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Gerg

Kohler K17 series 1

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Gerg

I identified the engine in my 7117 as a series 1 KT17, will I be able to mow my ditches lengthwise without ruining the engine by starving the rods of oil?

 

Greg

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Chris727

I don't think it would be advisable. The journals do not receive pressurized lubrication. Maybe a member with more experience with that engine can advise you better. 

Edited by Chris727
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Gerg

That's disappointing to hear since I have ditches to mow, its hard to believe a manufacturer wound sell a premium tractor that could only mow select parts of your yard. I owned a Ford GT165 that had a 16 HP Kohler that I mowed ditches with, their engine had a V shaped oil pan that allowed you to mow up down and sideways without losing a supply of oil, and have owned many other garden tractors and riding lawn mowers and have always been able to mow my ditches. I didn't think Simplicity put series one in their tractors because of the mistake Deere made with the 317. I always wanted a Simplicity garden tractor since I was a kid and this is what I end up with, I don't have the money to replace the engine so I will probably try to unload it and buy a Case or a Bolens, I don't think they put junk engines in their tractors.

Greg a disappointed Simplicity owner.       

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wwbragg
10 minutes ago, Gerg said:

disappointed

Sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction.  But don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  Why not repower it with something that has a full flow oiling system?????  

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Gerg

The only engine I mite be able to afford  is from Harbor Freight, but I  am having problems finding a drive shaft coupling for it. I would like to clarify something the 7117 is a well built tractor and  mine is in good shape except for the engine. The starter is going out, it is noisy  and the flywheel  side main is leaking like a sieve,  all of which I can deal with but after finding out I have a series one engine and cant mow my ditch with it I'm at a loss.    

Greg  

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wwbragg

I think most folks here would recommend the Harbor Freight 22 HP for your tractor.  And there have been several threads on this conversion.  Here are a couple of links but there are more:

 

https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/58017-912-adapter/

https://simpletractors.com/forums/topic/58922-predator-engine-swap/?tab=comments#comment-472277

Edited by wwbragg
add links

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Gerg

Thanks for the info on the predator engine, I think I will put a sock under the flywheel cover to catch the oil and keep the crankcase full, then run it till she blows. Maybe I will have enough money saved by then to purchase the engine.

Greg

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MikeES

I don't have the KT spec handy, but I remember the M18 and M20 are 35 degrees side to side and 30 degrees front to back.  I depends on how steep your ditches are and the length of time the engine I running on its side.

Keep the oil full and clean.

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Talntedmrgreen

Agreed.  A fuel shutoff before the pump is a must.  I've blown the rear seal (front of tractor) out of a few KT's because of high oil level, mixed with fuel.  A quick sniff of the dipstick will tell the tale.  

I'm fairly sure the 317 KT series I issues were concurrent with IH, SImplicity and others, who began using Kohler's KT before the issue was found.  I'm sure they cranked out LOTS of tractors before a consistent engine problem was found and corrected.  I'm certain that the warranty would have covered it, however yours appears to have survived 35 years or so without blowing.  That's not shabby for a 'flawed' design.

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PhanDad

KT17 Series II has the following warning in the owner's manual:

"Do not operate this engine continuously at angles exceeding 30 deg in any direction.  Engine damage could result from insufficient lubrication."

I don't have a Series I manual.

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Gerg

I have noticed a gas odor around the tractor, I think I will put a gas shut off  between the tank and fuel pump. Also that is a good point about  how long the engine has  been around. 

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TimJr

At least Simplicity is still around.  Case and Bolens are both dead brands.  Last I knew someone out east owned the rights to the Case stuff,  but I don't know how much there is or how far back parts go.  Bolens (assuming you are talking a 1970's tube frame one) is a long obsolete machine.  Neither brand is high on my list for many reasons, although both have a devout following and are generally considered  tough machines.   The  money you would spend chasing parts for an old Case or Bolens would likely be better spent on a good repower of the Simplicity, assuming the rest of the Simplicity is worth it.  What is the angle you want to run at anyway?  You may be exceeding any engines recommended angle.  Is it a " hang off the seat onto the fender" kind of ditch?  The trick with an old single cylinder was always to run along the bank with the governor side down - the governor gear was also an oil slinger.

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Kenh

DO NOT QUOTE ME.....  I was thinking I read some place as long as you keep them full of oil the tractor will tip over before the engine starves for oil.   Or at least it goes a LONG ways to preventing the problem.

 

Ken

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Gerg

I think I'll steal some of the milk money and buy an engine, I see the Harbor Freight engine is on sale for $599.00. This tractor is such a well designed machine and  is in really good shape I hate to see it go to waste. I would like to thank everyone for all the information you gave.

 

Greg 

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Chris727

Sam Ericson had once said that the oil pump was off to one side of the crankcase and you could run one direction across the ditch but not the other, much as what Tim had said regarding the single cylinder engines. I don't know which side that is as I haven't had one of these twins apart yet and he was speaking of a series II so I don't know if the same applies. 

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Brettw

I don't think it will be an issue as long as the oil is topped off correctly.  These engines got a bad rap for not being fully pressurized, but most of the issues surrounding them were due to low oil levels.  They did improve them with the series II and then the Magnums, but they aren't nearly as fragile as they are made out to be.  That series I engine is pushing 40 years old and still working, so I am not sure I would be so quick to sell it short.dOd

 

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ShaunE
On 1/12/2018 at 8:37 AM, Gerg said:

I think I will put a sock under the flywheel cover to catch the oil

Sounds like you should pull it out & freshen it up before it grenades.  I'm with Brettw.  That engine is tougher than you realize.  If you are leaking oil that badly from the Mag seal, I'm pretty sure you don't have a single cooling fin not plugged on the whole engine.  

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MikeES

The KT in the ACs and Simplicities held up much better than in the JDs.  With the enclosed shrouds on the JD 317 they ran much hotter  and when the engine fins started to plug, the high heat  seized the left cylinder (why more than the right side??) and break the right side rod.   Or the plastic governor gear breaks from the extended heat and the engine overevs...breaking the left side rod.

The oil pump pickup in the KT and Magnum twins is slightly right of center front (PTO end) of the engine.

The angle of operation for the new Kohler Command engines is 25 degrees in all directions.

The new HF Predator engines probably do NOT have a higher operating angle than your old KT. 

Edited by MikeES
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