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What A Broken Head Gasket Looks Like

head gasket

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#1 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2014 - 09:27 PM

I just want to add my experience to the database. This is what happens when you have a Broken Head Gasket on a Kohler K321 Engine.

 

Symptoms:

 

Engine Losing Power under Load

White Smoke coming from engine area other than exhaust

Engine Stalling Under Load

 

Repair:

 

Discovered Head gasket broke towards front of engine. Losing Compression.

Replaced Head Gasket

 

This is what a broken head  gasket looks like for those of you who have never seen it.

 

Engine:

 

14 HP Kohler K321AS

 

Head Gasket Break.jpg


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#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2014 - 09:36 PM

Thanks for sharing.

 

I deleted the other threads for you.


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#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2014 - 09:56 PM

Blown, burnt, damaged, broken head gaskets are a relatively easy fix usually. Amazingly, many are let go for a long time and further damage can be done to the block or head.
Good catch, thanks for taking the pic.

#4 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2014 - 10:01 PM

Yep had to deal with that on my Cub Cadet 127 K301 My head was also warped and cylinder wall just below where the gasket blew out was scored up a bit.

 

When they blow like that they usually suck a bit of gasket material in and a bunch of dirt.Really chews up the rings and cylinder wall quick.


Edited by EricFromPa, May 07, 2014 - 10:02 PM.

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#5 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 07, 2014 - 10:33 PM

I got lucky, I caught it quick. My piston, rings, valves and cylinder walls all look good.


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#6 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 05:39 AM

Glad to hear you got it fixed. Those K series Kohlers are nice engines and very servicable.



#7 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 07:25 AM

You may have a warped head.  Kenny just did a step by step repair to a warped Kohler head HERE.


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#8 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 07:32 AM

Mine was warped rather badly. I think someone didn't clean the old gasket off completly and when they bolted it back down it warped things a bunch. The thread Daniel link has some good info for getting a head flat again.


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#9 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 09:05 AM

Well, things look Clean inside there at least. Valves look good and NO carbon! Hope you used the pattern for tightening and torqueing the head back on. Should be a couple of steps. Guess one should come back later and re-torque too.


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#10 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 11:12 AM

before I reinstalled the head, I checked for warping by just eye balling it and holding a straight edge to the edges. It all looked ok, but my method probably wasn't the best. I just read the thread you shared, and I will double check now. I did torque everything to sequence per the Kohler Manual.

 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!


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#11 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 06:53 PM

Well my story takes a twist. I blew the new head gasket today. Same symptoms as before. Can someone advise me?

 

Here is what I know:

 

Under Load, The Engine starts misfire, and cannot rev up. White smoke starts coming from Valve Cover Breather Area (The area just below the Carb)

Loses power, Blows head gasket then stalls.

 

Here is what I have done:

 

Cleaned Carb thoroughly

Changed Ignition coils

Checked Timing

Changed Spark Plug

Made sure fuel is coming

Checked for blockages

 

Everything is good.

 

My next plan of attack is to check out the valve clearance and seats.

 

Would warped valves cause such symptoms?

 

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,



#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 07:39 PM

If it took out the HG again then chances are there is something wrong on the head or block sealing surface. The block can get pitted or have carbon buildup which will interfere with the seal. Both surfaces need to be made as flat as possible before you replace the gasket. I'd start by checking the surfaces.


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#13 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 08:19 PM

Thanks Brian,

 

The surfaces were really clean when I removed the head the first time. I cleaned the block side with Carb Cleaner and a Brass brush. Thinking back I didn't do any cleaning to the head.

 

Should I try reinstalling another HG before taking apart the rest of the engine? As you can see in my original photo, everything looks pretty clean.

 

What else should I be doing when I reinstall a HG? Maybe I did it wrong?



#14 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 08:27 PM

When you say "Checked for blockages", do you mean you've checked that the

muffler isn't blocked? Have the mice maybe moved in there?



#15 FilledTires OFFLINE  

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Posted May 08, 2014 - 08:31 PM

Yes,  I have checked all fuel and air intake and exhaust areas. Engine is clean as a whistle.

 

I am about to go to the garage and pull the head again.

 

Maybe my Cylinder Head is warped, and can't hold compression. From googling this, it seems pretty common.

 

How do I checked for Warpness? Just put it on a table and run feeler gauges under it?







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