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Cadmandu

M12 verses the K301

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Hi All,

I am looking at my first Wheel Horse today. It has a Magnum 12 Kohler engine. He thinks it is a 1985 but the 85 and 86 should have a K301.

So either it is a 87 or newer or an engine swap. My question is the K301 a better engine than the M12?

Thanks

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The basic structure of the K series is same as the M series.If there is any advantage of the M over the K it would have to be the solid state ignition on the M.I have and have worked on both series and think either should serve you well.JMHO,JAinVA

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:WRS:

Basically the same engine with different ignition systems.

Edited by wallfish
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Looks just like my '86 312-8, so it probably a transplanted m-12. If the serial numbers are still readable, you can check that way. Nothing wrong with the M series engines, but if the electronic ignition fails,(which is not often) it can be pricey to repair

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My experience has been they both run well, but the Ms require more cranking to start.   Not sure, but this slow starting may be due to fuel drain back to the lower under the seat fuel tank location  with the M powered tractors.    :twocents-02cents:.

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The Magnums are great powerplants that's for sure. .......  BUT, there is something the K's have in terms of easier starting and overall power that I don't experience with the Magnums. Its probably just me. The next member here could honestly say the exact opposite and I would not take issue with that. So should you buy the 312? If it runs well, drives well, and there is no problem with the transmission, then yes unless it's severely overpriced.

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The slower start issue might have more to do with the carburetor than the engine itself. I think most of the Magnums came with a fixed jet carb and have bigger or more holes in the choke plate too.

As a test, remove the air cleaner and choke it with your palm while starting and see if it starts much quicker than using the usual choke. Easier done with 2 people..

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That one has the dash warning lights, look behind the positive post on the battery. So that alone tells me this 312 came with the Magnum originally.

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Definitely not an '85.

 

1985 312-8 models did not offer the soft-grip steering wheel, or tail lights. The tags on the tunnel cover where the shift levers are, and the front of the fender pan below the seat are both newer styles.

 

The '85 models also did not have the "V" support for the grille.

 

I would check the serial number, but I suspect the tractor is pretty much original, and most likely an '87.

 

Battery is also wrong for the machine. Should be right-hand positive post. Battery is in backwards, and is a right-hand negative post type. The right-hand positive is harder to find, at least around these parts.

 

As far as durability, never heard anything wrong about the M-Series. Personally, I don't like the squared-off covers. I also don't mind changing points on the K301, and the multiple adjustments on the carb. are also fine with me.

 

Note too, that the belt cover on the deck is missing.

 

About any model of 312-8 is a damned fine tractor. I spent around 4 hours on my '85 yesterday mowing waist high weeds at my rural property. Tractor has never been overhauled as far as I can tell, and is 31 years old. Never missed a beat, and did a beautiful job. Had to spend 15 minutes blowing the weeds and dust off with compressed air after I was done, and then give it a bath once I got home. The only thing worn out at the end of the day, was me. EVERYTHING ached when I got up this morning.

 

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Hello and  :text-welcomeconfetti:  Cadmandu.    Enjoy the forum!   :handgestures-thumbupright:

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Thanks guys,

I went to look at the tractor today. It is a 1987 21-12K804 / 20467

He wanted 950.00 and I offered him 1K for it and a set of chains and this blade. He said noway, what is this all worth. I drove it and it ran and shifted well. One of the test lights was missing and like you guys noticed the deck covers.

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How much did he want for the whole package?

Also how many hours on the meter? 

Edited by Wheel-N-It

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The blade is in good condition. ~300. The piece that attaches to rear axle is 50-75 by itself in good condition.

 

IMO 1k is fair for package unless low hours. Hard to say for certain just from photo. Could be worth more.

 

If no hour meter it's harder to say without a closer inspection.

 

1k should not have been so low as to not elicit a counter offer from the fella. 

 

I wonder if he is a Redsquare fella himself?

 

 

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21 hours ago, wallfish said:

The slower start issue might have more to do with the carburetor than the engine itself. I think most of the Magnums came with a fixed jet carb and have bigger or more holes in the choke plate too.

