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I have an 20 Year old Ingersoll 222 Hydriv with a Kohler 301AS engine. 437 Hours on it. The hydraulic fluid has never been changed and it still looks like brand new fluid. All I ever repaired was the attachment clutch. Been a good tractor. Only use it for mowing. It now needs an engine rebuild for about $1,000.

I am torn between getting it fixed or buying something like a 46" Husqvarna,Cub Cadet,Ariens with a two-cylinder Kohler Courage, Kawasaki, or Briggs engine. Somewhere between $1600 and $2000.

Is the "don't make them like they used to" rule important enough to keep the Ingersoll? Will parts potentially be an issue? Or, should I say goodbye and get something new? Recommendations please...
 

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I personally would have the Ingersoll repaired and enjoy another 20 years of service. In my opinion, as a box store owner myself, a new machine under $2,000 by any manufactuer will not come close to the quality and capabilities of the machine you currently own.

PS....

I am a firm believer in "They Do make them like they used to", but just like back in the day, it'll cost ya.
 

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I would agree fix the old one vs buying new unless you want to spend a lot of bucks. How about just purchasing a new engine off the shelf vs rebuilding the old one or look for a working one. You would save a lot of money with new with less maintenance. Solid state ignition vs points. Great buys on the net, browse a few sites for prices.
 

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Moved to the Case, Colt and Ingersoll Forum for more opinions. Welcome to MTF IH222Guy.
 

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Where are you getting the price for an engine rebuild for $1000? A new short block is only about $800 on ebay and the parts to rebuild the block you have now should only be about $350.
 

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$1000 seems awful high.

A new tractor comparable in build to that you have now would be $5000+
 

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Change that "hydraulic fluid". Check your manual, it's motor oil and it's supposed to be changed every 50 hours. It's not hard nor expensive to do.

It will look new unless there's a problem. Change it anyway. It does break down but you can't tell by looking. It's not going to look like engine oil because it is not exposed to the heat and wear and combustion products seen inside an IC engine.

Do your differential at the same time, that oil will probably look real bad, due to water (condensation or possibly a leak) and rust mixed in. I did mine last week and it literally looked like coffee with extra cream coming out.

Your price on a rebuild is very very high - unless they're picking the whole tractor up at your house and returning it completed. Should be half that or less.

For 1/3 the price of a new box store machine you'll have one that'll be capable of towing the next two consecutive new box store machines to the trash heap.
 

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I cannot even believe I saw this...

Lets see, you have a super heavy duty deck, an all steel frame, metal hood and a Kohler cast iron engine...I bet that engine once done could easily out pull the big box store husky or any of the others...

Ok, so you take it to a machine shop and have them do a rebuild for ya...you get it home bolt it back on and have a tractor...with minimal care that will last another 30 years...so, take that 1000 and divide by 30 = $33 per year or $2.78 per month...the deck won't rot out...the tractor will be good for blowing snow or pulling out brush...try blowing snow with a husky...they don't make blowers for them...

Don't give up the utility of a real garden tractor...fix the motor and fix it right...you will never look back. Sure it won't be as shiny or as new...but your money would never go farther in a new one...


And all your neighbors will say wow, that old thing really works...ask me how I know? This is a 1974 Torq 224 last winter...

Just my opinion...
 

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Change that "hydraulic fluid". Check your manual, it's motor oil and it's supposed to be changed every 50 hours. It's not hard nor expensive to do.
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IIRC the books says every 500 hrs or once a yr, so I guess that boils down to 50 hrs for most users.:thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Many thanks for your words of wisdom & encouragement for a rebuild.

I found the Case/Ingersoll site for serial number lookup. It was built in 1986. It's older than my kids...

For some reason the local lawnmower/small engine repair guy that I was considering to do the work was leaning towards recommending new...but he's been in business thirty years and says he has rebuilt many Kohlers. His lack of 100% enthusiasm for the rebuild is a bit confusing to me.
 

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400 hrs. on a K-301 seems low for it to need a complete rebuild. What exactly is wrong with the engine that lead you to this determination ?

:thanku:
 

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400 hrs. on a K-301 seems low for it to need a complete rebuild. What exactly is wrong with the engine that lead you to this determination ?

:thanku:
^ He is right!:thThumbsU
 

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I did a sort of half rebuild on my k301 over the summer. And by half i mean i was able to re-use the crank, cam/lifters, and had the valves ground instead of replacing them. I bought a kohler rod and piston/ring kit(60 and 200 bucks respectively), a kohler gasket set(100 bucks), and had the cylinder bored .010, the crank polished, and they dipped and cleaned the whole block. I had just over 420 bucks in the total job. Keep in mind that i took the bare block to the shop to save on labor costs. If you take the complete engine to them and they use Kohler parts then i dont think $1000 is out of line. If you dont have experience or are a bit gun shy of tearing it down there are tons of good guys on here that will walk you through it. Once you see how simple it is you will be glad you did it and you get the satisfaction of learning something new AND doing it yourself! As a side note, my '73 444 has the original engine in it and is still going strong. As the other guys said, lets make sure you really need a rebuild first.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The engine runs and you can drive around, but when you engage the mower the engine stalls out. It died a slow death over one summer. It started out where I could not go up hills easily. I had to mow downward on my steepest grade.

It had been burning oil at the rate of about one ounce per acre for many years. Then last year, before it's last legs, it jumped to about 5-6 ounces per acre.

Hopefully I may have found a guy that is willing to open it up and just fix what's needed. We'll see. He thought the most likely cause was scored cylinder wall causing a loss of compression.
_______________
1986 222 Hydriv
 

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I'm a mechanic, and I scream they don't make them like they used to. I have a 224 and 222 from that same era. I will take them any day over the big box stuff. They do not last decades.

And considering the hydro oil has never been changed in 25 years, how well has this thing been mantained? If you leave any fluid in a big box tractor these days half that long, you will have a failed part guaranteed.

That machine has served extrememly well under these conditions, but if you want I'll take it off your hands no problem.

As someone already said, to replace that tractor today is over 5 grand. No 1500-2000 machine is going to give you what you have.
 

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Before I spent that kind of money, I would do a leakdown test, crankcase vacuum test, and check the breather. Then pop the head and look at the cylinder wall. You never know till you look and it may save you some money....

:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I changed the oil about every 15 hours of mowing. Once a season. I only mow about seven times a year. Topped off oil every mowing. Lubed it yearly. Made sure the axle fluid and hydraulic oil were proper level. Maintained the air filter.

I stopped by an Ingersoll dealer today. He's quite a ways from me. He also told me to get rid of it ! He was telling horror stories about small engine mechanics doing the cylinder/piston ring fix and the engines blowing up shortly afterwards....

I won't let him discourage me, but say I do hire a guy that ends up doing the cylinder/piston ring fix. Is there anything else I should make sure gets replaced? I just want to make sure the job is done right.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 

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I'm amazed at the discouragement you're getting from your local people. Maybe the dealer isn't interested in repairing old tractors, but selling new??

And of coarse, if someone does a bad job, it's worth nothing, and will fail.

There's a lot of guys here with huge success rebuilding, repairing, and restoring these tractors.

I wish I was an expert on rebuilding these engines, but I'm not. I will be rebuilding the engine in my 224 though. I have also gotten prices around 1,000 dollars to pay a reputable shop to thoroughly rebuild a k series engine. I'm an auto mechanic, but there's alot of guys I see on here that are not necessarily that mechanical that are doing this.

I suppose you gotta decide either to spend close to a thousand, and make sure this is a reputable person thats going to stand behind the rebuild, do it yourself, or move on.
 
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