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Ariens Garden tractor


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05-23-05, 09:22 PM   #1  
Ariens Garden tractor

Purchased an ariens garden tractor for next to nothing. It's probably a 1976 or 77. It has a 14hp Kohler engine model k321s. The tractor had been sitting outdoors for at least 5 years without running (that includes upstate NY winters). I've drained and cleaned the gas tank, replaced the fuel filter, cleaned the carb (as best I knew how), replace the float and diaphram and the gasket where the carb mounts to the engine. The engine has a Kolher built carb and I've set the high speed and idle needles per the service manual. Also replaced the spark plug.

I can get it to start and it will run at 1/2 throttle (choke open) for quite some time. But when I try to idle it down it wants to stall. The only way I can keep it running it to fully close the choke or "cup" my hand over the air intake to prevent it from stalling out.

I can do some basic wrenching, and I would like to try to fix it, but I'm beginning to wonder if I just might be further ahead buying a new carb. I appreciate any advise you can give.

Dick1947

 
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05-24-05, 03:24 AM   #2  
A good soaking in a bath type cleaner (I like NAPA #6401) will be in order. This along with a Kohler rebuild kit should get you up and running. The Kohler kit # will be 25-757-01. Check with your local Kohler dealer for such.

 
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05-24-05, 06:20 AM   #3  
For what it's worth, the Kohler "K" series engines are splash lubed and should not be run at an idle much, or they starve for oil. Much better to run over half throttle, for just driving around, full throttle while cutting grass.

 
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06-01-05, 08:22 PM   #4  
Did the bath thing in (6401). Let it soak overnight. Didn't do the carb kit, but had already replaced the float, diaphram and the gasket between carb and motor. Reset the needles to factory default. Still have the same issue. It will start, but not run smoothly. Will backfire and want to stall out unless I play with the choke. Tried adjusting the needle, but to no avail.

Is there something in that carb kit (25-757-01) that will make the difference?

Any other ideas? Thanks.

Dick

 
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06-02-05, 12:55 AM   #5  
Sounds like you still have a restriction in the carb. Did you blow out the passages with compressed air after cleaning it?


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06-02-05, 07:40 AM   #6  
I've owned a few Kohler "K" series motors for many years and the larger ones really don't idle well. They have LOTS of vibration, and being splash lubed, they are much happier run at higher speeds. You didn't say how it runs at full throttle. Does it have problems there as well or just idling?

 
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06-03-05, 10:34 AM   #7  
Thanks Joe and Cheese for the reply.

Yes, I did blow out all the passage ways I could find. Removed the main needle and was able to blow through that so I know there is no obstruction there.

Actually there is no speed that the engine runs well at...fast or slow. It's easier to keep it running at a faster speed (by that I mean more than just a fast idle). Probably be half throttle.

Trying to remember how it acted the other day when I last ran it. When I started it, I had it at about half throttle. I let it run there for a few minutes and it ran "ok". Seems like the problem started when I tried to increase or decrease the throttle. It would begin running eratically. From that point on, I needed to play with the choke to keep it running at any speed. It truly acts like the carb is out of adjustment, but I tried adjusting it 15 ways from Sunday and no luck.

The spring is connected to the "governor arm"??? and that seems to be moving correctly as I move the throttle.

Would the points have any effect?

Also, I also have my dad's 1972 Ariens (16 hp). Runs like a champ from day one and never done anything but change the oil and replace the battery. I've thought about swapping the carb's (they look pretty similar), but I'd be really mad if I screw something up with the 16. Is there much risk there? Should I leave well enough alone? It's probably a good way to know if it's truly the carb. If I do remove the carb from the 16 anything I really have to watch (gaskets etc). Would the carb from the 16 be adjusted correctly to work as is on the 14? Sorry to ramble, but I just love this forum. Again, thanks for any advise.

Dick

 
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06-03-05, 01:18 PM   #8  
Yes the points will have a DEFINITE impact on how it runs. I had wrongly assumed you had changed these. I strongly recommend you get a new set of points, a condensor, and a spark plug (total for all of these might hit $15, probably closer to $10) and correctly set the points (if memory serves me) at .018" at top dead center on the piston. Plug wants to be around .030" gap (somebody please verify this for me as I don't have my books here, but .030" is in the neighborhood).

