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Gator TH 6x4 engine swap - 24 HP Honda


 
(@joe)
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Joined: 7 years ago
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Gator TH 6x4 - around 05 model. These little guys are SUPER low to the ground and rated to carry 1000 lbs in the bed and 2 people. Locking diff, 4wd (back 4), and simple to work on. They're great, and there is nothing else quite like them.

The bad? One of the worst engines kawasaki ever made is in here. This one is about due for its second complete rebuild in just the 500 hours of use I've put on it. Unpressurized oil system,  poor crankcase contamination record (fuel entry), proprietary John Deere parts and information... the list goes on. 

The solution? Put in a normal motor. One with an oil pump. And in this case, 39% more power than stock.

About to go under the knife!

 

 


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(@phanboifabrication)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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excited to see how this turns out!


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(@joe)
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Here is the new engine!

Honda claims FI-like fuel efficiency. I'm just excited for a pressurized oil system and no TSBs about fuel getting into oil and how that is "normal"!

 


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(@joe)
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Old engine is out (takes an hour at a relaxed pace). New engine dropped in, rubbed right frame rail, so I bent it outward. You can see the bend. It isnt enough. I have to move that frame lip/edge (cut and weld). 

I bought a "repower kit" for this. The kit was supposed to be a bolt in affair other than drilling a few holes and some light trimming. It is not well thought out at all. Using it the way they recommend would be a hack job :/ this rig has a 1000 lb cargo payload and a low frame (drags on logs and such at times). Cutting the whole vertical component off one side of the frame is not okay with me. 

Fabrication to follow!

 

You can also see the muffler mounting plate I welded on. 


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(@joe)
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I bent the frame lip down flat first. 

 

 
 
Next I cut the corners and flap wheeled all the paint off where I plan to weld. I bent up some 2" x .120" A36 flat bar to take the rail around the profile with some overlap.
 
 
 20210210 101857

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(@joe)
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My only welder in the garage is a TIG. Normally I would MIG this kind of high-gap dirty stuff. Came out fine for tbe application though!

 

 


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(@joe)
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Got it painted. Had to cut the transmission mount (after this pic was taken) and relocate 2 relays, ground location on block, and some other wiring installed by the "engine swap kit company". It all interfered with the transmission mount. I moved it all to minimize the cutting required to structural components. 


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(@joe)
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It's finally settled in! Time to drill bolt holes (per the instructions). They said to reuse the existing hardware, but the kawasaki motor had threaded holes, and the Honda one doesn't, so the bolts are way too short and missing nuts. I'm just using some 3/8-16 hardware in place of the stock 10mm stuff. Easier to find in my shop.

I offset the motor to the left slightly since the pulley moves the belt center to the right as the clutch engages to increase belt speed (like a snowmobile). 

I also Installed the new throttle and choke cables and put in a huge battery. Old one was dead and I want to run a 12v hydraulic power unit in the future. It now has a large car battery. 


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(@joe)
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Holes drilled for the new engine location. I can't see this working without a plate to spread the load out. The instructions don't mention it. Maybe they didn't know this machine wasn't flat?

 

Anyhow... I'll be making a plate out of some 2 x .120 flat bar to keep the hardware from loading the bolt heads or nuts on one side only. 


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(@joe)
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Plates are done. I need to trim bolts. This baby sits low and these will drag over stuff. I couldn't get access from above with the engine in... so they had to be nuts-down 🙁


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(@joe)
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Engine is in! The throttle cable they included was about 20 lbs to push... so I modified the stock one to work. Feels great now. 

Gobs more power than stock. I changed the transaxle oil. It's going

20210303 160025

to see a little more load now!


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(@panaceabeachbum)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Very nice, been considering similar on my gator 4x4

 


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(@joe)
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Posted by: @panaceabeachbum

Very nice, been considering similar on my gator 4x4

 

Thx. This one idles so much better. And the extra power is nice. 

 

Another photo from a recent project where this little guy helped out:

 

20210418 190421

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