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About DarylJ

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Wheel Horse Information

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    Battle Lake, MN

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  1. DarylJ

    cast iron 16 horse Briggs

    Beware of a potential catastrophic problem with this engine’s carburetor design. As you will see on the diagram above, there is a Welch plug used to plug the end of the main horizontal venturi (airway).This Welch plug has the potential to wiggle loose due to engine vibration, then fall out completely leaving the airway wide open, causing the air cleaner to be bypassed entirely! Evidently this carb can be used with different air cleaner orientations, so the Welch plug is used to plug the non-used airway. This happened to my cast iron single cylinder 16HP Briggs & Stratton (exact same engine as yours) twice, both times completely unseen due to it’s barely visible location, causing dust and dirt to be drawn into the carburetor and directly into the cylinder, causing the cylinder wall to become scored, necessitating a .030 rebore once and a new short block after the second mishap. After the second time, JB Weld was used to permanently affix the Welch plug into the carburetor venturi. Since doing that, no more problems. Other than the Welch plug fiascos, the Briggs 16 has been an awesome, bullet proof engine. For me, it powers a Toro Groundsmaster 52 that I have had since new in 1983 for weekly mowing of a 2.5 acre rolling lawn. Just keep changing oil regularly, and change out the air filter as needed, too.
  2. The properties of air, including density, ability to carry water vapor, and more, changes as temperature changes. Unless one is a carburetor whiz, changing carb settings seasonally is probably not a good idea as a way of compensating for these air changes. Once a carb is adjusted well for warmer season temps (mostly above 50), leaving it be is best practice for most. In cool to cold weather, use choke to start, let engine warm a few minutes middle rpms, push choke knob in, and all should be fine. For extreme cold, some have found their engines require the choke knob be pulled a little and left there to run best and not stall out. Using a fuel conditioner to displace water/ice has been a useful practice for my engines that are used in cold upper midwestern winters. Leaving tractors outside and unprotected in extreme damp or cold conditions is obviously not good, considering that engines do work best when conditions are warm and dry. Back in the day, in addition to keeping the tractor operator warmer, the use of “heat housers” helped to contain heat in the area immediately surrounding the engine, including air entering the carburetor. I haven’t seen any such accessory for lawn/garden tractors.....but they probably do exist.
  3. DarylJ

    Front 8” rim widths

    With the introduction of the C series, that seems to be the case (later tractors used the 5 3/8” rims). Incidentally, my B-80 8 speed also came with 5 3/8” wide rims. I swapped them out for the narrower 3 3/4” rims that provide for a slightly narrower stance, plus quicker steering and a tighter turning radius as well. Haven’t done that with the C-81, but I recently acquired a set of the narrower rims and will put them on it to confirm the same outcome as with the B-80. Can easily go back to wider if it doesn’t play as well.
  4. DarylJ

    Front 8” rim widths

    Thanks for clarifying this. My 1975 B-80 4 speed also has 16X6.50-12 tires, which I had suspected are original issue, but are on the narrower, older style rims which I also suspect are original to the tractor. As mentioned above, my C81 has the same size tire, but uses the newer 5 3/8 width rims. With the C81 having a lighter K181 engine than its siblings with more HP, the decision to use the wider rim in front may have simply been linked to the decision to go with 16X8.50-12 taller, width rear tires. Looks better, too, as the squattier 7.50s should probably be matched with a lower profile front 6” wheel instead of the 8”. My B-100 8 speed has 22.5X7.50-12 in the rear and 16X6.50-8 on wide rims in front. Not sure when the 22.5X7.50-12 ceased to be manufactured, but if it was in the late 70s it may have been a simple decision for Wheel Horse to make the size switch, that being based purely on what was available. Every day I put some time on both the B-100 and the C-81. If for no other reason than the larger rear tires, the C-81 provides a slightly more pleasant driving experience.
  5. DarylJ

    Front 8” rim widths

    By “older horses”, are you referring to pre 1961, i.e. nut roaster types? I am curious as to sizes used from 1970 to 1980.
  6. DarylJ

    Front 8” rim widths

    8.5 width tire was original to the C81? That is a full 2 inches wider than what I have. What rim width do they take?
  7. How many 8” front rim widths did Wheel Horse offer and what were they? My C81 has a deep dish front rim with a bead width of 5 3/8”. Tire size is 16X6.50-8. My B-80 also has the same size tire.....but the rim is narrower. What is the bead width supposed to be on a B-80 rim? I have been of the understanding it was originally 3 3/4”, but maybe that is incorrect? Did the 800 Special and 800 Automatic use the same rims as the B-80, or were they narrower? I have a set of 16X5.50-8 tires here waiting for a set of rims....is this the recommended size for the lighter tractors, maybe they meant for the 3 3/4” rim and not the wider 5 3/8” rim. With so many wheels being interchanged across models, unless one purchased the tractor new it is oftentimes confusing to know what is original size and what isn’t. Anybody have any real facts as to what front rim sizes were OEM on which models?
  8. DarylJ

