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Kohler K301 12 Hp - keeps blowing head gasket - suggestions?


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#1 mseeley OFFLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 07:21 AM

It seems my Kohler 12hp 301 on a Cub Cadet 128 wants to keep blowing head gaskets (or some other unknown issue).  Please can we discuss the typical causes of this problem.  What would you recommend to rebuild the engine first for reliability, and second add a little more power.  I look forward to your reply.

 

Best regards,

Michael Seeley

Atlanta, GA 



#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 07:48 AM

Check the head for flatness. Use good new gaskets. Torque according to the manual. Good Luck, Rick



#3 Tecumseh power ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 07:49 AM

Take a piece of glass and tape some sand paper to it, and flat sand the head if it is warped
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#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 08:10 AM

As others mentioned check the head for warping , torque the head bolts down to specs and use a genuine Kohler gasket , newer graph oil gaskets require re-torquing after a few hours of initial use



#5 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 08:11 AM

Also you may try to torque the head bolts again after running the motor the first tme.
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#6 olds45512 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 08:18 AM

As others have said you need to flatten the head either by using a piece of glass and sandpaper or take it to a machine shop, get the surface of the block as clean as possible and wire wheel the threads on the bolts or buy new grade 8 bolts. Once the head is installed and torqued down you need to run the engine long enough to get it up to operating temp, once it's hot you need to shut it off and allow the engine to cool down completely and retorque the bolts.
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#7 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 08:39 AM

Be sure to torque the bolts in the correct sequence also. That can be found in here.


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#8 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 09:40 AM

Put a couple of drops of oil on the threads of the bolts. This makes them torque better. And do what what said in the other posts.

Noel.
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#9 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 01:43 PM

Pre oiling bolts to torque them is not advisable it can lead to backing out during engine vibration. No offense intended but just not a good idea. I had an experience where we were having hot air escaping a can on the back side of a turbine as the work inspector I could not find a problem. Later while talking to my worker he said he lubricated the bolts so they would torque easier on the tough to reach rear side, this caused them to back out when heated and vibration occurred, we got lucky and no major damage happened.
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#10 Bill 76 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 02:40 PM

Make sure the bolts aren't bottoming out in the block---with head off finger tighten bolts with correct washers and measure how much sticks out it must be less then thickness of cylinder head bolt hole--if not less someone may have put wrong bolts in ,or wrong thickness washers --you may have to chase the threads out in the block with a bottoming tap ,dirty threads will give you an  inaccurate torque.

If you put oil on the threads you must increase torque to get proper bolt stretch.

As already said the head is probably warped.

Also when chasing the threads with a tap go easy a tap is hard but quite brittle and use oil and blow out the holes when done


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#11 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 02:55 PM

Eric, no offence taken, it was something I read when we put the engine together for the 64 rambler. It made sense to me when I read to put a little oil on the bolts.

Noel.

#12 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 02:55 PM

Pre oiling bolts is not a good idea. No offense but oiling head bolts will cause them to possibly back out when heated and vibrating. Also when the oil boils off the pressure and steam can burn the gaskets mating surface and cause a blown head gasket.
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#13 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 02:58 PM

Sorry my first post didn't show up when I came back online my Internet is in and out due to a storm rolling through.

#14 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 05:09 PM

I have also heard oil on bolts is NOT The way to do them when torquing.  Seems wet they move to easy, come to torque too soon, as compared to dry and clean threads. Clean is the biggest deal. On newer stuff they recommend replacing all the bolts as they stretch when torqued and are no longer same or safe. I think this is more for hi-torque settings. The torque on these is only 35 lbs or so isn't it? I go half that rate and use the pattern in book, then go again with same pattern to full torque. Correct length is a must.


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#15 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2016 - 08:23 PM

I was told that threads should be clean and oiled before torqueing.

If there dry you won't tighten them down enough.


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