• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron machinery, register and join us. When you register on Smokstak, please give complete answers and fill in all blanks. IF YOU ARE ON WIRELESS OR SATELLITE, GIVE YOUR CITY AND STATE! NO ZIPCODES! All registrations are manually approved.

Kohler 30R82 saved from the scrap yard

Photon939

Registered
As a bit of an intro post I am normally more of a computer and electronics guy but when I saw this beefy Kohler generator get dropped at the local scrap yard I figured I would at least ask how much they wanted for it. $250 later I ended up renting a trailer from home depot to get her home.

The generator is in nearly perfect condition. Just some dust and some oil residue on the engine side of things. It was configured for LPG according to the original tag still hanging off the gas valve.

Since it was sitting outside in the snow for about a week before I could pick it up, my friend suggested taking out the spark plugs and cranking it to clear any water out of the exhaust manifold.

I was able to crank the engine using a large 88AH battery I use for my solar panel system and got the water purged out. Next step was to change the coolant as the inside of the radiator was wet but no coolant to be seen.

I ended up flushing about 3 buckets of water through the radiator and engine before it went from "brown with chunks" to clear. Then filled the system with standard premix engine coolant. (I wanted to get the engine hot with plain water but the temperature was going into the single digits that week and I didn't have a fuel setup for it yet)

Oil in the crankcase looked like light corn syrup - like it was changed and then never run.

In a bit I will append this post with pictures.
 

Steve Dawkins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
Welcome to the Stak, and thanks for saving that Kohler from being turned into scrap iron. Hopefully, you won't find much wrong with it, and will have it running smoothly and generating power soon. If you have questions or need assistance with troubleshooting and repair, there are many knowledgeable folks on this site that will be willing and able to help you.

Since you are new to this site, you may have to post a few more times before you can post photos. But, please post photos when you can. We love em!
 

Photon939

Registered
Welcome to the Stak, and thanks for saving that Kohler from being turned into scrap iron. Hopefully, you won't find much wrong with it, and will have it running smoothly and generating power soon. If you have questions or need assistance with troubleshooting and repair, there are many knowledgeable folks on this site that will be willing and able to help you.

Since you are new to this site, you may have to post a few more times before you can post photos. But, please post photos when you can. We love em!
Thanks for the welcome. I used to have an account years ago (I think about 2008 or so) and got assistance with a little 1.5KW Kohler emergency generator I found in the basement of my church.
I either forgot the email I used to register that account or it got purged over the years from inactivity.
 

Attachments

Zephyr7

Registered
That unit looks remarkably clean! I’m hoping you’ll be able to get it running without too much trouble. I’m a little concerned about you saying you “pumped water out” of the engine though. Hopefully the engine wasn’t left open and filled with water?

Bill
 

Photon939

Registered
I am not sure what the previous coolant was, it did not have any color to it besides brown. It didn't smell like typical glycol coolant.

I opened the water drain port on the side of the engine and drained what was left into a bucket, I didn't get a lot out and it was full of rust chunks.

I sprayed the garden hose in the radiator until the flow out of the engine block turned clear.

I have attached the wiring diagrams for my generator. They are dated 1965 and 1967.
The controller is a Kohler A-284369
 

Attachments

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
Photon (Phil?)...

I dunno who put that thing in a scrapyard, but whoever the person was, was a TOTAL MORON...

and YOU... are a SAINT.

That machine has more guts, and more durability, than ANYTHING that could be found NEW these days... at ANY price. It's quiet, strong, and drop-dead reliable with nothing more than a set of plugs, points, condenser, oil and filter on hand.

I'll bet that if there's ANYTHING inside that engine with ANY showing of problem, it'd be a little corrosion or staining from it being dragged out and left for water to get in. Running NG or propane, it will be absolutely spotless inside.

I say... now that you've got the water out, and changed the oil, spray some penetrant in the cylinders, hook an appropriate fuel source to it, put a stack on the manifold, and get it fired up... let it get warm, and blow any debris out of the chambers, the ring grooves, etc... and get a good film of engine oil distributed over it's surfaces in the way it was intended.

I salute you for your rescue!!! :salute:
 

Zephyr7

Registered
I am not sure what the previous coolant was, it did not have any color to it besides brown. It didn't smell like typical glycol coolant.

