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nrowles

Hard Starting 1981 C-145

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Geno is right in that your problem is highly unlikely to be the type gas. The problem with the ethanol fuel is apparently a cumulative effect with older fuel lines decaying and the build-up talked about in the carbs 'guts'. And - at least seems to me - some equipment doesnt seem to be affected as much as others - I have a 25 year old Yard Man rider and have never touched the fuel system and it runs like a top ... go figure.

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Yup! All gasoline unless marketed and sold as Non-Ethanol added fuel, (aviation fuel as well), contains ethanol at the pump. Ethanol is an alcohol and alcohol attracts water and that is just plain bad! Over time, using low octane unleaded <10% ethanol added gasoline will attract water and ethanol along with methanol and isopropyl alcohol is much harder on gas lines than non-alcohol added fuels. I also wonder if the geniuses that add the ethanol at the depots and distribution centers are good at math. I bought some stuff that I should have shot in the GC at work to determine if I had more than 10% ethanol. Since alcohol is soluble in water, there is most likely a small percentage of water in our tractors all the time. This will gum up a carburetor. And gasoline over 90 days old in spring/summer and fall temps is most likely on the verge of going bad. It's not as bad in the winter months. My 50 dollar Wheelhorse sat with a half a tank of gasoline for over a year and maybe closer to two years before I got it home. The tank had a good cap and was under a seat so some water came in through the cap vent but just by condensation in the air space of the tank, that gas had four distinct layers when I poured it out into a glass flask and let it sit overnight. It smelled like my 2nd week of hunting camp a##!

 

If you use your tractors often, keep the tank(s) full or close to full and buy a good higher octane gasoline every other tank, I personally don't see issues. If they sit.................issues!

 

PS..........Make sure your fuel filter is for a pressurized fuel system and I have seen some new spark plugs come out of their packaging with the gap all over the place. Just makes sense to gap it at .025" when you install a new plug.

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Well guys I think my worst fear may have come true with this.  I'm only getting 30 on compression.  A couple sources tell me that's not good.  I used a handheld gauge that had to be held tight with rubber end.    This is a K321.  What should compression be?  Why did it just now rear up its ugly head when it got cold?  If this is in fact low compression, what are the possibly causes?

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I should also add that I rebuilt the carb last night.  The thing really appeared spotless to me.  But after rebuilding the carb and putting all needles back to setting per the owners manual it did act like it wanted to start a little better but still wouldn't.  Before it was giving me 1 or 2 puts before it gave up.  Now it's giving me 4 or 5 puts before it gives up.  Then this morning tested compression to 30.  Tried ether because I'm getting extremely frustrated and it acted the same as if I were trying to start it.  Couple puts and nothing.  Buddy told me to spray some penetrating oil around head gasket to see if it is drawing air.

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So that pretty well tells what is wrong :eek: Would definitely make for hard start! If you wanna try it, take your oil can and squirt 2-3 good squirts into the spark plug hole and re-check the comp. If rings are bad you should see an increase in comp, if valves you wont. Wont change anything, still gonna have to do a tear-down. Since you said it wasnt a smoker, just might be a valve...

 

At least now you know where to go next -- and just think, when you get the valve/rings/etc corrected you'll have a ready to go fuel system :woohoo:

Edited by pacer

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Pacer.....so your would not consider head gasket as my friend thought could be a cause?  I sprayed some good penetrating oil in the spark plug hole, quite a bit actually.  Waited 5 minutes and checked.  It went up maybe 2-3 psi.  Did I wait long enough?  Is that what type of increase you were thinking or would it be more?  I can recheck in about 8 hrs when we get back from our holiday out.  Would that give a better indicator of increase in compression if I wait a bit?

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you said that you used a compression gauge with a rubber tip that you have to hold in the hole are you sure you got a good seal ? i know from starting a lot of old kohlers with low compression you have to open the throttle all the way open to get them to start    :twocents-02cents: but my opion and a dollar might buy you a cup of coffee :ROTF: 

 

 

 

 

eric j 

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OOPs, yeah a head gasket would indeed do it, when you get the tin off you generally will see an oily area at some place around the perimeter between the head and block -- but not always.....

