• FIRST AND LAST NAMES ARE REQUIRED WHEN REGISTERING

On giving advice.....(an opinion)

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

Help Support IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum:

kide

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
3,778
displayname
Gerry Ide
I've made comments in the past regarding the quality of advice that we give to our fellow forum members and the current thread regarding the removal of faulty balance gears brings it home again. I am repulsed, actually feel a sense of revulsion, at the thought of taking a heavy hammer and beating on anything inside of an engine. Blacksmiths working on Model T Fords (yup, they had to do that) 75 years ago wouldn't start beating on the inside of an engine.

Now maybe I feel that way because of my heritage, but I gotta ask, would you take a hammer to the inside of your car, truck or motorcycle? To make it worse, this advise has been passed along to anyone who has read about the "curse of the balance gears", not only by those who have done it, but by some of our newer members, who don't have real experience, but jump on the "advise bandwagon" given the opportunity..

If the balance gear bearings are bad and you don't have the skill to replace 'em, or have decided to run the engine without them, at least take the time to remove them properly - and I believe with the right tools, the upper gear CAN be removed without a complete tear-down. AND if it takes a complete tear-down, then man up and do it right - it's a precision machine and should be treated as such, so that whoever inherits what you've worked on down the road isn't getting a half ruined piece of crap.

If you're passing advise to others, at least try to guide them in the right direction... or offer to pay for the ruined engine if you give them bad advise..
bash.gif
 

jharvey

Well-known member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
361
displayname
Jerry Harvey "Nines are wild"
Gerry
Kudos! I find it repulsive to wail away at the the steering shaft too! Whatever happened to outthinking something instead of reaching for a bigger hammer?
 

kweaver

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2000
Messages
5,520
displayname
KENtuckyKEN
There went my BFH stock ! Just when the market was going up...
 

wshytle

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
2,810
displayname
Wayne Shytle
Gerry-

I guess I see where you are coming from. This was in fact my first balance gear removal and I see nothing wrong with the technique described in the FAQs. It must be almost impossible to remove the rear gear without the destruction unless one cares to take several more hours and disassemble the engine. I could have done that but I have other irons in the fire and simply don't have time. I know this thread isn't directed towards me but rather technique. Bottom line is the gears had to be removed. Had I done a complete rebuild I would have removed the gears the way you described and I could have done a rebuild but some things have to be done in a cost effective way. This isn't even my tractor but I work on anything as if it were.

As far as advice given I couldn't agree with you more. It riles me to see people just give advice when it's obvious something is missing. I have given advice several times but it is always on a subject I'm familiar with or have experience. I mainly read the forum and learn. I have been reading it long enough to know who to listen to and who to laugh at (at times). For instance, I know how to rebuild a carb but I read Matts recent entry like I was reading a book for the first time. There is always room for improvement and I am always willing to learn some little trick or technique that will help me down the line.

I would like to know what it was that all of the sudden upset you about "disassembling" the upper gear. It's not like it started yesterday. I get the impression this has been going on for some time now. It also makes sense to me the way it saves time but gets the job done. There is a "curse of the balance gears". They produce unwanted windows in the sides of Kohler engines and that's a fact. The advice for the new members is in the FAQs that we direct them to.

One last thing, most of the cubs we talk about are the direct result of past "know nothings" that are costing US the money to get THEIR crap right. These are precision machines but not high performance. There is a difference and the way things were during the time of blacksmiths and model Ts and now is monumental.

Have I made any sense?
 

kide

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
3,778
displayname
Gerry Ide
Wayne: (with apologies to Art and you) If the gear crumbled like Art says, I'm concerned why it took enough force to displace the shaft it runs on..and possibly crack the block (if the shaft is displaced now, is it now loose in the block - will it fall out?)..

Of the millions of K motors built with balance gears, we've got a handful of Forum members that have had failures - (this is an old beef on my part) and we've still never had documentation produced showing any position from Kohler. My belief is the failures are part of an issue with maintenance. Also, I see every "knocking engine" being diagnosed as balance gear failure, with several resulting complaints about the knock still being there after the BMFH surgery..