As a test, remove the air cleaner and choke it with your palm while starting and see if it starts much quicker than using the usual choke. Easier done with 2 people..

My  1991  312H  with the magnum12  has adjustable jets in the carb.

I tried the full choke with my palm as you suggested John and I still had to crank is quite awhile.    I did notice after a short crank, I had fuel on my hand dispelling my thought that the fuel was draining back to the tank.    Here's the good news, with the air cleaner off, I noticed the throttle cable was improperly adjust causing the governor spring to actually put negative tension on the governor lever at idle throttle.    I readjusted the throttle cable  and the magnum now starts nearly as quickly as my Ks.     Thanks John.

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3 hours ago, Ed Kennell said:

My  1991  312H  with the magnum12  has adjustable jets in the carb.

I tried the full choke with my palm as you suggested John and I still had to crank is quite awhile.    I did notice after a short crank, I had fuel on my hand dispelling my thought that the fuel was draining back to the tank.    Here's the good news, with the air cleaner off, I noticed the throttle cable was improperly adjust causing the governor spring to actually put negative tension on the governor lever at idle throttle.    I readjusted the throttle cable  and the magnum now starts nearly as quickly as my Ks.  

Hmmm, guess I'll have to take a closer look at mine again. It's a M18 that starts slow and when I palm it, it starts right up, but maybe it's something else like you are explaining. Doubt it's the same thing since the throttle is usually at full when starting.  Maybe an air leak??? I also thought the fuel was siphoning back to the tank too or the bowl was leaking but that's not the case.

Do you usually start your engines at idle? Maybe I should try that too.

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Yeah John, for cold starts, most of mine seem to start best at full choke and just a little throttle, then open the choke as soon as it fires..   If I get a contrary one like this mag 12 was, I try everything.  I'm thinking because the throttle/governor cable was not set correctly, I may have actually been flooding the engine.

  The only other mag I had was a 1995 314H.  I sold that one at the show this summer because it was slow starting... now I wonder?  governor.

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I guess I'm not into WH that new, but unless it has 100 hrs on it, the tractor in my opinion isn't worth more than $400 tops, the blades can be bought for $100-200 all day long you can buy new chains for $50-$100 I think that this tractor is way overpriced but its my :twocents-02cents:. I would say keep looking.

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Maybe I'm cheap, but I try to get the most tractor for the money.I have yet to pay over $500.00 for any Wheel Horse in the last 2 yrs.I bought a 120 from the local WH used back in 1986.That served me well for years but I needed it and it in my mind it was overpriced.

Deals are out there,but if you buy based on your heart than rather your head you may not have the funds at hand when the screaming deals do come up.JAinVA

Edited by JAinVA
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What everyone else said... I prefer the K's myself, one reason is they just look better... IMHO the Magnums look kinda goofy.:hide:

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I have both engines in use on tractors now, K series and Magnums. I have the old style kohler carbs on both engines and electric fuel pumps on both. They start right up and both run fine. I think the old K series is a little easier to work on especially the starter mostly because it's easier to get to and remove.  ( IMO )      :twocents-02cents:

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I'd pass on that one, it has the weaker Eaton trans in it and IMO its no bargain. If you want to go hydro you want the Eaton 1100.

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                                                                       :text-yeahthat:

    FYI  Cadmandu,  manual lifts like this tractor have the Eaton 700 and those equipped with the hydraulic lift will have the better Eaton 1100 hydro.

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Thanks so much for the help and telling me that it is no bargain. I have a lot to learn about finding, and buying at the right price a good horse. How could you tell from the add that it had the 700 Eaton just by the lift mechanism/

JC mentioned this : "I have both engines in use on tractors now, K series and Magnums. I have the old style kohler carbs on both engines and electric fuel pumps on both." What are the older style carbs and do the 85 and 86 312-8 have electric fuel pums or did he install them? Are they vacuum or gravity feed instead? Do the K301 engines have oil pumps or just slap and slosh? It is hard not to just run out and get one but I need a snow blade and a red horse so I have till November. Thanks for all your help in my hunt. Why does it seem that WH has all the attachments and cub cadet has almost none?

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