 

The oil in the cylinder would need to be a thicker type like engine oil - put the plug back in and check it right then. The idea is for the oil to act a a temporary 'seal' between the cyl and piston indicating bad rings. If left the oil will creep down the cyl walls and negate the seal.

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Stop fooling around with it and remove the head. Probably needs to have the carbon removed from the head and block. Then put a new head gasket on it and torque it to specifications. When you remove the head, take some photos of the top of the block. That will tell us a lot as to what is going on.

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Nick has a good point, it's gonna have to come apart anyway.   :)

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I put some motor oil in the spark plug hole.  Motor wouldn't even turn over with plug in (battery is not the best).  So I took the plug out, started turning the motor and put the gauge on the hole and it was reading 50 psi when previously it was 30.  So from what you say this indicates seals.  Hopefully it stops at that.  The money is piling up in this rig.

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Does this engine not have  automatic decompression like the older Kohlers ? 

If so getting an accurate compression reading is very difficult .

 

Did you try the starting fluid trick ? 

Edited by Digger 66

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Does this engine not have  automatic decompression like the older Kohlers ? 

If so getting an accurate compression reading is very difficult .

 

Did you try the starting fluid trick ? 

 

I wouldn't know the answer to your first question.  I will say that the compression reading was very consistent at 30.  When I put the oil in the plug hole it went up to 50.

 

By starting fluid trick, if you mean do a quick spray in carb throat while turning over then yes I did.  It responded the same exact way as if I were trying to start it normally.  It would give me a few puts like it wanted to start and then nothing.

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I put some motor oil in the spark plug hole.  Motor wouldn't even turn over with plug in (battery is not the best).  So I took the plug out, started turning the motor and put the gauge on the hole and it was reading 50 psi when previously it was 30.  So from what you say this indicates seals.  Hopefully it stops at that.  The money is piling up in this rig.

Please do the following.....

 

Stop fooling around with it and remove the head. Probably needs to have the carbon removed from the head and block. Then put a new head gasket on it and torque it to specifications. When you remove the head, take some photos of the top of the block. That will tell us a lot as to what is going on.

Before you replace the gasket...take pics and post....

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You guys have really been a help and I appreciate it.  I know this thread is getting beat to death but I would like to let you guys know where I'm at.  Being a novice, I want to cover everything before I start taking the motor apart because that will most likely be a major pain in the behind for me and I don't really have a good place to do it.  Cold, dirty, cramped shed with stone ground.

 

I pulled up the service manual on this engine. 

 

1.  The carb settings in the owners guide do not specify by motor (it covers many models) and were way different than what my motor states in the chart (shows a line for each model) in the service manual.  The service manual agrees much more closely to what they were when I pulled the carb off.  But after making the carb adjustments I cannot get motor to turn over as explained in #3 below.

 

2.  Like somebody previously mentioned and per the service manual, this motor has automatic release compression stating it will have a lower compression when starting and that it is hard to get an accurate compression reading due to this feature.  It says to use a vacuum gauge to get an accurate reading, which I plan to do.  After adding the oil to the spark plug hole, compression gauge is reading more though so still seems like it may be seals.

 

3.  Ever since I put oil in the spark plug hole, I can't get the engine to turn over with the plug in.  I put a new charged battery in it and that didn't help any.  Could there be too much compression now?  Could the starter be worn?  The starter actually "smoked" this morning because I held the key for about 3 seconds without it turning.  Probably not good.  When I first put the oil in the plug hole I couldn't get the motor to turn with the compression gauge in either.  I had to start turning the motor and then put the gauge in while it was already turning.

 

I guess at this point I'm trying to get the motor to turn with the spark plug in so I can try to start it now that I made some carb adjustments.  I will also need it to turn so I can get a vacuum test. 

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 Could there be too much compression now? 

 

Could the starter be worn? 

 

The starter actually "smoked" this morning because I held the key for about 3 seconds without it turning.  

 

When I first put the oil in the plug hole I couldn't get the motor to turn with the compression gauge in either.  I had to start turning the motor and then put the gauge in while it was already turning.

 

 

 

Not likely 

 

Yes , but not likely either .

 

The issue with slow or weak turn-over sounds to me like the cranking circuit is not completing correctly . ( insufficient ground ) .

