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Kohler Generators

Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start


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  #1  
Old 08-20-2006, 10:08:18 AM
William K William K is offline
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Location: Orlando Florida USA
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Default Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

Looking for instruction manual for Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start, SN24645 & SN 24644, maybe 1920's vintage. Any expendable parts available? plugs, rings, gaskets, brushes, etc. Any market for major parts? Any market for restored complete gen set? Have "Instructions for Installing All Models" copyright 1928.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2006, 11:58:56 PM
Rogeralan Rogeralan is offline
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

William

I am not sure I can help, I am a new at this with a total of one rebuilt Kohler. I can tell you what I think I know. I asked some of the same questions over a month ago, but in spite of over 160 views, I have not had a reply. I guess I must have asked a question that no one could answer, or that had been answered many times, so no one bothered.

I have a copy of the manual dated 12-1-1929, but a copy of the manual from circa 1948 is available on the web. I don't have the URL here, I will check at home later and post it if I can find it. I have the "Instructions for Operation and Care of 1 1/2 K.W. Plants and Price List of Parts". I think there are some differences, but they relate to earlier model carbs/ mag etc. I can send you a copy of the older information if you want.

One of the regular posters here reported in a May posting that he had information about gasket sets, rings etc, but that information was not posted. I think the bearings adjust nicely with the shims, the rings are available from a number of sources (try the advertisers here), and a fuel pump rebuild kit (AC delco)was purchased on Ebay for about $30. I used generic auto parts store gasket material and "aviation" gasket dressing rather than RTV. I had to open, straighten and resolder the carb float (it leaked), but it works fine now. I purchased a new variable resistor for the field coil resistance, cost about $3.50. I resoldered the radiator myself, and on the advise of a previous post, did not try to straighten out the dents in the brass top.

Mine starts hard, but runs steady and sounds sweet since I just have a straight 2" exhaust pipe up about 4 feet. It generates 120 no load volts, and 112 with a measured 800 watt load. I have "run it in" for 8 hours since reseating the valves and rings, it burns very little oil ( a pint in 8 hours, I suspect a small valve guide leak). The exhaust system is still nice and grey.

I started out looking for a push rod, and I am still looking for a cover for the generator end. I have a bunch of "spare parts". (including 7 push rods). I have asked around locally, and have not found someone who will take the extra parts, and I am not willing to just take them to the recycle. I suspect the magneto, fuel pump and carb may have some value, but I have no idea if the assembled unit itself has any real value.

I noted there was an add in the classifieds from the east coast by someone wanting to sell two units, he apparently did not have a reply and later offered to sell the parts.

My guess is that these are much to old and heavy to be of practical use, and are not as old and "cool" as the external flywheel hit and miss engines. There may not be many people with interest. I emailed the sources suggested to me for parts, and followed up with phone calls but have not heard back. I was told they are "lying around" everywhere, but I have had a hard time finding parts.

If you find a source for valves or valve guides, let me know., I have two head castings that could be rebuilt.

Let me know if you want the copy I ahve.

Roger Ralston
rnralston at mchsi.com (substituted @ and remove the spaces)
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2006, 12:35:14 AM
Rogeralan Rogeralan is offline
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

William, Try this for the PDF of a manual for the Kohler.

<http://www.oldengine.org/docs/kohler_LP_OM.pdf>

I suspect if you have specific questions about the repair, rebuild or operation of your genset you will have lots of help here.

Roger
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Old 08-23-2006, 08:08:56 PM
William K William K is offline
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

Robert,

Thanks for your reply to my posting. I believe you have answered a number of my questions - seems there is not very much interest by collectors for complete units, rebuilt or not, or in parts. I'm not really interested in rebuilding for the sake of doing it but am not willing to dump any of it either. Maybe preserve everything I have and store it for another 70 years.

