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GregB

Kohler KT Series questions

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GregB
Hoping someone can help. I recently picked up a Series II KT19 according to the seller, but it does not have a coil ignition, but electronic ignition? The plug wires come out from the fan housing area. The only loose wires are a purple, from a connector on a module, and a heavy gauge wire that comes out of the housing near the plug wires. The tin on the motor unfortunately gives a spec number for an early coil ignition motor. Anyone have any idea how to ID a motor spec number without the sticker numbers? I would like to put this motor into the 917H I picked up this past weekend. Thanks GregB

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Ronald Hribar
Al Eden can explain to you what you have to do. But until then do not run any power to wires coming out of shroud. If you run power to module, you will ruin it. If you run power to starter and hookup gas line motor will start. Wire coming out of housing is used to short out ignition. One of the wires is used for charging and you may have a wire going to the fuel shut off solenoid on the carburator.

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GregB
Last night after I posted, I spent some time on the EMParts parts list site. Way to many spec # to look thru. Went to the Kohler site under classic engines, and downloaded the service manual for the Magnum twin line. They have the electronic ignition just like my "KT19". But the listing says 18 or 20 hp. The engine was supposed to have come out of a Toro Groundmaster. I'll try to e-mail the seller and see if he has the original tin with the ID plate laying around. GregB

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SmilinSam
I was always under the impression that the KT Series (17 & 19) were battery ignition, while the Magnum series(18 & 20) were electronic ignition. other probably know more than I do, certainly Al does. Possibilities with used engines are that previous owners put a old shroud on a newer engine, or newer ignition assembly & flywheel on an older engine or other. Hard to tell what people do over the years.

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Ronald Hribar
I agree with Sam . My KT 17 had external coil. Magnum 20 has ignition module on flywheel. All the sheet metal appears to be the same. And I was able to put KT 17's entire exhaust system on the magnum 20. My magnum motor was also missing all identification, other than it said Magnum 20 on air cleaner

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Al
Hi, You have to have a Magnum series engine. There are no provisions for mounting the ignition module on the KT series. Someone probably put the tin off the KT on a new Magnum. Magnum was an "updated KT". Major changes: flywheel and more efficient cooling fan, improved fin airflow on the cylinder heads, electronic ignition, oil filter standard on most specs. Series 2 KTs have the provision for an oil filter to be installed, but I am not aware of any specs that had them standard. We sell a kit for 29.95 to use the new ignition system without having to make any changes to the tractor wiring. Al Edem

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Ronald Hribar
AND remember DO not run power to this ignition system use Al's kit You will have to cut frame for oil filter to fit. If there isn't a screen over the flywheel you will want to put one one. driveshaft will need the large rubber coupling. use the exhaust system from the K17/19. use all the heat shields from K17/19 This is essientally a bolt in.

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Al
Hi, Large rubber coupling is NLA from Simplicity. We bought all we could from Simplicity when I found out they were being discontinued. The company that has always made them, called Simplicity one day and said that in the quantities they were purchasing for parts they were no longer going to make them. I have 4 left and they are in complete kits. They were a special material and size specific for this app. We searched for a substitute, as did Simplicity. The company that was making them, scrapped the tooling, which they owned. By the time the tooling costs and low volume purchase pricing was factored in, finding another vendor, replacements would have to sell in the 450.00 neighbor hood, not feasible. Simce we have purchased all of our 7100 kit couplings from Simplicity, we have a kit problelm. I have just had some parts made to go another direction with this coupling issue. Very shortly, we will have a kit on the market to directly replace this rubber coupling. Just received the first fabbed parts yesterday. This parts situation is a problem. We lost our muffler vendor on the JD40 kits and are now developing a new exhaust system and will soon be sending it to Kohler for EPA certification. You should have the coupling and flywheel adaptor from your old KT. The ones from the KTs will work on the Ms, but not the Commands, the Commands are all metric. Al Eden

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GregB
Thanks guys. Al I thought you had a kit for this application, I'll call to order one soon. I am lucky that the original engine, connector, etc is still in the tractor. I think I have an extra coupleing at home I got with a box lot. Will using KT tin cause any airflow or cooling issues, or should I start looking for the correct tin for a Magnum twin? I did find two spec numbers on the Kohler web site that they sold to Toro. This engine was out of one of their Groundmaster mowers. I have also down loaded the repair manual. I'm looking forward to doing the switch, but I drove it around Sunday on the one cylinder, and the trans would not move the tractor hardly at all in reverse. One of the Check valves was mangled by a set of side cutters, probably in an attempt to get it un-stuck. I'll probabably take Rod H.'s suggestion on fixing the problem, along with a filter, fluid belt, and adjustment check. then when I know the trans is workable do the switch. Thanks GregB

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Ronald Hribar
If you are talking about engine tin ,I don't see any problem, but I would remove all of it and the Flywheel and clean out all debris. It may look clean but once you have tin and flywheel removed you will see a lot more. But I think you have to use the original to the tractor heat shields 7117 Pullers comment about 30 weight oil raises a good question. Series 1 KT's probably need the 30 weight and the Series 2 as well. But I wonder about the Magnum, it has the extra cooling and maybe doesn't require 30 weight. Or would using 30 weight synethetic be the best of both worlds?

