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Kohler Generators

KOHLER LIGHT PLANT


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  #1  
Old 08-16-2001, 07:16:39 PM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I AM BRAND NEW TO THE KOHLER GENERATOR FIELD AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A COLLECTOR OF ANTIQUE ENGINES. ANYWAY, I JUST OBTAINED MY FIRST LIGHT PLANT AND I AM NOT SURE WHAT I HAVE, IT IS A FOUR CYLINDER OVERHEAD VALVE ENGINE,WATER COOLED WITH RADIATOR, THE TAG ON THE GENERATOR SAYS

1A21-32397 1.5 KVA

115 VOLT A/C 60 CYC PHASE 1

AMP PER TERM 13

1200 RPM

STARTER BATTERY VOLT 32

I AM TOLD IT CAME FROM AN OLD BUILDING WHERE IT WAS A BACKUP FOR LIGHTS IN AN ELEVATOR SYSTEM DURING THE 20'S OR 30'S BUT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO KNOW WHEN IT WAS BUILT AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION ANYONE MAY HAVE.

THANKS IN ADVANCE,

DAVID M. LYON
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2001, 10:15:39 PM
Franz
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

try this, http//home.eznet.net/~fdew/year.pdf it should get you to the part of Frank DeWitt's site dealing with years of manufacture. From there, you can link to most Kohler information on the 4 cyl plants. Does yours have the self start control box on it?
  #3  
Old 08-17-2001, 09:52:33 AM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

For some reason, I can't get mr DeWitts year model site to download to "WORD" correctly, it just comes up as code. But I'll keep trying. If YOU can download it, see if you can find the year built, I sure would like to know because stories get streched sometime to make the tale seem taller. This unit DOES have the self commencer box on the back and appears to be in good shape as does all the wiring. guess it was always kept inside untill recently. When I got it, it had been in the south Mississippi weather (read humidity) for awhile. I found Mr. DeWitt's kohler site and got a lot of good information off of that. My hat is off to him for creating that web page.
  #4  
Old 08-17-2001, 12:51:19 PM
Franz
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Based on my reading of the table, it was built in 1937, probably one of the first built that year. You can't open the file without Adobe Acrobat reader, I don't think it will open with word, but then, I'm not all that computer savvy. Given the plant has the self start box, I seriously doubt it was a standby plant, as you were told, unless somebody got into the controller and cobbled it up to perform as a standby plant. These were pretty unique beasties, designed for a specific purpose.
  #5  
Old 08-17-2001, 02:03:30 PM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Thanks for the help, I'm not real savvy with a computer either.

I have learned over the years not to put much faith in "someone said" and to check it out yourself! It did come from an old downtown building, but WHEN it was and what it's function was, was in doubt. But it is a nice machine and well worth restoring. it will make a nice off season project and I am sure I will need additional help later.

thanks again

David
  #6  
Old 08-17-2001, 05:22:55 PM
Frank DeWitt
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

1A21 is a automatic start and stop unit. 32 volt is odd but could be, most were 24 volt start.,

BTW here is the code for others

1a21 Auto start 1A22 auto start natural gas 1M21 hand crank D dc DA DC Auto start stop E Nand crank DC

And there are many others.
  #7  
Old 08-17-2001, 07:45:55 PM
bill garman
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I believe it to be from 1937. As I remember, the engine is the same as a Briggs & Stratton model "B" except that the generator engine has a mechanical fuel pump that the Briggs engine doesn't normally have. Legnth=24", Width=17 1/2", Height=25", weight=245 pounds. The 800A21 was normally 12 volt start, whitch deviated from the usual 24 volt start that was comon for Kohler of the era. Kohler did make units available to start on, and charge a 32 volt starting battery, to opperate nominal 32volt loads such as a few lights, when the generator is not running.
  #8  
Old 08-19-2001, 10:54:00 AM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

It is definitely a 1A21 unit and it IS 32 volts. On the side of the relay box it says "battery charging rate 32 volts, in for high--out for low" and has a push-pull switch to accomplish this.

Also, on the side of the engine, it has a fruit jar and some type of injection system to add what looks like oil to the fuel mix as it enters the intake. At least from the residue in the fruit jar it LOOKS like oil. what the heck was this for? kerosene? or natural gas? Why would you inject oil in to the mix? It is for sure facrory installed because the support bracket looks original,as does all the plumbing to the mixer.

I am having a ball with this unit because I have never fooled with generators, and I appreciate all the help from y'all
  #9  
Old 08-19-2001, 02:04:10 PM
Frank DeWitt
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Is there a fuel pump on the front (crank end) that looks a lot like one from a car of the 1950s?

If not then take a look at this page http//www.enginads.com/sprkarcs.cgi?form=724

Does that look like your "fruit jar" If so, Then you have a Vacuum fuel pump. It uses engine vacuum to "suck" fuel from the tank and then deliverers it to the generator.

It does it in an impulse fashion (suck up some gas, then let it into the carb, then suck some more.)

As soon as you figure out just how it works let us know.

