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Discussion Starter #942
Well, it has been a while since I updated this thread.

Life remains very busy with work, family and the world pandemic...........

We finally sold the old house. This transition from the the big Victorian to our "retirement" rancher has taken longer, and had more detours than we had planed. While selling the old house was obviously a big step, we still have some things to accomplish in our big life style transition.

Now for tractor business.

For the last two years the tractor has been doing double lawn duty but has not been needed for any snow duty.

But now with the old house gone, I just have the two acres at the new house to cut.

This past week the tractor has developed a problem........I don't have time for problems right now.........

It started sputtering and loosing power while mowing, I changed the fuel pump, it seemed fine after that. Again yesterday a similar behavior.

The carb, coil and now fuel pump are all recent, fuel is fresh.

So I started checking mechanical stuff. Not good. It seems we have a lack of compression when the engine gets hot.

Again, I don't have time for this right now...........

So I ordered a repower kit today. The 18GLX is going to get an upgrade with a Kohler CH730.

https://repowerspecialists.com/collections/all/products/gravely-rear-mounted-engine-with-m18?variant=2391920410647

I have been considering this for a while now, so now is the time.

Should I ever find a wing mower, and should I ever need my 48" snow blower, I will be happy to have the extra power.

I do have plans to build a detached garage which will expand the driveway to a point where snow removal would be an issue...................if it ever snows again?

We have not had any measurable snow here over the last two winters.

I will post the details of the repower once the kit arrives.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #943
The new engine arrived today, and work began:

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One last look before disassembly:

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All apart ready for re-assembly:

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Here is the custom engine adapter that came in the kit:

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The adapter provided perfect gear spacing with my existing gear and thrust washers.

I have a vacuum bagger setup for my tractor which uses a PTO belt driven off the front of the engine. I asked about that, and they provided me with a spacer that gives the old drive from the M18 exactly the right spacing as before.

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I did test fit it on the engine and checked the measurements, so it looks like the vacuum will work perfectly should I decide to use it.

Today I ran out of time and energy, and I need some supplies, RTV, etc.

So with any luck assembly starts tomorrow.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #945
Right around 1,000 hours over 25 years. I bought the tractor new and have changed the oil every 30-50 hours. It runs, but looses power when hot. It needs a valve job.
Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #946 (Edited)
Re-power update:

Over the last two days, in between work and grand children, the engine is on the tractor, fuel line, choke and throttle cable hooked up, wiring reworked and and connected. The adapter plate worked perfectly with no issues. Clearances are all great.

Throttle cable and choke cable required no modification, just minor re-routing.

The wiring required a little thought and a good study of the wiring diagram of the new engine. The kit instructions were good, and correct, except for one thing. If you hook up the charging circuit the way they show, the amp meter will not show the battery charging. Their diagram connects the charging circuit directly to the battery on the hot side of the original starter solenoid.

It was necessary/better to run two additional wires from the dash to the engine.

The new engine has a solenoid shift starter, the old engine had an inertia drive starter. So the new engine requires a "start" wire from the key, the old one did not.

Additionally the new engine has a much higher amperage charging system, so I did not want to connect the regulator wire to the original wire which is only 16 gauge, and feeds the charging power thru the ignition switch.

The kit instructions recommended keeping the ignition hot wire separate from the regulator output for this reason.

I ran a new 12 gauge wire directly from the regulator to the ignition side of the ammeter. This feeds the charging power into the system at a good point and keeps any heavy recharge load off the ignition switch contacts, while still preserving the ammeter function.


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Pay no attention to the spare wires, they will be dealt with later.

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I am waiting on some parts for a better exhaust solution then what the kit provided. They simply provided a manifold, elbow, muffler, bracket and some flex pipe.

Flex pipe does not hold up, no real good place for the type of muffler they provided, I have to come up with something better.

More details later.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #948 (Edited)
I do not have a liftable hitch or rear PTO.

I do have the vacuum bagger, with uses an extra support for the standard hitch. It consists of a fixed arm that is similar to the upper control arm of the liftable hitch which then uses a rod and bracket to support the standard hitch frame. You can see that arm in my photos.

I will post more photos of the rest of that support when it is installed.

I have already test fitted that, and it is going to clear as well or better than the original engine did.

So as long as you have the newer version of the liftable hitch with the offset arms, it should work fine.

The overall dimensions of the new CH730 engine are very similar to the original M18 engine. So far all clearance issues have been fine.

The exhaust is the next challenge........

I have not permanently installed it yet, but the rear (technically front of the engine) belt drive PTO for my vacuum bagger also lines up perfectly with the adapter spacer they provided in the kit. I may not install it right away, not sure when I might use the bagger again, but I did not want to loose that feature since I do own the vacuum bagger set up.


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Some new exhaust parts are due in the mail today, more later.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #949
OK, using the parts supplied in the kit, this seems to be the only practical exhaust solution.

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The muffler would get connected to the elbow with flex pipe provided in the kit. I am not crazy about the flexible exhaust pipe, I see it as an early failure item...........

The muffler is also close to the oil cooler, but I could make some sort of spacer and move it way some.

