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CC 1250 Engine Overhaul

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

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TruckGuy1995
My cub is dying a slow death now. It's a Kohler K301 and it has rod knock so loud I hear it over the deck running now. Can anyone reccommend a quality rebuild kit that's not super expensive? This thing still runs and mows good, and tows around a 16 foot boat but it will need a rebuild soon. Any advice is welcome, thanks
 

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Joined
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Michigan City
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TruckGuy1995
My cub is dying a slow death now. It's a Kohler K301 and it has rod knock so loud I hear it over the deck running now. Can anyone reccommend a quality rebuild kit that's not super expensive? This thing still runs and mows good, and tows around a 16 foot boat but it will need a rebuild soon. Any advice is welcome, thanks
.
 

kharvey

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Mar 18, 2000
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Kendal Harvey
I can't hear a rod knock. Tighten up all the loose tins to stop rattling and see if it helps.
 

PACub100

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Woodbury, Pennsylvania
No doubt. My 1450 did that before I got in there and bolted down the muffler housing. Get a muffler crutch off of Kirk above and put it on if your aluminum housing isn't cracked already. Put it in and replace any missing bolts. You'd be amazed how much chatter they make missing a few bolts around the entire muffler housing and enclosure...
 
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TruckGuy1995
I have run it with all covers and the hood off it's definitly rod chatter. Sorry if it doesn't come thru on the video but in person it sounds like the engine is about to grenade itself. At idle the engine purrs but under any load it sounds like marbles in the oil pan
 

dkirk

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David Kirk
If the rod bearing has excessive clearance, you should be able to feel this in the crankshaft. Rotate engine backwards by hand until you are about midway up on the power stroke. You should feel compression resistance. Now rotate the crankshaft back and forth by hand, only a few degrees. You should be able to feel if there is too much clearance.
 

hydroharry

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Harry Bursell
Grant - just read your story. Reminded me of when I got started in this hobby. Bought my first Cub Cadet from a JD dealer that had overhauled the engine and repainted the tractor. It was a Model 1450 with 50A deck and 42 blade. I knew absolutely nothing about these tractors. I used it about 3 months with no problems and really loved the tractor. Then one time when I was using it I thought it sounded like a rod was starting to knock. Took it into the garage so I could hear it better. At idle it didn't seem bad but as soon as I pushed the throttle up there was definitely a loud knock. I decided I better get it to the Cub Cadet dealer since I bought it without any warranty. Got it to the Cub dealer and he listened to the engine run, heard the knock, but told me not sure if it was a rod or something else. I told him to call me once he determined how much the repair would cost. I called after 2 weeks (grass was getting tall) and he hadn't had time to get to it yet. The next week he called me, said it was all repaired and total bill was $250 (don't recall exact number). He told me the 4 bolts holding the rag joint together at the drive shaft had come loose and he replaced them. I thought, $250 for 4 bolts and a rag joint. I better learn how to repair these things myself. And that's how it all started.

So, in you're situation I'd remove the side panels and try to get a good look at the front end of the driveshaft. The firewall between the gas tank and engine are kinda in the way but I think you can get your hand in there and see if it seems like anything is loose. Maybe you can crawl underneath and attempt it as well. It's a somewhat complicated joint assembly connected to the engine flywheel. I mainly suggest checking the rag joint and try to see if the bolts are loose, or anything else in the area seems sloppy.

Also, remove the center frame cover and get a good look and feel of the rear rag joint. I suppose the noise could transfer from either.

Hope this helps and let us know what you find.

Hydro Harry
Old Cubs Never Die
 
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TruckGuy1995
Grant - just read your story. Reminded me of when I got started in this hobby. Bought my first Cub Cadet from a JD dealer that had overhauled the engine and repainted the tractor. It was a Model 1450 with 50A deck and 42 blade. I knew absolutely nothing about these tractors. I used it about 3 months with no problems and really loved the tractor. Then one time when I was using it I thought it sounded like a rod was starting to knock. Took it into the garage so I could hear it better. At idle it didn't seem bad but as soon as I pushed the throttle up there was definitely a loud knock. I decided I better get it to the Cub Cadet dealer since I bought it without any warranty. Got it to the Cub dealer and he listened to the engine run, heard the knock, but told me not sure if it was a rod or something else. I told him to call me once he determined how much the repair would cost. I called after 2 weeks (grass was getting tall) and he hadn't had time to get to it yet. The next week he called me, said it was all repaired and total bill was $250 (don't recall exact number). He told me the 4 bolts holding the rag joint together at the drive shaft had come loose and he replaced them. I thought, $250 for 4 bolts and a rag joint. I better learn how to repair these things myself. And that's how it all started.

So, in you're situation I'd remove the side panels and try to get a good look at the front end of the driveshaft. The firewall between the gas tank and engine are kinda in the way but I think you can get your hand in there and see if it seems like anything is loose. Maybe you can crawl underneath and attempt it as well. It's a somewhat complicated joint assembly connected to the engine flywheel. I mainly suggest checking the rag joint and try to see if the bolts are loose, or anything else in the area seems sloppy.

Also, remove the center frame cover and get a good look and feel of the rear rag joint. I suppose the noise could transfer from either.

