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Vanguard 18 blowing seals, Engine swapping a Kohler Courage


bnolte

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My 2000ish Landlord DLX with the Vanguard 18 V twin seems to have a problem retaining its bottom oil seal. I replaced it once and the replacement came right back out. Next time I glued it in with Red Loctite, and it seems to have held for a couple of years, but based on the oil leakage underneath the tractor, it seems to have blown again. Winter isn't over, and I add oil when I need to use the tractor to plow snow, and the oil level drops to the bottom of the full range on the dipstick. The engine seems to run well, with just a little blue smoke on startup and is holding oil pressure. The tractor had about 300 hours on it when I got it in 2012, and the engine had been replaced at some point before that. The hour meter stopped working at about 370 hours, but I figure it has probably 1000 hours total on it. 

I plan to take a closer look in the spring when I convert it back over to mowing.  The main thing I suspect is that the crankcase breather is blocked, causing excess pressure inside the crankcase, If worst comes to worst, I have a 22 horsepower Kohler Courage I could possibly swap in, which is out of a Husquvarna residential Zero turn with bad transmissions on both sides. That motor runs well, and has about 230 hours on it. Is this an easy swap?

Edited by bnolte
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3 minutes ago, Bill725 said:

I have been told you have to have Courage to run a Kohler Courage.

Someone has been watching some Taryl Videos on Youtube. sm03

Seriously, it came from my brother, who maintains his equipment. It isn't a top of the line motor, but it outlasted the POS Hydrogear 2800 wheel drives. 

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Just make sure the crank snout is the same for the clutch. Other than that it’s just bolt holes, routing wiring and hoses and getting the exhaust to fit.

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  • 1 month later...

I finally got around to taking the PTO off, I had to fix a wiring issue with it and discovered the seal was intact and dry, but I still have an oil leak on the right side of the motor, so I need to clean things up to find the leak. 

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  • 1 month later...

I went through the tractor this spring, and replaced the seal again, taking care to lube it and the crank with white grease before installing it. The leak seemed to have quit, at least the first couple of times I mowed, but now the leak is as bad as ever. I also checked the breather (ok) and for excess pressure from the dipstick tube, but that didn't seem to be a problem. I am beginning to think I may have gouged the crank when pulling the seal with a screwdriver. 

I also checked the Courage engine on the Zero Turn. After checking the model number I found that the crank is too long (4") and too large in diameter ( 1 1/8), so it is back to square one.

Edited by bnolte
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  • 7 months later...

I checked out an engine back in June, a Kohler Command 20. Its the right crankshaft and it should run. I had to replace the starter and tap out a couple of broken mounting bolts. The oil didn't look too bad and the engine had spark and compression. Big issue will probably be the exhaust if I decide to do the swap. The current plumbing is a 2 into 1 pipe with an outlet to the left.  I just keep pouring oil into the Briggs, about a pint per 2 hours of operation. 

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  • 4 months later...

The Vanguard started losing power in a big way last week, I had suspicions the top seal was leaking as well, and I pulled the heads off and found a possible blown head gasket. While the heads were off, I pulled the flywheel and confirmed the blown top seal. I also for good measure planed the heads on a piece of 400 grit sandpaper on a glass plate, and lapped the valves. I can't work as fast as I used to, but I finally got it all back together today.  There was 2 weeks worth of spring grass that didn't get cut last week, and the mower went through it with ease.  Next time I take pictures as I dismantle things, I had a heck of a time with the governor setup without knowing where certain springs go. 

Now maybe I can get to a more fun project, like resurrecting the dormant Landlord 101 project in the back of my shed. Hopefully the engine swap is off the table as well, but maybe I can find another tractor that can use it, it would be nice to have a dedicated snow plow tractor for instance, but pickings on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are pretty slim these days.  

Edited by bnolte
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Next time I take pictures as I dismantle things, I had a heck of a time with the governor setup without knowing where certain springs go. "

 

Yes, agree with that!  I rebuilt the carb on my Kohler CH18 a week ago, took pics of everything and was careful to reassemble correctly.  Got done, and it wouldn't fire at all when I tried to start it.  Would fire on starter fluid, but was getting no gas.  Went over the pics and was sure I had done the carb correctly.  Pulled the air cleaner off, and there it was.  I had forgotten to plug in the solenoid for shutting down.  At least, the pics gave me confidence that the carb was good.

Steve

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