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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at the SEW Briggs Vanguard 23HP for a potential repower for my 318. Can someone who has done this swap please do me a favor. I need to know the spacing of the bolts on the face of the provided PTO clutch. Reason being, I need to be able to attach a secondary pulley that drive my quick attach snow blower. SEW can't tell me what the spacing is.

They did say it works with all Deere attachments, however, this set-up is so rare, I am skeptical. I think they are think of the more common 49 blower.

I did add a couple photos to illustrate my concern. The aluminum pulley bolts to the face of the factory PTO pulley.
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I can't tell you the spacing. What I can tell you is that when I did this swap in a 318 when I was still a teacher, I had to take the clutch and the quick attach mule to a local machinist who turned everything to make it work. I can't recall if he made an all new pulley or modified the existing but I know it didn't just bolt up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for that. I am waiting to hear back from "T.H.E. Company" on their Honda kit. That is the actual name of the company. It appears that they use the factory PTO clutch so that may work easier.
 

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I am looking at the SEW Briggs Vanguard 23HP for a potential repower for my 318. Can someone who has done this swap please do me a favor. I need to know the spacing of the bolts on the face of the provided PTO clutch. Reason being, I need to be able to attach a secondary pulley that drive my quick attach snow blower. SEW can't tell me what the spacing is.

They did say it works with all Deere attachments, however, this set-up is so rare, I am skeptical. I think they are think of the more common 49 blower.

I did add a couple photos to illustrate my concern. The aluminum pulley bolts to the face of the factory PTO pulley.
Perhaps you should contact them and ask what they supply if anything for a PTO clutch. I am fairly sure that all Ogura's Warner clutches have the same hole spacing and once you know the brand and model you can find the info you need online. But if they are supplying a new more current style PTO, you may be out of luck. I would caution you against using adaptors to use your existing PTO if it comes to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agree Jetjoe. That was want I was trying to get to... but he said he has no spec material and no idea what brand the clutch is. Not too good of a salesman. I can try again tomorrow and get a different person hopefully.

I did talk to someone a "T.H.E. Company." There kits plan for you to use existing pto. He wasn't terrible knowledgeable, but was going to have there shop guy that assembles the kits call me tomorrow.
 

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Agree Jetjoe. That was want I was trying to get to... but he said he has no spec material and no idea what brand the clutch is. Not too good of a salesman. I can try again tomorrow and get a different person hopefully.

I did talk to someone a "T.H.E. Company." There kits plan for you to use existing pto. He wasn't terrible knowledgeable, but was going to have there shop guy that assembles the kits call me tomorrow.
Hmm. I've heard nothing but good things about SEW and its kits. But I've also noticed that folks don't like to be truthful and realistic about these matters. Like I eluded to, the 318 Onan's have a humungous 1 7/16" shaft to deal with. And of course your clutch would be the same. Most newer engines use a 1" or 1 1/8" shaft. So if you go with using your existing clutch, be very wary of using shaft adaptors. They usually end up ruining the crankshaft and or the clutch.

The only newer style PTO's available that I could find with dual pulleys would work on re-powered 400's and 420 tractors but both sheaves are around 4". And they don't come in anything but 1" and 1 1/8". That wouldn't help you much as your mower deck would run at half speed. By the looks of your photos, I think your blower would be OK if that's all you intended to use the machine for. But, who knows what may be lurking out there in those catalogs?

Hopefully, you'll let us know how this works out. Goodluck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ended up going with T.H.E company Honda kit. Super helpful. Upgraded to the GX690. Kit utilizes the factory Onan PTO clutch and is designed around that. Will update when it arrives. That thing ought to have some honk!
 

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My experience with repowers in 300 series, that the added horsepower really isn't all that noticeable. The hydrostatic trans does a great job of putting power on the ground. Unless you plan on doing a lot of heavy earthwork by loading the machine down with all the weight you can and dragging a three-bottom plow around, I think you'll find your rear tires losing traction a little quicker and that's about it. And if you did, you're quite likely to overload the rest of the drivetrain. None of the 300 series have ever had an issue with lack of power. I think if you look at the specs of larger machines you'll see more of a weight increase and tire size rather than horsepower. Most 400's of that era have around twenty. And most manufacturers have long ago gone away from SAE standards when it comes to HP ratings. It's not the horsepower but how it is applied that counts and these kits really don't change that.

