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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently purchased the SEW 1250 Kit using a briggs 16 hp vanguard. I'm a machinist, not really a fabricator. I thought buying this kit was going to be a great time saver, only needing to tweak a few things and be done. The directions tell you clearly that some slight modifications may be required, but you don't need to be a mechanic to get it done. This kit is a disaster... I would have been much better off starting from scratch, as many on here have done.

I would have posted the results here in a different (oh well) manner, but the attitude they give me when I asked for help makes me boil. They claim they have sold over 1500 of this kit alone, and have only had a couple minor issues.
(I've watched their inventory list "3 kits available", for over a year, until I ordered one. Now their list shows 2...)

So before I share some of my "challenges", I ask, who has one? Any issues?
I will add some pictures later, showing some of the work and steps I had to do.

When I got the kit, it had an oil filter on the block, and a crazy, zig-zag oil drain pipe, that was actually loose and seeping oil at the block. It was supposed to let you drain the oil without dumping it on the motor mount plates.
Either way, neither of these had a dream of actually fitting in the frame. While I had the engine sitting near the mounts, i noticed that the stub shaft was over an inch too long, and not machined back nearly enough for the sheave. Only 1 of the 3 belts could line up. The front of the supplied motor mount plates hit the "L" channel where your rubber mounts are. Also, there was very little explaination of the wires, and an extra grey wire hanging off with nothing mentioned in the booklet.

After the first couple calls, they sent out a filter block off plate. It took them two days to be able to explain their wires(mostly that grey wire). I read online about briggs using a grey wire for a "anti-backfire fuel shutoff solinoid". They assured me that it was already hooked up using their harness at first. A picture on their website of an 18 hp showed that same wire. Then they called and said my engine doesn't have that option, but I could use that wire as an extra "accessory".
They also told me that my engine must have been shipped with a 1" adapter between the flywheel and the stub shaft, and to remove it.

So I start by taking the mount plates off the bottom and machining .200" off the front for clearance by the factory motor mounts. This step wasn't needed though, because later we will be shimming the motor up almost 3/4"!!!
I bored a 1.250" hole though the plate and used their brass 90 degree fitting to allow draining oil though the plate. This eliminated that crazy drain piping.

A few days later that block off plate arrived. I removed their 1" adapter and that stub shaft was still about .250" too long, and the belts still are way off. The motor is shifted back as far as possible, to where the foot pedal hits the manifold. I take it to the local mower shops for some advice. They tell me not to use this kohler style stubshaft on the briggs without the adapter anyways. A briggs stub shaft has two "key-like" areas perpendicular to the 2 bolt holes. This stubshaft has 4 larger holes, and no pilot area(that the adapter has). Without this pilot, the shaft can runout up to .200"!
So I put the adapter back on, and took the stub to work and machined it back about 1.300", and cut the same amount off the over all length.

Now engine fits in, belts line up, oil can be drained, but we have a long way to go.
Engine is very low and slopped up front. I shimmed the rear up .300" and the front had to go up .700". If i had to go another .100", I would have less than 2 threads holding the nut on the motor mount studs. Anyways, this work corrected the flywheel shroud hitting the frame rail, and allowed using the factory length 32" pto belts.
Now the driveshaft doesn't have a prayer. Using their collar kit, the driveshaft JUST barely goes on the end of the crank. It's less than 3/8 contact, and only half of the setscrew will hit the crank key. I couldn't stomach attemping something this unsafe.
I talk to them and they say the one they did was fine, and I shouldn't worry. I have to expect this because this kit is designed for so many bolens models. They wouldn't believe me that the models were basically unchanged(frame and mount-wise). They also tell me they bolt that exact non-briggs stubshaft to the flywheel all the time, and I shouldn't have machined the stub.
I now built a brand new, two-piece driveshaft following SnowmanPA's advice.

I'm trying to get this thing finished up, and today I try to bolt on the supplied heatshield across the dash tower. Yeah, another mistake. It's bent and drilled 2 inches to long...

The story will continue, and I realize this must be painful to read without pics.

I just can't believe they can sell a product or "kit" like this, and tell me they got it right on 1500 other Bolens 1250 kits.

I don't believe them.... pics to follow

:banghead3
 

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I bought a 24 HP Honda kit from them for an 1886 and had wire issues also. I was was able to figure everything out with my strong electrical background. I will never ever buy from them again.
 

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'Bought something from them on eBay once. 'Had the worst experience. Since then, I've read many complaints on this and other forums. I would never buy anything from these a*#holes. Especially a big investment like an engine conversion kit. I'm sorry for your bad experience and would love to see them
go under.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Through all the issues I'm working to correct, I could only assume their kits, for say a Deere 318, would be great. Maybe for kits that they sell alot of.

I was willing to send them pictures to help them maybe correct their kit, but I was told their products are basically as good as they need them to be. Who am I when they already sold 1500 of this exact kit.

Basically, if I sent them any pics, it would be just be proof that I had trouble.
 

