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JohnFornaro

How to convert a 7116 to 7117

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JohnFornaro
My 7116 leaks at the oil pan, but runs fairly well. I'm needing to give it a little more life, since I'm getting ready to put a tiller on it. I've considered a short block 16hp Briggs from Small Engine Warehouse (S.E.W.) I'm seriously considering one of Al Eden's 18hp Kohler Command repowers. But in the latest Northern Hydraulics catalogue, they feature the Kohler KT17. This engine appears to be a cast iron one, since it is 25 pounds heavier than the 18hp Kohler Commands (CH18), and I'm thinking it is basically the same engine as was in the 7117. There's something that appeals to me to use this engine, rather than the newer Kohler. What are the advantages/ disadvantages of the KT17 vs CH18? I already know that the 7116 frame is different than the 7117 frame. Perhaps As has a conversion plate to allow the KT17 to fit? Any comments?

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D-17_Dave
If your satisfied with the power from the 16 and it still runs out well, then I'd opt to replaceing the pan gasket and do a little cleaning. That is a simple fix, and it would be a lot cheaper. If it's a challenge to place the twin into it then again I'd fix the 16 and possibly look around for a 7117 or eqivalent and move into it. That way the work for the convertion is already done. Just some thoughts.

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Al
Hi, The CH will run a lot longer and cooler, and the oil temperature is significantly lower. I believe the average MTBF (mean time between failures) on the CH is about 3 times the KT. The CH should outlast 3 KTs. Fuel consumption should be lower. There a number of Kohler CH25s running Oil well pumps in Texas that run 24-7. They run on natural gas which is an extremely clean fuel, and essentially produces no carbon. The maintainace crew comes to the engines once a week and changes the oil and services the air cleaners. Then they restart them and leave for another week. This goup of test engines have over 50,000 hrs apiece on them and still are going strong. They are still running strong and not using oil. There was an article on these units in a Kohler news letter recently and we were asked about expected life in service school and this data was again shared. If I were going to spend the money on a new engine, I would use the CH. The KTs are for all practical purposes is dead. They are only being made in very limited quantities and that is going to cease just like the K500s and most of the Ks. You will then own an engine that can only be rebuilt and when the rod goes and punches the crankcase, you will then need to convert any way. I really loved the KT and sold a number of them, and they have a lot of power, but I have seen them short lived in some cases. When you go to an OHV engine, the operating temps go down significantly. In the L heads there is a triangular area in the cylinder around the exhaust valve that the cylinder temps get so high that it breaks oil down. This is why the KTs will drink unbelievable amounts of oil if 10w-30 is used. Straight 30 is tougher and doesn't break down as quickly in high temps as multigrade does. 10w-30 is a tougher oil than 10w-40, but not in the same league that straight 30 is in extremely high temps. With the OHV engines the exhaust temp is carried up and out of the head, and the cylinder can be cooled evenly all the way around. My vote goes to the CH. Besides they sound like a Harley when they idle. Al Eden

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cwm1276
I put in one of Al's Kits last year replacing my KT for the command. I think the only change in the 7116 to the 7117 is the frame is cut out more along the sides to fit the engine. The kit comes with a template that you can trace on to the frame to make the larger opening. THe kit also comes with the plate for the frame to adjust for the height differences in the engines. Al thought of everything in that kit, down the very last screw.

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JohnFornaro
I like Al's reply, even tho D-17's answer is cheaper. The KT17 is virtually the same price as Al's CH18, according to Northern hydraulics. I don't wanna cut the frame. The CH18 solution would let me repair the 16, and bolt it into my 3310.

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D-17_Dave
Well I can give you alternatives. But if you want direct answers to these kind of ?? this is the best place I've ever seen for consuting the "EXPERT'S" When I read your other post, the transplant into the 3310 and the upgrade seems like the most bang for the buck. You essentually get 2 upgrades for the price of 1.

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stevenj
If memory serves me correctly, the KT17's from Northern Tool were about $1800-$1900. You could buy one of Al Eden's kits for just a little more and get the CH18 engine plus everything you need to install it. I'd think this would be the preferred upgrade.

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cwm1276
The frame cuts are about 4 inches by 2 inches on each side of the engine. Al would be more accurate, but don't see that they would harm anything, just that when the frame was first designed a twin cylinder engine was not considered then later the twins got the frame adjustment.

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