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Kohler K241 Help With Ignition And Lp Kit


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#1 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 12:15 PM

Hey guys.
These questions may better belong in a generator forum, but thought I'd try here first as it's really an engine question, and I've been posting here for quite a while. Which hopefully means folks would be more likely to respond.

Anyway, I just picked up a Kohler 2.5rm22 gen set. I really didn't want a backup gen (I wanted a portable), but this one kind of found me, and the money was right on it. It has the Kohler K241EP on it. I can see on the side that it has a condensor for the points. And it also has the multi-fuel setup with a (normal looking) carb, though with the LP/NG gas inlet ring on the intake. The previous owner said that it is currently set up to run propane and the regulator is set as such. Though I don't plan on running natural gas in the very near future, he said that it was originally set up that way with the only difference being the setting on the regulator. So here are my questions:

1) I haven't started it yet, but is it worth it to convert these engines over to electronic ignition?
2) Is there anyone out there with this intake setup who can help me with questions on what the proper regulated pressure is and how to take it, etc?
3) I want to use LP as my primary fuel. Can I set this thing up so that I could switch back and forth between LP and gasoline rather easily?

Thanks.

And I just realized at the end of writing this post, that my one picture of this was very fuzzy, so I included one from the original ad as well. Will try to get close-ups of the LP setup tonight.
IMG-20120909-00186.jpg 5Ie5G65Kd3I33M53occ95b5adf042290210e8.jpg

#2 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 12:34 PM

As for question 1) - It will have to be your call. It makes much sense so me so I am going with the pointsaver from here: http://kirkengines.c....php#PointSaver

I will try to remember to post back when I get it installed on my k301 in my 120.
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#3 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 02:51 PM

Nice looking engine and if it was only used as backup it's probably low hours. The point saver is a nice invention. It's a hybrid system that keeps the points and coil you have. It gives you a timing light and solid state triggering of the coil which means the points will last almost forever. If you have good points now then you shouldn't need to buy anything else so it's not expensive. I think they have a full solid state system available now as well but I haven't checked the site for awhile.
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#4 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the tip on the solid state. Tried to get a better picture of the LP setup. But may have to wait for some natural light as everything is the same color and hard to see.
IMG-20120910-00191.jpg

#5 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 08:10 PM

I used to run a 350 Chevy on both, it had a dual fuel setup. When running on LPG, you need to advance the timing a bit. LPG burns slower than gasoline, so you need to start burning the fuel sooner. I set mine about 10* fast, it would spark knock a bit on gas, but I just backed out of it. One thing you need to watch is don't turn to much fuel to the motor, since LPG burns slower, it can still be burning as the exhaust valve opens and it will burn the valve out. You get more HP out of gas because the BTU is higher, but the octane of LPG is higher so you can run higher compression with it. Back then it was recommended to run 11:1 on LPG and 12.5:1 on NATGAS.


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#6 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 08:15 PM

I believe the pressure for LPG is around 7 inches, and NATGAS is around 11 inches. NATGAS has some natural CO in it so it lowers the BTU content, but the octane is even higher than LPG. IIRC the octane for LPG is around 105 and NATGAS is 115, but I may be wrong, it's been a while.

You can make a manometer to check the pressure at the regulator.
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#7 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 09:22 PM

You can make a manometer to check the pressure at the regulator.


Yeah, I think there's a song about manometers...

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#8 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted September 10, 2012 - 09:24 PM

Sorry for the really dumb joke, I just couldn't help it.

I'm actually watching this one really close Dean, I got an LP conversion this summer & would like to convert something over this winter or next spring. Mine isn't as big as yours tho, so I'm looking at <8 Hp for mine.

#9 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2012 - 05:45 AM

I liked it Alan! Needed a good laugh this morning!

#10 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2012 - 07:38 AM

I used to run a 350 Chevy on both, it had a dual fuel setup. When running on LPG, you need to advance the timing a bit. LPG burns slower than gasoline, so you need to start burning the fuel sooner. I set mine about 10* fast, it would spark knock a bit on gas, but I just backed out of it. One thing you need to watch is don't turn to much fuel to the motor, since LPG burns slower, it can still be burning as the exhaust valve opens and it will burn the valve out. You get more HP out of gas because the BTU is higher, but the octane of LPG is higher so you can run higher compression with it. Back then it was recommended to run 11:1 on LPG and 12.5:1 on NATGAS.

THANK YOU!
But this may answer a question I have... Near the condensor, there is a cover with a plunger button on it. Could this button be a way to advance timing when switching back and forth between fuels?

I believe the pressure for LPG is around 7 inches, and NATGAS is around 11 inches. NATGAS has some natural CO in it so it lowers the BTU content, but the octane is even higher than LPG. IIRC the octane for LPG is around 105 and NATGAS is 115, but I may be wrong, it's been a while.

