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Kohler K241 Help With Ignition And Lp Kit


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#31 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 15, 2012 - 09:25 PM

The adjustment on the regulator is probably the fuel adjustment, and the adjustment on the ring is probably the idle adjustment.

Since you have I running good on gas, it should run fine now on propane.

The propane will cause waste vapor at the exhaust, bu hts about it. It wouldn't hut to run it on propane once in a hike just so the carb doesn't go bad.

I plan on running it on propane primarily. It's just going to sit around most times, so I want to just set it aside with a full bottle of propane because it won't go bad like a tank full of gas. And who knows if I'll have gas in the can on that one stormy night when the lights decide to go out.

I get the demand regulator on the unit better now that I have it apart and am waiting on the rebuild kit. It may have even been working okay as it was, but since I didn't have a regulator on the tank side, it doesn't take much pressure to overpower the valve in the demand regulator on the gen. That's why I was getting gas going right through the valve... too much pressure.

My one concern on the input is that since it needs a very low pressure input, that a propane tank with regulator isn't going to provide enough volume at that low pressure. If that happens, what I may try to do is up the pressure a bit and then put a stiffer spring in the demand regulator. Then I can get more flow. What I'm gathering and reading online is that the it's a balancing game between how much pressure and flow that you get out of a propane tank (or natural gas line) and that demand regulator. Will get there - hopefully without buying too many parts. I'd like to get one of those quick connects on my natural gas line eventually, too.

Next time I run it on propane, will have to see if the water in the carb bowl comes back. Thanks again!

Edited by cookiemonster, September 16, 2012 - 12:04 AM.

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#32 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 16, 2012 - 03:39 AM

Just don't put to much fuel to the motor, it will burn the exhaust valve out. When I first started working these back in the 1980's we has a customer that had 3 or 4 Ford trucks running propane. We used to keep a head in stock, ready to go. They would burn a valve every few months. Most of the time a valve would get hot and the motor would "suck" the valve, in other words it would start to pull the valve into the head. The head of the valve would be cupped. When it sucked it far enough the valve wouldn't close. We finally got the fuel cranked back enough until they lasted longer, but the drivers didn't like it because they didnt have enough power. I know on mine it would run really good with the fuel turned up, but you don't run propane for power, you run it because it's cheaper to buy.

Running a single cyl engine won't take a whole lot of fuel, it least not as much as a V8 would. The only way I can tell you to adjust is just keep cranking it back a bit until it gets a bit doggy, and check throttle response when you put a load on it. You need good throttle response. You don't want it going into a brownout, it should come back to speed quickly.
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#33 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 12:52 PM

Right now, I'm working on building a frame around this gen... with wheels to make it semi-portable. on top of the frame, I am going to put a gas tank and battery tray. Also, I'm going to put a panel on with the l14-30p locking plug (which will ultimately go to the home transfer switch), a regular outlet for using it as portable, and another 4-wire plug yet to be figured out. This other plug will go to the remote start and battery charge circuits at the transfer switch. It will need to be different than the main 4 wire plug so that no one will ever get the power confused with it.

So right now, I'm focusing on that until the parts come for the propane supply and a replacement for a broken engine mount. I found a military surplus one that fit the dimension spec, though I may need to adapt it to fit the Kohler engine.

Question.... Does anyone know of an automatic choke available for the k241? If I do get this thing hooked up for automatic start, then it would need an automatic choke... Just a curiousity... I'm not going to go to the ends of the earth for it, but would hook it up if I had one...

#34 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 07:43 PM

Are you talking choke for the gas carb, or or the propane mixer?

The primer on the regulator is the "choke". The unit I had on my truck had a selinoid over the primer button. When it was cold I would push the button on the panel inside to prime the motor. Just a couple of seconds was all it needed. On my generator it has a door that swings over the top of the mixer to prime it.

If you do go with a choke, make sure it is before the mixer so the vacuum will draw more propane in. I don't see why a choke wouldnt work, maybe a selinoid to momentarily close it.





#35 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 08:20 PM

Are you talking choke for the gas carb, or or the propane mixer?

The primer on the regulator is the "choke". The unit I had on my truck had a selinoid over the primer button. When it was cold I would push the button on the panel inside to prime the motor. Just a couple of seconds was all it needed. On my generator it has a door that swings over the top of the mixer to prime it.

