Any opinions on an L4202?

pigdoc

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G1800S L2500
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Hi folks,

Been doing some serious research into an L-series purchase. For such purchases, I've always tended to discover which model I'd prefer, then wait for an opportunity to come along. Rather than settle for the first thing that comes along.

I'm attracted more to earlier models. I was looking at 4-cylinder engines in the 02 series (V1502, V1702, V1902), being more attracted to them than the 3-cylinder engines, which are more prevalent in the L series. The V--02s seem to all use the same block and crank, and differ only in the cylinder bore size, giving the family potential interchangeability in any chassis that used them. From what I can tell, these engines were used from 1978 through about 1993, but are now discontinued.

The L4202DT is a stand out for me, as it has a turbo-charged VT1502 making 41hp from 1500cc! Built from 1978-1985, with a 16-speed geared transmission; manual, I guess.

Crazy thought: Theoretically, the head from a VT1502 could bolt on to a V1902 block (evil grin).
Old hot-rodders never die, I guess...They just keep smoking.

Can't find a L4202 currently up for sale in the US, but I'm in no big hurry.

Opinions? Anybody here have an L4202?

-Paul

PS, I see that I missed an L2850, 4WD, with loader, with 2300 hrs on it (V1702) at a local auction last spring. Sold for $6750. I would have still been a bidder at that price...

PPS, watched a short Messick's video on decoding Kubota engine model numbers. Learned that the letter prefix is the first letter of the German word for the number of cylinders:
E = ein
Z = zwei
D = drei
V = vier
F = funf
S = sechs

Now, how did THAT happen?
 
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PaulL

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They're all good machines. Depends what you like - personally I'm in the no replacement for displacement category - a 1500cc with the turbo turned up sounds less durable than a bigger displacement engine.

Tractors are a bit harder to hot rod than you'd like. Mostly if you care about power it's for PTO output - most tractors are limited at the wheels by traction, you can't push more power through without wheelspin. Although I guess running a big mower whilst pulling uphill will tax most tractors.

If it's PTO output, you're now quite limited. Implements need to run at 540 RPM, which means your engine RPM is fixed. There's only so much extra power you can generate without more RPM. You can turn the turbo up a bit, but really you're into an engine swap if you want more power at the same RPM. In which case, since you're buying anyway, just buy one with a bigger engine. If your engine blows up I can see doing the engine swap, but buying a machine specifically to do an engine swap seems like a lot of work to me.
 
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pigdoc

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G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
275
203
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SE Pennsylvania
They're all good machines. Depends what you like - personally I'm in the no replacement for displacement category - a 1500cc with the turbo turned up sounds less durable than a bigger displacement engine.

Tractors are a bit harder to hot rod than you'd like. Mostly if you care about power it's for PTO output - most tractors are limited at the wheels by traction, you can't push more power through without wheelspin...
...or, breaking a transmission!

Points taken, Paul L.

The hot rodding comments were kind of a joke, but inquiring minds want to know what is possible. With my son, we've done a fair amount of hobby hotrod garden tractor pulling. Never got to the semi-pro level, due to other life commitments. But through experimentation, we learned a few things about weight distribution and its impact on traction.

I'm just looking at factory numbers. When you're reaping 41hp from a boosted 1500cc, that's something!
Basically, the same hp as a naturally aspirated engine with 27% more displacement!

Am hoping for some real-world experience on longevity of the VT1502. Yes, we have blown up a few diesels. A boosted diesel is like a blow torch. Just can't help wondering what the effect of that VT head on a engine with 27% more displacement would be... I mean, BESIDES the effect of melting pistons!
If your engine blows up I can see doing the engine swap, but buying a machine specifically to do an engine swap seems like a lot of work to me.
How many Kubota platforms will accommodate engines ranging between 25hp and 40+hp that are essentially bolt-in swaps? Not many. When you're playing around with discontinued stuff, that can be a good question to ask, dependability and reliability not withstanding.

So maybe I'm adding versatility to the mix...
As it is, I'm not "buying a machine". I'm just dreaming about what I'd like to own.

Wotcha got?

-Paul
 

pigdoc

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G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
275
203
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SE Pennsylvania
Oh, and I was doing some more research on the L4202. This is maybe in the realm of trivia nobody cares about, but I was wondering about that 16-speed manual transmission, which I came to find out was manufactured by Daedong, a Korean company.

