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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at a different tractor and it has a 16.5 hp onan twin cast iron engine on it. It was made arond 1977 and only has 375 hrs on it.


My question is how good are these engines? are they easy to get parts for or are they rare and expensive? It seems to have plenty of power and not blow any smoke but I'd like to know that if something goes wrong I can fix it. I have read somewhere that these are known to self destruct with no warning but I don't know if thats true or just rumor.

Any thoughts would be welcomed

Thanks
Andy
 

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Onan no longer makes engines. Canadian company Linamar bought them out and discontinued many models, and continued to produce some for a while. Parts were always pricey, and now hard to get for many models. That's the bad news. The good news is that these engines typically last around 1500 hours +/-, so depending on what condition the one you are looking at is in, it should have many years of life in it. Without disclosing too much info, if this is something you are looking at on Ebay, is it a name brand tractor for which many were made? allowing decent availability of used parts? Or is this a Speedex or Power King with a special "whatever" on the motor that was only built one year for one model. That would affect my decision to buy or pass. Would this tractor be relatively easy to repower with something else should that become necessary? Example: Small Engine Warehouse has developed some "kits" to allow dropping in a Honda engine to replace the Deere 318's Onan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joe

yes this is a name brand tractor that is well known for quality. The main parts I am thinking of are carb kits and ignition parts and other "maintenance" parts that you can count on replacing periodically. where do you get these type of parts for these engines?

Would you consider these engines at least equal durabliity to Kohler and Briggs? I have no experience with them so thought I would ask the experts.

Thanks
Andy
 

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Cummins owns the generator part of Onan......the parts for the old cast iron units,as well as some of the twin cylinder aluminum block units (elite series) can be available from them. Best check your local Cummins distributor. But these engines can be a real challenge. linmar wound up with single cylinder like Cub was using.

Gravely used onan engines, also Toro bought Onan engines for private label so we actually still get parts from them for their old spec engines. only trick is they use their own part number even though onan part number is on the box.

Better be a REAL good deal.
 

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The Onans are as good as any out there if they are running, They are more expensive to get parts for and less forgiving for a rebuild if the block is cracked from the rod letting loose. I agree with Neil, it had better be a good deal. I know that Deere used Onans in the 316 and 318 and currently folks are dropping in Hondas and Kohlers as replacements. Same with the Ingersoll tractors. I'd have to really see and hear the tractor to truely advise you :thumbsup: or outta here
 

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Onan use to make some great little engines, It sad hear about that have been razed, discountinued, in the last 10 years alone.
It better be a great deal or I wouldn't risk it.
 

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I know that parts for most of the newer twins are still avable, but also, that some of the singles, like Gravely used, are not. That motor, what is an old twin, I realy dont know, but I would assume, tune up stuff would be avable. and if something DOES go south on the motor, most brand name tractors, have at least SOME repower options
 
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