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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While waiting for some plastic sheet to arrive so I can finish the snow caster project, I am going to do some tinkering on the tractor that the caster is going to be mated up with for the winter. This is the tractor I stuffed a Kohler V-twin motor in a couple years ago. Maybe I should call it an H18? There were a couple of issues right off the bat when I first started using the tractor 2 winters ago, but they were easily remedied. Had a carburetor issue first and then it dropped an ignition coil. I simply replaced the carburetor and both coils. It has run great ever since. The motor was liberated from a Cub Cadet. I'm very pleased with the tractor as it almost makes it a joy to go out and blow snow. It was a big improvement for me instead of using one of the gear drive tractors with a manual lift. I do a lot of clean out in close to the house and garage and am constantly changing direction and having to lift the caster to maneuver. This tractor makes all that much easier. The first thing I decided to look at was the linkage for the hydro control. I had put a couple springs on the linkage bar to replace the rusted ones that were there when I first repowered it. The tractor has been touchy when doing speed or direction changes and I figured the springs were too weak. I dug through my collection of springs and found some possible substitutes. The two wimpy springs I removed are at the 6 o'clock position in the tray. Lady Luck must have been smiling down on me today as the first pair of springs I tried worked well. I did try tweaking the adjustment a bit and think I found the sweet spot. Yay!! That was it for today, I have a few more things I'm going to look at
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I’ve got an H16 that I rebuilt the tractor but not the engine about 9 years ago. It served me well until a couple of years ago and the engine just locked up. I haven’t looked at it yet just parked it. I’ve read about many repowered with the twin vanguards and Kohlers. I haven’t put the decals on it yet maybe I should wait and see what engine I use like you mentioned your H18 lol.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My experience with repowering a tube frame tractor with a V-twin is this. The B&S Vanguard fits under the hood very nicely with no need to alter the hood. The Kohler Command is a rather tight squeeze but doable if you modify the hood. You will have to cut the top side and open it up to let the motor stick up past the surface of the hood. This is needed for clearance of the air cleaner and dipstick. I added a bubble,if that's what you want to call it, to my hood. The hood was already cut and altered so I didn't mind cutting and welding on it. IMHO, go with the B&S twin, much easier. They run nice and smooth too. A single cylinder Kohler Command will fit under the hood nicely as well. Possibly a V-twin Honda motor or a Predator motor from Harbor F? You would have to do some measuring. Nice looking tractor you have there! Better get it revived.
 

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Thanks. I actually bought a Bolens G11XL that had been repowered with a 16hp Vanguard for just the engine. It would have fit nicely in the H16. The problem was the darn thing ran and cut so good I couldn’t sacrifice it. I’ll just wait for a good deal
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today's adventure was mostly about having a look under the fender pan and trying to correct a very tiny hydraulic leak. I occasionally have had the tractor leave a small spot of oil on the floor the right where the lift cylinder is. Looking up underneath I could see that the cylinder would be damp on the end where the rod is. I wasn't too surprised as the there was pitting on the rod when I got the tractor. I polished the rod as smooth as I could and put the O-ring rebuild kit in it. The cylinder works fine it just has a very tiny leak. If I wiped it clean with a rag it would be damp again after some use. Several months ago, I bought a used cylinder I found on Ebay, advertised as good condition, no leaks, price wasn't bad, so I bought it. The rod on this cylinder looks good, no rust no pitting. Today I removed the seat and fender and swapped out the cylinder. Checked all the hose fittings that I could reach, they were all snug. I did slide a piece of reinforced plastic tubing over the one hose as I could see where it was scrubbing on the edge of the support tower. Hadn't really caused any damage but I thought a bit of protection would be a good idea. I topped up the system with oil and cycled the "new" cylinder several times. So far so good. Of course, the real test will be when it gets a workout lifting the snow-caster. Time will tell. The other thing I decided to do was put the hook piece back on the idler pulley arm for the transmission drive belts. This piece's purpose is to release tension on the belts so the motor can be started more easily with less drag from a cold transaxle when the temperature is very low. I quite honestly can't remember if there was a bracket bolted to the frame tube when I first disassembled the tractor or not. I found the idler hook amongst some things a bit ago and decided to put it back on the tractor. Made a bracket that bolts to the frame and the hook fits into. Now if I really need to, I can disengage the transaxle drive belts to help with starting the motor. I hope it never gets that cold!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I actually bought a Bolens G11XL that had been repowered with a 16hp Vanguard for just the engine. It would have fit nicely in the H16. The problem was the darn thing ran and cut so good I couldn’t sacrifice it. I’ll just wait for a good deal View attachment 416595
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to come along
Understood! It would be rather hard to tear apart a good running, working tractor. The Vanguard motors were common in some of the Cub Cadets. Something affordable should turn up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've greased and oiled everything on the tractor that I could and checked everything I could. Thats about all I need to do to it except check the tire pressure yet. I decided that the tractor ought to gain a bit of weight as I experience a bit of wheel spin occasionally, usually while trying to back up on a grade. I have had these plates on hand for a while now and decided to use some of them. I have a dozen of them, made of 1/2" thick steel plate and they weigh about 13# each according to our bathroom scale. I experimented with longer bolts that hold the existing wheel weights on. 6" bolts were being used to retain the Bolens weights. I had on hand 8" bolts and 10" bolts. I couldn't manage to get the 10" bolts in through the back of the wheel and through the holes of the weights as they would bind up at an angle on the transmission. Couldn't get them lined up straight enough to go through. I could get the 8" bolts to go through though, so that's what I settled for. I will be able to stack 3 of the steel plates over top of the Bolens weights. That will add about 39# to each rear wheel. It's not a big difference but possibly will help the traction just a bit. I am going to put a plastic washer between the nice Bolens scripted weights and the added steel plates. Don't want to bugger up the paint!
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And it's kind of a shame to cover up the Bolens weights too. I painted 6 of the plates red today and they will have to dry for a day or so before I bolt them on.
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The weight should help to keep the wheels from slipping - I assume that you also added "the heavier winter air for the upcoming season"!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The weight should help to keep the wheels from slipping - I assume that you also added "the heavier winter air for the upcoming season"!
Yep, I sure did. Let all the summer air out and refilled with winter air. That ought to help quite a bit! About 7am today the air sure felt like “winter air”. Old Man Winter is lurking about that’s for sure!
 
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