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Old 08-09-2021, 07:02 PM   #1
nedlyped
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Default 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Hoping someone can advise:

Picked this 18hp '77 Cushman Haulster (898409-7710) up, wasn't running, spark plugs were fouled black. Replaced the intake manifold, cleaned the carburetor (Keihin ) including the passage way to accelerator pump, checked all lines, and replaced old fuel filter. Changed all the oils and oil filter. New spark plugs, checked coils, points filed and corrected, timing on. Air filter is a little dirty, but seems ok. I am getting a new one just in case though.

Now it runs, BUT it runs kind of roughly. Accelerates with a lot of power, idles well. However, sometimes it cuts out, esp. in 1st gear it seems to hesitate. I have to give it a lot of gas to get going (and it takes off!). Or tap/pump the gas pedal a bit to get it moving. Is there something I am missing for a smoother take off?

Carb, not sure of model number, I can only see markings "EDL 27" on carb? I know it is Keihin from images and that it only has a throttle stop screw and low-speed idle.

Should also note, previous owner added an electronic fuel pump, bypassing old mechanical one. A Yoneda universal one, not anything fancy - 12v, Output Pressure 2.5-4PSI, Pressure 0.028 - 0.045 MPA. It works, I can hear it churning, fuel runs through the system. Filter was originally set AFTER the pump and that's where I put it when I got a new gas filter. I read somewhere it should be BEFORE the pump, but that seems minor?

Help or advice appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 08-09-2021, 08:08 PM   #2
slonomo
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

A few questions:
1. 18hp? Is this a Cushman engine?
2. Carb? Is that the original factory carb? You say Keihin, but does it actually say "Keihin"?
3. Fuel pump? Why not use the factory vacuum pulse pump?

If the carb is an aftermarket unit, that could be your issue with the stumbling and rough running. I've seen my fair share of both factory and aftermarket carbs and I can say that 100% of all good condition factory carbs will vastly out perform a cheap knockoff carb. With that said, I have had some knockoffs that ran fairly well. But I will always default to a factory carb, in your case, the high quality of a Keihin made carb.

Sounds like you've looked in all the right places. The reason I ask about the engine type is there could be something specific about that engine you might need to look at. For example, Briggs engines like to have the valves set a little fat, and they don't like big carbs. So maybe there is something about that engine that needs looked at. Did you check the valve lash, compression, or do a leakdown test?
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Old 08-09-2021, 08:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Hi slonomo -

Appreciate the reply.

Yes, it's the OMC Cushman Engine.

Carb, it is factory - Keihin (thanks for spelling!).

Fuel pump, my guess regarding fuel pump is that it was dead or not working, so the previous owner bypassed and got an electronic one. I read in a forum that the factory ones commonly failed (https://buggiesgonewild.com/showthread.php?t=41342), so that's my guess why the electronic one is there.

I have not down valve lash or leakdown test. Compression looks good though.
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Old 08-10-2021, 08:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

With your electric fuel pump you need a filter between the tank outlet and the fuel pump, and the fuel pump and this line should be as close to the same height as you can get it. The output line from the electric fuel pump should connect directly to the carburetor. Electric fuel pumps are self regulating, so they don't need the 3 port bypass filter that was part of the original fuel system. The return fuel line that came from this 3 port bypass filter should be removed and the inlet to the fuel tank plugged, as it is no longer needed.

Some newer replacement fuel tank fill caps are designed with pressure controlled vents. The Cushman fuel system does not work with these, so it is necessary to remove the spring, etc. that prevents continuous cap venting.

The early Cushman brake systems use DOT 3 brake fluid which is alcohol based and the master brake cylinder has a cap vent. The vent is necessary, but it allows moisture in the outside air to unite with the alcohol in the brake fluid. Alcohol and water combine easily. When sufficient moisture has combined with the brake fluid, rusting of the internal brake lines and components occurs. It's best to completely replace the brake fluid every several years to minimize this problem.

In the inlet to the Keihin carburetors there is a tiny screen filter that plugs easily and is no longer available. It's best to just pull this filter out, if there is one, and discard it.

Valve lash is quite important to make these engines run well. These Cushman vehicles were grossly under powered and need to be at their peak to perform well.

An 18 hp OMC can be upgraded to a 22hp by replacing the cylinders. Higher compression achieves the additional horsepower. When last checked, these are still available from www.directparts.com and www.denniscarpentercushman.com. These cylinders come with valves and springs installed. There is no difference between the right and left cylinders. They are both the same and both valves are identical in each so it doesn't matter which is intake and which is exhaust.

