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On Saturday i took a 3 and a half hour drive from PA to Virginia to pick up this free 448. It belonged to my grandfather until about two years ago when he passed away. After that my uncle in Virginia got it. Last summer the engine blew. No compression on the right or left side (I forget). Could this be a broken crank? He said i could have it for free. :fing32: I finally got down there to pick it up. Unfortunately it has been sitting outside for the past year but the rust isn't too bad. The seat is also cracked in a few places.

As you can see in the pics it hasn't been taken great care of since my uncle had it. Along with the weathering from sitting outside, it has dents and a missing headlight and ammeter. Plus the deck is locked up due to rust. It also came with a snowblower and chains too. In addition it has problems with burning wires.

Let me know what you guys think.
 

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Good score! That pic from the front looks like the whole upper sheet metal is racked to one side.
There are plenty of options for repower if the engine is toast. I know nothing about the onan engines though, but there are lots of guys on here who do.
Keep us posted on your progress and best of luck with it.
 

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What you have there is a late 83 or and 84 black-frame 448 with the original white seat. Too bad about the seat suffering from exposure because you cannot buy a new replacement seat in white any longer. This seat color and paint scheme was used only during the above mentioned time-frame. You are quite fortunate to get what you did for nothing more than the price of fuel plus your time.

Even with the dead engine, the tractor and deck are easily worth $250.00. Add in another $300.00 to $450.00 for the tire chains and snowcaster and the fuel costs pale by comparison. It's a trip that I'd gladly make.

You can buy a good but used ammeter, wiring harness and headlamp assembly off of e-Bay from people like Joe Hemmi of Joe's Outdoor Power. Joe is a sponsor here at MTF and has his own forum if you wish to contact him directly. Your engine has a broken rod that is mostly likely the result of your uncle not servicing the tractor properly. He either failed to keep the oil level up or he never decarbonized the engine.

The existing engine can be rebuilt and that's the best way to go. You can ask Joe to keep an eye out for the correct hood for your tractor that is dent-free. What you have is well worth repairing properly and if you do so, it will pay you back with many, many years of great service.

As for the deck, the thing to do is to take it apart, replace all six spindle bearings and possibly the belt tension pulley too. Sharpen and balance the blades, check the both drive belts for wear and replace them if they are badly cracked. Use OEM belts or TSC's Kevlar belts.

Junk from the local big-box stores will run you $2000.00 and up but it won't last for a 1/4 of the time this tractor will once you repair it nor will you get the same enjoyment from those tin can LT's.
 

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I have no intentions of getting rid of this tractor believe me! This was bought new by my grandfather and I'll never let go of it. I remember using this tractor since 5th grade (I'm only 19 by the way lol) to snowblow his driveway in the winter when he wasn't home. Although it saddens me that it has not been cared for in the past few years, I probably wouldn't have it right now if it wouldn't have broke down. I am well aware of its capabilities as i already own a '74 case 446 (which was owned by a local case dealer since it was new until we got a hold of it about 10 years ago!). I plan to get the engine rebuilt. I want to keep this thing as original as possible.
 

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I'm pleased that you feel that way. I suggest that you contact Boomer. He can likely help you with the engine rebuild.
 

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You did real good for free :fing32: I'll second what castoff said and rebuild the engine if you can you won't regret it. :goodl:
 

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Where at in PA are you located? My dad repowered his 446 with a Vanguard and has an Onan that he is looking to get rid of. I have no idea of a price or what exactly is wrong with it if you need some parts. PM me and we can chat if you're interrested.

Pete
 

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I live near Altoona. I don't think I would need a whole new engine. Unless the crank from the 16hp would work in mine. Then i would just probably get one of those rebuild kits from ebay. Or do i need more than that??
 

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And good eye Kungdrew. I didn't even realize the hood was that crooked. I even had to go outside and look at it for a second until I saw what you were talking about.
 