Parts wear out or fatigue in an engine, just like the rod (which I'd be just as afraid of). If the needle bearings need replacing, there are plenty of instructions regarding balance gear R&R. In all the talk about this in the past, has anyone ever established whether Kohler changed the crank balance weights in the later non-balance gear engines?

I realize that I was hot when I wrote the original this morning and certainly didn't mean to step on toes (quite honestly I'd forgotten about Art's write up). I still hold to my opinion, but hey - this is the USA and just like belly buttons and small block Chevys, everyone (or almost everyone) has 'em...
 

wshytle

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
2,810
displayname
Wayne Shytle
Gerry-

I've heard where experienced mechanics would say "go back with em" and others say the opposite. I don't know. It may add to do a search for exploded gears through the years.

Plus....I'm a Ford guy. Have been all my life.
 

kide

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
3,778
displayname
Gerry Ide
Wayne:
I've checked at the L&G shops I go into plus local small engine rebuilders - they've replaced the older style caged bearings and gears, but never left 'em out of a customer's rebuild... But - I've said that all before and "to gear or not to gear" wasn't the question....

BTW -my first car was a Model A pickup (early 60's), most everything I drove through 1998 was Chevy with a couple of exceptions, BUT we're all (Ranger, Sportrac, E350, '54 F-100, '51 Mercury) Ford at this point, except for the rice burnin' Yamaha cruiser and the pack of Cushman's..
clappy.gif
 

dfrisk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
6,390
displayname
Dennis Frisk
GERRY - As I've said before, after I rebuilt my K301, think it was around 1991/'92, upon first start-up one of the "Used" retainers spit itself off the stub shaft and the loud knocking of the gear hitting the crankshaft throw started, thankfully I had the engine at a slow idle, shut it off quickly & removed the engine. Reusing retainers is a HUGE NO-NO btw!. No broken rod, window'd block, etc.

I actually CALLED Kohler, talked to someone in their small engine engineering dept. who said I could remove the gears, and that there was no difference between components in engines With and Without balance gears except for the gear components themselves, the shafts, bearings, shims, & gears plus the machining of the boss' for the stub shafts themselves. I have no idea what that engineer's name was, nothing in writing, etc. The stub shafts are pressed in, typically .003" interference fit for the 1/2" dia shaft, a bent shaft would be a problem with a gear installed, but without a gear installed would still be hard to pull out, and will not fall out unless there's obvious block damage.

That engine ran relatively well for 15 years. It did vibrate, actually fatigue cracked the mounting bolts for the steering pedestal, but that was more a result of five of the twelve cooling vanes on the flywheel being broken off by the PO and still being run for a couple years, five-in-a-row I might add!

IF I ran a small engine repair shop and rebuilt a Kohler for a customer, I would probably replace the bearings, shim them per the book, time them with the special Kohler tool which I would own, maybe replace the stub shafts if worn, and charge the customer accordingly. Because IF the customer came back a week later and complained about increased vibration he would be suspect of the WHOLE rebuild and I'd probably end up repairing/replacing them free of charge.

When I built my K321, the initial plan was to have Dave Kirk balance the rotating assembly so installing the gears was NEVER in the plan. The K321 actually runs smoother than the K241 that lived in the 72 for 20 yrs & 1400 operating hours. The only change in operating characteristics is the fact I never run out of power now and under real heavy draft loads I do notice the grill & hood "Torque over" slightly to the right. To get a better idea of that concept, watch NTPA Tractor pulling on RFD-TV, five & six 526 CID Super-charged hemi's or BB Chevy's do the same thng to the super-modified pulling tractors/trucks.

