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It's alive! The 140 breathes again!

615 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mike_l
Well after three years of tinkering around restoring the family 140 it finally came to life, bellowing smoke, but still it lives!

I finally got to a point where I needed a working motor to continue on, so I put the old motor (not the original) back in to see just how bad it was, and to be able to continue working on the tractor. I had to jumper it from my truck as I have not yet found a battery of its own. First off the start solenoid was bad. The JD dealer closed 5 minutes before I got there, so I just bypassed that problem. A few seconds on the starter a little choke, a cloud of smoke and she was running! Not bad after 10+ years of just sitting outside in the snow and such.

I was at least able to make some checks on my wiring harness to make sure that was all good, adjust the control cam and check for hydraulic leaks. I still have some air in the hydraulic system that I need to bleed out though. The engine is however in bad shape. The head gasket is leaking. It's burning oil. And has a knock, but this may be due to the timing being slightly too far advanced. I was able to get it to idle down to 800 rpm. I at least can work on the rest of the tractor and rebuild the original motor this fall.

Many thanks to all for your help in this project!!!

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Mike, it's beautiful , awesome job, feels good don't it. Something about the satisfaction you get , when a rebuild comes all together. It looks Awesome!
Looks Great. My brother has a 140 torn apart with a blown motor. Seeing this makes me want to rebuild his.

Hey Mike nice job. I like the attention to detail. what paint are you using? I will start my 140 this winter. hope to see more pics. thanks Jeff
Thanks for the kind words. It has been a lot of fun and at times challenging. I used all John Deere paint except for the muffler. The muffler was painted with BBQ grill paint. Time will tell how that will hold up.
Well, I had some time to work on the 140 again today and decided to pull the head off and see what was going on. As you can see the cylinder is wet with oil. The carbon build up was not as bad as I had expected. The good news is it is still a STD piston. A quick check of the bore and I think I can get away with just a .010" oversize. The thing that has me wondering is the wear on the piston toward the valve side. Is this normal given the age of the motor? There dosen't seem to be any evidence of pre-ignition. There is a lot of slop side to side of the piston to cylinder wall though. Now to find a good machine shop in the Northern KY, Cincinnati OH area!

Notice the gap on the valve side of the piston!

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From what I have seen in 4 Kohler rebuilds, the greatest amount of cylinder wear is usually at the exhaust valve. You may need .020 over piston and rings just to get that one round again. Also plan on having the crank ground down to .010 undersize, they just get a little egg shaped over time.

I am about to start a rebuild on my 70' Patio. It was burning a tremendous amount of oil even after I corrected an issue the PO did to the breather. After pulling the head and the valves, I found my valve guides were well worn out of specs. My cylinder bore is also checking at a point that I hope to get by with just a .010” overbore. But, I will not order parts until I bore and verify it cleans up completely. I also have a good amount of wear in the piston skirt, which allows the piston to rock in the cylinder bore. The wear you are seeing on the valve side, may just from the piston rock if your piston skirt is worn also.

Good luck on your rebuild! Are you going to do most of the work yourself? Looks like in your profile you are fully capable. Do you have your A&P? I picked up mine right out of high school (many moons ago - LOL).

Photo is of my 70' K321 - Teardown started.

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The gap that I refer to is actually in the piston. The cylinder bore is round. It was just a quick check that I made with dial calipers and there is a ridge at the top as expected. I'll get a bore micrometer tomorrow to verify this. The piston skirt may be heavily worn or broken, but no metal in the oil, yet!

Tim, I plan on doing all the assembly work myself after I can find a good machine shop to do the cylinder, valve guides, and seats. I do miss aviation, but not the headaches that came with it. What I do now is no where near the technical level that aviation offered. At least now I'm home 80%-90% of the time and have holidays off too!
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