There is a manual available that contains the complete OMC motor information on www.sillylittlecars.com website. Go to "Manuals" and then click on the text "service manuals" and a list of available manuals will appear. You want to download the "supplement" of the manual. The main manual contains only body part diagrams and part lists for parts that are no longer available. The "supplement" contains the motor information and electrical diagrams for many models of Cushman vehicles of the 70's and 80's

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Old 08-10-2021, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Hi Charley -

I was hoping you'd show up... I've been reading up on your tips throughout the forum.

Fuel filter, will move it accordingly. The old bypass one was discarded and replaced.

Brakes, I already replaced one cylinder that was completely shot. Will eventually replace lines, but system is bled and working. Hmm, will check to make sure master cylinder has vented cap, I am guessing it's original, but who knows?

Fuel cap is original one, seems to work ok. Innards ok, outside was spray painted.

Carbs, will look for that inlet filter. I didn't see one when I cleaned them, but will double-check.

Valves, will do next. Very good to know I can upgrade by replacing cylinders.

Manual downloaded!

QUESTION - how to I adjust clutch / clutch pedal? I tried adjusting at yoke, didn't seem to make a difference.

Will post results after I do all this.

Thanks much!
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

With an electric fuel pump, you don't need or want the bypass filter. Electric fuel pumps maintain fuel pressure and only work if the pressure is low. The original mechanical fuel pump was constant pumping and provided more fuel than the carb could use, thus a pressure relief type bypass filter. Your electric fuel pump will run less, last longer, and provide more accurate fuel pressure to the carb if you eliminate the bypass filter and just connect the fuel line direct from the fuel pump to the carb. Just remember to plug the fuel tank inlet that the side port of the removed bypass filter was connected to.

I made a plate and gasket to plug the hole where the original mechanical fuel pump had been mounted. You can leave the old pump there with no fuel line connections, or remove it and plug the hole with a cover. I chose to remove mine and plug the hole. Less chance of dirt getting into the crankcase that way.

The inlet fuel filter is located right inside the carburetor inlet pipe where the fuel line connects. A pair of needle nose pliers will pull it out. It's just a conical shape fine metal screen, but can give you significant fuel flow problems if it gets plugged.

When rebuilding the carburetor, after all the years of life of these engines, it's necessary to replace the float inside the float bowl of the carburetor. These plastic floats gradually float lower as they slowly absorb solvents from the fuel. The lower it floats, the more fuel will be in the float chamber and the richer your fuel mix will be. Replace both the float and the float needle valve if you haven't already done so. These are never included in the rebuilding kits, but should be.

New automotive master cylinders have bladders as part of the covers that keep the air and brake fluid separated yet allow changes in the volume of brake fluid in the master cylinders. This is a far better way of keeping the moisture in the air from uniting with the alcohol in the brake fluid. I tried very hard to find one of these newer style cylinders that would fit my Cushman, but without success. Everything that I found would have required extensive modification to the Cushman to be able to install it. So I just replaced the master cylinder with a new identical one and resigned myself to purging the brake fluid and replacing it every few years.

The early 1970's Ford F-100 pickup trucks used almost the identical wheel cylinders, but there is a bump in the outside surface of the casting that needs to be ground off to fit the Cushman. The rebuilding kits for these Ford wheel cylinders fit and work in the Cushman cylinders, if you can clean and hone out the Cushman cylinder so it is useable again. At about $25 per new Cushman wheel cylinder and $14 for a rebuilding kit plus the honing costs, you are better off replacing the wheel cylinders with original Cushman cylinders as long as they are available. The master cylinder for my Cushman came from the local forklift repair shop. Apparently, the same master cylinder is used in some models of forklifts. It was on their shelf and I paid about $14 for it.

The same forklift shop had a similar fuel level sensor for my Cushman fuel tank. It was electrically the same and the opening cover plate and gaskets were identical, but the wire to the float was a different shape and length. A little bending and experimenting made it work for me, maybe not as accurate as the original because of the need to bend the float wire, but accurate enough to keep me aware of the fuel level so I don't run out.

Clutch adjustment is pretty much limited to the adjustment of the linkage to the pedal.
You adjust the linkage so that pushing the pedal about an inch does nothing, and then pressing further begins to disengage the clutch. As the clutch wears, the pedal distance before beginning to disengage becomes shorter. When you can no longer adjust the pedal it is likely time for a new clutch. Mine has almost reached time for replacement.
If the clutch slips, the springs in the clutch sometimes get weak from use. I was told that replacing the clutch springs with valve springs would help, but I haven't tried it. I will probably just replace the clutch and throw-out bearing sometime soon.

