Kirk Engines, Inc Cub Cadet Used Parts CADET CONNECTION Cub Cadet Specialties Cub Cadet Specialties

1977, 1650 project

Help Support IH Cub Cadet Forum:

jerry.a.johnson

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Idaho
I've talked about this in another thread but decided I would start a project thread. Because I will need a bunch of help! I rebuilt my first small engine when I was 10...a 4-H project and my dad talked me through it. Tore down and rebuilt an old Briggs. I've done a few more over the years but it's been a long time. One of my hobbies growing up was building models. I told my wife yesterday restoring old tractors is like model building for old guys. Her response was, "I could buy you a bunch of models compared to what this project is going to cost!" Yah but my fingers and eyes can't do that tiny detail stuff anymore. I need bigger models. :)

This tractor was built the year I graduated from high school. There was a girl in my class named Ava. Big in the back end and strong. So this tractor is now Ava.

IMG_2390.jpeg
IMG_2389.jpeg


The old girl came with the mowing deck, front plow and rear cultivator. I reorganized my shop/carport and stripped Ava down. Here's where I am now. I also pulled her head off...just to get a look at what I might be facing there. Any advice or observations on these pics? Cylinder seems to be clean...don't see any scoring. I'm thinking about a basic rebuild though.

IMG_2477.jpeg
IMG_2471.jpeg

IMG_2472.jpeg
IMG_2475.jpeg
 

gary noblit

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
669
Location
jonesville,mi.
opinion..I would put the head back on and run a compression check before tearing into it...If it's over 100,I personally wouldn't rebuild until it needs it....Carbon doesn't look bad ...maybe a good cleaning and a new gasket..I used a round wire brush in a drill to clean valve seats,worked really well...good luck
 

dschwandt

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,903
displayname
David Schwandt
Pretty hard to do a compression check with an ACR engine,
Once you get the piston cleaned up you should be able to tell if its still standard bore.
STD should be stamped and visible on the top.
 

jerry.a.johnson

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Idaho
dschwandt: In the last pic, looking down on top of the piston, you can see part of the STD visible.

What’s the best way to clean the carbon build-up at the top of the cylinder wall?
 

gary noblit

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
669
Location
jonesville,mi.
Pretty hard to do a compression check with an ACR engine,
Once you get the piston cleaned up you should be able to tell if its still standard bore.
STD should be stamped and visible on the top.
Dave,I didn't know this engine has ACR .Thanks for input but I disagree with the thought that it's worthless.I use it more as a gauge on engines with ACR.You will still get a reading,if a valve is stuck or has a bad seat you will get nothing.If there is a broken ring,probably nothing. It's another tool I use often looking for clues. I don't care if it shows 175 if it shows me half of that it's generally good...,another way of looking at it....
 

jerry.a.johnson

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Idaho
gary noblit & dschwandt: Thanks for the info both of you. Appreciate it. I think since I'm in this far I will probably rebuild the engine. I know Ava has a bunch of hours on her. Will bore gauge, double and triple check and get a rebuild kit ordered. Here's Ava near the end of this afternoon.

IMG_2498.jpeg


Pulled the engine rails, rubber and mounts after this pic. Glad you guys clued me in on this issue. Left side had no lower rubber...well it did, it was just chunks. The right side didn't feel bad and the lower and upper rubber was in single chunks but it had rotated inward enough it really wore some spots in the rail and the frame. After looking this over I cleaned up the rails really well and pulled the oil pan. Definitely see the need for the cross over rail (tip #23 on the Cub Cadet Faq's page). Will clean up the oil pan tomorrow (for jig purposes) and get the cradle welded up and ready. Now just have to order some rubber mounts. Pics 2 and 3 following are of the right side rail and frame. You can see how bad that was getting. Metal on metal, baby.

IMG_2507.jpeg
IMG_2508.jpeg

IMG_2505.jpeg


The wiring is pretty nasty under the dash. Ignition key was all broke up and the plastic socket that the ignition plugs into looked melted in one spot and badly corroded. Ava was running when parked, just not charging the battery. I can see a number of issues there that could have contributed. Will be replacing most if not all of the wiring.

And the list goes on...
 

gary noblit

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
669
Location
jonesville,mi.
Jerry,you and Ava are headed for a long relationship, hope your wife understands..good luck sir and keep us posted
 

Greg Riutzel

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
Lebanon, Oregon
The ignition switch is the weak link in the circuit for keeping the battery charged. I'm going through this right now as I found resistance in the switch contacts and also discovered heat discolored wire ends. I'm keeping the wiring, the ends cleaned up nice. I have a new connector plug and a switch on the way. It'll be good as new with the rest of the wiring that's still in good shape. 40+ years in the elements, barn or not, is hard on wiring ends and switches.

