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.