Jump to content
JoeB

Fixing my c120 auto

Recommended Posts

Good morning,

This is my first post.  Several years ago I bought a c120 auto and have used it to mow and snowplow with great success.  The other night in the midst of a snow storm I was in a hurry to get going, and didn't check the oil and didn't give the engine enough time to warm up.  Result seems to be a broken connecting rod, since it cranks now much faster than it did before and won't start when it was a terrific starter before.

So I'm looking for ways to repair the damage I've done.  I really love the tractor, comparing it to modern ones that feel like tin foil convinces me that I want to fix this iron horse.

I am in southwest Michigan, and looking for help.

thanks in advance.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:WRS:  I would say that you are looking at a couple of choices. Rebuild the engine you have or look for a different engine.

(1 rebuild) Here is one source for rebuild kits http://www.psep.biz/store/kohler_rebuild_kits.htm

You would want to disassemble your engine to inspect and measure every thing before ordering a kit. You need to make sure that there are no cracks in the block or unrepairable damage to the cyl bore. Also would most likely need a machine shop if crank grinding or boring is needed.

 

(2 replace) Place a want add here or/and where ever for a replacement 12 hp Kohler.

You could also replace the engine with a Harbor Freight 13hp engine. This how ever will not be a direct fit, you will have to make some alterations. 

 

Edited by Achto
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your quick reply.  Given the two options, and my lack of experience, I think replacing the engine might be the best bet.  What sorts of alterations would have to be made with a Harbor Freight engine.

 

thanks again

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recommend you find a replacement Kohler 12 (or a 10, 14 or 16hp). You won't need to modify anything to install it. Your busted Kohler has lots of good parts still on it that would be usable on another Kohler (starter, fuel pump, etc). If you stick with a Kohler 12 then all the parts on your busted motor would be great spares for your new motor.

  • Like 3
  • Excellent 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to ditch the gas tank that comes on the HF engine and use the one that is on your tractor. Depending on your tractors tank location you may need to add a fuel pump. The HF engine mounts will most likely not line up with the existing mount holes on your tractor. Some wiring changes may also be needed.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again.  I see a couple of ads for used Kohler 12's from c120's.  Is there a source of new ones?  I also saw a comment about a magnum engine.  Can anyone tell me about these? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, JoeB said:

I also saw a comment about a magnum engine.  Can anyone tell me about these?

:WRS:    The Magnum is a newer model of the same engine. It has a magneto ignition system and is a direct replacement for earlier Kohler engines with an electronic ignition. A few minor wiring changes would be required to use one but we can walk you through this. Check with Joe's Outdoor power for a good used one, he is in Michigan.  https://joesoutdoorpower.com/

New Kohler 12 HP engines can be a bit expensive, but do come with a 3 year warranty. Repower Specialists is a good source.

http://www.repowerspecialists.com/engine_direct.php?manu=Kohler

  • Like 2
  • Excellent 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all honesty if you don't want to rebuild, I would check with Joe's outdoor power first for a good used 12hp kohler and if you can't find one there, post a wanted ad here. Someone will have a good used one to sell you.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to another Michigander. 

I'm on the other side of the mitten. 

This is the best place to find all the info on your wheel horse. Wonderful bunch of people here. I see kohler engines on cl list a lot but a post in the want adds will work most of the time. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, BOB ELLISON said:

Welcome to another Michigander. 

I'm on the other side of the mitten. 

This is the best place to find all the info on your wheel horse. Wonderful bunch of people here. I see kohler engines on cl list a lot but a post in the want adds will work most of the time. 

 

Hey Bob, Hows Joes outdoors on prices, that feller on Ebay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Big_Red_Fred said:

Hey Bob, Hows Joes outdoors on prices, that feller on Ebay

BRF I don't know where Joe's Outdoors  is .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JoeB said:

Thanks for your quick reply.  Given the two options, and my lack of experience, I think replacing the engine might be the best bet.  What sorts of alterations would have to be made with a Harbor Freight engine.

 

thanks again

 

Don’t be so quick to sell yourself short. Take off the sheet-metal and then take a good long look at that motor in there and you’ll find that it isn’t really all that complicated. Just get the engine out and bring it to a reputable engine shop and tell them to “fix this”. When they are done, you can put it back in the tractor just as it was and carry-on for another 20 years.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just make certain if you have it rebuilt the shop is experienced with the older Kohler K series engines - there are common mistakes made by shops and that can cost you a block/core. Genuine parts cost the most, but there are decent aftermarket parts available that many have used with good results. Given the original lasted that many years - I'd highly consider rebuilding it - they are tough as nails. Pay close attention to the 25* operating limit on splash lube K-series engines - beyond that angle you can starve the rod, which leads to it leaving a nice big hole .

 

Sarge

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, mikeeyre74 said:

 

Don’t be so quick to sell yourself short. Take off the sheet-metal and then take a good long look at that motor in there and you’ll find that it isn’t really all that complicated. Just get the engine out and bring it to a reputable engine shop and tell them to “fix this”. When they are done, you can put it back in the tractor just as it was and carry-on for another 20 years.

 

What worries me is that I have been told the rebuild could be as much as 1200 which is well beyond what I am seeing for a used replacement, but thanks for the encouragement.

 

joe

 

19 hours ago, Achto said:

:text-yeahthat:  Here is another source that offers short blocks http://www.psep.biz/store/kohler_k_series_short_blocks.htm

 

A short block K301 from them is around $1200 though.

Ouch!!!!!

