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John Deere 214 Governor problem

4845 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cementhead
Hey guys, I've got a 1980 John Deere 214 Lawn and Garden tractor with a Kohler 321 engine. I've been using this mower since I was a kid. It still starts and runs flawlessly. The only problem I have is that once the engine gets hot, if you turn the blades off (reducing the load) the engine starts over revving and the throttle bar is rendered useless. All throttle links and everything appear fine. I called my local John Deere guy and he said the governor was worn out and would need to be replaced. That would make sense based on its behavior. Unfortunately this entails taking the engine off the mower and basically taking it down the the crankcase. He said if he would recommend replacing the rings at the sime time. I have 2 questions:
1-Is there any alternate fix for this as opposed to taking the engine all the way down?
2-If not, what would you rate the difficulty attempting this work myself. I would characterize myself as mechanically inclined. I have almost all tools necessary and I would have plenty of time to do it The catcher is I've never taken down a small engine and I don't want to bit off more than I can chew. Let me know what you think!
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I've never looked too closely at the governor setup on the 214 but it seems odd you need to field strip the whole engine. There's no real rocket surgery to stripping these engines down. I've yanked two horizontal shaft K181S motors in the past month and taking your time you can have it out and on the bench in an afternoon or less. The only thing I'd recommend past basic hand tools is an impact wrench.

Tips I've found:
1) Download the Kohler engine service manual if its available for your motor (I think it is). If nobody posts the link I have a couple in pdf I can e-mail.
2) Bag and label parts as you go. Especially if you're over 40 and/or have kids.
3) Take pictures as you go of various stages. The carb and governor linkage are usually important for me because I can never remember which holes the linkage was set up in.

Edit: Try
I had a 214 in the early 80's that the governor opened up while mowing. Moved throttle all the way down and the motor still revved. Had to just turn the key off. It was still under warranty so the dealer picked it up and fixed it. I don't know what he did to it, but I don't think he tore the motor down on a brand new machine. I would hate to see you go through all that when there could be a simple fix.
Thanks for the info guys. I'm hoping I can find a alternate fix because it does seem a shame to do all of that work if governor is the only thing not working. I can still mow with it until the season is over and this winter I'll decide if I'm going to take it apart or not. I do have the technical manual as a guide so that is good.
Try the gov.adj. procedure in the service manual and check the spring to be sure it is not broken or un hooked. If this checks out the only other way is a teardown. The guy who told you to rebuild it was right these were some of the best small engines ever made and if done properly will run for another 30 years.
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