Take a set of jumper cables , scratch & connect one of them to one of the head bolts & the other end of the same cable to the - ( negative ) post of the battery , then see how she rolls over .

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I always thought this tractor cranked really slow.  Maybe that's the problem and now that the engine has more compression due to my temporary seal of putting the oil down the spark plug hole it wont crank at all.  And why this problem started when it got cold.  Just another thought.  I guess I'm reaching for anything at this point before tearing motor apart.  Possibly something in the starting system?

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Possibly something in the starting system?

 

Do this : Then post back .

 

Take a set of jumper cables , scratch & connect one of them ( black ) to one of the head bolts & the other end of the same cable ( black ) to the - ( negative ) post of the battery , then see how she rolls over .

If there's no change in cranking speed , connect the ( red ) end of the other jumper to the positive (+) terminal on the starter , then the other ( red ) end to the + ( positive terminal ) on the battery .

 

Edited by Digger 66

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dumb question HOW much oil did you put down the spark plug hole just a couple of drops is all you need almost sounds like you are hydro locking with the plug in, take the plug out and spin the motor over several cranks and see if it blows oil out plug hole then retry with plug in after it spins out the excess oil. if this is the problem you might have to clean the excess oil of the plug with carb cleaner

 

 

 

 

eric j 

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I never thought of hydrolock .

I would have assumed that he only used a drop or two.

Edited by Digger 66

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You are being a bit hardheaded about this. I and several others told you to remove the head and take some photos but you seem to want to go in another direction. Asking for advice and then ignoring it will do you no good. Most us us speak from experience. Since you admit you are a novice, the smartest thing to do is follow directions from those who have been there and done that.  

 

Smoke coming from the starter is not a good thing and you may have burned the starter up. It doesn't take much to do that, especially when it is old. Now you have to see if it still will do the job.

 

First remove the plug and turn the engine over till it stops throwing oil out of the plug hole. Check the oil in the crankcase to make sure that it is not overfilled. Put the plug back in and try to turn the engine over by hand. You should be able to do this even though you will get a considerable amount of resistance. You will have to force it past top dead center on the compression stroke. If you can turn it by hand, then try to start it with the key and the plug in. Make sure you are using a hot battery. If it turns over at the normal speed. the starter is most likely OK.  

 

You will not get an accurate reading with that type of gage. You should have one that screws into the plug hole for a good reading.  

 

Now pull the head and take the photos.

Edited by km3h
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You are being a bit hardheaded about this. I and several others told you to remove the head and take some photos but you seem to want to go in another direction. Asking for advice and then ignoring it will do you no good. Most us us speak from experience. Since you admit you are a novice, the smartest thing to do is follow directions from those who have been there and done that.  

 

Smoke coming from the starter is not a good thing and you may have burned the starter up. It doesn't take much to do that, especially when it is old. Now you have to see if it still will do the job.

 

First remove the plug and turn the engine over till it stops throwing oil out of the plug hole. Check the oil in the crankcase to make sure that it is not overfilled. Put the plug back in and try to turn the engine over by hand. You should be able to do this even though you will get a considerable amount of resistance. You will have to force it past top dead center on the compression stroke. If you can turn it by hand, then try to start it with the key and the plug in. Make sure you are using a hot battery. If it turns over at the normal speed. the starter is most likely OK.  

 

You will not get an accurate reading with that type of gage. You should have one that screws into the plug hole for a good reading.  

 

Now pull the head and take the photos.

 

I understand what you are saying and I am not being hard headed about this and I'm not ignoring.  Even though taking the head off may be a simple task for you, it is not for me.  In addition to having never done it before, I'm working in a cramped, dirty shed.  I would at least like to get the engine to turn over well with the adjusted carb before replacing the gasket.  If it doesn't start after this I'm on board with replacing the head gasket.  I actually called first thing this morning to make sure the shop had one. 

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You know Sandra and I love you Nick but chill.  :laughing-rolling:   Not everyone can move as fast as you.  :laughing-rolling:   You know it also gets a little confusing around here sometimes.  :handgestures-thumbsup:

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it could be time for a vavle job can you hear a lot of air coming out of the muffler when it in compresson stroke its goin to leak out a little because of the ACR or thay could just need adjusted

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