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Discussion Forum

Engine swap or rebuild?

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Farmer in the Dells (WI)

07-10-2003 10:07:32

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Friday my ’47 Allis B goes in for some work. It has developed a “pop” when running that my local shop says sounds like a valve spring or sticking valve. It also needs a new front oil seal and thermostat while it is in. I have another motor on a skid which I am told was rebuilt. It came with the deal over ten years ago but I have not needed it until now. He is also suggesting since we are already there replacing the throwout bearing and clutch along with the pressure plate if need be. He also mentioned that the flywheel may need to be machined. The alternative is to simply replace motors which would take less time and then reduce my labor cost. I heard the tractor still needs to come apart because of its design anyway to get at the front seal if I try to rehab the old motor and find my source of the pop and loss of power. Here are my questions. Would someone with a reasonable amount of mechanical ability be able to handle the engine swap? I am confident with the shop since he worked on one of my larger tractors and it was a good repair of a major problem. This seems far less dangerous to split the B and remount a new engine. I do know how much mechanics do not like taking on projects that are half started though. Getting things in a box usually seems to add to the bill. What are your opinions? What might I want to look for? Would you replace the clutch pressure plate and/or the throwout bearing if it were you? Is there anything else I should be looking at? He says the engine swap should take 1 and ˝ days plus machining and parts waiting. I won’t need the tractor for two weeks so time is not an issue. Just the ability. Thanks

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07-10-2003 17:20:01

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 Re: Engine swap or rebuild? in reply to Farmer in the Dells (WI), 07-10-2003 10:07:32  
Well I posted a reply over on the general tractor forum but I forgot to add one detail. When I said roll the tractor back away from the engine, the easy way to do this is to bolt two angleirons to the bellhousing, extending down from the pads on each side. These rest on a dolly on the ground. Makes it easy to roll the tractor around with the engine hanging from a tree, the beam in your garage, or other stationary lifting point if you don't have a engine lift. You do need a chain fall or some such.

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Dick L

07-10-2003 12:18:18

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 Re: Engine swap or rebuild? in reply to Farmer in the Dells (WI), 07-10-2003 10:07:32  
What Dave said is about what I would have said. If and I say IF the spare engine was rebuilt correctly and they used the cork seals, it will most likely leak after that long. I would have no idea what you have at your fingertips as far as tools and could suggest which way to go. If you look thru the pictures I am placing a link too, you can get an idea as to how you can go about getting it apart.

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Farmer in the Dells (WI)

07-10-2003 14:29:05

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 Re: Re: Engine swap or rebuild? in reply to Dick L, 07-10-2003 12:18:18  
thanks. will consider my options here

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Dave K

07-10-2003 11:53:14

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 Re: Engine swap or rebuild? in reply to Farmer in the Dells (WI), 07-10-2003 10:07:32  
Well, if it simply needs a valve job and the clutch etc are working fine you really don't need to go to that expense. I would not myself be concerned enough with a front seal to pay someone to split the tractor to just fix an oil leak, they all leak some when they get that old! The "supposedly new" engine you have just may cost you more in the end as you are taking someones word on it's condition and if it has been sitting 10 years the seals are probably all dried out anyway. This is just my idea as I enjoy most doing the work myself.


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07-11-2003 06:41:41

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 Re: Re: Engine swap or rebuild? in reply to Dave K, 07-10-2003 11:53:14  
I would have to go with Dave on this one. I work at a JD dealership and the mindset, which is usually the correct one when you are working on tractors that farmers are making their living with, is to repair what is wrong and also replace the components that are likely to fail in the future while the tractor is apart to prevent additional downtime. But with the older, lower horsepower tractors, a part such as a clutch that you would want to replace in a newer higher horsepower tractor even if it is not worn out, could give years more service in that older tractor. If the clutch isn't slipping I wouldn't monkey with it. And if the oil leak is just a slow drip when the engine is running, I wouldn't worry about that either. And unless you can do the work yourself, you may end up with a tremendous labor bill if that rebuilt engine gets installed and it has problems. My advice, if you are going to hire the repairs done, is to limit them to the popping and running problems. Shops need to do repairs as correctly as they can, including machine work that you or I may take a chance on not doing (like resurfacing heads and flywheels) because there is always a constant problem that if it fails in the future it is "the dealer's fault because he didn't do the repair right". We have to protect our reputations, even though it may cost more initially. If you explain to the service manager that you don't really want to fix that oil leak right now, I am sure he will understand.

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