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RBE17

Oiling Upgrade Idea - KT17

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RBE17
After doing some research and talking to various folks I've deduced there are two major items that lead to the demise of a KT17. Letting it run low on oil (duh) and the oil temperatures. While there is no fix for not checking the oil and keeping it at the proper level, I'm wondering if I can fix the high oil temperatures. I come from the automotive world where this is not difficult to do and is done quite often. My fix would be an external oil cooler w/ a fan mounted somewhere on the tractor. The next biggest problem is getting the oil in and out of the block. Nothing a couple of well place tapped holes couldn't fix. Ideally, the cooled oil should be sent directly to the engine and not back to the crankcase. The problem after that is, can the stock oil pump handle the extra load? If not, maybe an externally driven pump would work. I have absolutely zero experience w/ small engines and don't know if something like this is feasible. Does anyone have any thoughts, comments, concerns? All input is appreciated. Thanks, Steve.

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GregB
Ive seen other Brands of tractors with coolers mounted. There was a cooler adaptor on e-bay that looked like it sandwiched between the block and the filter on later versions of the KT's and Magnums. I thought I'd like to try that if I could find the right parts. If you find a supplier of the adaptor post the contact info. Thanks GregB

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HubbardRA
External oil cooler adapters usually fit between the oil filter and it's mounting. The cooling is done on the return to the filter. Such an adapter should not be too difficult to make. It would take a little machining. Just an adapter that would route the oil thru the cooler before it was allowed to go into the filter. No modifications to the engine at all.

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dirtsaver
Guys the engineering has already been done for this. On the KT series2 engines used on some industrial applications I've seen remote oil filter kits. The KT-2 already has the block machined and drilled for the filter and the remote just bolts in place of the filter mount and the lines run to the remotely mounted filter. Should be easy to tap into those lines for a small cooler,something like the inline power steering cooler on some of the older cars. The only thing that's kept me from trying it is my buddy is still using the generator the remote oil filter kit is on!

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Roy
Dirtsaver is right. If you go to the Kohler Engine web site and look up accessories I think the remote and between the filter & block oil cooler kits are available. Or have your Kohler engine dealer look them up for you.

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johnmonkey
I thought that one problem with the KT 17 series 1 was that the oil pressure was low due to the fact that it an oil bath system and on a hill it "dry pumped". The KT series 2 had internal oil pressure and that solved the problem. I would look in to some sort of extra oil pressure. JH

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RBE17
I've read that as well. A local shop told me they see about the same life regardless of series 1 or 2. I was also told, as long as oil level was kept full, I should be ok. Either way, I'm going to try and do some type of upgrade. How is the oil pump on a KT17 set up? Is it like an automotive oil pump? I wonder if it could just be as easy as changing a spring. Later, Steve.

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D-17_Dave
Be carefull messing with the relief springs on any oil system. The oil pressure is set at a max pressure per the relief valve. Too much pressure when cold can cause damage to the bearings as easily as to little pressure. If it'll push the oil throughthe filter, it'll push it through a cooler. You should be fine.

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RBE17
Dave, I was thinking about that. I do know people who have wiped out brand new motors w/ too high of an oil pressure. Of course this was like 90 psi at IDLE[:0]. In the auto world the general rule of thumb is 10 psi / 1000 rpm. Does the same hold true for small engines? Thaks, Steve.

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HubbardRA
Steve, The problem with too much oil pressure is that the oil pumps are not designed for this and it will ruin the pump and thus cause an engine failure. The 10 psi/1000 rpm rule is for race engines, especially road race and circle track. With these engines and the high rpm that they turn, it is necessary to keep sufficient pressure so that the parts actually ride on an oil film and do not touch each other. In a race engine, at high rpm, if the rod bearing actually touches the crank, instant spun bearing, etc. Many of the garden tractor engines, such as the cast iron, single cylinders, had splash lubrication. In other words, no oil pressure. Oil was just slung all over the inside of the engine by a dipper on the rod cap. Many of these engines are still running after 40 years. These are the only kind I currently have on my tractors. So we can assume that the 10/1000 rule does not apply for these engines. This is especially true since the Pro Stock garden tractor puller engines are mostly based on 16 Hp Kohler, single cylinder, splash lubricated engines. These engines, after modification, turn around 7500 rpm and put out nearly 50 Hp. They still use the splash lubrication, "no oil pump".

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RBE17
Rod, Thanks for the tidbit on the pumps not being designed for the higher pressures. I guess I made a broad generalization of the 10psi/1000rpm rule of thumb. Performance is the only thing I really get involved in. I have no idea what the oil pressure is in my four cylinder hooptie. Yes, oil film good, metal to metal bad. I've seen that, but thankfully never on any of my own stuff. I'm very well aware of the benefits of splash lubrication. I have friends that have the oil restrictors in the lifter valley to keep oil from dripping onto the cam. It's supposedly worth a handful of horsepower. Well, the only way the lobes get lubed is from the crank splashing through the pan. It's a huge gamble to take if the car is street driven. Idling too long could be detrimental to the motor. They constanly have to rev the motor to vary the rpm to make sure they don't wipe a lobe off the cam. Well, here's a question concerning the splash lubrication. W/o knowing anything about the internals of the KT17, could it be converted / adapted to splash lubrication? Could an attachment be made to bolt between the rod bolt and the cap? It could grab the oil and sling it around. I pose these questions knowing zilch about anything about the oiling system of the KT17. My main concern is to keep the rebuilt engine from dying. To me, the opportune time to do that is when it's apart. I appreciate all the feedback and advice. Thanks, Steve.

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GregB
Spent some time on the Kohler site. The oil cooler kit for a command series is $135-170. Could not find a part number for just the sandwich adaptor. Does anyone know the spec # for a KT or Magnumm twin that has a cooler on it? There are some adaptors out their, some with thermostats, maybe one from a small car uses the same diameter filter. GregB

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Al
Hi, My personal feeling is that that if they are kept full of oil, you cannot drive them any place bad enough to cause them to fail. All that I have seen go were down in the low area and then failed on hills. I ran dual 6-12 bar treads with 100lb lead wheel weights in my old Sovereigns and they were driven in awful places and never failed. Al Eden

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