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Al
Gregg, I think you will be fine using the KT tin. Regarding oil, ALL of the flat head engines, including KOhler, Briggs, and Tecumseh need and call out straight 30 in the Summer. In the Winter below 32 degrees they can use 5w-30. Briggs Vangards also recommend 30. Kohler Commands call out and must have10-30 for Summer to avoid problems with the hydraulic lifters. Honda and Kaw also recommend 30. Some of these also say 10w-30 is acceptable as a 2nd choice. The problem with the L heads (flat heads) is that they have the hot area around the exhaust valve. The valve runs up to 1500 degrees and gets its cooling from the valve seat during the time it is on the seat. Since the exhaust gases make a 180 degree turn from the cylinder to the valve pocket and port, all of this exhaust heat is heating the block in this area. One ends up with a triangle down from the valve seat area on the cylinder wall, point down that stays at a very high temperature. The problem is increased by the fact that there is NO way to get cooling air between the valve pocket and the cylinder wall. Double trouble, A. all of the heat is exported here and B there is a mass of metal that can't be contacted by cooling air. It is this area that runs the oil temps in the cylinder so high in the triangle. This area is too hot for multigrade oil to survive. It is not as capable of avoiding breakdown at as high a temp as straight weight. You will also notice that No engine mfr. recommends 10-40. It handles less temp for breakdown than 10-30. This is why a KT with multi-grade oil will pour oil through and put straight 30 and it won't use any. With the OHV engines, the exhaust goes UP relatively straight out the head and to the muffler. This reduces the cylinder temps and the the temp the oil reaches in the crankcase. The cylinder can be cooled all around pretty evenly and temps are down. The aluminum heads are very efficient at transferring the head to the cooling air. One thing, on the Vangards there steel sleeve port liners that must be used in the ports to protect the exhaust ports in the heads from meltdown near the muffler flange. Regarding oil temps, we like to see the oil temp at the inlet to the oil pump, not at the side of the pan where the conductivity drops the temp, around 280 degrees after 3 hrs with the final 1 hour wide open, engine loaded to max output, throttle plates wide open in a 110 degree room. The whole run takes 3 hrs of continous running, starting with 1 hr wide open, no load, then load it 200 rpm for another hour, then turn the dyno down so it is putting every ounce of power it can put out for the third hour. We also have an air temp we must maintain at the thermocouple we put in the venturi of the carb. At the end of the full power portion, the engine key is switched off and the thermocouple in the carb float bowl monitors the fuel temp. When the key is switched off, the fuel temp skyrockets. When it plateaus, they reach over and hit the key to start the engine. It MUST start in less than 5 seconds with no choke or anything. If it doesn't we have to go to square one and fix the vapor lock problem We also monitor the cooling air with thermocouples 1/2 inch in and 1/2" back from the edge of the blower housing screen intake at 12, 3, 6, and 9 oclock. This detects any path of warm recycled air getting back to the cooling intake. We also monitor the head tempearture uder the base of each spark plug, and tap the exhaust manifold and monitor the back pressure at the ports. A rep for Kohler comes in and takes the readings and then sends the numbers to application engineering at Kohler, and if all looks well we get certified. If not, we go back and find a fix and repeat the dyno run. Roy regarding the driveshaft. Simplicity used the coupler that was manufactured by Lord with a special size and soft composition elastometer. The purpose was to reduce the backlash on the bevel gear box and thus reduce noise. When Simplicity took the opposed alternate firing twins out and put the V twins in the noise level in the bevel gear case increased significantly. This caused by the fact that V twins fire like a Harley, and the impulses are spaced wide and close, wide and close. This causes the gears to "bounce" back and forth with no load and this raises the noise level. The TH engine had fiberglass disks because it ran a little smoother and was expected to be really the engine of tomorrow. The also first used these couplers with the alternate firing twins and I think maybe in 1 or 2 singles. The other thing is the drive shaft has a nose on it and it extends into the bushing installed in the engine. Thus the coupling only deals with torque issues and not anything with alignment and vibration issues. I have discussed the fiberglass disks with a design engineer at Simplicity and he told me I would not have a problem with the disk except, for the noise issue. Is this long enough to put you to sleep? sorry, Al Eden

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GregB
Al, your posts never put me to sleep, although I will admit to having to read them 2-3 times to make sure I did not miss any of the information packed into them. On the cooling issues, i'm not to surprised that they retain heat in those corners. On numerous VW beetle flat fours I fixed when the number three exhaust valve let go. Similar situation, no way to get the heat out due to the location and in that case the oil cooler blocked the air flow into that corner. Thanks GregB

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Al
Ron, I do very little with synthetic oil. I believe in it and think it is quite superior. We have looked at one brand, but haven't gone much further. I e-mailed a friend at Kohler and asked him what his thoughts were on it. He said Kohler has no "policy" regarding it, but his tractor has been running several years on 15W-50 synthetic and it works well. Al Eden

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