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Considering Cast Iron Briggs to Kohler Swap, anyone have thoughts? Simplicity Landlord


Back40

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Hi all, 

Im sorting through and restoring a Simplicity Landlord that I thought was a 2012, but the seat pans that came with the tractor say different.  One has a 101 decal and the other 2010.  Anyhow, Im going through the engine now and with all the fuss that is finding parts and extra machine shop work, Im wondering if it might be worth considering swapping a Kohler K301 in place of the Briggs 300421. 

Ive fought through finding the 14hp piston to replace the damaged 12hp piston, gasket kit is here, but now the last piece of the 'puzzle' is ordering valves to replace the existing that have some welding evidence..  Ordering valves will be a few bucks and the additional $100 to bore out the cylinder on top of the other machining needed has me wondering if all the effort could be placed in a more supported engine platform.  I understand these machine are getting older, parts are scarce, and a bit of searching is required, but Kohlers are still supported by aftermarket vendors.  The K301 in my Allis 312 I went through and parts were a breeze to find.  Im uncertain about boring for the 16hp piston and not touching the carb and counterweights, and I cant find a straight answer on if I need to replace the cylinder head.

Any thoughts on the idea?  Anyone thats completed the swap have any advice if I do go through with the idea?  Am I an idot for considering?  Is the increased HP noticable from the 12 to 16hp bump and well worth all the effort?  All input is welcome! 

Thanks all, Back40.

And since everyone loves photos..!

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20231026_193227.jpg

Edited by Back40
14hp* piston, not 16hp.
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Swapping to a Kohler will depend somewhat on which specification of K301. Most had battery ignition but some did have magneto. Those with magneto were usually equipped with a starer-generator. I am not sure how the generator mounting brackets will fit with the Landlord frame. You would need a different keyswitch. Throttle and choke cables will likely need to be changed. As far as the Briggs, it will give the best look in the tractor. I would not use the 12hp head if it were me. I would find a 32 cubic inch cylinder head. I have a couple of engines I was contemplating doing a 32 cubic inch conversion also. If the crankshafts are the same part number on a 12hp and 14hp then I do not believe you will have a balance issue. 

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I have had a couple of Kohler powered footdraggers come through here over the years, so I know people have done that swap and it does work.

Points you probably need to look into would be:

Oil dipstick clearance to tinwork (depending on which type dipstick/fill neck the Kohler you use has)

Also air cleaner clearance of the hood. Cant remember whether owners butchered the hoods or not. Just off the top of my head, one may or may not have to space the air filter assembly out a little further from the hood to clear.

 Pretty sure the 4 bolt flange pans will bolt right in to the tractor frames.

Will require a Kohler type battery ignition keyswitch( if  your kohler is the more common battery ignition type)...and some wiring changes to hook up the switch.

I dont think mounting a muffler is much different than the Briggs....

May or may not need to change driveshaft lengths or at least spacer thicknesses.

 

As indicated, the looks of the tractor will be a bit different than with a starter /generator equipped Briggs.. Such though, is a matter of preference in regards to originality and/or  operability.

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@Back40

Boring a B&S CI 12HP from 3-7/16" to 3-9/16" has been done, is being done and can be done. You are taking a 12HP, 30 CI, 300421 and making it a 14HP, 32CI 320421. The 14HP is basically a 12HP with both balancers in a 32CI version.

Piston Assy 32CI-Std: 390364/792365

Chrome Ring Set-Std: 390679/792366 (CI original. Chrome, last longer.)

Connecting Rod-0.020: 390306

Exhaust Valve: 261207 (Old Style Keepers) / 394436 (New Style Keepers)

Intake Valve-Before 7004171: 230861 (Old Angle & Keepers)

Intake Valve-After 7004161: 261206 (New Angle, Old Keepers) / 394435 (New Angle & Keepers)

Carb Main Jet: 299518 (#30) used in both engines. If need change to 390650 (#40).

Cylinder Head (12HP, 15HP and early 16HP used the same): 211889

Cover-Cylinder Head (12HP, 15HP & early 16HP used the same): 221953

Head Gasket 32CI: 270662

I would check the 32CI head gasket to the new cylinder bore and the underside of the cylinder head so they match.

