Wheel Horse C-81

Wheel Horse C-81The Wheel Horse C-81 is a garden tractor model from the C series, manufactured from 1978 to 1979 by Wheel Horse in South Bend, Indiana, USA. It was available in two-wheel drive (2WD) version.

The Wheel Horse C-81 is equipped with a 305 cc (18.6 cu·in) single-cylinder gasoline engine with 74.62 mm (2.94 in) of the cylinder bore and 69.85 mm (2.75 in) of the piston stroke, and a belt-driven gear type transmission with 6 forward and 2 reverse gears.

The Wheel Horse C-81 garden tractor features:

  • The Kohler K181S gasoline engine which produces 8.2 PS (6.0 kW; 8.0 HP) at 3,600 rpm of horsepower.
  • Manual steering
  • Open operator station
  • Sleeve hitch (optional)
  • Independent middle PTO with mechanical clutch

General specifications

General Specifications
Model Wheel Horse C-81
Tractor type Garden tractor
Production years 1978-1979
Factory South Bend, Indiana, USA
Dimensions and weight
Length 1,650 mm (65 in)
Width 910 mm (35.8 in)
Height 1,040 mm (40.9 in)
Wheel base 1,150 mm (45.3 in)
Weight 245 kg (540 lbs)
Fuel capacity
Fuel tank capacity 11.5 liters (3 US gal.; 2.5 Imp. gal)


Engine Specifications
Engine model Kohler K181
Engine type 4-stroke, L-head (side valve), single-cylinder
Displacement 305 cm3, (18.6 cu·in)
Bore and stroke 74.62 mm X 69.85 mm (2.95 in X 2.75 in)
Max. horsepower 8.2 PS (6.0 kW; 8.0 HP) at 3,600 rpm
Cooling system Forced air
Lubricating system Splash type
Fuel system Carburetor
Fuel used Unleaded gasoline (octane number 86 or higher)
Starting system Electric starter
Governor Centrifugal governor
Valve clearance
Intake valve clearance: 0.15-0.20 mm (0.0059-0.0079 in)
Exhaust valve clearance: 0.43-0.48 mm (0.0169-0.0189 in)
Oil system
Lubrication system: Splash type
Oil type: API SF or SG
Recommended oil: Summer: SAE 30W
Winter: SAE 5W-20, 5W-30
Oil capacity: 1.2 L (1.27 US. qt, 1.06 Imp. qt.)
Ignition system
Spark plug: Champion RJ8C
Spark plug gap: 0.65 mm (0.0256 in)
Spark plug torque: 27 N·m (2.8 kg·m, 19.9 ft·lb)

Transmission and chassis

Chassis, steering and brakes
Chassis 4×2 2WD
Steering type Manual
Transmission manufacturer or model Wheel Horse
Transmission type Belt-driven gear type
Gears 6 forward and 2 reverse
Speed Forward: 8.8 kmh (5.5 mph)
Reverse: 4.2 kmh (2.6 mph)
Transmission oil capacity 1.9 L (0.5 US. gal, 0.4 Imp. gal.)


Front tires Lawn/turf: 16×6.50-8
Rear tires Lawn/turf: 23×8.50-12

Rear Hitch

Three-Point Hitch
Category Sleeve hitch (optional)
Control type
Lift capacity (at ends)

PTO (Power take-off shaft)

Middle PTO type Independent with mechanical clutch
Middle PTO speed

Electrical system

Electrical system
Ground Negative
Charging system
Charging amps 15A
Battery 12V


Wheel Horse 36″ mower deck with 3-blade and rear-discharge
Cutting width 910 mm (36 in)
Cutting height: 30-80 mm (1.25-3.25 in)
Wheel Horse 36″ mower deck with 3-blade and right-discharge
Cutting width 910 mm (36 in)
Cutting height: 30-80 mm (1.25-3.25 in)
Wheel Horse 42″ front-mount blade
Cutting width 1,060 mm (42 in)
Wheel Horse 42″ front-mount snow blower
Cleaning width 1,060 mm (42 in)
ATTENTION! Dear visitors, this is an informational database of technical specifications, we are not a parts supplier or a marketplace.

We try to use official documentation and verify the published data, but errors may occur. In addition, specifications of machinery and equipment may vary depending on markets and modifications. We do not recommend the use of this data for spare parts or repairs. Use official service manuals or parts catalogs for your product.

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