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Speaking of my 184...

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  • Mike Sloane
    While I was responding to a note from a new member about his 184, I remembered that I had not followed up on the issues with my own tractor. Some of you might
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 1, 2012
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      While I was responding to a note from a new member about his 184, I
      remembered that I had not followed up on the issues with my own tractor.

      Some of you might recall that I was having what appeared to be a very
      difficult problem to resolve: the tractor would run really well for
      about half an hour or so and then suddenly lose power and die. If I
      waited for an hour, I could then re-start it and repeat the same
      performance. I overhauled the engine (which was due for new rings
      anyway) to no avail. I thought it might be the coil, but replacing it
      with a brand new one didn't help. I installed a Pertronix electronic
      ignition module (which worked very well), but the same thing happened. I
      replaced the spark plugs, and that didn't help. I also make a new fuel
      line that was routed away from the exhaust manifold and even wrapped it
      with insulation foil and installed a heat shield. All to no avail.

      Last week it pooped out on me again after half an hour, and this time it
      was right next to the barn. So I got some tools and did some tests. I
      had a good spark, and when I opened up the carburetor drain the gas that
      came out wasn't more than slightly warm, certainly not boiling.

      Now we all know that a gas engine needs three things to run: spark,
      fuel, and compression. Compression seemed like the only thing left to
      check, but, as most of us know, doing a compression check on a hot C-60
      engine is not for the faint of heart. Plus I had just replaced the
      rings, polished and checked the head for flatness, and installed a new
      head gasket. But it dawned on me that the engine spun over really well
      after it quit - maybe too well, as if there was no compression. I waited
      until the next day and pulled the manifold and side plate off and
      checked the valve clearances. The first thing I noticed was that the
      nuts holding the manifold were not all that tight, but I can't see how
      that could cause my problem. When I checked the valve clearances with a
      .015" feeler gauge, they were all just a little tight - I had to push
      hard to get the gauge in. So I made a decision to set all the valves at
      .017" just to see if maybe the exhaust valves were maybe hanging open
      when hot. I buttoned everything up and fired up the engine. It sounded
      smoother than previously (but that may have been wishful thinking on my
      part), and I took off in 2nd gear cutting some very heavy grass in my
      neighbor's 3 acre "front yard" (actually her llama pasture) that was in
      need of cutting. By the time I was done, over 45 minutes had passed, and
      the engine was still working fine, cutting some thick grass that was
      about a foot high in some places with little effort. Another difference
      was that I could idle the engine back without it dying - something that
      was not possible previously when the engine was hot. I had to quit for
      the day, but I followed up the next day, cutting another several acres
      on my property. Again, the engine ran steadily and with no loss of power
      or dying out for almost an hour.

      The point of all of this is that I cannot say for sure that opening up
      the valve clearances will work for everyone, but it seems to have worked
      for me. We had a heat wave here, with temperatures in the mid 90s, so
      the grass stopped growing. But we just got a thunderstorm that dumped
      some rain, and cooler temperatures are predicted. So I may be cutting
      grass again later in the coming week, hopefully as successfully as last
      week. By the way, I added an ounce or two of Star*Tron fuel additive to
      the tank, but I very much doubt that had anything to do with the change
      in performance - I only added it because I had it around and didn't want
      it to go unused. I won't put any more in next time I add gas to the
      tank, and if the the engine poops out after half an hour, I will know to
      put in more Star*Tron! :-)

      Mike
    • mc32spl
      As we all know, such things can be very frustrating. Best wishes, hope the valve adjustment did the trick? In my case a few summers ago, it eventually boiled
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 15, 2012
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        As we all know, such things can be very frustrating. Best wishes, hope the valve adjustment did the trick?

        In my case a few summers ago, it eventually "boiled" down to a bad coil. Since I flopped the new NAPA coil on the 184, it's been very dependable and a joy to have. Had gotten to the point that when it shut off after an hour or two and nothing seemed to help, I was ready to send it down the road.

        Knock on wood, but so far this year it's run like a champ and I haven't even had to clean the carb thus far, which has always been a yearly ritual. Since it sits at the cabin all year and only gets used sporadically, one expects some extra atention to be spent on it. Already have about 18 hours mow time on 'er so far this year. Just changed the oil/filter two weeks ago.

        Been wanting to put Ag tires on the back for years, but prices for centers/rims/tires have become ridiculous. Got another idea: Plenty of Cubs around for $1600 or less, some with almost new rear tires. Decided to just buy a Cub, swap the rears and move forward. One local Cub already has a 4' sickle mower on it, could also use that a few times per year for road frontage mowing. Might as well have a pair? ;O)
      • northcreek2624
        Isn t it amazing how these very basic machines can some times drive us crazy? Here are a few problems that I have had over the years,maybe it can help a
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 16, 2012
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          Isn't it amazing how these very basic machines can some times drive us crazy?
          Here are a few problems that I have had over the years,maybe it can help a member.
          1. New fuel cap(flat type) from CIH came with no vent hole,drove me nuts...has a vent hole now.
          2. coil wire was resting on oil filter casting and shorting when weather conditions were right,drove me nuts...rerouted now.
          3. Not a cub but,this machine(OHV)had hardened valve seat inserts from the factory.When it got hot the seat would drop with the valve and it would stall.When you removed the head every thing looked fine,drove me nuts...got a new head...then a new tractor.
          I wonder what's next...Mike

          --- In ihcubloboyseries@yahoogroups.com, Mike Sloane <mikesloane@...> wrote:
          >
          > While I was responding to a note from a new member about his 184, I
          > remembered that I had not followed up on the issues with my own tractor.
          >
          > Some of you might recall that I was having what appeared to be a very
          > difficult problem to resolve: the tractor would run really well for
          > about half an hour or so and then suddenly lose power and die. If I
          > waited for an hour, I could then re-start it and repeat the same
          > performance. I overhauled the engine (which was due for new rings
          > anyway) to no avail. I thought it might be the coil, but replacing it
          > with a brand new one didn't help. I installed a Pertronix electronic
          > ignition module (which worked very well), but the same thing happened. I
          > replaced the spark plugs, and that didn't help. I also make a new fuel
          > line that was routed away from the exhaust manifold and even wrapped it
          > with insulation foil and installed a heat shield. All to no avail.
          >
          > Last week it pooped out on me again after half an hour, and this time it
          > was right next to the barn. So I got some tools and did some tests. I
          > had a good spark, and when I opened up the carburetor drain the gas that
          > came out wasn't more than slightly warm, certainly not boiling.
          >
          > Now we all know that a gas engine needs three things to run: spark,
          > fuel, and compression. Compression seemed like the only thing left to
          > check, but, as most of us know, doing a compression check on a hot C-60
          > engine is not for the faint of heart. Plus I had just replaced the
          > rings, polished and checked the head for flatness, and installed a new
          > head gasket. But it dawned on me that the engine spun over really well
          > after it quit - maybe too well, as if there was no compression. I waited
          > until the next day and pulled the manifold and side plate off and
          > checked the valve clearances. The first thing I noticed was that the
          > nuts holding the manifold were not all that tight, but I can't see how
          > that could cause my problem. When I checked the valve clearances with a
          > .015" feeler gauge, they were all just a little tight - I had to push
          > hard to get the gauge in. So I made a decision to set all the valves at
          > .017" just to see if maybe the exhaust valves were maybe hanging open
          > when hot. I buttoned everything up and fired up the engine. It sounded
          > smoother than previously (but that may have been wishful thinking on my
          > part), and I took off in 2nd gear cutting some very heavy grass in my
          > neighbor's 3 acre "front yard" (actually her llama pasture) that was in
          > need of cutting. By the time I was done, over 45 minutes had passed, and
          > the engine was still working fine, cutting some thick grass that was
          > about a foot high in some places with little effort. Another difference
          > was that I could idle the engine back without it dying - something that
          > was not possible previously when the engine was hot. I had to quit for
          > the day, but I followed up the next day, cutting another several acres
          > on my property. Again, the engine ran steadily and with no loss of power
          > or dying out for almost an hour.
          >
          > The point of all of this is that I cannot say for sure that opening up
          > the valve clearances will work for everyone, but it seems to have worked
          > for me. We had a heat wave here, with temperatures in the mid 90s, so
          > the grass stopped growing. But we just got a thunderstorm that dumped
          > some rain, and cooler temperatures are predicted. So I may be cutting
          > grass again later in the coming week, hopefully as successfully as last
          > week. By the way, I added an ounce or two of Star*Tron fuel additive to
          > the tank, but I very much doubt that had anything to do with the change
          > in performance - I only added it because I had it around and didn't want
          > it to go unused. I won't put any more in next time I add gas to the
          > tank, and if the the engine poops out after half an hour, I will know to
          > put in more Star*Tron! :-)
          >
          > Mike
          >
        • Richard
          Mike, love the tips this is why we have this group. i do not even have a cub but i read this stuff to learn - any more hot tips? Richard {from the Economy
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 17, 2012
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            Mike, love the tips this is why we have this group. i do not even have a cub but i read this stuff to learn - any more hot tips?
            Richard {from the Economy tractor side of things}





