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Many in here have bought and used the China made replacement carburetors off Ebay for Kohler single cylinder K series engines . Most of us who use these for replacements on a regular basis have come to understand that quality control where they are made is not the best. The rule seems to be that about one out of three or four carbs you get is going to be no good for one reason or another. On the last bad one I had the throttle shaft butterfly would bind up against the carb body throat. If you buy from a well established Ebay seller, they are aware that a certain percentage are no good. You contact your seller, tell the it does not work and why, and they just send you another. My experience anyhow thus far. No big deal, other than some waiting for another carb.
What is a big deal though, is that on all these China made K series carbs that I am aware of is that the choke shaft control plates are all installed backwards. The plates should have the cable holes pointing towards the air cleaner. On the China made carbs, the cable holes are pointing towards the engine block. What this means is that if you can get the cable hooked up, "on will be off " and "off will be on" in relation to the tractor cable operation on the tractor. Here is the proper fix to this problem....
First you have to remove the shaft from the carb. To do this you need to remove the 2 butterfly screws. As far as I can see that factory does not use a thread locker to secure the screws, which helps in this operation. You need a phillips screwdriver that is properly sized to fit the screw heads.. Too small and it will slip and ruin the screw head, too big and it wont bite well enough...and again ruin the screw head Use the correct screwdriver because you only have the one chance to get the screw out without creating more problems. While turning, and turning real slow, you have to put a good amount of pressure downward onto the screw head. You have to be able to "feel" whether the give in the turning action is from the driver slipping or the screw breaking free. Breaking free will result in a quick short "pop" feeling. If you damage the screw head, well , I don't have any advice on how to proceed from there.....so don't ruin the screw head.
Once the screws are out and the butterfly is removed, its time to slide the shaft out. Before doing this, set the carb flat on a table with the engine block side down so you are looking down onto the choke shaft. reason for this is that on the left side of the carb were the shaft is supported, there is a tiny little detent ball and spring that will fall out. Even sitting like this the ball may roll out as you slide the shaft out. Be prepared to catch it. If it falls onto the floor, your chances of finding it are slim to none. This I know first hand to be true.....
Take the choke shaft and get yourself a small punch that fits in the center half of the flared end of the shaft on the control plate side.
Stick the open end of the shaft into a vise and close the vise down against the shaft, but not tight, so that the control plate is resting on the top of both jaws of the vise. (The above picture is after I have already repositioned the plate, but you will drop the assembly in the vise like this and use a punch that is smaller than the outside diameter of the flared end of the shaft.)
Using the punch and a hammer, drive the shaft out of the control plate. This will let the flared part of the shaft be force straight up without losing any of the metal. That metal will have to be there to be peened back down once you reposition the control plate.
Your shaft should be like this now..
You see the flat sides of the shaft clearly. The flat sides of the plate are not so flat, but they are there. What you do now is just flip the plate over so it faces the other direction and fits on the shafts flat sides. There is a bent over thump lip on the shaft. It will have to be cut back so it does not hit the side of the carb. I don't cut them completely flush. I leave a little lip there. for stiffness in the plate.
Once the plate is flipped, you can use a small ball pein hammer to peen the end of the shaft tightly over the plate. You will have to set the opposite end of the shaft on a anvil or other firm surface. Do not hit it super hard as you are going to flare he opposite end of the shaft as it is. Once the peening is done, you will likely have to file the edges of the open end of the shaft a little to remove any swells, this so the shaft will be able to slide through the carb body. Check and file , re-check and file as need. Wipe the shaft clean after each filing.
You will have to again lay the carb with the block side of the body down and the air filter side up. Make sure the little spring is in the hole it goes in on the laft side of the carb. Get a tiny flat blade screwdriver that is magnetized and get the little metal detent ball on the end of the screwdriver , then hold the ball in the hole against the spring while you slide the shaft back in. You should be able to get the shaft to go over the ball/spring as it goes through. Rotate he shaft to the proper position . Ball should snap into the detent slot in the shaft as the business end of the control plate points towards the air filter side of the carb. Then just re-attach the butterfly plate so it sits as it did before it was removed. I used blue loctite when tightening them down.
Not a horribly hard operation. Just a bit tedious when trying to get the butterfly screws out without stripping the heads.
Many of us do a lot of maintenance stuff outside our hobby but it may include our hobby equipment too. Linda and I have 26 acres surrounding our house that requires a lot of maintenance. So, I thought I’d start this blog with a wide scope in mind and cover some of things I do and probably reflect back on things I’ve done too.
