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Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

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Old 10-17-2017, 12:59:24 PM
B.Sparks B.Sparks is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

"AS a related question, what can I find or build to use 110V DC if I would take it to shows?"

You can power a lot of things on DC. Most electronic devices these days use switch mode power supplies that will run off of DC. Look at the rating - if it a wide range, such as "100 - 260 volts 50 or 60 Hz" chances are it will accept DC as well. We routinely use power supplies intended for AC input on 120 volt station battery banks.

For starters, you can try compact fluorescent or LED lamps and phone chargers if they are less than 10 years old. Do not connect anything containing a transformer or induction motor, even if said transformer or motor is only a small component such as the fan motor in the heater.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:12:29 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

I forgot about the switching power supplies. Back in '02 - '03 I worked for the railroad, and the cabs had an ordinary socket supplied from the 75 volt DC system. Most switching cell phone chargers would run just fine on it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:44:02 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

Vanman covered just about everything on your Kohler perfectly. If I can add one item though......if you check/adjust your valves BE CAREFUL! The rocker arm adjusting screws are harder than woodpecker lips and it's easy to snap them at the screwdriver slot if you get too ham fisted (go ahead, ask me how I know this).

I have a 1m21 Kohler, crank start, 110 volt A.C. Those little 4 cylinder engines only produce 4 h.p. at 1200 rpm if I remember correctly........which means that 90% of the time the engine is still in good shape, just needing minor "tune ups".

Try looking for a manual on line. I found one but it was years ago, so I don't remember where!
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:50:32 PM
Grape Grape is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

Thanks for the comments and advice. George, I'll take your advice and be slow and gentle with any repairs or adjustments.
I'll post video when I get it running.
Phil Grape
Remember, to Belittle others is to Be Little yourself
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:32:18 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

Most of the Kohler OHV 4 cylinder engines were rated at about 5 HP. The early letter versions were 4. Experimentally, Kohler got 20 HP out of that block, before breaking cranks! As for the units sold, virtually unbreakable, as long as you kept oil in them!

Smell the oil in the engine. if it smells varnished, drain and be very sure the pump gets oil to the rocker overflow. if you do not see oil pulsing out the overflow in less than 45 seconds, with the engine running, shut the engine off and dis-assemble the base. You will need to free the bakelite oil pump piston in its bore. If you hand crank the engine, it will take about a minute to get oil up top. SAE 30 at over 40 F temp, SAE 20 below that. The letter series pistons did not use oil rings, so use of multigrade oils is not advised. The late D and 1-A & M 21s had oil rings, which cut oil consumption. I would not use detergent or multigrade oil in these engines unless you pull the pan and sump tray and remove all gunk from same. These engines do not use an oil filter, just a 100 mesh screen on the pump intake. Some later engines used a filter, but that is a bypass type, not direct oiling. if there was crud in the oil, it hit the bearings first!

On my C, it was a 110 VDC unit. I ran sheep shears, a water pump, a fan and other brush type motors that had mechanical speed control (resister or on/off switch) flea markets were a great supplier of usable tools! regular 110 volt incandescent bulbs work for a while, I found I had to reverse the power lines after a while, so the filaments would last longer - especially in 200 and 250 watt bulbs!

On your unit, a 100 watt load should auto start the engine, with a 24 volt supply. The unit can be started manually, if the magneto kill is disconnected. be advised, the starter is also an auto flash for the generator. if you manually start, you may have to flash the unit at first run. After that, kt will take care of itself if all else is good. One thing of note - if that is an original brass kohler carb, you will find that it ices up under humid conditions, under a good load. the engine will slow, begin to stall, and the throttle will knock the ice loose. The cycle begins again! Later engines used zenith carbs, ending the problem. As for your unit, I believe the diaphragm AC pump was used on later engines. engines built in the early 20s used either gravity or the Stewart system. You might check with Ed wright with your S/N for an exact build date.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:15:05 PM
Mark S Mark S is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

Hi Phil,

You can download a 96 page owners manual, repair manual here:

It may not be your exact model light plant, but it should be helpful.
Good Luck,
Mark S
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