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  #1  
Old 07-23-2009, 08:00 PM
Mowdock Mowdock is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: East of Indy
Posts: 3
Engine swap on old Bolens hydro tractor

Great site and I have been lurking and reading for a while.

I have a 1993 Bolens hydro ST125 with a Kohler Command 12.5 engine that finally wore out on me. The tractor itself is in good shape; no rust on the deck, newer tires, etc. I will be retiring and moving to a condo in about four years and I was considering a fresh motor to get me through the next few years rather than buying a new tractor. I guess I'm also a little sentimentally attached to it as it been basically trouble free for 16 years. Seems a waste to just junk it because the engine is bad.

I was wondering if I could just drop in a replacement engine, either a Kohler Courage or B&S without a lot of hassle. I know the shaft needs to be the same, in this case 1" x 3 5/32", and I could drill new mounting holes if I needed to. But is there anything else I need to look for or is a swap on a small tractor fairly easy? Any other engine suggestions? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2009, 08:12 AM
hdtvluvr hdtvluvr is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 438
If you can get the same model kohler it would be very easy. I'm not sure when OHV engines came out but one of them may not fit under the hood if the one you have isn't an OHV model. I replaced an engine in an early 80's JD 111 2 years ago and was able to find a new 12 hp non-OHV engine. The most difficult part was getting the clutch off the shaft. Does your tractor have an electric clutch mounted on the engine shaft?

I spent several hours and about $450 in parts.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2009, 08:14 AM
hdtvluvr hdtvluvr is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 438
Oh, the replacement engine didn't have a fuel tank (not needed since mine is on the tractor) but it also didn't come with a fuel pump. Had to purchase that separately.

If you haven't done this before (I never had), I would suggest taking lots of detailed photos before and during removal.
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2009, 10:46 PM
Mowdock Mowdock is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: East of Indy
Posts: 3
Yeah, my engine has a fuel pump, electric start, PTO, non-OHV. I can't seem to find an exact replacement and I guess the Kohler Courage is a "less quality" engine than the Command (at least some claim that). I've hassled with this mower a lot recently after 16 years of no trouble and I'm honestly about to throw in the towel. Thanks for your replies.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2009, 11:28 PM
hdtvluvr hdtvluvr is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 438
What is the exact model # of the engine.

BTW, I remembered that I also had to change the stator since I needed the engine I purchased to charge the battery and had to swap out a plate on the side for a breather to run the fuel pump. It took a few months to locate an engine and I finally got mine from ebay.

I hope to wear this engine out before the tractor dies.

I checked your tractor model on this website. It appears any other engine may be too much trouble.
Repower
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2009, 07:48 AM
Mowdock Mowdock is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: East of Indy
Posts: 3
hdtvluvr,

I appreciate your input. I had been to the repower site, as well as others, and discovered that a swap is either A: Not very feasible, or B: not worth it for the age of the tractor. My gut is telling me to abandon this project and look for something a little newer. Even though the mower has been fairly dependable it still has 16 year old transmission, spindles, etc. any of which could go out or need repair soon. Maybe I'll just put it on Craigs list or something and give someone a project. Thanks.
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