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And good eye Kungdrew. I didn't even realize the hood was that crooked. I even had to go outside and look at it for a second until I saw what you were talking about.
Well, it helps that I am a little bit off center myself, LOL!!!

you might be able to straighten it back out, but if not, hoods come up for sale pretty often and can be had for not too much money, shipping would be a bear, but you might get lucky and find one local should you decide you want to go with a replacement. You might be able to save that one easy enough though...


You have been pretty fortunate so far, hope to see you do nice things with that great tractor.
 

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I live near Altoona. Unless the crank from the 16hp would work in mine. Then i would just probably get one of those rebuild kits from ebay. Or do i need more than that??
A B43 (16hp) crank will work in a B48 (18hp) however you would also need the longer B43 connecting rods. Pistons are the same diameter, you would be reducing the stroke and losing 5 c.i.d.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay then I think I'll just look for a 448 crank.
 

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Until you pull this engine and carefully dismantle it, you have no idea what you will need. Maybe the existing crank just needs to be polished. Maybe it needs to be cut 10 or 20 thou. Why guess?

Clear off the top of your workbench and systematically remove parts while keeping the nuts and bolts with each item removed. If you lay everything out in a row that demonstrates what came off first followed by what came off next, re-assembly is easy. I think you have ONE broken rod. I think your crank is just fine. I think that you need to bore the cylinders, buy 2 new rods, pistons, rings, wrist pins, a gasket set and new bearings for the crank and camshaft. I think that your valves need new guides but will lap into the existing seats just fine. Of course, all of this is assumption but once you take the bare block to a machine shop that KNOWS Onan engines, they will confirm whether I am right or wrong.

Don't jump the gun here by running around buying this or that until a PRO examines this engine and tells you exactly what you need.
 

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Don't jump the gun here by running around buying this or that until a PRO examines this engine and tells you exactly what you need.
All great advice there until that last statement. I would much rather have a talented/experienced/concerned amateur do the examination than the average 'pro'. All one needs is some general engine experience, the more the better, good measuring tools and the book to evaluate the condition of parts. That , a clean workbench and a methodical approach to cleaning and reassembly has produced a LOT of reliable rebuilds in the garages of the world, mine being one of them.

Many pros take the approach that installing all new parts both increases their take and insures against any failures being blamed on them. A fair way to do business from their perspective, but has no concern for the customers pocket book or real needs.
 

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Curt91 -

Very nice, Congrats and welcome!

Free is always good with an "unknown" as you have here, as you'll likely find plenty of other items to invest your money on.

If you have any mechancial inclination, read up, dig in, be methodical and take your time. Believe me, you will get "intimately" involved with this thing!

As for your hood, that should be fixable. Mine was much worse, the same headlight was missing, the grill was caved in, the back corners were bent out as lift handles for the hood because the hood release was gone. The metal on that hood is very forgiving and workable, all issues have since been fixed.

Make sure the catch inside the hood on the left side, is able to contact the heat exchanger support as the hood is opened. It likely doesn't anymore and the hood has "done a 180" at some point in it's past. This slams the grill and headlight into the mower deck adjustment key. Don't want that to happen anymore!

Have fun and good luck!
 

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Glad to see the tractor pass into the hands of someone who will care for it. I'm sure your Grandfather is smiling that it's in your hands! EBay is a good place to find parts, there's a lot of folks out there parting out machines. You might want to look up Onanparts and some of his threads on the forum. I run pics of the condition of the crank and pistons by him I'm sure he'd give a good idea what you need to do.
 

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All great advice there until that last statement. I would much rather have a talented/experienced/concerned amateur do the examination than the average 'pro'. All one needs is some general engine experience, the more the better, good measuring tools and the book to evaluate the condition of parts. That , a clean workbench and a methodical approach to cleaning and reassembly has produced a LOT of reliable rebuilds in the garages of the world, mine being one of them.

Many pros take the approach that installing all new parts both increases their take and insures against any failures being blamed on them. A fair way to do business from their perspective, but has no concern for the customers pocket book or real needs.
It seems that Ken and I are of different opinions here.

As I see it, Onan designed these engines to last at least 3000 hours before needing to be rebuilt but that lifespan was predicated on the engine being serviced properly.

