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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too wet to do anything in the yard today so I uncovered the 216 I acquired recently, along with a 214 and 332, and took a first look around. Dispatched a red hornet building a nest on backside of instrument panel...that's a good start, a little PB Blaster and down he went!
Engine oil looks good, spark plug looks healthy/good, has compression...needs a new wiring harness. Manual PTO lever/mechanism works and is the later style (learned the tractor is a 1980 model per the serial number). Clutch works and variator sheave is free, but variator adjust top button is stuck. Shifter moves freely between all gears and shift gate is missing. Starter is DOA...parked the 322 nearby, tried to boost the starter with cables...no response at all.
Choke cable is frozen. Ground was too wet to get down and crawl around looking for the points cover, but all the electrical stuff is there...bad battery cables, two-post breaker, solenoid, PTO switch...ammeter is missing, no evidence of N safety switch or seat switch.
Carb cover, air filter & horn present but horn to carb screws missing.
So the initial shopping list includes wiring harness, starter, ignition switch (definitely toast), tune-up kit.
Sniffed the float on the make-believe fuel gauge...dry but smells pretty skunky/varnishy...so a fuel system redo from tank forward is in order.
Steering wheel looks wonky...smaller than it should, must be off of another model...three spoke but not like the one on my 212.
Can't resist asking a lazy question...are the points up front, right bottom corner like on my 212? Or in an easier to reach area? Gave the PB Blaster a good workout, on all the fasteners that will soon go under the wrench. Here's the only pix of it I have, from the day it arrived:
216A.jpg
 

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Good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And a bit of luck, too. Forgot that I have a set of throttle/choke cables hanging in the garage...bought them as a pair as spares for my 212. That's one item off the parts list anyway.
If it stays sunny tomorrow, I'll drag a 4X8 sheet of 3/4 plywood over to the 216, move it out away from the fence a little and stand the plywood up behind it. That way when I want to crawl around under the 216, I can roll it forward a little, drop the plywood, push the tractor back and have a clean solid surface to work on.
Next up is getting the control knobs, fender pan and seat off and having a look at the working end of things. Then it's new fluids and some general cleanup under there. Already caught a glimpse of a "custom" hunk of wire that I think the variator spring is attached to. Then I can pull, clean, check/test the existing electrical components like coil, solenoid, etc. and see how much rust is lurking under the dust. And with the derelict/parts 214 right there handy, some parts won't have to be ordered...like a correct steering wheel. Maybe I can have it running and moving under its own power before the summer heat shows up here so I can move it into the garage or the shop.
Film at 11...
 

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Doesnt sound in to bad a condition overall.
I'll add 1 item I ran into with a 212 I had. It sat outside and water got into the gear box. I guess thru the shifter, or it was never changed. But you'll want to check that.
I dont have any 2xx tractors now, but I bought a new key switch and spark plug and didnt use them. Both unopened. There yours if you want them. PM your address and I'll get them on the way.
Heres a pic....
265918


I'll follow along here also, enjoyable and informative, you do a nice job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did a little more to the 216 today...goal was to get all the fender deck knobs off intact and pull the fender pan. Oddly, all the knobs came off without a fight, as did the three rusty bolts holding the fender pan down, and both the clutch pedal and brake pedal. Couldn't get clearance to lift the pan off and forward of the shifter rod, seat clearance issues...so I called in an old friend after the two rusty seat bolts refused to budge:
Mr. reciprocating saw made short work of the bolts
seat.jpg


Nothing unusual about the fender pan, and caught a break on the gas tank...completely empty and the shut-off valve had actually been used/closed before it was parked. The valve loosened right up with a squirt of PB Blaster, so it may be reuseable. A quick trip down the car wash should take care of the dried-out crapenol residue in the tank:
fenderpan.jpg

tank.jpg


Everything under the fender pan looks pretty solid...seat safety switch wasn't bypassed and the N safety switch is there and in place. Can you spot the one-off, custom racing mod? Definitely a non-stock anchor for the spring that puts spring in the tensioner pulley. And thankfully, the shifter boot/tower/cap/cover/whatever is there and intact so I'm optimistic about no serious water intrusion in the rear end.
frame1.jpg
frame2.jpg


Need to get after a few other critical fasteners with the PB Blaster, namely the rear drive pulley retainer bolts. Also, no sign of axle seals being bad...assuming there is lube of some sort in the rear end.
Next, I'll pull check/test electrical components under the hood while waiting on parts to arrive and maybe get the dead starter off. Depending on how much rust I find and how the frame/components clean up, I may opt to oil the frame, etc., rather than repaint it...we'll see. Plenty of used oil around.
 