 

 

 

Edited by Bill725
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Crankshaft size shouldn't make any difference unless you are planning on running a snowblower, and then it's just a matter of finding the right size pulley to fit the crank.  You will need to find the drive hub and hardware for the flywheel end of the kohler engine if it didn't already come from this style of tractor application.

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Thanks for the replies all!  And thanks for sharing thoughts on the components that will likely need modification.  I have a K301 from a parts Jacobsen Chief 1200, I will investigate the crank size.  It would need a pulley out the front but for a weed cutter rather than a snoblower (in the background of the images above).  Appearance of the machine does matter a good bit to me.  Itll be used around the property mostly but I do enjoy having a nice looking tractor.  You guys make a good point that the aesthetics will change quite a bit with an engine swap..

@SmilinSam thanks for the breakdown of things you have seen in your experiances.  I likely wont go through with the swap if all these area need to be hacked up.  @Bill725 comin in hot with every part number a guy could need. (Again!)  Thank you as always for sharing your library of knowledge!  @Chris727 Im not sure what the 301 has for ignition, Ill take a look when Im digging the crank out from behind siezed pulleys.  IT does have the starter generator so Id assume magnito ignition?

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In my opinion, with the level of the restoration you are doing, I would stick with the original engine type.  You are off to an excellent example of an original, and I think a good ol' briggs in there would be the icing on the cake.  Just my opinion, but either way, nice job.

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I have a 15hp Briggs out of a 3415s

and I have a 16hp Briggs out of a 7116. I would think the 15hp would be more what you want cause it’s a starter generator engine. Runs strong but has a nock so I assume it needs bottom end. I’d let either one go for 125. Not sure what they go for. I can tell you I replaced the brass guide already for ignition plunger.

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Paul M.Murphy

Tanner;

I'm still Mr. new Guy to this hobby but from what I can see you'll have a fine looking machine upon completion.

You've done a nice job so far so I would go for the org. B&S. You'vge put in too much time effort to change midstream.

Just a amateur's opinion!

Paul

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@Brettw, thanks for your thoughts and I appreciate the comment.  Im thinking the general consessus is the right choice and keeping with the origional Briggs.  

@hurleyii I appreciate the offer!  I wil continue to comb through this engine but will reach out if I find something that requires a new block.  

@Paul M.Murphy, that makes 2 of us!  This all started this spring with a garden expansion needing a larger tiller.  8 months later and there is now 7 tractors packed in the shop..  I appreciate the complements and will agree the Briggs will be coming back to life.  

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" 8 months later and there is now 7 tractors packed in the shop..  "  It took me years to work up to 8 !

Good looking machine you have there.

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On 10/31/2023 at 5:57 PM, Back40 said:

8 months later and there is now 7 tractors packed in the shop.. 

Well, I maxed out at 7 at one time.  I currently have 4, looking at another. But there is an algorithm that works with tractors.  It includes:  1) Number of tractors.  2) Size of garage / shop / barn / shed / overall storage.  3) Wife.  Use this algorithm as follows:  Number of tractors divided by area of storage, multiplied by evil stares and obvious pressure build up prior to eruption.  Then, factor that to include desire to sleep in warm bed.  At 7 tractors I reached critical mass.  It occurred to me that I could not graduate to 8 tractors and still leave enough room in the garage to sleep with them.  So, just prior to the nuclear meltdown, I purged some of the steam and downsized to the point of: A) Plenty of room to sleep in the garage with them, and, B) not needing to.  Life is about balance...........

Edited by Brettw
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Biggest issue with the Kohler would be the drive shaft height alignment.

That Briggs is a good motor. Mine is on its second rebuild. First time I had to bore it 20 over. Second time I had to sleeve it and go back to standard bore.

As long as the bearings on the synchro balance weights are good you should have no trouble.

Joe...

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9 hours ago, JoeT&DMaker said:

As long as the bearings on the synchro balance weights are good you should have no trouble.

@Back40

Have the machine shop replace both the crankshaft bearings and balancer bearings.

