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About WHnoob

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Wheel Horse Information

  • tractors
    '74 C-160 8-Speed (broken tranny, awaiting rebuild)
    '74 B-80 4-Speed (recovering from multi-year outdoor storage)
    Bolens ST160 (to do the work until one of the Horses is usable)
  • favoritemodel

Profile Information

  • Location
    Southeast PA
  • Occupation
    Software Engineer
  • Interests
    Brewing Beer
    Wood Heat
    Milling Lumber

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  1. I received a replacement spring via my want ad, though I haven't installed it yet. Figured you'd like some pictures since I got the proper solid lift installed - what a difference! With the lift chain connected to the plow it wouldn't lift high enough to latch it up, so I had to constantly hold it when backing up. Also zip-tied the angle lever to keep it from flopping into the PTP and brake pedal until I can fab up the angle linkage rod. Of course we've only gotten a couple 1-2" storms since then. Most of yesterday's was further east.
  2. WHnoob

    Waiting for snow

    Chuck (Save Old Iron) had a thread a couple years ago with instructions for modifying the Harbor Freight float chargers to avoid cooking your batteries: Looks like the pictures are hosed (due to Photobucket 3rd-party hosting), but the text is still there. Haven't tried it myself because I already have a Battery Tender Jr., but if I will if I need a second float charger.
  3. Thanks! It did break right at the bottom bracket, so it did cross my mind to just screw the (now shorter) spring back onto the bracket. I'd rather not cut the good spring to match though. Looks like I have a "hairpin" or two to replace as well!
  4. This fall I picked up a 48" dozer/snow blade (looks like model #79350) from a seller on CL. Unfortunately at time of purchase I didn't notice one of the tip springs is broken, and it is missing the angle adjustment linkage rod and lift rod (already ordered a solid long lift rod from WheelHorseMan). I got it installed on my C-160 yesterday and it did fine in 1" of snow with just the one spring, but I'm worried it will tip too easily when the snow gets deeper (or that one will break too!). Replacement springs on eBay seem to run $70+, or almost half the price of a complete blade setup. Is there a cheaper replacement spring available that can be installed on the existing end brackets? Also I plan to fabricate the missing angle adjustment linkage. Is it better to use 3/8" or 1/2" steel rod?
  5. WHnoob

    Engines in our tractors and octane numbers

    My local ethanol-free station sells 87, 89, and 91 octane. My chainsaw specifies 89, but I just buy 91 for all my outdoor equipment because any 87 left in the hose would reduce the number when filling small cans. That and I put the first gallon or two in my car to flush out the pump's plumbing
  6. WHnoob

    K341 Running Rough/Starving for Fuel

    Great news! The K341 is now running like a champ! I reached the conclusion that the fuel starvation was caused by vapor lock and the otherwise rough running was mostly due to the ignition coil. Here's what I did today, with media: 1. Replaced the rebuilt metal fuel pump with plastic one from eBay. The fuel flow is much stronger, but it still started stalling after ~10 minutes of mowing. When I detached the pump output hose to check flow it was under pressure, and it was bubbling like the fuel was boiling in/around the pump. Original pump - wimpy flow: oldpump.mp4 New pump: strong flow: newpump.mp4 Boiling/bubbles: fuelboil.mp4 2. Replaced original Nelson muffler with "Gravely" style pointed out the right side of the tractor instead of crossing the front of the engine. This seemed to clear up the stalling issue. It's still loud as hell - sounds about the same as the Nelson even with its detached innards. 3. Replaced ignition coil and spark plug wire. New coil measured 3.3 Ohms primary, 9.8 kOhms secondary. Spark tester showed strong, consistent spark. I forgot to test the old coil beforehand, but I recall the tester not being as bright/consistent when I did a couple weeks ago. spark.mp4 I have a replacement carburetor also but did not install it yet - didn't want to change too many variables at once. However I did notice a lot of governor hunting at mid-throttle while sitting. So I put a few drops of oil around the throttle shaft and the hunting stopped completely. So the throttle shaft wear is definitely still an issue, but not as noticeable at full throttle. While it was sitting I also changed the transmission oil - yuck! So finally I got out and finished mowing the lawn, which was getting pretty long and still had over-wintered leaves in some spots. As proof, here are some short clips of me tearing through the high grass and leaves: mowing_1.mp4 mowing_2.mp4 revup.mp4
  7. WHnoob

    K341 Running Rough/Starving for Fuel

    I think I chucked the original check valves already . The only reason it needed a rebuild was probably just that the bottom casting was warped so the diaphragm wouldn't seal. Even the replacement diaphragm didn't seal until I pounded the housing flat-ish again.
  8. WHnoob