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It looks like a pretty decent tractor under that pan. I'll mention 1 other item, in case you didnt know. On the top left rear of the diff is that shiny bolt, that's the breather for the diff. Even though the seals arent leaking, it would still be a good idea to remove it and clean. It's a small hole and easily plugged.
It's also much easier to change axle fluid with the pan off. The hole for the breather is a lot easier to fill it back up.
You may already know all this to, so I'll shut up now, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, sad news...the wiring harness JD AM37256 is NLA, out of stock and can't be ordered. Guess I'll be gingerly removing the old harness and looking closely at it...I don't like making these.
 

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I have found some washing machines have a lot of wires for all of the different timers and switches. If you can find one free somewhere you might be able to get most of the correct colored wires and save on the cost of building a new harness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And apparently all Series 200 wiring harnesses are NLA/Obsolete...not even any NOS to be had in the official dealer network. This applies to: AM37256, AM35101, AM36846 and AM38395. So tomorrow the existing harness comes out, along with the components attached for a good inspection. I know the ignition switch plug/connector is toast, it basically came apart in my hand getting it off...just as toasty as the ignition switch. The first rabbit pursuit in this project is underway...more later.
 

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An idea for making a wire harness if you do not have the correct wire colors....you can use a standard wire color (white or black) and use colored heat shrink tubing at the end of each wire to mark the color. Heat shrink is available in variety color packs. Just a thought. You can also get electrical tape in many colors and use that on the ends. Electricians typically use it to mark the three phases when installing wiring, they use the standard black wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Parts are arriving, so I have to get my arse in gear and make some more progress. Thanks to Skwirl for the ignition switch and spark plug...arrived today, as did the new/rebuilt Denso starter. Got the fuel shutoff valve out of the tank, but it is toast...one more thing for the parts list. And I managed to drain the rear-end, too...not too good, got some milkshake out of there, but not metal bits/shavings. I have the catch pan underneath and all the plugs/vent out and have it covered, going to let gravity do it's think overnight.
Opinions on flushing a differential? I need to make a supplies run tomorrow and was thinking fill the differential with motor oil or ATF, spin the wheels a little while off the ground, drain...extended overnight drain, then plug and refill with correct gear oil. It does go through all the gears smoothly and no evidence of metal out of it yet. Opinions on flushing & fluids welcome.
Tomorrow I should be able to get a close look at the old wiring harness, plan to take it out, label the connectors, and eyeball it in the shop under good strong light. Still checking here and there online for an actual harness lying in shelf inventory somewhere, but no luck so far...and the used ones on the auction site don't look that appealing. I may have to take up the snips/connectors on this one and just make a new one...thanks for the idea, Tom.
 

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Tom, if you feel it necessary to flush transmission, I would use diesel fuel or kerosene. The diesel fuel would be the cheaper option unless you just happen to already have some kerosene. I think you have the right idea about jacking it up and rotating tires and shifting gears to insure a good flush. Sitting overnight should allow enough drain time as well. Pay attention to axle seals while you have it filled with diesel, that way if you see any leaks you could replace before putting new oil into it. They are cheap and fairly easy to replace once removing rear end from tractor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got the flush done today, using about two liters of fuel from the 430's diesel can. Put the drain/check plugs back in, put about a liter in through the vent port...put a socket and long extension on one lug nut, with wheels off the ground, and spun it around through all the gears. Then drained and repeated...no other nastiness or chunks of stuff in the catch pan and no sign of leaky axle seals. So I button it up and refilled with 1.6 liters of spec gear oil.
If the rain stays away tomorrow, I'll either get the gas tank cleaned up down at the car wash or tackle getting the wiring harness out...neatly labeled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No rain yet today, so I managed to get the existing 216 wiring harness off in one piece and discovered I can update/replace a few connectors and both the N start switch and PTO/Seat safety switches and have a decent harness to use. Also pulled the VR, coil, solenoid and circuit breaker.
Any tips from you folks with electrical experience on cleaning the metal ends that snap into connectors...ie. tools a ham-handed fellow can use without tearing stuff up? Also, my SM tells me the values for an ohms test of the coil, but does not indicate how the values apply...I believe one test is connecting the leads from the spark plug wire tower to one of the smaller connectors, and the other is connecting leads between the smaller connectors as a pair. Do I have that right or should I be re-reading the SM more closely?
Also got the connectors and safety switches I need ordered from the Deere house. Once I get the harness rehabbed to my satisfaction and the new starter installed I'll plug everything up and give the engine a test spin. Might have a chance to finish the fuel system before then, too. Looks like replacing the starter won't as big a chore as on my 212, the K341 engine cradle is a bit different...allowing more access to the starter retainer bolts.
Eating the elephant one bite at a time...
 

