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VW Engine Great For Repowering Bobcat

After years of hard use with little need for repair, Ralph Johnson's Bobcat 500 skid steer loader needed engine repair.
"It would have cost more than $1,000 for labor and parts to repair the 2-cylinder Kohler engine," says the Michigan farmer. "I looked around at small engines about the same size and found that a Volkswagen engine from a Jetta car would fit perfectly. A Volkswagen engine operates at about 100 psi oil pressure so any engine you find in a junkyard is likely to be in good condition. The valves might need grinding, but that's about all.
"Fitting the engine into the cavity of the machine was a logical process. The most difficult part was making an adapter to fit the pulley onto the crankshaft. I made four adapters before I was satisfied that I had a perfect fit. The adapter to run the hydraulics on the opposite side of the engine was simple to do.
"I've used the repowered Bobcat for a year now with no problems. I could have installed a governor but I chose to put a choke cable on that's attached to the carburetor. I ran the cable up through the steering lever so the choke button is on top of the steering arm. So as I work the steering I can control engine speed at the touch of my thumb.
"Any belt-driven Bobcat could use this engine. The 4-cyl. VW puts out over 57 hp, which is considerably more than the original Kohler. The engine is water-cooled and the radiator is about the same width as the Bobcat. I put a hinged frame on back to hold the radiator and to open the back of the motor compartment for service.
"The cost of the engine was about $200. I could build the crankshaft adapter for sale if there's interest, or make blueprints avail-able."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ralph F. Johnson, 4597 Sunflower Ridge Dr., Ada, Mich. 49301 (ph 616 874-6827).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3