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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guess the time is here to do something with my ole 1855. The motor smokes pretty bad when I first start it up, still runs good and fires right up but she's down on power. I'm thinking about a 23hp Vanguard conversion, Jim's tractors has a complete kit w/motor. Has anyone used the Vanguard in their tractor and if so how do you like it? I'll keep the Onan and rebuild it but the main reason I'm considering the Vanguard is that I have to take the FEL brace loose at the frt to get the oil filter off of the Onan and I wouldn't have to do that on the Vanguard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One more question, I've got a Johnson Workhorse B218 model 25 FEL on my ole 1855. Is that company still in business? I need to replace all the hydralic cylinders on it and the hoses. I can get the hoses custom made here locally but I'm not sure where to try and find the cylinders.
 

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You want to replace the cylinders cause?

A good hydraulic shop can reseal, and replace worn glands etc. for a lot less money than buying new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought about resealing the cylinders, I rebuild automatic trannys for a liveing, so I could do it myself. BUT I'd about bet the inside of the cylinders and the rod/ piston have enough wear to make that not a good idea. I have used and abused the heck out of the tractor and loader both, I'd rather go with new cylinders. One of the lift cylinders had a stream of oil running out of it till I ran it all the way up and back. Another reason for doing the engine swap instead of just rebiulding the Onan is, I use this tractor/loader around the shop a lot and really don't want to do without it for too long.
 

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I thought about resealing the cylinders, I rebuild automatic trannys for a liveing, so I could do it myself. BUT I'd about bet the inside of the cylinders and the rod/ piston have enough wear to make that not a good idea. I have used and abused the heck out of the tractor and loader both, I'd rather go with new cylinders. One of the lift cylinders had a stream of oil running out of it till I ran it all the way up and back. Another reason for doing the engine swap instead of just rebiulding the Onan is, I use this tractor/loader around the shop a lot and really don't want to do without it for too long.
The rod is double or triple chrome plated and the piston shouldn't touch the bore of the cylinder because of the seals. The whole works lives in a bath of filtered oil and should have minimal wear. The rubber parts fail long before the steel parts. Take them apart and inspect for mechanical damage (scoring) before you condemn them.

If they were made in Fort Dodge, Iowa with 5/8" pin holes and have a bore/stroke of 2"x18" for lift and 1.5"x13" for the bucket, they're the same as mine and the seals and glands are readily available and a lot cheaper than new cylinders. I did my spare lift cylinders about 15 years ago. Lesson learned: Wrap a piece of thin (.001-.002) shim stock around the rod before installing the rod end cap. The sharp edge on the rod marks the gland resulting in a short life. Same idea as for installing pistons in an engine. Make sure there are no sharp points on the shimstock!

If you really want to buy new ones, I'll be glad to take the old ones off your hands. Let me know and I'll PM you my address!!!! :trink40: :ROF Texas is right at the edge of a 3 day round trip drive for me, and gas is kinda pricey.

If you have to notch the left frame rail for the starter, as I did swapping in an Onan P220, weld a plug into the 1" dia. hole in the frame. I use and abuse my 1655 as much as you, and at colder temps to boot. The frame broke right at that spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jim claims no frame mods to put in the Vanguard. If I have to notch the frame, I'll rebiuld the Onan and modify the frt FEL brace for oil filter removal. And ya, I should take the cylinders apart and check them out first, I was thinking of down time on the unit. I have the owners manuel for the loader, it has a parts list and all the cylinders show to be 2" but it doesn't give length. 5/8" pins sound right on both ends of all cylinders. I've used scotch tape on the ends of the rods(different cylinders) to protect the end cap seal, slick it up good with trans assembly lube and go slow and easy. On the frt of the manuel it says New Holstein, Wisconsin. Where these FEL's made in Iowa too?
 

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My FEL was made by Wright Way in Eagle Grove, Iowa and I've noticed that Kwik Way and Sears loaders have had the same cylinders and overall design. Never got a close look at a Johnson loader. I had a pair of Wright Ways when I bought my 1655, so never even looked at the Johnson that came with my tractor for an extra $400 when I bought it used in 1982.

When I engineered my braces, I made sure I had room for oil filter changes. The only things that I used from the original loader package were the hydraulics and the arms.

Onan changed their design with the 'P' series and moved the starter from the right side (for our tractors) to the left side. I had to replicate the notch in the right side into the left and it is directly over that hole. Dummy me was more interested in getting the tractor running than watching for a weak spot in the frame. Steel breaks easier at sub zero temps and high stress and 60% of my hours are moving snow.

