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212 Running, but not right...

656 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  hec_in_omaha
hi has anyone ever replaced the top crankshaft seal on a 345 with 20 hp kawasaki. how do you remove the old seal and do you need special tools. i drained the radiator and removed it pulled the flywheel and sure enough the top seal is leaking and oil is oozing down sides of engine. i called the local jd dealer a new seal costs five bucks so if i can do it myself it would be a cheap fix. any info would be appreciated thanks.
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I have a 1978 212 that has been giving me issues. It will run beautifully for some time (3 or 4 mowings) and then start loading up for about 15 seconds at a time then clear up and run for maybe 20 seconds up to 5 minutes then do it again. When it does it it puffs black smoke and of course, giving it a bit of choke only makes it worse. It usually will act up when turning but not always and direction doesn't seem to matter. I put myself through college working on these things but this one has me baffled. Carb is clean, have changed needle and seat and the float and checked for cracks. Float is set very low (normally I set them just above level with the carb upside down but this one is set at a pretty good incline) and it appears to help but only for so long. Electrically this thing is fine, have switched out coil, condenser, points, plug, plug wire etc with known good parts and it still does it. About the only thing I haven't changed is the fuel pump. I haven't ever seen one put up too much pressure, only too little or leak. Next time I have time I will figure out a way to check fuel pressure. Have any of you guys ever run into something like this? Thoughts? Ideas?
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Have you removed the shut off valve on the bottom of fuel tank?
I would to inspect the screen and workings of it. Clean the tank well too.
You did adjust the governor arm on the gov shaft and check that there is no binding of the linkage from gov arm through the motion of the throttle valve on the carb?
JDF; I cleaned the strainer long ago but will check it again. Also, I don't believe it is leaning out when it does its thing, are you thinking it keeps eating a bit of trash?

Scott; I haven't checked the governor linkage lately, I will check it.

You mentioned that the engine begins to misbehave when your turn. Just a hunch but does it do it when you turn left? If it does then I would suspect the needle and seat. Does the carb have a rubber tipped needle or a solid brass one? If it has a rubber tipped needle is it soft rubber or hard? If the needle is rubber tipped, try pushing the tip into the back of your hand. If it hurts then its the hard tipped needle. If the needle tip just smushes and bends but doesn't hurt your hand then you have a soft tipped needle. The soft tipped needle seems to not be able to control the fuel level in the bowl when the fuel pump is operating at WOT. It allows too much fuel and makes the engine cough and sputter. This may explain the black smoke. The carb float is hinged on the right side of the tractor so if you make a sharp left the centrifugal force generated may be enough to allow the float to drop and let more fuel in the bowl causing the sputter. The next time it acts up, try pinching the fuel line with a pair of vice grips. If it runs better I would say its your float level, needle and seat or both. The soft rubber tipped needles are fine if the engines fuel is gravity fed. Obviously yours is not. I personally like the solid brass needles. That's what your engine originally came with. Been there done that!

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