Re: sab motor with varable pitch prop
Hi Marty, I've just seen your post and joined so that I could shed some light for you, hopefully! The SABB diesel is a very reliable but pretty agricultural piece of equipment. Having said that I would not swap mine (18HP with the VPP).
The origin of the VPP was for Norwegian fishing boats which went out empty and came home full - hence requiring a different pitch on the prop. The key to ease of use is to set the idle speed as low as possible, preferably around 400 rpm (with prop engaged) as this makes the transition from forward to astern quite simple. If you try to move the Pitch lever with more than about 700 rpm you will find it quite challenging! The Instruction Manual tells you that there is to be at least 15 degrees of free play in the governor (throttle) before you get any response. You can set this quite easily. There is a domed not at the rear of the engine which contains a threaded bolt which increases pressure on the governor. You'll need an Allen Key to screw this in and/or out.
Hope this helps.
P.S. You don't have to be Amish to enjoy the SABB but it would help!!