Engine Swap - Billy Goat Leaf Loader

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by mlavin73, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Hoping someone on here can give me some advice on which motor I should purchase to replace my leaf loader motor. First off here is what I currently have:
    Billy Goat Model TR1104
    Briggs 11 HP OHV motor
    Model: 210432
    Type: 0125E1
    Code: 06821YE

    So here is what's happening. Starting last year I start bending push rods. First time it happened I just swapped in a new push rod and that bought me probably 10 more hours before it bent again. My uncle (who knows a whole lot more about engines then me) had me remove the head to see if we could see why this was happening. I did that and right away he found one of the valve guides had ridden up a bit. He said that was probably my cause. He said we could push it back down and peen the side over to make it stay. I opted to buy a whole new head because I want something to rely on, not something rigged. This year at the end of this season I am starting to bend push rods again. I replaced it and verified the valves were adjusted to manufacturers spec. I purchased a couple so I could hobble through the rest of the year but I am only getting a couple of hours before they bend again. I don't want to replace the head on this unit again (not sure if that is the cause this time). Now that my season is over I would like to order a new engine for it and install it next summer. I'd like something with more HP and preferrably Honda. Other than the engine problems, the unit is working out fine for me. I threw a new impeller on it last year. Does it make sense to get more HP or will I not notice much difference because my hose is only 8 inch?

    Does anyone know what engine I could replace it with that will be the closest match? My father in law is a car restoration guy / fabricator so he can help me make whatever is needed to get the new one to line up. Thanks for your help.
  2. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    I'm in the middle of a swap on a Giant Vac & shaft size will affect HP you can use, I think. My Giant Vac was 16HP with 10" hose & impeller is for 1 1/8" shaft & I have 11HP Honda I was gonna slap on temporarily but it is only 1" shaft. I know 13hp Honda is also 1", but somwhere between 13hp & 16hp shaft goes to 1 1/8". I'm currently trying to workout a trade with a guy on a 20HP Honda Twin. You can go to 13hp but with 8" hose don't know if it will make a change in performance.
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  3. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I will have to measure the shaft diameter on the old impeller to verify. I forgot I had that laying around still and I didn't want to start tearing this apart yet. I wonder if I e-mailed Billy Goat if they could make engine recommendations as well. Thanks C Jovingo
  4. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I just got an e-mail back from Billy Goat. I was really impressed how quickly they responded to my request and how helpful they were. They said :

    "There are two good options that we are using on our current production units. The first is the Honda 13 HP [ GX390K1QAA2 ] and the other is a 14 HP Subaru [ EX400DE5030 ]."

    Looks like I will be shopping around for the Honda. Haven't heard much about the Subaru motors. I have the 9hp Honda on my Billy Goat push blower and love it.
  5. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,390

    Subaru on my Monster is great so far. I think it has more power then my friends 13hp honda but it is on a different brand machine.
  6. BDLandscapes

    BDLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    You'll be much happier with a GX390 or GX340 Honda over the Briggs. The shaft size is 1"x~3.5" (normally listed as 3 31/64) Used Honda GX340 or GX390 are also easy to find with this shaft size. It is the most common ("Q" types)

    Several years back we tried the same truckloader, but the preceding TR1103 model vs your TR1104. Nothing but problems with the 11hp B&S I/C, not unlike nearly every other application we have had this engine on (the 8 and 10hp versions as well - 'newer' with the plastic tanks) Fuel pumps every year, constant carb problems, bent rods, and on high continuous load applications (e.g. push blowers) they would just eventually throw the rod through the side of the block. Some people have zero issues, one too many nightmares for us - Hondas only from now on. Have yet to 'kill' a GX honda even with some of our pushblowers exceeding 1500hrs of full throttle constant load use.

    A GX390 (or a 340) will fit on the Billy Goat frame as-is, it was available from BG as the TR1304H. I actually have a picture of our old TR1103 from when it was sold, see attachment. You can see the space between the muffler and the blower housing is pretty tight, and the Honda GX muffler protrudes much further. Billy Goat used a spacer block between the engine mounting face and the blower housing to get more clearance between engine/muffler and housing on the Honda and Vanguard briggs models. IIRC the frame will be pre-drilled with engine mounting holes further back already for these applications.
    You will need to do the same with the spacer(s) and the rearward mounting holes. As far as I can tell the standard 'big' Honda muffler with heatshield was still used, so that should be it. But, if you still have clearance problems with muffler even after spacing engine back you can always swap to the smaller Honda GX270/290 oblong style muffler/heatshield and have a ton of clearance. Again, should not be required.

    Despite upping the power, there will be little performance increase with the Honda on your Billy Goat, the 8" intake is the weak link of this machine and clogs up like crazy. Reliability/Dependability will definitely be much better with the Honda, though. Gotta love easy starting on the first pull!
    If you already are dealing with a lot of clogging, for the cost of upgrading the engine you may just want to keep your eye out for a used truckloader with a larger engine and a 10"+ hose and sell your current unit to offset. If you find a 16hp or 18hp HTR or TR Billy Goat you can even re-use your existing mounting setup and any discharge extensions.
    If you don't have clogging problems and/or want to keep your unit, then swap on the Honda and call it a day.

    Oh - one more thing. If you do go ahead and buy a Honda engine make sure you do not get a "Cyclone" air cleaner model. It won't fit within the Billy Goat TR/HTR frame without swapping to the standard GX340/390 air cleaner base and cover.

    Good luck!

    Billy Goat TR1103 engine to housing clearance;

  7. mlavin73

    mlavin73 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    BDLandscapes. Thanks for taking the time to provide the feedback. I really don't have many issues with clogging. I usually rake into the tube that way I see everything going in. By doing this I kick the sticks to the sides and have pretty much been clog free for 3 years. The first two years I owned it I would vacuum using the handle and moving it around and couldn't clearly see what I was vacuuming and would get sticks in sideways. I did some searching and found a guy who has brand new GX390's for $485.00. I was going to wait until the summer to purchase then engine but at this price, I don't want to wait. Per your advice I just need to verify it doesn't have the Cyclone air cleaner. If it does I will order the standard cleaner as well. Fortunately I was able to get through the year with the Briggs and the swap out will occur next summer (when it's warm, I can take my time, and enjoy a beer as I do it). Thanks again for your feedback on this.
  8. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    Great info, I just a tr1104 but it still runs fine, but if it ever needs an engine I will know what to choose. Wondering if anyone has put the new pirahana blade on these older billy goats? Mine has the smooth impeller, and the new ones have ridges and the pirahana in the center so I assume they shred much better, any info would help greatly.
  9. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 418

    i'm a little late on this but I have the 11hp briggs, older model and I put a pirhana blade on it last year and it was the best money I have every spent...I noticed I could put about 30% more leaves in the truck if we were just sucking up leaf piles. It didn't make much of a difference when sucking up the mulched piles we had made with the mowers, but I'm sure it still breaks the leaves down more. Do it and you'll be happy:drinkup:
  10. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    Thanks for replying, I will have to order one now, so I can have it for leaf season. Thanks.

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