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SmilinSam

Repowering a 720, Briggs or Honda?

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SmilinSam
What should I put in her? The Briggs V- Twin or the Honda V-twin? both kits are sold bt the Small Engine Warehouse that advertises hereon Simpletractors. I lean towards the Honda 24hp kit, but I'd like to hear from anyone else who may already have one or the other and what their opinions are now after using them.

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LBS
I don't have a powermax yet so I can't tell you if there are ups/downs in mounting or operation in the tractor. we used to have a sawmill with the 20 Hp briggs and it worked well but if it was to do over again we would go with honda. The briggs needs little tweeks on the carb more often. The honda uses less gas but it seems like it has less actual power for the Hp, they are a little smoother and quieter to. hope this helps. Lawrence

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Floydster
I have two AC 620's, and when it comes time to re-power I am going with the Honda. The CCKB on the 620 loader is getting kind of tired, so I'm saving up the $$$ to do the job, should be a sweet setup. Floydster

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gretsch
One fault on the Vanguards (at least on the smaller ones) is the starter gear pinion (at least that's what I call it) is plastic and will shear sporadically. The starter is inside the shroud so it takes some time and dismanteling to change it out.

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powerking_one
Sam, How bad a shape is the old Onan in? If the starter, charging system, air filter, and muffler are in good order, then have you considered rebuilding it with aftermarket parts? My brother is rebuilding his 4041 engine with parts from NAPA. Prices and availability seem very good. Examples: pistons~~ $25.00/each (O.Sizes avail), main bearing set ~~ $50.00 (U. Sizes available), full Fel-Pro gasket set w/seals ~~ $80.00. I can only imagine the prices/availability from Onan! Worst case , he'll have ~ $400.00 in parts plus his time. By the time you get done with a conversion kit/engine and all the other misc items, you're in the $2,000 range. My $0.02 worth, Tom(PK) PS I mentioned the muffler and air filter because at last check they were in the $250 and $80 price range respectively.

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powermax_paul
Tom, I wasn't aware you could get AM engine parts for the Onan CCKB's. Can you get the part numbers and post them? Might prove useful for some members. If I were going to repower, I think I'd go Honda.

Paul Kjorlie, The Norwegian

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SmilinSam
Tom, you ought to talk to those guys over at Small Engine Warehouse, This kit delivered is A little less than $1700. You need NOTHING more. Everything is included: engine, riser plate, pulley adaptor, clutch adaptor, muffler, etc. As for the wiring they have it so you just plug it right in and go. I talked to them today as a preliminary prior to ordering. I'll probably order by the first of December. I have no interest in rebuilding an Onan. This one has been running fairly good all year till the condensor went out and burnt the points up last month. It leaks oil around the front seal and bearing plate gasket pretty bad and it does use a little oil(smokes a little when a sudden load is applied). But all in all it has done what I want. I just don't want to put any money into it. Its been overhauled once already. It has a new charging system, coil, regulator and rectifier, but I never replaced the flywheel. I think one of the magnet retainers is out of it. I am going likely put it on Ebay and see if I can sell it as is. If it don't sell whole I will piece it out. I also have a second CCKB from a generator that I will do the same with.

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PatRarick
Sam, I think the most important thing to look at is dealer support. There is no doubt that Honda makes a great engine. I don't think you can beat the price of the SEW kit, whether you go with Briggs or Honda. Two things you might want to think about, are parts and service. Parts are much higher than Briggs. In my area, Honda dealers are few and far between. The parts are not as readily available as for Briggs. You may want to check on Honda dealers in your area before you choose which way to go. Pat

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powerking_one
Sam, Paul, et all: I spoke with Al Eden about these conversion kits from S.E.W. and the "rumor mill" stories came out; to the tune of-- the Honda flywheel pulley/adapter uses very small bolts compared to the Onan and can shear, air flow (hot) doesn't vent very well due to cylinder placement under the hood, dimensional accuracy and overall Q.A. of the base mounting adapter plate is questionable, battery location-muffler & heatshield location is still an issue, ... Don't get me wrong, but repowering the ol' big girls does have its' issues. It's sorta like what Simplicity did when designing the Big Ten family-- they literally took the C.I. Briggs base/blower housing dimensions and designed/formed the frame around it! Pat makes a good point about Honda dealers and the pricey parts (following suit with Honda and Accura automobile parts). Onan has certainly priced repair parts for this old generation of engine right out the door. I was merely trying to offer an aftermarket rebuild solution. Live long and prosper, Tom(PK)

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SmilinSam
Honda appeals to me because of the reputation for long service under harsh conditions. I know a number of contractors who use them on their equipment without fail(and they don't go out of their way to take care of them either) The job I have to do with this tractor is basically mowing fence lines and waterways for 4 hours twice a month April - September, with a few other odd tasks in between. Tom I just read your reply, and I wonder how the Briggs compares as to the issues you brought up?? I also wonder whether these larger briggs have ball bearings on both ends of the crank. The smaller ones only have a bearing on one end. I just do not want to mess with rebuilding a old engine. I would also much rather have something with electronic ignition too. Really the hood on these tractors needs to be louvered to let the heat out form under them regardless of which v-twin is installed. Maybe even have a cooling fan setup inside it somehow. Just thinking outloud.

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jackcobb
Hi Sam What do you have planned for your CCKB after you do the swap? I have a great running 720 now and mow oncw a week in the summer. Right now she is strong and uses no oil. But.......there will come a day! I wouldn't mind having a fresh CCKB ready to slide in her when that day comes. Think you will be selling yours? I'd prefer to stay stock, but thats just me.

