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Kohler K361--any Good?

k361 kohler 18hp

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#1 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 10:55 AM

I have a chance to buy a K361 Kohler engine--supposedly came out of a GT that was rescued from a scrap yard.

I don't have the spec number--I took a picture but I can't read it... I do remember the tag said it was a K361QS. I know they're an OHV 18 hp engine that is very similar to a K341 internally except the OHV head.

Are these any good? Are rebuild kits available, and how pricey are they.

I would probably use this in my Ford LGT16--I'm pretty sure it will fit...

Thanks,

Utah Smitty

#2 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 11:40 AM

That is one rare engine. I would pick it up simply because it is rare.

Found this on Youtube

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#3 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 01:59 PM

That is one rare engine. I would pick it up simply because it is rare.

Found this on Youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtnQKYF59bQ


Yep, that's the one. this one supposedly came out of a MF GT.

Steve

#4 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 02:41 PM

I recently got a K161 and really like it alot!!!! Has PLENTY of power!!!
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#5 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 02:47 PM

It may have come out of a Massey, but wasn't from the factory with one. While they are rare, that's because they had issues enough that they quit production. Not enough oil gets to the rockers, and valve seats coming out.
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#6 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 04:23 PM

It may have come out of a Massey, but wasn't from the factory with one. While they are rare, that's because they had issues enough that they quit production. Not enough oil gets to the rockers, and valve seats coming out.


Well, I just paid $100 for it with the idea of putting it into my Ford LGT... Am I better off just selling it for parts? It still has the carb, coil, shrouds, etc.

US

Edited by Utah Smitty, October 01, 2012 - 04:24 PM.


#7 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 04:26 PM

I wonder if a person could set up a Kohler fuel pump to pump oil from the crankcase to the valve cover and provide a little more liquid at the top end... jus' thinkin'...

US

#8 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 04:29 PM

I recently got a K161 and really like it alot!!!! Has PLENTY of power!!!


I assume you meant K361, not K161... Did you find an operator's manual for it? I downloaded a service manual for it from the Kohler site, but the pictures are pretty hard to see...

Utah Smitty

#9 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 04:31 PM

Smitty, while many had issues, some ran perfectly fine for years with not a single problem. I have no personal experience with them myself. If it runs good as she is, I'd give it a go. If taken care of & oil changed routinely, and not abused to the point of running overly hot, you should do fine. Of course those things apply to all engines! At $100 you sure didn't get hurt! Parted would bring far more than that!

#10 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 04:36 PM

I heard that if the motor is run at a low idle for too long, that's when the lack of oil to the valves happens.???
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#11 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 05:11 PM

That is one rare engine. I would pick it up simply because it is rare.

Found this on Youtube


It sounds like a K341 with a knock. Is that the rockers?

Well, I just paid $100 for it ...


In good condition, the camshaft is worth $100.

#12 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 06:04 PM

K361's lack of oil to the rockers and valves is because of a design flaw in the location of the crankcase breather. The top of the engine builds pressure therefore keeping the oil from reaching the top in sufficient quantities. It is a simple fix to get the oil up to the rockers. Block off the factory crankcase breather and install one in the aluminum valve cover on top of the engine. You will have to cut the factory valve cover to insert a breather. Once the top of the engine can breathe it will oil fine.
Think of any other engine with overhead valves and where the crankcase breather is. Kohler really dropped the ball on this one.
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#13 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 07:24 PM

I assume you meant K361, not K161... Did you find an operator's manual for it? I downloaded a service manual for it from the Kohler site, but the pictures are pretty hard to see...

Utah Smitty


Yes, I meant K361. Sorry about that. The 18hp motor is in an Allis Chalmers 718H that I bought the other week. From what the internet says, they only made this combo for 2 years ('78 - '79). I purchased the tractor from a gentleman who had it for over 30 years and always took good care of it. He did in fact have an owner's manual for the motor for me along with a manual for the tractor and deck. I also got a blower, cab, chains, and plow with the package. I put the 48" deck on the other week and it mows like a dream. The 18hp Kohler handles the deck like really well.

Not to ruffle any feathers, but I disagree that "Kohler really dropped the ball on this one". In my opinion, it is an awesome motor. True, it may be a higher maintenance motor, but if taken care of properly, it will last for a very long time. The tractor was used for over 30 years mowing, blowing snow, and plowing snow and the motor still works great!

Edited by Wheel Horse Kid, October 01, 2012 - 07:25 PM.

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#14 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 11:33 PM

K361's lack of oil to the rockers and valves is because of a design flaw in the location of the crankcase breather. The top of the engine builds pressure therefore keeping the oil from reaching the top in sufficient quantities. It is a simple fix to get the oil up to the rockers. Block off the factory crankcase breather and install one in the aluminum valve cover on top of the engine. You will have to cut the factory valve cover to insert a breather. Once the top of the engine can breathe it will oil fine.
Think of any other engine with overhead valves and where the crankcase breather is. Kohler really dropped the ball on this one.


Thanks, Chris!!!

I was pondering how to get oil to the top of the engine, and your fix is by far the simplest...

US

#15 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 11:37 PM

Yes, I meant K361. Sorry about that. The 18hp motor is in an Allis Chalmers 718H that I bought the other week. From what the internet says, they only made this combo for 2 years ('78 - '79). I purchased the tractor from a gentleman who had it for over 30 years and always took good care of it. He did in fact have an owner's manual for the motor for me along with a manual for the tractor and deck. I also got a blower, cab, chains, and plow with the package. I put the 48" deck on the other week and it mows like a dream. The 18hp Kohler handles the deck like really well...


Sounds like you get a good package there, especially the cab... That's my next major implement query--having just purchased a FEL for my Ford 165LGT.

Any chance you could scan the owner's manual, and any other manuals you have on it... make them a good high-res scan, and i'll take them to work where I have Adobe Acrobat Pro, and can run OCR so the text is searchable--(your scanner program may already do this.) I'll post it to the manuals section, and everyone will be benefited.

Let me know.

Steve




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