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Anyone use a heli coil to fix spark plug threads on a Kohler head?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 07:07 PM

Has anyone used a heli coil insert on a Kohler 16 horsepower K series single cylinder engine to repair the spark plug threads? I might be buying back a 1650 Snapper with the Kohler engine that the owner says the spark plug loosens up and comes out of the head after about 2 hours of running. I was wondering if anyone had used a heli coil to replace the threads and what kind of luck they had or if I would be better off to find another head? Thanks, Mike

#2 DanO OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 07:11 PM

I haven't used it on that particular engine but I have used them MANY TIMES...Back in my Youth, I was a V.W. Mechanic and I used them on those air cooled engines more times than I can remember. They are simple to use and work great. NAPA keeps them in stock for all size plugs.

#3 tex tractor jack OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 07:21 PM

They work great, I have used them on many engines.

#4 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 08:29 PM

Had to have one put in a 12HP Kohler and it's been fine .

#5 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 08:56 PM

I've used a similar repair, but it's an insert, not a coil. Once you tap head out, you use the tool to thread in the insert, then the other end of the tool, you put in the insert & lightly hit with a hammer to swell-seat the ends. Never had one fail yet.

#6 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 08:57 PM

Mike, Back when we were racing go-karts, 5HP Brigg, we had to heli-coil spark plug, head bolts, holes all the time. The other option is to replace the head, e-bay has them from time to time, reasonally priced.

#7 Rickski OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2011 - 09:27 PM

This is good to hear. I need to install one into a plug hole on an outboard motor.

#8 WQDL753 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2011 - 01:15 AM

I've used the helicoil brand many times. Never used the spark plug ones on a small engine, but have used them on aluminum heads for cars, and they are great!

A little trick for ya. To avoid having to pull the head, turn the engine so the exhaust valve is full open. Then hook up an air line or the discharge side of a shop-vac to the tailpipe (ducktape works good). All of the chips from the drillin' and tapping will be forced out as they are made, and the job can be done in about half a beer's time, with no worrys! :thumbs:

Edited by WQDL753, April 15, 2011 - 01:17 AM.
needed a title

  • caseguy said thank you

#9 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2011 - 04:22 AM

I have never used one for that particular job,but have used them alot and they do work good.

#10 Big John OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2011 - 11:34 AM

It is best to remove the head to make sure that U get all the chips out. As U know even 1 chip can
cause alot of problems in the engine.

#11 RustyTub OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2011 - 01:04 PM

I second the statement of having the exhaust valve open but if at all possible the removal of the head is best I have Helicoiled Hundreds of spark plug holes. Many Automotive and one on my old Mac Chainsaw. You want to be very carefull and inspect the hole for any cracks. Sometimes what happens is the hole will crack and once the engine get hot the crack expands loosens the plug and out come the plug. If it is not craked I would say HeliCoil away.

If you remove the head you could always take it to good machine shop and have them helicoil it to save on the cost of buying a Helicoil Kit. Also Check with local FLAPS stores and see if they have a tool rental program. Or if you are like me and are a complete tool junkie then just go out and buy the tool use it and put it away to maybe never be used again, but if you need it again you already own it.

#12 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2011 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for your input guys. If I get this tractor I think I will pull the head off to check the valves, cylinder wear and the spark plug hole for cracks before putting in the heli coil. The engine runs well but I would hate to screw it up with a chip from installing the heli coil. I should know in a couple of days if the owner is serious about selling it. I sold this 1650 to him 2 1/2 years ago and he is wanting something bigger to move snow with.

#13 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2011 - 12:37 PM

Well I bought this 1650 back so when I get to fixing the head I'll start a new thread if I go the helicoil route. It starts and runs very well, just looses the spark plug after a couple of hours of running. I have another guy who wants to buy it so I better get a couple of other projects done so I can tear into this one.

#14 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2011 - 01:11 PM

Sorry I'm late to the party Mike.

About 4 yrs ago, we had to do it on Dad's log splitter. The stupid thing wouldn't start when really cold because it was one of those pollution standard carbs (Thank you EPA). To get it started, you had to pull the plug and squirt in some gas. (cant get to the air cleaner easy as its buried behind hydraulic stuff)
Ive been trying to figure out how that was better for the environment? Anyways, after having to use the coil, we decided to close off all the "extra" holes on the choke plate. Starts like it should and 4 years later, coil still in place.

Edited by MH81, May 01, 2011 - 08:54 AM.


#15 rwhiteley OFFLINE  

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Posted May 01, 2011 - 07:47 AM

Get the solid insert style. I have tried the HELICOIL and have not had good results.




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