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1922 Kohler 11OV D.C. Restoration

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Hello everyone and welcome to my first restoration thread.
Over the next months or years I am going to venture into a few unknown areas. One is restoration of something other than Hit and Miss and Two is to document the whole thing just for the fun of it.
If anyone has helpful suggestions, comments, photos, parts ect., I'll be glad to hear from you.
I'll start the story on the next post.
 

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Purchased through an on line auction in October 2017. It was just to cool to pass up.

Kohler Power and Light 110V D.C. 1,500 watt; 1922; Model B; SN: B2389; Automatic and manual start.
4 cylinder Gasoline engine with fan cooled thermo siphon radiator.

I think I'll rebuild the cart and leave it mounted.

Kohler light as found.jpg
 
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Welcome aboard! This is a great forum for the hobby......always someone who can answer your questions.

I'm curious about your Kohler.......is this the little four cylinder unit with the radiator mounted about midships? (Oops, just saw the pic) If so, you have on of the sweetest running light plants ever designed. Modest compression and 1200 rpm, the things will last forever unless abused. Even if a D.C. plant, it can still run lights and brush type tool motors, very useful during a power outage!

I have a Kohler 1m21 110 volt A.C. (manual start, crank) that I went through about eight years ago and it still runs like a dream. Not a lot of wattage (1500) but enough to get just about any normal job done.
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Photos of the left and right sides, the crank end is considered the front of the unit. The fuel pump has a hand primer. The carb is a zenith.

Oct17 left side.jpg Oct17 right side.jpg

Dataplate and SN Oct17.jpg
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Here are some photos of the power control box that control's the auto start feature, battery charger for the starting battery, and generator itself. Note that the knife switch needs a new handle. The way it looks, this thing may have run and generated power in the not to distant past.

Oct17 control box.jpg Oct17 power panel.jpg
 

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

While I was waiting to get the Kohler into the garage I started looking for manuals. I started a thread on smoke stak looking for info. Then I contacted Kohler asking if they had any historical records. Mr. Mike Ackeret and Ms. Amanda Liske from Kohler were very helpful and within a week of my first request they found two manuals in their archives. One is from 1920 and the other from 1924. None are model B but they are close enough to be a great help with this project. (they are digital so I can share with others).

Kohler archive manuals.jpg
 
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

I was just about to post this link: http://www.oldengine.org/members/frank/

That's where I downloaded the manual for my plant.

I think you're right....that plant hasn't seen a lot of use. Mine was used as a standby unit for a volunteer fire department and just sat idle most of the time.

The only flaw with mine was the fuel pump.....it's a "one off" AC design and I couldn't find a replacement diaphragm, so I cut a new one out of flexible, gas proof material. It really didn't work too well (leaks) and I've since discovered that small sheets of Viton are available on Ebay very cheaply. If nothing else, the carburetor can be gravity fed from an elevated tank, eliminating the troublesome pump.

The knife switch is nothing more than an old fashioned "house switch", about 30 amps capacity. They're all a pretty standard size and still around at swap meets. They're on Ebay also, but of course those are all "vintage", "retro", and "steampunk" with prices to match.......
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

I'm starting with what is obvious. The radiator is in rough shape. Dented top and don't know if it leaks. Sent it to our local radiator shop. They have a good reputation with repairing and restoring antique tractor and vehicle radiators.

Oct17 Radiator front.jpg Oct17 Radiator back.jpg

Oct17 Radiator top.jpg
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Here is the completed radiator. I think they did a great job. Brad from Irvington Garage is the Guy who does all their restoration and rebuild work. He did a pressure test and determined the old core was not repairable. He pounded out the top tank, cleaned and buffed everything and put in a new core. I'll probably spend way to many hours polishing it to a shine later on. I kept the old core in case I want to use it when I show this machine later.

Nov17 Radiator front.jpg Nov17 Radiator back.jpg

Oct17 Radiator core.jpg
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

I'm all caught up on this right now. Posts will slow down some, I'll be gone a lot for work and a Cruise. The garage isn't really heated and tonight was our first measurable snow so I've got to figure out how to keep warm and keep going on this over the winter. I'll look forward to comments and advice. I'd also be grateful for any contact info for parts, other units for photos, and old guys who may have operated these.
Thanks for looking.
 
