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How to Select a Small Engine Replacement Motor

For most people, saving money is an important part of everyday life. When your shop equipment, poultry equipment or dairy equipment engine goes out, purchasing a brand new piece of machinery is usually not an option. A better way to save money is to find a replacement engine at Tractor Supply Co. Whether it can be found in-stock or special order, Tractor Supply has the replacement motor you need.

What Types of Motors are Available at Tractor Supply?

Tractor Supply carries 3 different types of replacement motors that cover a broad range of applications, including:

Air Compressors

Most air compressor motors range from 2-5 horsepower (HP) and feature a drip-proof (DP) enclosure. These small engine motors rotate in a clockwise (CW) direction and are suitable for conveyers, table saws, auger feeders, fans, barn cleaners, silo unloaders, and dairy and poultry equipment. A 6 1/2 HP model engine, designed to replace the motors of most residential and commercial air compressors, features higher torque, or turning power, and can rotate in both directions.

Farm Duty Motors

Smaller farm duty motors (1/4 - 1/2 HP) feature totally enclosed, non-ventilated (TENV) enclosures. They are suitable for exhaust fans that have the fan blade mounted on the shaft of the motor. TENV motors require airflow to pass over the case of the motor. Larger farm duty motors feature totally enclosed, fan-cooled (TEFC) enclosures. They have high-torque designs suitable for conveyors, silo unloaders, auger feeders, barn cleaners, and fans.

Versatile Motors Suitable for Both Farm and Shop Duty

Tractor Supply Company also offers a line of high-torque motors suitable for shop or farm duty. All of these have a TEFC enclosure. They are suitable for conveyors, table saws, auger feeders, fans, barn cleaners, silo unloaders, and dairy and poultry equipment.

Some farm duty or shop motors are factory wired for counterclockwise (CCW) rotation and with 115V cords, though they are convertible to CW or 230V operation. They are suitable for conveyors, table saws, augers, band saws, and bench grinders.

All GE replacement motors all share the following quality features:

  • Ball bearings, allowing belt loads without damaging the motor.
  • Most are dual wired for 115V or 230V.
  • All motors have an overload sensor on the motor to prevent overheating, and a reset button.

Visit your local Tractor Supply Co. store and speak with an expert team member to determine what type of motor you need.

Selecting the Right Motor

Ask yourself these questions when deciding on the right replacement motor:

What do you need the motor for?

Depending on your application, you will require different amounts of torque. In general, higher RPMs (in the 3450 range) have less torque than motors with RPMs in the 1800 range. That means that a load may prevent a motor with higher RPMs from reaching its optimal speed and doing the required work. On the other hand, a motor with too much torque for an application will operate inefficiently; it is important to find the right match for your application.

In general, the farm duty and farm and shop duty motors have more torque than air compressor models. Always check the shelf labels for the motor to make sure that it suits the application you have in mind.

Where are you going to use it?

The type of enclosure you need will depend on whether you are going to use the replacement motor indoors or outdoors.

  • Totally enclosed, fan-cooled (TEFC) enclosures suit both environments. Air and moisture do not enter a TEFC enclosure.
  • A drip proof (DP) enclosure provides some protection from moisture but is still susceptible to corrosion from air and weather. It is not suited to high-moisture environments.

What voltage do you need?

If you are going to use standard electrical service, you will need a motor that can use 115V power. Certain air compressor models are wired only for 230V power. Always check the shelf labels for the motor to make sure that it suits your power situation.

Which way does your motor turn?

All motors either turn clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW). To determine which way your GE replacement motor needs to turn, face the back end of your existing motor, with the shaft pointing away from you. Determine if the motion is clockwise or counterclockwise. Check the GE motor housing or its shelf label to determine if a motor turns CW, CCW, or is capable of either.

What is the correct frame size?

Remember to consider the dimensions of the motor frame. Two 1.5 HP motors may have different frame sizes and one may not fit where you need it to go!

How will you mount the motor?

Motor housings can be base-mounted, mounted on studs, or the base might be welded in place. Consider the preferred mounting system for your application and make sure the motor you have in mind meets those specifications.

Other Supplies You May Need to Replace Your Small Engine

  • Belts
  • Belt dressing
  • Pulleys
  • Extension cords
  • Electric wire
  • Motor mounting hardware
  • Toggle switch
  • 3-in-1 electric motor oil

For more information about buying a replacement engine from Tractor Supply, call or visit your local store and an expert team member will be happy to assist you.