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What to do with a dead 400

2186 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  nibs
It got dropped off 3 years ago for me to look and and it has a broken rod, ruined crank ect. He was going to get a Vanguard or Honda V twin kit for it but here it still sits. I'm thinking of making him an offer and doing some sort of engine swap. Something on the cheap, not interested in dumping $1000 into it. I do have a great running 16 horse Onan twin I am considering. The stickey part will be the PTO but I could easily do without that.
So, I'm wondering if there are any of you with similar Frankenstien 400s out there. I'm not a purist and the fact that all the attachments are hard to find and proprietary kind of leaves this project only feasible at kind of a junkyard level. Thanks for opinions.
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Well, I don't have any good ideas or info but I hope you keep us up to date with this interesting project you might take on!
Battery powered 400?golf cart motor and 4 batteries,?
Only certain attachments for a 400 are hard to find and it's usually the tiller (not that hard to find) or the loader (rare). The front blades or mower decks are fairly easy to source. I see you are in SD so location may be a hindrance for you.

If the block is still good I would consider rebuilding the engine. You can source parts for it and it will most likely still be cheaper than a repower from an engine supplier. It sounds like you know how to do the work so other than machine shop costs it could be a cheap endeavor all things considered.

I am not sure you will be happy with a 16hp engine in it. If you not willing to dump money in it, then consider selling it whole or parting it out. You will get more money parting it out but it will take quite a bit of your time listing ads/shipping etc.
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I think he has the mower deck but I don't need more mowers. I did price the rebuild. Assuming the block is good it still needs valve guides and machine shop labor plus the crank does not look salvageable. I'd rather not dump money into the obsolete Kohler engine, even with my labor of assembly it's going to go over $1000 IIRC. A friend of mine had a nice one with the deck, tiller and 2 stage snowblower and it took him several months to get $2000 for it so that's about the market here.
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Well if its complete and the only problem is the blown engine then you should get $600-700 out of it. I would get the mower deck(much easier to sell a tractor that way, IMHO) for it and the post it up on Craigslist or Ebay. I sold a 400 last year with no motor or deck for $450 when I lived in Kentucky. You have to be patient though and it sounds like you are since it has been at your place for awhile.
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The hydro requires a minimum of 14 hp to function at max levels. Anything beyond that is for powered implements and faster acceleration. The MF1655 uses an Onan BF or B43 16 hp engine and performs very well with the same hydro/final drive.
There is one on CL here in Ohio with a broken connecting rod. The ad started at $1500 and at last glance I believe it was down $800. He has probably been listing it for 8 months or so.
the guy you are holding it for should just give it to you after all that time just for storage. sometimes friends take advantage of you. remind him that he needs to give your space back to you as 3 years is to long.
Your best bet is to tell the guy it needs to be gone in a week and hope he tells you to keep it.
That gives you more money to put a decent engine in it than buying it from him. If he comes with a trailer to pick it up, then offer something to take it off his hands.
Don't put a lower hp motor in it- you'll get squat for it that way.
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If it had good looking paint a nice seat and ag tires maybe $300 unless he wants to bring you the deck.

I would not travel to pick one up in that condition for much more than free.
I don't see any 400 around these parts. Only a few 420's pop up on craigslisr, here there.
I'll have to see how the easy to strip parts sell on ebay. Maybe parting it out would be a better way to go and just use the money on something else.
Did you check out one of the salvage places and see what they have and how much?
We don't have garden tractor salvage places here.
I picked up an old sears with a blown engine, put in a golf cart motor and 4 6V batteries, I would highly recommend this, it is a fantastic tractor and quiet. Pulls like crazy and I built an electric mower deck out of discarded battery powered mowers.
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