The shop did a nice job on that radiator. I took a different radiator to the local radiator repair shop and the young guy had NEVER EVEN SEEN A BRASS, SOLDERED RADIATOR. Seems everything is plastic and aluminum nowadays. I ended up re-soldering the tank myself and it held.

I was lucky in that my original honey comb radiator was still good. I keep it full of an anti-freeze solution so it stays that way!

Looking forward to more of your posts.....
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

]I've finally got just a little time to get back to this project. Its been to cold and busy to do more than plan and think about this project until now.
With a little research and input from other stackers I've found out that in 1922 they didn't have a mechanical fuel pump for these generators. In order to get this back as close to original I needed to find some parts. Bill Howard from Ontario Canada (a fellow staker) was generous enough to send me a few parts he had. I was able to get the correct timing cover casting without the mechanical fuel pump mount, and a Vacuum operated fuel system. Until it warms up more I'll spend my time disassembling the vacuum fuel pump, cleaning and restoring it and painting the new casting.
I'm attaching photos of the wrong fuel pump and the correct casting along with a partially disassembled correct fuel pump.
Thats all for now........
Timing cover with mechanical fuel pump.jpg Timing cover without fuel pump.jpg
Stewart Warner vacuum fuel pump.jpg
 

Mike Cushway

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Last Subscription Date
05/28/2020
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Phil, I've had several Stewart vaccumn cannisters and have NEVER seen on that nice! Nice find. I restored a couple of these units and you will love how quiet and smooth it runs.
 

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

I restored a couple of these units and you will love how quiet and smooth it runs.

Thanks Mike, your not to far from me (in relative terms). I might have to pick your brain sometime if I run into problems I can't figure out when working on this. Thanks.
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Re: 1922 Kohler 11V D.C. Restoration

Got the vacuum tank separated today, unexpected rust between the tanks but it does not look rusted through. Will scrape parts then soak in Carb dip tank then de-rust solvent. Then inspect, repair, and coat inside and out with redcoat gas tank sealer. Will let you know how it goes.

Outer tank before cleaning Vactankrebuild1.jpg

Inner tank after light cleaning Vactankrebuild2.jpg Vactankrebuild3.jpg
 

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Hello everyone, its finally warming up enough to get back to work on this project. I've got a few questions for bhoward, vanman, or anyone else who can help.
I'm close to attempting a quick startup with no real load just to see how it runs. How does an early rig like this shut itself down? I do not see any place where a kill wire attaches to the mag. I do see a manual kill button on the bottom of the mag.
There are two wires going to a solinoid housing on the base of the zenith carb.
to the main control box. Does it shut down by stopping the fuel flow with this solinoid?
My manual does not cover this very well. I can't get more photos right now because my camera is in the syrup shack in the woods...
I look forward to everyone's comments.
Thanks.
 

Vanman

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Last Subscription Date
06/10/2020
There should be five terminals on the back / side of the controller, and five wires going to the engine. Two go to the governor switch, two go to the electric choke solenoid, and the last one to the magneto.

The choke solenoid should only be energized during cranking.

There's got to be a terminal somewhere on the mag for shut down, possibly where the shut down button is.
 

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Vanman, I'm sending you some photos of the wires behind the control box and of the mag. I could only find 4 wires and still nothing on the mag. I'll keep researching and read my manuals again.
Thanks for the assistance

Kohler wires.jpg

Kohler mag.jpg
 

Vanman

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Last Subscription Date
06/10/2020
Oh wow, that one is different for sure. I've never seen one with only four connections on the terminal board. Interesting!

Yours must predate the ones I'm familiar with. I'd be inclined to suggest running it to see how it works. :brows: It would be fun to trace the circuits in your controller. That wire looks to be in beautiful shape by the way, be gentle with it. :)

The oldest manual I have is 1936 and it has the 5 terminal diagram. Here is the oldest plant I have, 1934. :shrug:
 

Attachments

Grape

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
I'll be getting a 24V battery very soon and a temporary gravity fuel system and see what happens. As I move forward, I'll keep you and anyone else interested updated.
 

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