 195.

 

-Making a wiring harness.  I'm not too good with electrical, but I built a wiring harness from scratch to get my Honda XR650R dirt bike street legal, so I think with all of the very smart folks on here and some good motivation I will be alright. 

 

I'll do the paint and body work with Rustoleum just like I did on my Massey 1855 rebuild and if it turns out as good as that did, I'll be thrilled.  I'll get some ag tires for it (either 29x12.5-15 or 31x15.50-15) and then I'll go through it and replace the steering ends that are worn like I did on my Cub Cadet, and replace them with greasable Heim joints from McMaster Carr.  Add some LED bulbs, and just give it a good all around refresh and polish.  I might even add a 3 point hitch down the road, but for now I'm just going to mow with it. 

 

Here's a couple pics, and as you can see it's a BIG tractor.......it barely fit on my 5x8 trailer.  It's bigger than my Massey Ferguson 1855, my Sears FF/20, and my Cub Cadet 2082 Super Garden Tractor, and those  are all huge garden tractors.  And just a side note, when I was driving to work this morning there was a guy driving his Ford LGT 145 or 165 with the side panels off it, down the sidewalk.  I heard that Kohler single cylinder chugging away and throughout the day all I thought about was my LGT 195 project.  

 


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#2 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 03:27 AM

No pics !

 

  :watch_over_fence:


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#3 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 04:54 AM

Sounds like a nice addition to the Ford!



#4 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 07:21 AM

The Kohler stub shaft should bolt right on the vtwin. Your going to have to either make the driveshaft longer to align your pto clutch as the K532 is longer than the ch23. Mount that lightweight engine as far forward as you can to align the belt corrwctly. Also be sure to gwt the centerline of the crank the same as the K engine, space it up as nessesary. And bolt the CH to the frame solid! These vtwins are smooth as silk. And powerful!
We pull with one and it beats up them diesel powered gts with utter ease .
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#5 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 10:06 AM

The Kohler stub shaft should bolt right on the vtwin. Your going to have to either make the driveshaft longer to align your pto clutch as the K532 is longer than the ch23. Mount that lightweight engine as far forward as you can to align the belt corrwctly. Also be sure to gwt the centerline of the crank the same as the K engine, space it up as nessesary. And bolt the CH to the frame solid! These vtwins are smooth as silk. And powerful!
We pull with one and it beats up them diesel powered gts with utter ease .

 

The height from the center of the shaft to the base of the engine is the same for the Command and the K532 so the center line of the crank will be spot on, but like you said the K532 is longer (by about 1.5").  If the stub shaft for the K532 will bolt to the CH23 Command then I'll have to have a 1.5" aluminum spacer made up by a local machinist or I can just get a stub shaft that's 1.5" longer, but since it's a 1" diameter I'll also need to purchase an adapter sleeve to make it 1-1/8" so the drive shaft coupler can mount on it properly.  This would cost about $40 for the stub shaft and $15 for the adapter sleeve, so $55 total.  I don't know if that'll be less expensive than having the aluminum spacer made up or not.

 

I love these V-twins too.......I've had such good luck with them and you're right, they're very powerful, smooth, and efficient.  I think the 23HP should power the LGT 195 nicely.  And pics will be on the way later today.  Thanks for all the kind words, everyone.      



#6 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 10:31 AM

Lengthen the drive shaft! Dont use any adapters or spacers. Use all the original stuff off the original LGT engine. If the shaft is not long enough get that made up instead of spacing the adapter to flywheel. Its way easier to do.

Edited by skyrydr2, October 20, 2017 - 12:13 PM.

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#7 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 12:30 PM

OK, thanks for the advice.  So I should use the original stub shaft on the K532 that came in the LGT originally.  Or I can just buy a longer stub shaft for the Kohler Command, it's only about $40 so that's not too bad.



#8 tater195 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 12:45 PM

I dont know if the tires are getting any easier to find, but when I was looking for a set for mine, the super lugs were almost impossible to find. Most sites I checked had them listed as "out of stock" for close to 6 months. I found a cheap set of blems on ebay.

Here is a tip, if you plan on fluid filling them, do it on the tractor if possible. Those things get real heavy when full. The 195 is a hog and doesnt have a problem with the front wanting to come up when lifting stuff on the 3ph, but I added fluid to the front tires anyway.


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#9 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 06:58 PM

I made a new driveshaft for my 195. Extremely easy. Cut the flanges off the old one ( only welded one side) and weld them to the new shaft.
http://gardentractor...gestions/page-2 post 23 shows the start of the new shaft.
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#10 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2017 - 07:20 PM

When searching for the rear tires, try searching for Mahindra and New Holland SCUT tires. Both brands use those sizes on their current models.
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#11 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2017 - 02:03 PM

I made a new driveshaft for my 195. Extremely easy. Cut the flanges off the old one ( only welded one side) and weld them to the new shaft.
http://gardentractor...gestions/page-2 post 23 shows the start of the new shaft.

 

I thought about simply cutting the driveshaft and then lengthening it by sliding a piece of DOM tubing over it (that has the same inside diameter as the outside diameter of the driveshaft and then welding it together.  I was thinking this would be easier and it would also be more balanced this way, because if you cut the old shaft off the flanges and didn't reweld them on perfectly dead center, it would vibrate badly.  Thanks for the suggestions.  By the way, the exhaust from the Cub Cadet 1863 works perfectly on the Kohler Command in the Ford LGT.

 

***Edit*** I see how you did it........the flange already has the hole cut and centered in it, so it's foolproof!  Perfect, that's what I'll do!  How did you cut the weld, just a simple angle grinder?  Thanks again!


Edited by jpswift1, October 21, 2017 - 02:05 PM.

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#12 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 22, 2017 - 08:39 AM

Yes angle grinder with a cutoff wheel then a traditional thicker wheel to remove all the weld and then just tapped out the old shaft. I did the tube method the first time, I don't recommend that route.


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#13 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 22, 2017 - 08:58 AM

We are still waiting for pics!!   :poke:

 

 

:smilewink:  :smilewink:  :smilewink:  :smilewink:



#14 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2017 - 10:09 AM

We are still waiting for pics!!   :poke:

 

 

:smilewink:  :smilewink:  :smilewink:  :smilewink:

 

I better get on that! Without pics it's no fun.  Later tonight I'll get some posted.


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#15 jpswift1 ONLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2017 - 09:25 PM

As promised here are a couple pics.  First, on the trailer as I was taking it home (with the sheet metal off it).  The trailer is a 5x8 and the tractor barely fits on it as you can see.  And then one with it unloaded with the tin back on.Photo0763.jpg Photo0765.jpg

 

Sorry for the pics being sideways, I don't know how to edit them.  In case you cannot see, the sheet metal is in beautiful shape and there's only a couple very very minor dings, which actually aren't very noticeable at all.  I'll be getting the steel for the new extended drive shaft next, the stub shaft for the Kohler Command (because the one from the K532 won't fit unfortunately), and then the 1"x2" square tube steel for the motor mounts to raise the engine up 1" for the correct drive-line angle.

 

This Kohler Command swap isn't too difficult actually.  The hardest part (for me) is going to be wiring it up.


Edited by jpswift1, October 25, 2017 - 09:33 PM.

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