If you are looking at adding value to a tractor, a conversion will add some, but not as much as you would think. Unless absolutely exceptional or if itís an FWA tractor, they tend to max out at around $10k. Not to say you may not get lucky and find the right guy at the right time. The rule of thumb I use is a conversion adds about $3k to the value of the tractor. Again, thatís a rule of thumb and not for every case.
Talking to guys, what Iíve found hurts the value of a converted tractor is parts. If something breaks, then what do you do? You canít look up ď1855 with CumminsĒ on AGCOís website to find a clutch, turbo, injection pump, etc. The configuration of most engines is altered from the way it left Cummins. Cummins parts network works strictly on CPL and serial numbers. If the parts on the engine you have are not original, most Cummins distributors fall apart if the engine has been altered. So, it becomes a seek and destroy mission to find the right people to get you the right parts. And most conversions done by guys end up being snowflakes. This means the person on the other end of the phone has to be well versed on conversions to help out. All of this adds up to a bad deal when you are broke down and need to get up and going.
Genereally, conversions work out well if:
1. You plan on keeping the tractor and using the snot out of it and you want to have a converted tractor just to want it.
2. You already have the tractor and know itís history.
3. You have a tractor and know of or have an cheap available engine.
For costs, here is what I sell parts for:
Cummins Conversion Flywheel $539.40
New Cummins Flywheel Housing $300.00
Pressure Plate $260.36
6 Button Clutch $175.38
8 Button Clutch $194.65
Pilot Bearing $13.88
Release Bearing $30.63
PTO Drive Hub (Large Frame) $135.59
Mount Kit $100
You will then need a bell housing from an 1850, etc to mate the flywheel housing to the over/under. These run about $300. So, figure about $2100 for parts to get the engine sitting in the frame. Factor in shipping and other misc things and you are at about $2500.
Now, youíll need a tach drive and hoses (~$250). Depending on what you find for an engine, you might need to reconfigure some stuff. The worst option is a pickup engine, but if you start with one of those, youíll need a fan hub ($100), used manifold and turbo lines (~$300), alternator mounts ($50), and an injection pump with the correct governor and fueling settings ($700). Add this up and there is another $1400 to get the engine right. Thatís on top of the cost of an engine which you might as well figure about $1500.
Then there will be a bunch of little this and thatís. Remember a Cummins has the exhaust on the opposite side of the engine as the Waukesha. So, youíll need to either do some funky routing of the exhaust or punch new holes in the hood. Piddling like this adds up. It may sound high, but Iíd figure on another $1000 for the unknown.
So, right there, youíre at $6400. If you get the tractor for $1500, thatís $7900 total. Say you can sell it for $9500 all painted up, is a $1600 profit worth it?