If you do go with a choke, make sure it is before the mixer so the vacuum will draw more propane in. I don't see why a choke wouldnt work, maybe a selinoid to momentarily close it.


This regulator doesn't have the primer button on the back like in the video, but I don't think that should be necessary on LP or Nat gas. I was talking about the choke for the gasoline. Though I'd have to disable it somehow when it's not on gasoline. The wisconsin I was working on did have a selenoid to close the choke while the starter was enabled... That's an idea. Though I'm leaning more toward not using it at all and (if I ever do) go to auto-start use only NG in that mode. I got the auto transfer switch with the starter ciruit, battery charger and everything... It's just a matter of time and money, but mostly time.

There is one problem with the LP/NG on/off that I haven't figured out yet.. I need to find a circuit that goes 12v postive whenever the ignition is on. That would open the gas valve for it to run and shut it off when it's off. Think I just need to mess with it. There's a guy with a manual for this on ebay for $50. Maybe I should offer $30.

#36 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted September 19, 2012 - 04:32 AM

You will probably need the primer to start it, my standby generator uses the door valve every time it starts. It also has an overcrank curcuit.


Have you thought about a SSR? Solid State Relay. I use one in my grow room for turning my grow lights on and off. I use a 9VDC inline transformer to switch 110VAC on and off.

Edited by Amigatec, September 19, 2012 - 04:40 AM.

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#37 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 19, 2012 - 07:53 AM

For the gas shutoff valve, I'm not entirely sure if the old one I have is going to continue on, so I may need something to replace it. As for a primer, the version of the demand regulator I'm using doesn't even have a primer button. So I've got nothing for a selenoid to work. My hope is that the vacuum in the intake will be enough to open the gas enough to get it to start. My backup plan is to perhaps set the regulator so that just a small amount is coming past the valve at no vacuum. Therefore it could give it that little extra to start. But first of all, I got to worry about the amount of gas coming into it at operating temperature and those things all interact with each other. Meaning both regulators and vacuum in the intake, etc.

#38 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 21, 2012 - 09:29 PM

I got all my parts in. Had the day off. I got it started in the morning and wired it in temporarily in to my breaker panel. It was enough to run both fridges and the furnace at the same time. Good nuff. Then my adjustable propane tank regulator came in the afternoon and got it all in adjustment on propane. That's a tough balancing act between the tank regulator, the demand regulator and the flow valve on the intake. I'm still not sure I got it just right, but it's pretty good. Willl have to do some pics and video when I'm not sick of looking at the thing anymore.

#39 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 23, 2012 - 02:43 PM

Okay boys, I know I've jerked you around long enough. Here's PICTURES and.... VIDEO!!!.
Even though you didn't ask for it, you're getting it anyways.

First up. A pic of the Gen itself. I've been working on building a cage around it and put wheels on it. The big reason for the need of the cage is not only just to move it around when needed, but needed a place to mount the gas tank and battery support as well. My ultimate plan is to have a little generator house right next to my outside AC unit and put it in there. While in there, it'll be up on wooden support to take it off the wheels and it'll be hooked up to Natural Gas and the gasoline tank will be empty.
HPIM3099.JPG

Next up... Here's the LP/NG venturi ring on the intake below the air filter. The big flathead screw on the side controls the flow of gas. It's basically just a big valve and aids in the mixing of LP/NG and air.
HPIM3096.JPG

Next up... Here's the demand regulator after rebuild. I mounted it to the cage as the wheel got in the way of the original mounting point.
HPIM3097.JPG

Next up... Here's the new adjustable regulator on the tank. All 3 of these pieces, the tank regulator, the demand regulator and the adjustment control on the intake have to be tuned together. It's a lot of trial and error.
HPIM3098.JPG

Last pic (I promise)... Here's the whole setup that I have in the video. The gen set. The propane tank it's running on. To the left of the gen is the automatic transfer panel laying flat on the floor. The fan and light to the left of that are running on the output of the auto transfer swich. Behind that stuff is an extension cord coming into the auto transfer box from wall power. Behind the gen, and you may not see is the battery charge circuit. It also has a trickle charge circuitry that keeps the gen battery charged up when it's not in use.
HPIM3100.JPG

And now... video!!!!

