‘79 C-161 - Parts?
TractorEd, in Wheel Horse Tractors
Well fellas since I had to sell off my Wheel Horses I felt like I didnt belong anymore. The Lambert and the Speedanza are cool but THIS IS a Wheel Horse Fourm. Well guess what....... Im back in ! Picked this up a little while ago. Saw it on CL and jumped right on it. Not a model I know anything about but it does say Wheel Horse on the side of it ! I am so excited to have it and the best part is that it runs and drives!!! It does need some work... I think the hydro is leaking as a saw a puddle of oil on top of the deck. Checked the dip stick and was hardly any in there. When you raise the deck it seems to come up higher on one side then the other. Seat is horrible, someone glued vinyl on it. Front head light lens busted, rear one is busted and no lights work. came with wheel weights for the rear but nothing else. Still trying to figure it out. I just got it home and off the truck. As usual any info I would love to hear about it. I dont know the year, I believe thats a 16 hp Kohler, not sure but it runs really good. Not a fan of driving it by a stick, seems like something you have to get used to then maybe like. Right now it just seems funny but I only did a little lap in my yard. I think I got a smoking good deal on it that makes me even happier.
Really nice site, and I am a new member. As I kick back and eat my lunch, I could not have imagined that Wheel Horse Tractor owners would have such a cool and well-organized place to ‘meet’ despite being out of production for so long. My name is Ron and I have a 1979 C-81. It has a WH pull-behind cart as well as a snow plow with chains, weights, etc..
The tractor belonged to my grandfather, who purchased it new in 1979 for just over $1,100.00. Some of my best memories are learning to drive it (barely reaching the pedals) and trying to understand the difference between the clutch and brake. I believe at one point it had a lawn sweeper, which eventually just dragged and made skid marks across the lawn until it was retired.
My grandfather drove this tractor year-round for 7 years until he passed away. In the winter it was plowing and hauling logs to the house, in the spring it aerated, fall it mulched, summer it mowed. The C-81 always remained at his house and in my family.
The most interesting part (or at least interesting to me) is that for the last 39 years, this mower has been in-service without missing one season. It has never been out of commission. To this day, we have it picked up for service every year and it is still running on its original 8hp Kohler Engine and cuts just over an acre of lawn. The only major replacements were pulley bearings for the blade deck and a starter motor. It is ultra-quiet and never strains while performing its tasks. So, when you look at the picture, you probably see a beat up old machine, but I can assure you that is a tried-and-true Wheel Horse used year-round for nearly 4 decades and maintained as best we thought possible. It’s a testament to a reliable and powerful brand.
That said, I have decided to lessen the workload on this machine and perhaps get another Wheel Horse as a tribute to my Pop. The main issue is that the cutting deck on this machine is between 32-34” (I believe) and it takes a long time to cut the lawn. (although I enjoy the peaceful feeling of doing it, it’s not conducive with my day job). The secondary issue is that this is a rear-discharge deck. I’d like to somehow bag the clippings for most of my cuts in order to feed my mulch/compost pile. I’m open for suggestions as to what model would be best. I do have some hills (a few steep).
One final note…
I’d love to crown this C-81 with a new (or comparable) seat. My goal is to get one as close to original as possible, with the same bolt patterns. I can provide photos if needed. Any help would be appreciated. Again, glad to be a part of this community, and please bear with me as I get used to navigating this site.
Thanks for reading.
Hello all. I spent about 30 minutes sorting through thousands of topics related to "high idle" but none of which answered my question, so apologies to all if this is a repeat.
I recently bought a C161 (8 speed manual) with a Briggs & Stratton 18hp twin. According to Briggs' manual they recommend idle to be set at 1400rpm. I'm not claiming to be smarter than the engineers who designed it, but this seems incredibly high and wasteful on gas. Realistically, a tractor engine isn't spending a lot of time idling (not like a car stuck in traffic or at a light) but it's more of an annoyance than anything.
My question is, does anyone know 1.) why it's idle is so high, and 2.) has anyone tinkered with it to get it lower-without compromising other performance aspects of the engine? All my personal preferences in relation to idle speed aside, the engine runs like a top (knock on wood).
Thanks to all for your help.
My 21.5 foot 3,500lb SeaRay is an easy park in my tight driveway thanks to my '79 C-161. Before going out or after coming back. I just use my C-161 with 16HP B&S to park it or pull it out for my truck.