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Kohler Generators

1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768


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  #1  
Old 05-02-2017, 02:57:30 AM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 Watt Generator Set #154768

Just a baby at 350 watts, but nevertheless substantial at 75 lbs.

I've been wanting one of these for a long time. Here is the story on how I finally got this one:

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=166086

I got a few minutes to tinker tonight, so I set the unit on a folded up towel (need to get some rubber feet. Any suggestions?), removed the broken air cleaner, plugged in a nice old fluorescent lamp because it was handy, figured out which way was off for the choke, squirted a little ether down the carb, and on the second pull I heard signs of life!

Next time I was ready with the ether, and kept just a *tiny* bit drizzling down the carb to keep her running. Held speed nice and steady, sounded good, and low and behold the fluorescent lamp blinked to life just like it always does. Success!

Next will be to test the fuel system, and I noticed ether leaking out of the carb to intake gasket, maybe just slightly snugging the bolts will be sufficient for that.

Here's the set up inside the garage. It's dwarfed by the 1A21 armature. It's pretty crowded in there these days!!!
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:12:51 PM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

Having been motivated by the successful​ starting​, running, and generating test, I decided to start looking for the few parts necessary to make it completely operational.

First on the list- an air cleaner. The plastic "clear view" is broken. It may be repairable, but I don't think it's original, and I don't like plastic anyway. I don't want anything modern, and it's unlikely I'll ever find a correct original, so I bought this little guy, which I am reasonably certain will fit, and certainly looks the part.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/162491137137?_mwBanner=1

Keith
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:56:17 PM
Vanman Vanman is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

Meanwhile I've been looking for some feet. I want some nice soft ones that will allow for the considerable vibration inherent to an 1800 rpm single cylinder four stroke, and be able to make it stay put lol.

I really like these, but the mounting holes are only 5/16, and I really don't want to be drilling on the antique.
https://www.mcmaster.com/#60855k71/=17h01rw

I wish they came in 5/16. They'd probably be less stiff too.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:00:55 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

That generator is a cute little thing. Looks like a fun project. And...your garage looks like mine.

This would be a cheesy solution, but maybe you could insert a 5/16" flat head machine screw up through the bottom of the vibro isolator. The head should fit inside the cup of the isolator, and still provide ground clearance. Too bad there isn't something like a helicoil to adapt the threads from 3/8" to 5/16".

Last edited by Steve Dawkins; 05-04-2017 at 12:50:39 AM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:15:53 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

You know, that's not a bad idea! It has simplicity going for it, and one would never know once it's assembled.

I've actually been looking for a bushing, but 3/8 and 5/16 are too close in size. McMaster Carr does have a 3/8-16 to 1/4-20 or 28 bushing that I have been considering. But then a 1/4" bolt in a 5/16" hole is also cheesy. So then add a sleeve to the parts list, and it starts to look pretty convoluted. And the 1/4" bolts wouldn't look as nice as 5/16". All this just for some feet!

So, after all of that deliberation lol, I'm going to order those feet, and deploy your excellent idea.

Update: The feet have been Ordered!

Keith

Last edited by Vanman; 05-04-2017 at 04:33:40 PM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 05:27:07 PM
Steve Dawkins Steve Dawkins is online now
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

Happy Kohler-ing.

I'm glad you posted the specs on the vibro-isolator. I probably wouldn't have thought about using the flat head bolt without seeing the catalog cut sheet. Visuals always help.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:52:49 AM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

Wow, McMaster Carr doesn't mess around! Check out my stylish new feet!

I made a brief test run with them, and they work GREAT!

I want to change the oil, but I need to figure out what weight of oil is correct.

Does​ anyone know what model of engine this is? I know it is a Kohler, and it's quite small lol. Though definitely larger than a Briggs WM.
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:02:13 AM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

Here are some more engine photos. Anyone know the model?
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:16:56 PM
Ken Karrow Ken Karrow is offline
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

I would use 30 at oil when I do not know for sure. Is it possible this is a Lawson built under contract or licence? Carb & muffler on opposite sides and pattern of head bolts. Just a thought kind of out of the box.
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:47:28 PM
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Default Re: 1951 Kohler 350M21 350 watt generator set #154768

I'm *pretty* sure that by this time Kohler was building their own small engines, but maybe they were licensed. It would be interesting to compare to the Lawson. I have a 1943 Kohler set that is driven by a Briggs Model B. Their literature from that period is careful not to show too much of the engine lol.

This little Kohler does have a rather odd valve arrangement. I've been trying to figure out just how that works. Sideways cam driven by bevel gears? Or maybe something really wild, like the cam on a radial engine??

Meanwhile, another fellow posted a question today about a 1949 Kohler model K7-1. Searching Google images for "Kohler K7 Engine" turned up lots of photos of engines as well as generator sets just like mine, so I guess my engine is looking to be a Kohler K7-"x".

I also was able to see where the engine nameplate *should* have been on the fan shroud. I can now see the holes in mine where it used to be. At least they left the generator nameplate alone!

The photos also made me realize that I don't have the wrong air cleaner after all. Someone just installed it very incorrectly!! It's still broken though, so I'll end up using at least part of the replacement to make a functional unit.

I need a cylinder shield too. Expect I'll have to make that, but it looks simple enough.

Keith
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