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Hopefully I will get some input on how to go about refurbishing this tiller and answers to my many questions to come. I bought this at an auction. It had the gas tank completely drained and the inside was clean and new looking. It had brand new Stens super LUG 2 PLY agro tires. They still had the bar code stickers on them and the tires have all the nubbins or hairs that new tires have. The cheapest I found ten online for was $69 but they were mostly in the $90 range, some over $100. They are about an inch long. The 2 belts could be new also. It had great compression too. It looks like somebody had it all ready to go for the season. It was owned by a tree farm that suddenly went out of business. I expected it to fire right up after putting some gas in it. It didn't. I took off the carb bowl and it had a light blue thin oily feeling liquid in it and tons of sediment. The throttle cable was rusted fast and somebody was trying to move it and broke of the wire at the lever. I hooked up a new throttle cable. I put in a new spark plug and it has spark.

It did fire up when I used starting fluid and kept running as long as I gave it some spray. It sounded good too.

The engine is Model K161T Serial # 10208855 Spec # 281271j The 102 indicates it was made in 1980.

The tiller Model # is most likely 502230 even though it looks more like 50223 but 50223 indicates 1973 and 502230 indicates 1980 same as the engine. The pics I have of the number show a potential 0 over to the right and lower then the other numbers. It isn't even a good solid whole 0. The builder was a sloppy stamper that day.

So I took the carb off, ordered a carb rebuild kit and an engine gasket kit just in case I have to tear into this. I was taking the carb off and one of the shield plates and 2 flywheel fins were broken off and laying there. When I removed the shield and exposed the flywheel it didn't have any fins on the flywheel. Most were gone and a few were just minimally there. I will get a pic tomorrow.

I guess it is true that the fins are for cooling and not for balance because this tiller ran on starting fluid. Should I not worry about the fins and see if it runs or get a used flywheel that has all the fins? How does somebody even break all the fins off?
 

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Yes, you should get a flywheel with all the fan blades (what I believe you were calling fins). Missing fins means it isn't blowing as much air over the engine, which is what keeps it from overheating. The engine will still run, at least for awhile, but it is likely to eventually overheat if you don't replace it.

You also want to reinstall that shroud (I believe you called it a shield plate) and replace any other missing shrouds, as they keep the air being blown by the fan on the flywheel flowing around the engine. If they are not there, the air doesn't flow around the engine, and it winds up overheating.

I would also suggest changing the engine oil, as the fan blades may have been missing for awhile when the machine was still being used. I don't know what the correct oil for your engine is.

Don't know why they would be busted, maybe someone just fooling around not knowing what they were for, or done maliciously (you said the business failed suddenly), or using them to hold the flywheel stationary while working on the engine. But it doesn't really matter, it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are a number of them but not many exactly like the one I have. They have different numbers and the Cub Cadet ones don't have the magnet holes to attach the magnet. The number on mine is 41 300 01 and has a 7 under it. Possibly for 7 HP. The number 41 300 01 when searched says it is a K181 8 HP. There is one that has 41 300 01 and a 10 under it and one that has 41 300 01 and a 7 under it. Those 2 are also coil under flywheel ones. I don't know if the Cub Cadets are.

Thoughts?

Is a flywheel a flywheel or should it be and exact match. The exact match is in rough shape but has the fins. He want $75 too. The most expensive one on there but he does say make me and offer. When searching many people call them fins.
 

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Nice find!

Definitely change the oil before running it anymore, especially if it's had random fluid in the carb (don't want anything thinning the oil). Probably a good idea to change the gear oil as well.

Post more pics of the tiller, especially the hood and stickers. That helps narrow down the age range.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks micah. There is one that has all the same numbers. I am posting pics and you will see the no fans flywheel.

Dave the correct engine oil according to the manual is 30w. I was going to change it. The correct gear oil is 140w.

Hello mikeinri. I will be posting more pics tonight.

Here are pics of the flywheel.
 

