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Alpha8D

Still undecided on the used Soverign. Help!

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Alpha8D
The only thing I can think of more foolish than not asking for help from knowledgeable friends would be to disregard that help. I've decided to pass on the overpriced Soverign with the dreaded Kohler engine and am very comfortable with the decision. I feel like I narrowly escaped a rare strain of "new paint didsease" A hearty THANKS to Bill, JP, Roy, Maynard, Andy, Don, Chris, Les, Sam, Ron, Ken, Greg, Erick and Paul for respionding to my call for help!! (previous entry) This is a follow up to my 2 previous posts on same subject in the last couple days. More info is now avail from seller and from you great contributors Here's the package for sale: Sovereign 1692945 SN 50045, 18hp twin V Kohler, (the nasty one), Hydro, power lift. Snow Cab 48" mower deck 1691219 SN 52104 Snow Thrower 1691522 SN 50565 Chains












It was purchased new in 1996 for $7300. It was used on a very small lawn to mow the first 3 years and mower has not been on since. It was used to blow snow each year and the last 6 years has been stored summers in a shed and only used in winter for snow. Owner's friend, (seller) claims it was serviced professionally every year. By my admittedly less than expert examination it looks about as unused and close to out of box as could be hoped for. See pictures. The dipstick showed light colored new looking oil so I'd guess it hasn't been run except to load on trailer and off since last service. Seller agreed not to run it again until the shrouds are removed and that mouse nest in the picture is removed. Owner is said to be holding price stubborn at $3500. I'm thinking of offering $3000 but would pay the $3500 if that's a fair price. My concerns and questions are: Q: Did any of these engines give OK service if meticulously maintained regard oil change, keeping cooling fins clean etc? What would it cost to re-power if I bought the better OHV engine new or rebuilt and swapped it out myself. Is there any merit in doing this before the OHC engine starts to fail, (any trade in or swap value to the dreaded engine if it's not kaput)? I'll use it for mowing more than blowing so if the 12 Synchro Briggs is inadequate should it be bored out for bigger piston first if that's the re-power route to go? I now mow and blow with my only other tractor, the 1967 Landlord 10hp, 42" deck. I think it has a shorter wheelbase than the Sovereign and probably a larger turning radius. Will this be a hassle mowing with 48" deck on Sovereign? On my 10hp Briggs I removed one engine shroud so I could always see the fins and keep it clean of grass. Can this be done with the dreaded Kohler? I mow our church lawn occasionally and want to start mowing a few lawn for fun and profit. Will the sloping ground at the church kill the dreaded Kohler? I would keep my Landlord to use as woods tractor and sell off it's snow blower and mower. What do you think. All advise welcome. PS. I really like my Landlord but collecting and rebuilding tractors is not a hobby of mine. I enjoy maintaining my equipment but the re-power project would be done for the benefit, not the process. I'm a retired mechanical engineer and appreciate the great design and quality of these tractors. I do enjoy making my own attachments, trailers etc. Thanks in advance for the help! Jim

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UCD
Personaly I don't like dealing though a third party/middleman. I feel that the price is a little high especially with the obvious mouse nest and the bad reputation of the Kohler TH18S. How long has it been operated with the mouse nest there? My engine manual says that the Sovereign 18hp MFG# 1692945 was made in 1998 and has a Kohler TH18S. The TH-18 OHC is the bad one used from 1998 to 2000. The good one is the CH-18 OHV used from 1993 to 1997. Any engine no matter how well maintained can blowup and go south tomorrow. The thing to do is maintain it the best you can and not to worry about it until the time it happens if and when it does. The condition of the tractor looks to be in good shape but looks can be deceiving. There are a lot of people that maintain the cosmetics but care less about the mechanical. Shrouds were put on an engine for a reason not just for looks. They should not be removed except to clean the cooling fins. They direct the air from the blower fan to where it is needed to remove heat by the air flowing over the fins. My 12hp tractors have no problem mowing with a 48" deck but the 12hp might work a little hard with the 42" snow blower The bottom line is that the only one that is going to know if it is worth it is you as it is your money.

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SmilinSam
Way too high for a tractor that basically "has no engine". I'm sure some sucker will come along thats has no knowledge of the TH series engines, and they will live to regret purchasing it. The question is: Do you feel like a sucker ? Think about it. The cab and blower will only bring $200-$300 each used at auction. That means you are still paying 3 grand for a engineless tractor, whether the seller wants to believe it or not. In my estimation the only allure to this is its general newness, which it isnt all that new either, and the snow package. I still think theres a sucker to be had somewhere in regards to this.8

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KenK
I had replaced a th18 out of a sovereign with a command 18 about 2 months ago.The motor was $1800,had to replace the muffler at $200(they will not inner change).The driveshaft had to be changed also,I think it was $75.Just figure some of this in the near future if planning on buying the tractor.Best thing to do,is wait till it's blown then buy it.

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gtwygreg
If it didn't have that engine I'd say go for it. I think the other members were right on with their predictions on that engine. However if this is a tractor you really want you have to make the call.

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Ketchamized
I honestly think it's way overpriced. I would personally not pay more than $900 for that package. For $3k, I'd rather have a Simplicity 9020 Powermax or bigger tractors. Heck, if you looked carefully at the pictures Maynard posted of that tractor show, you'd see in one of the pics, there is a beautiful fully restored farm sized Allis for $3,000 bucks. That guy is DREAMING. Tell him that if he still hasn't sold it by next year, you'll give him $700 for everything.

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Paul_B
Overpriced! If it wasn't the TH engine, then perhaps it might be worth thinking about... I picked up a similiar vintage sovereign (Kohler CH-18 engine though) with a 48" deck and a 42" blower with an electric spout rotator for less than half of his asking price.

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andrewk
quote:
Q: Did any of these engines give OK service if meticulously maintained regard oil change, keeping cooling fins clean etc?
Yes they did. Regardless of how much scrutiny there is here on the triad, if you take care of it, it will last longer than most here will give it credit for. The Triad was not the best engine, nor was it bulletproof, but if you understand the engines needs, and are ok with providing what it requires, you'll do fine, IMO. I would hardly say it is an "engineless tractor" Now, I am not trying to defend that engine's shortcomings. I bet a lot of members here have been "burned" by this engine, or know someone who has, but coming from someone that has seen a lot of these, I don't think they are as bad as people say, if you take care of them. They are a maintenance monster (IE very needy), and if neglected, will not last well at all. As far as worth, anything is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Personally, I wouldn't give a dime for an MTD tractor, but everyday people give 1100+ for them. I don't know that it is a 3000 dollar tractor, but you wont get anything close to that new for that price. JMHO, I am sure someone will tell me I am wrong :D:D I think Al has a repower kit in the 2000 range, maybe a bit more.

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