Frank

http://www.oldengine.org/members/frank/kohler1.htm
  #10  
Old 08-19-2001, 08:04:37 PM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

This engine has a mechanical fuel pump that supplies the float chamber of the mixer, so I don't think the "fruit jar" has anything to do with fuel supply. Haven't figured out exactly WHAT the jar does but I will keep studying it. My 15horse Fairbanks-Morse engine has a water injection device so it will run on kerosene without pounding, I thought maybe THIS engine was set up for some special fuel or something. Maybe I should take a photo of the "jar" and see if anyone recognizes it.
  #11  
Old 08-19-2001, 09:16:48 PM
schramm
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Hi,David,It sound like your "fruit jar" is part of the air filter assembly on that particular generator.

Without seeing a picture I cant say for sure,though,but that's my guess.

And the oil you see in it could be caused by venting the crankcase pressure through the filter to be burned again.

Tell us what you find out and lets see a picture if your able to put one on here.

Later...schramm...
  #12  
Old 08-20-2001, 07:53:55 AM
Gus Simms
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I have a 2 cyl Kohler Mod SE2 800 watt. It is a natural gas unit and has a fruit jar set up that injects a small amount of oil into the intake, presumably to replace the lubricating effect, on the upper cylinder, of the leaded gas that it is not burning. I saw a similar setup on an Onan natural gas engine.
  #13  
Old 08-20-2001, 09:22:19 AM
DAVID M. LYON
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I do believe this unit was a dual fuel unit.It was inside of a building with a natural gas supply. the "jar" has an adjustment screw on the atmospheric side of the lid to regulate how much oil was injected. It works similar to a rack oiler on an old engine. The vacuum of the engine will bring up a drop of oil into the upper chamber at a rate you determine by the adjusting screw and let it into the venturi of the mixer. There is also an orifice on the bottom of the mixer to hook up the plumbing to the natural gas supply. There is a cut off valve on the outlet side of the gasoline fuel pump so you can turn it off while it runs on natural gas. So this is a dual fuel system and can run off of either fuel. Or at least that's what I believe. When I get it running I will know for sure!!! Ain't it fun figuring all this stuff out?

There isn't a better hobby anywhere for a gearhead like me!

DAVID LYON
  #14  
Old 08-21-2001, 12:08:02 AM
bill garman
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Gus: I have four Kohler Model "S" 2cyl 800 watt air cooled generators, two of them run. I am currently still looking for a multiple switch to connect them in paralell. I have seen a picture of yours on your web site, and it is the same as mine except for the start switch. In all of my Kohler literature, every time I see the letter "E" in the model prefix, the start controll contains a transfer switch. I assume that the "E" designates emergency. Do you know the history of your particular generator? I am curious where one would use a transfer switch unit on 110volt D.C.
  #15  
Old 08-21-2001, 06:39:55 AM
Gus Simms
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

Bill, My SE2 came from an elementry scool near Weatherly Pa., I bought it from the man who removed it from the building. He said it was hooked up to the emergency lighting system. I'm not sure about the "E", maybe Frank Dewitt can shed some light on the subject. I still haven't found the info on the multiple switch, but I no I've seen it in one of my old books.
  #16  
Old 08-22-2001, 01:52:53 PM
Frank DeWitt
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

All I can add is confusion ;-)

I have some catalogs and this is what I find

for the 110 VDC 800 watt S = automatic SA duel fuel T Manual start TA duel fuel

110 VDC 1500 watt D automatic

All from 1924

A 1926 catalog shows a 110 VDC 1500 watt as a E !! Automatic is DA

1500 watt 110 VDC automatic starting and 32 Volt lighting is DV 1500 Watt 110 VDC cinema is DM

E is the manual version of all of the above (1926 as in model E, EA, EPA, EP

The names for the 800 watt are the same as the 1924

I have catalogs for 1924 1926 1937, 1948

It looks as if these plants were used for standby service by combining a standard automatic plant with a automatic transfer switch.

In a 1948 catalog there are separate plants for standby service. These all have an E in the number as in 1E21 (1500 watt AC) 0r DE1 (1500 DC)
  #17  
Old 11-26-2003, 06:29:18 PM
Ben Seger
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I went to Frank DeWitt's webpage under "oldiron.org" and the link was unavailable. I am interested as I have just acquired a generator that sounds just like the one in this thread. Thank you for your help!

Ben
  #18  
Old 11-26-2003, 06:39:58 PM
Ben Seger
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

This is a picture of the Kohler that I just bought. The red mounted gas tank is not original. I believe a glass jar used to be here also but am not sure.

Ben


  #19  
Old 11-27-2003, 04:36:58 PM
George Andreasen
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Default Fruit jar?

Hey guys, don't forget that there was an add on accesory for cars back in the 40' and 50's that injected WATER vapor into the carb or manifold. It looked just like a fruit jar screwed into an adaptor. It was claimed to make the engine run smoother and did help to some extent. Could this be the purpose of the glass jar? Happy Thanksgiving! George
  #20  
Old 11-30-2003, 07:59:59 PM
Leon Beckerl
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Default Re: KOHLER LIGHT PLANT

I can't get on Frank DeWitt's Light Plant Page? Did he move his site? or maybe it's my PC.I need to get into Kohler Light Pannt for some info.THANKS
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