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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Home built wood splitter that my Dad and I built back 40 plus years ago. The B&S motor [ brand new at the time] we put on it is getting a bit tired. I re-rung it and freshened the valves about 15 years ago and its gotten a bit tired again. Time for a new motor. I saw that Harbor Freight had a sale on these 6.5 hp motors so I decided to try one. Had to lay out and drill/tap new mounting holes. Fairly easy project to do. I have a new pump mounting bracket ordered as the one used on the other motor has a larger bolt circle. New bracket should be here in a few days. I really don't see any issues with switching to this new motor. Just one tiny piddly thing I found was the oil drain holes aren't tapped for pipe thread, they use a metric bolt for the plug. I was going to install a short pipe nipple and cap so the oil would drain past the edge of the mount plate. It's not a huge deal, I can just use a scrap of cardboard for a throw away drain spout. Got the motor bolted down and will probably put oil and gas in it tomorrow and give it a short test run. Fingers crossed.
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Bolens 1053 - 1970?
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These 6.5 hp engines are very common in Germany too because you get them for about 100 EUR. They get good reviews wherever they are used.
However - all new engines are ohv-engines while the old ones (normally) where side valve engines.
No doubt, the ohv is much more efficient than a sv. But I am wondering if more mechanic can cause more trouble over the years... But I guess this is a hypothetical question.

By the way: Where does the center beam came from. "Holzhauer Maschine" is German....
 

· A Little Off Plumb
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That looks like a heavy duty splitter for sure - thanks for sharing the pictures. Will offer you a suggestion for an oil drain area - hope you don't mind. Could cut about an inch wide slot from the outer edge of the U channel to about half an inch in past the edge of the engine - drill a hole at the inner end to give it a nice round look. After you mount the engine put a bead of RTV between the engine edge and the U channel so oil cannot flow in under the engine. Don't think the slot would weaken things much and then you could slide a small tray in the opening to catch the oil - just a suggestion.

Keep us posted on the upgrade as it is good information to share your experience with the new engine and how it performs.
 

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Bolens 1053 - 1970?
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The extension seems to be the best way!

So far I used aluminum foil, folded it several times for better stability and finally formed it into a u-shape.
It works the same way as the cardboard but without getting soaked and wet. But a submit: it is always a little bit of mess anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
These 6.5 hp engines are very common in Germany too because you get them for about 100 EUR. They get good reviews wherever they are used.
However - all new engines are ohv-engines while the old ones (normally) where side valve engines.
No doubt, the ohv is much more efficient than a sv. But I am wondering if more mechanic can cause more trouble over the years... But I guess this is a hypothetical question.

By the way: Where does the center beam came from. "Holzhauer Maschine" is German....
I'm not 100% sure but seem to remember Dad getting the I-beam through one of his friends that worked for our local highway department. It possibly was once part of a bridge or something. My dad was full blooded German. Born and raised here in the USA though. My grandparents were fluent in both English and German. Dad knew a little German, me, not so much.
 

· Fixer of Broken junk
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The smaller Predator engines are really good. The carb and fuel shut off can start leaking after a while. The cheap rubber O-Rings don't hold up as well as the OEM Honda ones do. The fuel shut-off can be replaced with an OEM honda GX200 fuel shutoff. The Huayi brand carb on the Predator can be replaced with an OEM Keihin that the Honda GX200 uses but you will have to swap over the main jet.

If you get a predator with a finicky idle and slow governor recovery, replacing the Huayi brand carb with a Keihin carb will give much better throttle and governor recovery/response. Some predators run a bit lean rite out of the box. Has something to do with the idle circuit being a bit restrictive on the clone carbs.

All newer Honda clone engines are slightly different internally because of the Copyright Lawsuit that Honda filed and won years ago. The Honda GX200 has 68mm bore and a 54mm stroke. Predator 212 has a 70mm Bore and 55mm Stroke.

The 670 predator engines are pretty troublesome. Hard starting is Mostly due to Carb issues and heavy oil consumption and leaking due to PCV valve issues. But they are also known to have ignition issues caused by dead coils and flywheel magnets loosing magnetism. And the occasional starter issues. Best to stay away from the 670.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info. I'll keep an eye on the fuel shut off. I put oil and gas in it today and it started on the first pull of the cord. Full choke and just a wee bit of throttle, it took right off. Nice! I let it run about 5 minutes about 1/4 throttle. Tried a restart about 10 minutes later and it started again with one pull. Didn't use the choke, just left throttle at low idle. I didn't attempt any changes with the oil drain yet. I did figure out the throttle cable routing though. I fished a small bolt up through a hole in the muffler heat guard and attached a strap that anchors a hold down clip for the cable. I know there will be a bit of heat transfer but not sure exactly how much. If this proves to be a bad idea, I can buy a longer cable and route it around behind the motor I believe. This just a first try using the original cable. I always found it handy to have throttle control right there next to the hydraulic control lever. So far, the only modification I have done to the motor is lift the plastic fuel strainer out of the tank. With the strainer in there you can't look down in the tank and tell how much there is unless the tank is full. I guess I'm just old school. So--first impression is good. It's always nice when a motor is an easy starter!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I noticed that the motor has a Torch brand spark plug in it. Had one of those fail in a portable generator after about 30 hours of use. Must have burned out internally, wouldn't spark at all. I replaced it with a Champion and have had no issues since. I saw in the Predator owners manual that NGK brand spark plug was listed along with Torch as replacements. I know that Champion and Autolite plugs cross reference too. I stopped at the auto parts store today and bought a NGK plug. I figure I'll just put the new plug it just because. I took a look at the box the plug came in and NGK is a Japanese company, I seem to remember that fact from buying NGK plugs in the past. Plug was assembled in Thailand also printed on the box. Now I'm starting to wonder about the quality. I guess I'll find out. I know that is possible to buy a bad spark plug no matter what brand. Have had it happen. Maybe I'm over-thinking things again?
 

