• This community needs YOUR help today. With the ever increasing fees of everything (server, software, domain, e-mail) , we need help. We need more Supporting Members, today. Please invest back into this community to help spread our love and knowledge of IH Cub Cadets. You get a lot of great new account perks including access to private forums. If you sign up for annual, I will ship a few IH Cub Cadet Forum decals too in addition to all the account perks you get. You can see what it looks like below.

    Sign up here: https://www.ihcubcadet.com/account/upgrades

Low compression on K321 engine

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

Help Support IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

terryflohr

Active member
IHCC Supporter
Joined
Jun 6, 2023
Messages
43
Location
USA
I thought I was close to starting this engine (K321) and decided to perform a compression check. I'm only getting about 30psi. I checked and adjusted the valves and installed a new head gasket. Applying air to the cylinder to see where the leak might be and I'm getting lots of blow by past the exhaust valve. Sure could use some ideas on resolving this issue. I already am suspicious of the engine. I can see where some body has been into it already.. lots of red RTV for gasket sealing and the really disturbing fact that the engine has been welded.. photos enclosed. From your experience.. the area that is welded is at the back of the engine. Perhaps it threw a rod? Is this engine a boat anchor? I'm hesitant to put any more money into this machine until I know if this engine is worth the time and money. This is an extremely rare build as I've stated before. Vermeer only made 10 of these Vermeer M147H units. I know one other member on this site that says he has one. Appreciate all of your time, wisdom and expertise. Thank you in advance.
 

Attachments

  • Head Removed.jpg
    Head Removed.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 6
  • Engine Weld2.jpg
    Engine Weld2.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
There is a compression release that opens the exhaust valve slightly until the engine reaches ~350 rpm or so. You will see little compression with a compression test unless you spin the engine backwards. This is explained in better detail in the service manual, which is a free download from Kohler's website.

While the Vermeer modification is rare as you say (and quite valuable to a collector as a result), the rest of the tractor isn't, and parts will be readily available should the engine block not be good. I would lap the valves, put it back together, run it, and see what you have. A block welded in that area wouldn't concern me too much if it was done right.
 
There is a compression release that opens the exhaust valve slightly until the engine reaches ~350 rpm or so. You will see little compression with a compression test unless you spin the engine backwards. This is explained in better detail in the service manual, which is a free download from Kohler's website.

While the Vermeer modification is rare as you say (and quite valuable to a collector as a result), the rest of the tractor isn't, and parts will be readily available should the engine block not be good. I would lap the valves, put it back together, run it, and see what you have. A block welded in that area wouldn't concern me too much if it was done right.
Thank you Mgonitzke for that information. I wasn't aware there was a compression release. Will the engine fire if the compression release isn't overcome? Perhaps my S/G isn't turning fast enough to overcome the release. I'll definitely check out the Kohler web site for a manual. You are big help. Thank you again.
 
Last edited:
Thank you Mgonitzke for that information. I wasn't aware there was a compression release. Will the engine fire if the compression release isn't overcome? Perhaps my S/G isn't turning fast enough to overcome the release. I'll definitely check out the Kohler web site for a manual. You are big help. Thank you again.
Thank you mgonitzke for the information. You gave me the confidence to try and work through the issues and start it up. And start it up it did! The engine sounds pretty good so I'll go ahead and buy some parts to get the PTO working. I think I need a carb kit too. I bought one from Amazon but the needle and seat were not for this carb. So I'll buy a kit and PTO parts from one of the sponsors and rebuilt it. I am excited to say the least. This is a big step in the right direction. I'm now encouraged to proceed with getting this beast back in working order. And I was able to download and print out a copy of the service manual as you suggested. Big help! Big..
 

Attachments

  • It's Alive!.mp4
    20.2 MB
Excellent! While we are on the subject of manuals, here is the service manual for the tractor: 1x6-7 Service Manual
Do you have any ideas why an engine block would need to be welded at the location this has been welded? I'm not familiar with small engines but know my way around full size engines. Can't for the life of me think why a block would need to be welded in this area. How difficult is it to find K321 engines if I wanted a replacement?
 
I'd have to guess it threw the rod and part of it whacked the side of the block. Usually it breaks the other side of the block.

It should not be too hard to find a replacement or rebuildable core. There are a lot of people selling used parts.
 
