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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This 3235 popped up on CL this week about 3hrs away. It was listed with some very poor cell phone pictures, and seller knew nothing about it, as it was his Grandfather's.

Picked it up this morning for $250 and brought it home.

It's got the Kohler air cooled V-Twin. Engine was locked up solid.....but with enough PB Blaster and finesse I was able to get the crankshaft rocking back and forth, and that became half a rotation, and soon a full rotation, and then I was able to jump the starter (ignition switch is broken and missing the key) and it cranks over normally. Didn't do an official compression test yet, but with just a finger over the spark plug hole, it appears to be making good pressure.

Here's some as-found shots:








 

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Senior MTF Member
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1,807 Posts
Nice $250 you can't bet that.Just the power steering cylinder is worth a pretty penny.The seat looks good too they are not cheap either the rims i could go on and on very good deal for sure
 

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Premium Member
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2,272 Posts
Awesome find! Great to see another 3200 Series rescued! What's your plans for it?
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice to see a bunch of VW Rabbit Pickup lovers here!

Spent a bit more time on the tractor this afternoon. She's got spark, so I gave a few shots of starting fluid just to see what would happen. No joy unfortunatly. Did a compression test: Left cylinder has 110psi (didn't do a wet test). Right cylinder 50psi, and goes to 140 with a couple squirts of engine oil in the bore. I'm hoping the rings are just stuck from sitting and probably getting water down the open carb (no air cleaner assembly and the hood has 2 rows of louvers right over the carb.

Sprayed a bunch of PB Blaster down the bores, put the plugs back in, and covered it up. I'll let it sit like that for a few days and see if the compression comes up.

Not the end of the world if I have to re-ring it, but it would be more fun if I could get it to run using only smoke and mirrors........and a chicken foot.

I've got it's "big" Interstate battery on the charger right now. It was only showing .5v so my automatic charger wouldn't touch it. Had to throw it on the old school 10amp and let it cook that way. I doubt it's savable, but won't cost anything to try.
 

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Senior MTF Member
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1,807 Posts
How many hours on it?I can't believe people just throw away a garden tractor like this?These things are not cheap and are a darn good GT imo.That one is a 2003 or older that is nothing.I have a 04 3235 it has the command 25hp and no tail lights different style seat but as far as that the same tractor?My 3235 maybe my favorite.

Great find and imo worth putting the time and money into:fing32:

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CC 3235
CC 1882
CC 1872
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Past tractors
CC 782
CC 1554
CC rear engine rider
snaper 14.5
snaper YT 16
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07 F150
03 explorer
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Past trucks
04 F150
97 F150
87 F250
82 F150
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
Joined
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The engine's decals say 2006.

I can't find the serial number on the tractor. Where's it located? It's not under the seat, or on the back plate, or on the sides of the "floor" or anywhere else.

How much were these new?

Yes, kills me to see it in this shape. It's got 287hrs on the clock.
 

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Senior MTF Member
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1,807 Posts
the 3235 was made from 2000-2004. 2000-03 they had the 23hp command with tail lights and diff seat.04 had the 25hp command diff seat no tail lights.The gt 3200 was made in 2005 almost the same as the 04 3235 but the frame was painted black.Not sure why your engine is 06 but must have been replaced.
As far as price i am going by memory so take that with a grain of salt.But with no mower deck they were around $5500.With a 60" deck they were getting close to $7800?
The people that had that 3235 before you must of had some real real bad luck then got a new engine and than had even more bad luck.Maybe it belonged to a lawn service and the people were bone heads or what ever.But i am very happy with mine.
Keep us updated on this:trink40:
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So mine must be a 2000-2003 since it has tail lights?

Any idea where the serial number is located?

The engine is a CH23S 76524. Maybe the sticker on it's is a California emissions thing.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Purchased a new battery today ($91 for a Deca) and gave 'er a whirl with real cranking speed. No real improvement on compression, but it did start to hit on Cyl. No. 2.

Decided to pull the engine and tear it down. Sure enough, the rings on Piston No. 1 (the right cylinder when seated on the tractor) are rusted solid in the lands. As you can see in the second photo, I picked at the top ring just a little and it started to pop out. I can probably get 'em out without breaking 'em, but even if I do, I think I'll just purchase new rings....and do both holes.

Couple photos:


 

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Premium Member
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5,741 Posts
I've rebuilt a number of those engines, you don't have to hone them. The cylinders are so hard the hone won't touch them. It might be useful to remove any rust, but that's about it.

I rehabbed a 3165 last summer with the Vanguard engine that only had 300 hours on it. The machine looked nice and was fully serviced, but it only sold for $1200. I figured it would pull a lot more than that.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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3,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
No love on removing the rings. The top one came out by force only, 1/4" at a time. The 2nd one came out in 2 pieces. The oil ring was free as a bird. Too bad.....a new ring set is $60-$74 plus shipping.

There was a lot of aluminum sludge in the bottom of the case, and even though the rod bearing surface looks beautiful, I'm going to replace the rods too. They're only $33ea.

As far as the condition of the bore, looks fine. Plenty of rust up top, but the piston slid right out with only a minor amount of finesse on the rod. A quick touch with a ball hone and it'll be ready to go.

Any recommendations for parts sources? I normally use outdoordistributors.com, but for some reason, all their Kohler parts numbers shown in their own PDF's for this engine, don't come up as available parts in their look up. Partstree at least has a clickable parts list for the engine, so I generated a laundry list and printed it. On thing that's concerning me about the parts is that I'm finding more than one part number for the same part, depending on where I'm looking online.

Also, if anyone has torque specs and methods for the conrods and head bolts, that'd sure be a big help. I build automotive engines, but I've seen where some of these small engines take special tightening sequencing on stuff like the rods.
 
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