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I was looking at their ads as well and seen them advertising for a Bolens 1256 on Ebay. Their website even shows pictures of a Bolens Conversion:
http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/RepowerItems.asp?Brand=Bolens&Model=1256

They describe it as doing a conversion from a Wisconsin to a 23hp Vanguard Engine, the air cleaner cover shows a 18hp Vanguard in the picture?

I was considering doing this swap myself as well. I am very sorry for your problems with the kit. I want to thank you for sharing with all of us as well. It definitely helped with my decision.
:thanku:
 

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If I couldn't do a neater job than that I sure wouldn't be posting pics any place. The wires behind the alu flashing near the exhaust are going to destruct in a hurry, all tht heat and no place to go. I would also bet some are touching. That outfit sure gets a thumbs down fro me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Here are a few pictures, they are from my phone though, too lazy to dig out the camera. I think my next phone will have to be an 8 megapixel...:fing32:

Bad picture, but this is the modified drain dump in mounting plate to replace their crazy piping. I also trimmed the top of the plates for clearance:







Here is a couple shots of how long the stub shaft was:





So as stated above, the best solution was to machine down the stub:










Finally fit in and half way there:






Here is the new driveshaft. I will come back to this and add a fan once everthing else is done. And yes, those are my feet too:





In this picture, if you look up at the supplied heatshield, you can see that it is bolted on one side, but about 2 inches too long...:



I'm now in the process of running the choke and throttle cables. Ordered a cable end bender. You can see from the pic that I changed up the dash panel a bit. I am running the throttle and choke both on the left side. Key moved to original throttle hole. I bored a 2 1/16 hole in the original key area to house an hourmeter. I think all engines should have one.
I prefer function over originality. This will be a mutt when finished, but hopefully not all hacked up: (and before wilberj calls me out, this is a 1455 with the heavy, cast foot controls from a 1250 parts tractor... ) :trink39:



More to come in a few days
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was looking at their ads as well and seen them advertising for a Bolens 1256 on Ebay. Their website even shows pictures of a Bolens Conversion:
http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/RepowerItems.asp?Brand=Bolens&Model=1256

They describe it as doing a conversion from a Wisconsin to a 23hp Vanguard Engine, the air cleaner cover shows a 18hp Vanguard in the picture?

I was considering doing this swap myself as well. I am very sorry for your problems with the kit. I want to thank you for sharing with all of us as well. It definitely helped with my decision.
:thanku:

They are confused. This kit should fit the 1250, 1455, 1476, and 1477. This is not for a 1256 tube frame, and what the **** is a 1276???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If I couldn't do a neater job than that I sure wouldn't be posting pics any place. The wires behind the alu flashing near the exhaust are going to destruct in a hurry, all tht heat and no place to go. I would also bet some are touching. That outfit sure gets a thumbs down fro me.
Ha! I agree! I won't show off any pics after I wire mine. :drunkie:
 

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Right now yours looks 200 % better than anything they have done.
 

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I'm very curious to see how you end up routing the exhaust - I didn't like the looks of their "duals" on either side of the tractor - not to mention the bird **** welds they put them together with.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For now i am going to use that dual setup with the flex pipes. That came in the kit. If I can find the correct manifold, I think I'm going to run a single, battery side exhaust using a quiet Supertrapp maybe. That should get the pipe away from my control foot(up higher I believe) and get the heat away from the starter and wires on the gas tank side. I think there is room for this, but I have to order the $130 manifold and hope its correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've made some slow progress with my repower. Got the dash, wiring, and throttle/choke controls hooked up. Still need to tidy them up alittle.

Still researching an exhaust manifold(foot control hits what i have) and a modified hydro fan to work with my homemade driveshaft.
The good news is that it runs! The modifications so far have all worked, and that driveshaft works better than expected. Being 2-piece, I can remove it in just a couple minutes. The Briggs itself purrs quietly.

Here is the new dash with hourmeter:



And here is a pic of my wiring and rear of dash:



I also picked up a nice H14 with deck, snowcaster, and plow. It runs strong, but smokes horribly and has a knock when loaded down. Another repower coming soon... :trink39:
 

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It looks very nice, neat and professional.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey all, been a while since I've been on here.

This engine(still under nine hours), will be available in the for sale section soon. My throw away rider, lawn-boy, and tube frames with all the goodies will do all i need them to do.
After owning 2 and a half old wisconsin powered large frames with failing pumps, I finally decided to part with them. I got plenty of parts to go around. :thanku:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, those are weasler series 6 yokes. I used a plastic cub cadet fan. Not pretty, but it moved some air.
 

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Yes, those are weasler series 6 yokes. I used a plastic cub cadet fan. Not pretty, but it moved some air.
How did you attach it? I just put weasler 6 series on my 1250 diesel repower and was just going to skip the fan and use a hydraulic oil cooler. Id rather have the fan and the cooler on there if i can.
 

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What part of PA are you in?
 
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