 
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06-03-05, 02:25 PM   #9  
The points will be set at .020" and are part number 47-150-03-s, if you have battery ignition the condensor is part # 230722-s, if magneto ignition it will be part # 47-147-01-s for the condensor. .030" is correct for the spark plug gap.

 
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06-06-05, 07:51 PM   #10  
YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!

New set of points and she's running great. Can't say enough about this forum.

Total investment to this point is about $35 for points, condensor, spark plug, float and carb bath solvent. Not bad.

Now that I know it runs, I'll be checking into the transmission (took it for a little spin and seems ok), PTO and hydralics.

I'm sure there will be some future posts.

Thanks again for your help.

Dick

 
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06-06-05, 10:20 PM   #11  
Glad to hear you got it running well! Good call on the points!


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06-07-05, 06:20 AM   #12  
I love a happy ending!

 
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06-07-05, 07:34 PM   #13  
Well, I guess it was a premature celebration. Started it again today and it won't run at a steady speed. I think someone called it "hunting"? Engine speeds up then slows down. I thought I read that it was a sign of a dirty carb. I pulled the bowl and found a little bit of what I'll call very fine sand??? Surprising since I just cleaned it. Guess I'll have to remove the tank and gas line and give it a good cleaning. Any suggestions on cleaning a gas tank? I'll probably replace the gas line to the filter. It's a new filter so I'm surprised this fine sand got through.

Question is would that be what's causing the engine to hunt? I removed the needle to make sure their was no obstruction. I could blow through it ok.

Really strange how well it ran yesterday and how bad it's running today. Sorry guys...you probably thought you got rid of me.

Dick

 
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06-08-05, 01:20 AM   #14  
You could install a paper type filter in the fuel line and filter out any trash that may be in the tank. The hunting is usually an indication of a lean condition, but it may just be adjustment too. If it hunts at low speed, then back out the low speed adjustment screw a little. If at high, back out the high a bit.


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06-08-05, 07:35 AM   #15  
I think Cheese is right-on in his diagnosis. And I can assure you, no one here thinks in terms of "getting rid of folks", it's all about solving the problem so that your machine gets back to a 100% healthy recovery. Your Ariens tractor is an excellent machine and I think we all want you to enjoy it to the max.

 
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06-09-05, 08:08 PM   #16  
Hey Joe.

I was just kind of kidding around when I said you didn't get rid of me. Truly appreciate all the help. I'll try adjusting the needle again. What I can't figure is how well it ran one day then it seemed like I was back to square one on the next day. I'll see what happens and let you know. Thanks again.

Dick

 
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06-14-05, 10:25 AM   #17  
So how's it going? Hopefully running like a tiger!

 
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06-19-05, 08:03 PM   #18  
Still no luck. Completely cleaned the tank and replace the fuel line and gas filter. Wanted to be sure I wasn't bringing sand into the carb. Like before, it starts ok and will run at a constant speed for several minutes. Seems like once it warms up it won't run right. Engines continues to hunt. Tried adjusting needles, but to no avail. I've had the bowl off a number of times, if I don't get a good seal would that make a difference. Doesn't seem to be leaking.

When I was running it this afternoon, the only way I could keep it running was to have the choke fully closed.

I'm running it without an air cleaner. Does that matter?

Is there any special way to adjust the needle. I've set it a defauld (3 1/4 turns out) then slowly backed it out and or turned it in hoping to hear the engine smooth out. Any thoughts.

Dick

Dick

 
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06-20-05, 03:22 AM   #19  
It would seem that since you have apparently thoroughly cleaned the carburetor, you will need to replace the carburetor as you still have a lean condition. Do you have a reputable outdoor power equipment you can get a first hand professional opinion from? Ideally, you would like to take it to such and explain all that you've done and have them listen to the machine. Another area that could be at fault is the valve train, specifically the intake valve. You may have no valve clearance here or the face and/or seat may be worn and this would cause insufficient vacuum for the engine to draw in the proper amount of fuel. A leak-down test will help in determining if you have any trouble at the combustion chamber.