    Wtd: inside rear weights for GT-14

    Looking to buy a set of rear inside weights for GT-14. If you have a set to spare, please let me know. Thanks.
  9. DarylJ

    Commando 8 VS Commando V8

    PO = Post Office PO = Probation Officer PO = Previous Owner PO’d = put out in the genteel world, pee’d off to most others Lengerish8, it sure seems like you are off to a great start with your tractor. Cleaning the carb never hurts, especially with current gasoline tending to leave varnish deposits in the little passages within the carb. It’s fairly easy to clean. A couple of tips: when removing the carb on a Kohler K181, it helps to remove the air cleaner housing completely by removing the wing nut to release the cover, then removing the cleaner element to expose the two small screws holding the housing to the carb body. After that, remove the fuel hoses, one from the tank and the other from the fuel pump. If your hoses are stiff, they may crack and cause future leakage. This is a good time to replace the hoses with new. Bulk hose is widely available at parts houses. After removing the hoses, loosen the two bolts holding the carb to the block. They have to be unscrewed each a little at a time, as it may be difficult to totally remove one at a time due to tight quarters. Once the bolts are removed, you will be left holding the carb attached by a small linkage rod to the governor arm. Remember which end goes where and be careful not to lose the linkage rod. Lost rods can be replaced, but are several dollars each if you can find them. After you have the carb removed, it is time to disassemble. Before removing the high and low speed adjustment jets, it may be helpful to carefully (gently, with care not to jam them at the bottom) turn them clockwise until they bottom out, keeping track of exactly the number of turns, to help you when you replace them again. If you have some carb cleaner, like Berryman’s or similar, soak the jets for an hour or longer, then blow dry them with compressed air. Next, remove the bolt holding the carburetor bowl in place. Remove bowl, clean it and dry it. Next, remove the float pin, lift the float off, and remove the “needle valve”/fuel flow control valve. If there is a little hair spring attached to the valve, take note of how it attaches. Depending on how far you wish to disassemble, you may decide to unscrew the brass valve seat located beneath the fuel flow control valve just removed. Same for high and low speed jets. Dirt can hide beneath these brass valve seats and can cause problems later, after you have cleaned and reassembled everything else with the assumption all is clean and good. Sometimes you can get away with leaving the valve seats in place, but usually not. After all is disassembled, you have a choice.....wither immerse the carb body entirely in a suitably sized container for an hour or longer....OR, take a risk and blow it out with compressed air. When I am needing a functional carb and don’t have the patience to wait for a soak, I tend to forego the soak for the blasts of air to clean and dry the carb for reassembly. Frankly, this works a good share of the time, but on occasion I have found skipping the soak to be a mistake and I have to disassemble again and do it right. Next, reassemble using NEW gaskets. I have reassembled using both gaskets and sealant, too, but if great care is taken to not slop the sealant onto places that shouldn’t have it, then use gaskets without sealant. As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary!). Once reassembled, follow the disassembly process in reverse until the carb is back in place. Take care to install the throttle/governor linkage rod before putting the cap screws back which hold the carb to the engine block, as you can’t put that rod back in afterwards without bending the rod and possibly breaking it due to metal fatigue. Install the new fuel hoses using the retainer clips that hold them to the fan shroud and tighten the hoses using tiny, REAL adjustable hose clamps. Those little wire clips are not always cooperative to reinstall and a 1/4” nut driver sure makes installing the hose clamps much easier, too. Remember to readjust the high and low speed jets at this time, using the settings you took note of when removing them. These settings may no longer be correct now that the carb has been cleaned, but they serve as good starting points as you fine tune them. If you have an engine service manual, or have found online instructions for how to set these jets, follow the instructions closely and your engine should purr along just fine. One last thing is to install a new fuel filter in the fuel line and check to be sure the fuel shutoff valve isn’t leaking. If so, put a new valve in also. You stated that you had, or were about to, replace the spark plug. Good. Also, this is a good time to replace the points and condenser. This is another process that has probably been addressed in this forum multiple times before. Follow instructions carefully to be sure you have the points clearance set properly and your engine should then run as good as it is capable of running, provided there are no further issues like leaky intake/exhaust valves or compression problems. You may already be very accomplished at doing carb cleaning, and don’t need any coaching, but for others following this thread who may not be, perhaps these tips will be of some help. As has been said earlier, these are mighty fine little short frame tractors. Except for the single pedal for brake and clutch control, there is little if anything else that they need to make them more operator friendly. I’ll not be parting with mine anytime soon!
  10. DarylJ

