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Kohler K161 - Leaded , Unleaded, ethanol ? input needed.


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#1 scootrd OFFLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2011 - 08:32 PM

So , my 1960 Bolens RAM has started acting up , Runs for about 5 + minutes then quit's . Muffler glows Cherry red and she is throwing sparks. I think she is running too hot or lean? or there is a lot of carbon possible built up. Not sure what the problem is , but working on it. Gonna back the Carter" N "carb fuel adj. screw out 1/4 to 1/2 turn and see if she settles down.

But in conversation with my Buddy discussing how hot the muffler is we started surmising , Back in 1960 when These Kohlers rolled out everyone ran Regular leaded gas at much lower octanes than todays mixtures. I assume the leaded fuel had some additive properties to keep the valves in check as well as possible raised the octane a bit in these older motors.

So I'm looking for some input , could today's high octane (with ethanol ) be the culprit.
Should I switch to a leaded gasoline with lower octane? .
I believe I can buy a leaded additive. if not necessary and unleaded is ok in these old motors should I switch to an ethanol free gasoline?

I readily admit fuels are not my Forte .. Hoping someone with some knowledgeable Fuel insight may be able to chime in and point me in
the right direction.

#2 dstaggs OFFLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2011 - 09:29 PM

May not be right direction, but i drive the extra 3 miles to fill my gas can with gas with no CORN ADDED, for us corn sqezzings are for drinking not wasted in gas. lol

#3 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2011 - 06:49 AM

Sounds like mixture to me. You can try the lead sub, pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. My Uncle runs 2 cycle mix sometimes for this reason.

When it quits, does it quit and not turn over, or is it like it ran out of gas? If the latter, I'd say you have lean mix and a fuel supply problem. Especially if it will start back up in a minute or two.

And where are you finding no corn gas??? I'd drive more than that to find it!

#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2011 - 07:13 AM

I was told that the Ethanol fuel has a shelf life of about 3-4 months.....
To be safe I always run all my Bolens on leaded gas.

#5 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 02:12 AM

If you read the faq at the KOHLER and Tecumseh website you´ll find unleaded gas approved (B&S just as well, I think). But both don´t say, which engines they mean - only new or old engines, too.
Tecumseh write that you have to be careful w/ additives. I think a Link to this sites is available here (or I can post them)

regards
Wolle :smiley-flag008:

#6 EricFromPa OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 03:26 AM

I run 93 octane in all of my equipment.

The 87 octane or E10 around here is 20% ethanol and my tractors do NOT like it at all.Crazy thing I thought E10 would be 10% Ethanol but the sticker on the pump says 20%
Acording to this link http://www.fuel-test...thanol_E10.html 87 Octane with 10% or higher Ethanol content the Octane lvl drops below 84 and is unsafe for Most gasoline engines.

Ethanol will obsorb water and when super cooled or pulled through a jet in a Carborator it will seperate and partly Freeze the water.This will partly clog your jets and make it run very very lean.The smaller the jet the more water seperation.


You should give your carb a good cleaning and don't run E10 or 87 octane.

#7 C130A Flight Engineer OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 08:09 AM

I only run AvGas 100LL in all my antique equipment. Carburators will NEVER foul on it. However, the Envronazi's are working hard on getting rid of AvGas too.
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#8 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 01:47 PM

To be safe I always run all my Bolens on leaded gas.


Where are you getting leaded gas? Just adding lead additive to regular gasoline? I know you can buy race gas (expensive!!!) but that is super-high octane (110-120 octane) with lead added and IDK if an old engine would like running that. It also would probably run much hotter.

I heard at least in NY (maybe other states have not followed suit yet) that you CANNOT buy ethanol-free gasoline anymore ANYWHERE. I have asked around a LOT including asking gas station owners who used to sell ethanol free gas 2-3 years ago. They told me that a law was passed that phased out all ethanol-free gas and a gas station can ONLY sell gasoline without ethanol in it if they have above-ground storage tanks, which I'm sure are also outlawed as all new gas stations must have in-ground plastic storage tanks. So, effectively, they have outlawed ethanol-free gas across NY state. It's bullshit if you ask me. Stupid gubment! They should at least offer people the option and if E-10 gas is cheaper, maybe more people will buy it. But if you want to pay a bit more and get ethanol free, IDK why you shouldn't be able to. It is driving up food prices forcing ethanol gas on everyone as corn is harder to find for use in food products if it is being turned into gasoline.

It is funny though, back in the late 1970's-early 1980's, there was an episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" where the Duke boys were going to make up a batch of moonshine to bring to an alternative-fuel expo, only to be pursued by none-other than Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg. Of course, they made it to the expo and won the prize for their moonshine gas alternative, but were denied any prize money as they had to do "feasibility studies" on the ethanol to see if it would be effective as a gas substitute. Now we see that I guess the government found it feasible and is mandating its use finally... lol. Besides, just because you CAN run an old 1970's car on corn whiskey for a short period of time doesn't mean that you should do it ALL the time. Personally, I think this was a deliberate attempt to break-down older (non-environmentally-friendly) engines so that people would have to scrap their old cars, trucks, and equipment eventually for new ones that will run on the E-10 gas better.