I currently have a stock 317 with the original Kohler KT17 and a 317 with a Kohler Command 20. To be real honest, I can't tell the difference in power. But I seldom run the engine anywhere near wide open when cutting grass either. And with either, I have yet to notice any lack of engine power when pulling. The tires break lose long before the engine grunts.

What you will notice is a much smoother engine, better fuel economy if you care about that sort of thing. And likely easier starting that Honda's are noted for. Smoother engine if all is installed correctly.

Did T.H.E. say how they would apply the stock Onan clutch? I haven't seen any Honda's with a shaft that large. But I always looking for something new and would be interested in knowing that. Do they supply the new clutch with the kit? If it's shaft adaptors, well, you were warned.

I'm not trying to be negative here. Hopefully, they have worked around all of the issues. But, It would be interesting to know how they did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Disagree on the power issue... but thats ok. My Onan P218 has did run like a swiss watch. Always popped over at the first bump of the key. I have maintained meticulously. It had 700 hours on a non-working hour meter when I bought it 13 years ago. I have had a few issues to chase, maybe one each year. Voltage regulator a few times. Governor fly ball thingy. Carb cleanings of course. Decent power for sure. Loaded tires, wheel weights, suitcase weights to mow my hills.... power is an issue. And no... It does not lose traction. I have to back off on the hydro to keep blade speed up and that is 46" deck. Snowblower, same. Two stage uni-tatch. Good but not great power, and that is PTO power not dampened by hydro capability. Others may have a different experience but that would further illustrate how degraded my Onan actually was.

Certainly livable, but more would be great. The transaxle has been designed to handle much more than the 318 was putting to it. Check power ratings on the two engines. The Honda is more than 10% greater in HP an Torque no matter what source you use. That is new compared to new. Not new compared to 35 years old.

As far as the PTO clutch... They have a few 690s in stock and he was going to see witch ones match up the best. If its a 1 1/8 crank, then it uses their crank bushing like their repower kit with the 630. When you step up to the 690, a 1 7/16 crank is available and would negate the use of the bushing. Either way, I use the Onan PTO clutch and my snowblower drive pulley stays attached without further machine work.

I am impressed with their knowledge and service over the phone... Lets hope the product can back that up. As an engineer, I despise marketing drivel and will review accordingly.
 

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I was thinking of a good running engine. Of course, if it's seen better days you would see an improvement with any new or overhauled engine. I've mostly used 50" mower decks on every 317, 318 I've owned, and never experienced issues with power. Like I mentioned I never run wide open when cutting so the 17 HP is sufficient to cut any grass I've come across. The mower has a speed-up pulley installed and has been used on both models and I will say it's a much better deck than the 46" or 48". But I've never needed to load tractors down with weights either. That may make a difference.

Since retiring, I've rejuvenated about ten of these machines. Seven 317's and three 318's. Maybe a few forgotten. Three of them came to me with ruined crankshafts due to poorly installed adaptor bushings. All of those were repowered although one was a Kohler Magnum 18. I've likely owned five of six other two and three hundred series over the years including one that was converted to an aircraft tug. That was a 318. Two of the 318's had to have the Peerless case replaced. As did the tug, but it stayed with the business when I sold it.

Currently in the process of rebuilding a 420. Other than one very short ownership of a 400, it's the first of the 400 series for me. This one came to me with a shattered rear case which I replaced with a modified 318 case for the 2 speed axle and the differential lock. Those Peerless rear ends aren't a stout as folks think. Apparently, 318's fair better than the 400's but many of them also have issues with cracked frames and torn mounting holes. With the 420 it may be a case of the low range being a bit too much.

By now you likely realize I'm one of those guys who buy or haul away bad machines as I have little interest in purchasing a good one. I have so far only parted one out. The rest was restored and back in service. No complaints yet. It's become my hobby.
 
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