Kohler K181 knocking

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Matthias
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Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Matthias » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:41 am

Hi,

My cub cadet 124 came with a kohler k181 engine when I bought it.
Since I live in Europe it's not easy to find the correct narrow base kohler k301.

I restored my tractor but the k181 engine seems to be prety worn out.
-The cylinder is out of tolerance and needs to rebored
-There's a clear knock, also when the engine is rotated by hand.

The knock seems to be present when the outlet valve is closing and the inlet valve opening.
I measured the valve stem gap and the outlet valve is out of tolerance.

What could be the cause for the knock?
->I also noticed when i turn around the engine with the starter the knock gets worse when I open the throttle.
->I have the feeling the cam follower looses contact with the cam lobe when the knock is audible, is this possible?

I've been looking for an other engine (K181 or k301) for about 3 months now, but they are prety rare over here and I didn't manage to find one.
If the k181 is too far gone, I'll just wait until I find a good engine instead of spending a lot of money to repair it.

Kind regards,
Matthias

Eugene
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Eugene » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:39 am

Measure the cylinder bore. The K181 should be 2.9375" as standard. K301 should be 3.3750" as standard.

Cub Cadet model 124 should have had a 12 HP Kohler original engine.

Reason I'm suggesting measuring the bore is that the engine shrouds are interchangeable. Have found Kohler engines with the wrong shroud attached.

Knock. Compression release? Valve lifter sticking in it's bore?

Kohler engine parts are readily available in the USA. They are easy to overhaul, including boring the cylinder.

Matthias. What country do you live in?
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Dale Finch
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Dale Finch » Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:44 pm

Belgium?

SONNY
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby SONNY » Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:07 am

They all knock some,---comp. release and lifters. ---- you may have valve stems worn out. did you check valve clearance?, valve guides? ---- usually valves are too tight but since you cant adjust them,--someone may have ground too much off the stems causing noisy engine.
I had to grind a bit off my 14 in the 147----got a bit too much and it did rattle for a while, engine still runnin and not knocking much after valves seated a bit more.

Matthias
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Matthias » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:58 am

Eugene wrote:Measure the cylinder bore. The K181 should be 2.9375" as standard. K301 should be 3.3750" as standard.
Matthias. What country do you live in?


The top ring end gap is about 0.040 inch at 1 inch from top. I don't have a telescopic bore measurement tool (yet).
Based on difference in ring end gap there is also a slight taper of about 0.015 inch.
I live in Belgium.

Eugene
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Eugene » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:54 am

Calipers and feeler gauges, same process you used, all the way to the bottom of the piston ring wear and the bottom of the cylinder. Record the end gap measurements. Three measurements across the top of the cylinder bore and one end gap measurement with the ring at the very top of the bore.

If you have a small cylinder hone, make a light pass through the cylinder bore.

This will give you a pretty good idea of the cylinder diameter, out of round, taper, and any gouges in the cylinder wall.

From a Federated auto parts catalog, it the same as a NAPA parts catalog, - - piston ring sets and rings are available in standard size and in .010, .020, .030.

Federated and NAPA are auto parts stores in the USA. Also check with your agricultural dealers and other named auto parts stores for Kohler parts.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby BigBill » Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:45 pm

I gear driven honed a out of spec cylinder tha was .030” over plus a few thousands. I put in new .030” rings and it was fine. Luckily the cylinder was straight and round top to bottom. The dealer told my customer it needed a new engine. I told him no guarantee but I think it will be ok. It worked out fine. I put the compression ring gaps 180 degrees apart. The oil ring gaps 90 degrees from the compression ring gaps. I put the top compression ring gap near the exhaust valve I’m sure it will expand better.

Plenty of 181 parts on eBay in canada. https://www.ebay.ca/sch/i.html?_nkw=koh ... ete+engine
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.

Matthias
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Matthias » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:53 pm

I found a Kohler M8 nearby.
Would it possible to fit the M8 in a cub cadet?
My point of concern is fitting the flywheel cup to the M8 flywheel which looks completely different to the one from the K181.

Matthias

Eugene
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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Eugene » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:09 pm

Brian Miller has several web sites on Kohler engines. Bit of search on his sites will disclose which parts fit or inter-change with which engines.

A-1 Miller's Performance Enterprises Parts & Services Online ...gardentractorpullingtips.com › catalog

14 Oct edit: Couple days ago I researched a 10 HP Kohler flywheel ring for a neighbor. Some place on Brian Miller's web sites is a list of flywheels that interchange by engine model number.

Kohler does not sell flywheel rings, you have to purchase the complete, expensive flywheel from Kohler or purchased a used flywheel with good ring. The remove the ring and install it on you good flywheel.
I have an excuse. CRS.

Matthias
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:00 pm
Zip Code: 8490

Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby Matthias » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:36 am

Last Saturday I picked up a kohler k301as from a wheel horse C-125.
This is a narrow base kohler, the only one in fact I have seen the last years in a relative close distance.
To make it fit in my narrow frame cub cadet 124 I need following parts:
-8" kohler flywheel
-Kohler k301A blower housing
-k301A bearing plate
-K301A flat type oil pan
-Cam cover with dipstick

K301A and K241A parts are interchangeable

Where could I source these parts in one package?

Matthias

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Re: Kohler K181 knocking

Postby BigBill » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:10 pm

Probably better off finding a complete used engine running or stuck for parts or get it running. How much would shipping be from the USA to you if you found one here?
I'm technically misunderstood at times i guess its been this way my whole life so why should it change now.


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