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Tuffy

ONAN Retirement Home

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Tuffy
There is a lot of talk of replacing the 620/720 ONAN engines with Honda or Briggs replacements. I want to insure those old workhorses are put out to pasture but not cut up for scrap. Soooo ... Send me your tired, your worn, your mature, experienced, cast iron, heavy, 'tinker laden' ONAN CCKB or CCK-A engines. I'll gladly take those cast offs and give them a good retirement home. Steve

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SmilinSam
I don't think so....:D I've been buying them up locally and piecing them out on ebay and elswhere. Averaging $300 and better in parts from each one pieced out. Just washed up the remants of the one I've been picking away on so I can list more parts this week. Better than panning for gold in the creek...^

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Tuffy
You know the way these engines are degraded on the site you would think they were trash. Anyway I'll gladly take those castoffs. They require TLC but are gold in my eyes. Steve

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SmilinSam
Oh... they are not all that bad if in good running condition and kept well maintained. I think the big stink really is the horrendous high price of replacement parts. Thats probably why I have such good luck selling used parts...

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PatRarick
My experience with Onan's, other than the high cost of parts, is that they are an excellent engine EXCEPT in garden tractors. My personal opinion is that there are problems in these applications that were never properly addressed, such as cooling and lubrication due to operating at an angle. Pat

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PatRarick
In many cases, yes, particularly with twin cylinder engines. That, of course depends on the angle. When I started in business, I had a customer with a 720 Allis. After six years, he was ready for his third overhaul. It was always the left cylinder that had been giving him the problem. I rebored the engine and it lasted for two more years. In the meantime, I ran into a 318 Deere (Onan), 18 horse Sears (Briggs), and a 917 Allis (Kohler). As it turned out, all the owners had long (1/2 to 3/4 mile) driveways with ditches on each side. They always mowed the same direction and it was the uphill cylinder that was bad. After I replaced the engine in the 720, I got another customer with an 1855 Massey (Onan). Same problem, same situation. Uphill cylinder was bad. I suggested alternating mowing direction each time they mowed, and the 720 is still going, eight years later, as is the Massey after four years. The others have long since been traded in. I'm not saying the lubrication issue is strictly an Onan problem, nor is it a tractor problem. That is a problem cause by the operator. I should amend my earlier statement of this being an application problem to include all opposed twin cylinder engines. I don't think they are a good choice if you do a lot of mowing on an angle. Again, this is my experience and opinion. Take it for what it's worth. If I am wrong, it won't be the first time and surely it won't be the last. Pat

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SmilinSam
Hey Pat, While we are on the subject of mowing banks with opposed twins.... Are all the tractors you quoted equipped with the engine with the jugs sticking out each side of the tractor? I have a 417A Wheel Horse I am getting readied up to mow with to help my wife out this summer(She mows with a Wheel Horse). This tractor has the KT17 Series 2 installed with the jugs inline with the tractor frame front to back, rather than side to side like on the Simplicity /AC's. Do you think this arrangement would fare any better mowing along ditches?

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PatRarick
Sam, all the tractors I mentioned had the engines mounted with the cylinders on each side. We don't have any Wheel Horse tractors here, but your question does bring an instance to mind. I have a customer with an older Sears Suburban type tractor. It has the 18 horse Onan mounted with the cylinders to the front and back. It is his lake cabin tractor and mows a large area that is so steep that he has weights hanging off the uphill side to keep it from tipping over. He has never had a problem in twelve years, so you might be on to something in thinking that this is a better arrangement for bank mowing. Pat

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