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About 1977.d-160

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Wheel Horse Information

  • tractors
    In the order acquired:
    '77 D160 + Plow, mower, tiller
    '93 520H + Quickway Loader
    '76 D180 + Ark Loader
  • favoritemodel
    Older models

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  • Location
    Norton, MA
  • Occupation
  • Interests
    Sustainable living
    Machine Shop

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  1. 1977.d-160

    1977 D160 Onan Ignition Issue?

    Hopefully this is my final update on this issue: Problem returned after driving a total of less than a 1/4 mile. I spoke to another member here (Boomer) who shipped me the newer style (top cover) points box, points & condenser. When I had bought this tractor the seller included some spare parts (including new NEPCO points & condenser from John Deere that fit this style points box). I replaced them & re-gapped and everything seems fine now... Thank you Boomer - you're now my 1st stop for any future Onan parts. All the best to you, my friend!
  2. 1977.d-160

    1977 D160 Onan Ignition Issue?

    Update from tonight's activities: It appears that the replacement points & condenser I picked up off fleaBay are not exactly to original spec. The points were fairly cooked (despite only having a few hours on them). This was presumably due to either not being able to properly gap them or a cheap condenser. I had sanded them clean w/ 320 grit and doubled-up the gasket under the points box in order to shift the whole assembly up so I could properly gap the points. She runs much better now, but still not quite 100% as it still missed a couple firings. I'm considering re-replacing the fleaBay points & condenser w/ OEM parts... Boy, I sure wish an electronic ignition was available. Thanks again everyone!
  3. 1977.d-160

    1977 D160 Onan Ignition Issue?

    Thanks for the additional suggestions guys. I'll have to check the fuel pump. I did that back when I had the other issue (which turned out to be a bad needle valve). Initially the pump was flowing 'meh' just ok, so I disassembled and cleaned it carefully so as to not tear the diaphragm. There was gunk on the back side of the diaphragm. After cleaning it flowed better, but I'll retest it to confirm it's still ok. Re: ground - we used a set of jumper cables to ground directly from the battery to the outer sparkplug with plugs fully installed. No not the insulation, to the metal where the socket goes. Regardless, a ground cable is good advice and certainly won't hurt. As thorough as I was trying to be, I forgot to mention that we had tested the plug wires (Ohm meter) and had cut off 3/4" and reattached to the coil. The aftermarket plug wires & coil don't connect the best... I'll have to disconnected the elec PTO and try that. It did engage/disengage fine when the switch was thrown tho. Now I'm wondering if a bum battery would cause the coil not to charge enough thus not throw enough power to the plugs. I'll also try fully charging the battery... A guy who sells Onan parts PM'd me. I have to give him a call - maybe he's got the answer to this riddle... All of your inputs are greatly appreciated! Cheers
  4. 1977.d-160

    1977 D160 Onan Ignition Issue?

    Thanks for the input guys. The carb has was spotless, but we did clean it again for good measure. I think it is a diaphragm type fuel pump. I just saw a video on youtube of a guy testing one from a homelite chainsaw using a pressure pump & loading it w/ 10 PSI. Would that also be a valid test for an Onan 16HP? When I bought the rebuild kit for the carb it came w/ a fuel pump so maybe I'll replace that too (and check the line from the pump to the case. Looking at the spark, it didn't seem all that strong and would only jump about 1/32" - 1/16" from the plug to the engine. When properly grounded the arc across the electrodes was weak at best and redish/orange in color vs bright blue. I can't help but think this is somehow electrical in nature. I also want to try w/ a full charge on the battery. Then replace the condenser lead to the coil and hotwire the positive directly from battery (+) to coil (+) in case it's a bum lead or ignition switch. The ign switch is fairly new, but from China and we all know how that goes... Thanks again for the input. Looking forward to other suggestions as well.
  5. 1977.d-160

    1977 D160 Onan Ignition Issue?

    Hey guys - sorry for such a long post I'm just trying to be as thorough as I can be... I've had issues w/ my D160 in the past where it would run for ~15 mins then stall and needed to cool down before it would startup again. To fix that I've done the following: 1) replace the coil & wires (testing w/ Ohm meter it was slightly out of spec) 2) replaced the flywheel (teeth were worn) 3) replaced the starter (sounded terrible & didn't have enough power to crank the engine during compression, turned out 2 of the contacts were shot and the bearing/sleeve around the shaft was sloppy) 4) replaced sparkplugs (so I could read how it was running - turns out it's too rich) 5) replaced the points & condenser (because I thought this was the crux of the problem). When gapping the points I couldn't quite get them closed enough. I was wondering if perhaps the lobe on the crank is worn or maybe the pin that pushes the points was... In any case, I closed them as much as it would allow. 6) disassembled & cleaned the gas cap The above seemed to resolve that problem and it ran like a champ at full throttle and purred like a kitten at idle. It was running the best it has since I bought it 5 yrs ago and continued to work great for 15-20 plowings of my 1/8th mile driveway over the past month or so. I was psyched that it was running in top shape that is until yesterday... I was plowing snow drifts when it started sputtering. Not wanting to get stuck pushing I headed back to the house. By the time I got home (~700') it was really hurting and sputtering a lot. My friend gave me a hand today and here's what we did today: 1) cleaned the carb & verified no water present in the fuel/bowl 2) cleaned plugs & checked for spark. For having new points, condenser, coil, plug wires and plugs the spark doesn't seem all that strong / doesn't jump that far from plug to ground nor across properly gapped electrodes when plug is grounded. My friend suggested converting to an electronic/solid state ignition. I couldn't find one online. Does one exist for the Onan 16HP twin cyl? 3) adjusted high & low mixtures 4) verified ground by jumper cables from batter neg to plug 5) verified intake manifold is tight 6) readjusted the points & confirmed condenser was tightly grounded 7) confirmed oil level The way it sporadically cuts out then revs then cuts out seems to me like an ignition issue. It was also backfiring on occasion (also a sign of ignition issue?). It's consistently sporadic whether cold or warm. Other stuff that's been done over the past year: 1) replaced the ignition switch 2) carb has been rebuilt w/ new jet & gasket kit 3) fuel filter has been replaced 4) fuel pump has been carefully cleaned Thanks in advance for any suggestions/recommendations. Cheers!
  6. 1977.d-160

