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Hubnut

K321 New Owner with Questions

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Hubnut

I recently got a 314H Allis Chalmers with K321 engine that was sitting for 20 years.  I thoroughly cleaned the carb, unstuck the intake valve (stuck open) and she came to life.  She runs great, cuts great, everything works, but it is blowing oil hard out of the valve cover.  I bought the kit for the valve cover (gaskets and mesh and seal), but it's losing oil from here pretty good.  In fact, you can feel air being pushed out of the little slit in the cover.  Does this mean that I have compression gases getting past the rings?  I'm new to these engines.  Could it be oil is getting by valve seats?  It blows a little blue smoke--especially on start up. 

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MikeES

I am afraid that you have guessed correctly.  More air/gases than the breather can handle and separate the oil mist is a good sign of too much blowby of the rings.  :(

Putting new rings in is a fairly easy job...but when you open them up you usually find that new rings is not the only problem.  The Kohler singles with many hours rarely get by with a honing and new rings.   Things like the cylinder bore is wore out/out of round and will require boring which means new pistons and rings.  Also rod bearing could be loose, which means new rod with oversized bearing and rod journal machining, just to name a couple of things.

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Hubnut

Thank you for you reply.  I was afraid of this.  Well, I wanted to learn how to work on these machines.  Problem is locating a machine shop that does this work.  I see places that sell complete engines.  Can I simply repower the machine easier?  Is there a good write-up on doing that somewhere?

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PhanDad

IMO, it's more cost effective to repower, especially with a good used engine.  Although the horizontal shafts engines are getting harder to find as time goes on, there are still deals out there.  Sometimes it means purchasing a whole tractor with an issue but it has a good engine.  

Also, IMO, it's easier to find a good Briggs 12 to 16 HP engine than a Kohler - preferably a 16HP gear starter rather than a S/G unit.  The Briggs will swap in, but some additional electrical work is required (not difficult).

If you do a search of the site, you'll find many posts about repowers.  Reading them will give you an idea of the various options and what's involved.   

On the other hand, rebuilding an engine is a good learning experience.  It's just much hard to do today with parts getting harder to find (and more expensive) and, based on forum posts, it's hard to get machine shop work done, especially good work.  Maybe there are some good shops in your area, if not it makes rebuilding more difficult. 

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oldsarge

If it sat that long;I'd run it a while longer.Keep oil in it and run it.Rings might loosen up in the grooves and seat in to the bore.

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Hubnut

I worked on the 314H today.  I pulled the valve cover and checked the hole--it was clear.  I adjusted the valves to specification and reassembled the breather.  I reversed the reed.  I changed the oil and added some MMO.  I was thinking like oldsarge and thought it might be stuck.  I installed one of the cheapo carbs on ebay and it ran remarkably well.  Unfortunately, the carb bowl leaked.  Anyway, I ran it for 20 minutes on two separate occasions today and the oil puking wasn't as bad.  I'll try to cycle it several times this week and see if things get better.  Rides great and mows great!  I will likely use it until the engine stops completely.

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