Golf Course Management

APR 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 35 of 165

34 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 Orphan engines need to be replaced, not repaired, if the machine they power is worth keeping. A golf course likely has several small or - phan gasoline engines powering smaller equip- ment, from greens mowers to portable genera- tors and water pumps. Orphans are "fathead" engines that are no longer being made, and often not supported with parts. There may be no exact bolt-on re - placement. The orphan may run just fne, but what if it needs a $150 starter? The orphan may be a Tecumseh. That company stopped production in 2008 — parts and some engines are now under Certifed Parts Corp. ( www. ). Briggs & Stratton and Kohler are rolling along, but their prod - ucts have been redesigned. Overhead valves (OHV) are the new standard. For all older en - gines, foreign and domestic, parts are becom- ing extinct as inventories dwindle. The orphan problem strikes hardest at horizontal-shaft one-cylinder engines. The new OHV engines have the cylinder slanted to the side, so the engine is wider than the old straight-up-cylinder fathead design. OHV engines produce more power per cubic inch than the fatheads. But while your old engine had a horsepower rating, the new one may have only a torque number. Selecting a new engine involves looking at seven major factors: chassis impact, engine power rating, envelope, crankshaft match, mounting pattern, routine service access and repair parts. The frst two are discussed below, while subsequent columns will cover the other factors. C assis impact. New engine selection is a judgment call. If a machine engages the ground or hits loads that can stop the engine (as tillers often do, for example), there's some risk a new engine will overpower the trans - mission and break something. Direct drive systems like rotary mowers, water pumps, blowers and generators usually tolerate a little extra power. Consumer-type riding mowers and garden tractors usually have a wide range of engines on the same chassis from the fac - tory, so a little more power is probably fne. Reel mowers are mainly concerned with en - gine speed and have moderate loads, so more (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt power is probably OK. Generally, the more complex the drive train, the greater the chance that something will break. Power rating. We're concerned with dis - placement, horsepower and torque. Engines of all current brands that are fairly new may have a label stating the cc (cubic centimeter) dis - placement. For old engines, the frst two num- bers in a Briggs six-digit model (or the frst in a fve-digit model) denotes cubic inches (c.i.). Tecumseh and Kohler usually gave the horse - power as the frst two numbers (not letters). The frst three numbers in a Honda model are the cc displacement. Check online using the phrase "decode (brand name) model num - ber" in the search bar if your engine lacks a good label. My failing 5-hp Briggs is model 135212, with 13 cubic inches. Multiply 13 by 16.4 and you get 212 cc displacement. Divide cc by 0.06 to get c.i. This is rough, but it gives me a target. My replacement should be in the 200 cc range, maybe up to 250 cc. At , I type "replacement engines" in the search box at the top right on the home page. A page comes up with red-letter links to horizontal and verti - cal engines. There are no 5-hp engines! I fnd a model 12S400 with 205 cc and 9 foot-pounds of torque. I have no clue what torque my old engine had. There's a model 13L300 with 205 cc and 6.5 hp, and a model 138400 with 216 cc and 7.5 hp, but those two don't post the torque rating. What about getting a Kohler, Tecumseh, Honda or other name-brand engine sup - ported by my local parts supplier? How about a "Honda clone" from China or India? With a coupon, a 6.5-hp engine costs only $99 at one source. Some big-box home supply and warehouse clubs offer engines online, and eBay has dozens. As Dirty Harry asks, "Are ya' feelin' lucky?" I need to know if a new engine will ft my machine, and especially whether the crankshaft will ft exactly. We'll get into those and other issues next month. Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. Replacing an obsolete engine with a modern power plant can get a little complicated. The old engine's repair parts are going away, while the new engines have a slanted cylinder, dif- ferent power ratings and may not work well on the older equipment. Photos by Scott Nesbitt Replacing orphan engines: Part I 034-035_April14_Shop.indd 34 3/18/14 2:46 PM

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