If the Vanguard doesn't need frame mods, it sounds like the way to go. The PTO output shaft from the flywheel may need to be modified or a new one built. Drive belt length may change as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I talked to Jim on the phone almost a year ago, he can supply the complete kit with the correct coupler to the driveshaft, mount for the frt PTO clutch, exhaust, and connector for the alternator. He said I might have to use different throttle/choke cables and fuel line but that'd be all. The 23hp comes with an oil cooler which is a big plus for me too. I've got a GC2300 spotted I might buy and put a loader on it, that way I could take my time on the ole 1855, it badly needs paint and I've got some changes I want to make on it. I notice you've got a GC2300, how do you like it?
 

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In a word....Smoooooth! Smooth accelleration, smooth aplication of pushing power, smoother ride than the 1655, even with the Rim Guard. The slightly longer wheelbase helps the latter, about like the 1655 over the 1650. Pushing/pulling power is a very noticeable step up from the 1655/1855, but not a huge step if the smaller tractor has chains. Put the 2310 in 4wd and the rules change sharply.

My 2310 and 1655 weigh just about the same when equipped with FEL and 5' backblade, around 2400 lb. They lift the same height and the 2310 can push hard enough to completely fill its 1/4 yd. bucket. Lifting capability goes to the 1655 by a fair bit.

The diesel you will love. Half the fuel consumption, less noise at operating speed and more vibration at lower engine speeds. At half throttle it starts to smooth out. A turbo would make it even quieter.

For my take on the negatives (all minor), check this thread.

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=124058
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Think you've about got me convinced TUDOR. The one I'm looking at is in Iowa, I've kinda been looking for an excuse to go check on my folks. I'm going to stay here till we get past hurricane season which another reason I'm afraid to have the 1855 down too long, I used the heck out of it when Hurricane IKE hit us. AND I really want to get my new garage up with the 1855 being the first tractor I work on there. Maybe that sounds silly but so be it, I've gotton kinda fond of that old tractor after 16 yrs of hard use. I got several modifications I want to make and rebiuld the FEL too and modify the back-hoe hook-up to make it more quick-attach. I've got rear ags,loaded and wheel weights plus a homemade 4' boxblade (200-250lbs) on the three point, that ole 1855 will completely fill the bucket on the FEL but usually digs a couple of holes doing it!
 

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Your 1855 and my 1655 are loaded down very close to the same level. I haven't used my wheel weights for 15 years but the subframe for the loader is so heavy that you could use the loader for lifting even if it wasn't attached to the tractor. Although if you wanted to put something in the 210 lb. bucket, a matching counter weight will be required. The bucket is 54" wide with a 1/3 yd capacity and the 1655 will not push hard enough to fill it with dirt or gravel. I made it for snow, but use it for everything.

I know all about the hole digging you speak of. I keep expecting to be attacked by the Chinese for undermining their homes.

Good luck with the repower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess my biggest hesitation in putting in the Vanguard is that I hope it's not like the Kawaski in my 445JD, not heavy enough flywheel. The Kaw motor is smooth and decent on fuel but you'd better have that thing wide open when you turn on the mower or it'll kill it. My 1650 & 1855 MF's I turn on the mower at a fast idle then throttle up to 2650-2750 rpm's and go to mowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ordered the 23hp kit yesterday, I'll pick it up at my folk's house when I go up there for a family reunion on the 25th. Was going to wait till Thanksgiving to go up there but Mom called and said "it'd be nice if you could make it, it's the only time the whole family gets together", so you know I gotta go! I had a 129 Cub Cadet w/48"mmm gave to me, picked it up last night, broke a rod I think. I need to get that new garage up asap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm like a kid at x-mas time now. Got back home last night so I haven't even taken the motor out of the box yet, peeked inside and could see a couple of cables, throttle and choke I'd guess, already has the adapter on the flywheel side for the hydro/rear PTO shaft. Bad part is today is another workday!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Only thing I can see so far that I don't like is the spacers to raise the crankshaft on the motor up to the height of the Onan. He sent bronze type bushing, I've got some trackbar tubeing (NHRA approved) that I'll use instead. I haven't figured out where to hook up the wire for my tac, coil must be under the flywheel cover. Hope to get a chance tomorrow to pull the frt PTO clutch off of the Onan and make sure it fits and the coil mount is right. If all thats ok, I think this will be a fairly easy and fun swap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's hopeing the ole Onan will last a little longer, should hear from the contractor the first of the week about when he'll start on my garage. Guess it always works out like this but that ole Onan hasn't smoked a bit or missed a beat since I got the new motor ready to go in. That's good I guess, got two gardens to fall plow and till.
 
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