 
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06-20-05, 08:54 AM   #20  
Running without an air cleaner, you run the high risk of sucking all kinds of crud into the carb. You asked about if the carb was not well sealed, would that make a difference? ABSOLUTELY! And the fact that you have to use full choke to keep it running tells me that you do have an air leak somewhere in the carb, allowing excess air into the carb. Your carb is supposed to mix a volumn of air "A" with a volumn of fuel "F" in a precise ratio to allow the engine to run smoothly. Since you have to use the choke to close off the usual route of air, to compensate for the excess air getting in the carb, there is no way of telling what kind of air fuel mix you are running and it is not mixing as well as it would normally. The carb is also used to the resistance of sucking air through a filter, so there is that to figure in as well. The good news is that this is fixable for the cost of a set of carb gaskets and an air filter. You can pinpoint the air leak by spraying carb cleaner or some other flammable substance using the straw that came with the spray can at various areas around the carb with the engine running. When you find the right spot, the rpms will change as the spray will be sucked in and burned like extra fuel. I'm pretty sure that this will get you fixed right up.

 
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06-21-05, 07:48 PM   #21  
Well Joe, the $12 carb rebuild kit you suggested seems to have made the difference. Just ran the Ariens for about 10 minutes at various speeds. All seems good. I was able to reduce the speed to a slow idle and she ran smooth. It's getting late and I didn't want to press it with the neighbors so I'll make the high speed adjustments tomorrow. Looks real promising. Thanks again. Great job.

Dick

 
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06-22-05, 06:36 AM   #22  
I'm glad I was of some help and even happier to hear you got her running smoothly. I hope you get an air filter in it soon as without one you risk sucking all kinds of dirt and crud into the carb and possibly the engine itself. Not a good thing. Those old Ariens GT tractors were really great machines, as good as the best of the big brand machines of the same era. It can be fitted with a rear sleeve hitch or 3 point for cultivating tools, it's heavy and strong enough to plow or blow snow and as you have seen, once running well, the old Kohler "K" series engines are strong, develop high torque, and are very reliable. You just might get 10 or 20 years out of this machine,

 
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06-23-05, 02:19 AM   #23  
Good job! I love to run those old hard-hitting single cylinder Kohlers. Especially when they first start up....wham, wham, wham until the rpm's are reached. Lots of torque.


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06-26-05, 07:05 PM   #24  
OK...Now that the engine is running I need to turn to the PTO.

Pulled out the switch and the PTO fired up. Shut it down and tried it a second time. Worked again. Shut it down and tried a third time just to be sure everything was ok...Nothing! Tried it a few more times, moved all the wires around to see if something was loose, still nothing. Pulled the four connector plug off the switch and cleaned the contacts still nothing. There is a PTO reset button on the dash, tried that, no luck

Is there a way to test these switchs so I can eliminate them from the problem? Thanks.

Dick

 
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06-27-05, 11:15 AM   #25  
I stink on electrical problems

I'd have to sit with the switch in my hand and a meter and trial and error it through. I really stink at electrical stuff. Hopefully someone smarter than me can walk you through this. Best of luck.

 
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06-28-05, 12:26 AM   #26  
Find the wire that runs from the switch to the pto clutch. If it gets 12 volts when the switch is pulled, then the switch is ok. If not, then verify first that you have 12 volts going to the switch in the first place.


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06-28-05, 08:02 PM   #27  
Cheese,

Before I took any reading I tried the switch again. Worked sometime then it didn't. Took some readings as you suggested. Got several different scenarios depending on whether the PTO worked when I pulled the switch. All reading were taken with the engine running and the PTO switch on.

At times the meter read 10.24 volts leaving the switch and the PTO was running (I'm thinking this is what I should be seeing).

At times the meter read .82 volts and the PTO was not running (I still need to find out if the switch at this point was getting any power. I'm having trouble finding that...still working on it).

