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Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125


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  #1  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:38 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Over the last six months I have been rebuilding the Kohler K301A engine in our 1968 Cub Cadet 125. We use this tractor mainly for snowblowing and driving around our neighborhood. The tractor has its original engine with several hundred hours on it. We suspect less than a thousand. My grandfather had used it to cut the grass on his 1 acre lot for many many years. Up until last winter it has been great. We used it in the past with both a QA-36 and QA-42 snowblower with great results. Two years ago when we were really working it, it would go through roughly a quart of oil every hour of use. Oil consumption stayed pretty constant up until spring of this year when the engine started knocking and loosing power. The power output was so bad that the engine could hardly move the tractor at a low speed with the hydro. I dismantled the engine in June and just finished putting it together today. Upon dismantling the engine we found out that the culprit for the power loss was three-fold, extremely worn valve guides a slightly warped exhaust valve and extremely worn oil control rings. My neighbor is a machinist and had measured up the bore of the cylinder to be 0.018" more then the piston at its widest part, 0.006" over the maximum allowance by Kohler for a standard piston. I had brought the engine over to a local retired Kohler dealer who bores and rebuilds engines. But for $250 to bore and hone a cylinder and $75 to cut and lap each valve I decided to go elsewhere. It took a while, but we found a place in Farmingdale, NY, West Amity Machine. Carl Reinhard the owner did a fantastic job. For $175 he bored the cylinder to match the new piston, honed the cylinder, sleeved the valve guides, cut the valve seats, lapped the valves and flattened the cylinder head. A machine shop with Wisconsin, Kohler, Chevy, Ford, Buick, Lincoln and Briggs engines in it is my kind of machine shop. Not an import in sight. Carl told me that when he was boring the cylinder it was egg shaped in the middle, and out about 0.006" of an inch which was spot on with what my neighbor measured. I dropped the engine off on a Wednesday afternoon and I was called at 9AM on Friday morning for pickup. Talk about service. We probably spent more time talking engines than what it took him to do the work. I brought over a few old engines to show him as well as a slideshow of all of my projects. He was thrilled to see someone as young as me interested in such old machinery, and I was thrilled to finally have a machine shop which is not too far away and not too expensive to have my engines worked on. At the end of the day the engine is 100% new and cost just shy of $500 to completely rebuild with new gaskets, seals, rings, valves and of course paint.

Without much a due, here are a few before and after photos as well as a few progress photos.




Christopher Kouttron
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2012, 10:41 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Standard Bore:



Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:43 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Back from the machine shop:



Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:45 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

New vs Old Piston:
These are NOS KOHLER parts, not the cheap aftermarket parts by Stens
The only thing which worried me was the the piston was cast in India and not the USA. The old piston had no stamp but I would have figured that it was cast in the USA.



Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:48 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Preliminary parts installation and a fresh coat of a primer
All of the surfaces on the engine were stripped of paint and grease with Rock Miracle, then washed with gasoline, then washed with water and dried with paper towels. All surfaces were left to dry for two days before any paint was applied. The paint I used is Plastikote brand paint. Primer Gray and School Bus Yellow.





Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:50 PM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

More parts cleaning:




Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Rebuild Time:



Chris
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

All put together:



Chris
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:51 PM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Very nice. What did you do with the crankshaft and rod?
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

sprkplug,
I had Carl measure up the crankshaft and the connecting rod against my Kohler manual. He said that the rod was still well within useable metrics. He offered to polish the crankshaft journals, so that was that. I will get a video of it running as soon as I get the governor hooked up properly and the engine into the tractor.

Chris
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:42 PM
Harvester69 Harvester69 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Wow, lookin' good! That Kohler will be way better than any new (modern) engine
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:21 PM
old 6bhs old 6bhs is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

looks great chris, i'll be starting on my cub 124 in the near future, always wanted a nicely restored one, most likely won't be done til spring though
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:04 AM
FirePower FirePower is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Nice old K series! My 123's K301 has to be in about that shape. It still fires up and pushes snow but as ragged as it is, I'm guessing it's tired. I replaced the head gasket and cut .050 from the head to liven it up. K341 swap planned for Spring.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Well, I havent taken any photos of the engine in the said tractor, but with the results of our latest snowstorm "Nemo" I have a video of this engine in said tractor pulverizing and throwing snow like no other. We cleared 18 driveways and a 2 lane path to establish a road. This engine is powering a 42" snowblower. We ran it 12 hours non stop on Saturday, and 8 hours on Sunday. The only problems we encountered were a weak starter motor, and a charging issue, which has yet to be resolved.

Please take a look and leave your feedback. Feel free to subscribe to my channel, which has videos of my vintage Detroit Diesels, chainsaws, Wisconsin engines and other cool old equipment,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCVgtW_1Aoc



Chris
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

I have not updated this thread in a while, but as of last week I started having trouble with the K301A I rebuilt. All of a sudden the engine started to loose power and developed a knocking sound to it. At first I thought that the rod was making noise, but the knock sounds spark related. For almost a year I ran it with 0.016" points timing. It ran really nice. Always had a lot of good power. When I took the points cover off last week I saw the points had pushed out to 0.019". I set the points back to 0.016" and it ran better, however it still had a knock to it. I backed the points down to 0.012" and the knock went away at idle, but ran like crap at speed. You could hear it detonating before the piston got to TDC. I tried a bunch of points settings, and it seems that it runs best with the points set at 0.017". At this setting, the engine does not have an audible knock and produces good power throughout its power band. I finally purchased a timing light, and found that the timing was WAY off at 0.017". When the points began to open, the "S" on the flywheel was already far past the inspection hole. I had to gap the points 0.025" in order to get the mark on the flywheel in the lower quarters of the inspection hole. I cannot set the points any further open or else they do not close. When set at 0.025" the engine has an audible knock at idle, sounds good at speed, but is lacking the power it has when the points are gapped 0.017". I removed the cylinder head and made sure that I adjusted the valves correctly, which they were. The engine starts easy, but something is wrong with it. I think the timing was either off a tooth since I rebuilt it, or the timing somehow jumped a tooth??? Either that or the actual connecting rod has a loose fit on one of its journals and is making that noise which coincidentally goes away after making points gap alterations???

When I rebuilt the engine, I replaced the points and condenser, but did not replace the plunger which opens the points. Is it possible that the plunger which drives the points has worn too short to open the points properly? I did not replace the plunger when rebuilding the engine. The engine maybe has 60 hours on it now, so the points couldnt be bad already. I have rebuilt a few Kohlers before, but this is stumping me. It starts and runs too good for the cam to be a tooth off!

Here is a video I took today with points set at 0.025". What do you guys think? The video captures the knock that I hear pretty good.




Chris
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:47 AM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

chris its hard to till from the video but it sounds like a rod or wrist pin to me try the old mechanics trick use a stethascope and start at the crank case and work your way up the engine when you get close to where the knock is coming from it will get real loud you can do this with a piece of copper tubing as well give this a try and call me tomorrow around 8 pm Dean
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:03 AM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Dean, I will definitely borrow my neighbors stethoscope and see if I can target where the sound is coming from. Froehlic, I will surely look at the valve lifters today and get back to you!

Chris
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:02 AM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

chris hows the kohler going have you figured out whats causing the knock yet.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:39 AM
RSCurtis RSCurtis is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Don't rule out backlash in the drive line or play in the PTO clutch.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:56 PM
JonH JonH is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K301A rebuild - 1968 Cub Cadet 125

Before you pull everything apart, be sure the engine is bolted down solid. Even one bolt that is only slightly loose will cause a very loud knock.

Good luck,
Jon
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