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Discussion Starter #1
My neighbor sold me his non running JD317 with a 48" deck and tiller. He said the engine and or the starter is toast. It has the JD dealer Onan swapped 21G engine. Because I have several weeks off I thought I would first test to see if the Onan engine is in fact really worn out. If it in fact not repairable, I was wondering what direction you John Deere experts would swap into this machine ?

Option 1) I have fully rebuilt Onan 16 hp engine in a box with the oil filter option. Boomer in MN rebuilt it for me. Option 2) I have a Kohler Command 18hp with electric start that has been mine for 15 years. It runs well and doesn't smoke. I used it in a pressure washer after paying to have it rebuilt. Option 3) is a Kubota D640 16hp that ran well with low hours. I removed it from a Kubota G6200.

Thanks for any ideas.
 

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I am not a John Deere expert...or any kind of expert but I would say that it depends what you want to use it for...if mowing is in the only line of work I would probably go with the kohler in option#2..if you want it for work other than mowing such as the tilling, or putting on a FEL or snow blower or plow...I would go with the diesel...none of them is an easy job....just don't forget the red cap for the fuel tank...whatever you do will be an interesting project...please keep us informed and good luck
 

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....just don't forget the red cap for the fuel tank...
Lol. I never understood the logic behind the red cap. Diesel cans are yellow, so are supply and return pipes for stationary diesel generators and such.

OP, if I were you I'd just go with the Kohler. You know it's history and you know it runs well. Plus it won't cost you anything if it's just sitting around, which it sounds like it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dixie460 - that is along the lines of what I was thinking. The diesel swap is far more complex. Thank you
 

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You're welcome! And yeah I agree, for something like a 317, if I wanted a diesel I'd just part the thing out and buy the diesel version instead.
 

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The Kohler Command would be by far the easiest swap if the 317 still had the original KT17 Kohler. The P218 conversion was not a drop in, plug and play install. I think that now changing back to the Kohler would be difficult, while installing another Onan would be much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Has anyone seen a repair like this? I can appreciate the quality of the welds but I am confused as to what the purpose is? Thanks
 

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That kind of looks like the starter, so maybe the mounting tangs on the engine broke off and they welded up some brackets to hold the starter in place, or the P.O. had another starter (not designed/made for that engine) that they just welded into place (or welded a bracket for it in place)?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dave_r I agree. it's just about the most unique repair I have seen. I'll tear it down tomorrow to see what is going on. I have multiple factory rebuilt Onan starters if that will help much. Thanks
 

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I am getting confused here...Riddler...are you under the impression that the picture of the starter that is welded in post #8 is on an Onan P218?...and is it the same engine as in post # 13?
 

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In the picture of the engine and welds, I say the engine mounts broken and this is the fab to fix broken engine mounts. Now the other engines pictured the air cleaner is not one I've ever come across on an Onan. So I most be from another engine manufacturer. Maybe Kohler K17/K19 Series II with a special air filter, engine lift bracket looks like what is on a Kohler
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mark- Sorry I have not idea. Just got the machine yesterday very late.

Today a family member had a birthday while on lockdown. I didn't do much with it. I have no clue what the engine is until I tear it down. This machine has been poorly cared for. I would like to hear what you think?

I am hopeful I can remove the engine in it now and install a nice Kohler Command 18 in it this week. Thanks
 

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That looks just like the KT17 Series 2 in my 317. Same air cleaner as well. Mine is a late model 317, 1982 I believe.

VDO
 

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Mark- Sorry I have not idea. Just got the machine yesterday very late.

Today a family member had a birthday while on lockdown. I didn't do much with it. I have no clue what the engine is until I tear it down. This machine has been poorly cared for. I would like to hear what you think?

I am hopeful I can remove the engine in it now and install a nice Kohler Command 18 in it this week. Thank
OK...so both posts are the same tractor and engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Mark LI Yes both posts are the same tractor and engine. I was leaning towards a repower with a Kohler Command 18.

Thanks guys
 
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