At times the meter read 10.24 volts and the PTO was not running? Does this lead you to believe I may have more than one problem? Possibily the connection at the electrical clutch or the wire running to the clutch?

Any thoughts on how to proceed? Thanks.

Dick

 
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06-28-05, 10:36 PM   #28  
Sounds like a bad switch, but still could be the wiring from the switch to the pto, or the power supply to the switch. Trace the wire from the pto to the switch and test for voltage on that leg of the switch. If it's still erratic, check the voltage to the switch. If that is steady, but the voltage coming out of the switch isn't, then the switch is bad.


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07-11-05, 06:26 AM   #29  
So how are you making out with your Ariens? Hopefully all is well?

 
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07-19-05, 08:10 PM   #30  
Well, it's still work in progress.

PTO is working. Found a bad connection on the wire that ran to the electronic clutch. But I'm back to square 1 with the engine. It had been running very well for a few weeks. I'd start it every other day just to listen to it run. One thing I noticed was that just using the choke and throtle wouldn't start it when cold. I had to use my hand to create enough suction to fire it up. Once it was running it was ok. I did notice a very slow gas leak from the bottom of the bowl that I can't stop. The carb repair kit included a new washer and I've tighten the bolt as much as I dare to. Thought I could live with a slow leak, but just the other day I tried to re-start the engine (warm) and it was acting like it did before (hunting and could only keep it running using full choke). At this point I'm looking for another carb. Seems like I've replaced everything there is to replace. Would that gas leak a the bottom of the bowl cause the problem?

Dick

 
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07-20-05, 06:46 AM   #31  
Are you still running without an air filter? Might have sucked in some crud. As to the slow leak in the bottom of the carb..... the lazy man's way is to install a fuel shutoff valve in the gas line before it gets to the carb. But as I'm sitting here thinking about this...... if fuel is leaking out the bottom of the carb when not running, then air is probably leaking into the carb when running and under vacuum, and that would cause your needing to use the choke, so fixing that leak might fix everything.

 
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07-20-05, 08:19 AM   #32  
Azis
Are you certain the fuel leak is from the bottom of the carb? Look for signs of wet fuel around the carb body itself.
Did the $12 carb kit include a needle and seat? Were both replaced?
If the leak is from the bottom of the bowl, a shut off valve will keep you from draining the tank, but not the bowl which holds about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fuel. Washer gasket or bowl may need replacing. If the bowl gasket is leaking it could act as an intake leak causing the symptoms. Fuel however should not be up to a level to leak at this point.

Fuel leak aside if the carb has been serviced completely and still exhibits the same symptoms, I would agree with an earlier recomendation and look for a new carb.

 
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07-26-05, 08:09 PM   #33  
I've been searching the INET for a used carb. Found a couple that say they are off a 14hp kohler engine. One was from a john deer another from a gravely. The picture looks like mine. Does it matter what brand of tractor it came off of or just that it's a 14hp kohler?

By the way Joe, I now have an air filter. Thanks.

Dick

 
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07-26-05, 11:59 PM   #34  
The main thing is that it's off a 14hp kohler in the same series engine as yours (K series).


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07-27-05, 06:58 AM   #35  
I'm glad to hear you got an air filter on this, and very glad to hear that you have not gotten discouraged on fixing this. It is an awsome tractor and well worth the effort!

 
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08-09-05, 08:04 PM   #36  
Well, I'm not sure if this is considered cheating (being this is a "do it yourself" forum), but I bought a new carb. Starts and runs great. But as I previously mentioned it's still "work in progress".

Battery holds a charge for days, but after running the mower (electric cluch) for any length of time, the battery goes dead. I checked the rectifier and it reads about 22 volts AC coming from the alternator and about 12.02 DC volts coming out of the rectifier. Shouldn't that be about 13 - 14 volts? Do I need to replace the rectifier?

Dick

 
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08-09-05, 09:33 PM   #37  
Azis
The AC from the stator sound a little low but I am not sure. You can check the stator leads to ground should be infinite and lead to lead about .1 ohm I think or very low but some.
If the stator checks good then the rectifier would be bad. You should have around 13.5 VDC accross the battery.

 
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