The whole Kohler conn. rod issue is a different situation, diecast alum. is a WHOLE different animal compared to a cast iron rod, or forged rod. Forged is best, machined billet like Eagle Rods & others, also great, but a ductile iron rod is also very good. Typically cast gray iron is not an acceptable material except in compressor applicatons which are lower RPM. Aluminum fatigues with each cycle of "Tension" even if it's not close to it's maximum tensile strength, or "Yield point". Ultimately it will fail after enough tension cycles are completed. Iron or steel rods will last indefinetly unless it's yield point is exceeded. The completion of millions of tension cycles to less than the yield point do not fatigue them. THERE I go quoting technical articles from Hot-Rod magazines published 30+ yrs ago!

My K321 has the Forged Alum. rod Dave Kirk recommends in his Killer Kohler write-up. It's quite an improvement in strength over the diecast rod. My K321 build-up took over three years to complete because the forged rod became "NLA" during that time. I will not mention the source I got my rod from because I will not recommend them for various reasons, but I think Dave can supply those rods last I knew and I know Dave would supply an excellent part.
 

jdiederichs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2004
Messages
659
displayname
Jim Diederichs
Kohler has NO stance in writing concerning the balance gear issue, trust me I worked in service there. That is the engine owner's choice. The vibration seen w/o the gears is not across the rpm spectrum, it often is most seen at ~3100rpms and at low idle. Crank the idle speed screw in a bit to get away from the "voodoo harmonics" and it'll smooth right out.

As far as Kohler rods, only the .010 over Alcoa forged conn rod is still available, the std. has been gone for several years. These were used in the K361 OHV cast iron engine and work in the engines Denny mentioned as well. They are very strong. The weak link on any aluminum rod is the oil dipper; look carefully for any dings or dents as these always are the stress risers that cause the dipper to break off. I've seen many cases of that. BTW, I have personally used aftermarket conn rods in stock Kohlers with excellent results, as always inspect even a new one for marks at the dipper.

Aluminum is a funny animal. The slightest scribe mark is a certain break point. A friend I used to race snowmobiles with, he installed a new driveshaft in his sled, the drive sprockets had to be pressed on to a certain position. To make things easy(he thought) he scribed a small line where the sprockets were to go when pressed in place. The shaft was high strength aluminum, a hex shaft about 1.375" diameter at the flats. The minor scribe marks were so shallow you'd need to look close to see them. Yet within a few hours this heavy shaft broke cleanly right at the marks! Looked like it was lazer cut the break was so clean. It followed that small mark, scribed on only one of the flats of the shaft
completely through in a perfect break. That is one example of aluminum's quirky characteristics.

Denny, five cooling fins broken off in a row?? Yikes!! That's a bunch of weight imbalance even w/o considering the factor of a"missing blade on a helicopter" fan load, hahaha...remind me not to drive that one,ok?
 

dfrisk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
6,390
displayname
Dennis Frisk
Thanks for the clarification on balance gears JIM!

The old K301 got a different flywheel years ago, even before it was rebuilt. In fact the replacement FW is now living happily in the K321 that's in the 72 now. Not sure what I did with the old busted-up FW, think maybe I gave it back to Dad as a paperweight.

The K301 got the backplate, FW & blower shrouds from the K321 so it could drop into the 72. I refused to cut up a frame that had survived 35+ yrs as is. What amazed Me was what a DOGGY motor the K301 with the big FW was, but the K321 w/Small FW revs up with NO hesitation. If I remember Wyatt's research correctly, the FW's weigh the same, just the mass on the big FW is larger diameter. There's a Physics lesson there!
 

kide

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
3,778
displayname
Gerry Ide
Dennis:
But if I was pulling a heavy load, I'd take the 301 with the heavy flywheel any day.... you aren't drag racing 'em are ya??

Jim:
And in your case, the unspoken question is , what did YOU do in the shop?? Put 'em back in (with new parts as needed, or leave the balance assembly out??)
 

dfrisk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
6,390
displayname
Dennis Frisk
GERRY - Once that K301 was wound up it held RPM very well until the load increased sharply or exceeded what the engine could handle.

