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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings folks,

I have a 1985 Case 444 tractor powered by a Kohler K321 engine. The tractor serial number is 14072843. Late last fall while mowing grass (literally the last time of the year), the engine began racing and the throttle lever position had no effect. I limped the tractor to the garage and investigated... the small machine screws had backed out of the throttle shaft in the carburetor and the butterfly was laying in the bottom of the carb. The screws were gone, presumably ingested into the engine. I replaced the screws and finished mowing the next day. Fast forward to this winter, and I had to pull the tractor out of the shop to pull the fire engine outside so I could finish hanging steel paneling on the ceiling and walls of the shop. The tractor smoked pretty badly. I figured I'd better investigate this further, as mowing season is right around the corner (if winter ever lets go here in the mid-west). Anyway... I took the head off the engine and found what I suspected... scoring on the cylinder walls and some pits in the top of the piston (I think from the throttle shaft/butterfly screws). The screws were not in the engine, I think they got chucked out the exhaust.

Anyway, I've decided to rebuild the engine (as opposed to replacing the engine with another K321, or repowering the tractor, or buying a new mower, etc.). While doing research regarding parts availability, I found on the Kohler Engine's website that there were MANY variants of this engine. I've seen rebuild kits available for this engine at many vendors online, and I'm wondering how important it is to know which specification number my engine falls under. The reason I ask is, the
data plate/sticker is missing from the engine cowl. I understand that the specification number relates to the configuration of the engine's accessory components, as this engine was used by many manufacturers for various applications.

My root question is: would a Brand-X rebuild kit be ok to use for my K321 since I don't know the specification number? Also.... could anyone with a 1985 Case 444 with a serial number close to mine be able to tell me the specification number for their engine? That way I can have a better idea of what I have?

Thanks in advance for any information you might be able to provide.

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After some more digging around on the Kohler Engine's website, I found a list of possibilities for the engine in my tractor. It appears as though my K321 could be one of at least ten options:

K321-6053 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-6088 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60105 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60117 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60209 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60227 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60258 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60294 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60313 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443
K321-60395 CASE (14 HP [10.4 kW] SPECS 6006-60443

It seems as though all of these engines are the same specification number, the actual model number is what varies.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again.

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Brian,

I scrolled through all 20 pages of options for model and spec numbers for the K321. I didn't see Colt or Ingersoll listed anywhere, just Case (and many other manufacturers, of course).

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it.

Damon
 

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You said you have a 1985 model 444, then it would prob be under Case, that is when Ingersoll was buying out Case garden tractor line, so Kohler might have sold to Case, and not changed the name to Ingersoll yet. I've also seen that Case is used instead of Ingersoll at times, not sure why, but maybe the company didn't change things over to Ingersoll on the books, but Case would be the same I think, because of it being the time when the name change was taking place. Hope this might help, but Case should be the same for 1985 tractors, many were badged as both Case & Ingersoll, so in essence they are the same.
 

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The question Damon is asking is whether or not he can buy a rebuild kit for a Kohler K321 without knowing the Spec number and have it be correct. I have done so with 10hp Kohlers but not 14hp, so I cannot say with certainty. Someone who has done so with a 14hp will be along shortly. I will contact some members.
 

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I bought one like this awhile back

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Master-ENGI...009?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d5956829

and did not need engine numbers like with an Onan.

Just the hp, or, 301, 321, 341, etc.

This may even be the same guy. I do not recall name now.

I MUCH rather speaking to someone one the phone rather than buying just off an ad (even though this is what I do, just on the other end). When I bought mine, I researched seller down and got phone number to speak with someone.

I am pretty sure that this is the same guy/store.

http://www.bbb.org/toledo/business-...the-mans-one-stop-shop-in-wauseon-oh-90030732

So you can call and speak with someone and get some better answers.

Hope this helps a little.

re-reading through his ad, his "free" torque specs are, IIRC, a bit on the high side. I think I originally went to 26-27ft/lbs on the head bolts. Kept blowing head gaskets. The Kohler shop in town said, "Oh, you stretched the bolts. 22lbs great plenty."

Replaced head bolts, went to 22, warmed up, let sit overnight, re torqued to 22 again, and never had another problem. Maybe some one else can comment on that.
 

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:headscratcher:

Thank you Ray. I was not aware of that.