    Commando 8 VS Commando V8

    The Commando 800 and 8 4 speed are very similar tractors. It is possible a PO has intermixed some of the parts on yours, making it somewhat of a hybrid. What caught my eye in your photo was the PTO clutch. AFAIK, your version with the long engagement rod was standard on the Commando 8 and maybe early Commando 800s. I have seen photos of Commando 800s that are equipped with a later version of the PTO llinkage. The 8 4 speed from 1973 used that later linkage, which had the lever that pushed forward and back, which pushed/pulled a shorter rod, which through a triangular pivot plate to the half hoop gizmo applied inward force to engage the clutch disk. On the older version, like yours, a long rod directly from the dash support standard to the clutch was simply moved left or right, to engage or disengage the PTO clutch. It seems to me unlikely that anyone would replace a later version PTO linkage with the earlier one....but anything is possible I guess. As for the visible finned regulator......it is conceivable a P.O. may have replaced it at one time to a later exposed version. But, there are photos out there showing the exposed fin version on the Commando 800....so it may be original. The exposed finned version is what I have on my 8 4 speed, and I do believe it is original. Without the tag being present on yours to indicate which model you have, you may never know what it is. But, either way, 800 Commando or 8 4 Speed, they both really are nice little short frame tractors that will turn on a dime. The seat upgrade, as shown on Racinbob’s photo, to a spring or forward tilt with spring is definitely worthwhile, too. Makes driving much more comfortable! Congrats on your great acquisition!
  11. DarylJ

    Thinking about it.

    Crown CR-225 6 volt batteries are listed as having a weight of 62 lbs. each, which is fairly typical within a couple of pounds across brands. Two in front will weigh 124 lbs. Four in rear box will weigh another 248 lbs. If you put the tractor up on stands, you could use three 12v garden tractor batteries to test the circuitry. I purchased a couple of them last week at Fleet-Farm for $24 each plus core exchange. If you have a GT or two or three around, temporarily pulling and using them to do your testing will be lowest cost option. Total volts must be 36 in series. Like Buzz says above, if you are only using the tractor for shows or parades where you will not have much, if any, heavy pulling involved, you could certainly get by with three 12v deep cycle batteries. Your cost savings will be significant. But, if you plan to use the tractor for prolonged work tasks, then you will want and need the six heavy duty 6v golf cart batteries.
  12. DarylJ

    k181 ... continued problems (bent governor cross shaft)

    Sorry to hear about your governor shaft being bent. It could well be easily straightened once removed, which I would suggest before buying a replacement. OTOH, if you would rather find a replacement, then check online auction sites. Type in “Kohler K181 governor shaft” for inclusive search results. I have purchased K181 engine parts that came originally on JD tractors and found them to be identical. Likely this K181 governor shaft will also be identical, whether used on WH, Deere, Jacobson, Gravely, and others.
  13. DarylJ

    K181 Throttle Adjusment

    Have you tried moving the small linkage rod to the outermost holes? I notice the rod is in the innermost holes currently. Doing so will give you a bit more throttle cable travel between slow idle and high idle speeds, giving you a little more latitude to adjust throttle speed. From my own tribulations adjusting them, I have found that governor spring tension is quite critical in impacting how much throttle cable “working” range one will have. If the spring tension is too great, most throttle adjustment seems to fall in the last half inch from the full throttle location. If too little spring tension, you will not be able to achieve full throttle, particularly when the engine governor calls for it. With some trial and error, loosen and relighten the throttle cable clamp, moving the throttle cable and speed control disc until the ideal spring tension can be found. Also keep in mind that you have fine adjustment of the engine’s governed top end rpm by moving the throttle cable bracket, either clockwise or counterclockwise. One more little feature.....that small drive pin. Check to see that it is not interfering in some way with the amount of rotation in the speed control disc. A couple of times, I have had to simply remove the pin to allow for enough rotation to give the spring ample tension. Unless you are the original owner of the tractor, it is certainly possible a previous owner has been tinkering with the throttle adjustment as well....maybe for the better, maybe not.
  14. DarylJ

    800 Automatic towing

    Thanks for weighing in on this Garry. It certainly seems that way, the valve isn’t doing what it is supposed to do. Next will be to determine whether or not it is possible to free up the valve without pulling the hydro and disassembling it. Not likely....
  15. The 1971 800 Automatic has an Eaton 6 hydrostatic transmission. Today I tried moving it without starting the engine (tow). There is a small lever on the shift console that is to be moved from the “drive” position to the “tow” position when moving the tractor without starting and driving it forward or in reverse. When doing this, I am assuming that both rear wheels should rotate together....but that is not what my 800 Automatic does. When in the “tow” mode, pushing or pulling the tractor causes one rear wheel to rotate forward and the other backward. Clearly, this isn’t the way it should work. The tow valve’s console lever can be easily moved back and forth, so the external part of the valve is not impeded, but I can’t determine if there is an internal issue with the valve. Anyone here with an 800 Automatic, or knowledge of how its hydrostatic system should work, care to offer some suggestions as to what might be causing this? The tranny fluid was changed about a year ago and the reservoir screen is clean. In normal “drive” mode, the tranny seems to work just fine. I’m stumped on this...