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Would you put this engine on your snowblower?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have this 16hp, 480cc Briggs Vanguard V twin engine, in excellent condition, with the gas tank already on top, I picked up for 100 bucks a year ago. Threw around the idea of sticking it on my 71" Ariens 32" wide. It would require a larger pulley, longer belt and a larger fabricated belt guard. It would also make the machine a lot heavier. I figured I'd ask, has anyone considered installing a larger v twin engine like this on their snowblower, has anyone done it successfully yet and how well does it perform? What do people think of the idea. Just throwing it out their, my machine already has plenty of power and performs well, but hey, I have this engine sitting around and I am not using it. What do ya think? Its a top notch Japanese commercial Vanguard from 1994.
 

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In the past they have made machines with 'V-Twin' engines on them. Those were larger machines that had a clearing width of like 36" to 48". They were made under a couple of different names and manufacturers.
They didn't put the 'V-Twin' engine on a smaller machine like under 36" due to the weight and size of the motor.
You figure that is going to be a lot of extra weight and 'Bulk' to be moving around on a smaller 'Walk-behind' type machine. It would take a bit more physical effort to maneuver the machine around and tire the operator out more when operating it so they felt it wasn't worth building them. You are also looking at added costs of the machine for the engine, parts and having to build a larger heavier frame to accommodate it.
It would probably be a neat machine with the bigger motor but the manufacturers figured there wouldn't be that much of a market for them. They are going to sell a lot more smaller lighter units than they would a big machine like that. They know most people, average home-owners, want something light and easy to maneuver with, that is where they get most of their sales from, so they figured it wouldn't be worth it for them to make something like that because they wouldn't sell enough of them.
You do see the 'V-Twins' on some larger 'Commercial' type machines, and they are a lot more expensive than a smaller 'Home-Owner' model, but you don't see many of them around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In the past they have made machines with 'V-Twin' engines on them. Those were larger machines that had a clearing width of like 36" to 48". They were made under a couple of different names and manufacturers.
They didn't put the 'V-Twin' engine on a smaller machine like under 36" due to the weight and size of the motor.
You figure that is going to be a lot of extra weight and 'Bulk' to be moving around on a smaller 'Walk-behind' type machine. It would take a bit more physical effort to maneuver the machine around and tire the operator out more when operating it so they felt it wasn't worth building them. You are also looking at added costs of the machine for the engine, parts and having to build a larger heavier frame to accommodate it.
It would probably be a neat machine with the bigger motor but the manufacturers figured there wouldn't be that much of a market for them. They are going to sell a lot more smaller lighter units than they would a big machine like that. They know most people, average home-owners, want something light and easy to maneuver with, that is where they get most of their sales from, so they figured it wouldn't be worth it for them to make something like that because they wouldn't sell enough of them.
You do see the 'V-Twins' on some larger 'Commercial' type machines, and they are a lot more expensive than a smaller 'Home-Owner' model, but you don't see many of them around.
I agree with you about the bulk and weight and causing user fatigue. I see people putting the Predator 420cc on their older snowblowers and that engine is also very large and heavy, I always thought it was over kill, I have the 212 on my 32" and that has plenty of power, I really couldn't see a reason to go out and buy and mount anything larger than the 301cc, it definitely requires the user to be in good physical shape to be able to operate the unit without getting worn out from it. However I have this $1600 Vanguard I got for $100 bucks awhile ago, just sitting here waiting to be put to use on something. Now how about private owners of used snowblowers, has anyone stuck a larger V-twin or something of that nature on one yet? I know people are doing the 420, but haven't seen anything on the V-twin or similar yet, on say an older Ariens 28 or 32 wide unit. It would definitely be cool and interesting to see how well it performs, how hard it is to operate and how much wear and tear it put on the machine that never intended to have an engine so big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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So far you have not given the experts here any specifics, nor have you considered them yourself. I'm talking about the difference in weight between your V twin and the engine on your snowblower. For example, if the added weight would be 20#, it might not be a big deal, 40# more, you might be on the edge of what is manageable and what the chassis/frame and tires will support.

The real answer to your question has been answered - Geno did it. Though I think he built his from the ground up, and you want to simply replace your engine.

A few questions before you go forward. Do you have the time and skill to do the build? Should your mod overpower the machine and do some damage to it when you use it on your first snowfall, can you deal with the sudden loss (for a while) of that machine? Can you afford repair bills should the damage to the snowblower be expensive (for example, augers for my HS828 cost around 400 each (well, they once did, now the price might be higher).
 

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Not only your Augers, your gear boxes, your drive train, transmissions, main tractor frame-chassis, handle bars, controls, and everything else that has power to it that was not built for the added weight and power. Axle bearings, axles are a few others that will wear quicker. Auger bearings and all other load bearing bearings in the auger assembly, plus all of the different shafts that connect and transfer power to the impellers and augers and any shear bolts used to connect them.
It might be a fun project as long as you don't have anything to loose and are not worried if it blows itself up and you lost everything- time, labor, money for parts or anything else.
As long as you have a back-up or another main snow removal machine to do the job if and when the new project fails, and are not worried about what it will cost to replace everything that is going to wear out a lot faster when it is used, it shouldn't be a problem.
It will be an 'experimental' machine that you wouldn't expect to get a long trouble free life out of and the money put into it doesn't matter, it would be a fun project.
If you really want something that was built to handle a lot of extra power and abuse, you might want to consider an old Gravely walk-behind tractor with the snow cannon on it, then you could re-power it with a small 23 horsepower v-twin or go larger with the 33 horse power engine, at least it will handle the extra weight and power a lot longer.
The old Gravely is a light weight tractor, around 400-500 pounds just for the tractor alone so it should handle the extra power with no belts to slip or break. It uses a direct drive through a large cone type clutches that will power your pick-up truck, the drive train is all gear drive with no belts or friction discs to wear out and slip, and no hydro to fail.
At one time you could get a track drive kit for them, they used metal track shoes and ran through a gear reduction drive if you wanted to slow it down a bit, it would give you extra weight for added traction, about 400-500 pounds extra. Kind of like a miniature walk-behind bulldozer.
 

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id say go for it.. try and center the engine over the axle as best you can.. that should make the weight less noticeable to the user... make darn sure your shear pins are good.. keep the auger axle well lubed so things dont over-stress your gearbox ( though you should have a very stout piece) if you find belt slippage happenning.. consider doubling the pulleys.. or going with 5/8in pulley setup.. either case should handle the power well IF the stock .5in belt should slip... the engine you have should make 16HP.. which is at the upper limits what a half inch belt can transfer if memory isnt wrong lol
 

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Only thing holding me back is the cost of acquisition of a suitable engine. Vertical shaft twins are relatively scarce around me.
 

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Only thing holding me back is the cost of acquisition of a suitable engine. Vertical shaft twins are relatively scarce around me.
I think you meant Horizontal shaft V-twin.
 

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Surely I do. Verticals you can trip over.
 
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