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Simplicity Landlord DLX 20 short block or other option?


webbie1

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I have a Simplicity Landlord DLX with the 20hp Vanguard engine.  For a while now, the engine has been leaking out out the bottom from the shaft.  It also smokes a bit under load.  It's tired.  So I'm thinking of swapping it, but the exact duplicate isn't available anymore.  One option (that I discussed a while back with a Briggs and Stratton tech) would be to get the shortblock.  It's roughly $700 for this option, and I'm not sure if other items besides the shortblock would need attention (heads, carb, etc).   It runs well now....no issues at all other than the leaking and smoking (which the smoking isn't drastic, but I do notice it when under load).   I'm looking for suggestions.  Also, how much work is it to swap out the short block?   It's been a good tractor and I have the deck, snowblower, and tiller attachments for it.   Looking for some advice or suggestions before I drop $700 on a shortblock.

                                              Thanks much,

                                                    Warner

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IMO it’s not much work to swap the parts required to a short block.  Probably the hardest part of the job will be getting the electric PTO/belt pulley of the engine shaft - but you’ll have to do that regardless. 


Others on the site have a lot more experience with vertical shaft engines than I.  First step might be replacing the seal and look for a tractor with a similar size engine with a blown tranny that you can swap into your tractor rather than invest in a short block. 

 

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28 minutes ago, PhanDad said:

I.  Probably the hardest part of the job will be getting the electric PTO/belt pulley of the engine shaft - but you’ll have to do that regardless. 

 

Never had a problem with the PTO or drive pully coming off, especially when the seals been leaking. In those cases you need to have ahold of the pto when you take the bolt out as it usually just drops right off the shaft.

30 minutes ago, PhanDad said:

 First step might be replacing the seal and look for a tractor with a similar size engine with a blown tranny that you can swap into your tractor rather than invest in a short block. 
 

Seals are easy to replace, and the engines come out pretty easy too. 

Lots of Broadmoors  of the same hood style as landlords out there with bad transmissions and good engines. Unless you are running a 54" deck, you can get by with a 18 and even a 16hp vanguard. Both will pull a 44" and 50" deck. Got a friend that runs a 16 in a ConQuest with a 50.

If the shortblock does not include the heads & valves, you probably should have a valve job done on the old heads. My opinion anyhow. Then get them adjusted properly after heads are installed.

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40 minutes ago, SmilinSam said:

If the shortblock does not include the heads & valves,

Interesting - never thought of what an OHV engine might involve.  Old cast iron engine short blocks usually (always?) had valves - just clean up the old head and you were good to go.  Messing with valves = more skill required. 
 

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you can get a new complete 18hp vangard for not a lot more than

your shortblock. bolts right in ! or if you want more power.

with a little exhaust tinkering, a 23 hp vanguard.

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I am of the school to keep your eyes open for a cheap tractor with a good motor but potentially bad trans, etc.  I have now replaced 3 engine in Simplicities with good engines out of a Murray a Sears and some other throwaway I can't recall.  Sometimes it's just a bad mower deck and it's not worth the owner fixing.  But the engines were the same brand / family as the simplicity, although a different horsepower a few times.  $100-150 for the tractors and all of those Simplicities I put them in are still going strong.  I look at Craig's and type in garden or lawn tractors and just keep my eyes open.  You might be surprised. Actually had a good set o wheels and tires left over and scrapped the rest and almost paid for the tractor.

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Some of these Landlords had a Kohler command also from factory. The biggest issue to overcome with swapping brands is the special Simplicity muffler will only work on a similar Vanguard twin. There may also be wiring differences. The muffler is very specific on the Landlord series and I doubt a muffler for most JD, Cub, etc with B&S intek or Kohler command would be very adaptable to the Landlord tractor. I would definitely try to stick with a Vanguard . 

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9 minutes ago, irvtoms said:

i assume you have the smaller diameter crankshaft. make sure your replacement motor has the same crank size.

Most all these vertical engines under 25hp have a 1" pto shaft....most but not all.

On 12/27/2021 at 6:00 PM, Brettw said:

 with good engines out of a Murray 

Case in point, some Murrays actually had a stepped shaft thats not compatable with  Simplicity equipment. Had a nice running opposed 2 cyl  briggs in one. Was all hyped up to throw it in a 6000 series tractor when I pulled the one piece long transmission drive/pto pulley off to find that long stepped pto shaft. What a let down....

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