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74 Deere 112 engine rebuild Kohler K301

k301 cylinder bore rings cylinder sleeve

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#1 augustn1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 04:48 AM

I bought a 74 112 with the 47" deck last year and mowed all summer with it. So far I replaced all spindle bearings, the pto bearings, belts, and various pulleys on this machine. Welded cracks in the draft bar and still need to finish repairs in the mower deck. 

 

Even though the engine ran well as far as it always started, it used a lot of fuel, and burned approximately one quart of oil per half acre. I removed the engine and asked my brother to help me rebuild it since I was in a car accident and got a broken leg a week after pulling the engine.

 

Our findings so far:

 cylinder bore was .030 over and too worn to hone

crankshaft was in good shape, was ground .010 under and is still in spec

valve stems, guides, and seats worn

carburetor throttle shaft worn so bad that I don't think a bushing kit will fix

crank bearings look good

crank balance gears were removed on previous rebuild

 

New parts purchased so far:

gasket kit

valves and guides

standard size piston and rings

aftermarket carburetor

kohler manual for K series engines

 

Today we took the engine block to a local machine shop. They obviously didn't want to do the job. He said the bore was too worn and then proceeded to say that he bored them to .060 over in the past and also bored them out to fit a chrysler piston from a v-8 316 cubic in engine. We took the parts back home and got ahold of an old friend that bores motorcycle engines. He's agreed to bore it and install a sleeve back down to standard size. I'm going to try to be good on keeping our progress posted so others can use it a resource. I'm sure I'll have questions for the experts on this forum as well and hopefully can get some good interaction with members. 

 

Attached are pic of the tractor, and the engine and flywheel. Note the fins packed with sludge. The rings and bore showed that it was overheated. 

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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 05:49 AM

:wave: Welcome to the forum. Don't think I have ever seen a Kohler sleeved before. Keep us posted!


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#3 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 06:17 AM

Nice looking 112 an welcome to the forum
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#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 06:22 AM

Welcome to GTT. I've got a K301 apart on my bench. I am going to do the final measurements and cleaning tommorrow and then start assembling it. I was able to use standard size parts. KennyP just posted the Kohler work sheet for engine rebuilding. You may want to download it and use it as an inspection guide before assembling. Good Luck, Rick


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#5 Copperhead300 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 06:57 AM

A Kohler K301 is one of the best small air cooled engines there is. Yes they are not fuel efficient, but they last forever. I think they are understated on actual horsepower. I have two that will not quit on power and longevity.
I have a K161 on a 70's model Troybilt tiller that has thousands of hours on it and it still today starts on the first pull.
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#6 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 09:41 AM

My digging yielded this fact:  If you plan on using the machine a sleeve is NOT a good thing.  Time to hunt down a different block.

 

The good news is that K301 blocks are readily available.  The challenge is getting the right block for you application.  There are three designs made by Kohler and Deere used two of the three.  Do you have any pics of the side of the block so that I can help you figure out what you need?

I suspect this is the block you need:  http://www.ebay.com/...s&ul_noapp=true

 

There are lots of details in my 312 thread you might find interesting.  http://gardentractor...31137-1977-312/


Edited by Trav1s, April 08, 2017 - 09:50 AM.

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#7 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 09:51 AM

Since you have standard bore piston for K301, you would be wise to look for a k301 block that was factory bored and built to K241 specs.  These blocks can be opened up to the standard k301 bore and you have much life left in them.


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#8 lrhredjb OFFLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 11:30 AM

Since you have standard bore piston for K301, you would be wise to look for a k301 block that was factory bored and built to K241 specs.  These blocks can be opened up to the standard k301 bore and you have much life left in them.

So are you saying that the 241 block and the 301 block are the same except for bore size?


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#9 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 11:39 AM

So are you saying that the 241 block and the 301 block are the same except for bore size?

 

I am saying there were K241s built using the k301 block.  Those blocks can be opened up to the k301 bore without any problems.


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#10 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted April 08, 2017 - 01:10 PM

I bought a 74 112 with the 47" deck last year and mowed all summer with it. So far I replaced all spindle bearings, the pto bearings, belts, and various pulleys on this machine. Welded cracks in the draft bar and still need to finish repairs in the mower deck. 

 

Even though the engine ran well as far as it always started, it used a lot of fuel, and burned approximately one quart of oil per half acre. I removed the engine and asked my brother to help me rebuild it since I was in a car accident and got a broken leg a week after pulling the engine.

 

Our findings so far:

 cylinder bore was .030 over and too worn to hone

crankshaft was in good shape, was ground .010 under and is still in spec

valve stems, guides, and seats worn

carburetor throttle shaft worn so bad that I don't think a bushing kit will fix

crank bearings look good

crank balance gears were removed on previous rebuild

 

New parts purchased so far:

gasket kit

valves and guides

standard size piston and rings

aftermarket carburetor

kohler manual for K series engines

 

Today we took the engine block to a local machine shop. They obviously didn't want to do the job. He said the bore was too worn and then proceeded to say that he bored them to .060 over in the past and also bored them out to fit a chrysler piston from a v-8 316 cubic in engine. We took the parts back home and got ahold of an old friend that bores motorcycle engines. He's agreed to bore it and install a sleeve back down to standard size. I'm going to try to be good on keeping our progress posted so others can use it a resource. I'm sure I'll have questions for the experts on this forum as well and hopefully can get some good interaction with members. 