Edited by cookiemonster, September 23, 2012 - 02:44 PM.

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#40 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 24, 2012 - 08:22 AM

I think I scared folks away with the long post. I still need to finish weld, reinforce a little and paint. Then the fun comes in when I wire the house for the gen and the automatic transfer switch.

There's still a couple of things on the gen that I need to fix. One is the cranking time limiter. This stops the thing once it's turned over for a couple of minutes without starting. There is no starter on the engine, the DC is provided to the generator which turns the engine. The crank limiter worked until I accidentally shorted one of the wires for the remote start circuit. I had to override it to make it work for a while, but would hate to leave it like that. Looks like it's about an $80 part. Ouch!!! I may try to take it apart and see if it can just be cleaned up - thinking that it just burned the contact points when I shorted it. I only paid $100 for this whole gen and transfer switch together!

Another thing I want to change is that I'm going to add a valve betweent the demand regulator and the intake. My thought is that if I do end up running it on gasoline quite a bit... It's not a good idea to have it have an open path to keep sucking vacuum on that regulator when it can't get anything from it.

And I forgot to mention one funny part... My wife and I were talking about it wondering if we'd ever really need it. I went downstairs to work on the computer and we lost power for about 3 minutes. Very wierd timing. I still had the gen and transfer switch plugged in (like in the video) and it fired up although it wasn't providing power to the house... yet. I take that as a sign.

Edited by cookiemonster, September 24, 2012 - 08:24 AM.


#41 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted September 24, 2012 - 08:36 AM

I'm still here, Dean! Just ingesting all that is posted. Best of luck with this!

#42 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2012 - 08:15 AM

The plan for this week... or just next in general is to break it down and finish weld. I need to reinforce the wheel posts as the buckle a little under the weight of this monster. The bracket which supports the demand regulator also needs reinforced as it shakes when the engine is running. I'm figuring that a shake right there is a bad thing because of all the LP/NG gas valving attached to it.

Then paint the whole cage and transplanted gas tank in black.

Then start wiring the house. At this point, I've put so much work into it that I'm going to make the wiring removable. I know some day we're going to move, and I've got so much into this matched generator and automatic transfer switch that I'll want to take it with me. To the side of my current breaker box, I'm going to install the transfer switch and a sub-panel for the circuits that will be covered by backup power. Just going to move those circuits from the existing breaker box to the new sub-panel. Then, when we go to sell the house someday, I'll just put it all back like it is right now. Call it a plan.

I've labeled one of my pictures so that you know which pieces I'm talking about in my rambles...
HPIM3099labeled.jpg

Edited by cookiemonster, September 25, 2012 - 08:33 AM.


#43 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2012 - 09:21 PM

I got to fuss around with the thermal transfer switch today some. It wasn't something that could be serviced. I could override it, but I do plan on having this thing wired up at full automatic and having a circuit to keep it from trying to start (forever) if it should ever run out of gas seems like something it should have.
Dang part almost cost as much as what I paid for the gen itself. That's the way it goes, I guess.

Removed the gen from the frame I built and started finish welding. Ran out of MIG wire. One of them days.

Edited by cookiemonster, September 26, 2012 - 09:22 PM.


#44 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted September 30, 2012 - 10:04 PM

Well, got through all the final welding and prepping and painted the frame flat black today. Not so much for stealth, but that just so happened to be what I had handy at the time.

With some doing, I also got the new starting crank time reset replaced. Learned a lot about soldering in the process. In fact, this is the first time I've soldered when I actually thought it went well.

Next steps... Put it all back together and test... and then get the stuff I need to wire it to the house. As for natural gas... I was going to put in a piece of hose from the black iron in the basement, through the wall and to the gen. But even though I've seen guys use that on youtube, I think the hose stuff is more for outdoor use. If the house were ever to catch fire, having gas going through a hose, no matter how tough it be, sounds like a really bad idea. I'm going to use some of the flexi-stuff like is going to my furnace right now and run it outside instead. That way I know I'm not making things any more flammable than they already are.

#45 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 12:46 PM

I would go with the hose, that generator is going to vibrate, and the flex pipe will break.




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