John Deere 318 repowered with a Vanguard engine

One of our favorite garden tractors to repower is the John Deere 318. It’s a nice feature packed model and almost always worth fixing whatever might be wrong with it. A recent question sent about repowering a 318:

Q: Do you have a bolt in replacement kit for a John Deere 318? I have a bad Onan engine and would like a price for a kit. What comes in the installation kit? Is the wiring harness the same? Engine mounts? Clutch? I am looking for a relatively easy in and out. Do you provide phone support?

A: I have the top of the line Vanguard engines. They are the only way to go. Yes, we offer telephone support and a lot of it. You can call as many times as you need to on my toll free number to get your installation completed. There is a list of the items in the installation kit on our web site on the engine page. You do not take out your original wiring harness. There are no engine mounts that you have to mess with. All you do on that part of the subject is to drill 4 holes in the frame to mount the engine. Yes, you use your same PTO clutch as we have a special machined bushing so you can save buying that $300 PTO clutch. You will think this job is fairly easy to do providing you are a little mechanically inclined. We have sold quite a few of these repower kits for John Deere 318′s over the years and I don’t think anyone who intended on doing the installation themselves couldn’t complete the job. 1-800-618-8738

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Repower a Case Ingersoll garden tractor

Repowering a Case Ingersall garden tractor - Case 446

The Case and Ingersoll garden tractors are good quality, solidly built, vintage tractors. At our shop they are one of the most popular selling repowers we do. Many have had their tractors since they were new, some have inherited them from family or with some property they’ve purchased. There is a Case Garden Tractor Yahoo group where owners share their tips and ideas. We have a Case – Ingersoll Repower web page on our web site with questions and answers about repowering (replacing the engine) the Case-Ingersoll garden tractors. Here are some of the questions and answers about the
Case – Ingersoll models we’ve gotten in our e-mails:

Q: I need to replace the fuel pump on my Case 446 garden tractor. The pump is defective – the tractor will not fire when cranked unless I pour a little gas in the carburetor. Then it will run fine until the gas is gone. Do you have the parts to replace / or rebuild the unit? If not would you recommend using another 12 dc pump on the gas line that would be activated when the key is turned on?

A: Yes, just install an electric fuel pump in series with the current fuel pump and carburetor.

Q: I have a case 446 garden tractor built in 1974. The starters drive gear will spin but will not go forward to engage the flywheel. That’s problem number one. Problem number two is the front shield. My brothers solution is to cut the shield to gain access the area to remove the starter. I would like to avoid this at all costs.

A: You need to remove the engine, and remove the fan shroud, and then unbolt the starter.

Q: I just bought a Case 444 garden tractor and I am having problems getting it to run. When I bypass the solenoid it will just go clunck, clunk. It acts as if it is not getting any fire. I changed the coil, sparkplug, and wire. I just bought a new solenoid. It’s getting gas b/c it is running out of the air filter. What do you suggest?

A: By going clunk, clunk, are you telling me the starter and engine are not turning over? If that is so, it sounds like you have a shorted starter, or a starter with an open circuit.

Q: I have an Ingersoll 448 garden tractor. I was reading about the repowering you’ve done and am quite impressed. I think I will do it later during winter season. I think the price is great and it sounds very easy.

I do have a question for you. I’ve tinkered with this mower for years now and it’s been very reliable. Recently the battery light has been staying on, lights are dim and the battery eventually runs down and needs to be charged to start it. I just replaced the rectifier/regulator and it still stays on. There’s a little metal capacitor looking device with 3 wires (1 going to the starter relay, 1 going to the battery light and 1 going to the negative battery terminal). Do you think this part is bad? I guess the key switch may be involved too as I look at the wiring diagram. What do you suggest?

Also, this mower surges when running. It’s a steady constant rev and decline. when I mow, I don’t notice it at full throttle but when i slow the engine it begins again… hot or cold. I noticed that when it pulls itself under a slight load, it quits too. The only other remedy is to pull the choke half way out and it idles smooth. I changed the fuel and air filter and it still does it.

A: I think you need to check if the center wire on your rectifier is hot with the ignition on. If it is not hot, that is your problem. The second test you need to have an AC voltmeter and check the two stator wires with the engine running and they should be putting out 24 to 36 AC volts. If it is not the stator is junk and I would not fix that as it also sounds like you are having Onan governor problems.

Q: I am getting ready to purchase a gently used (290 hours!) Ingersoll 3014 with a Vanguard V-Twin 14hp engine. Does this tractor still have the mechanical PTO clutch like the old Case 22x / 44x series?

A: No it will already have the new electric clutch on it.

Q: I have a 446 Case garden tractor with a B43M Onan Engine. I have replaced the coil, but I am still not getting any spark across the points. Is there a kit or a way to wire up two coils ?

A: No, there is no reason to hook up 2 coils, you should check out your primary side bracket first.


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Replacement Vanguard Engine Repower

Vanguard Replacement Engine Repower

The colder weather has gotten us busy getting our garden tractors “running good”. If you treasure your garden tractor, treat it to a new engine.

Q: I have a Cub Cadet 1650 garden tractor and am interested in putting in your Vanguard 18 horsepower engine or larger. Your kit, will the original drive shaft bolt up to the kit and the motor mounts, will the engine utilize the same ISO mounts as the original or will a new mounting system be supplied?

A: We usually take out the mounts and go solid to the frame. The Vanguard engines are so smooth they do not need the rubber mounts. There is more than one correct way to do the job and some of my customers mount on a rubber plate. Part of your original driveshaft will get reused. Also when you get this job done the tractor will almost feel like you have power steering after dropping 40 to 60 pounds off the front axle.

Q: Jim, I have a Bolens Model H14XL garden tractor (1458). I believe it is a 1979 or 1980 model with a Techumseh OH140 14horsepower engine that I would like to repower. Would you know of an engine that would fit?

A: Yes the 18 horsepower V-Twin Vanguard engine will take the place of that Tecumseh engine. The Vanguard engine also has an oil filter and oil pump and will fit right in that tractor. The Vanguard 18 horsepower actually puts out a short 20 horsepower. We also have the installation kits to get the job done.

Q: My Onan P218 engine cratered the other day and I do not want to trash my John Deere 318 garden tractor. I would like a replacement engine that drops in with little modifications to the tractor. Please let me know what you recommend. I would like to do the repower in January while the weather is bad.

A: We can set you right up and in my opinion this is the only way to go. The Vanguard V-Twin, overhead valve, 18 horsepower engine will fit right in and your side panels can go back on. It looks neater than factory when you get done. I also offer a very handy set up for you to do your installation. If you run into a problem just give me a call on my toll free number and I can talk you through any problem you might run into. 1-800-618-8738

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