Sept 18-19, 2021
Now that I've retired its time to put at least a little emphasis on improving our yard. We live at the bottom of a hill and there is a rock shelf not far below the surface. So, water from uphill comes our way washing what little topsoil we have on farther down into the woods. I let my career get in the way of yard improvement for the last 11yrs and I've vowed to get started. Picked up a nice Simplicity revitalizer in OH while attending 2021 GOTO. Set it to lightly work the surface and loosen thatch in the shady parts of our yard. Some say its late to over-seed but we’ve been dry for the latter portion of the summer and rain is in the forecast.
Equipment used: Conquest 16-44 with turbo blower, Hydro-18 with revitalizer, the Bumblebee 10 with Agrifab seeder. I used a shade mix including creeping red fescue, bluegrass and perennial rye. Sunny spots are covered w/zoysia. Found the revitalizer likes more even ground than we have but it worked well carving slight groves for a good seed bed. Blew out a turbo belt (2nd one this season @$22ea) and I used 25# seed at $1.95/lb. Finished up seeding some points and harder to get to areas by hand.
September 21, 2021 Received 2.1" rain last night so timing was good. We do have a yard irrigation (needs adjustment and more heads) but you just cannot beat a good rain at seeding. Cleaned up the equipment after use with leaf blower and today I removed excess dirt and debris before placing it on the pallet racks for storage.
Found the one way to grease this zerk was to pry the bearing cover out of the way - ugh! Blades and spacers are spring tensioned from middle so I did get it to take grease!
Time to reload equipment on shelving.
September 21-22, 2021
Zoysa along our drive has elevated to a level that’s above the drive causing water to travel from the street nearly to our house. I am in need of grass in sunny areas around the shop so I used the Agco 2025 loader tractor to dig a strip along the drive and relocate them to around the shop.
my good neighbor brought his long handle flat shovel, som gutter nails, and string to mark the strip and cut the sod. Worked great after a 2.1” rain.
strips were cut length of the bucket. East to cut new digits for the sod
sod strips awaiting placement
not sure why this happened
luckily I saw the cap quickly so I raised the front off the ground, replaced the snapring and dustcap, and was back in business
I must not have made sure the ring was completely set in the groove
Never pass up a chance to grease so while on the floor I greased the Conquest front axle and front wheels.
Saturday September 25 I musta ran over something yesterday with the loader tractor. Right rear tire flat. Luckily a tire shop could fix it today. So, off with the wheel weight, chains and wheel: forgot the lug nuts are metric
Ellie and her mother stayed a few days and Ellie wanted some tractor time
winter 2021-22 maintenance. Washed and waxed the Conquest 16-44
and took a few pictures before removing the deck and power bagger
new in ‘02 and she’s proven to be worthy
winter duty clothes
and a little seat cushion maintenance inspired by @SmilinSam
Removed the chrome front bumper and replaced with original black one. Chrome bumper was kinda a rare option.
Tuesday December 14, 2021 We are experiencing an extremely warm winter. Local weather forecast for today: Clouds will increase and temps in the mid-60's. Tonight cloudy with temps near 60 at midnight, the warm to mid 60's by Wednesday morning. Wednesday forecast: very warm and windy with > 50mph winds. Temps likely reaching record in mid-70's. Dec 14 avg high is 44* and avg low 27*. So far I've probably only burned a dozen sticks of wood in the shop, mainly to take the chill off in the mornings. Have had the overhead door open many days.
December 17, 2021 Temp in 30’s, cloudy and rainy all day. Fire felt good
Wanted more light so caught this on eBay
Post Office delivered the control rod for my Sunstar the other day. I purchased it from Jack's Small Engine and have to say I was not impressed. I ordered what I saw as "In Stock" where the parts I ordered were in fact not in stock and had to be ordered. So, it took much longer for the part to arrive than I was expecting. I had thought about rebuilding the old control rod, but I abandoned that idea because the control rod cost $27. The surgery was short and simple (about an hour), no other surprises when replacing the control rod. I greased the front U-joint while I had the covers off.
Now if we can get it to warm up here in southeastern WI so I can mow the grass again. It is very deceiving to look out the window and see things greening up and it is only 44 degrees.
