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Timing a Kohler Battery Ignition Engine

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Hi, I hope this helps someone, as I often see questions about timing Kohler Engines. This method makes it unnecessary to do the initial 020 setting. The Kohler K and KT series engines that have battery ignitions, should have their timing checked. This may be done a couple of ways. The way we prefer follows: In the side of the blower housing is a round hole about 5/8” in diameter. Behind this hole is the flywheel. On the block side of the ring gear is an area about ½” wide. This area has 2 marks, (lines and letters) stamped in the flywheel. The first line has the letter S stamped next to it. S stands for spark and is 20 degrees BTC (Before Top Center) This is where the points are supposed to break and the spark plugs fire. The next mark has the letter T stamped next to it. This stands for TDC (Top Dead Center) This is about and inch past the S mark. This mark is unused. On the block side of the access hole on the aluminum closure plate the blower housing is bolted to, in the center of the hole is a raised rib about ½ inch long. This is the reference mark for timing. Many times the marks on the flywheel aren’t visible. We take a wooden stick like a piece of dowel and pull a strip of emery cloth around the end and up the sides. Then holding the ends of the emery cloth we stick the end through the hole and turn the engine over a few times with the starter. The emery paper around the end “Sands” the flywheel and makes the marks visible. Next we take a light and rotate the flywheel until we can see the S and the line. At this point we sharpen a Popsicle stick or take a small piece of wire and dip the end into a little yellow paint. We then “paint” the S line. We also put a little paint on the rib mark on the closure plate. Next we connect a test light from the battery + terminal to the point lead that goes to the coil. (Since there are other things that are connected to the plus side of the coil disconnect the – lead from the coil) Remove the spark plug so you don’t have to work against compression. Rotate the engine clockwise viewing the flywheel. When the points break the light goes out. Adjust the points so the light goes out at the point where the lines are aligned. (Note: Always roll the engine back a little ways until the light is on and again approach the marks going clockwise. If you try to check it by coming back CCW you will never get it because the slack in the camshaft timing gears will give different break and make locations. Always check when going clockwise) After you get the points set to break on the mark, you can put the spark plug in and reconnect the coil wire and start the engine and use an automotive timing light to check the timing running. This verifies your work. You can also check it by setting the points .020 and check it with the automotive timing light, and then change the points a little and recheck. We think the 12v test light is soooo superior. Test light. One of the handiest items we have in the shop is our little 12 volt test lights. We buy a little bayonet base socket from Radio Shack. These sockets will take a #57 automotive bulb. We then make up a couple of leads with clips and insulators and solder them to the socket. Next we put a little heat shrink sleeving over the socket with just the bulb glass sticking out. This what we use to time these as we can stick them right in the timing access hole and see exactly where the marks are when the light goes out. This is also what we use for most electrical troubleshooting. Good luck, Al Eden

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Here's some additional comments from Al from when I posted on how I checked the timing on my KT17. http://simpletractors.com/club2/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=72625&SearchTerms=timing

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