When comparing 18 vs 22 hp engines you can tell which you have by the location of the spark plugs in the cylinders. The 18 hp has the spark plugs located below cylinder center and the 22 hp has the spark plugs located above cylinder center.

I check in her almost daily, and almost always in the morning. If you have questions I will do my best to help you solve your problems.

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Old 08-12-2021, 11:36 AM   #7
nedlyped
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Hoping I don't have to rebuild / replace clutch, will figure that out once I get it riding smoother. Anyways, electric fuel pump is running well, no inlet fuel filter, will start looking for a new float & float needle!

Any recommendations on tires for this rig? Current tires are ok, but old-ish.

Shock absorbers? Mine are pretty "crunchy" feeling. I am wondering if I can just measure and replace, but any tips appreciated.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Are they narrow or wide? The Turf Trucksters had wide tires. The narrow tires are available as "Trailer Tires" in places like Northern, which is where I bought mine. You won't find pre-mounted tires and rims that fit Cushman though. Cushman rims have a slightly different lug spacing. If you are desperate for a rim, a machine shop can copy the hole spacing of a Cushman rim and drill the set of holes to fit the Cushman in between the existing wheel lug holes. Doing this will make the rim fit either Cushman Trucksters or the commonly available trailers of today. Buy the ones rated for high speed. They are better and safer at very little price difference.

I painted my wheels before installing the new tires, and because of rust pitting, I bought and installed tubes, because the rims wouldn't seal well for tube less use. If you need new wheel lugs, get a local auto parts store to sell and install replacements. Tell them you want imperial threads, not metric, or you will have fits matching the lug nuts. At least you want them to be all metric or all imperial.

If you are using your original fuel tank, it quite likely has rust on the inside walls. You really need an inline tubular filter between the tank and fuel pump, or the rust flakes are going to ruin the pump and plug the needle valve in the float bowl of the carburetor. Any good inline automotive filter would be a good choice. Buy one to fit the size of the fuel line with only one inlet and one outlet.

If the tank is heavily rusted inside, and even if it has pin holes, there is a fuel tank lining kit available from KBS Coatings that will make the tank better than new. I needed to do this to my tank and it did an impressive job. The kit contains a wash, an etchant, and an epoxy-like liquid coating. Buy only the size that you need, because once opened, the coating cannot be saved. Any excess becomes trash.

If you follow the steps in the directions, it will take you about 2 hours, broken up in short segments and spaced out over about a week period. I used a hand full of gravel mixed with the cleaner and etchant, because my tank had 1/4" of rust caked in the bottom. Vigorous shaking with a paint shaker got this rust cake out of my tank. Hopefully, your tank isn't this bad.

You will need to remove the tank for this and have the ability to plug all of the outlets/inlets temporarily. I used short pieces of fuel lines with a bolt tightly fitted in one end, then the other ends pushed onto the fuel tank outlet ports. For the fill port, I bought a replacement cap and sacrificed the original for this job. When you reach the coating step, the coating is reasonably thick, but flows like paint. You put it in the tank and then flip the tank in many directions to coat the entire inside. Once convinced that all surfaces have been coated, you remove the cap and drain the excess coating, At this point it's a good idea to have some fat pipe cleaners (mine were sacrificed Christmas Cane Decorations) so you can remove the fuel line plugs and clean out the excess coating inside the fuel ports using these fat pipe cleaners.

You let this coating air dry with all ports open for about 36 hours. Then clean any coating that has dripped from any of the ports. It's a good idea to paint the outside of the tank at this time too. Then once dry you can put it back into use. You will be amazed how clean your fuel stays in the tank after you have done this re-lining, and the tank will likely last longer than you now. The fuel tank industry should do this when they build the tanks, so they will last forever and not the usual ten or so years. There is a mesh that you can buy to cover any pin holes or even slightly larger holes so the coating material can plug them. You may or may not need this, but mine didn't.

A friend recommended KBS. Between he and I we have saved 5 gas tanks with this, and I've told others and received happy thanks from all of them.

amazon.com/s?k=kbs+coatings+fuel+tank+kit+for+gas&crid=1PEF3E XKIJ7TI&sprefix=KBS+Coatings+fuel+tank+kit%2Caps%2 C201&ref=nb_sb_ss_midas-iss-hred_6_26


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Old 08-13-2021, 10:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

Hi Charley - I have a 18hp Haulster, not Truckster. So mine has the narrower street tires, which is what I will be driving on. The most common 5.7 x 8s I have found are trailer tires and I was just wondering if those were safe to use. I was looking at highway graded trailer tires.

