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gokartjon

Sovereign Repower Options

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gokartjon

I have been a lurking member on here for years, but have never posted.

I know that I am not the first person to post on this topic. But, I am going to post anyways.

I picked up a late 90s Sovereign last fall from a Deere dealership for pretty cheap. It is pretty clean. It has power steering, a clean deck, plow, and a cab that is missing the doors. They sold it for cheap because it wasn't running well. I cleaned the carb up and got it to the point that it runs decent. I think I did pretty good for $400.

The problem is that it leaks oil from everywhere and I think it runs too hot. And, of coarse it is the dreaded Triad. I thought about cleaning it up and replacing the front seal, but cant find one anywhere.

I briefly thought about parting it out and scraping the rest. But, this tractor deserves better.

So, my question is this... What is the best repower option?

Is the predator a good choice? Is it worth it for the overall small cost savings to have an engine that has a minimal charging circuit, the exhaust doesn't really fit, the headlights wont fit, and part availability is questionable? Plus, there isn't really any historical info on its longevity.

Is the Briggs kit from SEW a better option?

Is a Kohler Command the best? If so, will any Kohler Command fit? I see there are some good deals on Kohler's with a tapered shaft. Since nothing runs off of the shaft, is that an option? Or do different Kohler's have different crank bolt patterns?

I would like to keep this as cheap as possibly, but do not want to sacrifice quality over a couple hundred dollars.

Any input would be appreciated.

thanks,

Jon

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kwt

 

 

My stepson traded straight up, an almost new 20hp Husquvarna, for a 16 hp Vanguard repowered 1974 Massey Ferguson 14 that looked a little rough. He couldn't be happier.

Edited by gwiseman
Cleaned up

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SmilinSam

Best option, and cheapest option are not usually anywhere near the same option.

I've done a number of repowers on the 7000/700 and  7100/900 series  tractor chasis over the years. Cheapest and easiest is to slap a single cylinder engine in it. Used parts are plentiful, mufflers being the hardest part of a repower, followed by the driveshaft connectors and driveshafts.

If you are intent on a v twin then the cost and difficulty is going to go up depending on what parts you need and how available they are used. New parts are going to be expensive with a capital E.

The one nice thing about the twins is they vibrate a whole lot less than the singles.

Another note is that all the 7100 series and 900 series frames are pre- drilled for  both the single cylinder patterns abd the opposed twin patterns. The Diesel version may be an exception to that however. I dont know if the newer  GTHL and Soveriegn frames have holes for the singles  or not. Never had one that new to repower as yet.

The other important part of a repower project is to alter the wiring and keyswitches to work with the engine you are putting in the tractor. The nice thing is that Soveriegn wiring is not all that complicated.

 

 

 

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maxwood

Hello, The predator from Harbor freight is a good option . several of them have been done here and documented.  The sovereign with power steering that you bought for $400 is  a bargain they are awesome tractors  

 

Thanks Ken in Mi

IMG_1905.JPG

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gokartjon

For those that have done the predator swap....

Do you feel the motor was a bargain for the price?

Or would I be further ahead to spend money up front on the Briggs kit from small engine warehouse?

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maxwood

Hello, I don't know how much the repower kit costs? but even if you repower , don't expect to gain a profit  when you decide to sell.   

A running  sovereign usually sells between  $600 & $1200 depending on the included attachments .

If you intend to use it till it is worn out ,it will be a good investment.

 

Thanks Ken in Mi

Edited by maxwood
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jimmystractor

Here is what I would probably do...

I would watch craigslist every day and buy a Sovereign that runs great for about $600. You may be able to score a late model Sovereign with a command but probably could also find Kohler Magnum in an 18 hp or even 20 hp that repowered a 7117 or something.

I would then steal the motor from that Craigslist score for your power steering rig. I would then sell off the Sovereign no motor for about $300 with the mower deck. Then you don’t have to mess with a muffler or any other crap....

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Brettw

Or, perhaps clean up the Triad, replace the gaskets, and maybe get a lot of use out of it.  If I recall coorectly, that was one of / the main issues with them.  They would leak oil, get caked with dirt, run hot, and fail because of the heat.  Clean up the engine, so it will run cool, fix the leaks, and good to go for maybe a very long time.  It is the "dreaded Triad", but there are a lot of guys who have had very good experience with them.

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gokartjon

I would try to fix the leaks, but it’s the crankshaft seal that is leaking the worst. It throws oil everywhere. I cannot find the seal anywhere. It’s like the entire engine never existed. If I could find a seal, I would do just that. Clean it up and drive it till it dies. 

Edited by gokartjon
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gwiseman

I bought a Cub Cadet w/CH18 to repower my Sovereign but, as @CarlH tells me: when you buy used you buy other people's problems. To that end if this doesn't work or if I get another I will repower w/a Preditor when they go on $599 special. I've been thinking to have one on the shelf would be nice anyway...