I opened the water drain port on the side of the engine and drained what was left into a bucket, I didn't get a lot out and it was full of rust chunks.
Sounds like it might have just had water in it instead of real coolant, so no corrosion inhibitors. I’d get a bottle of radiator flush stuff and run that in it for a few hours to help clear out any gunk, then flush it with water a few times until it runs clear. After that, put in regular coolant.

Note that you need to be able to get it hot before that stuff will really work though. A good flush with just a garden hose to blow out the worst of the gunk is a good start. The radiator flush solution will actually dissolve what’s left.

I always like to do a flush and fill on the coolant whenever I get a new liquid-cooled genset of unknown service history. I think it’s just as important to clean the cooling system as it is to do the oil.

Bill
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Yes, well said, dkamp. I wasn't going to be the first (this time) to rant about the crime that is scrapping good old stuff. Needs to be illegal. Like I always say, whatever good old stuff is left is all we will ever have.

Keith
 

Photon939

Registered
So I have great news and possibly some concerning news.

The great news is that after some cleaning of the points under the distributor cap I was able to get the engine to light off. She sounds good albeit loud. The fan really rips along on this thing and exerts significant force on you standing in front of it. The meters show the generator is producing voltage as well.

I let the engine run for about a minute to mix all the old oil around before dumping it out.

I had to drive about 20 minutes out to a local Autozone distribution hub to find an oil filter that fits this thing (Carquest 85006 was what was in it) along with some fresh coolant, oil, radiator flush and a new fan belt.

Once all the maintenance was done I let it run and really warm up. The engine continued to run fine but I saw some smoke coming off the intake manifold in the middle port. According to my thermal imaging camera this intake port was hitting about 350F while the other two intake ports were cool.

I am not too familiar with engines but this to me says there may be an issue with one or more intake valves allowing hot exhaust back into the intake?

The engine did not seem to reach a normal operating temperature, the main engine block only got up to about 130F with the top radiator hose being warm but not significantly hot. Not sure if this unit is supposed to have a thermostat or not.

Also with the engine running the battery voltage was 16.8v which seems high even for an equalization charge, possible the regulator in the alternator is bad?
 

Attachments

Zephyr7

Registered
I’m not sure about that intake, but it does seem like a problem that it’s so much hotter than the other two. Are you SURE that cylinder is firing properly? I’m wondering if it’s backfiring due to a timing or ignition issue.

Battery charging voltage is high. You want more around 14v. You’ll need to adjust that down or possible replace the regulator.

I’m not surprised the engine didn’t reach operating temperature in that amount of time with no load. That’s not a problem. And generator fans tend to be pretty powerful, so no surprise it tried to blow you away :)

Bill
 

Birken Vogt

Email NOT Working
On old car engines and such they had either water or exhaust gas to heat the intake near the area of the carburetor.

There is no way bad valves would cause this much heat. The minor back leakage could never overcome the hurricane of cool air coming into the cylinders.

This is some kind of intentional heating by some part of the engine.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
In fact, I'd say the center isn't an intake port at all. Forward two cylinders on the forward port, rear two on the rear. Center is likely tied to the exhaust for carb heat, as mentioned above.
 

Photon939

Registered
Thanks for the responses, I am glad that this is in fact a feature and not a problem with the engine.

So my next steps will be to investigate the thermostat and alternator regulator. Since this generator seems to be a barebones model I ordered some automotive gauges for the control panel. I also plan on doing a refurb on the voltage regulator board. I know there are a couple electrolytic capacitors in there as well as a selenium rectifier on the genend that could use replacement.

I would also like to see if I can either add a viscous fan clutch to the fan or replace it with an electric solution. The fan is very loud and I'm sure consumes some fuel unnecessarily.
 

Zephyr7

Registered
Definitely replace any selenium rectifiers you find. Those things are time bombs.

If you want to refurb the control board, replace any electrolytic caps with new ones with the highest temperature rating you can get (which will mean longer life). I usually use Panasonic caps from digikey, I forget exactly which line but it’s not super critical. If there are any old open frame pots I’d replace those with new, sealed cermet pots too since they’re much more reliable. Replace any old carbon composition resistors with new carbon film or metal oxide for higher power ones. Semiconductor stuff is usually ok.

Bill
 
Top