My main interest in the manual was to see if I could figure out how hard it was to remove the generator. The two units I have are on an island in N. Ontario and will need to be dismantled somewhat for ease of transportation. I already have most of smaller parts at my home. The block on one is ruined by freezing, but I am reluctant to let any parts (i.e., generator cover) go before I decide the fate of the second unit.

Is you unit AC or DC? Mine are DC and there may be a difference in the covers. The unit pictured in the 1948 manual has a vastly differenct electric switching control box - mine is more the size and shape of a standard U.S. mailbox.
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Old 08-23-2006, 09:12:02 PM
Rogeralan Rogeralan is offline
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

William

Scroll down to about page 20 of the PDF refernced above, or look at this picture from an earlier post <http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=9444&d=1149649136>
you will find a picture of the "box" for the automatic model of these generators (1A21). This "box" is an eletrical/mechanical switch for a battery start version. If a load is added (ie turning on a light swith) a battery (24 volts on mine) turned the crank by energizing the generator. It also choked the engine and cut out if it did not start within a set time. Mine is the straight manual 110 volt AC as pictured with the plain fused knife switch (1M21). The generator and cover are the same, just different control box. For the different models, see this page: <http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Kohler/Kohler.htm>

There are some obvious variations in parts over the years. The exhaust manifold, the radiator and fan and the carb changed a bit, but could be interchanged. The base, block, head and cast valve cover seem to be the same. I think the earlier generators had two major diameters, with a smaller diameter near the engine. At least that is what the picture in the 1929 manual shows. The later models seem to be straight as pictured in the PDF above.

The generator housing just slides off, I ahve not removed the armature. Other posts have suggested this resource if you are going to rebuild ( GEM Issue Vol. 10, #11 (Nov.1995))

The one I have was on an island in Northern Minnesota when the US park service took the place by "eminent domain" (Voyagers National Park). It provided lights for the family place from ~1955 until 1976. Prior to that it was used for lights in a steam driven shovel in the open pit iron mines locally.

One exhaust valve guide leaked, and the unit was running very roughly when taken out of service. The head was removed, the unit was put in a corner and in the process one pushrod lost. I found it covered with mice and bird leavings this spring. I managed to find a servicable head, and rebuilt the radiator, carb, fuel pump and mag. It starts hard (lots of crankiing) but runs very smoothly.

I did find a "spare" unit in a ditch in Montana. It was submerged and the generator was missing. It provided some parts I needed, and then some. I am in the same place as you, and I will probably toss the large castings and store the "small parts" for spares.

Maybe you will get lucky and have a youngster in your family who will take an interest and rebuild those old engines. Good Luck, if you want the manual email me.

Roger
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:21:38 PM
Arthur
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

*
Hello Roger,
I was reading the posts between you and William K and thought you wouldn't mind sharing your knowledge of the Kohler mod. D. I have one that was given to me about 3 weeks ago and is the first one I have ever seen. It is a Mod. D3953, 1500 Watt, 110v DC, I don't know if it's automatic and 32V start or not. I know it needs a control box,carb parts and it looks as though it probably needs a stater and rotor. The valve rocker arms and valve guides look good and are not stuck. I was told it was free turning a short time ago,I haven't tried to force it to turn yet,I'm soaking the cylinders and hopeing it's just a coat of light rust. I would like to know what the rod bearings and oiling system is like before I start if possiable.I have seen a few bearings ruined because of rust on the journals. Theres no rust at all under the valve cover.
I can't figure out what the gadget on the back of the cyl. head with the fuel lines is? If it's a fuel pump, it looks like it would vapor lock from the cyl.head heat. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Arthur
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:21:34 PM
Arthur
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

Hello Roger,
I'm trying to find someone that can help me with the year my Kohler mod. D3953 was made.
The first patnent date on the tag starts with, Oct. 20, 1908 and the last one is, Nov. 6, 1923 . Thank you or anyone else that can help. Arthur
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:48:15 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

