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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to figure out if a Kohler K301 12hp engine will fit a C-81 that had a K181 8hp. I am supposed to drive 2 hours tomorrow to go look at it and figured I better find out before I make my journey. Any help tonight would be great.
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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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Discussion Starter #2
So now I got a message from another person selling an engine. The C-81 came with a kohler K181 8hp. The K301 is a 12hp off of a wheel horse from the 70's . The other is a K181 10hp also off of a C series tractor. they all look very similar. Anyone know of any issues fitting either on the c-81?
 

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I don't see an issue with it I think they all mount the same four holes down to the frame. I have a k181 in my wheel horse 8 and I think my 14hp in my 14 automatic has the same spacing for the mounts. I'll check my manual for the k series motor and see if the oil pans are the same for them all


'73 wheel horse 14 automatic
'73 wheel horse 8 4speed
'72 allis chalmers 312 hydro
'05 husqvarna YTH2448
 

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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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Discussion Starter #4
not that I know much about engines, but would where the gas tank is located on the tractor make a difference?
 

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No not really unless the fuel system is gravity fed. Both the kohler motors have a diaphragm fuel pump mounted on them and the c-81 fuel tank should be under the hood closest to the dash of the tractor


'73 wheel horse 14 automatic
'73 wheel horse 8 4speed
'72 allis chalmers 312 hydro
'05 husqvarna YTH2448
 

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C-Series Bubba...
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The Kohler 10hp is a K241...Also, the fuel tank on a C-81 is under the fender. 1974-1977 is under the hood, 1978 thru 1984 is under the fender. The C-81 is a 1978-1979 model.
 

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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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Discussion Starter #7
yes, the gas tank is under the fender. That is why I was wondering if it would matter. I didn't realize the 10hp was a K241 though. I guess that makes sense. So any ideas from anyone if I should have any issues putting in the 12hp K301? I am leaving around 11:30 this morning.
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The C series had a few differences, bigger tires and different seat, the engine had motor mounts, has rubber isolation type mounts that use a different oil pan. Because you'll going to use an engine that did not have the engine mounts don't use the rubber mounts and I believe you will be OK, may have to drill some new holes to directly mount emgine to frame. If you where going with a K181 from a non C series you could just swap oil pans, but because you are going to bigger engins the oil pans don't match.

Just discard the mounts and you should be ok. I have done this myself. Good chance you will have to change drive belt as well. See if you can get the pulley with the replacement engine, this will tell you if you need a different belt. Check crankshaft diameters as well, just to be sure.

Hope this helps
 

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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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Discussion Starter #9
So I have gotten really good at repairs on these machines, but I know nothing about engines. Is the crankshaft something I should be very concerned about or will I be able to make it work? Would the 10hp make life easier? Thanks for all the help.

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Here is what I remember when I did this a few years back. The K181 had a smaller crank and used an adaptor to fit the wheelhorse PTO. The K301 had a larger crank and there was no adaptor, PTO went on without using an adaptor.

Try to get the Kohler Model, spec and serial # and look up on Kohler Web, think there is link under small engines forum, here. Put your numbers and compare the specs.

The increased horespower will only be noticable under heavy load, it made a difference when using the snowblower. Probaly could have ran a bigger deck, only used it to blow snow. That big block kohler sure fills up the engine bay and sounds sweet, it will fit right in though no mods needed.
 

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You can get the service and owners manual straight off kohlers site to


'73 wheel horse 14 automatic
'73 wheel horse 8 4speed
'72 allis chalmers 312 hydro
'05 husqvarna YTH2448
 

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Livin n dyin in 3/4 time!
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198 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone for your help. I drove to CT. and got the 12hp. It sounds great and is in great shape. The guy also gave me the proper drive pulley and sleeve to fit for the pto. IT sounds like there should be no problem bolting it to the frame. The only thing I need is a muffler for it. Would the muffler off of the K181 fit by any chance? Again, thanks for all the help and by next weekend the C-81 should be mowing like a champ.
 

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Muffler should fit. Be aware that one or two of the engine to frame bolts are installed beneath the frame, the bolts woill not be visible unless you look under frame. I think they are two forward bolts.
 
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