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Kohler electric plant Model-D

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
I picked this generator up a couple weeks ago. I’m curious as to what I can learn about it. Maybe an approximate year? I’m in the the process of getting it running and should have it there soon. The magneto is giving me issues but I did get it to fire a few times. I bought it because I liked it. Hope I didn’t go wrong. I’m told it powered a cabin on the St Lawrence seaway and a fellow from near here brought it down to Pa and I got it from the guy that got it from him.
 

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Bent Trigger

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Last Subscription Date
10/03/2019
Boy that's an oldie!! Looks like about 1928, but the 1500 watt doesn't jib with the info in the FAQ? Bearly running at 1000 RPM!! :faint:Still nice find. Good Luck! Chris
 

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
Wow!! Thanks Bent Trigger! That’s some interesting reading. I thought mind might be auto start but it’s missing the vacuum tank and it has a knife switch on the generator.
 

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
It is a heavy little bugger!! I finally had time to mess with it again tonight. I got her to fire up. I didn’t run her long because I didn’t have water in it but she runs nice! Now I need to find out if the genny makes voltage
 

Frank DeWitt

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Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Wow!! Thanks Bent Trigger! That’s some interesting reading. I thought mind might be auto start but it’s missing the vacuum tank and it has a knife switch on the generator.
I think yours is auto start. The vacuum tank is part of a older style fuel pump. The box on the back of yours above the generator looks like the box for auto start. Pull the cover and if there is a over sized relay on the right with big contacts it is auto start. Btw you have a very rare undented radiator.
 

Frank DeWitt

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Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
I just looked at the pix again. You have a electric choke so you have a automatic start light plant. Congratulations. It looks like your fuel pump is missing. No problem, you can gravity feed or pick up a little electric fuel pump.
 

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
Thanks Frank. It is auto start and I’m glad. The radiator appears great but I’ll find out hopefully this week when I put water in it. I am missing the radiator cap so if someone has the correct one I’d be interested. I actually put a gravity feed gas tank on and seems to work well. It’s one of those $1 sale pieces I thankfully bought a couple years ago because “I just might need that someday “ and guess what I did! It fits well with it.
 

Frank DeWitt

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Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Just for fun find some copies of “Farm Mechanic Magazine”. It was published in the 20s. Almost every issue had a advertisement for the Kohler Light Plant. Even better many issues had a fictional story where the plot was always the same. Mom wants to sell the farm and move to the city. Pa buys a Kohler. Running water, bath room, living room light, toaster, the farm is saved. Great reading.

They turn up for sale and you can find them on google books.
 

Vanman

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Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Yes, Model D is automatic. 1500 watt, 110 volt, dc, 1000 rpm.

Keith
 

Grape

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Last Subscription Date
12/16/2019
Nice Radiator! I hope it dosen't leak, the old honeycomb looks great and probably has better flow for thermosiphon than a modern replacement.
the old style vacuum fuel pumps can still be found if you want, or you can search for a back cover where the crank is that has the mount cast in it for the mechanical fuel pump. Good luck and have fun.
 

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
The radiator isn’t perfect on top but it is nice and the money shot (aka the front) looks amazingly well. I truly hope that honey comb is tight or at least repairable. It doesn’t appear to have had either a vacuum tank or fuel pump unless it was mounted on the head with those 2 studs. Anyway it doesn’t matter because I mounted a small fuel tank there that seems to work well.
 

dkamp

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Make certain that when you fire it up and connect things to it... that they're DC capable. That includes incandescent lamps, universal-motor fans and tools, electric heaters, and electronics whose switching power supplies will accept DC. Typically, these were used primarily as lighting power sources.
 

Family Tradition

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Last Subscription Date
04/28/2019
Thanks dkamp. I’ll remember that. I just dumped a gallon of water in it and it didn’t take long to see that the radiator is not as nice as it looks. There’s a local radiator shop here that does excellent work. I’ve never took him this old a radiator but hopefully he can fix it with out having to replace it but I’ll find out. It leaks about 4 places
 

Frank DeWitt

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Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
I hope your radiator can be fixed but if you or anyone else has one of these radiators re-cored I recommend making a wood fixture that bolts to the inlet and outlet to hold them in position relative to each other. I didn't do this and the lower pipe would break after just a little use. I think the lower inlet is at a slight angle and would stress the lower pipe. I ended up cutting the lower pipe in half and putting a short piece of radiator hose between them. A couple years ago I finally found a nice honeycomb radiator and the re-core is now a spare.
 
I have a radiator off a 1m21 that had inlet issues........it seems Kohler used a cast iron fitting on the inside back of the tank to secure the upper connection. The casting had two threaded holes for the bolts and unfortunately the entire thing broke loose from the tank INSIDE...a combination of vibration, corrosion, etc.

What to do? We USED to have a radiator shop here in town, but the kid who owned it had never encountered a brass radiator before, let alone repair it (he didn't last long). I cleaned the surfaces with grit cloth by reaching through the hole. I then cut an outside plate from thick aluminum and gooped both the inside casting and the plate with JBWeld. I placed studs through both pieces, then nuts which were tightened down, drawing everything together. The end result is that I now have two threaded studs instead of two threaded holes. The upper hose fixture went right on and has held for at least four years now. You have to look to find the repair.

This radiator also developed a slow core leak........a little Barr's stop leak fixed that and the excess was drained out after it was cured.
 
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