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Garden Tractors / Mowers / Scooters Vintage lawn and garden tractors, mowers, snow blowers, snowmobiles and other old machinery that is driven by small air cooled engines.

Garden Tractors / Mowers / Scooters

Kohler K61 air gap question


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  #1  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:55:10 PM
hbwb hbwb is offline
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Default Kohler K61 air gap question

First time posting here.

Recently bought a troy bilt horse tiller off craig's list. Checking the serial number shows it was made in 1980. Engine is a Kohler K61 from what I could dig up. After cleaning the carb I discovered there was no spark. I am not unfamiliar with magneto ignitions but have never dealt with one that has no setting for the air gap between the rotor and the magneto/coil setup.

I have looked all over the net and could not find anything about what they gap was setup at the factory. Since this is a magneto under the rotor with points and condenser the gap cannot be adjusted. Or at least without some modifications. Most air gap settings fall around the 0.010 inch range with Kohler's generally around the 0.008 - 0.012 range.
http://outdoorpowerinfo.com/engine_s...l_air_gaps.asp
If you notice at the link there is no setting for some like the K161 because you cannot adjust those.

I have checked mine and it is around 0.017 - 0.018 which seems wide to me. I have looked many places but could not find what the original gap distance was. I was thinking maybe a previous owner wore down the magneto or flywheel by aggressive sanding which increased the clearance beyond a working setting. Anyone have any idea what the gap is supposed to be?

Btw great site and I look forward to reading over some of the stuff on here.
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:07:33 PM
GADavis GADavis is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

10 to 12 thousandths. A shipping tag is about that thickness.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:37:32 PM
hbwb hbwb is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

Just as I suspected. Thanks GA.

Ok so is there a simple way to close the gap with the existing setup without buying another magneto? I noticed the assembly which includes the points rides on the shaft pretty tight so there is no wiggle room. Thoughts of mine included grinding out the pins of the iron piece of the magneto and slotting the holes and installing bolts. I also thought of maybe enlarging the hole a touch that fits on the shaft for a bit of room for movement and my latest idea was to add a little solder to the iron portion of the mag to close the gap a smidgen.

Do any of these sound workable? I think I like the last one best and I do not see how I could damage that sandwich of iron plates. As of now it is no good to me anyway so if the new condenser does not help I will do something. It is supposed to arrive monday. I had previously bought one from napa but it would not mount under the flywheel and while trying to relocate the mounting I put a dent in it. I did find what I needed on ebay after buying elsewhere. Why does it always seem work out that way?
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:44:59 PM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

that sandwich of iron plates is insulated, a very thin sprayed on insulation. i would not heat it! at least it is in transformers, research core steel, or E,I steel for the smaller units. on larger units it is also stacked in a certain way so everything ties together.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:47:09 PM
hbwb hbwb is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

That is why I am here to find out what might be workable and what is a stupid idea.

Anyone have any suggestions that might work? Anyone know how to check what part is out of thickness or what thickness the magnets are supposed to be?
In other words if the current setup is not right can I possibly check to find out why it is not? Buying another magneto when I need to replace the magnets instead would suck.

I am trying to fix this with as little purchasing as is needed. I only paid $100 for the tiller so I am not hurt even if I have to install another engine on it but I want to run the original Kohler engine is at all possible. I can get a 6.5 HP engine from Harbor Freight for about $100 but that would be a last resort. I just think old iron should stay old all the way if possible.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:31:35 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

is your setup similar to a briggs? i think it is, if so the very first two things i would check is flywheel key sheered or partially sheered and the condenser.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:45:59 AM
Wrightlife51 Wrightlife51 is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

How do you set the points on the ones that are one the outside under the kill switch?
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:27:03 AM
hbwb hbwb is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

Tracy T, I hope it is just the condenser.
Flywheel key is good and solid with no metal shift which would indicate a partial sheer.

Wrightlife51, check out this video starting at around the 1:10 mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgmbcDUmIwU
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:54:04 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

hdwb, i watched the video you linked and i have had 3 or 4 of that style engine over the years but they all had a 12v coil so it sounds like you have something different. if your points are in the same location as the video check the wire that connects the points to your coil/ mag what ever you have, if it is grounded anywhere in between the points and its destination it will kill spark.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:36:27 AM
hbwb hbwb is offline
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Default Re: Kohler K61 air gap question

Tracy that video was for Wrightlife51 who asked about setting the points on another machine.

As I looked at more videos to try and find my machine I seem to have been mistaken and it appears I have a Tecumseh HH60 instead. Looking up the serial number stamped in the machine I find the machine was manufactured in Sept 1980 but Troy-Bilt used 3 different engines at that time. The B&S, the Koh K61 and the Tec HH60. The breather on mine looked like the ones on the Tecumseh videos which made me go have another look at the flywheel cover. The guy had painted over it but I found a number stamped in it that begins with HH60.

Oh well I guess I will do some digging on that engine now.
Anyway I can get an edit on the title of this thread or should I just start another one?

Btw thanks for your help.
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