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Been sitting around for 5 years and finally coming to the top of the Queue. Saw it on craigslist and immediately called at around 8PM. It was located about two hours away so I asked the guy if he would hold it for me. He said no, as he had other interested parties. I asked if I could come up that night. He said, "You want it that badly"? I said, "Yeah, I have been looking for one." So he said he would hold it. Got it the next day for $350. It came with a 5 ft deck, front blade, rototiller and a vacuum system but no gas tank.
When I brought it home, I got it to fire by squirting fuel into the carb. I added a gas tank but now it won't run and the starter seems to have died. I tried to use an impact drill to turn it over for a compression test but no. Rather than start throwing parts at it, I decided to repower with a Predator 670 Honda clone.
I bought my 620 new in Nov. 1974. I used to do a limited amount of custom garden plowing/tilling for fellow Church members, friends, & neighbors. I also mowed 2-3 acres for the 1st 25 years until the mower deck was too rusty to continue. I repowered it in 1999 with a 22 HP Kohler Command, before there were repower kits to my knowledge.
Almost two years ago, after extensive use of the Simplicity 48" tiller, apparently one of the bearings seized so suddenly (after I switched the rear PTO off), that when I tried to switch it back on again a few minutes later, it instantly killed the engine "graveyard dead".
Can I replace the short (rear) shaft, it's two bearings & whatever else is necessary, just by removing the seat, top cover, & transaxle cover? Is it likely that I'll have to also replace the long shaft & it's gears & bearings?
I may have availability for used parts nearby. I haven't called Sandy Lake yet.
Thanks for whatever advice anyone can offer.
I've been wanting a way to move dirt with my tractors since I got them. Building a loader isn't in the cards...yet. Simplicity however made a grader blade for their tractors that by all accounts works pretty well. I've been meaning to build something for a while anyway and since grader blades are pretty spendy for what they are (300 bucks or so), I decided to build my own!
I had an old plow blade laying around the garage that I decided to cut in half for the grader blade.
I also wanted to add some ripping capability with this thing, so I bought a swisher scarifier from Wal-mart for about 80 bucks.
Here is the frame I built...
And the plow mount...
There are three positions the grader blade can be in, centered, Right and left.
Here it is with the teeth on one side.
And finally, all together, and ready to mount to a tractor.
I used it on a test run over memorial day weekend. I had a nasty patch of my backyard left over from my barn construction project that was starting to be taken over by weeds. I tilled it in, then used the grader blade to level the ground back out. It worked BEAUTIFULLY...
I will get it painted some day...
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I've enjoyed taking some time off and working on the honey-do list and springtime chores, though both are never-ending. But, I thought it time to provide an update, since it is rainy, and I'm procrastinating going to the garage to work. In addition to updating the software with new releases, and monitoring my email for "I can't log in" types of things, I have added a few more things to the site:
1. In addition to the Leaderboard that came with a recent release of the core software, I've implemented a Top Contributors function. It shows the people who've posted the most content in specific areas, by week, month, year, etc. There's been discussions in the Executive Committee about possibly setting up a competition (similar to Tractor of the Month) to reward the top contributors. I also have a programmer looking at taking this module even farther in what it tracks and counts, should we decide to implement a competition.
2. Due to feedback on the member list that I was using, I had a custom one developed and implemented. There's still some issues with missing data, but the function seems to be working well, and the plug-in that catches missing mandatory info seems to be working;
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56722-new-member-list/
Here's a direct link to it, underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/mlist/
Note that the amount of information displayed depends upon your access level. Dues-paying members can see more information.
3. Also based upon requests, I implemented a Member Map that allows you to place a pin on a map identifying the city and state where you live. (Smart phones will give you the option of using your Location from the phone.) This could really be helpful in finding people locally who share a similar interest in these old machines. Like most things here, its usefulness depends on the amount of use by others -- and use is optional, since some people are reluctant to share too much information on the web.
Here's a topic describing it: https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/56732-member-map-added/
Here's a direct link to it, also underneath the Membership menu: https://simpletractors.com/membermap/
Note that if there are multiple members in close proximity, it displays them in a round "cluster" with the number of pins within it shown. For example, the pic above shows 3 members located near Indianpolis IN. If you click on that round icon, it will zoom in and show the three individual pins on the map.
Then, if you click on any one of the pins, it will show the info on that member. Here's mine, for example:
Hopefully you can see the value of this, in trying to connect with others in the local area. Now, if only we can encourage more people to add themselves to the map.