 

Attached are pic of the tractor, and the engine and flywheel. Note the fins packed with sludge. The rings and bore showed that it was overheated. 

you mean a 318?   (not a 316, never heard of that one)  that would be like 3-15/16" (round about actual is 3.91)  As I remember the old 273 that they built from 64-69 (same engine family as 318) was something like a 3-5/8". Isnt a K301 a 3-1/2" bore when "standard"?  I have heard of boring a 301 out to the size of a standard K321 piston before, but have never done one that way myself... I think that they too are 3-5/8" IDK how much you can safely bore one without having to worry about the cylinder bore walls being too thin.... that causes other problems in and of itself.

 

I have read on the forums of guys having them sleeved back to standard but again haven't had to have one done that way myself.

There has been as of late, someone offering a 0.040 over piston for a K301, as well as kits that include them on Ebay. I think it's that same guy out of Ohio that I just got the kit from for my latest K301 build. might be an option for you.

One of these days I am gonna do one up like the Kirk "killer Kohler"....


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#11 augustn1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2017 - 01:57 AM

you mean a 318?   (not a 316, never heard of that one)  that would be like 3-15/16" (round about actual is 3.91)  As I remember the old 273 that they built from 64-69 (same engine family as 318) was something like a 3-5/8". Isnt a K301 a 3-1/2" bore when "standard"?  I have heard of boring a 301 out to the size of a standard K321 piston before, but have never done one that way myself... I think that they too are 3-5/8" IDK how much you can safely bore one without having to worry about the cylinder bore walls being too thin.... that causes other problems in and of itself.

 

I have read on the forums of guys having them sleeved back to standard but again haven't had to have one done that way myself.

There has been as of late, someone offering a 0.040 over piston for a K301, as well as kits that include them on Ebay. I think it's that same guy out of Ohio that I just got the kit from for my latest K301 build. might be an option for you.

One of these days I am gonna do one up like the Kirk "killer Kohler"....

Yes I meant 318, I was mistaken in my typing abilities ha ha. I ordered the .040 over kit from the guy in Ohio. I don't think it will work. We measured the bore with several times with an inside mic and didn't like what we saw, plus the guy at the machine shop measured it in front of us. He pretty much said between the lines he wouldn't make money on the job so he's not doing it. The guy that agreed to do the sleeve will let us know for sure but we think the bore is shot, between my brother and I. 

 

We are going to finish taking out the cam and governor assembly tomorrow and wash down the block, if his girlfriend lets us have brother time that is. I'll take better pics so you guys can see. 

 

I'm stubborn as hell, so so I'm leaning toward the sleeve job. I'll research Trav1s post, thank you I may change my mind. A little story: 20 years ago I wanted to rebuild a chevy 350 and took the heads to the same shop that didn't want to do my Kohler job. He said the heads were junk and if I wanted them fixed it would be $1000. I took the heads down the road and had the valves and guides done for $250. Unfortunately the second guy is dead now. The chevy engine lasted longer than the vehicle I put it in. I know the sleeving process is expensive, the guy said $180 for the sleeve and $30 to bore to standard, but I also know how much I paid for the tractor and how much life I'll get out of it if the job is done right. 


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#12 augustn1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2017 - 02:46 AM

Since you have standard bore piston for K301, you would be wise to look for a k301 block that was factory bored and built to K241 specs.  These blocks can be opened up to the standard k301 bore and you have much life left in them.

I have a standard and .040 over. I'm wondering what are the issues with sleeving the Kohler. I've not seen any negatives on it, or positives. Just that it can be done for stubborn guys like me. I want the job done right though as I want this to be pretty much the only tractor I have to buy so that means my mind can be changed.  Your thread on your own tractor build is awesome btw. I thought it was cool you polished the ports and had so much attention to detail. It really looks great!


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#13 augustn1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2017 - 02:54 AM

Welcome to GTT. I've got a K301 apart on my bench. I am going to do the final measurements and cleaning tommorrow and then start assembling it. I was able to use standard size parts. KennyP just posted the Kohler work sheet for engine rebuilding. You may want to download it and use it as an inspection guide before assembling. Good Luck, Rick

Thank you Rick,and good luck on yours as well. I'll do my best to keep everyone posted here. 


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#14 Trav1s ONLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2017 - 07:26 AM

I have a standard and .040 over. I'm wondering what are the issues with sleeving the Kohler. I've not seen any negatives on it, or positives. Just that it can be done for stubborn guys like me. I want the job done right though as I want this to be pretty much the only tractor I have to buy so that means my mind can be changed.  Your thread on your own tractor build is awesome btw. I thought it was cool you polished the ports and had so much attention to detail. It really looks great!

 

I was told that sleeving does not work on the Kohlers because the sleeve tends to come loose when they are worked hard.  This was from a guy who has spent years building engines and has the reputation of the "go to guy" for 2 cylinder Deere tractors.  He told me he would do it for me if I wanted him to but he thought it would be poorly spent money when a replacement block could be had for less money.  In my case I went NOS block because I had NOS Kohler parts.  Thanks for the kind words on the 312 thread... I made some good progress yesterday with the temps in the 70s.

Ultimately it is your call but if I in your spot, I would hunt down a k241 built with a k301 block, have it bored to standard for the k301, and go from there.  



#15 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2017 - 08:27 AM

$180 seems quite salty for just the price of a sleeve, there are alot of blocks on Feebay that while are more than I'd pay for a bare block, would be a better deal than that to just buy a different block. Just be sure to get the right configuration for the oil pan... I think that's what the suffix "a' means in the model number.... I think most Deeres have the narrow block (talking about where the oil pan bolts on and style of oil pan), no flange sticking out the sides....


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