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Repowered Skid Steer Fitted With Plymouth Car Engine
When the Wisconsin 4-cyl. air-cooled engine wore out on his Bobcat 620 hydro-static drive skid steer loader, Lyle Wolle, Truman, Minn., replaced it with a 4-cyl. liquid-cooled engine out of a 1982 Ply-mouth Omni.
"It put new life into a well-built ma-chine. It has more power than ever," says Wolle, who repowered the loader two years ago. "My total cost was less than $900 and the entire job took only about a week to complete.
"I bought the Bobcat used about 15 years ago with 1,500 hours on it. It now has over 4,000 hours. I spent about $1,500 to overhaul the original Wisconsin engine a number of years ago. When the engine died a second time, I didn't want to spend the money to rebuild it again because it wouldn't have increased the value of the machine. I measured the engine compartment and began looking for a new engine. I settled on the Chrysler 1.7-liter because it's a tough little engine that sells for a reasonable price. I paid $250 for the Omni and pulled out the engine. I can replace the new engine if it ever goes bad for a fraction of the cost to rebuild the Wisconsin engine.
"I didn't have to make any major modifications. I rerouted the gas fill tube and some of the throttle linkages, built new motor mounts, and adapted the engine wiring harness to the loader's electrical system. The loader's hydrostatic pump is direct-driven off the crankshaft just like on the original engine. However, I had to have an adapter made so that I could bolt the pump directly to the engine's timing belt sprocket which bolts onto the crank-shaft. The new engine has a lot more power than the old one so I didn't have to install a governor. I used the car's accelerator when hooking up the throttle linkage.
"The Wisconsin engine had 30 hp but the Plymouth engine has 60 to 70 hp. It's just as fuel efficient but has more working capacity due to the extra power. I never run the engine over 3,600 rpm's to keep from damaging the hydraulic pumps. The loader was originally de-signed to lift 1,100 lbs. but can now lift about 1,300 lbs. I added about 400 lbs. to the rear end to compensate for the extra lifting capacity.
"The new engine has an electronic ignition and is liquid-cooled instead of air-cooled so I mounted the car's radiator above the engine compartment and mounted an electrically-operated fan on top of the loader frame behind the cab. I had the exhaust pipes custom fabricated at a muffler shop and rerouted them out the back end to keep exhaust fumes away from me. The new engine is a lot quieter than the old one. I lengthened the engine access cover by 4 in. to accommodate the new engine's flywheel and starter wheel.
"I think any Chrysler 1.7-liter engine would work. There are a lot of these engines around and they have a lot of life left in them."
Wolle says he's willing to repower other Bobcats on a custom basis.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lyle R. Wolle, Rt. 3, Box 135, Truman, Minn. 56088 (ph 507 776-4737).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #1