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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is probably the wrong place to put this but.... Last Friday I thought I was doing pretty good. Making a deal to trade a rifle for a newer JD lawn tractor.... It was for a Deere SST18. The guy said it needed a new throttle cable but other than that it worked fine.... I read up on the SST's before I agreed to it. What I read was the steering could be problematic but if you understood how it worked it wasn't too bad to figure out. They didn't do well at holding a slope. Also read that the Briggs motors in them were pretty good. Well my wife and I go up and check it out. It looks pretty decent. Cracked hood as all of them seem to have. But overall decent shape for the price. Just before I went up to check it out the guy said it wouldn't start that morning and he had to dump some gas in it. Only gas he had was mixed 2cycle gas but it was running. I said ok nbd. We got there, started it up, it smoked a bit. Which I attributed to the mixed gas in it, and he said yes that was why it was smoking. Normally it did not smoke. I ran it, drove it turned pto on off etc... We made the trade and off we went... Wife wanted to visit the casino in the area so we got a hotel room for the night and went home the next day. I was pretty proud of it for what little I had in it and thought it would make my wife happy since she likes having foot controls and I figured going around all of our trees the SST would be nice! Well we unload it and I fill it with regular fuel and some seafoam. Start it up and run the pto and proceed to mow with it. Well I never checked if it steered while the PTO was on before I bought it. It wouldn't steer with the PTO engaged. So after some checking and troubleshooting I got that figured out with vacuum and jerry rigging the throttle to get full RPM from the motor. Wife proceeds to mow with it. And it seems low on power. It would bog in any type of grass. I thought maybe it just still had some bad gas in it so I told her to run it a while and see if it gets any better. Well I go in the house to get a drink as it was very hot out. I hear a loud backfire twice from it. She stops and comes to get me. I again thought it was fuel related so I fired it up to take it to the shop to drain fuel and refil. Well after I fired it up it was shaking and then I heard metal clanking and a bang and it died... Wife asks me what was that? I said that was not good.... I go to turn it over and I can tell by how fast it's spinning compression is gone at the very least. So I pull the plugs. And of course one plug has aluminum on it... I shine my smartphones flashlight in that cylinder and have my wife spin the starter... The piston doesn't move... I haven't torn it apart yet but I'm guessing broke rod or wrist pin. There are no holes in the block that I can see. My question is here would it be worth it to fix? OR should I just part it out. I left it for the weekend as I was frustrated with it to say the least... If I fix it, can I get by possibly with just replacing the parts that are broke or should I replace both pistons and rods even if after inspection they look ok?

This is a picture my wife took of it and posted on Facebook of "Her new toy"... Another bad part is... I traded one of HER hunting rifles for it so now I feel doubly bad about how it turned out and want to make it right for her...
 

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Craig,
The SST is one of the most underrated mower out there. A lot of misinformation about them, and it started with the dealers.

There is a yahoo group web site dedicated to them, but traffic on it is sparse. SST Club. There is some data and files there that helps explain the workings of the tractor and the system.

A co-worker of mine has one, a SST18 and his engine also blew up in his. He liked his so much he bought a replacement engine and had my lawn mower repair guy install it.

I would look for a replacement engine, but it's your call and your money. My co-worker found one for around $600 to $700, back in 2009.
 

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I have always wanted to mow with one of these. If you want to sell it as is with junk engine, send me an email. Address in my profile.
 

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Motor looks like around $800: http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/RepowerItems.asp?Brand=John%20Deere&Model=SST18. I always thought these were pretty cool if you have a flat lawn (I don't). I'd go that route - frustrating, but you could end up with a nice mower.

Alternatively, you may wish to check the consumer protection laws in your state. In Massachusetts there is an implied warranty for 30 days, unless the mower was sold as is.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh and before it went catastrophic on me. I really did like the mower! Was easy to use and drive. Mowed EXCELLENT even with rather dull blades... Our lawn is flat except the ditches. Can use one of my 318's to mow them. So that was why I got it was just to make it faster and easier for my wife to mow everything else...
 

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Sorry that deal came out the way it did, Craig. I always wanted to try one of those models too. The local dealer here said they only sold one of those. I'm pretty sure the same one was traded in a couple years ago, but it was sold again in about a week.
I'll bet your wife will like it once you get it squared away. Until then you might want to consider hiding the ammo to her other shootin' irons! (Have you ever watched the movie "The Straight Story"?)

tommyhawk
 

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Hello all,

I picked up this 1977 210 about 6 months ago and have been loving it ever since. I have only had to do little things to bring it up to speed so far but eventually want to rebuild the engine.

Over the long weekend for Christmas I have pulled the head (head gasket was leaking but not blown) and most of the bolts were fairly loose. I used my walnut blaster to clean the cylinder, valves, and head. I will get pics of the finished product soon.

The only question I have is the engine smokes a little when I start it up. Once warm it stops smoking (can still smell a little burning oil) it will use about a 1/4 qt every 5-8 hours. I noticed when I got the head off that there is more cylinder to wall gap closest to the valves. I am not sure if that is normal for this engine or if that is the ovalizing that I am hearing about. If it is an oval piston bore would it be worth it to put a fresh set of rings in now, knowing that I will be doing a full rebuild probably next winter?

Also as a side conversation I have the opportunity to get a 2 cyl 20hp Yanmar diesel (brand new) for less then it will cost to rebuild the K241. Anyone seen any diesel swaps in the 200 series Tractors?
 

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Kelly,

Welcome!

As far as that 20 hp Yanmar - it would transplant a lot easier into a 300-series tractor. IT is kind of difficult to get a bigger engine located properly within the 200-series frame so the variator works properly and the hood and side covers fit properly.
 

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I'm doing the same thing you are, at about the same time. I just pulled my k241 out of my 1975 210 i inherited from my dad. Pulling the motor apart later then dropping it off at the machine shop for some work.
 

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Curtis post up pics of your build :)

Today I checked bore and it's actually round, also still in spec. Put new head gasket on and cranked it up. Runs so much better it is really amazing, also does not seem to burn oil now either.

It is possible it was just a stuck ring causing issue, one thing I did while the head was off was soak the rings with something simular to pb blaster. Seemed to really work into the rings. Anyway, the engine is running a lot stronger and smoother. Tomorrow I will be readjusting the valves as they are tapping and hopefully the parts I ordered from Kirk engines will be here :)
 
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