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Best way to blow a Kohler

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Hi, Guy brought a K321 Kohler out of a small Owattona skid loader to us from 120 miles away. No compression. Expected to see broken rod. Popped the head off and the piston was tipped and up out of the cylinder a little. Got a screwdriver and popped the top out. See pic.

No damaged crank, no broken cam or block. etc. If it has to blow, couldn't be a better way. We had talked over the phone and he e-mailed me pics and dimensions to see if we could repower. Even a Vangard wouldn't fit and a 14 hp Honda single needs more real estate than a v Twin. We are going to grind the crank, bore, mains, cam pin, balance shafts and brgs. Put in the new Mahe pistons, carb throttle shaft, etc. should be good for another 30 years. Al Eden

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Ping or fatigue. My 23D did that last year right before I was going to overhaul itsm00 That's why in an aircraft overhaul the ring grooves and skirting get inspected very closely(or they get replaced alltogether). At least its a clean fix for ya.

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I have had two of these. A 10 and a 12 . I think it is just many many hours of use . That will be a better engine with the "C" piston and the doweled rod. You can bore the rod and have clevite inserts to -.020" to save the crank. I measure the piston and bore the block to set the clearance to .003" from the bottom of the skirt.

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I had this issue last year myself... K-301 this engine (tractor) was new to me... it almost made it through snowblowing season... I attribute the failure to a leaky rear oil seal which blew oil up onto the cylinder fins and hindered proper cooling. An under-heeded warning sign was a blown head gasket which occured on the previous snow removal operation.... addressed by only re-torquing the head bolts. The actual failure occured at fairly low RPM. The noise at failure I would describe as a dime rattling around inside the engine.... not very magnanimous.... sorta just a little wimper... I did not realize it was a catastrophic failure until trying to re-start the engine... hearing no compression resistance whatsoever.... realization of what had likely happened was sickening, this produces a very distinct feeling in ones stomach... :( I can only say that I was very lucky as to have experienced no additional damage.... as was said... this is the way to blow an engine!! I think everyone should experience this once in a lifetime.. As John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin) said recently, "... when you hit your thumb with a hammer, this teaches you common sense." I have since modified my outlook on the necessity of good machine stewardship relative to 40 year old engines I use in my tractors. Ya know... "A stitch in time, saves nine."

and the happy ending... :)

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