You can make a manometer to check the pressure at the regulator.

It may be a while before I get to checking the gas pressure (need to get the thing running again first.. tomorrow), but I will keep this handy as a guideline.

In Pittsburgh, they made a Steelers Troy Polamalu song out of "Manamana".
Bah, bah.... bah,duh,buh,buh.... Po - lama - lou.

#11 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2012 - 10:04 AM

I believe the button is for stopping the motor. About the only way I know to advance the timing would be close the point gap a bit, but I don't how much. It may make it harder to start.
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#12 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2012 - 02:38 PM

I believe the button is for stopping the motor. About the only way I know to advance the timing would be close the point gap a bit, but I don't how much. It may make it harder to start.

Interesting. This is the first Kohler I've had the pleasure of getting close to. After looking for and understanding what a manamana meter does, I get it, but it looks like they start at about $60. Once I do that, I'd have to weigh it against just having a generator guy look at it and tell me how to run different fuels. This place is close by and looks promising http://rcwatt.com/index.php
What I'd really like to do is find a manual for it. Well there's one on ebay... for $50... Which if i want to pay almost as much for the manual as for the generator may not be a bad deal. I'd think I can do more like $10 or $15 if I'm patient.

#13 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2012 - 07:18 PM

You can make a manometer to measure the pressure. Just need a clear tube with a bend at the bottom attached to a board, fill it full of water and see how high the water rises when ou tirn on the gas. If it rises 7", you have 7" of pressure. When I bought my standby generator, I thought about making one to check the pressure, but decided I really didn't need, that volume was more important. My genny has about a 32 hp motor. I should have plumbed it with 1" pipe and reduced the last couple of feet to 1/2". But after using it a few times I am not having any problem with it.

Another thing about LPG, if you pull it out of the bottle to fast it can freeze up on you. On my Pickup the setup ran liquid to a vaporizer on the fender well, the vaporizer had hoses going to the engine heater hoses. These would convert the liquid to a vapor. In the winter time I had to warm it up good so the vaporizer wouldn't freeze up. I found that out the hard way, fired it up, drove about a mile down the road and the motor shut off. Opened the hood the the vaporizer was a ball of ice. Let it set a bit and it thawed out.

You will be running vapor more than likely so it shouldn't be a problem. Another thing it will attract flys, bees and wasps, they love the smell.

I had to keep my windows rolled up in the summertime, if I didn't he cab would be full of flys. When I ran on gasoline I didn't have that problem. Another thing LPG doesn't color the oil. With a gasoline motor the oil will turn black, with a LPG motor will stay the same color, and when you drain it, it will feel funny. Kind of slimy and stringy, and it will smell different. And when you tear into the motor it will look brand new inside, no sludge.


All in al I liked it, it ran just as good cold as it did hot. On gasoline it would ran a bit rough when cold, but on LPG it didn't make any difference. My MPG wih gasoline was about 11 and with LPG about 7. But I was buying it for a lot less.

#14 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2012 - 10:20 AM

I've now had the kohler started just a little on starting spray or holding a propane tube in the intake (not recommended, I know). So that's a good thing. I'm just one fitting short of getting it hooked up to a 20lb propane tank. Though one thing I'm wondering (Amigatech or others) is whether the gas grill propane tank fittings are going to supply enough gas to run the engine. On this part that threads on to the tank valve, the inlet hole is very small. Since I bought this separately,I could drill this out some, but thought I'd check here first??? When I put this valve on and open the tank, I only get enough flow to barely feel on your hand.
IMG-20120912-00193.jpg

#15 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2012 - 12:36 PM

Okay. I got it together with what fittings I have and a few I bought. I put in some pictures below of the setup so far. And so far.... there is no propane flow to the intake. I can't even smell the faintest whiff. The engine won't pop no matter how long I let the gas on, so I know that it's not getting any LP. Any help, guys? Here's my pictures and ideas. Before I start tearing into things, I thought it best just to step back and take a minute and a deep breath.

1) My last post. Is the orifice there too small? May be one problem but no the only problem.

Here is the overall setup. LP tank to 1/4 Id hose to backflow stop to fuel valve to regulator to ring on intake.
IMG-20120912-00194.jpg

2) Here is a close up of the business part of the hose. I'm sure that this must have been taken from a much bigger LP service because of the valve sizes, etc. Could the backflow valve be too much for the gas to overcome. Could the shutoff valve not be allowing it through although I'm connecting it to battery and hearing it click open?
IMG-20120912-00195.jpg

3) Here is the closeup of the regulator to intake. Could the regulator be set wrong? Or something else or a combination of things?
IMG-20120912-00197.jpg




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