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718H Engine Problems


gr-made

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Hello Everyone: I am having some engine problems with my AC 718H with a 18hp Kohler single. I went to start her up yesterday and she was acting up. Let me try to explain the symptoms. The engine sounds fine when it is running at low RPM, but it does have an intermitant squeaking sound. The squeak does not appear to be in sync with the engine. Then when I try to increase the RPM the engine seems to sputter like it is under a tremendous load. I have a 36" blower hooked up to the tractor but it is not engaged when this happens. I can engage the PTO and get the blower running but it does not seem to affect the results. I was told that I have a slight rod knocking noise by the Simplicity dealer the last time it was in for service. Can anyone explain this? I hope my engine is not shot. Please help, we are supposed to get 6" of snow tomorrow night. Thanks
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The squeak noise could be a cylinder head gasket either blown or starting to leak - try tightening the head bolts but if it still doesn't stop it may require a new replacement gasket. Rod knock refers to excessive clearance between the piston connecting rod and crank journal. Sometimes only .005 excess will do this and it may run for quite a few years with a slightly loud "tapping" noise - perhaps more noticeable when the engine is accelerated. Anything much louder means it could be "ready for take off" (break internally and maybe cause other damage). Be sure the oil level is checked and toped off before every use - a major repair at this point will be quite expensive!
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The Kohler K361, 18HP, single cylinder engine has two inherent problems: 1) the steel valve seats fall out of the aluminum cylinder head and 2) the valve guides loosen up in the cylinder head. Because the engine is air cooled both problems are due to the different coefficients of thermal expansion of the two materials. You can talk to anyone knowledgable in Kohler engines and you can spend money fixing them but sooner or later the same old problem continues to come back. I know because I been there. I strongly suggest one of two solutions: 1) sell your problems to someone else or 2) spend approximately $1200 and replace the K361, 18HP with a K341, 16HP service engine. I was forced to replace my K361QS, spec 23107A, 18HP with a K341, spec 71179, 16HP service engine in 1992, when it would not start and had absolutely no compression. If you decide to replace, you better hurry because the Kohler K-series engines will only be available as complete engines through the end of this year because of federal emissions. After this year the K-series will only be available as short blocks. Also if you decide to replace, and you want to use the original exhaust system, you will have to locate the cast exhaust elbow(I believe is no longer available) and purchase the other exhaust components used on the AC model 716 tractor. Also, if you decide to replace you will have to use the carb, air cleaner, alternator stator and flywheel from the 18HP, and fabricate (2) brackets: 1) to mount the starter solenoid, condensor and ignition coil and 2) to support the muffler clamp.
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That eng. for all purposes is obsolete,YES you can still get parts for it BUT at what cost? Better find another engine.A head gasket job on that sucker is 1/2 a day event! Just my 1 1/2 cents worth! dlc
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  • 3 months later...
For Kohler 18HP OH engine problem and replacement information, please see my reply as guest on discussion page 19, message id 1302, titled 718H Engine Problems, posted 2-16-00, reply id 3865.
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