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  1. #1
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    Default International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    Well I bought a nifty old garden tractor and need some advice. It's a IH cub cadet 782 in pretty good shape (see picture). It was made in 1980-81 and is hydrostatic, with hydraulic deck lift, electric pto, and shaft drive.

    Problem is, as you can also see in the picture, the engine came in a box. It's a Kohler series II model # KT17, 17 hp twin. One of the connecting rods broke and messed up the cylinder. I was told that this engine had already been rebuilt once. I've heard good things about older Kohlers and want to know if this engine is worth rebuilding/saving as it is the original engine for this tractor. At a bare minimum it will need a new cylinder, piston, and rod and probably a lot of other stuff too. I'm not a great mechanic, or really even a good one, but I don't think this is out of my league.

    Other choices include new or used engines, and it seems to me I've even heard of some small diesels suitable as replacements for garden tractor engines.

    Basically, any advice or comments would be welcomed.
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  2. #2
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    The tractor itself is very much worth restoring! The Kohler engine is something I can't be of much help on as I have never rebuilt a KT17. But I'm sure someone will be along with more info on the motor. If the idea of repowering it with a new motor is acceptable to you , check out www.smallenginewarehouse.com for some info on what might work.
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Star Member rswyan's Avatar
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    Kubota B2910, Simplicity 18 CFC, Cub Cadet 782

    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    John,

    Nice catch. I have a 782 here that I'm planning on restoring one of these days if I can ever get around to it. I wish mine were in as good a shape as yours cosmetically.

    On the engine based on your description my guess would be you might be better off replacing it (given the fact that it's already been rebuilt once) ..... but who knows ....

    My 782 is on it's second engine - I think the original was a Series I maybe and I believe it was replaced with a Series II by my Dad. I might have some of the parts you need - I still have the old engine up in the shed (it threw a rod.)

    If you search the posts of TBN member "Fordlords" you'll find a thread detailing his engine replacement on a 682 swapping the KT17 with a Honda unit, including a kit to do so. In fact here is the thread:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=71334

    Here's another thread showing the finished product:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=77949

  4. #4
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    Thanks for the link Joe. That appears to be the supplier Fordlords used in the links provided by rswyan (thanks too!). That 682 was sharp!

    It appears the Kohler KT17 wasn't quite as good an engine as it could have been. I didn't realize that a replacement engine would be so pricey, but I guess compared to a mower-in-a-box, it's quite reasonable. My thoughts are to go over the rest of the tractor with a fine toothed comb and see if everything else is functional before springing that kind of dough. How would one check a hydrostat when you don't have an engine to power it? I guess one could drain it and look for obvious fluid contamination, but other than that?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Fordlords's Avatar
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    Cub Cadet 682

    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    The Sunstrand hydros used in the Cub '82's are considered to be virtually indestructible. But of course the only way to test it would be under power.

    To *properly* rebuild a KT17 Kohler is going to be in the $700-900 range. The Series II is OK and maybe a consideration, but I would never put that money in to rebuilding a series I KT17. A strong opinion of mine, but based on quite a bit of small engine experience, is rebuilt engines never really seem to come back to the life or quality of a factory new engine. It's often a leak here, a noise there, something missing now and then, etc. I'm sure some will disagree on the subject, but it's just what I have experienced myself.

    Yes, you can put the kubota liquid cooled 3 cylinder diesel from the 782D model in to the gasoline 782. But, there are some things that have to be modified, and would require some mechanical skills beyond your very basic. That along with the Kubota diesels being nearly impossible to find on the used market. Not really an alternative to consider realistically.

    Best bets costwise are to look for a good used KT17 SII- I see them come up on e-pay frequently, in the $400-500 range. (add another $150-200 to ship it unless you can pick it up.) There you would have a drop in replacement for the Cub. Or, you go for a retrofit engine kit, I put in the Honda from Small Engine Warehouse, and can't say enough about it, it's really excellent. It is a commitment however, at $1300.00. I knew enough about the overall history and condition of my tractor to make it worth it, but it would be a lot harder decision on a tractor I bought knowing little about its history.

    The 782 is an excellent tractor, and if you have and don't mind putting some time and money into refurbishing it will make for a life-timer. If it's more of an, "I need it now to mow and got to get it going cheap and fast," it's probably not a good bet.

