Wheel Horse Mower


adsm08

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Ok, so I have (well my dad has) owned a few of these things from the 80s, so I know the ins and outs of the later ones, and I've been looking for one of my own to replaced my 2011 Juan Deer, not just because I like them better, but because attachment devices are plentiful and cheap, while stuff for my JD is rare and expensive.

Anyway, tomorrow I am going to look at a WheelHorse 855, guy isn't sure what year but a quick Google says probably 65/66. It hasn't run in 5 years or so, and he isn't sure why but thinks it's electrical.
Does anyone know enough about these really old ones to have any ideas about anything else I should be looking for on it? I plan to check the wiring, try to spin the engine by hand, and see if I can make the starter run.

Comes with plow and deck, guy is asking $500.
 


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85_Ranger4x4

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You are getting into points/condenser type stuff for ignition at that vintage.

It probably isn't a safety switch either.
 

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It will have the Kohler K181 8HP, manual here: http://resources.kohler.com/power/kohler/enginesUS/pdf/ens_593_f_all.pdf
Jaun Deere used same or similar engine

If its been sitting and carb wasn't drained............................

Take a can of gas and a spray bottle for the gas or some ether to see if its firing by spraying fuel into the carb
Main Jet is most likely plugged up with varnish

Make sure plunger for points is moving


It has a Wheel Horse 3-speed Uni-Drive transmission a few forum posts out there with info on what goes wrong with them, which ain't much, seem pretty long lasting with even minimal care

Manual here: http://www.mywheelhorse.com/graphics/file/transmissions/transmission_uni-drive_1958_-_1982.pdf

Covers 1958 to 1982 transmissions
 

adsm08

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I ended up getting it. Engine turned over freely by hand until it hit compression, and then I couldn't move it anymore. Carb is gummy, but the throttle shaft has no play. The lady said it has sat for at least 9 years since her husband died. There was fuel in the tank, but the line was dry, and there was a bowl with a shutoff in it under the tank, so the carb may well have been drained.

Now I just have to clean the tank out a bit, and probably replace the bowl, which I think is a filter or filter housing. It looks like it is plugged pretty solid.

As for safety switches, I don't care much. I've just been wiring them out of the circuits as they fail on Juan.

The tank is obviously quite nasty inside as well, I need to find a way to clean it. I have lots of Superclean, and a parts washer tank full of Purple Power. I'm thinking one of them ought to do it.
 
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Bird76Mojo

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adsm08

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I'll get some pictures later today. I got it home, pulled the tank to get the mouse nest out from behind it and drain it, and then called it quits because I was loosing the light.

It's in really good shape body/paint wise.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Wheel horses are good solid machines. Not quite a cub cadet/simplicity of that era but should be pretty trouble free.

Them older kohlers liked to burn oil. Even the newer kohlers. Hell every kohler ive ever had would smoke on startup. This lets ya know they are healthy...lol. I still prefer an L head briggs, but the kohlers are rock solid as well.

The other great thing about wheel horses is the parts availalbilty/price pretty much rivals a small block chevy. Attachments for them even are everywhere.

Those used a combination starter/generator with a belt on the crank pulley. If its not starting first thing i would do is rebuild that. Its been a while but IIRC rebuild kits run around 50 bucks. A new unit is upwards of 200, and a used one will run 110-150.
 
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adsm08

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It doesn't crank right now, but I have no volts and a ton of ohms from the battery up to the switch, so I gotta hash out the wiring first. I mostly jumped on this because it came with a plow and I got the whole thing for less than just a plow or blower for my JD would be, and my driveway is a pain to clear in the winter if you do it by hand.
 

adsm08

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Got to work on it a good bit today. Cleaned up connections, tried to get the gas tank cleaned out, which is going slowly, but I did get it to crank over and run on ether a bit.

It appears the fuel pump is supposed to have a cam arm just like an automotive pump, but that is not present, so I have some looking to do. Carb's main jet is also plugged. Not sure what I'm going to do with that yet. Hopefully I can get it cleared because a decent quality new carb is over $400.

As promise, pictures:







And seriously 60s? Is smoking that important? This thing has a cig lighter.



It's hard to read, but it is even labeled on the dash panel.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Looks like a decent little machine.

And thats not a cigarette lighter....its a cigar lighter....jeesh.
 

84tony

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Ok, so I have (well my dad has) owned a few of these things from the 80s, so I know the ins and outs of the later ones, and I've been looking for one of my own to replaced my 2011 Juan Deer, not just because I like them better, but because attachment devices are plentiful and cheap, while stuff for my JD is rare and expensive.

Anyway, tomorrow I am going to look at a WheelHorse 855, guy isn't sure what year but a quick Google says probably 65/66. It hasn't run in 5 years or so, and he isn't sure why but thinks it's electrical.
Does anyone know enough about these really old ones to have any ideas about anything else I should be looking for on it? I plan to check the wiring, try to spin the engine by hand, and see if I can make the starter run.

Comes with plow and deck, guy is asking $500.
I have attached an owners manual, for a 855 & 1055. It has a wiring diagram and a exploded parts view of the entire tractor.
 

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adsm08

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4WD
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31X10.50X15
Looks like a decent little machine.

And thats not a cigarette lighter....its a cigar lighter....jeesh.
Label just says "Lighter".

But yeah, it's in pretty good shape. Once I get it feeding fuel it will run on its own.

All I did so far in terms of "repairs" is clean the connections at the battery and throw a good one in it. It started turning right over with just that.
 

84tony

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The 855 Wheel Horse is a good old garden tractor. the numbers mean the following: 8 is 8HP Kohler, first 5 is Manual transmission, last 5 is 1965. I have several old Wheel Horses. I have a 1055, 876, 875, Suburban 400 and a 416-8.
 

adsm08

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The 855 Wheel Horse is a good old garden tractor. the numbers mean the following: 8 is 8HP Kohler, first 5 is Manual transmission, last 5 is 1965. I have several old Wheel Horses. I have a 1055, 876, 875, Suburban 400 and a 416-8.
Cool. I figured the 8 HP and manual trans out pretty easy (Giant "8HP" stamped in the engine cover, trans was kinda obvious) but it's good to know how to decode the model number, incase I have to go hunt down parts.


Now I just have to figure out how to unclog that jet. I don't have anything small and flexible enough to go in it. I think I might just chuck it in some fresh gas over night and see what happens. Then I gotta get a fuel pump. I see used ones with the missing arm all over ebay for $20.
 

84tony

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Here is a picture of my 1055, only difference is it has 10HP Kohler.
000_0291.jpg
 


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