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Rut
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know off hand what year gravely started using engines with their own internal electrical system and not a cam shaft driven magneto ? I have a few old L Models ,of which none run . The most complete one is a super convertible with a bad magneto . I personally do not care for the B.S. of magnetos and would like an engine with a lawn mower type flywheel driven electric system . I see the 5000 series used Kohler Cast Iron engines on their units ,an engine type I am very familiar with . I do not know if any of the L models used an internal flywheel type ignition or if they all used magneto.
 

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As far as I know, all true Gravely designed and built engines used the remote mounted magneto. Maybe one of more knowledgeable guys on here can confirm this.

Just saying, the WICO or F-M mags are not that hard to fix at home as long as the coil is good and the rotor has not lost it's charge. And the timing is easy, especially if you can get an accurate measurement on the piston location @ TDC.
 

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The magneto is what made the Gravely L simple, reliable, and easy to start. Mags are not that hard to repair. Other than the points being pitted or having the incorrect gap. Or you might have a bad condenser. Coil failure is usually due to a faulty spark wire or connections, or corrosion in the cover/cap. As others stated, replacing and re-timing is a breeze, once you understand how its done. That info is available on this site and others.
 

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1967 they started using the Kohler engines. Not sure if they used a magneto or not, I had a old 4 wheeler Gravely with the Kohler engine and it had a ignition system like a car with points and a coil hanging off the side of the engine. It required a battery to run.
 

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+1

All the gravely-built T-head engines use an external mag. There's really no other way to do it, the flywheels are inside the case. That means all the old L models, and all the Convertibles. Starting with the Commercial series walkers, and the 400 series riders circa 1967, Gravely used Kohler engines. I'm pretty sure all those were battery/points systems.

I like the mags. They're very reliable, but should they need service, they're a breeze to unbolt, pop on a bench, fix what's needed, and bolt back on. To me, that beats the headache of diagnosing a problem with the stuff under the flywheel.

To each his own :)
 

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I don't think its easy to swap a tee head with a Kohler engine. I think the Kohler powered units used a different Hi-Low planetary gear system. They hard to find used in good condition. I guess it could be done, but not cheap.
 

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I don't think its easy to swap a tee head with a Kohler engine. I think the Kohler powered units used a different Hi-Low planetary gear system. They hard to find used in good condition. I guess it could be done, but not cheap.
Right.

The crank gear and planetaries are different on all but the very early ones, in part due to the Kohler's higher RPM.

Far cheaper/easier to trade the whole machine for one that's got the engine you want.
 

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Does anyone know off hand what year gravely started using engines with their own internal electrical system and not a cam shaft driven magneto ? I have a few old L Models ,of which none run . The most complete one is a super convertible with a bad magneto . I personally do not care for the B.S. of magnetos and would like an engine with a lawn mower type flywheel driven electric system . I see the 5000 series used Kohler Cast Iron engines on their units ,an engine type I am very familiar with . I do not know if any of the L models used an internal flywheel type ignition or if they all used magneto.
I don't know how handy you are, but you have re-power options too. You can put a modern engine on your old Gravely, something like a Honda or a Honda knock-off that would have electronic ignition, electric start, and built in battery charging.

There are several ways to do it, do a google search for Gravely re-power.
 

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Rut
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Discussion Starter #10
I was told by some Gravely enthusiasts that a man in tennesse made adapter plates to attach new engines to the old L models . I was going to cut an old L model engine and weld a plate to it to mount new type engine to, but the problem for me would be having a shaft made to drive the L Model transmission . I have a crank shaft output shaft that could be welded to a machined piece to a keyed shaft of a Briggs or Kohler engine. I do not have access to a lathe or milling machine to do it right. I get tempted to just make an adapter out of rear crankcase of L Model and take measurements and make a home made shaft between the original Gravely shaft and keyed briggs or kohler shaft .Cut it to length with cut off wheel and weld together while clamped in V Blocks. I have access to a bunch of old L model engine parts already . I just thought maybe someone knew of a adapter plate to go from newer style engine to old L model Transmissions. Thanks for replying . I am allergic to spending money if I can make things myself but I would buy an adapter plate if I knew of a source and it was reasonable.
 

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Bruce makes adapter kits for riders using Honda or Honda clone engines. I used some parts from him to adapt a Briggs Vanguard to a rider. Not sure if they will work on a model L. Or if the planetary gears are strong enough on a L, for a re-power. Google Gravely re-power for more info. Good luck.
 

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I like the idea a guy had on here, he used brake rotors for a homemade adapter for a newer engine. I will see if I can find that thread.
 
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