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37 to 37a blower conversion

3329 Views 32 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  chance_2
this is my first post since joining the forum. glad to meet everyone.
just purchased a 1993 john deere 425 from the original owner off CL. tractor is going to need a little work to get going. motor is apparently locked up because i can't turn crank in either direction from the front of the motor. haven't done anything to it yet except a stop off at the car wash to be able to even see the motor. i can't believe how much oil, grass and dirt were packed around everything under the hood. i guess my question is, is this a good motor to rebuild or should i be looking to repower with something else? also, how does the 425 compare to my current model 400 and my new to me 430 diesel that i am currently working on?

thanks for any help
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It is a good motor to rebuild depending what is wrong with it. I will tell you the Kawasaki's have about the most expensive parts you can get. Also due to an agreement between Kawasaki and JD the only place you can be sure you get the correct part is from a JD dealer. Roger
I would pull the motor and tear it down to evaluate what you have. The engine is amazingly easy to remove, disassemble and reassemble. Invest in the JD engine manual. Another alternative would be to buy a used or rebuilt motor. Definitely factor in upgrading to the late model carb. It is expensive, almost $300 from JD, but I would consider it mandatory to avoid all of the issues related to the old carb. There are a few threads on this site about those problems. It is a true bolt-in replacement and makes a world of difference. You will also need to check the cam for the steel timing gear. The early engines came with a plastic cam gear that is a ticking time bomb. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
just finished tearing down this little kawasaki engine. you are right about it being very easy to remove from the tractor, took about 45 minutes. made another trip to the car wash to get more dirt and grease off the outside. motor disassembly was also very easy, 3 sockets and a couple screw drivers more or less. most parts were very clean on the inside and came apart with ease. motor already has the steel cam gear so that was a plus on an older motor. i was surprised to find out why the motor was locked up, main bearing on the flywheel side was frozen. had to set block up in the press and put quite a bit of push on it to get it to move. main bearing is still welded to crankshaft and was pushed out of the block. tomorrow i will try to post pictures. also going to turn bushing off the crank in a lathe.

Yeah, the hardest part of removal and disassembly was making sure I knew how to put it back together. Hard to figure what caused the bushing to seize to the crank. Maybe it was replaced and not installed correctly. I experienced the JD vs Kawasaki parts deal when buying parts for my engine. The local small engine shop (Kawasaki Authorized Dealer) would not even talk to me once they figured out the engine I was trying to get parts for was in a JD. They knew by the model and series number. I find this really strange since ALL of the parts I ended up buying from the JD dealer came in JD packaging but inside the JD packaging, they were in Kawasaki packaging. Anyway, the parts were a little pricey, but JD got them for me very quickly and the parts all seemed to be of very high quality. One lesson I learned; piston rings are purchased for each cylinder. i.e. you will need 2 "sets" for the engine. Again, good luck with your project.
Jay the reason for the having to go to JD for parts is from the way the original licensing agreement between JD and Kawasaki was reached. Both parties agreed that they would not compete with each other for parts. This has made JD engines have unique serial numbers that only JD can look up. Are some of the parts the same? No doubt that is true but at what they cost I wouldn't want to buy the wrong thing for my very expensive 345 engine and not be able to return it if it was wrong. Roger
Roger, I agree with you. That "no compete" agreement must have some real teeth to it. The way the Kawasaki dealer acted was almost comical. I asked if he really thought gaskets and piston rings were different between a JD spec engine and brand X application. He just kept saying "you have to go to JD". I am not complaining about having to go to JD for parts. They always treat me well, get parts fast if not in their onsite stock and I can talk to the mechanics if I have a question. They are just quite a ways away and the Kawasaki dealer is right on my way to/from work. Kawasaki parts tend to be expensive regardless of where you buy them; but the quality I have seen appears to be very good.
Jay part of the reason they knew it was JD engine parts is all Kawasaki engine parts the last number is an odd number and all JD parts end in an even number. The same is true with engine serial numbers. Roger
Roger, thanks for the info. Curiosity is killing me as to what caused Keith's engine to fail.
If it were me, I'd definitely replace the oil pump and the oil pump drive gear while it's apart.
it's been a busy week, so i haven't had much time to work on the little 425. i am thinking that this motor was simply run low on oil. it looks like the main bearing on the flywheel side is the longest distance from the oil pump, so i am thinking it was starved for oil first. just my guess. also when i tore it down there was only about a cup of oil inside.

Keith, I'd bet a whole bunch they ran it too low on oil, we just had an F-725 do the same. (It leaked oil) My son installed new crankshaft bearing, had the crankshaft re-polished, installed new rings, (just because we thought it a good idea, and she's as good as new. Them Kaws are made of very high quality stuff.
i own a 37 and a 37a blower. really like the belt routing setup on the 37a. has anyone added sprockets in the chaincase to make the belt run without a twist in it? i go through a belt a year on the 37 and they dont seem to last. also it throws it occasionally. the 37a seems to never chew a belt or throw one.
It's Broken. fix what is worn out. Mine operates perfectly.
I go through a couple of belts a year on a 37A, it usually tears them apart. I go through a chain in the chain case between 5 and 15 hours. ( And that is applying oil every time I shut the machine down and oil the chain when it is hot. )

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Bevan , are you saying you a maximum chain life of 15 HOURS ?????? Is it too cold up there for lubricant to do any good ?

I think mine has the original chain from 1974.....
Bevan, where are you buying chain?
I've had the same chain on my 37A since I replaced it during an overhaul probably 6 years ago. I probably put 20 hours on it every winter. I lube mine once at the beginning of the season with chainsaw bar oil.
If you are buying the cheap imported chain, next time spend a few extra bucks on the better quality chain. I bought mine at the local tractor and farm implement dealer. Think I paid $20.
I have never replaced a belt or chain on any of my three snow throwers. I lube time to time, but not every year. The chain that is.......not the belt.

I do keep an eye on the belt pulley bearings. When I install the blower and remove it I get a feel for the bearings and replace the pulley if I hear or feel anything out of the norm. The pulleys are cheep. I don't care to have to wrench on the equipment while it"s service is required.
What do you guys use to lube the chains on the Model 37 and 37A Snow blowers? This post is timely as I will be in the process of going through my 37-A to make sure it is ready for snow.
What do you guys think about using Motorcycle Chain Lube? It really clings on well.

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