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I'm curious if anyone here has repowered their 285. My friend's 285 is the one that has a mysterious over heating problem. After changing the oil this spring, he noticed the oil pressure light stayed on. I removed the sending unit and sure enough, no oil came out while cranking the engine. There was oil in the filter though.????

Anyway, he is seriously considering a repower while I check out the Kawasaki. The 18HP, liquid cooled, non-fuel injected, FD590V is obsolete. A short block appears to be available, but costs about double what the tractor is worth. I found the oil sending unit part number has been subbed to a $76 part number. Used to be less than $20.

Have any of you repowered with an air-cooled in your 285 or 320? If so, what engines have you used and are you happy with the results? Any particular problems with the conversion?

For those of you who have owned a 285 and a 320, are there any differences besides the manual (285)to hydraulic lift (320) up grade?

Thanks for any input.

tommyhawk
 

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Thanks Roger. I am waiting on info as to the availability of a Briggs kit for the 285 that is no longer in their price list. Think it was a single cylinder Inteck, maybe.
They have a heck of a deal for a larger L/C Kawasaki FD731V BS07 26HP, that they don't supply as a kit. It is too big for the hood to fit, according to info they were given. Without having one of those in front of me right now, not sure I want to take that challenge.

tommyhawk
 

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Tom, I ran into a guy 3(?) years back that did the FD731V swap in his 320 when I was thinking about doing the same swap in my 320. Man am I glad I ran into him! You couldn't pay me enough to do that swap. Absolutely nothing fit (including the hood), electrical was a nightmare, and he even had to shorten the crank to keep from tossing the belt.

I definitely wouldn't recommend that swap unless you've got a ton of time, tools/equipment, and patience. Just isn't worth it in my opinion.
 

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Thanks for the input, Jack. I did tear down the original engine and found a broken oil pump gear. Found no other problem nor a hint as to why it broke. Checked my records and confirmed I had put in a new o/p gear in '06. While fixing a coolant leak, a new w/p, gov. gear, and steel gear cam was installed. The overheating problem resurfaced however in the next mowing season.

This time I pulled the heads and found a possible head gasket leak. It seems to control the temp. OK now, but it hasn't had the deck on and worked hard to find out.

It also had an over charging electrical problem that seems to be solved with a new regulator. After looking at what seems like an endless amount of wires and cleaning connections I'm about to call it ready to try.
Probably will be something else, but for now we're putting the re-power on hold.
I think I'd favor a good air cooled twin for this tractor if and when we do it. When they are right, these L/C Kawasaki's are quiet, powerful, and reliable. I really do like them. But as parts become NLA or outrageously priced, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

tommyhawk
 
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