Tank is actually pretty clean! Looks like there was a small seam leak, but it was repaired. I will take another look inside to be sure.

I did find out the connection at my ballast resistor is loose. So loose it rattles and then sometimes rattles off.

Do you know if these old (pre-80s) Haulsters were meant to have their lights on all the time? Mine are on all the time. I have a few vintage motorcycles and all of them have the option to turn the lights on or off. Bascially, I have a "on/off" switch on my dash that's not connected to anything and guessing it might be the light switch?

I have posted my rig in my album. It's missing bed and fenders, so I'll be making a wooden deck for it eventually. I'll post more as I go.

Thanks again for all the help and info, appreciate it.
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: 18hp Cushman Haulster ('77) - rough runner

The loose connection on the ballast resister was very likely why your motor was running rough.

Look through the electrical diagrams in the back of the manual. They are very similar, but contain additional wires for things that aren't in all models. Matching the diagram to the 6 digit model number (before the - ) should get the exact diagram, but for most wiring needs any diagram that looks close should provide for most of your needs.

I discovered that although it had dual beam headlights, only the low beam was connected. I bought replacement headlight connectors with pigtail wires from the auto parts store to allow for wiring both the high and low beam and made a new headlight wiring harness back to an added hi-low beam switch. I chose to use a toggle switch rather than a floor hi-low switch, which is available from the auto parts stores, but that was my decision. The floor hi-lo switch just didn't seem to fit well on the floor surface where it had to go, and my big feet wouldn't get caught on it when getting in and out of the cab.

I also added additional brake and turn signal lights high on the back of the cab to look something like the GO-4 models, as well as alternating flashing yellow lights, which ware also added to the front of the cab so I could be, hopefully, seen better if on the highway with it (see my avatar photo).
My insurance company was selling the reflective slow moving vehicle triangles cheaper than I could find them anywhere else, so I bought two, one for the back fence of the stake body and one for the back of the cab, just in case I decide to remove the stake fences.

The rear body on my truckster was hand built from treated lumber by it's former owner, but the stake fences were completely falling apart (it had sat on the edge of a pine forest untouched for almost 14 years). A neighbor of mine had a bunch of TREX Decking left over from resurfacing his deck and he gave it to me. It's very heavy, so I used my woodworking shop planer to thin it down to about 1/2" thick, leaving the wood grain pattern on the face side and trimming the material off the back side. I then rounded over the edges using a router and round over bit. I used stainless bolts, nuts, and washers to assemble it, and aluminum self made aluminum hook latches to join them together at the corners. They are arranged so that the rear fence can be lifted on and off, but to take either side off, the rear must come off first. Both sides must be off to get the fence behind the cab off. The stake pockets proved tough to make accurately enough to fit the stakes properly, so I had a local fab shop build them for me, telling them that their height (stake thickness) when standing on the end tabs, was the most critical dimension that had to be held and I gave them one of my DIY attempts that fit the way that I wanted for a good example of what I was looking for. 2 weeks later I was attaching the stake pockets with stainless lag screws to the wooden bed. The 12 stake pockets (4 spares) cost me $24. I drilled the mounting holes, primed, and painted them myself with rattle can gloss enamel. I was going to have them powder coated, but my friend's powder coating shop was backed up and I didn't want to wait 3 more weeks for them.

I have considered replacing the rear body with a DIY metal body that is 2X longer. My son and I own a welding/fabrication shop so this could be done fairly easily, if we ever take the time to make it. The present wooden body does not dump and it's only about 3' square, so not very handy for bigger projects. The one that we would build would dump using hydraulics of a similar design to the Cushman dump models, and would pivot in the same way as the Cushman models.

I think my Truckster originally had some kind of machinery on it. The PTO shaft for the transmission broke just outside the transmission case, and they likely sold the Truckster rather than rebuild/replace the transmission. I have the control levers and control cables in the cab to run something that is no longer attached to them. The remaining mud on the underside of the frame and fenders looks like quarry dust, so maybe it was being used in a quarry environment for something. I'll never know it's full history because I'm at least the 4th owner so far, but it seems to have lived in North Carolina for the past 34 years, based on what I've learned from the previous owner (son of the wood body builder).

Charley
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