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Kohler Command rebuild


Brettw

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I haven't rebuilt a Kohler Command v twin as of yet, and was wondering how involved it is.  This one came with a trade-in tractor, (late model Sovereign) and it's certainly blown. PO heard noise and before he could shut down, "bang" and no compression.   Assuming it's rods, pistons rings, and gaskets, and if it didn't need machining; with the general costs, is it worth the investment of time and money?  Looks like a guy could be into it for $500 or more in parts?

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$500 easy. I've got about that much in the one I just finished rebuilding  (from a cub cadet) that didn't require pistons, boring, or crank work. I converted it to vac fuel pump, and made it Sovereign ready just in case I need .

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Yeah.  And new Commands / replacement engines are north of 2K.  Good used engines aren't a cheap date either.  Things have gone up just a tad........

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On 5/27/2023 at 8:21 AM, Brettw said:

I haven't rebuilt a Kohler Command v twin as of yet, and was wondering how involved it is. 

Mainly depends on whether it has a cast iron liner (later Command versions) or not. Earlier versions were all-aluminum blocks.

 

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59 minutes ago, CarlH said:

Earlier versions were all-aluminum blocks.

Any idea what model year the switch was made?  Or various years for different HPs?

 

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No solid idea.   Sometime along the way Kohler started marketing the cast iron liners.  Maybe when the Command became the Command Pro?  Or when Kohler changed the  Command numbering scheme?  I knowingly purchased an all aluminum short block after the transition and have had good experience with it.

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Well, I'm learning as I do exploratory deconstruction.  I might be able to buff this out, but I'm not quite sure.  Anyway, these must be interference engines as I see 3 of the 4 push rods are bent.  Will have to remove heads and see if we have bent valves or damaged pistons.  I would think that is a distinct possibility.  Underside of frame and engine pan, engine housing caked in dirt / oil grass/ sludge.  Must have had a crank seal leak on the flywheel side.  What a mess, and no wonder it "used" oil.  Undoubtedly run low a few times, although I am surprised at the failure of the cam shaft.  Crank survived undamaged, plastic governor gear would need to be replaced.  

command1.jpg

command2.jpg

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Pistons and valves are all good, no evidence of hitting each other.  Perhaps these are not interference engines after all?   Then why the bent pushrods I wonder? 

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23 hours ago, Brettw said:

Then why the bent pushrods I wonder?

Interesting question.

Maybe as the cam gear teeth disintegrated, high pressure in the cylinder held the valves closed while the cam lobe(s) were still trying to lift the valve(s).  'Weak link' pushrods saved the valves and pistons from destruction.  If that was a design consideration, good for Kohler.

 

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Well, NOS governor gear, push rods and gasket kit on the way.  Used camshaft on the way.  I have to clean everything up completely for reassembly, and that will be more work than bolting it back together.  I truly have never seen more gunk packed under a shroud (and all over the frame, rocker shaft, hydro lift valve, etc.)  It would have put a good nest building mouse to shame.

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