· A Little Off Plumb
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I noticed that the motor has a Torch brand spark plug in it. Had one of those fail in a portable generator after about 30 hours of use. Must have burned out internally, wouldn't spark at all. I replaced it with a Champion and have had no issues since. I saw in the Predator owners manual that NGK brand spark plug was listed along with Torch as replacements. I know that Champion and Autolite plugs cross reference too. I stopped at the auto parts store today and bought a NGK plug. I figure I'll just put the new plug it just because. I took a look at the box the plug came in and NGK is a Japanese company, I seem to remember that fact from buying NGK plugs in the past. Plug was assembled in Thailand also printed on the box. Now I'm starting to wonder about the quality. I guess I'll find out. I know that is possible to buy a bad spark plug no matter what brand. Have had it happen. Maybe I'm over-thinking things again?
I have been using NGK plugs in the Honda GX390 ever since I installed the engine and have good luck with them - just my experience with the NGK brand. As you say any brand can fail and I have had it happen - like everything else made by man - prone to failure. About 5 years ago I was having a problem with what I thought was a NGK spark plug issue where they appeared to go bad and misfiring as I was replacing the plug about every 10 hours. First one I thought got a dud, second one made me think that NGK brand was not as good as it once was. When the third one failed I called the NGK tech line and described the scenario to the gentleman on the other end of the phone and asked if they were having problems with the part number I was using. The gentleman said no and politely told me that the mixture was too rich and that the plug was becoming wet fouled and not able to burn off the extra fuel causing it to fail after about 10 hours of use. I thanked him and hung up the phone thinking that the gentleman did not know poop from putty as the Honda GX390 main jet is fixed. His words of wisdom stuck in the back of my mind though as I thought about an intermittent coil or bad plug wire causing the issue (ordered new ones of each to have on hand for the next time the plug failed) but it turned out he was correct. I was using the tractor one morning shortly afterwards while it was still dark and after about 10 minutes use blowing snow I could see the short piece of exhaust pipe between the engine and the muffler was glowing a faint shade of red. I thought to myself why would the exhaust pipe be glowing red as it never used to do that before - decided that maybe the gentleman at NGK knew more than I thought he did. Removed the homemade shield that covered the carb which revealed the idle mixture screw which is not fixed but does have a limiter cap. Upon further investigation I discovered that somehow the idle mixture screw had moved outward as far as it could travel with the limiter cap on which was up against the carb body. Turned the screw in until the limit cap stop was up against the carb body and put the shield back on and waited for the next snowfall which occurred a few days later. I purposely got up before daylight and started the tractor up and got busy removing snow while observing the exhaust pipe. Used the tractor for a good 20 minutes in the darkness and the exhaust pipe stayed dark this time and I have not had an issue with the spark plug failing since. As near as I can tell with the idle screw open slightly more it allowed excess fuel to be drawn into the intake through the idle circuit which was creating a rich mixture at wide open throttle and by turning the screw back in the fuel mixture returned to the proper amount of fuel being delivered. I would not have believed it if I had not experienced it and in my mind I apologized for thinking that the NGK tech didn't know poop from putty - as it turned out he was much wiser than I was when it came to fuel mixture and spark plug problems.
Not saying you won't have an NGK plug fail but I would say the odds are against it or if it does it may not be all the plugs fault. I apologize for the long post but thought I would share my experience with NGK and their tech department.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No issues with your post at all. Useful information is always welcome with me. I do suspect that a NGK will be of better quality than the Torch plug. I have seen several of the original spark plugs in the China knock off motors go bad. I personally have only had the one Torch plug fail and another China made plug ( can’t remember the brand ) that I tried in a chain saw. Helped a fellow camped next to me at a steam/tractor/engine show get a small portable generator running. It was a China built unit. We borrowed a Champion plug from something else and it started right up and ran great. Have seen the same issue with small China built 4 wheelers too. Remove the original plug, replace with a Champ or Autolite and problem solved. Not sure about these Torch plugs. Had one fail. Maybe just bad luck?
 

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In all my motorcycles I use NGK as well as in all the push mowers and the lawn tractor I maintain - never really had an issue with. Chinese quality: Many products of even "good" brands were produced in China. They really can do deliver high quality products - but cheap products too.
If the engine is "eating" spark plugs than some other settings need to be checked - as Chev already said.
 

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Any plug can fail at any time. I’ve had a few go bad just in winter storage. Drive tractor in for winter storage. In the spring, no start. Change plug and away it goes.

Stew, I’ve never heard of a exhaust pipe getting orange/red with a rich mixture. Always thought when it was a lean mixture that it could do that. Interesting.

Noel
 
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