I don't "Drag Race" my CC's, SON used to try to do burn-outs with the 129 that K301 (pre- big FW) was in. His best success was full speed forward then pull the lever into reverse.

Think I posted this story before, years ago when R/C racing a competitor bought a similar engine & chassis to what we raced, he was a very good driver BTW, but his engine had a heavy STEEL flywheel instead of the OEM alum. FW. His engine would accelerate just a touch slower than our engine as would be expected. His lack of spinning the drive tires out of every corner on the track amounted to an almost TWO lap lead over 30 minutes of racing, something like 54 laps to our 52. Next nearest competitor was 50 laps. I ALMOST bought a steel flywheel that week! But decided to lighten my alum. FW and drop gear ratio a bit. Tire slippage IS easier to control with a higher numerical gear ratio.;-)
 

kmcconaughey

Keeper of the Photos
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
18,196
Location
Wisconsin
displayname
Kraig McConaughey
Denny, I used to pull wheelies with the #1 125 when I was 12 or 13. Full reverse and slam the hydro lever forward!
Shift.gif
Great fun until the one time I almost went over backward. I had backed down into the ditch to turn around and while still going slowly backward I rammed the lever full forward. The 125 stood straight up!
icon_eek.gif
I believe I would have gone over backward had I not still had my hand on the hydro lever and pulled it back to reverse. As hard as the front end slammed down on the pavement I'm really surprised I didn't break a spindle or the front axle.
blush.gif
 

dfrisk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
6,390
displayname
Dennis Frisk
KRAIG - Sometimes I'm amazed that FARM BOYS survive as a species when they're young and learning to run equipment.

I was actually proud of SON when he first started running HIS 129 when he was about 8-9 yrs old. Had to get him a hydro since he wasn't real good at shifting my 72 yet. I forget what happened but he came and flagged me down while mowing, broken belt or ??? Tractor was parked, mower desengaged, engine OFF, brakes locked. Quick repair pitstop out to the shop and we were mowing again!

Now flash-forward about 6 yrs. I'm mowing around the 7-8 bushes in front of the yard along the ditches late one evening finishing up mowing, He hated that so he's playing around with the 129 in the frt yard. Out of the corner of my eye I see him flip the lights OFF on the 129 and full speed ahead he goes. A minute later about 3 bushes down the way he comes around a bush on foot with a VERY scared/worried look on his face. He'd run into a 4" dia. cast iron vent pipe he forgot about in the frt yard full speed with the 129. The mule drive took the brunt of the damage. The 129 was kinda-sorta hidden in the garage awaiting my inspection. A BFH and some touch-up paint and SON had learned a valuable lesson!

I had a 4020 sitting on it's tail one day plowing a clay hillside that had been permanent pasture for decades. It pulled TOUGH! I was able to hit both brakes and the clutch and ease it down slowly. The Roll-o-Matic frt ends were a really nice feature on JD's but didn't like to be "dropped". I made a Bee-Line straight to another 4020 with 5 slabs of frt weight sitting in the yard and in five minutes I had 400# of ballast mounted and was on my way back to that hill.
 

kweaver

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2000
Messages
5,520
displayname
KENtuckyKEN
I use to like to stand the 9N on it's butt and let it howl at the moon ... almost flipped it one day but hitting the brake stopped it.
 

dross

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,513
displayname
Dave Ross
Had a spot at the end of half mile rows that was a little up-hill, turned to clay. When we plowed up that hill the last fifty yards or so it'd carry the front wheels on an 1100 pulling 6-14, I'd just be along for the ride. right before the end, throttle back till it dropped and stop as the front end touched down. then pull out the plow, Done right it was pretty. I also remember bouncing and curseing, sometimes it wasn't so pretty.
 

wshytle

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
2,810
displayname
Wayne Shytle
It's funny how the topic can go from "to balance gear or not to balance gear" to tearing up something down on the farm or doing wheel stands on a tractor.

I have no stories because I've always been rather impartial to pain. I remember hoping the tractor would break so I could go fishing but nooooo.
 
Top