Straight From the Horse's Mouth - The final chapter

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artfull dodger

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About artfull dodger

  • Rank
    Aspie tractor nut case
  • Birthday 03/12/1973

Wheel Horse Information

  • tractors
    1968 Wheel Horse Commando 8, Autism Awareness special, Yanmar Diesel powered!
  • favoritemodel
    Commando 8

Profile Information

  • Location
    Kokomo, IN
  • Occupation
    factory worker
  • Interests
    Model trains, antique garden tractors, RC cars and promoting autism awareness and acceptance.

Recent Profile Visitors

1,592 profile views
  1. What have you done on your WH today?

    I put the Horse into her winter cloths today.
  2. Custom mount heat shield

    It odd that that series had the nice 520 style muffler, it even has mounting lugs for a heat shield, yet there wasnt one from the factory. Wonder if it was a dealer option back in the day for those. My 312-8 always needed a nice shield like that. Looks awsome! Mike the Aspie
  3. For those wanting an air cooled diesel to repower with

    I would just make sure you can "end load" the PTO bearing on that Vtwin diesel. The Yanmar engines that the single cylinders are cloned from cannot handle the end load that is applied to the crankshaft when the Wheelhorse PTO clutch is disengaged. Of coarse, you can go over to a electric PTO clutch and solve that problem. I do not know anybody that has taken the chance on that V twin diesel yet. The singles are hit and miss. Carroll Stream Motors out of Michigan seems to have about the best reputation in the USA for quality on thier clones. They also have the "Chonda" clone gas engines(Honda clones). The biggest thing is to first drain any crankcase oil out that is in them, then only run them a few min at idle after filling with oil, and change it again and flush the oil pickup screen if so equipted(some have this feature). Getting any remaining debris out of the crankcase is key to giving them a fighting chance. I had two of the Carroll Stream 4.5hp diesels(no longer imported due to EPA regs) and both ran fine after dealing with a few minor fuel leaks/loose fittings. One is in a RS members round hood somewhere in northern Indiana. I chose to go with a genuine(which I have less $$ in than a clone) as my horse at that time was a worker and source of income. Potentially throwing away a bit over 500 bucks on a clone that might or might not live more than a few hours while cutting grass was not an option. Mike
  4. Wheelhorse slot hitch plow

    Looking for one of the smaller Wheelhorse slot hitch moldboard plows. Such as would have been used behind the Suburbans and early short frame tractors. Can be rusty/dirty as long as its complete and the plow share/point is in good condition. Somewhat close to Kokomo, IN/Indianapolis area would be helpful or able to be brought to the fall Portland IN swap meet next month.
  5. My very special Horse finally found its way home

    I also agree with filling up with diesel, it will soak into all the "stuck" internal parts. Then tip up and let drain for awhile out in the hot sun. Put oil back in it and if you have the engine running at that point, see if she will move in whatever gear you can put it in(engine in idle). Things might free up with some gentle working, but like said, do not "force" anything. Glad to she her home and cannot wait to see your progress bringing her back to life again. Mike the Aspie
  6. Did I blow up my K532?

    If its still got a crankcase vacuum driven fuel pump, the internal diaphrams go bad and let fuel pump down thru the vacuum line into the crank. Sounds like a complete going over of the fue system and removal of the cylinder head tins and inspection of the flywheel side of the cylinder jug cooling fins is in order. Fuel in the oil is WAY BAD, totaly toxic to bearings and will thin out the oil and help with making smoke. IS the crankcase overfilled due to gas in the oil? That can also cause smoke as the oil level will be above the level of the piston bores. Change oil before running engine any more and find where its(the gas) coming from. You can get an inexpensive laser heat temp gun at Harbor Freight (paid 10 bucks for mine), great for reading cylinder head temps to see if carb is running lean. Ignition point timing can also cause some of the issues. You can start with the book setting, but with wear of the plunger and lobe on the cam, the sweet spot is found thru trial and error. The ebay special carbs are special alright and I am not a fan of them, Your better off to find a NOS carb rebuild kit and go thru the original carb, it will be time well spent! Buddy has one those speical ones on his 16hp single K series, cannot find a good spot where it will idle smooth, and not surge at mid RPM and and full throttle, as well as stumble. I have been thru it twice. I have his original carb on the bench now getting rebuilt. Once it back on the engine, that special will go right in the bin. I prefer OEM Kohler or Onan parts whenever possible. They are worth the price of not doing the repair again, do it right the first time. This comes from someone who until recently spent the better part of my life wrenching on these as a profession. Mike
  7. What have you done on your WH today?

