my Hustler Heart transplant :-)

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by sdk1968, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. sdk1968

    sdk1968 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    special thanks to Hustlermidwest for answering questions & Puppy for making me decide to do this!

    my punctuation & grammar suck. dont hold it against me. :) i'm a construction worker by trade, not a writer.

    mowing at my house is "work".. so on the advice of the professional mowing service that mows all the hills & dikes in the plant where i work, got me a Super ATZ !

    Zero turn mowers are not usually great on steep banks and rough ground. This ATZ is set up for that, has different wheel motors & such to give it more grunt & a little less speed.

    now lets get on to whats happening..

    got this machine online & have its whole life history.. it only had about 1K hours on it, which my pro friends told me was no big deal for this type of machine.

    factory trim: its a 27hp Kohler with a 6' mowing deck, roll cage, wheel weights & total rough terrain package.

    it shipped to my plant so i could have it unloaded real easy & trailer it home, plus have my Pro grass cutters look at it.

    all this happened & naturally it looks like a used machine in pretty good shape.. (see my original pix after i washed it below)

    did the usual items you do on equip when you buy it. filters, belts, fluids, grease, lube, tire checks... printed me off a full manual & such.

    used it 5 times, this turned my 4 hour lawn job into about 1hr 15mins of seat time. It also cut my push mowing down cause i can get so close! weed eating time as well. PLUS PLUS & PLUS!

    but there wouldnt be any story here about a transplant if all was perfect...........

    yep. last time mowing it went "POP"... still idled fine... sounded great... no miss... but man it wouldnt budge & if you moved the sticks it would just die.

    so went and got the RZR & pulled it to the garage. turned out it was pumping oil out the top of the valve cover & spraying everywhere. NOT GOOD.

    talked to lots of my friend about this engine & thought of tearing it down.... eh but im one of those people who always has to "upgrade" to better stuff. so checked into what the new ATZ has on it. turns out this motor was always under powered for the machine with that big 6' deck on it.

    well that made up my mind for me: TRANSPLANT TIME!! :laugh::laugh:

    saw that they now use a 35hp Kawasaki on these & went shopping... well that motor was pretty pricey... but with enough hunting and searching i found a place (Tulsa Engine Warehouse) that had brand new Kawasaki engines with 2yr warranty in a 37HP version. correct shaft size and all.. & they were about $500 cheaper than the smaller motor...

    so i got that thing on its way quick & set it all up to make the heart transplant.

    naturally this is NOT a drop on/in. so tore down what was there and cleaned everything real good, including the radiators for the hydro.. man those were dirty!! There is a LOT of stuff to take off to get this thing down to the base. Wrestled the motor out by myself and cleared it all... sorted out the wiring and such...

    motor shows up and i get it home one and start the re install....

    set it in there... mocked up where it should go to work with all the goodies.. drew out the base.. then made a template of the bottom of the motor and laid out my holes for mounting.

    drill & set the motor again. Next, you check your electric clutch and drive pulleys to make sure it all is still in reach. IT WASNT. i had to fab up a little extension to the bracket for the electric clutch holder so that it would reach it. only took about 10 minutes, but these are the things that make or break a transplant.

    After that it was pretty much straight forward assembly of what came off.... pulleys lined up and on ... belts on.. run fuel lines... then WIRING!

    This was a bit different as the kohler motor on there had a different color code than the factory side of the harness! plus the kohler had way more wires than the Kawasaki engine. Needless to say with enough cursing & wiring diagrams & a trip up from my 72 year old father to "line me out on wiring"... there was a sudden eruption of very very loud noise at it roared to life... and i do mean roared to life. wooooooaaahhh was that thing loud in my garage!

    We shut it off quick and finished making the wiring look nice so that i could start on the exhaust. This was a pretty good sized challenge but in the end i gave it a fairly stock look.

    The motor is bigger than what was there in several ways. its wider, taller, thicker, deeper, heavier.... All of this came into play with my location as i didnt want anything touching anywhere & i moved the motor to my liking, which is why the change in clutch holding.

    This also affects exhaust as the little pipe on the old Kohler was half the diameter of the exhaust ports on this beast.

