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RBE17

917H Engine Questions

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RBE17
Hello Everyone, I'm new to the forums. What brings me here is a 917H. The previous owner of our house left a 917H in a state of disrepair (ie blown motor w/ missing pieces). I'd like to get this tractor running again. I've done some research and know that the original motor is a Kohler KT17. I've also read there were some problems w/ that motor. Most of my property is sloped, including a steep sand mound bank (which I'm thinking contributed to the previous motor's demise). I've also read there are some engine conversions available. I'm not opposed to utilizing a motor other than the KT17, but it must be the same hp rating (or larger) at the PTO. I'm also do not have a problem buying used. My main uses are cutting grass, hauling dirt, mulch, wood chips and leaves. Use will be fairly heavy over the next few years since there is a vast amount of landscaping that I would like to do. I welcome all ideas and information as I am out of my realm of expertise here. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Steve.

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UCD
Call one of our Dealer members Al Eden Owner of [url="http://www.repowereng.com/"]Repower Engineering[/url]. Al Eden's Repower Engineering provides complete bolt-in engine replacement kits (in addition to adapters) for Simplicity and Allis-Chalmers tractors, replacing older-style engines with modern OHC or OHV twins. Has good information about "engine conversions." (319) 462-2214 or 1-800-462-2218 Ask for Al [url]http://www.repowereng.com/[/url]

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Chris727
Welcome to the club! The 917H is a good tractor and should handle those landscaping tasks with ease. If your KT17 is a series 2 then it might be worth repairing, though I don't think any of the KT engines are very good on steep slopes.

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HubbardRA
If you have a lot of sloped land, I would recommend either the B/S or Kohler 16 Hp single cylinder engines. Yes you would lose 1 Hp, which would not likely be noticed. These engines are capable of running all of the attachments that came with the 917. The main reason I am recommending the single cylinder 16 Hp engines is that they use what is called splash lubrication. This makes them less sensitive to operation on a slope than the newer engines that use an oil pump and will not pick up the oil on a significant slope. Just my opinion. Use it as you wish.

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RBE17
UCD, Thanks for the info. I checked out the repower site and that looks like they have what I'm looking for. I'm sure that would be the easiest way, but sometimes I don't always do that as I like to re-invent the wheel. Chris727, I'm not sure what the original motor was other than the KT17. In fact, I don't think it's there anymore. The previous owner started discarding parts before he asked me if I wanted them. What I have now is a tractor w/ no motor, flat tire, mowing deck removed and a pile of parts that looks like it doesn't include a block. Rod, Thanks for the other option recommendation. I was wondering what the main problem was w/ the KT17 engine. You are correct in that I probably will not notice the 1 hp loss. I'm interested in something w/ more power than my current JD STX 46 that has 14hp. During cutting it labors to do the job on some of the steeper slopes. That is completely unacceptable to me. Also, my racecar, gearhead mentality of "If a little is good, more is better and too much is just right" spills over into other areas of my life that it necessarily need not apply. Thanks for the info.

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cwm1276
I have Simplicity 7117H a near twin to the 917H and the Al Eden kit is complete and anyone with some basic knowledge can do the conversion. It comes with about 20 pages of instructions explaining step by step what to do. I now have an 18HP Kohler command in it and it looks like the motor was in the tractor since leaving the factory. I know this is the most costly of options compared to used motors and such, but I expect the command to give 20 years of service without many troubles. Give Al a call and he will answer any question you might have. Between him and his staff they were great to work with. Again as Rod said, my opinion use as you wish.

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cwm1276
I have a mower, snowblower ( just got the 42" for next winter, used the 36" the last 2 winters), tiller and front blade. I found that with the 36" blower I could not get enough snow into the blower fast enough to blower it as far as I wished, this winter I will have a large width and maybe can slow down a bit on the hydro, as go as fast as I can without bogging down the engine, to keep as much snow in the blower as possible and the you can blow 30ft.

