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Old 10-04-2009, 12:50 PM   post #1 of 31
917.270930
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Default Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

I have an almost 10 year old Craftsman 917.270930 tractor with a Briggs 461707-0145-E3 20 HP I/C (Industrial/Commercial) engine and 42" deck. It's given good service in the several places we've lived during that time. In the last few years, I've replaced several things, most recently the deck spindles (one had the pulley strip out), belts, deck pulleys, and the magneto (? term) assembly with plug wires. This engine has no external oil filter.

The tractor started running rough & losing power intermittently, so I started doing some research into replacing it. I looked at several brands as well as the newer Craftsman tractors. I thought I had found a good deal on a ZTR with a 26 HP Briggs & 50" deck reconditioned for $1899 (carries the same warranty as new), but the local Sears is terrible for sales- long story, but after a couple of weeks, they "couldn't sell it to me" and the manager was always in a meeting and never called back. I found a tractor they could sell with a 24 HP motor & 42" deck for $1299 plus tax, so I was looking at about $1400.

Since my deck was in real good condition and the repair was only $80 for all the parts (I do all my own labor), I looked into getting a new engine versus a new tractor. I did a lot of reading here before joining, and then shopped.

First, a word about engines and me. My wife & I like the commercial where the couple is shopping for a TV and the man says "If we don't go bigger now we'll regret it later", then a few seconds later they are in the jewelry department and the woman says the same thing to him. I have four foreign cars that I have installed Chevy V8 motors into, so the idea of "going bigger" is one I like. I noted the newer tractors for the most part had more powerful engines, so I figured if I was replacing a 20 HP, I should "go bigger". While I was at it, I was going to add an oil cooler and some gauges- combo hour meter/tach, and a triple gauge panel consisting of oil pressure, oil temperature, and volts.

I found my B&S motor had a 1" shaft with a 3.15625" length (3 & 5/32"). I narrowed my search to engines available with this shaft sizing.

I did market research and the best value I found was a Kohler Courage twin cylinder 25 HP, model SV730-002 that I got on ebay for $499 shipped.

Right now I am still in the planning stage, and have completed a wiring diagram for the conversion using the factory diagram from my owner's manual (I noted Sears no longer has this info in later models, at least the ones with the SV730 Kohler did not) as well as one from a Kohler service manual I downloaded. I'll link the files since most are too large to attach or post as a picture.

Craftsman 917.270930 wiring diagram (I colored a few wires to make them easier to see)

Kohler SV730 wiring diagram

Picture of backside of Kohler ignition switch (I found this picture online, I'm using my old switch)

Combined wiring diagram

Summary diagram

I looked quite a bit for wiring info, so I wanted to be sure I posted it here for the next guy to use.

In summary, the main difference I found was the B&S used AC to power the headlights and Kohler uses DC. I checked the bulbs on my tractor, and they are 12V automotive #1156, usually used as a back-up light bulb in older cars, so 12V DV would work fine for them. The Craftsman ignition switch controls the lights, so it was just a mater of re-wiring the feed so that terminal (A2) gets 12 volts.

For the oil cooler, I found the Kohler kit was over $100. The filter thread size is 3/4-16, and the OD of the filter gasket is around 2.75". I found a Jegs' brand #51712 thermostatic sandwich adapter in this size from Jegs on ebay for $26 shipped (it was cheaper to buy it there than their website due to lower shipping).


For a cooler, all automotive ones were too big. I found a power steering cooler with 90 degree fittings and a mounting bracket on it on ebay for about $16 shipped. I'm planning to attach it on top of the shroud so air will be drawn through it when the engine is running.


I'm planning on plumbing in the adapters for the gauges at the sandwich adapter since it has 3/8 pipe threads for the input/output. Unlike the wiring, I need to have the parts in hand to figure that one out.

For the gauges, I wanted an hour meter to replace the ammeter in the left side of the dash. I found the opening was about 2.25" W x 1.3" H. The cheapy combo units sold on ebay were too small. After doing some searching, I found the Autonnic unit that is around $56 shipped. It has several mounting options, and I chose the cam lock style since the unit is around 2.125" W x 1.44" H. I figure I can grind/file the opening to make it fit OK. They offer several mounting options.

Here is their stock image of the product:


Next up were the trio gauges. I wanted the mini (1.5") size. Sunpro makes a couple versions, as does Equus. I settled on the Sunpro #CP8090 that I got for $32 shipped on ebay. They consist of mechanical oil temperature & pressure gauges and a voltmeter. I plan on mounting them in front of the hood opening on top of the dash. Summit made a slick setup for this with enclosed electric gauges, but it was $80 plus shipping.


When I totaled up what I bought, I found I had saved about $650 over the cost of the $1299 tractor, which of course does not have any of the gauges or the oil cooler.

