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Repowering a 7117, One Solution

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Firstly, I currently live in the UK, and it is my intention to move to our new house in Ohio, when I was in Ohio April 2010 I purchased a Simplicity 7117 with a 48 inch deck, a Snow Blower and a full simplicity cab, winter use with full cover, and summer use with just the sun shade. It also had a quite noisy and a bit smokey KolherKT 17. The history of the tractor indicated that it had not been used very hard. Anyway I decided to repower. I was due to be back in Ohio in October so I had to do all my research and preparation between April and October., and then order and fit while I was there. So out with the old

I contacted the forum, [url]http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=113590&SearchTerms=repower[/url] and I have to say what a great help to get all the opinions and advice. As I had to do this or relatively quickly, i.e. I couldn't wait around for a second-hand, pre used, engine, I decided that the Briggs & Stratton Vanguard 18 hp was the way to go: very reliable, very robust, much lighter, (it feels like I have power steering on the 7117 now! As predicted by Jim at Jim¡¦s Repair) Three companies could help with this, Edens, Small Engine Repair Warehouse, and Jim's Repair Jim's Tractors. Good reviews from Elden, but quite expensive. Too many not very good reviews from small engine repair house, and no oil filter! but cheaper. So I took a stab for Jim's repair, has demonstrated a good number of repower projects on his website. Includes rewiring for simplicity, just two wires to connect, a universal joint, with grease nipple, for connecting engine to gearbox (this does mean the engine sits a little forward and the standard muffler will fowl the hood), an oil filter, new choke cable, and new accelerator cable with a reasonable price. So I telephoned Jim, ordered the engine. Two days a later I received a telephone call, from UPS saying that they had my engine but could not deliver it to my house as the road was closed, on the phone they agreed to deliver it to where I asked outside the Chase bank in the middle of town, what's a service! So how did it all go? Very limited access to tools, which was my fault but as I said we are in the process of moving from the UK over to Ohio and all of the tools that I needed were back in the UK!! I have heard horror stories. Right at the start remove the key and put it with the oil that you have ready to put in the engine, and then you won¡¦t forget to put oil in before you start it!! Do not say I did not warn you! KT 17 came out within about an hour. Which included taking a few photographs just in case I needed to refer back to wiring etc.. Some important things to take into consideration need to make sure that wiring is fully understood, that the position of the engine is aligned correctly in the tractor frame both front to back and left to right and that the crankshaft is running at the same height as the old crankshaft. Fuel lines, choke, and accelerator cables routes, also need consideration, as does the universal connecting joint installation. The wiring was no problem as I had very clear instructions from Jim, take the wire on the tractor which goes to the ignition coil on the KT 17, which is black, to the one labelled ignition on the Vanguard, which happens to be white. Then take the white (or very faded yellow) wire up on the tractor and connect it to the red wire, voltage regulator on the Vanguard. Easy Peasy.

The universal joint is keyed and grub screwed to the Engine¡¦s crankshaft, very straightforward. The connection to the existing gearbox shaft has a grub screw only, and it is a circular shaft so I did not think that this would deal with the torque. Three approaches could be taken, weld, drill and spring roll pin, or as I did, create a flat spot with an angle grinder on the gearbox shaft some Loctite 641 bearing fit (I had to use thick thread fit as I could not get any in USA in timeframe) and tighten the grub screw to the flat. (This worked great, I have put about 8 hours of work on it and it is holding well)

The crankshaft height was a one-inch less on the Vanguard so therefore I needed to raise the engine up by 1 inch, I improvised. as apparently Jim had not included a shim At this point, I needed to cut the frame on the left hand side to accommodate the oil filter, remember to check that you have enough room to unscrew and remove the filter.

Ensuring that the engine is correctly aligned, beware, what I did to start off with, was to align it according my eye, I always think I'm pretty good. Making sure that I had the universal joint correctly positioned front to back and I also had left to right positioning taken into account. (Using tape measures and lengths of stiff wire I then used a plum bob on the crankshaft to see if it was on center line of the tractor frame, by using the bolt which is pivot point of the front axle as the reference. IT WAS NOT correct about 5/16¡¨ out So do not us this bolt. The front to back was absolutely fine, but the pivot bolt not in the center!!. I thought that was somewhat odd then I had a look at the front axle and I noticed that the angles of the bends at the end on the beam were at slightly different angles necessitating a non central position of the pivot. (This could be unique to my tractor who knows?). So I just did it by eye again and then slightly repositioned it using tape measure etc to ensure the crank shaft (therefore the engine) was parallel with the engine frame. I think this shows what I am taking about (it is clearer using the old engine)

After that, it was easy; I had to drill some holes in the frame for the four mounting bolts. Fit the std muffler, and make a couple of cuts on the hood to accommodate. Or if you have more time and tools that I had modify the muffler a little. Fit the Choke and Accelerator cables all correct fittings, so a simple job. Then connected the fuel line, with fuel filter. Connect the two electric wires Get the oil, and in it goes, then put the key in!! Then I was ready to see this baby run, into neutral, little accelerator, choke on and turn the key and............................................ she just fired up just fine.:D See the proof vid on YouTube [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdlWKMoxj1c[/url] Adjust the cables setting for choke and accelerator. Tidied up all the wiring, used cable guard and cable ties. Then time for a spin around the place.

She fired up just great, reversed out of the workshop, and went about 100ft, and she just died and stopped.:(8C Heart sank. Ah Ah I must have forgotten to switch on the fuel tap, no that is on!! I am not going to draw this out, it turned out to be intermittent but It took me about two hours to find and fix the problem.:D The ammeter had a bad connection; if that is the case then the engine will not turn over, so as a matter of caution worth checking. Conclusions, How long did it take about 5 hrs, (not counting the diagnosis of bad connection to ammeter) 1 hour to remove the old engine, 1 hour to plan and prepare the position of new engine in frame, 2 hrs to execute the plan, 1hr tidying up with cable protection and cable ties etc. The engine, very light, much better on gas, plenty of power, apparently they run 2-4hp more than their specification. If you have the money this was a great repower if you don¡¦t you could wait for an engine and solve the gearbox/crankshaft connection maybe Jim¡¦s repair would sell the universal joint separately. Take a look at my original Repowering a 7117 thread, some very useful insight in making your decision. http://www.simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=113590&SearchTerms=repower Thanks to all the members of Simple Tractors forums who contributed and help with enthusiasm. Thanks to Jim¡¦s Repairs, Thanks to anyone, I have forgotten in my excitement of breathing new life into a Simplicity 7117. Apologies re spelling or grammar etc I have tried to make this international;) I even remembered some of the UK English and USA English spellings differences. Best regards Colin

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Hi, It is now a year old, and it has done full year of seasons, mowing, plowing stone, and snow blowing throughout Ohio winter. a great tractor light steering, good power, torque. It does gather grass on the screen that is around the drive coupling. I blow it with an air line, but I need to keep an eye on this.

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