    This delayed me a bit, but my good friend took the template i drew and cut me a set of flanges out of some flat steel and then we welded up some 1" pipe nipples to that to get me down a little bit and put on some 90's..

    At this point it just didnt look like it would all fit and exhaust was gonna be a totally custom thing. Sometimes you just have to walk away & come back later. So thats what we did.

    Early this morning i got up & went out and stuck the factory muffler back in there... moved it about an inch each way... looked over the outlets for both cylinders and said "yep it goes here".

    Then ran my pipes over to that spot and left them about 3/4" too long. The factory muffler inlet hit the 1 pipe perfect & i cut a hole in the side for the other one.. Then proceeded to do some of my ugliest gobstopper welding ive ever seen.

    This was a very tight upside down deal with no room to move and no way to take it off to do this. Now that its completed i could take it off as a unit & redo it. but until it needs to come out? it aint happening.

    Got it as good as i could and didnt see any holes so fired it up to check. Well its not a pretty weld job.. but its working and has a decently muffled exhaust. It sounds almost just like the other engine except that its obviously got 10hp more.

    Took it out and made a couple passes thru the yard. OH MY!! fantastic!

    NO its not any faster. That was never the idea. you just cant mow my yard at a fast rate, too rough. you would look like a rodeo cowboy on a giant bumble bee.

    It did do exactly what i wanted. There is no bog down, no slow down, no blade speed drop..... all that is GONE!! it will climb the steepest part of my yard now without any issue and still mow like a beast!

    Now we'll run this thing until the next part needs upgraded & im pretty sure it will be pumps as one of them has just a few drips every time i park it. Thats another project for the future .... for now its just gonna be playing with the new toy.

    heres some pix & thanks for looking! if you got questions i'll do my best to answer them.

    heres a link to the pix if posting them doesnt work... ATZ

    & heres the individual pix (which are NOT in order):








  2. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    Impressive mate!
    I'd be a little cautious of the "spoiler" reducing the amount of air it can take into the engine. Is there any way you could raise that spoil some?
  3. sdk1968

    sdk1968 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    thank you very much.

    with 4 new holes in it, could raise it a little.... but would have to change the 4 lines to the hydro coolers as well.

    its pretty close under there, but its actually just the cage on top of the motor thats close.. without that big ugly thing its got near 1.75" :)

    we'll see how it goes temperature wise in my "test mowing" & then do some adjustments if it needs them. its bound to be running cooler than it was with the cleaning of all those fins that were caked solid & then this motor has a lower compression rate (bigger bore & stroke).

    will try to keep this updated.

    thanks for lookin!
  4. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    Pretty rough but you could probably just cut a big hole in the spoiler!
    I know the coolers are in the spoiler but what about something like this. Maybe even drill some lager hole in the top of the spoiler as well?

    I really would consider doing something to get more air in there.

  5. pythons37

    pythons37 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Well, I'm impressed. I'm a firm believer in power. Your efforts and talents are evident. Very nice work.
  6. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,275

    Couldnt agree more!
  7. sdk1968

    sdk1968 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    thanks guys! glad you like it.

    we'll see about the airflow as we run it a bit.... then "adjust". :) thinking about going back and wrapping the exhaust pipes to the muffler, but man that is TIGHT in there.
  8. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,527

    I like what you have done, it looks like a 500 cubic inch V8 stuffed into a Ford Pinto. So you had to re drill motor mount holes? I like that but thanks for posting this because this is why I will not use a BB Briggs.

    The Generac Just needs exhaust work and everything else is plug in and go. Puppy claims a Generac 33HP is just as strong as the BB Kaws? they are the same displacement but in a smaller package.

    Nice work hope it all goes well for years.
  9. sdk1968

    sdk1968 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94


    yeah if you go with this Kawi you will need to buy their muffler and butcher it... or make your own exhaust flanges.

    the drilling of the motor mount holes was no problem.. the old measure twice... drill once deal.

  10. Realslowww

    Realslowww LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,527

    No you are right the drill part is no problem, also the wiring harness is a plug in and go with a Gennie. I would consider a BB because I like the Pinto with a BB V8 in it look. It looks like " hey what kinda times does she run " :laugh:

    How much was the Kaw?

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