I'm hoping to get all of this stuff here by next week, so I can get underway with the upgrade. I will update here as I make progress.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:02 PM   post #2 of 31
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Thumbs up Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Hi "Sears Model Number"!! You've put a lot of energy into your tractor dude!! Post a picture of that ride for us all to drool over!!

How much trouble-shooting did you perform on the old engine as the power loss may have been easily correctable.. Just a thought.. Happy Browsing!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:08 PM   post #3 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by WNYTractorTinkerer View Post
...How much trouble-shooting did you perform on the old engine as the power loss may have been easily correctable.. Just a thought.. Happy Browsing!!
Sssshhh! If my wife finds out about that, I'm sunk!!!

Unfortunately, she has the camera on a trip, so I can't shoot any pics but will do so after she returns and the stuff starts arrriving.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:42 PM   post #4 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

well sounds like you got a good plan!

of course it won't result in any greater speed, but the mower won't bog as quickly in deeper grass with teh bigger engine. and the added front weight may even help smooth out the ride some in rougher places.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:27 PM   post #5 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

These are a breeze to work on! I'm used to a lot of contorting & busted knuckles pulling motors out of cars. I just got the old B&S out in roughly 30 minutes and have everything degreased & pressure washed.

Any expert advice here on if the Briggs 20 HP 461707-0145-E3 is worth anything? As noted above, it is probably something easily correctable, and it would be great to recoup some of my expense.

Now all I need are some new parts!

EDIT
When I unplugged the wiring harness, I found it was a Mate N Lock connector. I have a bunch of these on hand from another project, so it should be easy to wire up the Kohler for plug & play.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:05 PM   post #6 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

The mini-gauges arrived today and I got my camera. Here are some pics of the tractor.

Tractor after engine removal:




While I was initially going to mount the gauges on top of the dash, this made a close fit for opening & closing the hood. I decided to remove the steering column cover and mount the gauges in the dash. I found you really need a 1 & 5/8" holesaw to do this, I used a 1 & 1/2" one & a rotary tool to grind them to size. To make them easier to see, I moved the column down about an inch. I had to cut & grind the opening to do so.

Holes drilled:


Gauges test-fit:


With lowered steering wheel in place:


Here is my old engine:










With any luck, my new engine & the rest of the stuff will be here by the end of the week.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:03 PM   post #7 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Sounds like a good conversion.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:39 PM   post #8 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Thanks.

I got the wiring sorted out & some crimping & soldering of wires completed so the dash gauges will illuminate with the headlights (like I ever mow at night ).

My engine is on the way, I got the UPS tracking # today.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:52 PM   post #9 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

The oil cooler & adapter arrived this week, but the engine won't be here until Monday. I gt the hour meter/tach today:


It required a little filing on the top of the ammeter opening, and was then a press-fit:


I had a gap on each side, so I tried a couple of things. First was some weatherstrip base. It was too thick to go on both sides, so I tried only one side:


I then tried some split loom tubing (wire protection/dress up):

I liked that the best, so I'll go with it.

I had a back order on the exhaust pipes needed, so this will delay the project at least a week until I can find another vendor.

More updates after the engine arrives.

EDIT
I was looking at some Craftsman tractors at Sears last week, and observed they use the same Mate N Lok 6 conductor plug as mine does. I'm not sure what will be on my new engine, but I can make it work either way.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:22 PM   post #10 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

You could use black silicone/gasket maker. That would look better.
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1992 Cub Cadet 1440 44" deck, 2,300 hours, B&S Vanguard, Gator Blades, 42'' IH Dozer Blade, Custom Light Bar, Custom hole in side of engine
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:24 PM   post #11 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

I thought about that but only had gray and orange RTV sealant here.
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Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:57 AM   post #12 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

The engine arrived on Monday. Here are some things I noted:

1) The mounting holes were not threaded, but were drilled. A 3/8-16 tap took care of that issue and I could reuse my B&S bolts. The holes lined up with a set in the tractor's frame. I don't know if they were the same ones as the B&S or not.

2) The oil cooler adapter fits great. I used a 3/8 pipe tee with a close nipple out of the adapter, and will run the temp probe here once I get another fitting- as it is, the probe would block oil flow out of the adapter. I need to get a 3/8 pipe male to female fitting to extend it. I'm using a 3/8 pipe to 3/8 barb fitting at the other end of the tee and also on the other adapter fitting. The cooler already has 3/8 fittings on it.

3) I made a bracket to mount the cooler over the fan out of some scrap aluminum, and it will attach to the shroud (see pics below).

4) The oil pressure gauge will hoook up as illustrated here in a how-to thread I saw. There is a 1/8 pipe plug on the Kohler oil filter adapter.

