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Kohler 4cyl 32v Lighting Plant

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
I payed the little Kohler a visit again today.The owner has been home a bit more often lately so I decided to pay him a visit.
He knew I would be back to talk to him about an old Fargo in his yard,and his son had relayed to him my interest in the Kohler,so he was prepared for me.
When he asked me about my interest in the Kohler i told him that I was in fact 'pretty keen',..but that at the same time I hadn't been too confident about my chances of getting it.
He invited me over for another look at it.He gave me another outline of the known history,about previous ownership and any modifications faults etc.
The generator cowl may be still somewhere in the yard,but the control box is gone.
After some more discussion it was agreed that I could have it in exchange for some locally built windmill parts that I had that were no longer being produced.I had already supplied him with a good amount of serviceable parts for a particular model windmill that he is still using for watering stock,on a trade for the old Fargo.
The generator was used to power a well known local farm homestead when new and when it was eventually sold off it had been altered from 110v to 32v by the new owner.The other part of the story was that the magneto was said to have given some trouble.
I am going out in a few minutes to make up a fresh pile of windmill parts:brows:
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
Your unit may have been a manual start. The only way to reduce voltage was to either slow the engine or change the setting on the field resister. did you find a number on the fuel distribution block (brass block on the front of the head)?
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
I can picture the rectangular block you are talking about Andrew,but we didn't go into a detailed look.It had been too many months since reading your last post here and too many other distractions in his treasure filled yard for me to pay closer attention yesterday.I am hoping to have the little unit under cover here at home in a few weeks if all goes to plan and I will be looking forward to being able to post the finer details here.
I'm one of those engine enthusiasts that is pretty weak on knowledge of electrical engineering,but knowing the local reputation of the current owners family over the years using home generator electricity supply and amateur radio and the like,then I would have to say that their knowledge and experience was the opposite to my own.It would not surprise me if some radical home made modification was made to get the genny to create the 32v that they needed?When I get the info from those badges next trip we will know more.
 
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Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Your unit may have been a manual start. The only way to reduce voltage was to either slow the engine or change the setting on the field resister. did you find a number on the fuel distribution block (brass block on the front of the head)?
......#12057 Andrew.:wave:

I got my little engine home finally.With the catalogue information page posted here earlier I am able to narrow the manufacture date down to somewhere around 1925 - 1926?
Photo's to follow soon.The brass id plate says "model D".
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Model D is 115 volt DC, 1500 watt, Automatic. The serial number is usually listed after the "D" on the nameplate. We can get the year from that.
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Automatic. The serial number is usually listed after the "D" on the nameplate. We can get the year from that.
Thanks Vanman,from the literature I am getting the idea that turning on a light switch in the house may have been enough to start the motor?With no draw on the current the motor would turn itself off?I don't know if I have that right?
The tractor was not quite able to squeeze forward far enough for my liking yesterday to position the fork tyne above the little plant for lifting,so I started to wiggle the plant out by hand from where it was sitting.The first thing to show was the crank handle partly buried,and when I had managed to move the plant about a foot or so away from an old truck motor it was parked against,I could see a rectangular box hiding down in the grass.I made a grab for the box and to my excitement it turned out to be the missing(presumed scrapped) control box.Not far away the remains of the generator cowl had finally caught my eye.I had looked for all 3 of these parts on previous visits,and although I hadn't spent a lot of time looking,I Was surprised that I hadn't at least found 1 of them?
If you are able to expand my pic here you will see that the number beside the "D" is 12057,corresponding with the number stamped in the fuel distribution block.
 

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Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
A better photo...
A little more of my patchy story about the voltage emerged yesterday while talking with the owner.His father was an electrical engineer having worked on electric trains etc in the city,and was no stranger (like myself) to messing around/understanding/making alterations to generating equipment.He had removed the control box and rerouted some of the wiring to have the plant producing 36v,which was compatible with the system that was already in place at his house.
 

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Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Wow, neat that you found all of the missing parts. A shame they were left out to rot. Nice to see another one getting saved though. :salute:

I like how people back then were not afraid to make what they had work for what they needed. My kind of thinking.

That serial number comes up as 1925. That's an early one. They came out in 1921. I have a '34, but it's innards are totally rusted out. My others are from the '40's. There's at least one other Stakker that has one from the '20's. Very cool. :D

You are correct in your description of the controller's operation. I believe a minimum 40 watt lamp was required, maybe 25... Always want to be sure that ALL loads are off when the set is at rest. A load on the line insufficient to start the plant will still eventually discharge the starting battery. I have manuals, but these ones are not digitized. I do have the pages related to controller operation digitized however. I can send you those along with the serial number list if you PM me an email address. Remember not to post emails in the threads as they are visible to the WWW. :brows:

Keith
 
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