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Toasty

Onan Performer 18XSL Concerns

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Toasty

I am looking at purchasing another Wheel Horse (518-H ID: 3118OE01) this weekend that has a an Onan Performer 18xsl motor in it.  I was wondering if there is anything special I need to look for on the Onan engine before purchasing this tractor?  I know the older VTwin Kohlers had the oil pump issue, but have never owned an Onan Engine before.

 

Thanks,

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OILUJ52

If it runs strong, it's probably ok. I had one that really sounded great but was only running on one cylinder. Pretty much half strong. Of course there is the normal stuff smoke, oil leaks around the output shaft, is it charging, etc. When you go to look see if the engine has been run before you get there. If it is warm might be a chance something might be going on during a cold start. 

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Toasty
1 minute ago, OILUJ52 said:

If it runs strong, it's probably ok. I had one that really sounded great but was only running on one cylinder. Pretty much half strong. Of course there is the normal stuff smoke, oil leaks around the output shaft, is it charging, etc. When you go to look see if the engine has been run before you get there. If it is warm might be a chance something might be going on during a cold start. 

 

Currently the motor does not get spark the current owner stated.  I am going to bring a battery to check for noises and make sure that it at least rolls over.  But the owner of the Wheel Horse only wants $250 and it comes with a mowing deck.  So the price is good even if the motor is bad but would like to know what I am getting myself into the best possible.  I already also own a Points File which I assume is a good chance being the problem.  Looks like it has been sitting in the guys garage for awhile with boxes and other stuff sitting on top of it.

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OILUJ52

that's a whole different ball game.

I don't think she got points, electronic control.

For $250 and a half decent deck, kept inside, go get it!

 

IF you want to check something and have a test light see if there is 12 volts at the coil with the ignition on. That will tell you if there is a safety I.E. PTO switch off. Idiot lights may help with this also if working.

Edited by OILUJ52

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ericj

Down load the onan service manual from on here, It will walk you through trouble shooting the motor. If it already has spark issues and can't be started, take a compression gauge with you, make sure both cylinders have good compression. To check the ignition module put 12 volts to the ignition coil and slowly turn the motor over by hand while checking the voltage on the - side of the coil ( multi meter hooked up from negative side of battery to negative side of coil ) when motor turns over voltage should drop from 12 volts to 1 1/2 volt for a second and then go back up to 12 volts, if not ignition module is bad.

 

the other thing about a 518-H is the eaton 700 trans. They go bad a lot more then the 1100 used in the 520-H. If the trans is bad you should not be able to push the tractor, they are a real bear to move when the don't run, sometimes you can push the motion control lever all the way forward and get them to move that way. Sometimes if the tractor has been sitting for a long, long, long time they will push by hand. If you get it to run and the trans whines a lot it's probably bad also. 

For the price you are paying for it, you may even be able to negotiate a better price from what you learned on here, you should be okay even if the tractor has a bad motor and trans, probably only one or the other though would be bad. good luck and let us know how you make out

 

 

 

eric j

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WHX24
36 minutes ago, ericj said:

trans whines a lot it's probably bad

Is this also true for the 1100's Eric?

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Reel Mower Freak

For the asking price you can’t lose money on it even if it’s not worth fixing. That said if you “need” this as your work tractor or you have no desire to part it out you may be more picky. We are in the same boat and I took the leap last weekend. If nothing else it gets me out in the garage with dirty hands. 

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ericj
21 minutes ago, WHX22 said:

Is this also true for the 1100's Eric?

it could be a sign of problems, check the fluid level, never really had any 1100  whine that bad though, so I really don't know for sure sorry. I have had several 700 that whined bad and then started to slow down

 

 

 

 

 

eric j

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Toasty
1 hour ago, ericj said:

Down load the onan service manual from on here, It will walk you through trouble shooting the motor. If it already has spark issues and can't be started, take a compression gauge with you, make sure both cylinders have good compression. To check the ignition module put 12 volts to the ignition coil and slowly turn the motor over by hand while checking the voltage on the - side of the coil ( multi meter hooked up from negative side of battery to negative side of coil ) when motor turns over voltage should drop from 12 volts to 1 1/2 volt for a second and then go back up to 12 volts, if not ignition module is bad.

 

the other thing about a 518-H is the eaton 700 trans. They go bad a lot more then the 1100 used in the 520-H. If the trans is bad you should not be able to push the tractor, they are a real bear to move when the don't run, sometimes you can push the motion control lever all the way forward and get them to move that way. Sometimes if the tractor has been sitting for a long, long, long time they will push by hand. If you get it to run and the trans whines a lot it's probably bad also. 

For the price you are paying for it, you may even be able to negotiate a better price from what you learned on here, you should be okay even if the tractor has a bad motor and trans, probably only one or the other though would be bad. good luck and let us know how you make out

 

 

 

eric j

Thank you Eric this will be very helpful.  I actually have a spare Eaton 1100 sitting in my shed that does work that is in a C175.  I want it to replace my 312-8 which I currently use for snow plowing and moving trailers around during the summer.  I was going to make the C175 my new work horse but when I got it it was torn apart and its missing parts and the Kohler 17 V Twin needs a rebuild.  For the price of the 518H made me think it was better to scrap the idea of making the C175 my main work horse and get this tractor instead.

