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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new to me 85 or 86 8123 with a 50" deck and snowblower.
It looks to be well maintained, but it does seem slightly underpowered when the grass gets thicker.

I'm looking to at 2 options for it, because it's in good enough shape to hang on to (I'll take and post pics later).

1. I'm looking at the 23 HP Briggs/Vanguard upgrade. Has anyone done this and how much labor was it?
2. I prefer to mulch. I was able to find G6 mulching blades, but I've yet to find a chute cover. If one doesn't exist, I'll fabricate one.

Has anyone done either of these with any success?
I'm 3 cuts in with it and it runs well, save for the occasional bogging in thick grass (and long, messy clippings with the side discharge).

Thank you!
 

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Yes, an 8123 is a bit under powered.

I have never done the briggs upgrade, but replacing an engine on a GRAVELY 4 wheel tractor is not real hard in general if you have the right stuff.

I might be more inclined to go this route:

https://repowerspecialists.com/products/gravely-rear-mounted-engine-with-m20?variant=2391956029463

That is what I am thinking about for my tractor.



I don't even know what a G6 mulching blade is, does it fit the GRAVELY blade cradle?

I did this to my 50" deck using stock GRAVELY blades, it works great even in tall grass without blocking the discharge:





You can read about it, and more that relates to your 4 wheel tractor here:

Latest 16G improvements

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, this is a lot of info. That 6 blade setup looks great!
Sadly, my engine gave up the ghost today and I need a fast option. Anyone have a running stock engine around that they want to part with?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'm likely to pull the trigger on this kit: Gravely 8123 Repower
Any advice? I'll definitely follow your install pics!

I am also curious if the 60" deck will fit an 8123. I have the 50", and 60" zero turns are an enticing idea for my 2.3 acres... I came close to buying one, however, I still need a snowblower and nobody has unlimited storage space, so repowering this one makes more sense to keep it all with one maching. If I can find and fit a 60" deck to it after repowering.....bonus!
 

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I am also curious if the 60" deck will fit an 8123. I have the 50", and 60" zero turns are an enticing idea for my 2.3 acres...
The 60" deck requires a long-frame tractor (any Pro-G and certain 8000-series tractors). Needs 16HP as a bare minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 60" deck requires a long-frame tractor (any Pro-G and certain 8000-series tractors). Needs 16HP as a bare minimum.
How do I know if I have a long frame? 60" would be a huge plus for me and I don't have an issue investing in the Vanguard upgrade and upgrading the deck shortly after.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
[/QUOTE]
I don't even know what a G6 mulching blade is, does it fit the GRAVELY blade cradle?

I did this to my 50" deck using stock GRAVELY blades, it works great even in tall grass without blocking the discharge:





You can read about it, and more that relates to your 4 wheel tractor here:

Latest 16G improvements

Sheldon
Sheldon,

The blades did not fit. They were 3" wide instead of the necessary 2.5".
I ordered the Vanguard engine kit this morning. Could you tell me what you used in this 4 blade setup?
I would love to do this and this will probably work well for me.

I am also wondering what I should change while I am in there. I've always noticed the clutches on this mower were noisy; is this an adjustment or should I look at clutch replacement? They operate normally, but make a rattly/jingle bells sound when rolling.

Thank you,
 

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Ok, first, you have a short frame tractor the 60" deck will not fit.

My dual blade setup uses stock GRAVELY blades, you just need the newer deep blade cradles and then notch them to take the second blade. I did not worry about the height issue. If your spindle shafts are not long enough you will also need some slim line nylock nuts.

Which style ctuches do you have? In any case it sounds like the clutch assemblies need new bearings.
More later.

Sheldon
 

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Looks great, you will love it.

Lot of this going on, I am almost done putting a Kohler CH730 on my tractor. You can see that in my "Improvement" thread.

I considered the Vanguard but decided on the Kohler once i found out for sure it would work with my vacuum bagger attachment.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In progress. The engine is in and running.
The kit has the important stuff but the instructions are incredibly lazy (and they've supposedly edited them over the last 20 years).

The seat mount instructions are non-existent and they are not as intuitive as you'd think (thread mismatch)
Lazy! For $1800; they can do better.

What's kicking my butt now are the choke and throttle cables. Neither is done, but I'll finish tomorrow.
Also, the woodruff key doesn't fit!
I had to use the old one.

The engine is great, but SEW didn't make that part of it. Their stuff is lazy.
I may review and make/sell my own kit with far better instructions.

The kit consists of the engine, a machined adapter plate (which does fit spot on) and $15-20 in hardware. A few small things and a few pages of writing would make this kit so much better..
2463090

2463091
2463092
2463093
 

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It does look like they have improved the exhaust pipe location over earlier versions of those kits which came very close to the tire.

I do remember others saying the choke cable would not work, but they where converting from Kohler Magnum twins.

My cables worked perfectly on my Kohler kit, my exhaust is the challenge.

I did mine with the seat pan in place, but I have a special prop for it I made years ago to hold it up straight and higher.

I removed my hitch frame to make lowering and lifting the engines easier - I'm older now........

I was very happy with the instructions in my kit from Repower Specialists, but the Kohler kit I bought from them was $2800 and again, the exhaust leaves room for improvement.

Looking good, I will be following your progress.

Sheldon
 
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