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Tuning A Wisconsin Engine

bolens 850 wisconsin engine

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#16 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2012 - 01:36 PM

Are you sure your voltmeter is accurate? ....I have never heard of a 12volt battery having 16.5 volts.
Can you check the voltage of your car/truck battery to see if your voltmeter is wrong?


IDK, the voltmeter I am using could be wrong... It is a Cen-Tech digital multi-meter from Harbor Freight... Not exactly known for high quality...

The multi-meter says that the battery on my truck (which is only about 2 years old) has around 17.08VDC. When I first touch the contacts to the battery terminals, it jumps right to 16.32VDC and then a half-second later reads between 17.08-17.12VDC. The battery on the Bolens starts out reading 16.78VDC and then after a second reads between 17.32-17.77VDC. The numbers will fluctuate a bit every 2-3 seconds as you are holding the multi-meter to the battery terminals. IDK, for some reason it COULD possibly be reading 4-5 volts higher than what the battery voltage actually is? It reads pretty much the same, but just moves the decimal point around, if I switch it between 10V, 20V, 100V, and 1000VDC modes.

When I get a chance, I'm definitely going to have to bring the starter/generator to a shop to have it rebuilt since it is turning over so slowly!

But most worried about how the engine is running for right now more than anything...

#17 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2012 - 04:26 PM

I'd be getting a new meter. That sucker is way off!!

#18 Ralphst16 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2012 - 07:08 PM

Mine runs pretty hot also. I think I'm going to pull the head and see if theres a lot of carbon build up. Good luck getting it squared away.
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#19 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2012 - 08:01 AM

Does anyone know where I can get a small governor return spring for my S8D engine? I'm wondering if part of my problem is that the tiny little spring I have on there now isn't strong enough to operate the throttle plate properly. It seems like the engine wants to race off sometimes and like the governor isn't holding it back properly. Of course, if the governor spring is too strong, it might not be able to give it more throttle when the engine is under load. All the governor controlled Wisconsin engines had a return spring, right? It's not like someone added one to mine and it was never designed to have a spring?

I'm just frustrated as I've been to several hardware stores, Advance auto parts, NAPA, and even a local lawn and power equipment dealer, Grassland. No one seems to just carry a selection of small springs that I can browse through to find something that might work. They all said they might be able to match something up or to order a spring for me if I had a part number, but I'm not sure what the part number for the spring is. Besides, when I tell them it is for a Wisconsin engine they say they can't get any parts for them anyways. I've checked on eBay real quick and don't see anything that looks right to me and like I said, without knowing what the part number is, I'm kinda stuck... :wallbanging:

#20 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted August 17, 2012 - 01:44 PM

Does anyone know where I can get a small governor return spring for my S8D engine? I'm wondering if part of my problem is that the tiny little spring I have on there now isn't strong enough to operate the throttle plate properly. I don't think that is the problem. (more info below) It seems like the engine wants to race off sometimes and like the governor isn't holding it back properly. Of course, if the governor spring is too strong, it might not be able to give it more throttle when the engine is under load. No. ....The governor spring causes the throttle to open more, not close. All the governor controlled Wisconsin engines had a return spring, right? No. It's not like someone added one to mine and it was never designed to have a spring? Some Wisconsins had them, some did not.


I watched your video again. ....Sadly, it takes forever to download with my DSL connection. ....I think you may be confused on just how the governor is supposed to work. ....See my explanation under #7 below.

(1) What is the Spec number of your S8D Wisconsin?

(2) The high-speed mixture adjustment (with the "T" handle) is at the lower left side of the carb.

(3) The idle mixture screw is on the upper left side of the carb.

(4) The idle speed screw (aka throttle-stop screw) is located on the engine side of the carb. ....This sets the minimum speed at idle.

(5) What weight oil are you using in the engine? ....If the oil is too "light" it will smoke. .....SAE 30 is good for these engines. ....5W-20 or 10W-30 will tend to smoke if the rings or valve guides are worn.