4 Continuing on that same subject of connecting with other enthusiasts locally, I want to give a sneak preview of a core capability coming in the next major release of the software, due out sometime mid-late 2017. The new core IPS software will have the capability to create sub-groups and corresponding functions for "Clubs". Since this entire site is already dedicated to a specific club, this new capability will allow us to then create and support "chapters" within the club, and support those chapters with their own functions unique to them. Implementing chapters is totally up to us -- should we choose to do so -- but the core capability will be there. Since this club has always been about encouraging face-to-face meetings with others, there has been discussion of creating chapters since the club was initially formed. This next release of the software will fully support that -- should we choose to do so....
Here's a look at their default view of clubs (i.e. chapters) from their development/testing server:
As shown, each "chapter" could have its own banner for that area. It would also show a list of the subset of members that are in that chapter, and each chapter would have "leaders" that can act as moderators for this subgroup. (Anyone identified as admin or moderator for the entire site would still have their same access levels/capabilities within these subgroups.):
We can set this up to control access to these sub-areas or chapters. See the settings at the top of the list below. We can also set it up so these chapters can have their own content areas/capabilities from the list at the bottom -- each could have its own forum, gallery, downloads, blogs and calendars to handle their local activities. If these are set up as either open or public, all club members can see them.
Here's a glimpse of what those chapter sub-areas could look like:
I'm showing all this to prompt your thinking about the possible creation of club chapters, and to hear your thoughts...
5. Continuing with the sneak previews, the next major release of the software will also include many more small enhancements -- I'm not sure what all yet, since they are slowly providing previews. For example, instead of just the Like button, there will be other Reactions that can be provided for a piece of content, such as a topic or reply
Meanwhile, I need to get back to working on cleaning up the rest of the old Simple trACtors content and republishing it. I just wanted to provide an update on some of the recent changes and a preview of what's coming.
Let me know what you think of creating club chapters, please!
Gidday, this is me testing (myself) to see if I can create a blog!
My tractor came from a massive but neglected collection covering about 20 acres, of all sorts of farm equipment. The Simplicity looked very sorry but seems pretty well complete, except for parts of the engine - a Briggs 23D-FB. I will return to the property now I know what I am missing. I will be looking for a complete air cleaner, the starter motor and voltage regulator and the wiring. I need to find out exactly where the battery fits, and to buy the correct size battery.
I am in the process of dismantling everything, to clean up and to get sandblasted, in readiness for painting. Still to dismantle are: - steering wheel from steering column, grub screw proving difficult to loosen, may need to heat carefully without damaging the hand grips, - lift lever and shaft, will need heat to get apart, - transmission group, not anxious to touch yet, - differential, not anxious to touch yet, - bevel gear assembly, not anxious to touch yet. These latter parts will be considered after seeing how easily they turn etc, without too much slop.
Hood needs piece welded in where previous owner cut a hole for fuel tank lid. Need to find grill and grill side bars. Need to find decals/ornaments. Need cover for front PTO shaft.
Need a complete seat cushion.
Need to replace front wheel bearings etc.
Hello All, just a little announcement here for those of you who don't know that I have a YouTube channel covering Simplicity Garden Tractors be sure to check it out at:
Thanks for all the support! Have a great Day!
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Guest William Stome
I have found gunsmith screwdrivers to fit many " hard to deal with " screwheads real well. They have parallel sides rather than a taper.
I gues this gives them a better bite .... I guess
btw Sam as a Sunstar and landlord dlx owner your post are alway helpful and fun reads.
I dont know. Just figured one of the junk Chineese screwdrivers I have would fit the Chineese screws
These screw heads are no terrible. They actually have more area to grab than the ones on an oem Kohler carb. Wrecked plenty of those screws myself. I had the right screwdriver(bit) in this instance and they came out good. Just a matter of applying enough downward force on the screw and turning slow enough to notice whether the screw is turning or the driver is slipping.
A thought about the screw heads: Since these are Chinese built, could the heads be the JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) instead of American? They are slightly different, and not entirely interchangeable as far as screwdriver bits go. That is why most Japanese motorcycle bolts are buggered up when worked on by American mechanics.
So true...for purchases of used garden equipment that is on the order of 30-40 years old, unless it is a signle owner, pristine condition and obvious that it works under full load and at idle, the recommendation would be scrap price of short steel, unless there are implements that are worthwhile, then its whatever the market will dictates based on location and distance to haul it home.
Your pictures have served to remind me of the zerks I always forget to grease on the inside of the front wheels....