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  1. #1
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

    Default John deere 212 repower help!

    Hi to all, I have a 1981 John deere 212 with the original Kohler k301 motor. I got a great deal on it and said what the heck and bought it, with intentions of a frame off. So yesterday of the some inspection me and my buddy have determined that on every fourth revolution of the piston is only moving a quarter inch or less up and down. I have no clue but know that somthing internal must be fudged up. So at this point I am looking at 3 options: a full off rebuild, a new short block k301, or a Jim's vanguard. He claims that he has don it, but I'm a little weary about how. According to small engine warehouse, they have tried every engine and had no luck. So that's where I'm at. Any suggestions? I would love to have the power and reliability of a new modern twin and for around the same price, as a new short block runs in the neighborhood of 1100 bucks. But I also know a short block will bolt up. Will my original tranny take the heat of a 18 horse twin? Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

    Default

    Here's a picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-556199161-jpg  

  3. #3
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: John deere 212 repower help!

    Go for it, Full rebuild
    Murph ------------

  4. #4
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

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    I am definatly considering it. I have also read that when I have it bored and honed, I can go to a standard 14 hp bore so there is some perks. I'm just no sure that its cost effective. I figure by time all is said and done, I'd be better with a short block?

  5. #5
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

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    And I made a mistake, from what I've seen a new short block will run me about 1300. Here's some pics with the motor out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-1009394106-jpg  

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Branson 2400H

    Default Re: John deere 212 repower help!

    I guess I would take the existing engine apart to see what is broken. I wouldn't condemn the block until you do a visual inspection, you may not need a short block. I have rebuilt a few of these old Kohlers and never needed a short block. Had one that broke the connecting rod and that in turn broke the cam but zero damage to block. Quick job with a hone and new piston, rings, con rod, cam shaft, polished the crank and was back in business. The reason the rod broke was a governor spring broke and it ran away. Owner said it sounded like a race car before it let go. Had others that burned oil so bad you filled them with oil and checked the gas. All they needed where new rings. Those old Cast Iron engines are tough.

    Tranny, unless you abuse the crap out of it 18 HP ain't gonna break it.
    Artificial Intelligence will never overcome natural stupidity.

    Branson 2400H MMM & FEL

    JD 112

    BX1850 gone but not forgotten

  7. #7
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

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    Ok thank you. I'm planning to get it disassembled this week.I guess with you guys saying there good motors, i might just rebuild this one, rather than a new conversion.Is there anything I need to look out for? I'm worried that I might accidentally tweak the internal governer. One more thing, on the steering where it connects to the left wheel, how do you keep that ball in its socket? Replace it? Thank you

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: John deere 212 repower help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwgad96 View Post
    One more thing, on the steering where it connects to the left wheel, how do you keep that ball in its socket? Replace it? Thank you
    Yes you have to replace the tie rod ends. Not very expensive or difficult to do. In an emergency I have cut a washer and welded on to the end to keep the ball from falling out until I could get a replacement.
    Artificial Intelligence will never overcome natural stupidity.

    Branson 2400H MMM & FEL

    JD 112

    BX1850 gone but not forgotten

  9. #9
    Silver Member Bwgad96's Avatar
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    John Deere Gator, 1974 Gravely l8 FOR SALE, 2008 John deere 425 zero turn

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslo View Post

    Yes you have to replace the tie rod ends. Not very expensive or difficult to do. In an emergency I have cut a washer and welded on to the end to keep the ball from falling out until I could get a replacement.
    Ok thank you will do. So today I realized that I made a huge bonehead mistake. When me and a buddy had checked the piston through the plug hole and it was moving only every fourth turn, we failed to realize it was a flat head engine and the plug hole is over the valves. I realized this after 6 hours of carefull disassemble. Oops! The cylinder walls are perfect. Well I'm at a crossroads now. It is in dire need of a heavy duty cleaning. Has this huge flakey carbon on pistion and valves look nasty. I woul like to do a build like this guy( see link) but don't know of I should just clean and reassemble. Thank youhttp://www.ihcubcadet.com/KillerKohl...0part%20ii.pdf
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-1354473058-jpg  

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Branson 2400H

    Default Re: John deere 212 repower help!

    How much time and money do you want to put into this engine and what are you going to use the tractor for.
    Artificial Intelligence will never overcome natural stupidity.

    Branson 2400H MMM & FEL

    JD 112

    BX1850 gone but not forgotten

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