            --- In ihcubloboyseries@yahoogroups.com, northcreek2624 <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > Isn't it amazing how these very basic machines can some times drive us crazy?
            > Here are a few problems that I have had over the years,maybe it can help a member.
            > 1. New fuel cap(flat type) from CIH came with no vent hole,drove me nuts...has a vent hole now.
            > 2. coil wire was resting on oil filter casting and shorting when weather conditions were right,drove me nuts...rerouted now.
            > 3. Not a cub but,this machine(OHV)had hardened valve seat inserts from the factory.When it got hot the seat would drop with the valve and it would stall.When you removed the head every thing looked fine,drove me nuts...got a new head...then a new tractor.
            > I wonder what's next...Mike
            >
            > --- In ihcubloboyseries@yahoogroups.com, Mike Sloane <mikesloane@> wrote:
            > >
            > > While I was responding to a note from a new member about his 184, I
            > > remembered that I had not followed up on the issues with my own tractor.
            > >
            > > Some of you might recall that I was having what appeared to be a very
            > > difficult problem to resolve: the tractor would run really well for
            > > about half an hour or so and then suddenly lose power and die. If I
            > > waited for an hour, I could then re-start it and repeat the same
            > > performance. I overhauled the engine (which was due for new rings
            > > anyway) to no avail. I thought it might be the coil, but replacing it
            > > with a brand new one didn't help. I installed a Pertronix electronic
            > > ignition module (which worked very well), but the same thing happened. I
            > > replaced the spark plugs, and that didn't help. I also make a new fuel
            > > line that was routed away from the exhaust manifold and even wrapped it
            > > with insulation foil and installed a heat shield. All to no avail.
            > >
            > > Last week it pooped out on me again after half an hour, and this time it
            > > was right next to the barn. So I got some tools and did some tests. I
            > > had a good spark, and when I opened up the carburetor drain the gas that
            > > came out wasn't more than slightly warm, certainly not boiling.
            > >
            > > Now we all know that a gas engine needs three things to run: spark,
            > > fuel, and compression. Compression seemed like the only thing left to
            > > check, but, as most of us know, doing a compression check on a hot C-60
            > > engine is not for the faint of heart. Plus I had just replaced the
            > > rings, polished and checked the head for flatness, and installed a new
            > > head gasket. But it dawned on me that the engine spun over really well
            > > after it quit - maybe too well, as if there was no compression. I waited
            > > until the next day and pulled the manifold and side plate off and
            > > checked the valve clearances. The first thing I noticed was that the
            > > nuts holding the manifold were not all that tight, but I can't see how
            > > that could cause my problem. When I checked the valve clearances with a
            > > .015" feeler gauge, they were all just a little tight - I had to push
            > > hard to get the gauge in. So I made a decision to set all the valves at
            > > .017" just to see if maybe the exhaust valves were maybe hanging open
            > > when hot. I buttoned everything up and fired up the engine. It sounded
            > > smoother than previously (but that may have been wishful thinking on my
            > > part), and I took off in 2nd gear cutting some very heavy grass in my
            > > neighbor's 3 acre "front yard" (actually her llama pasture) that was in
            > > need of cutting. By the time I was done, over 45 minutes had passed, and
            > > the engine was still working fine, cutting some thick grass that was
            > > about a foot high in some places with little effort. Another difference
            > > was that I could idle the engine back without it dying - something that
            > > was not possible previously when the engine was hot. I had to quit for
            > > the day, but I followed up the next day, cutting another several acres
            > > on my property. Again, the engine ran steadily and with no loss of power
            > > or dying out for almost an hour.
            > >
            > > The point of all of this is that I cannot say for sure that opening up
            > > the valve clearances will work for everyone, but it seems to have worked
            > > for me. We had a heat wave here, with temperatures in the mid 90s, so
            > > the grass stopped growing. But we just got a thunderstorm that dumped
            > > some rain, and cooler temperatures are predicted. So I may be cutting
            > > grass again later in the coming week, hopefully as successfully as last
            > > week. By the way, I added an ounce or two of Star*Tron fuel additive to
            > > the tank, but I very much doubt that had anything to do with the change
            > > in performance - I only added it because I had it around and didn't want
            > > it to go unused. I won't put any more in next time I add gas to the
            > > tank, and if the the engine poops out after half an hour, I will know to
            > > put in more Star*Tron! :-)
            > >
            > > Mike
            > >
            >
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