    New to me 520H

    I've had my '93 520H w/ a QuickWay loader for a four or so years now. It is a great machine! I'm really impressed w/ it's power & lift capacity. Mine came w/ dualies, but after snapping the right axle (twice) I've opted for the less stable, but less labor-intensive single rear wheels. As mentioned - I'd definitely focus on the mechanical stuff first, you probably don't want to be spending your $$ on lipstick, glitter & yoga pants when what she really needs is to hit the gym. She may not be the prom queen at this point, but once the mechanical issues are addressed she'll surely put out... and you can pick away at the cosmetics as resources permit.
  7. 1977.d-160

    Surging Onan 16

    Throwing this out there as I've heard (not witnessed) it being a cause of similar symptoms: check the governor spring. Sometimes when they age there isn't enough tension and that can cause 'rev surging'. Hope that helps - good luck! <insert clever oceanic pun here>
  8. Hi all - thanks for the additional feedback. Both of my PTO issues (belt slipping & u-joint) have been resolved. I replaced the belt and it works fine w/ the mower deck; I have yet to try the tiller since I just fixed the ujoint last night. Back in the Spring when I had my carb/needle valve issue I had cleaned the fuel pump (had a fair amount of gunk in it). It seemed to pump fine afterwards. After about 15-20 minutes the engine sputters then stalls, starter cranks OK, but it will not start. I had assumed an electrical issue (due to heat) so I had replaced the ign coil & plug wires. Now I'm thinking it might be due to faulty fuel cap with vacuum pressure in the fuel tank. I was hoping to test it last night w/ the fuel cap loose, but didn't get home until later in the evening and didn't want to annoy the neighbors. I'll try that this weekend. Thanks again for all your responses.
  9. I had replaced the coil & plug wires.
  10. 1977.d-160

    D160 PTO Shaft/U-Joint for tiller

    Thanks Garry - turned out to be a Neapco. I got one today from Rhode Island Driveshaft.
  11. Also going to try w/ fuel cap loose in case it's not venting properly...
  12. Hi folks, I replaced the PTO belt and that seems OK (using the mower deck). Ignition coil tested at 5.1 Ohms on the primary when warm which is slightly high so I replaced it. With fingers crossed she fired up, but it didn't fix the stalling issue when warmed up. It runs fine for about 15 minutes then stalls and will not start again until it's cooled down. My next guess is points & condenser... Any other advice? Thanks
  13. Hi guys, My ujoint is missing one of the caps that hold in the 't' of the joint. Can I get a new cap and press it in or do I need a whole new ujoint? It looks like the cap just presses in w/o clips. I can't for the life of me figure out how to separate the components (see attached). There's a bearing lock 'slip release' to the right, but when I slide it over I still can't separate the shaft from the ujoint. Twisting the chromed splined piece doesn't seem to do anything either. I thought I should check in w/ the WH master minds before I resort to hammering on it. Thx in adv for your feedback. Jeff
  14. Thanks guys. I rebuilt the carb w/ the kit+gaskets over the Winter due to issue w/ float valve tip. That's all good to go now. Makes sense that the belt is slipping, hence stopping from spinning. I'll see if I can adjust it. I get that a failing coil would cut out when hot, but the starter won't engage when it happens. If the coil were failing wouldn't it still turn-over? Maybe not. It's as if the ignition switch itself is overheating?? When it starts it will stay running/driving, just not when tilling. Good tip on the mid-mount!
  15. Hi again all, I was using my D160 to till some hard packed earth (first till) and it was working OK, not great, just OK. First pass, was about an inch and a half, two inches at max. The tiller would work, then stall and I'd have to lift the hydro to get it spinning again. I did this a few times then the engine stalled and the starter would not strike. The lights still worked and I could hear the elec PTO clutch 'click' when I threw the switch on/off. I thought maybe I smoked the ignition switch, but I went out the next day and it fired right up. I tried tilling a little more and same thing happened. What am I doing wrong? Is there a thermal protection ckt or something that's causing this? How can I till w/o overloading it? I've read in my 520H manual that you need to run the engine at full throttle otherwise you risk damaging the trans. I assume that's true for the D160 as well? When tilling at full throttle the tiller is really crankin'. So ideally I could run the engine at about 1/2-2/3 throttle in order to slow down the tiller. Looking forward to the group's thoughts, feedback, opinions, advice so that I can till my plot! Thanks in advance, Jeff