I've touched on this before, but I am open to suggestions.
I have an 18hp Honda that I am planning on putting into my 444, though I have heard concerns from others here about that, so:
1) Why should I NOT use the Honda?
2) What engine would you recommend I use instead (keep in mind ease of obtaining parts and serviceability)? Be specific with the engines in replies, not just a brand; i.e. Briggs horizontally opposed twin, Kohler single piston, etc.
I don't mind trading for another engine, I just happen to have the Honda right now.
You've already got the Honda... what have you got to lose, other than time spent fiddling? Personally, I LIKE the fiddling so to me it's a no-brainer. But if you don't want to mess with it then order one of the repower kits the other folks mentioned.
As long as time is not a factor I say rebuild the Kohler. Probably cheaper in the long run also. But if you think you'll be happier with the Honda go for it. Also while you are at it try and keep track of all the changes you have to make so it can be easier for the next guy who wants to try it.
I would ask the question whats the story with the 14HP Kohler that's in the tractor? If you rebuild the existing engine you don't have to worry about the possible new pump bracket and possible new shaft size and length (have to cut?), love joy half, wiring, possible new exhaust and clearances. Do you have the time? Another consideration is cost, I have found several kits out there with V twins but for a minimum $1700-2000. My understanding is that the 14HP Kohlers are relatively inexpensive rebuild.What HP/model is the Honda? BTW I thought it was verified by a member a few months ago that Ingersoll used a few Honda's in some of their loaders. JMHO
Best Regards, Rich
If I found myself in your position whereby I owned a 444 with a worn K engine and I also had a Honda sitting on a shelf in my garage.....................I'd put the Honda into the tractor providing that I intended to keep this tractor for the next ten years and use it as my daily worker. I would not get rid of the K engine. Instead, I'd gather up the parts I needed to rebuild it and then at some point during that 10 year stretch, I'd do the rebuild as time and money permitted.
Installing any "foreign" engine into the 444 has two hurdles that must be jumped. The first one is to obtain a PTO clutch shaft that will bolt onto the Honda flywheel and the 2nd one is to fabricate a decent exhaust system. The rest of the issues are minor. Some wiring changes, choke/throttle, fuel supply and making sure that the crankshaft is at the correct height/position. Ten years down the road..........if you want to restore the tractor or sell it to someone with that process in mind.............changing it all back to OEM is not difficult if all parts removed are boxed and set aside.
The Honda in possession is a GX610 18hp V-twin. The story of the original 14 horse Kohler is that I don't have it and never have. I bought the tractor sans motor with the intention of putting one in myself and using it for a working tractor and keeping my 3012 as the mower. I wouldn't mind finding another single piston Kohler to use, preferably a 16hp.
I'm not a purist, per se, so hood modifications and the like don't bother me. In fact, I would go to a (gasp) bulgy hood if need be.
From what I've found, finding an engine with a flywheel pto shaft is the tricky part. Hence asking around here for the stub shaft. There is a machine shop where I work, I may have to enlist some help from them.