Terry, Hi from across the pond, ...
just a gentle word of encouragement with a hint of warning, READ THE MANUAL on the front PTO removal (and reconstruction) twice, plus. NOTE for the first time front PTO removal person, rotate the clutch as best you can so that the holes to the DOUBLE pairs of grub screws are accessible, a blast of compressed air to clean out the hole, a few squirts of penetrating oil and a cuppa tea (etc) to allow that to work, then make SURE that you have the correct Allan key properly seating in the outer grub screw, and one by one release and remove each of the double grub screws. The outer ones lock the inner ones in place, the inner ones lock the collar to the shaft, the shaft will have small indents from the grub screws where they held the shaft. if space permits. push the assembly backwards a cm or so so that you can polish the shaft shiny and with more penetrating oil, some pry bars and Bob's your aunty, the whole assembly should slide forward clearing the shaft. if necessary get forward and backward movement going so the lubricant can get in between and work

Take the opportunity of front oil seal access to replace same even if its not leaking ( after a through clean up around that normally inaccessible area). [two self tappers and a slide hammer contraption will pull old oil seal out once Cleaned area is exposed ]

Clean all clutch parts and as required fit new fibre clutch, triangular spring and buttons and a lick of paint and again Bob's your aunty. its easy once you've done it once and follow the manual ( having read it twice +) .

no offence intended by the caps, but most first timers Don't realise that there are Double grub screws and will battle their backsides off having removed the outer grub screws only..... only to later find the others hidden beneath. Replace these if in any way damaged, I used Nevercease or similar years ago and haven't had to do it since so cant comment on the effectiveness thereof Reassembly is a doddle now that you know the above tricks with new or freshly cleaned and painted parts ( and a well cleaned and freshly painted sub frame too, hint hint

Report back with pictures step by step please
 
Terry, Hi from across the pond, ...
just a gentle word of encouragement with a hint of warning, READ THE MANUAL on the front PTO removal (and reconstruction) twice, plus. NOTE for the first time front PTO removal person, rotate the clutch as best you can so that the holes to the DOUBLE pairs of grub screws are accessible, a blast of compressed air to clean out the hole, a few squirts of penetrating oil and a cuppa tea (etc) to allow that to work, then make SURE that you have the correct Allan key properly seating in the outer grub screw, and one by one release and remove each of the double grub screws. The outer ones lock the inner ones in place, the inner ones lock the collar to the shaft, the shaft will have small indents from the grub screws where they held the shaft. if space permits. push the assembly backwards a cm or so so that you can polish the shaft shiny and with more penetrating oil, some pry bars and Bob's your aunty, the whole assembly should slide forward clearing the shaft. if necessary get forward and backward movement going so the lubricant can get in between and work

Take the opportunity of front oil seal access to replace same even if its not leaking ( after a through clean up around that normally inaccessible area). [two self tappers and a slide hammer contraption will pull old oil seal out once Cleaned area is exposed ]

Clean all clutch parts and as required fit new fibre clutch, triangular spring and buttons and a lick of paint and again Bob's your aunty. its easy once you've done it once and follow the manual ( having read it twice +) .

no offence intended by the caps, but most first timers Don't realise that there are Double grub screws and will battle their backsides off having removed the outer grub screws only..... only to later find the others hidden beneath. Replace these if in any way damaged, I used Nevercease or similar years ago and haven't had to do it since so cant comment on the effectiveness thereof Reassembly is a doddle now that you know the above tricks with new or freshly cleaned and painted parts ( and a well cleaned and freshly painted sub frame too, hint hint

Report back with pictures step by step please
Thank you for the information gchunnett. I've already removed the 3 grub screws and 2 of the set screws. The third screw, the allen wrench broke off inside the set screw. I've been trying to remove the allen wrench in hopes of getting another bite on it. And that is where I'm at. Spoke to a machinist and I tried what he advised. Short of hauling the tractor into the machinist for him to work on it I am trying to see what other alternatives I have. Hench the question, if I put a wheel puller on the PTO will I be able to overcome the last remaining set screw? What damage might I expect?
 
If you pull on it with that last cone point se/grub screw behind the bearing you will break something. See my post in the other thread today about one way to get it off the machine safely.
 
It was only when (by purely fortuitous coincidence) I saw Matt's post in "Its Alive" post above yesterday that the braincell engaged with the gear (infrequent as that might be) as it shows the three sets of double grub screws holding the pulley to the collar, not directly to the shaft and the collar itself locked in place by a reverse direction cam lock ....and locking bolt. so with apologies, Im copy pasting ....and its instructive,'.. read the diagram well, in part and to your question, the locking collar is Locked in place on the shaft and ideally will not respond well to a puller on it. If you do resort to that protect the shaft-end with a sacrificial lump of iron of similar dimension to the shaft

being safely 14,625km ( almost precisely the opposite side of the planet... how's that !!) and out of range to avoid your wrath and vehement swearing at me for bum advice ..... I'm a great one for a spot of heat when the going gets rough. heat it up a spot, allow it to cool, more penetrating fluid., some fine pointed punch and a little hammer ( I find the hardened, ribbed wall nails good in tight places to release the broken Allen key (?tip?) then more heat and penetrating fluid on the offending set screw. Patience and more tea (etc) if patience run thin I would weld a good strong thing onto the broken Allen key and later possibly the errant grub screw by a spot welding type technique ... but only after lots of walk-away "tea" breaks