I found this in Kohler manual

Model Designation
The model number designates the cubic inch
displacement and the number of cylinders - Model
K241A, for example designates 24 cubic inch
displacement, 1 designates single cylinder. The letter
suffix designates a specific version as follows:
Suffix
A
EP
P
Q
R
S
T
Designates
Oil Pan Type
Generator Set
Pump Model
Quiet Model
Gear Reduction
Electric Start
Retractable Start

Did not paste right. A = Oil Pan Type; and so on down.

I believe the one I did was a k301as. It was out of an 1981-82 222.

Digging around a little, I found this.

http://gardentractorpullingtips.com/oilpan.htm

All the way down, 2 paragraphs above "oil refill quantities" is this

If it's an oil pan that's designed for a Cub Cadet garden tractor, then the shallow and deep oil pans are the same (except for the oil capacity) and will fit virtually all models of Cub Cadets. A longer dipper on the connecting rod is not really necessary, but it will provide better lubrication if the oil level were to get low. And the same dipstick will work, because the oil level will be the same.

I cannot comment on it as I would think that a longer dipper would NOT work on a shallow pan, but now not sure.

Also, I am not sure as to if the aftermarket world standardized the dipper into the shorter dipper.

Group: I do apologize if I initially gave incorrect info. I was not aware of the different dippers.

Jeff
 

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Good research! I'm not sure which models/type of ANY use the longer dipper, but wanted to at least mention it in passing... :fingerscrossed:

Ray W
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You guys are great. Thanks for all of the reading!! I'm working on getting the engine off of the tractor tonight. Almost there, just gotta separate the pump from the engine, then the engine is going up on the work bench.

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, I feel like a dummy. I just checked the tractor manual that I downloaded from here a couple years ago when I bought the tractor. The engine information is given on the first page!!

Engine is a K321AS
Model C26984
Spec PF 60410

Geeezz... the info was right in front of me.

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the tip, jbadman.

Anyone have information on good-condition, useable, within-specification crankshaft availability?? I've measured the crankshaft out of my K321, and it's barely within useable limits. If possible, I'd like to replace it. I see on the Kohler site that new cranks are available, but I'd rather not pay $377.23 for a new, factory replacement.

I'm planning on replacing the main bearings. If I can't find a better replacement crankshaft, could I have the crank ground a little bit on the main journals and the rod journal... then just use an undersized rod and have sleeves made for the main journals? Not ideal, I know... just wondering if anyone else has done that successfully.

Any leads would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!!

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quick update. I bought a used crankshaft off of ebay that was supposed to be within spec', but I had to have it ground 0.010 to make it round again. The block and crank are done, and I've picked them up from the shop. The block had to be bored 0.020 over, and I had the machinist touch up the valve seats and hot-tank the block to clean it real well. The rebuild kit has been ordered, so I'm now just waiting on parts to finish the job.

Also looking for either replacement rubber for the angled motor mount plates, or complete a complete plate for the right side. Had an oil leak and the rubber isolators in that plate are shot.

Damon
 

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Quick update. I bought a used crankshaft off of ebay that was supposed to be within spec', but I had to have it ground 0.010 to make it round again. The block and crank are done, and I've picked them up from the shop. The block had to be bored 0.020 over, and I had the machinist touch up the valve seats and hot-tank the block to clean it real well. The rebuild kit has been ordered, so I'm now just waiting on parts to finish the job.

Also looking for either replacement rubber for the angled motor mount plates, or complete a complete plate for the right side. Had an oil leak and the rubber isolators in that plate are shot.

Damon
McMaster Carr of Cleveland has the isomounts or a Case Ingersoll dealer, depending on your shipping situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks. Oddly enough, after I posted this, I found the McMaster-Carr mounts through a Google search since I couldn't find them through a search here. I'm planning on ordering them tomorrow.

Damon
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, so I'm still dealing with this engine rebuild. I've now snapped the second (middle) ring (new design, three rings instead of four) twice. The first one broke when I tried to remove it and flip it over to reinstall it properly (it took me a while to figure out how to install the rings per the poor instruction sheet). I ordered a replacement set of rings and snapped the middle ring again upon installation. Are the rings in these rebuild kits just that poor of quality? I contacted a local Kohler shop, but the factory wants $100 for a set of rings... and I just can't justify that expense.

Any suggestions?

Thanks again for your help.

Damon

PS. I considered just flipping the spare top ring and using it as a center ring, but I didn't do that because I don't know that the design would work the same.
 
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