(2) Crankshaft bearings SKF 6207/C3

(2) Balancer bearings SKF 6008 JEM (C3)

I would also suggest changing the ignition over to Magnetron. Armature P/N 398811. Need to repolarize flywheel. If you need help repolarizing, PM me.

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13 hours ago, Bill725 said:

@Back40

Have the machine shop replace both the crankshaft bearings and balancer bearings.

(2) Crankshaft bearings SKF 6207/C3

(2) Balancer bearings SKF 6008 JEM (C3)

I would also suggest changing the ignition over to Magnetron. Armature P/N 398811. Need to repolarize flywheel. If you need help repolarizing, PM me.

 

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The 6008 is just a regular bearing.

Isn't the weight part of the inner race ?

I know if you had to replace the bearing Simplicity sold it as an assy. with the cover.

Joe...

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@JoeT&DMaker?

15 hours ago, JoeT&DMaker said:

The 6008 is just a regular bearing.

YES

15 hours ago, JoeT&DMaker said:

Isn't the weight part of the inner race ?

NO

15 hours ago, JoeT&DMaker said:

I know if you had to replace the bearing Simplicity sold it as an assy. with the cover.

Simplicity part. NO. Briggs sold as assembly. YES.

Picture is worth a 100 words. And I have had the balancer bearings replaced before.

20231105_072912.jpg

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That's my cover............ I've rebuilt my 300421 Briggs twice. First time was in the mid 80's. Bored it 20 over, new everything. Since it was all apart I wanted to replace the bearing weights. My local dealer said they were not available separately, had to buy the cover as an assy. He said mine are fine put it together and run it. Since that day I had figured that was a special bearing made by Timkin for Simp. I never looked that closely at it.

Second time I rebuilt it was in 2014. Had to sleeve it. The bearing on the weights were still good. It's still running fine today.

There was no parts breakdown of that cover assy. I'd love to see a picture of that apart.

 

Joe.....

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@JoeT&DMaker, Looking at the 12hp catalog it was not listed separate. Looking at the 16hp catalog (balancer on flywheel side only) it is shown as an illustration but the gear and bearing are bought together but are available separate from the whole unit. 

12hp.thumb.jpg.9f7cd2e54720af713d85437c76cd7f36.jpg

 

16jhp.thumb.jpg.32e56b4db87b4efd5bbdfe90960b4f86.jpg

 

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I never thought to look at the 16 hp parts list. I did rebuild a 16 hp Briggs for a friend that was on an old generator.

But the weight of the counterbalance would be different from that of the 12 hp.

 

Joe.....

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On 11/3/2023 at 7:22 PM, JoeT&DMaker said:

Biggest issue with the Kohler would be the drive shaft height alignment.

K series and Magnums all mount up the same height as the Briggs cast irons.

 You only have height differences when you go to a V-twin in Briggs or Kohler. Those that were in factory tractor setups had riser plates.

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11 hours ago, SmilinSam said:

You only have height differences when you go to a V-twin in Briggs or Kohler.

The Kohler Command V-twin crankshaft height is the same as the Briggs/Kohler cast iron engines (6-1/8").  The Kohler Triad V-twin crankshaft height is less and a riser is required. 

(Don't know Briggs V-twin crankshaft height)

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1 hour ago, PhanDad said:

The Kohler Command V-twin crankshaft height is the same as the Briggs/Kohler cast iron engines (6-1/8").  The Kohler Triad V-twin crankshaft height is less and a riser is required. 

(Don't know Briggs V-twin crankshaft height)

I stand corrected, Thanks Bill.

I do know for sure though that the Vanguards need a riser plate as I did put one in myself on a 917  a bunch of years ago.

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Looking at the Briggs parts catalogs the 12hp and 14hp both use the same basic crankshaft and the same PTO side balancer assembly (P/N 299732). As @JoeT&DMaker suggested the larger HP engine with larger piston, would have been thought to have different balancers to offset the weight of a larger piston on the 14hp. The 14hp uses a different balancer on the flywheel side (P/N 320299) . I would have thought they would have both been different. The 16hp only has a balancer on the flywheel side  ( P/N 391061).  

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