    Did this a couple days ago, will let the picture speak for the rest! Show bound tomorrow, new pics tomorrow night
  8. For those wanting an air cooled diesel to repower with

    This engine would be a tad small for the big 520h. Do keep in mind that you CANNOT use the WH style clutch on these. The crankshaft PTO end bearing is not designed to be "end loaded", which is what that clutch does when it is disengaged. You would have to use an electric PTO clutch on that style of Horse. She gets lots of attention at shows as at idle, she sounds much like a Kohler with a horrible rod knock. So unless they catch a wiff of the exhaust, they look at it like its gonna blow up. I either goose the throttle and roll some coal, or stop and open the hood. Many do not even realize these little diesels are around. She is extremely fuel effecient and if the battery goes flat, a quick pull of the rope fires her right up. Mike
  9. For those wanting an air cooled diesel to repower with

    I got mine for just over 400 shipped to my door. You can keep the clones. Seen more issues with long term durablity from those that can be had these days. BIG roll of the dice as some clones are decent, others are total trash and fail quickly. Just depends which factory made it and many factories produce for the same importer. So its a total crap shot. These little Yanmars are from Military surplus, most have little use on them. Haven't really heard of any being totaly doa. Watch the sellers on ebay carefully, some do test run them, others do not. I would roll the dice on a genuine Yanmar over a clone any day. Parts are easy to find and you know the core parts such as block, crankshaft, rod and bearings are of good quality. Something that is severely lacking in most of the clones. I have seen reports of cam bearings going bad, cam lobs wearing flat(cam not hardened properly), loss of compression due to cylinder walls quickly wearing ect (this is on clones not Genuine Yanmar). The cost of one of these new will make you take a step back and rethink why the clone is $600 and the real thing is over $3000! Makes teh $500 or less for a surplus engine a bargain IMHO BTW, absolutly no issues with mine. Been putting 5-6 hours a week cutting grass on her since finishing the project. Only change has been a nicer muffler set up as I found a better muffler to rig up over the original set up I made. All the parts needed to make one ready for tractor duty is on ebay. They are: 12vt starter, taper shaft to keyed shaft adaptor(1 in shaft for this model of Horse), stator charging kit with voltage regulator and a muffler of your choice. If the engine had beem missing the recoil unit, they are on there as well. But mine had it. Mike
  10. Thanks to a fellow member here, my Autism Horse now sports one of Glen's older cast resin horse head hood ornaments. Came to me as raw resin casting. I had to shorten the "tail" a bit to match the stock hood ornament length and to keep clear of the custom lettering on the hood decal. First paint coat after a light sanding was grey primer. After that cured overnight, a coat of semi gloss black. The following morning, the coat of chrome paint was applied. Once dry I found some self tapping screws and mounted the ornament and its rubber base to the hood. Turned out pretty good. Mike
  11. Any fall WH shows/meet & greets in Indiana this fall??

    I am very supprised there hasn't been a large Indiana based show developed, espically up near South Bend. Since this was home base for Wheel Horse for so many years. I agree, not to take away from the big show, but not everybody can take enough time off work to drive that far. Plenty of places in Indiana for a huge WH show to be developed. The local club hosts a summer show at the Greentown IN 4H fairgrounds. Its become a bit of a flop at the moment, but the grounds are really nice and would be a good place to sort of "take over" with a herd of Horses. Mike the Aspie
  12. First post first mower

    Excellent deal and nice tractor. I have also had one of those exact models over the years. And yes, Horses like to stay in herds and you will find yourself wanting add more to your "stable". That is a Garden Tractor, where as those others are just lawn tractors. That 312 can do much more than mow the yard! Welcome to the group. Mike the Aspie
  13. Is this a famous tractor?

    I would not be to supprised if in the familys photo albums there is a picture of Mary on the Horse or with the Horse in the background of a picture. But you would have to know someone in her family to ever know if that photo exhists. Would be way cool if it was so. We have seen the pictures in the WH book of other well known people on or being given a Wheel Horse. So it is entirely possible. Nothing wrong with the Tecumseh, i am not a huge fan either, thier carbs are espically tempermental for me. But for show duty they will do just fine once running again. If the techy did the duty this long, no reason it cannot keep doing it. I would have some fun getting it running again, 4 good tires and fresh fluids. They type up the history as told to you and display her at shows, maybe at the bottom post if anybody knows more to the story that you would like to speak with them. Mike the Aspie
  14. Requiem for an "Army" Commando 8

    I bet some PB blaster or soda pop(cant remember if its coke or pepsi) will help free up a stuck piston. I bet that old girl can come back to life again. I have gotten worse running again. Interesting that some Commando 8's had and some didnt have the Hi/Lo rear ends. My Autism Horse is a 1968 Commando 8 with the Hi/Lo range. Good luck on the Horse, the back story would make it special to me. Mike the Aspie
  15. Best running RPM for a 60" deck

    You want it at 3600 with the deck running, + or - 50rpm. Running under this rpm risks overheating the engine. They are designed to be run this way, one to make rated torque and two, to move enough air to cool them. Basic small air cooled engine 101. You definatly do not want to overheat an Onan, that gets expensive quickly as bad things happen. When I set RPMs on a small engine, I shoot for about 3700ish no load. While this is a bit overspeed, its ok. I want to see it fall back and maintain at the 3600 range I typed above with the deck running in the shop. Then the Gov will maintain that, or should, when the deck is working in the grass. This will keep the engine, doesn't matter the brand or model of air cooled engine, in its power band and at proper cooling temps. Also, do not rely on that dash gauge, get a proper tach to set engine rpms. They sell them just for that, look like a pocket calculator or you have the Tiny Tach that B&S sells in ther parts selection. I would use that till I know that dash tach is correct when compared to a known accurate tach. Mike Should just be a throttle stop or cable adjustment on the Onan to get her back to full power. If you haven't done a cylinder head decarbon and valve lifter adjustment, you need to research that ASAP, very important to the life of the Onan twin. Mike 30+ years of small engine work