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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Havent posted much lately since everythings been good with the 317, but since day one I've been having a problem with ideling after a long hot run. I mowed some grass today about 2 hours (80* outside) and when I was done I turned it off. Go to restart it 5 minutes later and its starts, chuggs, blows black smoke for 5 seconds and surges for another 20 seconds then all is ok. The bowl is so hot under the hood I cant even touch it. I'm thinking once cooler fuel gets to the tractor all is ok then. Any suggs? Carb is brand new Kohler. Engine is Magnum 18.

When cold it starts in one sec without choke. I never had to use choke yet.
 

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I've got the same problem with a Kawasaki engine in a 425. If I shut it off hot, gas will boil in the bowl and force it's way into the throat, flooding it. The only way I can get it started is to either wait an hour or open it up wide and crank the dickens out of it. It starts to pop and sputter and puts out black smoke then evens out after maybe 30 sec. There is another new thread that sounds similar to this problem.
http://www.wfmachines.com/discus/messages/17/24249.html?1245616159

I'm curious why you never had to use the choke. That is not normal. Is the choke butterfly wide open? Checking the float and valve might be a good place to start. I was considering putting on a carb. cooler as well, but you really shouldn't have to do that.

Jim A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I checked the float drop and everything when I put the new carb on and it was all in spec. Choke butterfly is wide open. I think I needed choke once when it was like 40 outside but other then that one day its been warmer and never had to use it.
 

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My 317 does the same thing. I took the side covers off since they trap the heat and things are better. I think it is just a problem of heat soak and the hood and sides trap the heat. Could always add some louvers in the hood like the hot rodders do LOL.
 

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I haven't had much time at all to work on my JD toys this year but I was at my dad's yesterday and he had a little 111 sitting in the yard. He got it for free and gave it to me for the same price. I don't have any pics yet, sorry. He said the PO told him the starter was bad (it was). I happened to have a new one so I installed it and the little fella started right up. The 11 horse Briggs engine smoked but I'd seen worse. I warmed it up a bit and and tried mowing with it. Didn't have very good power and started smoking worse after 5 minutes or so, then started to seriously lose power and abruptly started shrieking like I do when I squash my thumb with a hammer. Then the engine stopped rotating. Won't even turn over now. Luckily I have two engines (a 12.5 I/C Briggs and a 12.5 Kohler Command w/pressure lube) that will bolt right in. Might be a muffler issue with the Kohler though. Luckily the original engine ran long enough to assess the deck and transaxle. They work very well and the electric clutch is A1 too so it's worth fixing it up. The deep style deck is actually rock solid. Very little surface rust and has new blades and spindle bearings. Belts are really good too. The tires are old and two of them leak down slow. The fenderpan and the rear wheels are surface rusty and will need sandblasting but everything else looks pretty darn good. Should be an easy cosmetic resto. I'll drop a motor in it on the weekend and see how it goes. I have a little Craftsman 15 HP Die Hard 42" mower that my wife uses to mow around the house. I prefer green/yellow equipment for grounds keeping so if I can get the 111 working well I'll switch her over to that and sell the Craftsman. I found a pic of another 111 in similar condition. My deck is better and my fenderpan is a lot rustier than this one. Other that that they're twins.



Army
 

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Army,
Is your 111 a gear drive or hydrostatic, because they made both?

I think the 108, 111, 112L and the 116 were great little mowers, very efficient. If you need some info, I might be able to help as I had two 111s, a 108, and a 112L at one time or another. I just wish I kept my service manual. Whet year is yours, btw?
 

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It's a gear drive Terry. Not sure on the year. Haven't deciphered the tag yet. It has the red gas tank mounted over the engine so it's an earlier one. It almost looks like somebody swapped the fenderpan for a crappy one. The condition is distinctly different from the rest of the tractor. I'll get some actual pics of mine when I swap engines this weekend. As long as the drive pulley/clutch come off easily it shouldn't take very long. I'm still pretty busy moonlighting so I hope it goes that way.

How's your 400 doing?
 

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Army,
Since it has the electric PTO clutch and the fuel tank is under the hood, it's either a 80 or 81. 1979 was the first year and the only year they had a mechanical clutch. 1982 is when they moved the fuel tank underneath the fender deck. Being the fuel tank is under the hood, above the engine, may make it hard to fit your replacement engines as the fuel tank takes some of that room. We had one member here who used wooden shims to bring up the fuel tank a bit to clear the screen on the engine when he put in a bigger Briggs engine. I did have pictures of that setup, but I doubt if I still do.
 

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Good info Terry. Thanks! Haven't measured it yet but the Kohler Command I have appears to be pretty close in height. I'd like to use it if I can. It runs real nice, it's pressure lube and is basically a brand new engine. The story I got was it was installed in a Cub Cadet 1330 at an IH dealer down the road from the salvage yard from where I got it. The tractor fell off the delivery truck when they were taking it back to the owner. Busted the hydro transaxle wide open and bent a bunch of other stuff but didn't hurt the motor at all. I got the whole machine for $50.