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tweinke

I went the Predator route and am satisfied with the outcome. You do have to do a bit of your own fabrication to do it and for me that was a relaxing thing because I enjoy the challenge. The charging system is good for about 7 amps according to HF. I did run the headlights over winter by having the engine mounted as far toward the battery and fuel tank as I could and leaving the heat shield off the muffler. that didn't work so well come spring due to heat from the muffler. Modifying the muffler to sit just a bit lower and closer to the engine would solve that issue in my opinion. I did need to order a part from HF for it that I managed to break and in all honesty it took about 10 to 12 weeks to get. I noticed that maxwood gave a link for that crank adapter from Performance 670 which would make that part of the job easier if you don't have a lathe etc to make it. performance 670 is part of Zack Kerber machine and I have bought from him before when I needed Cub Cadet clutch parts and I can say the quality is very good and they are nice to work with. They also have a web store not on Ebay that has quite a few 670 parts geared toward the garden tractor pulling crowed.  I made my own using the info from the guys here I also made my own mounting plate because I have a milling machine and lathe ( time spent as relaxation) So my recap would be Will it work yes, are parts available yes but may not be as quick as you would like, What will the lifespan be unknown but it does seem to be decent quality. Would I do it again yes. Those engines are sold under the Rato brand elsewhere. In my mind when having to buy Chinese you need to have it in the back of your mind that you may be buying a kit that may need some finetuning to make it work as well as it should. So I guess if you want easy the SEW kit or the like would be easiest for a twin cylinder. I have installed one of there kits in a JD for a friend and it appears to be pretty well thought out. All suggestions by the other guys are good too.    

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Talntedmrgreen
12 hours ago, jimmystractor said:

Here is what I would probably do...

I would watch craigslist every day and buy a Sovereign that runs great for about $600. You may be able to score a late model Sovereign with a command but probably could also find Kohler Magnum in an 18 hp or even 20 hp that repowered a 7117 or something.

I would then steal the motor from that Craigslist score for your power steering rig. I would then sell off the Sovereign no motor for about $300 with the mower deck. Then you don’t have to mess with a muffler or any other crap....

Great plan!  I recently scooped up a GTH-L from a member here for $400.  It was for a co-worker, and he couldn't be happier.  There are plenty of fair priced sovereigns out there.  Heck, I've even seen some deck-less Sunstars recently in the $500 range that would be a good donor.  Then you have probably $500 in power steering and rear end to re-sell.  

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kwt
On 5/23/2018 at 5:08 PM, kwt said:

 

 

A wise man once noticed that I can be a little salty, and perhaps a little too familiar. He straightened me out.  ;)

 

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Chris727
On 5/23/2018 at 8:30 PM, gokartjon said:

I would try to fix the leaks, but it’s the crankshaft seal that is leaking the worst. It throws oil everywhere. I cannot find the seal anywhere. It’s like the entire engine never existed. If I could find a seal, I would do just that. Clean it up and drive it till it dies. 

I just tried looking for that seal. No results on completed sales on eBay. None at PartsTree. You might try calling around to kohler dealers or possibly take the seal out and a bearing supply house might be able to match something up. 

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maxwood

Hello,   . Kohler engine website has service and owners manuals for download.  I goole searched "Kohler TH18" and got some results for a parts diagram.  

 

 

http://www.shankslawn.com/oemparts#/Kohler_Engine/TH18-54503_BASIC_18_HP_(13.4_kW)_SPECS_54501-54526/Crankcase_2-28-2_(TP-2481)_Rev_10%2f%2f26%2f%2f2006/11542/CATALOGS|~33602

 

Thanks Ken in Mi

Edited by maxwood

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gokartjon

How does the Sunstar engine mount compared to the sovereign. There is a Sunstar 18 posted locally that has a Briggs Repower in it. 

Would that already have the crankshaft adapter?

are any parts shared between the sovereign and Sunstar 18?

Edited by gokartjon

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Wilbur643
7 hours ago, gokartjon said:

I believe that is the seal for the other end of the crankshaft. The seal I need is more robust. 

What seal are you looking for?

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ShaunE

I have had good luck with the Triad.  But I followed all the "Fixes" addressed throughout this site.  If the only symptom is oil leakage, then attempt to obtain the correct seal.  If no avail, then personally owning a KT17, Command & Triad Sovereign, I would recommend the Vanguard version of re-power.  I only say that as I have not been as lucky as most with the "coveted" Kohler Command engine.  I'm speaking from personal experience & I would be happy to tell you all the problems I've personally had with my Command.  Most here have not had the issues I have so take that into consideration.  It runs great now but with $$$ & time involved.  Never had that much trouble with the KT or Singles like Sam has posted about.  Not a lot of info on the Vanguard re-power but I think based on my experience, that's what I would lean towards.

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Bill725

The PTO seal is Kohler P/N 28 032 03-S, discontinued. I am in the process of repowering my Sovereign and have the Triad setting on the floor. The seal has TTO G285 molded into it. I think TTO stands for Tai Tsuang Oil seal company in Taiwan. May want to try and cross reference it. GOOD LUCK! Sad to scrap an engine for a $6.40 part. And that is one of the reasons I am repowering.

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Richard Wright

I don't know anything about the Triads, but here's a web site (you guys may already know about this) of a guy who handles a lot of older Kohler parts, particularly the K series. http://isavetractors.com/  Norman seems like a pretty knowledgeable guy and might be able to get you either the seal or point you in the right direction. Good luck. As Bill says, it would be a real shame to scrap a good engine over a small part.

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gokartjon

A little update....

I thought I would do the tractor a little favor and deep clean the engine. I got everything cleaned up. I went to use it and oil is shooting out of the head on the right side. Somewhere underneath the engine shroud. 

So, a couple options popped up locally. 

First option is an AC 916. Looks clean. It has a deck, blower, and wheel weights. 

Second option is a Troy Bilt GTX 18. It has 700 hrs. It too looks clean  

What are the opinions of the experts here? Go AC and put that single cylinder in my tractor? Or go Troy Bilt and put the 18 hp command in my tractor. 

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