Yes, it is just about a perfect amount to keep the front down, but not hinder the manual steering. We will see when I put it on a trailer! I am already missing the creature comforts of power steering and turning brakes. I was going to put this engine in a 420, but after doing some grading with it this spring, I just couldn't bring myself to tearing it apart, so I changed the oil and called it good. A week later this 316 showed up on Spokane craigslist for $100. It had a broken rod but didn't knock. I drove it on the trailer thinking if it wasn't an easy fix It would get a P224 transplant. The fact that the 316 is such a simple tractor did make it a bit easier.
I used to put 4 weights on the front of my 322, mainly just to get it on and off the tilt deck trailer. When in the garden, I don't mind a light front end.
No frame mods were needed to get the P 224 in, aside from drilling 4 holes in the front support to move it up 3/4 inch. I had to turn down the tin on top of the right cover and the rear portion of the top of the left cover to get the hood to close. The covers stick out about an inch in the rear and use longer bolts. I had to lengthen the driveshaft to 20 1/4 " ( about 1 5/8" over the original b43e driveshaft and about1/2" longer than a p218 shaft.
I thought about what you said about the better cooling of the larger oil sump and decided to keep it. It also helped keep me from buying a new starter and cutting a hole in the frame floor, as the side mount selenoid cleared the frame and side cover nicely with the tall sump. ( I despise working on Deere, P series starters with them in that hole)
At some point, I will likely fill in below the air intake in the firewall and get some new insolation on it, but it seems to cool fine. The 316 doesn't have the heat burden of the hydraulic coolers like the 318 and 420. That also made it way easier to mock up and install the driveshaft. Those coolers would need to be moved up otherwise.
Probably the hardest part was getting the exhaust in place. At first, I thought I would just go with stacks, but with a good bit of tinkering, I was able to mate the stock 316 exhaust to the P 224 pipes. The pipe cover shrouds were also a challenge but worked with a bit of trimming and bending.
One of the stock front tires was a leaker, so I threw a set of 1" spindle 420 wheels and tires up front that I have no other use for. I ordered some 26 x12x 12 Vesra terfs for the rear, and I'll be putting them on the stock 316 rims to keep the footprint narrow.
I did quite a bit of tilling with Frank today. The engine didn't even break a sweat!
Yes, I had a long belt in my stash that I ordered a few years ago for an off-brand mower that it was too long for. It is a smaller kevlar belt that is on the verge of being too long, but it has been working fine so far.
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