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Alternately, if you have a 3D printer, you could print out a plate with a set of fins on it that you could mount on the flywheel, and held in place by that screen, as the fins/blades are only to blow air, and they won't get particularly warm (above ambient temperature anyway).
 

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Wow, that's an impressive amount of fin damage! Almost looks like something solid got to them while it was running.

Mike
 

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I wondered if somebody knocked them off intentionally. I have read about people doing it to dirt bikes and r/c vehicles to get more power and rpms. But why on a tiller engine with a governor?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I found out from 2 reliable sources that the flywheels off of K161 and K181 are interchangeable as long as they are the same diameter and have the same style magnets. That opens up my options. I ask the exact match a question about the fan fins and he answered they were in good shape. He only took one pic of the fins and the bottoms looked shorter. I ask him if they were all the same height and he never answered me back. Then I went over to a friends house who has a huge monitor desktop computer and I could see they were all the same and not broken. It had a good amount of surface rust. He had a make offer and buy it now. I made an offer of $46.60 and shipping was 13.40. It made it a nice even $60.00. When I made the bid the ebay program suggested the seller would except $55.25 but I made my bib anyways. He declined the offer. When I hit the make better offer tab he completely took away the make offer feature. I figured he would counteroffer. I didn't need the screen or shaft nut and washer and people get $20 or so selling those 2 things separate. So I was hoping to settle in at $50 plus shipping and he keeps the nut and screen. He wants $30 to $50 more than any other similar flywheel. I didn't want to insult him. I wanted to make sure it was what I wanted and when I found out it was I wanted to negotiate his make offer option.

Dave they make those plastic fins plates. Some new engines come with them. I have been looking at 8.5 to 9 inch diameter plastic fins for 7 to 8 HP engines. They bolt on the flywheel or can be held down by the screen. I could get one for $10 and free shipping. I am hoping to hear back from a guy named Brian Miller. He has good flywheels for sale. I am hoping he might have one for a K161/181. He is into pulling tractors and racing tractors.
 

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I wondered if somebody knocked them off intentionally. I have read about people doing it to dirt bikes and r/c vehicles to get more power and rpms. But why on a tiller engine with a governor?
You can get away with it on gokarts, or other faster moving equipment, as the movement gets airflow over the engine (you likely also remove or refashion the shrouds on the engine when you do this). And you also have to be careful when the vehicle/equipment is stopped, as you have no more airflow, and you have to go all F1 with a leaf blower pointed at the engine.

It would be the kiss of death on a tiller, as it just doesn't move fast enough to cool the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here are some more pics mikeinri. There are no stickers. They must be with the flywheel fins. LOL!

Does the one pulley look smaller than the other pulley. Could this be the mistake of someone adding a belt they thought was missing and it is a 4 speed? The reverse disc is in really good shape.
 

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I soaked the head in a crockpot of antifreeze and then used a scrubby pad and warm water and the carbon and old red paint easily came right off. The hot antifreeze bath is a pretty slick and safe method for removing corrosion, carbon, paint and dirt from metal.

Here is the before and after pic. I will get it looking new with a Dremel pad.
 

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I was thinking the same Dave. They do it on pulling tractors and drag racers because they just run them for a short period of time and shut them down before they can overheat.

I drained the oil and it was newer looking oil. It was more light tan color and flowed easily and not black and thick. It didn't have any contaminants in it.
 

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I am 99 1/2% sure that your tiller should only have one belt on it. You hop the belt from one of pulleys to the other set to get the "other" 2 speeds of the 4 speed drive.
 

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+1 on what Bontai Joe says. That is most definitely a 4 speed Horse and should have only 1 belt. Just my personal preference but I always use the rear pulley set. They are the Lo speed setting. When breaking new ground I also use the lo setting on the speed selector. Come to think of it the only time I switch to hi gear is when I'm traveling with the machine. I do a lot of garden tilling for people and I don't want to ruin my equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
+1 on what Bontai Joe says. I always use the rear pulley set. They are the Lo speed setting.
That would be the bigger pulley closest to the engine. Right?

Thanks for joining the thread Bontai Joe. It takes a village to keep me on the right path.
 
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