Rusty Kohler

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  #1  
Old 09-05-09, 01:34 AM
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Location: Cecil County, MD
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Rusty Kohler

Someone gave me a Craftsman 217.255950. It had been sitting in the woods alongside his house for a few years. He parked it because “the carburetor was shot. It won’t deliver gas”.
I got it home, took the plugs out and drenched everything in WD40 and penetrating oil for a day or so. I got the engine freed up, put oil in the cylinders and spun it over a few times. It had spark and compression but no fuel. It was a clogged line under the gas tank.
As soon as it got fuel, she fired right up and was running pretty nice. No smoke and no noise.
I decided it might be worth putting some hours and a little money into. The hours turned into days because this thing was pretty rusty. It seems to run and mow pretty well but it started smoking a bit tonight. Can I assume the cylinder walls, rings and maybe pistons are scored up from the rust? This is a Kohler Magnum 18. Is it worth saving and is it going to be a real difficult job?
The deck, though solid underneath, was pretty rusted up. I ground the rust off and painted it. The pulleys were so bad they chewed the belt off so I took the mandrel assemblies off and cleaned the pulleys with a small grinder and got them as smooth as I could. Now the belt flaps around so much it throws itself off If I’m not watching.What is that about?
Finally, the tires are all shot. I already had two new turf savers and two directional lug tires. If I go ahead and get the machine back in shape, is it ok to use the directional lug tires?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-05-09, 09:50 PM
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Hi,

What color (colour) was the smoke?

Black smoke usually means that the fuel mixture is rich and is often easy to rectify.

This can be caused by
* carby not tuned
* choke still activated when not needed.
* clogged or dirty air filter
* spark plug that is in need of replacement
* bad fuel or stale fuel
* ignition spark not strong

Blue/grey smoke usually means that it is burning oil.
Typical causes are:
* the engine is filled and shows above the Full mark in the dip stick.
* Seals and gaskets are stuffed, hence low crankcase vacuum, hence, oil gets sucked into the combustion chamber.
* Crankcase breather is blocked
* Motor was at an angle so oil entered exhaust or carby.
* Oil has fuel or water mixed with it.
If those things aren't it, then it could be worn or stuffed valve stems, stems or guides. It could also be that the piston rings are stuffed or that the cylinder bore needs some attention.

Is the engine worth saving? In my opinion, Kohler engines are worth rebuilding as they are a high quality and well built engine. Obviously, if the cylinder is worn beyond factory tolerances, then it's a different story.
Here is a link to the Kohler M18 Service Manual. Then you can decide if the job is easy or not.

Do you have a picture of your pulley? Let us know how you go with your motor.
Kind Regards
Al Bunzel
 
  #3  
Old 09-06-09, 08:54 AM
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I think I figured out the smoking. Apparently some oil/gas premix got into the tank. It smelled faintly like a diesel engine so I drained all the gas and put fresh gas in. No more smoking.
I'm still not certain why the belt on the deck flaps so wildly but it might be because when I first got it running and put a new belt on, I mowed for a couple of hours before I checked the condition of the pulleys. The deck cover was full of powdered belt. I'll replace it and see if things go any better.
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-09, 05:01 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by 2muchgrass View Post
I think I figured out the smoking. Apparently some oil/gas premix got into the tank. It smelled faintly like a diesel engine so I drained all the gas and put fresh gas in. No more smoking.
I'm still not certain why the belt on the deck flaps so wildly but it might be because when I first got it running and put a new belt on, I mowed for a couple of hours before I checked the condition of the pulleys. The deck cover was full of powdered belt. I'll replace it and see if things go any better.
Hi,

are the pulleys in alignment with each other?

Kind Regards
Al Bunzel
 
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