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
ModelWheel Horse C-81
Tractor typeGarden tractor
Production years1978-1979
FactorySouth Bend, Indiana, USA
Dimensions and weight
Length1,650 mm (65 in)
Width910 mm (35.8 in)
Height1,040 mm (40.9 in)
Wheel base1,150 mm (45.3 in)
Weight245 kg (540 lbs)
Fuel capacity
Fuel tank capacity11.5 liters (3 US gal.; 2.5 Imp. gal)


Engine Specifications
Engine modelKohler K181
Engine type4-stroke, L-head (side valve), single-cylinder
Displacement305 cm3, (18.6 cu·in)
Bore and stroke74.62 mm X 69.85 mm (2.95 in X 2.75 in)
Max. horsepower8.2 PS (6.0 kW; 8.0 HP) at 3,600 rpm
Cooling systemForced air
Lubricating systemSplash type
Fuel systemCarburetor
Fuel usedUnleaded gasoline (octane number 86 or higher)
Starting systemElectric starter
GovernorCentrifugal 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
Chassis4×2 2WD
Steering typeManual
Transmission manufacturer or modelWheel Horse
Transmission typeBelt-driven gear type
Gears6 forward and 2 reverse
Speed Forward: 8.8 kmh (5.5 mph)
Reverse: 4.2 kmh (2.6 mph)
Transmission oil capacity1.9 L (0.5 US. gal, 0.4 Imp. gal.)


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

Rear Hitch

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

PTO (Power take-off shaft)

Middle PTO typeIndependent with mechanical clutch
Middle PTO speed

Electrical system

Electrical system
Charging system
Charging amps15A


Wheel Horse 36″ mower deck with 3-blade and rear-discharge
Cutting width910 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 width910 mm (36 in)
Cutting height:30-80 mm (1.25-3.25 in)
Wheel Horse 42″ front-mount blade
Cutting width1,060 mm (42 in)
Wheel Horse 42″ front-mount snow blower
Cleaning width1,060 mm (42 in)
Author: Sergei Wers
About: Co-founder and CEO of a multi-brand auto repair shop (engine repair, chassis repair, body repair and painting) for over 15 years. I have been developing internet sites with technical specifications for more than seven years.

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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