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 WheelHorse C-81

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TedTheDestroyer
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PostSubject: WheelHorse C-81   Mon May 29, 2017 12:19 am

Got this old 1978-79 wheelhorse from a family member today. Was told something broke in the engine a long time ago, but it's been sitting inside a shed since then. Not completely sure what my plans are for it yet, that all depends on how bad the engine is.









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AllisKidD21
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon May 29, 2017 9:22 am

A K181, nice! 8 horse? I cant remember what those were rated at. The trans and drawbar on that thing look indestructible!
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MatthewD
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon May 29, 2017 10:30 am

Kohler K181's were rated at 8hp Smile That looks in really good shape for it's age man!
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed May 31, 2017 8:15 am

The good news is that it runs, the bad news is that it makes a very unhappy sound when it does
https://youtu.be/zlOuOBr7yes
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AllisKidD21
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed May 31, 2017 9:21 am

Ooooh, that's bad. Sounds like a worn crank journal or rod bearing.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed May 31, 2017 9:44 am

Oh I'm sure its fine Wink

I would see about finding a new rod bearing (or rod if they're one piece) and maybe machine the crank. Rings are likely fine if it runs that well other than the knock. Those older engines were kind of underrated, so 8 hp might be more like 12 or 14 nowadays
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:57 am

Hey I've got that same exact C-81 that I have a build thread on right now. These tractors are built solid.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do with yours.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:58 pm

Tore it down this weekend to find that there was only one bolt holding the connecting rod on the crank (which was also working its way out). I polished the majority of the gouges out of the connecting rod and put it back together. There was a ding on the dipper but it should be fine. Surprising how little damage for having a bolt let loose inside the crankcase.



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AllisKidD21
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:04 pm

Did you measure the crank jounral? I would... It could be out of round or slightly wore all the way around by a bit. The rod could be bad too, it all depends on how long it has been run with that bolt missing.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:09 pm

I didn't measure anything on it before putting it back together. I was told it got put in a shed as soon it started acting up. Here's a video of it now.

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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:18 pm

Sounds pretty healthy
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AllisKidD21
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:28 pm

Yeah she does sound pretty good!
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:23 am

That sounds really similar to mine. You have the nice factory exhaust.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:54 am

She does sound pretty good.

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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:41 pm

@TedTheDestroyer wrote:
Got this old 1978-79 wheelhorse from a family member today. Was told something broke in the engine a long time ago, but it's been sitting inside a shed since then. Not completely sure what my plans are for it yet, that all depends on how bad the engine is.









WOW what  a nice looking Machine.
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TedTheDestroyer
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:37 pm

Currently I've been starting it with a screwdriver since the key hasn't been working for the starter so I'm thinking I need a new solenoid. I'm not sure what would make it stop working since it worked when I made the first vid in this thread and has been sitting inside since. My plans are to eventually get Interco Vampires for the back and something semi-aggressive for the front.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:04 am

I had an intermitten starting issue with mine too. When it wouldn’t want to start I would just wiggle the solenoid and it would turn over.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:55 am

Maybe check the ground between the frame and the solenoid. They're cheap, but worth a shot
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:59 pm

How does one "wiggle the solenoid"
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:14 pm

Basically on the style solenoid I have the plastic housing is riveted to the metal bracket that bolts to a plate on the engine. When mine won't turn over I wiggle that loose plastic housing side to side a little bit and it works. I've already picked up a new one, I'm just crunched for time to install it right now.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:54 pm

This weekend I fixed my starting issue, it was the safety switch for the mower deck handle that I had removed. I also converted the mower deck height handle to a brake lever like you see in drift cars. I then used the old brake pedal as a gas pedal. I drove past a digital speed sign in town and found out it tops out at 18mph.






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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:04 am

That's pretty cool! That Wheel Horse is looking good!

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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm

Looks good! One of these days I'm getting a Wheel Horse. They're so cool!
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:46 am

Nice mods man! I’d love to see pictures of your pulley swap and your handbrake set up. How does that Kohler engine with the heavy flywheel like the fast action of the foot throttle? Are you using the governor? FYI I used wires from the factory harness, some new wire connectors and a great wiring diagram for a C-81 to completely rewire my tractor to eliminate the problematic seat, PTO, and clutch switches. I basically just had to run wires from the ignition switch directly to the coil, solenoid, battery, and rectifyer. The whole process took about an hour.
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PostSubject: Re: WheelHorse C-81   Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:47 pm

It responds pretty good to the foot throttle and yes I am using the governor. I'll get some pictures at the end of the week.
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