16 hours ago, elcamino/wheelhorse said:

Checked out the classifieds the is a C-160 that is being parted out. Has a good engine.

Thanks I'll take a look.  Is there some way to search the classified or do I just look through every page for the listing.

 

joe

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, JoeB said:

What worries me is that I have been told the rebuild could be as much as 1200 which is well beyond what I am seeing for a used replacement, but thanks for the encouragement.

 

joe

 

Ouch!!!!!

Thanks I'll take a look.  Is there some way to search the classified or do I just look through every page for the listing.

 

joe

 

 I used to work in an engine rebuilding shop. We used to do single cylinder kohlers all the time. If you do your own assembly, which is not difficult at all, you could knock about $900 off the price of that rebuild.  We’re going back about 17 years or so here, but we used to get Pistons and rods for customers, and if their crank was OK and in specification, we would oversize the block and hand all the clean parts back to the customer and send them out the door for a few hundred dollars. It’s only one cylinder and it only takes 15 minutes or so to get that job done. The hot tank take care of the cleaning, and putting new faces on two valves and two seats was just a couple of minutes of work.  If I were you, I would definitely call a reputable shop and ask them about their machining services and attempt the reassembly yourself. There really isn’t much to these things once you start taking them apart and spreading them out on a bench in a logical order. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, BOB ELLISON said:

BRF I don't know where Joe's Outdoors  is .

I believe Joe's is somewhere around Marlette or Kingston

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lansing CL currently has a 12 hp Kohler for sale in Perry $199

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Checkout kustonlawnandgarden.com/Kohler-engines-remanufactured_c4.htm

 

A remanufactured short Bloch would cost you about $700. They do all the detailed engine work and you bolt your original head, oil pan, carb and sheet metal back on

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:WRS: ... As other have stated there’s some K-series engines for sale on CL . I search CL in the [for sale] - [all] categories and type “Kohler engine” , “garden tractor” , “lawnmower” in the search box . All separate searches of course.  Be sure to search all around the state plus Indiana. Lots of work but more results. Let’s say a PO listed a old engine under  antiques . You’d missed it if you just searched under “farm/garden” . The engine in Perry (east of Lansing right off of I-69) seems to be a good one .

 

Since you’re from S.W. Michigan I would contact (PM) our young horse prodigy @Jake Kuhn as he’s from that same area. I’m sure if he can’t help you out he’ll know of someone who can and is reputable . Good luck 

 

@Big_Red_Fred  both Joe’s (Kingston Mi.) and Floyd’s (Coppersville Mi.) Outdoor Power are :techie-ebay:sellers and walk in businesses (also have websites) . I’ve bought parts from both and was happy with my purchases. Just know what your buying and what’s a fair price for that used part . Not to take anything away from our vendors here on :rs:.

Edited by ACman
  • Excellent 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just one thing - whatever you do - don't toss that engine, it most likely can be rebuilt or saved and folks are hunting core blocks and other parts - never throw out a Kohler. That cast iron is very rigid compared to modern engines - it's the reason the lasted so long as well as the quality of the parts - and the sheer weight of them. Careful lifting that thing, it can give you a hernia at around 125lbs of iron.

 

Sarge

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Brian33
      Hello all I am in the market for a carburetor for my clinton 1200. Does anyone out there have one?
    • By oliver2-44
      I'm thinking about buying a Leak down tester. Looking online they range from $29 to $200+.  Harbor freight sells a Pittsburg brand one for $39. And several other companies sell that same looking one (Different names) for $29 to$49:  There is an OTC brand one for $&9 and $199.
       
      So what do y'all use?  
      Does anyone have the Harbor Freight one?  I'm a little skeptical l, but like the price for the little bit I will use it.   Of course if it's not accurate it a worthless .
    • By The Gman
      Finished up work on the A800 ranger. Time to figure out the c120.
      The ranger got;
      Complete rewire. 👍
      New points.👍
      Re-timed and a new head gasket.👍
      Carb rebuild. 👍
      Full service. 👍
      My daughter is gonna use it this year. She has just under 1/2 an acre to cut.
       
      Now the challenge is the c120. Picked this up in Jan. Price was right and I was really just after the motor but the rest of it just had to come home too. Not sure if it's all there but the fun will be in finding out. So far I figure a broken clutch pedal and one rotted tire. The po had already taken it apart to restore but other things got in the way. The motor is stout and roars like a tiger.
      I'm  gonna put it all back together first...... fix what I find then tear down to restore. 
       
      It's the transmission I don't know about. Po said it works fine......... Hmmmmm.
      Don't know much about them at the moment but "forum" research ans help here I come!!!
      Transaxle oil is low but clean and the tow valve doesn't look like it's been loosened for a while. The frame sat outside for a year.
      Thought I might change the oil and run it with an electric motor to see?????
      The axles are free and smooth.
      Anything I should be careful of?????
       










    • By The Gman
      Help time please....
      The k301 for my c120 (bought the tractor literally in pieces but all there I think???? ) is missing the fuel pump. I've check the engine out with the ol  intravenous method and its . Ebay will sell you one for anywhere from $20 - $160. I know you get what you pay for but....... really?????
      Isave tractors has one in the $50 range. Any experience with the plethora  (is that really a word??) of 301 pumps out there?
    • By Team70R
      I've got a c120 8 speed that started it's life as a work horse 800. I'm having a hard time finding the correct belt and getting the belt guard  to fit. Did the real C120 have a different belt guard than the 800?
×