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PatRarick
Sam, I would imagine the same issues on cooling, engine mount, etc., would apply to either engine, or even the v-twin Kohlers for that matter, since the engine design is so similar. I don't think any of the pressure lubed V-twins have ball bearings on both ends of the crank. I ran into this issue when working on having the block machined to accept a ball bearing. The connecting rods are lubed by oil passing through one of the main bearings, through the crankshaft, and into the connecting rod journals. You can't do this with a ball bearing. We were going to try a needle bearing, but we were concerned about whether the needle bearing would allow enough oil to pass through the bearing and into the crankshaft oil galley. The cooling issue is a funny thing. When I installed the 18 horse Vanguard in my 914, I left off the shroud that originally went between the original 14 horse and the fuel tank/battery area. My thought was that without it, more air could be drawn in for cooling. That was a mistake. I wound up with an overheating problem. Evidently, a lot of the hot air was recirculating under the hood. Hot air was blowing around my feet. Installed the shroud, and the problem was solved. Pat

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SmilinSam
The whole issue of ball bearings is a concern of mine in that while on the Soveriegn types you drive off the flywheel straight back to the bevel gear box without any lateral or vertical pull on the crankshaft, on the Powermax types you have vertical pull on BOTH ends of the crankshaft. You are driving the transmission clutch belts off a pulley on the flywheel and you have the PTO clutch on the shaft end. If there is no bearing on one or the other I can't see the engine lasting long at all in the application. Tom, you a Trek fan too?????????

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powerking_one
Not as much of a Trekkie as I use to be. Started losing interest after T.N.G. series terminated. Never really liked D.S.9 much, Voyager--enjoyable, haven't been following Enterprise much. No, I don't own any paraphenalia. Tom(PK)

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PatRarick
Don't think the lateral stress is much of an issue, as long as it's within reason. Don't know why else Briggs and others would provide a 1" PTO shaft to mount on the plain bearing side of the engine. The plain bearing on mine went out when I extended the lateral stress on the crankshaft by extending the shaft by about 1". This was on the ball bearing end of the shaft, thus adding quiet a bit of leverage to the plain bearing on the opposite side. I installed a 20 hp V-twin Vanguard in a 1655 Massey. Basically the same drive setup as the 720. Lateral stress on both ends of the engine. Transmission drive on the plain bearing end and front and center PTO off the ball bearing end. In addition, the rear PTO shaft is direct drive off the plain bearing end of the engine. It has seen six years of very hard use, running a 4' snowblower, 4' tiller, 4', three rank "S" tine cultivator, and 4 1/2" mower deck. I ran it for two years, then sold it to buy more AC's. The man I sold it to is very hard on equipment, and claims it is the best and most trouble free machine he has owned. Pat

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aquick
I repowered my 9020 last June with an SEW kit. Costs about 1600 and its a pretty simple straight forward job. Just make sure if you get SEW to prep the motor that the flywheel adapter is Torqued on. And make sure that the riser plate is square.As far as the Honda is concerned, It has plenty of power and I don't regret the decision. I am however going to have to part with this fine machine because of an addition to the family.

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by SmilinSam:... I also wonder whether these larger briggs have ball bearings on both ends of the crank. The smaller ones only have a bearing on one end.
Wanted to install a Warner clutch on my CH-18 Sovereign (not offered as OEM). Called Simplicity for spacer technical info. Reply was, "Don't even think about doing that. Not recommended." But, Simplicity installed the same Warner clutch on the same CH-18 engines in the SunStar and Legacy. Go figure.............. Anyway, I made the spacer I needed and it works fine. For now............

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SmilinSam
Here's some more crackers for the soup..... I went to Wisconsin this morning to pick up a blowe & cab for a 9020 from a fellow club member and got to see one of the installed Honda kits first hand. Looks pretty good. He said the only issue he had with it was that it does not pull enough volume of air through the transmission oil cooler to keep the oil cooled off. The area around the flywheel is not near as large as on the Onans, especially with the pulley adaptor in place. His solution was to run the oil to a aftermarket fan powered oil cooler at the front of the tractor. While not being particularly attractive it is effective. I wondered about the possiblity of louvering the top of the hood and making a assembly using a cooling fan to suck air through the louvers and force it down through the transmission oil cooler. This could also be used to force a little cool air under the hood to eliminate heat build up. And/ or a guy could also put some more louvers in the hood elswhere to let the heat escape up and out. ??????? Sounds interesting anyhow. He also let me drive his 9020 equipped with power steering that was run by teeing off the transmission. REAL NICE piece of work there! Makes steering real nice.. I really would like to hear from someone who has the Briggs kit installed and running....

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powerking_one
See Sam, There are those other unforeseen engineering obstacles with these retro-fit powerplants. Are you sure you don't want to mess with rebuilding the Onan? How about adding a nice Garrett or Banks turbocharger to the CCKB and squeezing ~~ 30 ponies out of her?(LOL Tom(PK)

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GregSch
I looked at a Honda in a 920. I didn't like the looks of it . The clearance was very tight at the oil cooler and the valve covers didn't clear the hood when you closed it. I chose the Briggs because it is a little smaller and I understand that parts are easier to get and less expensive. It makes a sweet little tractor but don't think for a minute that it is a snap to do. There are a lot of little problems to work out. I have about 25 to 30 hours in the project and I still have not resolved the overheating problem. It mows strong and runs beautifuly.I mowed 5 acres a week all all summer long. If you decide to go this route let me know. I can probably save you alot of time by helping you avoid the mistakes that I made. Maybe you can figure out how to keep the thing from overheating and help me in return. Good-luck either way you go.

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SmilinSam
I assume you mean the transmission oil cooling problem. I'm still thinking on a few different ways to address that problem. What other little problems did you have? Also, I was made aware that ,with the Honda anyhow, that a person has to remove or fold over the tin cross piece under the hood to make it clear the engine.

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