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Mf1655 Diesel Conversion Underway


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#16 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2011 - 08:41 PM

Not ever having a diesel GT is there that much difference in fuel consumption to warrant the work involved in that swap ? Al


I would guess that the diesel will burn no more than 60% of what this 18hp Onan gulps up. With the hours I use this tractor, I'll likely save $100 to $150 in fuel per year. Being I have $300 invested in the engine, the cash layout will pay itself back in 2 to 3 years. Is it worth the effort....maybe not, but this is really more about the fun I have with projects like this more than the economics.
But, the water cooling is a plus for me. Using it in the silage pit during the 100+ degree heat, the Onan got hot enough to vapor lock. I could hear the fuel boiling in the carb after it shut down. The water cooling will keep things cooler so I won't be shutting down to vapor lock. As for power, the Onan has more than what I need. I would actually have been happy with a Kubota Z482 twin cylinder, which has almost 14hp and been an easy fit without any major parts being moved. But I lost out on 2 such engines, then got this one for the $300 complete with ALL parts for it to run....radiator, hoses, & complete wiring harness, and even the hour meter.

#17 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2011 - 09:03 PM

Running cooler is good enough reason for me:smile1: How hard of a swap would it be for the 720 ? Then you would need to build a loader !! But take pictures this time for us , Al

#18 HALFSCALE ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2011 - 02:00 AM

dan
correct me if i am wrong.
Besides turning the charge pump, i have been told that the swash plate will have to be flipped as well because there is a stopper on the plate that limit travel speed in reverse. If this is not done i understand the tractor will run faster in reverse than forward.
I just never paid attention when i was inside one.


your correct the swash plate is what makes clockwise or counter clockwise rotation,
i rebuilt my sundstrand 15 in my mini 706 last winter

#19 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2011 - 09:39 AM

The fuel savings can be pretty substantial. When mowing with the Sovereign 7117, the 18hp kohler would use 3 gallons of gasoline to do the yard. With the Kubota G4200 and it's 12 hp diesel, it would take 2.66 quarts of diesel to do the same yard. The Sovereign is running a 48" deck and the Kubota 42" deck. These figures were checked several times. Before switching over to diesels I was filling 3 five gallon gas cans every couple of weeks. Now I use 1 five gallon can for diesel. :yelclap: I have come to really like these little diesels and if your not in a hurry they can be had for reasonable cost. I now have 4 and the most I have paid for any is $500.00.

#20 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2011 - 10:38 AM

Wow Chris, the fruel savings is greater than I thought! I've never actually tracked my usage, but before I do the switch, I will take some time & fuel measurements of the Onan. Then after I will do them for the diesel & I will know for sure the savings.

#21 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2011 - 10:40 AM

Dan
Correct me if I am wrong.
Besides turning the charge pump, I have been told that the swash plate will have to be flipped as well because there is a stopper on the plate that limit travel speed in reverse. If this is not done I understand the tractor will run faster in reverse than forward.
I just never paid attention when I was inside one.


Ducky, I missed your post till now. I should have a swash plate out already in a box. I will check for that cast in limiter. If that's the case, then I will take the hydro apart & give her a flip!

#22 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2011 - 05:02 PM

Hi Daniel: It is pretty crazy mileage. My yard is around 2.5 acres so that works out to roughly a quart an acre of fuel usage. I'm sure if I found myself in deep grass the fuel consumption would go up. As you know from your G4200 the tank capacity is 2 gallons and I can mow the yard on average 3 times before I need to add fuel. The mower now has a little over 2000 hours on it and uses no oil. I'm very happy.

#23 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2011 - 10:22 PM

A larger motorcycle battery would start it, but their life is short, so I'll stick with an automotive type battery, but get a slim/longer battery.


My mom had a 90's something Honda Civic, and it used an unusually narrow battery that mounted on the firewall. You might do some checking for that.

I crank my 2 cyl Z482 Kubota Diesel with a small automotive-type battery, and it works just fine-- course the glow plugs help...

Utah Smitty

#24 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2011 - 10:24 PM

1" axles with heavy duty throughout, and if you want to break anything in the front axle/axle beam area, you're gonna have to run it over with a dozer!


If it does have 3/4 inch axles, you might do the same trick that GT tractor pullers do, and weld a gusset in the inside of the "elbow" on the axle. This will strengthen it quite a bit and is an easy fix...

U S

#25 Boss 448 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 16, 2011 - 11:44 AM

Gasoline fueled Onan engines are good powerplants but I agree with others here that the diesel fuel economy beats gasoline engines hands down. Like others I have not actually done comparisons (I also mow about 2.5 acres of lawn, plus about a mile of trail mowing), but the difference is enough to be very noticeable. I especially notice the reduction in the amount of trips I have to make to the gas station with a van full of fuel cans during the summer.

Regarding additives I always add Power Service diesel fuel supplement to the diesel fuel to protect against condensation, prevent cold weather gel and to add lubricity to the new low sulfur fuels. I also add Seafoam to gasoline for my gas engines to help protect against carbon build-up in the combustion chambers and help offset potential problems created by newer ethanol blends.

I am not aware of anyone that has successfully re-powered a garden tractor with a diesel engine that reported that they regretted it later. I do regret that I am not as talented and well equipped to do projects as a number of people have done on this forum. I can only marvel at some of the work you guys do! :worshippy1:

JN

#26 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 10, 2011 - 09:21 AM

I am still engineering my "1855 to diesel" conversion in my mind in order to hopefully smooth & speed the whole thing once I'm ready to begin. One problem was the fuel tank, as there will not be room under the hood. What I have decided to do is use a fuel tank behind the seat, like used on some of the Wheel Horse D series. This tractor will stay a dedicated loader tractor with no 3pt hitch, so putting a tank back there will in no way interfere with anything. Any of you guys have a similar built fuel tank you wanna part with? Here's an example. The tank needn't be off a D, but just sit up tall like this. I can make brackets to fit a tall round bottom tank.

Tank.jpg

#27 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted December 10, 2011 - 09:37 AM

I may have a tank for you. I will get a picture Monday and e-mail it to you. It's a little bigger then you may want, but you can cut it down to whatever size you like. It was a oil tank on a service truck.

#28 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 10, 2011 - 10:04 AM

I may have a tank for you. I will get a picture Monday and e-mail it to you. It's a little bigger then you may want, but you can cut it down to whatever size you like. It was a oil tank on a service truck.


Good beans! I'll await the pics. Will be quite some time before doing any actual work anyway.

#29 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted December 10, 2011 - 10:07 AM

It is yours if you want it and can be delivered at the same time as the 140. It is a heavy tank, made from 1/4" plate I believe, but should work well as a fuel tank.

#30 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 24, 2011 - 07:32 PM

Still no time at all to begin my conversion. I need to get my tiny radiator leak repaired ahead of time, as it weeps ever so slightly at the top of the core. I also need to clean out as many calf stalls as possible before I put the tractor out of service for the repower. Maybe within a month I'll actually get started instead of just talking about it!




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