    K341 Running Rough/Starving for Fuel

    It might have helped with some of the hunting/rough running, but made no difference when it was starving for fuel.
  9. I received this 1974 C-160 8-Speed last spring from my father-in-law, and it worked well enough to mow the lawn last season until the hi-low fork broke in the transmission. Over the winter I replaced the transmission and rebuilt the fuel pump using the full kit from Then and Now Automotive and got to move a little snow with it. But now it is acting up and preventing my lawn from getting mowed. The main problem is that it starts starving for fuel after 5~10 minutes of running. Otherwise it seems to run a little rough and the governor hunts at full throttle. So far I've done the following: 1. Washed out fuel tank and replaced the shutoff valve with screen and rubber bushing. Hoses were replaced and inline filter added at the same time the pump was rebuilt. Confirmed fuel flow at pump inlet. No improvement. 2. Disassembled and cleaned the carburetor. It was already pretty clean, though the throttle shaft has noticeable side play. Ultimately replaced the float valve, valve seat, and seals. 3. Removed inline fuel filter to see if it was adding too much resistance. 4. Gravity-fed fuel from another tank. But I couldn't drive it around to get it hot with this setup so I'm not sure if this fixed the starvation. Only observed it still hunting. 4. Replaced points and condenser. Spark plug was replaced ~25 hours ago last spring. Noticed the coil currently installed is supposed to use an external resistor. It measures ~1.4 Ohm primary, 12 kOhm secondary. Observed bright sparks at the points with the cover off (due to excessive primary current, presumably). At this point I suspect the fuel starvation is caused by the fuel pump, even though it was just rebuilt. When cold at least It moves fuel when the engine cranks, but it is not exactly "spurting". More of a dribble. Once hot it seems to have trouble. Last night when it shut down I again confirmed strong fuel flow at the pump inlet, but only vapor/bubbles coming out the outlet. But I can't really think of a way the fuel pump would fail without leaking, unless maybe the replacement check valve springs are too strong, or the cam lobe is worn. This engine also has the original Nelson muffler (innards are shot, based on the rattling it makes) that runs across the front of the engine a couple inches from the fuel hoses. So I'm also wondering if it may also be related to vapor lock. Anyway, my wife and I are getting tired of the long grass so I just ordered a bunch of parts from eBay to fix it once and for all - plastic fuel pump, new carburetor, new "Gravely" style muffler, ignition coil, spark plug wire. Also a vacuum powered fuel pump in case it is cam lobe wear (don't worry - I have other plans for this if it is not needed). I will try to post updates as progress is made.
  10. WHnoob

    ok so what can a wheel horse do?

    Mine pulled this big rock out of the ground. Granted it had to roll the rock more than drag it to avoid slipping the tires.
  11. WHnoob

    Kohler K181s fuel pump

    I've used the rebuild kit from Then and Now Automotive: http://then-now-auto.com/kohler-fuel-pumps-2/ It includes replacement check valves along with the diaphragm. The other problem with mine was that the bottom casting was warped enough that it didn't fully seal against the diaphragm. I had to hammer it flat enough to stop spraying fuel out of the seam.
  12. WHnoob

    Rusty B-80 Resurrection

    Wow that repair looks great! And welding would seem to be the preferred method, though I've heard about the heat causing bending issues, etc. Unfortunately welding is not currently one of my skills - I did about 2 inches of MIG in college metal shop but that's about it. I'd like to learn but I'm guessing this would not be a great beginner project.
  13. WHnoob

    Rusty B-80 Resurrection

    Figured I'd post a small update since it's been a while. I was able to pull the wheel hub with the damaged keyway using a hub from another transmission. The axle keyway is pretty munged up (almost 2x wider than normal), though the hub doesn't look too bad. And I got that exhaust nipple removed too. Ended up cutting a slot into it with a cutoff wheel up close to the block and bent it inward with a cold chisel and hammer. That was finally enough for the pipe wrench to turn it. Next step is to repair the axle keyway and reattach the transmission (that way I can at least push it out of the way . I'm leaning towards using some of the industrial axle repair epoxy to avoid splitting this tranny since I have the broken 8-speed from the C-160 to put in it eventually. Then once I have a workbench cleared I can pull the engine off for its overhaul.
  14. WHnoob

    Plow vs. Dozer

    I recall seeing that "Snow Thrower" refers to a single-stage and "Snow Blower" a two-stage, on account of the different mechanics of ejecting the snow.
  15. WHnoob

    lessons learned today

    Went through the same lessons myself on Saturday. Got stuck a foot outside the garage without chains. Chains with no weights only got me ~5 more feet with a lot of wheelspin in a foot of snow. Then the flag came out of the lift tube because I had it (the tube) on upside-down. I finally got to clear the last ~5 inches of snow on Sunday with the Wheel Horse (the walk-behind ended up getting the first 2 feet on Saturday). Still no weights, so it was a balancing act between me and the snowthrower and a lot of spinning. There is a paradox - lifting the thrower reduces its drag on the ground and helps to steer but also takes most of the weight off the rear wheels. And without lifting it all the way up to the latch position (which takes two hands) I also can't put all of my weight over the rear wheels due to having to lean forward to pull the lever. I eventually found that lowering the throttle helps prevent the wheels from slipping when the thrower is lifted. I'd propose another lesson: 4. Where can I get a lift-assist spring? On the plus side I finally tightened up the loose throttle cable clamp that was preventing the engine from achieving 3600 RPM - after clearing the snow of course!