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excess smoke from crankcase vent-Kohler 16HP

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This motor on my 416H puffs a litte smoke from the crankcase vent (located near where the carb meets the motor). When running at normal working RPM, this gray smoke is visible, but not excessive. Under load, the smoke gets a bit darker and heavier. Is this normal? Its not a real pain in the ass, but I wonder if there is something wrong or if this can be easily fixed.
Paul L. from upstate NY

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Paul--Sounds like wear in cylinder or piston rings. There is two ways to check for this wear. One is with a water manometer to check crankcase vaccumm. With the engine running at about half throttle you should have a vaccumm on the crankcase. If not this will cause the symptoms you are describing. The other way is with a air leak down tester. With this system you charge the clynder with air and listen for air flow. You can find what percentage of leak you have in the engine. From my experence I would bet on ring and clyinder wear. You did not say how much oil the engine was using. I do not know of any "easy" fix for your problem. You will have to decide if you can live with the smoke or do you want to spend the money to overhaul the engine. I would bet the engine is down on power also due to the wear letting blowby in the crankcase. I would also guess the hotter it gets the worse it will get. Hope this helps give you some idea where the problem is. Larry

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