(6) You appear to be missing at least one of the sheetmetal covers which directs cooling air from the flywheel over the cylinder head. (Wsiconsin part # SE-297). ....This can cause the engine to run hotter than normal.

(7) Where is the light spring, which you are questioning, attached? ....I see one end is attached to the governor arm, but where is the other end attached?

The large governor spring (except in the idle position) pulls on the lower part of the governor arm, which in turn, moves the upper end of the governor arm (counter-clockwise) away from the carb. ....The solid link connected to the upper part of the governor arm causes the throttle butterfly to open.

The governor mechanism inside the crankcase causes the governor shaft to rotate clockwise. ....The governor arm clamped to the governor shaft also moves clockwise, opposing the force of the governor spring. ....The link connected to the top of the governor arm closes the throttle butterfly slightly to decrease engine speed.

When the engine speed decreases to the point where the governor spring tension exceeds the force of the internal governor, the throttle butterfly will open, increasing the engine speed to the point where the governor force will overcome the tension of the governor spring again.

This cycle keeps repeating. ....However, if all adjustments are correct, and everything is functioning as it should, the "cycling" is minimal in its extremes and is barely noticeable. ....The amount of load on the engine, and the mechanical condition of the engine, also affect how finely the governor operates.

I have seen the small, light spring on some engines, but they are not on all Wisconsins. .....They have nothing to do with the function of the governor. ....Some are there to eliminate slack in the linkage, while others are there to close the throttle when there is no tension on the governor spring. ....That is why I asked where the one end is connected.

When the throttle is closed, it rests against the throttle stop screw. ....This is where the idle speed is set. ....If the idle speed is set too low, the engine will stall or run rough. ....If set too high, the idle mixture screw has no effect on the fuel mixture at idle.

As you can see, there are lots of variables which need to be properly evaluated and adjusted.

(8) The governor arm is clamped to the governor shaft. ....It is possible that these two parts have moved from their proper setting.

(9) Is your starter still struggling to crank the engine as it did in the video?

I hope I have not confused you more. ....I will try to help you as much as I can.
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#21 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2012 - 10:47 AM

No, you're not confusing me at all. I'm following you 100%. I did make some adjustments to the engine and it is running better, but I'm still confused over this governor setup in general as I'm not used to seeing something like this a lot. I wish I had photos of the same Wisconsin engine as mine the way it is *SUPPOSED* to be setup so I know what is missing on mine, etc. IDK if the previous owner cobbed some poo up that doesn't belong there, etc... The tiny governor return spring at the top runs past the carburetor and is held in at the top of the carb intake mounting bolt on the right side. Someone clamped the end of the spring down with the carb mounting bolt. I just took it off today and finally found a generic, light enough spring at one of the bigger local hardware stores (Phillip's Hardware) to throw on there. I hooked the one end to the top of the governor arm where the tiny spring is attached in the video and hooked the other end to the crankcase vent tube that sticks out (part of it is metal tube and the other is rubber hose that is pretty old looking that goes to the carb intake). It seems to work much better like this and I could even take some more slack out of the governor/throttle spring (I may be using the incorrect terms here too, so IDK if I'm confusing YOU or not?) that is attached to the bottom of the governor arm without affecting the idle of the engine. It seems to run a lot better now like this, so maybe I'll leave it for now?

I took some more video of the adjusthments I made to the engine, but haven't had time to do anything with it yet. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post it next week sometime?

Also, here is a close-up of the model number plate on my Wisconsin engine. It should have all of the info on it that you're looking for to ID it...

Posted Image

In case it is hard for you to read, it says the SPEC. NO. is: 285662 Hope this tells you something, because IDK what that means...

Edited by MailmAn, August 18, 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#22 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2012 - 12:17 PM

Also, here is a close-up of the model number plate on my Wisconsin engine. It should have all of the info on it that you're looking for to ID it...

Posted Image

... it says the SPEC. NO. is: 285662 Hope this tells you something, because IDK what that means...