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dirtsaver
Welcome to the group Steve. Wether you go with a Briggs cast iron 16hp single or a "repower" kit from Al you won't be dissapointed. I have a Simplicity 17GTH-L(never version of the 7117/917) that I use to mow and plow snow with and plow the garden too, it's great. I even pulled my 1984 Dodge full size pickup up the hill behind my house once when it was raining and the truck couldn't get traction! I also have a converted A/C B-10 with a Briggs 16hp single that I use with all sorts of implements,including a tiller and it has more pure power/torque than most 20hp+ units from the box stores. As for the repower kits from Al Eden, I've sat over coffee with Al and his wife this past summer and looked over the photo album and spec sheets on his kits and all I can say is WOW! He has covered everything you could possibly think of to do a classy,professional job. Good luck on your project!

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RBE17
Thanks everyone for the replies. I finally took a look at what parts are actually there. To my satisfaction, most of the motor is present. I'm missing a cylinder, carb, governor, piston and connecting rod. It also looks like the crank needs replacement due to a spun rod bearing. A quick ebay search has netted most of the parts. I'm pretty pleased to see so much of it there. I'm not sure if most people would bother w/ rebuilding the KT17, but for the estimated $250 in parts, I'm guessing it's worth it. The previous owner had the tractor for 15 years w/o a problem. I'm gonna give it a go and hopefully next year I'll be riding an orange and white tractor instead of a green riding lawn mower. Later, Steve.

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KVANDY12
Steve welcome to the club. IF you don't find all the parts you need for the motor I have a complete Kt17 all the part mentioned. I thought at one time I'd build it, but have way to many other things to do. And I don't need the motor. Send me a pm if I can help. Ken

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RBE17
KVANDY12, Thanks for the offer. I had some interesting developments through various conversations w/ people yesterday. One of them was from a local mower shop. He mentioned that my block is probably not good. Apparently, when the motor lets loose, the piston generally beats up the block pretty bad. If that is the case, I'm not going to mess w/ it. I'll be trying to look at it tonight. In other news, I had a long talk w/ Al from Repower yesterday. His kits sound top notch and well thought out. For an extra $800 over the price of a rebuilt KT17 his kit includes essentially everything. In addition, the motor carries the Kohler two year warranty. Here are some interesting tidbits I learned talking from various folks yesterday. Through experience people are logging between 1000-1500 hours on their KT17 regardless of Series I or Series II. If you keep the KT17 filled to the proper oil level, chances are you will not hurt the motor. The Command series motor from Kohler typically runs 2-4x longer than the KT17. Also, the oil temps tend to be ~50 degrees cooler, thus contributing to the longer life. Later, Steve.

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Roy
Al Eden's Repower Kits are top notch. Have one in my Sovereign and it has performed flawlessly ever since being installed. I highly recommend his kits. No, I don't work for him, am not related to him, and am not getting kickbacks or advertising fees. Just a satisfied customer.

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Ronald Hribar
Another problem with the KT 17 in a Simplicity, is the tendency of the gas tank to force fuel past fuel pump and thru carburator. This fills the cylinder up with raw gas that leaks into the crankcase. This can take the bearings out. However it is a simple fix. Put a shut off valve on gas line and use it.

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RBE17
I've heard nothing but good things about Al's repower kits. I talked to him for almost an hour and he is very professional. In addition to being professional he didn't try to push the kit, he just gave me all the information. I was all set to buy it, but when KVANDY12 offered to sell me his disassembled KT17 for dirt cheap, I couldn't refuse. I will be sure to put a full shut off valve on the line. All these little tips help and I appreciate them. Thanks, Steve.

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HubbardRA
Joe, If they don't call you back, then get in touch with them. Make them give you either a "yes" or a "no". After all, we are talking about Simplicities and ACs, not boxstore tractors. It may be only a misunderstanding or an oversight on their part about calling you back. Be sure, before giving up on the deal. Most people have good intentions, till they get sidetracked with something else and forget.

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