Of course, I'm pissed off because I JUST rebuilt the carb on my 1975 Plymouth Fury last year and it was running great. I took it out this past weekend and the engine cut off on me while I was driving and I had to pull over. I found gas leaking out of the carburetor everyplace it possibly could and running all over a hot engine. NOT GOOD!!! So, I had to have it towed back home and now I have to pull the carb off and have it rebuilt again not even a year later! Just before this happened as well, I sprung a gas leak in one of my rubber hoses leading from the fuel pump to the fuel filter. I replaced the bad lines and put a new fuel filter in it for good measure, but noticed that the old lines were very spongy and the insides were soft and sticky, like the rubber has been eaten away. It looked like a clogged artery or something. I'm sure some of that nasty, sticky rubbery residue came off over time and clogged my carburetor up which caused a float to stick and leak gas all over. The ethanol also prolly ate away at some of the carb gaskets as well making the fuel leak out once the float stuck. I'm just not happy about it at all!!! :mecry: :wallbanging:
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#9 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 02:05 PM

I was using some old fashion (NOS) :D Lead substitute That was probably made in the early 90's and now I finally ran out and cant find it anymore. For the past year I have been using Startron in my gas and have not had any carb problems.
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#10 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 02:14 PM

Yeah, I'm currently running 93 Octane Sunoco gas in all of my lawn and garden equipment with Startron fuel stabilizer. I'm also using lead substitute I bought at Advance Auto Parts in the Bolens 850 at least (nothing else I have is that old that I need lead additive in it, except for maybe my snow blowers - 1965 Snow-Bird and 1969 Ariens Sno-Thro.)

IDK what lead additive you were using, but I'd think this should be pretty similar and it should be available near you somewhere: http://shop.advancea...lead substitute

(Here is a photo of it, since Advance doesn't have a picture up for some reason...)

Posted Image
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#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 02:20 PM

I cant remember the name of the lead substitute off the top of my head but I found out a few years ago that you really dont need to run the lead in the Wisconsins as they have hardened valves/seats .
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#12 Big John OFFLINE  

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Posted July 25, 2012 - 04:46 PM

I run Casey's 87 octane gas with no ethanol in my engines. They run great & the gas is good for at
least 4 months before it gets bad.

Big John
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#13 hatedge OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2012 - 08:09 AM

So , my 1960 Bolens RAM has started acting up , Runs for about 5 + minutes then quit's . Muffler glows Cherry red and she is throwing sparks. I think she is running too hot or lean?

Im new to tractors but since im versed enough in snowmobiles ill share what i know about those engines. Gasoline in the 60s was not as puryfied and greasyer. most people in the antique snowmobiles will add 5 to 10 parts more oil to their mix. I have read studies on the subject and i am trying to find them for you guys. But I remember some basics from that reading. Unleaded gas doesnt compromise 2 stroke engine, oil fuel ration has to be changed according to the gas being cleaner today.

In 2 strokes low gas high air makes for overheating, this can mean too much oil in gas for 2 strokes or bad carb settings. Too much air not enough gas cause heat in any engine.

Now if your engine runs 5 minutes then quits there might be something else to it. If one of your cylindres dont fire properly (ie bad coil/plug) it can cause overheating. it too long to explain in details but it can cause a lack of gasoline going in one of your cylindres. coils/plugs quitting when hot but fine when cold are quite common.

Ive killed my T'nt last winter from overheat because I had forgotten that the fan was broken and had to be replaced. It baffled me because minutes before it died there was no stopping it. I could turn the key off and hit the kill switch it just kept running event without spark!!! Now that was a hot engine, :(

I had made a post earlier here but i hit the hide button by accident

Edited by hatedge, August 02, 2012 - 08:24 AM.


#14 hatedge OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2012 - 08:19 AM

Of course, I'm pissed off because I JUST rebuilt the carb on my 1975 Plymouth Fury last year and it was running great. I took it out this past weekend and the engine cut off on me while I was driving and I had to pull over. I found gas leaking out of the carburetor everyplace it possibly could and running all over a hot engine. NOT GOOD!!! So, I had to have it towed back home and now I have to pull the carb off and have it rebuilt again not even a year later! Just before this happened as well, I sprung a gas leak in one of my rubber hoses leading from the fuel pump to the fuel filter. I replaced the bad lines and put a new fuel filter in it for good measure, but noticed that the old lines were very spongy and the insides were soft and sticky, like the rubber has been eaten away. It looked like a clogged artery or something. I'm sure some of that nasty, sticky rubbery residue came off over time and clogged my carburetor up which caused a float to stick and leak gas all over. The ethanol also prolly ate away at some of the carb gaskets as well making the fuel leak out once the float stuck. I'm just not happy about it at all!!! :mecry: :wallbanging:


I agree about the government plans to wrek older vehicules by adding that crap to our gas. I also noticed the rubber gas lines melting and splitting with ethanol enriched gas. It also leaves more lacker in my carbs when park for the off season. n I hate the stuff
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#15 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 02, 2012 - 09:14 PM

In the small town I live in there are two BP stations owned by the same guy. Ya I know "So". To make a long story shorter. The one north of town started selling "Recreational Gas" last fall. Supposedly it is 91 octane without the ethanol and it costs the same as their 91 octane premium with 10% ethanol. I started using it this spring in everything but the truck and the wife's Astro van (which BTW she sold yesterday). I used to use the 89 octane mid grade with 10% ethanol instead and have had the same hose and diaphragm issues.

Too early to tell if it is doing any good but IMHO it is worth the extra 20 cents a gallon just for the peace of mind.. Ticks me off that they don't have a card reader on that pump though.
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