For cleaning carbon out of the cylinder and piston. I use a hard wood stick and shop vac. No wire brushes for me, my piston don't have to shine.
 

jkoenig

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Messages
475
displayname
Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
I use hotel key cards to scrape carbon, and tons of other things, but I have an ever-replenishing supply.
 

dschwandt

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,903
displayname
David Schwandt
You are on the right track.
I usually let the machine shop tell me what size piston and rod to order depending on the results of their crank and block inspection then take the new parts to them. Many rebuild kits come with new valves and the added cost of new guides to go with is only about $20. I have access to an excellent small engine tech at a shop in Cedar Rapids that I highly recommend. They have done work on 4 rebuilds for me as of late. I usually do one each winter.

I would not hesitate to replace the governor as well. When you get it all back together, static timing the unit while on your stand before installation makes a quick easy job of getting the rebuild ready to fire once installed. Also, check the lift on the ACR before you button it up to make sure it is within spec to avoid troublesome cranking. You will find the link to the Kohler rebuild manual most helpful.
I usually pull it up on my laptop for reference during reassembly.
Step by step listing for each operation in order while disassembling and reassembly.

K series service manual.pdf

Also, when you get the cradle mod done, you may have to "tweak" it a bit to compensate for the "pull" of the welding process to make sure of easy bolt hole alignment between the cradle to frame and cradle to pan when reinstalling.
Bolt the rails to the pan then weld. .

.Pitch that old starter switch and wire harness and go with new. Best in the long run.

Here's hoping you have a positive and long relationship with your "new" Cub.
Currently, my 1650 with the "Kirk balance plate" installed is the smoothest running Cub I have and is pulling tiller duty all spring and summer.
 
Last edited:

RayF

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
121
Location
Winston-Salem, NC
displayname
Baker6x6
Carbon removal: Dollar Store Easy-Off oven cleaner and a stiff-bristle NYLON brush. Wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection. Also well-ventilated area (outside).
 

jerry.a.johnson

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Idaho
Thanks again everyone! Great stuff.

jkoenig, Greg Riutzel and RayF, thanks for the carbon cleaning tips. I was thinking of green Scotchbrite scrubbers and some 10-40, first. But those are great low impact ideas. Never thought of the wooden dowel idea. Always interesting to me how people get the job done.

Gary...we've been married 40 years. She's a wonderful woman, but there are times she's happier with less of me. :) She has no problem with me in the shop playing with Ava. I'm not sure at what point hearing the continual sound of the cash register dinging, will cause her to reel me back in though!

dschwandt: Wow man. That was a lot of info to digest. Your link to the K series service manual is broken, however. Can you shoot me the new link? I might already have it downloaded but not sure.

I don't know of any quality small engine shops that are very close to me, but there probably are some. Of course close to me in boondocks Idaho means a 3 hour one-way drive somewhere. I'm kinda looking forward to tackling it myself though. Worst that can happen is I have to start over. :). As long as no women or children are hurt in the process...

Your last comment about the "Kirk balance plate" was kind of a tease. I almost thought that was one of those cow tipping, or snipe hunting things. Like some kind of Star Trek reference to send the "nube" on a wild goose chase. But I bit...did some googling and found it. Do you use any of Kirk's other products on your 1650?
 

jkoenig

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Messages
475
displayname
Jim Koenig Halfway between Harvester, MO and Cadet, MO
Jerry,

Use every applicable product David Kirk offers. He’s a very sharp guy with only good stuff on his site.
 

dschwandt

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,903
displayname
David Schwandt
If you are going to do a full rebuild, why waste time w/ he carbon on the piston and cyl walls?

The machine shop will take care of the bore and the pistons are basically junk anyway.
 

jerry.a.johnson

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Idaho
I agree about the piston. I'm going to clean the cylinder before I bore gauge it. I'm going to try and measure the cylinder and crank up myself. If I see anything slightly wonky I will then probably find a shop.
 

Greg Riutzel

Well-known member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
127
Location
Lebanon, Oregon
Have you been able to run it as is? Looks clean and doesn't seem to have any abuse in it's past. You might have a working tractor that just needs a refresh.
 

Latest posts

Top