Hope this helps and let us know what you find.

Hydro Harry
Old Cubs Never Die
I str
Grant - just read your story. Reminded me of when I got started in this hobby. Bought my first Cub Cadet from a JD dealer that had overhauled the engine and repainted the tractor. It was a Model 1450 with 50A deck and 42 blade. I knew absolutely nothing about these tractors. I used it about 3 months with no problems and really loved the tractor. Then one time when I was using it I thought it sounded like a rod was starting to knock. Took it into the garage so I could hear it better. At idle it didn't seem bad but as soon as I pushed the throttle up there was definitely a loud knock. I decided I better get it to the Cub Cadet dealer since I bought it without any warranty. Got it to the Cub dealer and he listened to the engine run, heard the knock, but told me not sure if it was a rod or something else. I told him to call me once he determined how much the repair would cost. I called after 2 weeks (grass was getting tall) and he hadn't had time to get to it yet. The next week he called me, said it was all repaired and total bill was $250 (don't recall exact number). He told me the 4 bolts holding the rag joint together at the drive shaft had come loose and he replaced them. I thought, $250 for 4 bolts and a rag joint. I better learn how to repair these things myself. And that's how it all started.

So, in you're situation I'd remove the side panels and try to get a good look at the front end of the driveshaft. The firewall between the gas tank and engine are kinda in the way but I think you can get your hand in there and see if it seems like anything is loose. Maybe you can crawl underneath and attempt it as well. It's a somewhat complicated joint assembly connected to the engine flywheel. I mainly suggest checking the rag joint and try to see if the bolts are loose, or anything else in the area seems sloppy.

Also, remove the center frame cover and get a good look and feel of the rear rag joint. I suppose the noise could transfer from either.

Hope this helps and let us know what you find.

Hydro Harry
Old Cubs Never Die
I stripped this thing to the frame right after I got it. I rebuilt the hydro, put new flex joints and bolts on the driveshaft , tightened every bolt and connection that I could find that needed it. The only thing I didn't touch was the engine because it started up and ran, so good enough at the time. It has had the knock since day 1, it's just gradually getting worse with use. I'm 99% sure at this point it's a bad connecting rod or wrist pin slamming around since I have checked, tightened or fixed anything external that could possible make a knocking sound. Whenever I get time to I'll just pull the motor and tear into it and try to find a decent price rebuild kit. If a good kit seems too pricey for what it is I might just repower with something else.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Michigan City
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TruckGuy1995
Grant - just read your story. Reminded me of when I got started in this hobby. Bought my first Cub Cadet from a JD dealer that had overhauled the engine and repainted the tractor. It was a Model 1450 with 50A deck and 42 blade. I knew absolutely nothing about these tractors. I used it about 3 months with no problems and really loved the tractor. Then one time when I was using it I thought it sounded like a rod was starting to knock. Took it into the garage so I could hear it better. At idle it didn't seem bad but as soon as I pushed the throttle up there was definitely a loud knock. I decided I better get it to the Cub Cadet dealer since I bought it without any warranty. Got it to the Cub dealer and he listened to the engine run, heard the knock, but told me not sure if it was a rod or something else. I told him to call me once he determined how much the repair would cost. I called after 2 weeks (grass was getting tall) and he hadn't had time to get to it yet. The next week he called me, said it was all repaired and total bill was $250 (don't recall exact number). He told me the 4 bolts holding the rag joint together at the drive shaft had come loose and he replaced them. I thought, $250 for 4 bolts and a rag joint. I better learn how to repair these things myself. And that's how it all started.

So, in you're situation I'd remove the side panels and try to get a good look at the front end of the driveshaft. The firewall between the gas tank and engine are kinda in the way but I think you can get your hand in there and see if it seems like anything is loose. Maybe you can crawl underneath and attempt it as well. It's a somewhat complicated joint assembly connected to the engine flywheel. I mainly suggest checking the rag joint and try to see if the bolts are loose, or anything else in the area seems sloppy.

Also, remove the center frame cover and get a good look and feel of the rear rag joint. I suppose the noise could transfer from either.

Hope this helps and let us know what you find.

Hydro Harry
Old Cubs Never Die
It's tough to have your project tractor also be your worker to cut 2 acres and tow trailers at the same time. I can't have this cub down too long but also don't want to risk the engine turning into a bomb at an inconvienient time.
 

dschwandt

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David Schwandt
Pull the engine, drop the pan and inspect.
Check the cam end clearance also while you are in there.
The most that will cost a few hours of your time and a pan gasket that you can easily make for pennies.
All this speculation is just that, speculation, and in the meantime, you risk total engine failure as a result.
Better safe than $orry.
 

Neil Mullins

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Jun 5, 2021
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WV
The crankshaft in these Kohler engines that have seen lots of use usually wear out of round. Most of the wear being on the side toward piston when engine would be sitting Top dead center.
 

rfunk

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Jun 14, 2019
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Winkler, Manitoba, Canada
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Reynold Funk
"better safe than sorry" . . . brother asked me to listen to his car,did I think he could drive it five miles to the mechanic. DEEP knock anything past idle.You know how rods should have only a couple thou clearance? It had 1/4", yes, 0.25". Totally agree, Better safe than sorry!!
 
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