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It is wise to know you can't eat an elephant in one bite! You can clean electrical connections by scrapping with sharp tool or use fine sandpaper on the flat ones. Vinegar can be used to remove corrosion also. Once you cleaned them insert-remove-reinsert a few times to allow the edges to seat. There's also an electrical connector cleaner (CRC?) you can use as a final cleaning. On the spade lugs look to see if they have 'spread' and don't fit tight, just give them a squeeze with pliers to tighter them, you will feel it when pushing them on.
 

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I believe you also have a couple connectors that fit over a threaded stud on circuit breaker and the solenoid. They get loose over time. It is best to replace then with ring terminals and use nuts to secure them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the tips guys. Picked up some CRC electric cleaner earlier today, and had a stroke of luck. Saw a decent looking wiring harness off a 210 with manual PTO in the right serial number range on the auction site, so that is on the way just in case I encounter some difficulties rehabbing the harness I have.
Made some more progress on the 216 today. Pulled the dead starter off and installed the new starter, then rolled the 322 up close by and tested the new starter with jumper cables off the 322 battery. Snaps to and spins the Kohler nicely, with and without the spark plug in. Another step out of the way.
I had forgotten the limited space changing these starters on the Kohlers in the 200-series tractors. As I went along my previous experience a few years ago doing the same on the 212 all came back to me. For those who may be facing this soon, here's my take on the job:
Equip yourself with penetrating oil, 9/16ths six-point socket plus 3/8ths drive long handled socket with shallow head, and a long box-end offset wrench with 1/2 and 9/16ths ends. Pull the battery tray and move as much of the wiring harness as you can out of the way, so you can stand near the flywheel cover and access the starter bolts through the space between the engine and left pedestal panel. Put a light under the starter and find the mounting bolts, soak with penetrating oil and let soak a few hours or overnight. Use the long box-end offset 9/16ths wrench to loosen the left starter mounting bolt and remove it...long fingers are a bonus in this job. Then use a 9/16ths, six-point socket on the wratchet to loosen/remove the right mounting bolt...from the same vantage point. Remove old starter and insert new starter with left mounting bolt through the mount. Get that bolt started, then tight, using the wrench. Square the starter as best you can from above, then reach in and start the right mounting bolt...hopefully it will slip right in if you're on the money squaring the starter. Tighten with the socket and wratchet.
Here's the new starter shot from above where the battery tray would be: note the two nasty wiring harness connectors and condensor hat will be replaced with new ones:
Starter1.jpg


Here's a shot into the access point on the left side of the tractor, right near the flywheel cover...you can see one of the mounting bolts lurking in its hard-to-reach spot:
Starter2.jpg


After the starter install and test I also soaked the drive pulley bolts on the rear-end with penetrating oil to make it easier to change the secondary drive belt when the time comes. Also put some more penetrating oil on the variator button/handle and got it to free up and move like it should...then did the same on the deck lift button/lever.
While I'm waiting for more parts to come in I'll check some of the electrical components, clean up the fuel tank, run a new fuel line, pull/clean/reinstall the carb...then put some gas in the tank and see if the fuel pump is working.
More film at 11...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It was about a two-hour adventure earlier today. Then it was trail time with shop supervisor Jack, dinner, etc. Photos came out decent, given my phone is a 1st generation Samsung Galaxy. Tomorrow is tank and pull the carb day. Oh yeah, the coil tested okay...all in spec. Okay, I'll shut up now...whip the bulldogs and go to bed.
 
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