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MF16 Engine rebuilding tips needed

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#1 MMartineau44 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2015 - 08:18 AM


I'm in the process to start the restoration of my recently acquired MF16. The engine (Kohler K341) is in a box and was taken apart by the previous owner. I saw on different posts that some people leave the balancing gears out when rebuilding those engines. As anyone done so or is it worth while to go through the trouble of leaving them in and adjust timing?

Also, is there a way to check the governor shaft to see if it's leaking oil or should I just go ahead and replace it?

Any other tips would be appreciated.


Thanks for your help

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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2015 - 08:55 AM

Welcome to GTT. The "grenade gears" are notorius for destroying engines when they fail. Many guys say that there is no difference in engine vibration when they leave them out. I plan to leave them out when I rebuild my K 321 this fall.


There are some excellant Kohler engine manuals in our Manuals Section(3 free downloads per day). There is even a rebuilding manual with worksheets to record all measurements as you go. Good Luck, Rick

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#3 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2015 - 08:56 AM

I rebuilt mine last year and left the gears out. Most any body I talked to said to leave them out. But its up to you as to what you decide. My motor runs great, never noticed any difference. Blew snow last year with the tractor, and worked good. We had a lot of snow last year, as you may know.

Any other of my engines I have had apart, the balance gears were already taken out.

Welcome to the site, Lots of smart people on here to ask questions to.   Noel

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#4 pianotuner OFFLINE  


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Posted August 04, 2015 - 09:27 AM

If you leave them in, there is a spacer on the governor shaft?  If you don't put that back in after setting the balance shaft right, you get to do it all over again.  A guy namer Hard Knox taught me that one. It looks like a piece of small tubing.

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#5 MMartineau44 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 04, 2015 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for the great advice, I'll leave the gears out.  


Any advise on how to check for leak on the governor shaft before putting the engine back together?

#6 EricFromPa OFFLINE  


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Posted August 04, 2015 - 01:32 PM

I pulled them out of my CC 127 129 and 149 they rattled everything that was a bit loose especially the hoods.But other than a bit of a hood rattle they ran fine with them out.


I would pull them out.


My gears looked good but the bearings were loose.They had a bit of a wobble to them.Figured the bearings were shot so I pulled them both and found that both Shafts were worn a bit.So I just left them out.

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#7 superaben OFFLINE  


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Posted August 04, 2015 - 10:08 PM

If you are not confident, leave the balance gears out.  You will notice more vibration you absolutely want to make sure your engine mounts are good and tight.  I had an engine less balance gears almost jump out of a Cub Cadet one time when I fired it up for the first time not realizing the mounts were only finger tight!


I have never had a bad experience with them.  I have had mine magnaflux'd before I reinstalled them and then replaced the bearings and I know at least one of the engines I did that way has at least 500 hours on it now. 


The worse thing for those gears is over revving or over heating.  I would venture a bet that those two factors killed everyone of the gears that we all hear about. 


Ben W. 

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Posted August 05, 2015 - 06:36 AM

If you're In doubt on the shaft, replace it.
You're this far torn down and you probably aren't planning on being here again.
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#9 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  


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Posted August 05, 2015 - 07:14 AM

Here's an interesting read for Kohler fanatics and newbies alike HERE


The crankshaft can be rebalanced and the need for balance gears will be eliminated forever.  (I think it's on the 3rd page)  Good Luck!

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#10 MMartineau44 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 21, 2015 - 09:49 AM

I finally had time to put the engine back together without the gears and it fired right up. It shakes a little bit more than the one in my 1650 but works great anyway.

Thank you all for your help!

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Posted October 21, 2015 - 05:47 PM

Good stuff the 16s have rubber engine mounts, soaks up a lot of vibration.