My read of the diagram is that the inner first three pointed set screws drive the Pully inwards (leftwards in the diagram) so that the pully seats firmly against the snap ring locking it to the bearing collar. I'm holding my Dremel suggestion in reserve

Good luck and feedback please
regards
Oupa Gordon

1689324644024.png

copy pasted with apologies and thanks to Matt
 
It was only when (by purely fortuitous coincidence) I saw Matt's post in "Its Alive" post above yesterday that the braincell engaged with the gear (infrequent as that might be) as it shows the three sets of double grub screws holding the pulley to the collar, not directly to the shaft and the collar itself locked in place by a reverse direction cam lock ....and locking bolt. so with apologies, Im copy pasting ....and its instructive,'.. read the diagram well, in part and to your question, the locking collar is Locked in place on the shaft and ideally will not respond well to a puller on it. If you do resort to that protect the shaft-end with a sacrificial lump of iron of similar dimension to the shaft

being safely 14,625km ( almost precisely the opposite side of the planet... how's that !!) and out of range to avoid your wrath and vehement swearing at me for bum advice ..... I'm a great one for a spot of heat when the going gets rough. heat it up a spot, allow it to cool, more penetrating fluid., some fine pointed punch and a little hammer ( I find the hardened, ribbed wall nails good in tight places to release the broken Allen key (?tip?) then more heat and penetrating fluid on the offending set screw. Patience and more tea (etc) if patience run thin I would weld a good strong thing onto the broken Allen key and later possibly the errant grub screw by a spot welding type technique ... but only after lots of walk-away "tea" breaks

My read of the diagram is that the inner first three pointed set screws drive the Pully inwards (leftwards in the diagram) so that the pully seats firmly against the snap ring locking it to the bearing collar. I'm holding my Dremel suggestion in reserve

Good luck and feedback please
regards
Oupa Gordon

View attachment 154690
copy pasted with apologies and thanks to Matt
LOL gchunnett. My brain still isn't engaged but I will persevere. All great ideas. Once I get a new set of hoses for my oxy/acetylene I'll try applying a little heat as was suggested and go from there. Still appreciate the ideas and responses. Thank you.
 
Terry, Hi, hoping this finds you well

and the darned broken Allen key & tight (vas) grub screw out, and you having a pile of parts in your hands, I'm sure I'm not alone in being curious as to progress, if any. do keep your support crew in the loop. there is experience/learning you can share too
 
Terry, Hi, hoping this finds you well

and the darned broken Allen key & tight (vas) grub screw out, and you having a pile of parts in your hands, I'm sure I'm not alone in being curious as to progress, if any. do keep your support crew in the loop. there is experience/learning you can share too
Hi GC.. I did get the old PTO off and Charlie at CC Specialties hooked me up with a rebuilt. I've got the collar and bearing on. But the garden is yelling at me to pull weeds and build a couple of raised beds for the sweet potatoes. So having to split my time between projects. I also rebuilt the brake pads after ordering from McMaster-Carr as someone suggested.

The utility locator company just pulled up. They are marking so I can determine the best path to trench for the fiber optic cable. Hence the reason I purchased this Vermeer trencher. I have about 1500 feet to trench. I hope this baby is up to the task.

Thanks for checking up on me GC. I'm sure I'll have some additional questions once I move past the PTO. In fact here is an electrical question. The wiring harness has 5 wires going to the voltage regulator. I have 4 of the 5 wires marked and know where they go. However the 5th wire is indicated on the wiring diagram as being "Vilolet" and if I'm looking at the wiring diagram correctly, it appears to just be looped back onto itself. This tractor did not have lights. Any ideas where the violet wire should be hooked to? It has a terminal on the end so am assuming it was hooked up at one time or another.

Thank in advance.
 
Great to hear, Terry, and good luck with the rebuild, its a piece of putty now that you know.... what goes where, READ THE MANUAL !

On some random non CC advice, take several moments to scout the intended cable routing where other possible service lines might possibly run, water, POWER,(i.e Electricity!!), gas, and dont forget sewer ( yes it happens !) ha ha and if there is a possibility, hand dug to locate same,
Then LUBE that basket well !

Pics help to keep us up to your speed too..... ya'know.

Blooming cold ( ~8 deg C !!) with the wettest rainy season in years , ~all dams over 100% and snow on the crests around the city perimeter
 
Violet wire would be for lights. It was built into the harness even tho the tractor didn't have lights. 147 tractors usually had lights on them, but maybe Vermeer specked them without?
 
Violet wire would be for lights. It was built into the harness even tho the tractor didn't have lights. 147 tractors usually had lights on them, but maybe Vermeer specked them without?
Excellent Kharvey. Thank you for that bit of information. From what I've researched, Vermeer did not put lights on their 147H trencher. Perhaps someone else on the forums can clarify if they have a trencher with lights. So the violet light will not be connected on my unit.
 
Back
Top