Page last updated Jun 8, 2018 @ 11:48pm
C-185 Wheel Horse
battery operated 36Vdc with mower deck
Refurbished Wheel Horse C-185 riding electric lawn tractor. Battery powered with mower deck. Recharges from a wall socket in about 8-12 hours. With new batteries will mow about 1/2 acre on a charge. See photos and links for more information. This thing is built like a tank. Many accessories were originally sold for these tractors in addition to mower decks. Other accessories (many of which can still be found used) include dozer blade, snow blower, rear tiller, and portable electric hand tools such as chain saws, etc.
Body on this unit was dismantled, rust cleaned away, primed, repainted and reassembled. Some wiring had to be replaced. Deck motors opened and cleaned. Added DC ammeter to charger so that charging current could be monitored. Also replaced the main DC ammeter and added a DC shunt so that true battery operating load could be read while mowing. After reconditioning everything worked except the "cruise control".
Present Condition: After mowing the lawn in 2008 and running the batteries too low a relay stuck resulting in the tractor only going in reverse. (Probably just a welded relay contact.) And something failed in the onboard charger. (This could be as simple as a single rectifier or as large as the charger transformer.) Batteries are weak and should be replaced. Uses six golf cart type deep cycle batteries 6V each for 36V total. Two batteries are under the hood and four are under the driver's seat. Refurbishing driver's seat not completed.
New and used parts are available from a number of sources.
This type of electric tractor was originally designed by GE and introduced in 1969. It continued to be manufactured and marketed by GE until the 1970s when the line was sold to Wheel Horse. They manufactured and sold the product and then discontinued the product in the late 1970s. This C-185 model was manufactured in 1975-1977.
Recommended for someone who has any knowledge of simple electrical troubleshooting. Included is a 1 inch binder full of documentation which will be provided with tractor to purchaser. Electrical diagrams are included. There are active online owners groups that provide technical/maintenance help with these tractors. And many parts are available online such as at The Electric Tractor Store, My Elec-Tracs, and elsewhere.
If we were to repair this tractor we would do the following:
find the defective reversing relay and replace it
replace the original dumb charger with a smart inverter/charger such as the APS3636 which would not only provide better battery life but also provide 120Vac for hand tools
replace the six batteries
Would prefer that purchaser pickup this item in Richmond VA area. But if that is not possible we can arrange for it to be shipped truck freight on two pallets.
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