I have a few answers for you on the Kohler 'D'. The brass block on the head is a fuel distribution block. Your D had a Stewart Vacuum pump, for pumpung fuel to the carb. These vacuum fuel pumps drew fuel from a burried 200 gallon tank built by Kohler. engine manifold vacuum drew fuel from the tank into the pump resevoir. once the resevoir was filled, the resevoir supplied the carb by gravity. Since the tank was sealed (not externally vented), the block is also fitted with a vent line taken off of the stewart unit, that returns gas vapor to the fuel tank. The Stewart units are hard to find, and if you have one that is broken, nearly impossible to repair. If your Stewart pump is missing, I would replace it with a gravity tank fuel system. If your unit had the Auto start system, there will be a terminal block on the exhaust side of the engine with 4 or 5 terminals, there will be 2 wires coming off the generator, and a large wire wound resister near the base of the radiator mount. The auto start box is mounted in front of the radiator. It has 2 heavy wires for the batteries, i for mag kill, 1 for the auto start choke, and 2 for the auto start switch which is mounted at the rear of the governor counterbalance assembly. Last is either a fuse panel with a knife switch (early 24 VDC start), or the later unit with a test socket on top of the autostart box. If your unit was not auto start equipped, there will be a fuse box, with a knife switch mounted on top of the generator, only. This is just a distribution box - and cutoff for the 110 VDC - the mag should be equipped with a manual kill switch - button, on the mag body. (If the unit was a cabinet mounted engine, it may have a remote mag kill switch mounted on the control panel. Manual start engines did not have the choke selenoid for starting - they had a Bi-metal spring on the exhaust for choking, and a manual choke rod on the carb. NOTE DO NOT APPLY HEAVY PRESSURE TO THE STARTER CRANK The nose bearing is extremely thin due to severe machine undercutting from the factory. The cast iron is also of poor quality, and any hard force against the engine start crank, will break the iron. This iron is very porous, and will NOT weld or braze easily. If your nose bearing is broken, the only practical fix is to replace it. Oiling system - This system is actually a dual system. The sump takes between 7 to 8 quarts, depending on the engine. A piston type pump, mounted on the sump, is driven by the cam, and pumps oil to the crank mains, cam bearings, and the rocker shaft. The oil not lost out the bearing surfaces, is dropped onto a windage tray, again mounted on the sump, and is held in place, just below the engine crankshaft throws, The connecting rods have dippers that pick up their oil supply from tiny individual sumps built into the tray. Oil lost thru splashing or bearing losses falls to the sump base, where the pump picks it up, and restarts the cycle. For this system to work properly, it is IMPERATIVE that the generator be level Both side to side, AND front to back, to properly lube the engine. You will notice an approximately 5/8" diameter hole in the valve cover? This is a spy hole. Within 30 seconds of engine start, you should see oil dripping off a 1/4" copper line in front of the spy hole. This is excess oil from the rocker shaft being dumpe onto the windage tray below. If you do not see oil coming out of the pipe, within 45 seconds of engine start, shut down and check oil pump. Both connecting rods and mains are babbitt, as well as are the cam bearings. These are LOW SPEED engines!!! There are only 2 mains on the crank, one behind the starter crank, and one before the generator shaft mounting flange tapir. If the engine should over run, there is a good chance for crank failure. See my earlier posts (Archives) for info on the C and D model Kohlers, or contact me thru the Stak.
Andrew
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:17:40 PM
Arthur
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Default Re: Model D 1500 watt, 110v DC, Automatic 32V start

Thank you Andrew, the information on the Kohler D3953 is very good and breaks things down in a manner that I can understand,the fuel system is a little hazy bacause most of the fuel lines are gone. Just one from the fuel distribution block to the carb. is there. I think there are 4 or 5 openings on the block and one has a fitting twisted off. The crank bearing shouldn't be too much of a problem,the threads are still good.

The information you sent is very much appreciated. Thank you, Arthur

Ps. could you hazard a guess as to the vintage?
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