The 111 also has a steering issue. It was really stiff till I lubed up the spindles. Big difference but it still has a problem. If I crank the wheel all the way left it makes a scraping noise and is harder to turn. Must be something bent or worn. I'll take a look when I have the engine out, hopefully Fri.

I like the bolt on wheels btw. Changing rear tires on a tractor with keyed hubs can be ..problematic.


Army
 

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Army,
The 108 - 116s were the last lawn tractors Deere made with rear bolt on wheels. The series that replaced the 108/111/112L/116 had the keyed hubs that are used today on just about every lawn tractor.
 

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Army--
A couple years ago I bought a 111 that had sat a long time outside. the steering was locked up solid. I had to disassemble the steering parts, use some emery cloth, and grease well. Also had to pull the spindles out and use plenty of solvent to remove the petrified grease on them and the axle. When I was done it worked like a new tractor again!!
I have also repowered several 111's and any B&S single will go in nicely. I think I put a 17.5hp in one of them. I don't recall if I did any of the ones with the little red gas tank under the hood though. The original 11 horse engines were plenty lower in height. I don't believe a Kohler would clear the tank either. Better do some measuring. One thing I recall was the dipstick on the newer B&S engines interfered with the hood. I removed it and installed the screw in plug from a push mower engine.
Those little 111's are tough, well-made, durable tractors that may never wear out. Their weakest link I think, is the axle pivot. It is a pipe nipple welded through the axle that threads into a little bracket on the front and rear sides. the threads allow it to pivot and I have seen them wear clear away. I did a major repair job on one once and don't really want to do it ever again. The first thing I check on one of these 111's and LX models is play in that pivot. Stand in front of the front wheel and put your foot on the tire and push back and forth on it and see if the axle is loose. It is worse if it also rocks axially. That can show up when rocking the steering wheel left and right. If that stamped axle assembly is broken you may want to find a good used one. Enjoy!
 

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Afterthought:
You always have issues with exhaust when repowering with an engine that has OHV in place of the original 11 horse. I save systems from tractors I junk out and cut them and weld them together with the bends needed. I refuse to cut up the hoods to make a muffler work. I don't know if any muffler shops or fab shops can bend pipe that small, so I just piece them together and weld them up with mig.
 

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Steven.. the 12.5 Briggs won't have any exhaust issues. The exhaust is a 1" threaded pipe sticking straight out from the engine with a screw on muffler on the end, similar to a 110 RF. I don't know vertical engines very well so I don't know if it's factory but I got the engine out of an MTD Yard Machine that had no other obvious mods or repairs. The Kohler exhaust is more complicated and would need to be modified. Even though I'd like to use it I may just toss the Briggs in there for the ease of it. I'll get some pics later today so you guys are seeing what I'm seeing.
 

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Found out yesterday there's just too many obstacles to use the Kohler Command but the 12.5 HP Briggs dropped right in after I notched the right side of the frame where the dipstick is. The 111's muffler will work too which is good because the hood hits the pipe on the 110 RF style exhaust. Gotta fix a problem with the engine too. It turns over very hard unless the spark plug is out. It's not the starter, solenoid etc. I tried a brand new starter and it still spins over very slow using a bench test starter switch with everything else electrical bypassed. It's barely turning over at all on the compression stroke. I pulled the head and everything appears to be working as it should. Has to be a valve adjustment issue. I don't have time to play with it right now so I'm going to park it in the shed for a few weeks.

Only got one pic so far and it's from before I stated tearing it apart. You can see the two engines I have on the cart beside it. Kohler is on the right. It's a nice engine. Too bad it won't fit.




Army
 

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Army-
Yes, it sounds like your cranking problem is caused by the need to adjust your valve lash to specs. Procedure is pretty easy ala U Tube. That engine must have the compression release feature which requires accurate lash. I'll bet millions of batteries and starters have been sold to people who were unaware of this necessity. I now know better, but I have been one of these buyers!
 

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I'm in the club too. I bought a new starter thinking that was the problem. I could take it back but I think I'll keep it. I haven't verified the valve lash is the cause yet but I can't think of anything else. It spins over like a demon with the plug out, will barely rotate with it in and testing was done with only a test switch hooked up to engage the starter. No pulleys or belts were attached. The only connection it had to the tractor were the bolts holding it down on the frame. I used a big 12V truck battery to spin the engine over. I also verified the valves were opening and closing as they should. They look good too but I'll lap them while I'm at it and also de-carbon the piston top and the head.

I'd have much rather been fooling around with that engine than what I was doing yesterday. I emptied and cleaned out a 2000 gallon koi pond. I even wet vac'd the rubber liner. There was about 3" of muck and debris in the bottom of the pond, mostly decomposed leaves from the butternut tree hanging over it. It's very clean now but I can barely move. Not used to that much bending and lifting.
 
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