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Kohler K361--any Good?

k361 kohler 18hp

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32 replies to this topic

#16 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 11:40 PM

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!


I think you misunderstood Chris.... Kohler used the basic K341 16 hp block, and put an overhead valve head on it... this design has the crankcase breather on the side of the block, just about the same height as the crank centerline... I could see where it might cause a problem, but I don't think Chris was criticizing the whole engine.

US

#17 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 01, 2012 - 11:43 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.???


That makes sense to me... I saw a YouTube video--probably from the same guy that made the above video, where he had it idled way down... first things that came to my mind was: 1. That low idle will not get enough oil mist splashed to get it to the top of the engine, and 2. He needed to keep the revs up so the fan can turn faster and keep the engine cool.

US

#18 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted October 02, 2012 - 01:57 AM

It sure is weird to see a K-series with overhead valves! If it runs it's worth a Cnote all day long!

#19 thirdroc17 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 03, 2012 - 09:53 AM

Interesting...... I also picked up a K-361 and am hoping to build it. Valves, seats, that's all repairable stuff. The rockers could be in better shape. In fact, I'm surprised at just how bad of shape the rockers aren't in. For you see, there was an oil leak under the rocker plate, fully half of the fins on the head were solid oil and crud, no air space whatsoever, SOLID crud. This crud extended down the cylinder, cutting off cooling there as well.

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#20 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted October 03, 2012 - 10:40 PM

Interesting...... I also picked up a K-361 and am hoping to build it. Valves, seats, that's all repairable stuff. The rockers could be in better shape. In fact, I'm surprised at just how bad of shape the rockers aren't in. For you see, there was an oil leak under the rocker plate, fully half of the fins on the head were solid oil and crud, no air space whatsoever, SOLID crud. This crud extended down the cylinder, cutting off cooling there as well.

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Well, I hope to get mine running tomorrow (Thursday). We'll have to compare notes...

Steve

#21 EricFromPa OFFLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 05:46 AM

If you part it out let me know what you want for the Cam.They're selling for around $175 on FleaBay.
http://www.ebay.com/...e&forceRpt=true

#22 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 07:42 AM

If you part it out let me know what you want for the Cam.....


I'm told you can get a reground cam that is better and cheaper.

#23 Guest_gravely-power_*

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 07:55 AM

I'm told you can get a reground cam that is better and cheaper.


You can. However, if you are pulling or racing you can run the 361 cam in a 341 and stay stock.

#24 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 08:07 AM

Would a reground 341 cam count? No I suppose not!

#25 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 08:21 AM

The lift duration on the K361 cam holds the valves open a bit longer.A 341 cam would need to be welded up and reground.Machine work isn't cheap.I do have a 341 cam in my 321 with head reworked and everything it's still considered Stock class.16hp stock cam is a slightly higher lift cam then a 301 or 321 cam.

If I were to put a 2 piece Vogel cam in it would have to be run in the Stock Modified class.

#26 thirdroc17 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 04, 2012 - 08:52 AM

I see the 18hp cams on epay quite often, but I don't see many go for that kind of asking price. If they were, I'd be very tempted to sell mine!

#27 Wheel Horse Kid OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2012 - 08:29 AM

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


I have been very busy with school lately, but I will try to get that manual to you soon.

#28 thirdroc17 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2012 - 10:36 AM

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.


A little extra clarification if you could please. In adding the breather to the top, are you including some type of valve, such as a PCV valve? Or can I just stick in a K&N breather filter and be done? I did a cheap version of this as an experiment on an engine I built. I covered the stock breather with aluminum plate, inserted a grommet and K&N in the oil filler into the top of the tall oil fill tube and...... I had oil ALL OVER THE PLACE as it came misting out the filter like crazy.

I guess this would confirm oil will get to the top of the tubes for sure, but is there anything specific that needs done to keep the oil within the engine?

Thinking about it, I guess a PVC valve would be valved to keep things out, not in.
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#29 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2012 - 12:27 PM

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I love that long ram intake manifold!!!

#30 Gtractor ONLINE  

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Posted October 14, 2012 - 04:55 PM

thirdroc17, Just use the crankcase breather out of a 3.5 horse briggs push mower engine. That would be easy to come up with [plentiful] and likely free. They are also more compact than the Kohler breather.
Are you refering to a K&N air filter? If so that won't work as that would only be for filtering incoming air to a carb. There will have to be a baffle to prevent oil from getting out.
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