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ericj
2 minutes ago, toasty said:

Thank you Eric this will be very helpful.  I actually have a spare Eaton 1100 sitting in my shed that does work that is in a C175.  I want it to replace my 312-8 which I currently use for snow plowing and moving trailers around during the summer.  I was going to make the C175 my new work horse but when I got it it was torn apart and its missing parts and the Kohler 17 V Twin needs a rebuild.  For the price of the 518H made me think it was better to scrap the idea of making the C175 my main work horse and get this tractor instead.

might be able to make a frankin horse with power from the onan and trans and hydro lift from the C175. Not sure which would be easier to swap over the motor and wiring ot the trans and hydro lift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

eric j

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Toasty

Plus when I talked to my father he told me the Onan engine is better built engine then the Kohler V17 I have.  He has never used the Onan but from word of mouth from the tractor guys he talks to.

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Toasty
1 minute ago, ericj said:

might be able to make a frankin horse with power from the onan and trans and hydro lift from the C175. Not sure which would be easier to swap over the motor and wiring ot the trans and hydro lift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

eric j

I would most likely take the time to swap the transmissions over.  I like the dash options on the 518 better then the C175.  Plus the sheet metal on the C175 is in poor condition and teh 518 is in fairly good condition (a lot less body work would need to be done to make it look new again).  Plus like I said im currently missing parts that belong on the C175 that I would have to find or make that I would no longer have to do with the 518.

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OILUJ52

If that trans is okay, I would not be in a hurry to change it out. One of my kids has ran that one the motor failed on for three years now. That 700 runs okay.

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Toasty

ok well I purchased the 518H.  Apparently the owner has never had it running and bought it originally for the side discharge mowing deck.  He had plans to fix it up but his "boss" wanted the garage cleaned out which is why he ended up selling the tractor.  The owners before him were the ones trying to fix the electrical issues.  The had put a new coil in it (never bolted it down...) and did some bad re-wiring.  Also believe they had replaced the key switch while working on it.  The reason I believe they replaced the key switch is because the Light Switch works, and gauges are on when the key is on "Off" position.  When its on the "Run" position the lights will not turn on and the gauges turn off.  Also the motor will not even try to roll over.  I would have started to working through its problems but Michigan is having a big wind storm that called for wind and snow so I got her tarped upon the trailer still till things get better then I will start digging into the wiring.

 

As I diagnose this I will keep everyone updated.  Attached is a picture of the tractor when I finally got it home.

57262306289__BA19B71E-37E0-492B-9C00-2FA0AA091DF4.jpg

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ericj

P.O. might have installed the wrong switch leading to some of your problems. Hopefully they didn't cut off the switch plug and use all separate wires on the switch and wire things all wrong.

 

We are getting very strong winds here also, gust as high as 60 mph last night. Supposed to clam down by 8 tonight, if you can believe the weatherman :hide:  just changed it to 10 pm with gust as high as 40 mph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

eric j

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Toasty

Luckily the plug is still intact.  They did cut other wires going to the coil and down by the wire and had used those gross snap lock connectors.  I have printed off the wire digram today so when I get a chance to uncover the tractor I can go through it with a better idea what I need to be looking for.

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Toasty

I was able to work on the tractor for about 15 minutes last night.  I found the correct key switch off of one of my other tractors.  When I tried to start the tractor there ended up being a short that shocked me and then blew a fuse.  So once the weather gets better I will be going over the whole wire harness with a fine tooth comb.  All I can say is that I am glad that it has fuses on this tractor.

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Toasty

I finally have gotten the tractor uncovered and started work on it again today.  After taken the seat off, the fenders and the cover where the Hydro shifter is I found that all the switches have been unplugged.  I have plugged in all the switches back in.  After unplugging the Key switch connector a couple times the gauges all started to work properly and so did the indicator lights.  i even got the headlights/tail lights fixed.  After getting all that done that starter would no engage and roll over the engine properly.

 

What I have found out so far is that I am not getting any spark from either spark plug.  I had to stop there for the night to get my son to bed.  Hoping to keep on troubleshooting it more tomorrow.

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Toasty

After putting my multi-meter (-) on the Negative on the battery, then (+) on the positive side of the coil, and put the key switch to run.  My multi-meter read 11.XX volts no matter how much I move the fly wheel around.  So I guess I will be ordering a new Ignition Module.

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Toasty

Got the new ignition Module installed.  Tested again with a multimeter and see the volts changing, however was still not getting spark.  I swapped out the coil with one I had on my Kohler Twin engine and the Onan Engine started right up.  After looking closer at the coil that was in it, it does not look like it had ever been replaced like the PO had been told from the person he got it from.  Thanks again to @ericj for your help.

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