Interestingly, Daedong collaborated with Kubota for the L--02 series, and besides the transmission, also contributed the sheet metal design which you must admit, is somewhat unique for Kubotas:
1673383753057.jpeg

From the side, it looks rather progressive for the late 1970s, early 1980s! I'm not going to show the front view. Butt ugly. [This one's for sale in the Philippines for about $10,000.] Gorgeous tractor!

Eventually, Daedong went on to market Kioti tractors, with some friction between them and Kubota over patent infringement in there...

-Paul
 

North Idaho Wolfman

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Your taking a HUGE risk even buying a L4202 if you can find one.

I don't have any factory specs and I have not seen a manual on one of these or seen one in person, But based on years built I'm pretty sure that will be a V1501 not an 02 engine, and the parts do not directly cross over.

It's also a grey market tractor and any dealer help will be non existent.
That's the minor setback to that model.

The transmission is one of a kind, none of the parts cross over to to any other tractor, grey or non.
So any issues with it and your really going to have problems.

The hydraulic system is also unique to that series, and very few parts are available.

Model with similar build, would be the L355SS that has a V1701 in it.

There are much better models with much better engines in the next series, 50 series (not there is 2 runs of the 50 series, this series has the Dxx02 Vxx02, Vxx03 and Fxx03 engines in them.

Older 50 smaller series run L2050, L2250, L2550, L2850
Older 50 larger series run L3250, L3350, L3750, L4150
Newer 50 smaller series L2350, L2650, L2950, L3450, L3650
Newer 50 larger series L4350, L4850, L5450
 
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Mark_BX25D

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I'm just looking at factory numbers. When you're reaping 41hp from a boosted 1500cc, that's something!
Basically, the same hp as a naturally aspirated engine with 27% more displacement!

That's nice when you're playing with a hot rod for racing. You expect to blow up engines. It's just part of the game.


When you have actual work to do, not so much.
 

PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,053
1,081
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NZ
How many Kubota platforms will accommodate engines ranging between 25hp and 40+hp that are essentially bolt-in swaps? Not many. When you're playing around with discontinued stuff, that can be a good question to ask, dependability and reliability not withstanding.
Actually, kinda many.
- The B comes in 26hp and 31hp. You can swap one for the other I think
- The LX comes in 26hp and 33hp
- The L comes in 25, 33, 38, 47 hp
- the Grand L comes in 35, 42, 57 (at least in NZ, I have a feeling US HP levels are different)

Pretty much every model they've made for 20 years or so had different HP specs available, sometimes same engine with different turbo, sometimes different capacities on a substantially similar engine.
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
275
203
43
SE Pennsylvania
Your taking a HUGE risk even buying a L4202 if you can find one.

I don't have any factory specs and I have not seen a manual on one of these or seen one in person, But based on years built I'm pretty sure that will be a V1501 not an 02 engine, and the parts do not directly cross over.

It's also a grey market tractor and any dealer help will be non existent.
That's the minor setback to that model.

The transmission is one of a kind, none of the parts cross over to to any other tractor, grey or non.
So any issues with it and your really going to have problems.

The hydraulic system is also unique to that series, and very few parts are available.
Appreciate the reply, Wolfman,
Just for fun, I searched "Kubota 4202" on Youtube. Dozens of videos of L4202s for sale....in Vietnam. Was great to see and hear them running around. Great looking tractor! I did notice that the operators struggled with shifting, and there were some mysterious clunks coming from the transmission at clutch engagement. One of the videos had a shot of the LR fender, with a sticker on it: "DOUBLE CLUTCH". Hmmm. Complexity. There was a shot of the brake pedals in one video, and cast into them is this:
"Sunshine Tractor". There are also badges on the grille and on the rear: "Sunshine". Strange name for a tractor!

I'm pretty sure the L4202 had the VT1502 engine. There were many underhood shots in the videos, and there it was, the turbocharger, on the L side, near the top of the motor.

The other thing I noticed is that there very few FELs shown. The one that actually looked "Kubota" had the model number sticker on it, maybe in Thai or Indonesian. I couldn't decipher it. Can post a screen shot, but it's kind of moot, because your posting has convinced me that, even if I could find one in the US, I'm not going to find the parts support, or the implements that I need for it without some cobbling. Not really into that....

Thanks,
-Paul
 

mikester

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Since you are asking for opinions I will honestly say I don't want one of those, I'd rather have one of these utility tractors with 130 front and rear PTO HP
1673442941857.png