5) The wiring is confusing. The engine has a 6 place Mate N Lok connector that will plug into my harness. The problem is that the diagram supplied with the engine has no orange wires on it, and the ones from the service manual just show the orange wire looping a the connector. I have 5 terminals used on the Kohler connector and have listed the functions of my harness beside them:
1. Orange & red wires (orange is ?, red goes to carb solenoid)<--- This is alt output on mine
2. White (ignition kill) <--- Same function on my harness
3. Violet (12V output from alternator)<--- Same place on my harness
4. Unused <--- Same
5. Green (unused- to optional oil pressure safety switch)<--- Unused
6. Orange (?)<--- This is the AC power feed for the headlamps on my harness.

I think it will work as-is, but plan to do some more wiring research.

6) The drain plug is 3/8 pipe. I added a 1/2" hose barb fitting here and some 1/2" ID hose from Lowes with a shutoff valve in the other end to make oil draining easier. I'm going to make a retention fitting so it will stay out of the way while the engine is running and the oil won't accidentally drain out.

7) The hood closes fine w/o any issues. The engine is a little shorter than the old B&S model, which is helpful since the oil cooler adds some height. I think I will be able to reuse the plastic shroud piece that goes between the hood and the fan from the B&S.

I'm running into a delay getting the exhaust pipes. I found the B&S uses smaller 1/4" bolts there and the Kohler uses 5/16" bolts.

That's as far as I got today. Here are some pictures:

Engine unboxed:


Oil cooler adapter in place:


Engine test fit:


Cooler bracket:


Cooler test fit:


Drain valve:
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:13 PM   post #13 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

As an update, the orange wires in my engine harness are a loop, so they connect pin 1 to pin 6 as listed above. In my case, this will power the headlights when they are switched to on by the ignition switch. It's truly plug and play. I wish all wiring was this easy.

Accordingly, the wiring diagrams in the first post are not needed (I can't edit it).

I have hooked up the throttle linkage (no manual choke needed) and painted the cooler bracket. I've mounted the cooler and made a 3/8 to 1/4 pipe bushing out of an old AN to pipe adapter to mount the temperature probe in the tee on the adapter. The temperature probe is a perfect fit now- the tip is just barely in the stream of oil.

I've cut and installed the pressure gauge tubing and run this inside some split loom for protection along with the wiring for the hour meter/tach.

I connected the hour meter to the driver side plug wire, and grounded the other lead on some engine tin adjacent to the plug wire.

I've also cut some 3/8 fuel line to length and installed it between the adapter and cooler.

I also trimmed the fan shroud (the piece between the hood and engine) so it will sit level with the cooler in place. I noticed it had rubbed against the old motor quite a bit. The cooler will help to prevent this from happening again.

Yet to do is to finish hooking up the voltmeter, and cut the drain line to length and fabricate a retention clip for it.

The place that back ordered my pipes sent the gaskets (even though they said they didn't) and they arrived today, so all I need now are the pipes. After that, it's just a matter of installing the pulley, adjusting the throttle linkage, and making a field test.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:22 PM   post #14 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Pipes & muffler arrived today & I got it put together & tested. Here is a summary:

Heat shield over muffler has to be trimmed for different throttle linkage.

Had a small oil leak by the temp gauge fitting- tightened it & no leak.

Tach and hourmeter working OK, need to adjust throttle cable to get that last 300 RPM!

Oil pressure cold was a little over 30 PSI. Hot, it dropped to around 25.

Volts while running are right under the 14V mark.

Gauge lights come on with the headlights, which can now be turned on by the switch even if the motor is off (original setup was AC, so they wouldn't do this).

It took a few minutes for the temp gauge to register, and it was a cooler day today- probably low 70's ambient. While mowing (load), I saw a max temp of about 202.5 degrees. With the deck disengaged, this dropped to about 195. Apparently the probe is in the return line to the adapter, so the oil is a little hotter going into the cooler.

I'd definitely suggest running an oil cooler in warmer places like here in Florida- obviously I have no idea what the B&S was running, but it had to be hot.

Performance is great- it helped that I found a drive belt tension spring that was disconnected, but I cut some wet grass with no bogging down at all. All told I think I have less than half the cost of a similar new tractor in this, and am very happy with the results.

I will have pics of the completed project in a few days.
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Circa 2000 Craftsman 917.270930 tractor w/ 42" deck.
Was 20 HP B&S 461707-0195-E3
Converted to 25 HP Kohler Courage SV730-002
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:48 PM   post #15 of 31
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Default Re: Kohler SV730 25 HP engine into older B&S Craftsman

Hi:
I came across your article after many searches on the web looking for parts for my lawnmower tractor. I recently blew the engine (2nd time). You state the model of your engine 461707-0145-E3. Have you discarded this engine?
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