So.....let's say that an engine didn't get serviced properly and finally failed at 1500 hours because the oil wasn't changed at every 50 hours. Instead, the oil got changed at 250 to 300 hours of use and decarbonizing didn't take place at proper intervals either.

The engine gets dismantled for rebuilding. The bores are measured and a 20 thou cut cleans both of them up nicely. The valves get ground and new guides are installed. The crank throws must be turned 10 thou to clean them up so that means that new rods are required along with pistons and rings. All of that is pretty straightforward but now it starts to get a little trickier thanks to the neglect this engine was subjected to.

This is a block that had no oil filter and that filthy oil was being pumped around for 5 to 6 times longer than it should have been. The crank end-bearings, the camshaft, the camshaft end-gears and the oil pump itself were constantly being bathed in this dirty oil filled with particulate that was grinding against all those parts including the crank and camshaft timing gears.

The whole purpose behind rebuilding an engine is to reset the "wear clock" back to zero so that there is once again a reasonable expectation of 3000 more hours of trouble-free service. On a perfectly maintained engine that inexplicably failed at 1500 hours, all those "other" parts I mentioned will have 1500 hours on them if they are used in the rebuild. That might be OK but what about the same parts from the abused engine? For sure, they have 1500 hours of run-time on them but in truth, they actually have a lot less life in them due to the bad lubrication they were forced to endure for that 1500 hours.

They could have the equivalent of 3000 or even 4000 hours of wear on them and be very close to the end of their life. Pro engine builders know this and years of experience have taught them that there are some parts that you just don't gamble on as "looks OK" and "feels OK". There are some items that can't be measured for wear. Instead, you just replace them because it's the smart thing to do.

Rebuilding an Onan is not an inexpensive process. If the job is not done with extreme care and thoroughness, then the cost of the machine work, the rods, pistons, rings and gaskets is thrown into jeopardy over the cost of some bearings or an oil pump. The camshaft should be profiled to make sure it is delivering the lift and duration the manufacturer designed it to provide. Very few backyard mechanics have the tools and talent in their garage to carry out all the measuring required to make sure all the parts meet factory specs. If you know someone that can do all of this, then more power to you.

In a recent thread on this site, someone entrusted there Onan to be rebuilt by a party who said they could do the work for a mere $500.00. As it turned out, the engine came back to them and huffed oil out the breather badly and they finally concluded what I told them in my initial reply. YOU CANNOT DO A PROPER REBUILD FOR $500.00. Fortunately for them, all of their money was refunded. Rarely does that ever happen. But even so, look at the aggravation they went through having to pull the engine, take it to these guys, pick it up, put it back in the tractor only to find it pushing out oil relentlessly.

Hours upon hours were spent trying to figure out what was wrong and if it could be cured. I don't know what they eventually did but my guess is that they pulled the engine once again and took it to someone who knows how to conduct a proper rebuild that will give them an engine they can use for many, many years. I'm not saying that Ken is wrong but he's coming at this from his own perspective of carrying out his own work. Apparently he's spent a considerable amount of money to purchase the specialized calipers, dial indicators and micrometers etc needed for checking all the parts.

Few of us are willing to make such an investment in these tools or in the time it takes to become self-taught on how to use them. Pros already have the tools and they make those measurements many times each day, every day. They know what to check and how to check it without having to consult some do-it-yourself manual because that's there trade. There's a lot of jobs that I'm more than happy to take on because I know that I can do them just as well as the Pros but there are some jobs I prefer to relegate to them because I'd rather pay for their expertise than run the risk of me making a stupid little mistake that could come back and bite me in the butt big-time.

I've been down that road in the past where my arrogance over-shadowed the common sense I should have exhibited and it ended up costing me far more money than it would have had I just paid the Pro his fee.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow that sounds way more complicated than i was expecting but it makes a lot of sense. To be honest I know nothing about rebuilding engines. This is going to be a big learning experience. It sounds like it will be awhile until I can afford this project!
 
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