That Spec number identifies your 850 (model 191-02) as a 1969 model, which was the last year for the 850's.
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#23 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2012 - 12:48 PM

Really? That's interesting to note. I thought it was a 1968 all this time... Unless could the engine have been replaced or something?

In any event, so what does being a 1969 model 850 mean for my governor linkage? Return spring or no return spring?

#24 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2012 - 01:03 PM

Really? That's interesting to note. I thought it was a 1968 all this time... Unless could the engine have been replaced or something? That is a possibility, but what makes you think so?

In any event, so what does being a 1969 model 850 mean for my governor linkage? Just that it is 43 years old? :smilewink:

Return spring or no return spring? Sorry, but I don't know. ....If the spring that was on there matched the engine color, then it was probably original.


...

#25 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 18, 2012 - 10:14 PM

Just that it is 43 years old? :smilewink:


Haha... very helpful!! :huh:

Sorry, but I don't know. ....If the spring that was on there matched the engine color, then it was probably original.


No, it was metal colored, not painted. Why, did Wisconsin throw everything together and then buzz-bomb it with spray paint and got everything colored brown before it went out the factory door?


On a sad side note, I MAY have more problems with the engine right now. I was mowing my lawn today with the Bolens 850 and it was going along great and the engine was purring along fine. Then, when the yard was just about finished (at least it let me finish off the yard before it decided to have problems...) the engine developed a bad grinding sound, for lack of a better term to describe it. I immediately shut off the engine and originally thought maybe it was a drivetrain problem if the rear axle got hot for some reason or the clutch was making weird noises. It was also shaking the whole tractor and making horrible noises. So, I checked all over the tractor for anything that stood out as problematic, but didn't see anything. So, I tried turning over the engine again and the noise started again. It sounded like it was coming from the front of the engine. I shut it off and let it sit and cool down for about 15-20 minutes and tried starting it again. The noise was still there, but was less pronounced. So, I quickly finished off mowing and parked the tractor.

I checked the oil dipstick and there was oil all over the dipstick, but it was really black (when I bought it in May, the oil looked pretty new), which concerns me that it turned that dark so quickly. It didn't smell burnt at all though. It just seemed thin and kinda runny, but it was a hot engine when I checked it. I let it sit all day while I was at work and checked the oil level tonight. The dipstick read right around 3/4 up in the "Operating Range" level, so it was a bit low, but not seriously low or anything. The oil still looked black, but was a bit thicker now that it cooled off. I think my next step to-morrow is to try drainging the oil and putting some fresh SAE 30 oil in it as I have no idea what weight oil the PO put in it. It could be 10W30 or 5W20 for all I know...

My biggest concern I guess is that the oil broke down under heat and hurt something in the engine which is making that horrible noise. I isolated it to the engine by disengaging the Hi/Lo power range idler so that no belts were spinning and it was still making that noise. Unless it is something in the starter/generator that is making a racket, but it doesn't seem like that is the source. If the oil change doesn't make the noise go away, I'll try to take some video of it so you can hear it and see if you can figure out what it is. For now, the engine still runs, it just sound awful! I don't want to break anything further though if it is something serious!!

Edited by MailmAn, August 18, 2012 - 10:17 PM.


#26 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2012 - 05:19 PM

I think 90% of your issues can be resolved with correctly adjusting things.

I know !! --- That doesn't help you !! ....But I don't know how to adequately describe how to make all the adjustments to you.

We are approx 3-1/2 hours apart. .....If you were close, I would gladly offer my help. ....I could probably do the adjustments faster than I can try to explain what to do. (I'm not trying to be a smart-a**, I am just frustrated that I can not verbally describe all that has to be done in a manner which will not confuse you more!) .....There is also some terminology which can be confusing.

In the meantime, here are some things to consider:

Incorrect ignition timing will cause poor performance, and may cause the knocking noise. .....These Wisconsin engines are very sensitive to the timing, so it is important that the timing be correctly adjusted!