I have parts due today, and other parts that should be in Monday, for several possible dual exhaust solutions.

The parts due today should provide some insight as to if any dual exhaust solution is practical.

Sheldon
 

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The muffler probably won't have much of an affect on the oil cooler, as air is blown from inside the housing (from the engine fan) to the outside, so air will be blowing from the oil cooler towards the exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #951 (Edited)
Understood and agreed, it just bugged me a little. But, as it turns out, once I install my extended engine guard, I can actually mount the muffler further back and space it over some, so I am happy.

My other parts came in, and any other exhaust solution will require more fabrication than I want to get into now, so I am going with the setup shown in the photo.

But I am going to work on a more compact dual exhaust for the future.

More when I get the exhaust done, hopefully today.

Sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter #952
So here is the exhaust, at least for now.

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In many ways I like this location, moving as much heat as possible out from under the seat pan. If I leave it here I think it will need some sort of guard.

And, I did enough checking, even way back there it will not interfere with my vacuum bagger setup.

I am going to still look into a possible dual setup, but for now I can cut the grass. Just in time before the neighbors start giving me funny looks.

So I fired it up, no issues, everything works as expected. Took a short ride, kind of rainy here today. I will cut grass tomorrow if it is dry.

Maybe I will try to figure out how to make and post a video...........

So, I am very happy with the repower kit from Repower Specialists and their service was top notch. Again, the only thing that could be better is the exhaust. But Kohler does not have a factory solution, so they needed something that could be adapted to various GRAVELY configurations.

Recent PTO clutch and a new engine, guess we are good for another 25 years.

I told her it was the only tractor we would ever have to buy............

Sheldon.
 

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Discussion Starter #953
While I am not planning on using my vacuum bagger right now, I do leave the hitch frame in the forward position used by the vacuum, and i leave the hitch frame support in place.

As asked above, these parts are similar to, and located roughly in the same place as the liftable hitch arm. Here are some photos - still not done with the extra wires........

The test fit:

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And the final installation:

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That's all for now.

Sheldon
 

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Glad to see it up and running. I agree that flex pipe does not usually make for a good long term solution. It looks like the exhaust was an after thought in you kit. I know that the engines sre diffrent but i wonder if you could make the exhaust similar to mine. Here is a link with pictures of how my briggs kit did exhaust. 386447-Gravely-4-R4 Briggs & Stratton Gas Engines, Horizontal Horizontal 1-1/8" Diameter Shafts - 23hp Horizontal Vanguard Engine and kit to fit on some Gravely 4 wheel tractors Briggs Stratton Engine, Briggs & Stratton

There are multiple pics to scroll through if you use the link.

Maybe you could make something similar. Mine works well however it does make some seat pan heat but it has never been an issue in the summer and has been a plus in winter. Mike

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Discussion Starter #955
Mike,

I am familiar with the Briggs exhaust setup, I considered that kind of exhaust location, and even considered the Briggs kit. As I mentioned earlier I went with the Kohler partly because of compatibility with my vacuum bagger, and after reading about some others experiences with close tire clearances with the Briggs exhaust pipe.

The Kohler seems to have taller valve covers and it has the oil fill and a mechanical fuel pump mounted on top of the left valve cover, which makes putting the muffler up above the left valve cover not possible. And that is where my fuel line was already so that worked out well.

I must say that I like the idea of the Kohler mechanical fuel pump over the pulse pump on the Briggs.

Moving the exhaust above the right valve cover would likely conflict with the hitch frame support for the vacuum bagger. The support is necessary for the vacuum, again a feature I want the option of using.

There is room in front of both cylinders for mufflers like the early 16G system I had on the M18, as seen in my pictures above. Which may work of a dual system or a single system, but for now it is a piping issue with the parts I have on hand.

I have two new "old style" GRAVELY mufflers and they fit in those spaces nicely on both sides, I have some other piping parts on order, we will see,

Sheldon
 

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Makes sense i see now in the pics the fuel
Pump on that side and agree i would not want the fuel pump near that exhaust. Mike

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You have the exhaust pipe path just make a drawing with the dimensions on it take it to the muffler shop and have them bend a solid pipe. Or better yet just take the Gravely to them.
 

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You have the exhaust pipe path just make a drawing with the dimensions on it take it to the muffler shop and have them bend a solid pipe. Or better yet just take the Gravely to them.
+1

I hate flex tube for exhaust. Much better to fab something solid. For this, I'd use stainless tube, and because I'm me, I'd get out my tubing bender and probably screw up a couple of pieces before I got it right :)
 

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Discussion Starter #959
Having something made, yes that might be the answer. But I needed to get up and running first. the grass was getting tall......

I have exhaust stubs ordered, due in tomorrow, and I already have mufflers that will work, that will let me start working that out.

I agree, the flex pipe has got to go.

Does anyone have an opinion about duals verses single on these newer engines?

I mowed the yard today, the back was really high, this thing blew right thru it with ease, I am happy.

Sheldon
 

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Nice new engine, Sheldon! After following your PTO replacement, it appears this job was easier.

I sure do get the desire to run it and mow! I'll bet that first ride was a real sense of accomplishment.
 
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