    -Fordlords-
    1980 Cub Cadet 682 with 18 HP Honda GX V-Twin engine
    2008 Ariens 624 Snowblower
    2007 Craftsman by MTD 4 Cycle Weedwacker




    Check out my TBN photo gallery for B4 and after pix of my CC 682 Restoration! http://www.tractorbynet.com/photos/s...cat/500/page/1

  6. #6
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    Thanks for the input, Fordlords. I read your "saga" with great interest. The Honda retrofit does appeal very much to me, but as you said, $1300 is a big commitment. I would be willing to do that though, if I could make sure the tractor was a good one otherwise. I already have a nice little kubota 1670 lawn tractor, so I'm set otherwise. This would just be a fun project that would hopefully net a nice tractor. I "think" I would rather have a new Honda than a used engine which would have been rebuilt twice, particularly when you consider the cost differential.

    The deck and deck carriage looks great, and all spindles spin freely.

    Just a wild thought. . . what about bolting in a small horizontal engine, say off of a tiller, just to test the hydrostat? I may have a 6.5 hp newer briggs that I could use to test it out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    The tractor looks nice, especially being 25 years old. If you're going to really use it on a regular basis. IMO you're better off either getting a reputably rebuilt engine or a new engine. A new engine would give you the opportunity to increase the HP is you desire. If you rebuild the old engine, you'll still have some parts that are 25 years old and some that are brand new.

    Let us know what you end up doing.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Fordlords's Avatar
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    Testing the hydro might work with another small engine, with one stipulation- the crankshaft has to turn the hydro pump in the right direction. With the original engine the hydro is driven off the flywheel end, the PTO off the crankshaft. You would need a test engine with the crankshaft spinning clockwise, and most spin counter. As far back as I can think though I've never actually seen one of those Sunstrand hydros that was blown, about the worst they do is develop seal leaks.

    I also had another tractor to use and redid the 682 mainly just for fun, but it turned out great and has been put to a lot of heavy tasks this year that were too big for my little Craftsman. The SEW Honda also came with a two year warranty for a little comfort in the purchase. I've seen other retrofit kits for these tractors using Kohler Commands and Briggs Vanguards, I chose the Honda as I used to be a Honda cycle mechanic and I like the quality of their engines. If the rest of the tractor is in overall decent shape, the retrofit engine kits are well worth it as the ruggedness of the old '82's is something you just don't see on a new small tractor anymore.

    -Fordlords-
    1980 Cub Cadet 682 with 18 HP Honda GX V-Twin engine
    2008 Ariens 624 Snowblower
    2007 Craftsman by MTD 4 Cycle Weedwacker




    Check out my TBN photo gallery for B4 and after pix of my CC 682 Restoration! http://www.tractorbynet.com/photos/s...cat/500/page/1

  9. #9
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    I'll definitely let everyone know what I end up doing Joe1, but it might be a while. Money, geez, who has enough?

    I was not aware that the engine was turned around in the compartment. That certainly makes more sense to me now given the connection on the end of the shaft.

    I've got two Honda water pumps and also can't say enough good things about the engines. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a piece of equipment with a Honda powerplant.

    I hope to take some pictures of the deck, carriage, and tractor this weekend. Hopefully I can find out if I have all of the pieces needed to make it work with a new engine. Something tells me Fordlords could help me out with that . . .

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Fordlords's Avatar
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    Default Re: International Harvester Cub Cadet 782

    I ahve chatted with about half a dozen others through forums about the Honda conversion, and there is one fellow now on the Cub Cadet forum at FarmallCub.Com named fraso who is currently installing one of the Honda engines into a 782. Thus far everyone I know of who has put in the SEW conversion has got it going properly, but some steps do take some patience and a bit of regular mechanical/electrical skills. For instance I ran into problems with the wiring, and fraso is having problems with the PTO clutch mount, but SEW is very helpful in getting through the conversion process.

    A brand new KT17SII is still available from both SEW and Tulsa engine Warehouse, but if you want one of those (and although it's better than the SI it's still nothing to cheer about) it will set you back $2000.00. The Magnum 18 is also available with 1 1/8" crankshaft that can directly replace the KT17, but it's nearly $2k also- it is basically a KT17SII with magneto ignition. A fact that I rarely see in denial is the Kohler KT's and Magnums drink gas like water, it is a trait of a flat head engine. The Honda GX610 as I have observed uses about half the amount of gas a KT17 or Magnum does for the same work.

    -Fordlords-
    1980 Cub Cadet 682 with 18 HP Honda GX V-Twin engine
    2008 Ariens 624 Snowblower
    2007 Craftsman by MTD 4 Cycle Weedwacker




    Check out my TBN photo gallery for B4 and after pix of my CC 682 Restoration! http://www.tractorbynet.com/photos/s...cat/500/page/1

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