Well, I recently adjusted the ignition points / timing on the engine. I did it a while ago, but as always, it takes much longer for the video to be edited and uploaded after the fact. So, here is what I did:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyIlO9vRWyM

Hopefully you can tell me if I did it right, Bruce. If so, I hope this video can help out others with timing up their Wisconsin engines! It does seem to work a lot better now after these adjustments, but I still hear that pesky knocking at high RPMs. Maybe it is some carbon build-up on the piston or valves? I'm still reluctant to take the head off right now and I don't have any gaskets to put it back together if I do take it apart.

I WAS going to post a video as well about weird noises the "engine" was making, but after I shot the video and before I could upload it, I narrowed down the source of the noise to the Starter/Generator. But my engine got an oil change out of it anyways with some fresh Castrol GTX SAE30 weight oil. The old oil in it looked pretty nasty anyways and I had no clue what weight oil was put in it when I bought it. After I pulled off the Starter/Generator (which, BTW, weighs a TON for some reason!!) I brought it down to Con-Rel to be rebuilt. It will probably cost me about $100-$120 to get it rebuilt. But I can now see why the engine lacked power and why the S/G turned over so slowly! After I pulled it off, I could barely turn the pulley by hand it was so tight. One or more of the internal bearings must have froze up on it and/or there was a problem with the windings on it. I'll see how it runs after I get the Starter/Generator back! They told me it would hopefully be done today, but so far no word on it yet. Maybe Friday?

Edited by MailmAn, August 23, 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#27 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2012 - 07:04 PM

(7) Where is the light spring, which you are questioning, attached? ....I see one end is attached to the governor arm, but where is the other end attached?


(8) The governor arm is clamped to the governor shaft. ....It is possible that these two parts have moved from their proper setting.



(7.) I've seen these light springs used to take the slack out of the linkage as well. Does it make sense to use a light spring to partially cancel out a heavy spring? I would look to see if there is an obvious place to attach the carburetor end of the light spring on the carb throttle lever.

(8.) If there is paint missing from the bolt and nut which attaches the governor lever to the governor shaft, I would be suspicious.

#28 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2012 - 11:26 PM

Well, I recently adjusted the ignition points / timing on the engine. Hopefully you can tell me if I did it right, Bruce.


Well, you confused the hell out of me!

It appears your voltmeter was set on the 20VDC range, and you got a reading with the points open. ....Where did the power (voltage) come from?

The continuity test on a Volt-Ohm-Meter (VOM) is very good for detecting when the points are making contact or open, and this works the same as a continuity light. ....However, it appears you were not reading Ohms. ....Does your tester have a setting for measuring resistance (ohms)?

In the beginning of your video, you state that the coil fires when the points close. ....The opposite is true, as the coil fires when the points open.

The pointed tab on the shroud which points to the flywheel should be bent in more so it is closer to (but not touching) the flywheel. .....When setting the timing, you look through the opening in the shroud from the side, as there is supposed to be a sheetmetal baffle at the rear of the shroud which prevents seeing the flywheel. ....The purpose of the baffle is to close off the opening at the rear of the shroud, so cooling air blown by the flywheel is not allowed to escape at that location.

The two missing baffles will hinder the proper cooling of your engine.

You are mistaken that the coil fires each time the piston comes up to TDC on this engine . ....Since the points are operated by a plunger that rides on the camshaft, and the cam turns at 1/2 crankshaft speed, spark will only occur on the compression stroke if the timing is set correctly.

Other engines where the points are operated from the crankshaft do fire each time the piston nears TDC.
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#29 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted August 23, 2012 - 11:33 PM


No, it was metal colored, not painted. Why, did Wisconsin throw everything together and then buzz-bomb it with spray paint and got everything colored brown before it went out the factory door?


Bolens did it I think....

#30 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted August 24, 2012 - 06:32 AM

:ditto:
Bruces post
I also admit I got confused when I watched the video.
In your video the points looked like they were still dirty/pitted in one spot.

Bolens did it I think....


I believe you are right





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