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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided to start a new thread with my repower results (original thread http://www.wfmachines.com/discus/messages/17/432765.html?1243989246 ).
I learned a lot along the way and the results were well worth the time and money compared to rebuilding the old KT17 Series I. I chose to go with a Kohler Command CH18 Spec 62502 (basic). Cranked it up last Saturday and mowed about 1 ½ acres and that Kohler Command runs like a Swiss watch, I’m very happy with it and it’s MADE IN THE USA!. I kept notes, part numbers, etc and would be glad to share my experiences.

I have a couple of questions for anyone with a 317 Kohler Command repower:
1.) Is it necessary to install the original firewall?
2.) What is the best way to monitor the engine operating temperature? I assume it is an oil temperature gauge. I want to monitor the engine temperature before I run it with the side covers installed.
3.) Anybody have a recommendation for a Oil Temperature gauge?















 

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nice job roger. i'm finishing up a 25 hp kohler repower in my 420. a friend of mine put a fuel injected 26 hp kohler in his 317, runs great, but he is slowly finishing the tractor at the moment. I don't think he has his heat shield (firewall) in there, but i'd recommend doing putting it in and using some new foam on it to help keep the hot air from re-circulating with the side shields on.

i'm making a new firewall with a smaller opening out of aluminum like Jim Dimmerling did on his 420 for my new kohler.

nick
 

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Very nice.

Where did you get those smooth valve covers? I assume you ground down the OHV on the standard ones?
 

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With all the air ducting around the muffler, I dont think you will have too much heat recirculating, but making a new firewall would not hurt anything.
 

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I got a really nice temp gauge for my Honda repowered 400 from here:
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/inpages/falconcht.php

I got the single 2" round gauge (P/N 10-01412) and put it in the dash where the Amp meter was.
Simple install, shielded lead from gauge to spark plug (replaces plug gasket).
My Honda runs about 260 with the side shields on unless it is really hot out then 290-300.
 

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Roger,
I have been screwing around with KT17's for over a year now and I have just about had it. I think last night was the last straw.
Is there a particular spec number I should look for? Would you only recommend going with a new motor? Is there anything fancy that needs to be done on either end? (PTO Clutch or Driveshaft)
 

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Roger and Nick, and annyone else with knowledge of a CH in a 317 (specifically a CH20) please share with me the details. Custom driveshaft? Electric remote fuel pump? General spec or a specific spec required?

I have access to both a 317 (dead series 1 KT17) and a CH20 (unknown spec at this time). Trying to determine the feasibility.

Thanks,
 

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Drake,

The driveshaft doesn't need to be custom at all for your 317, in fact i'm not so certain the stub shaft on your kt17 wouldn't fit right onto the kohler ch20. i know the bolt pattern is right, and i'm pretty sure the length is correct, but that would be it. You'll have to raise the engine up a bit, how much i can't remember. we modified terry's entire cradle with a solid 1/4 plate under the motor. He also made a custom muffler to have the exhaust exhaust the correct location.

the biggest thing you want to do is make sure you get the correct size crankshaft output diameter so that your pto clutch will fit.

i'll take some pics of terry's fuel injected 317 tomorrow and post them so you can see what he did.

nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys, I am short on time this morning but I will post details that will answer your questions this evening. I will tell you in my case the engine cradle only needed to be re-drilled and notched for the oil drain plug as you can see in the picture above (the crankshaft height on the CH18 and the KT17 are almost identical). I have also read somewhere that 317 drive shafts differ in length. Mine drive shaft is 20.5” and required a new Kohler Front Drive Shaft. The Kohler CH18 and CH20 are basically the same with the exception of the carburetor. I will post more details later today. Thanks Roger
 

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You wont need an electric fuel pump. The "pulse" pump will work just fine.

Be curious to see that 26 EFI in there Nick.
 

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That's good to know Mike. I thought I had read contrary - maybe misunderstood.

The P.O. of my 318 did upgrade to an electric pump and it sure makes starting easier. Any downside to using an electric?

Now if the owner of the 317 I have my eyes on will reach agreeable terms....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Tommy, No, My main goal was to locate the PTO clutch in the exact original position. I ended up with about 5/8" clearance to the blower housing. I still have to retrofit the firewall. I am about to post more details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here’s my 317 repower details:
History - Bought my 317 new in 1979 from York’s Outdoor Equipment in Little Meadows, PA. It’s a Model: C317H SN: 103473M Series I Kohler KT17. Lost power in one cylinder about 15 years ago (only 295 hours) and parked it. Decided to get it running again and looked at three options. 1.) Rebuild the KT17 2.) Repower with the Honda 3.) Repower with the Kohler. By the time you add up the parts and machine work to rebuild the KT17 I would have a 30 year old technology engine with the same old problems. When I have a chance to buy MADE IN THE USA that’s for me, so good by Honda! The Kohler Command has a great reputation and is a solid engine. Check out the modified Commands running in pulling tractors. Researched this site and many others to come up with the right combination of parts. Thanks to everyone that contributes to this forum. I looked at all the CH18 spec numbers and made the decision to go with the CH18 Basic Spec 62502 with a price of $1,300. Depending on a lot of variables this repower probably will cost give or take about $1,600. Please understand that this repower worked on my year model 317 and may not apply to all models.


Notes:
1. The Kohler Commands are metric with the exception of the crankshaft bolt and PTO clutch mounting holes.
2. Spec 62502 comes with a mechanical fuel pump mounted in the valve cover and will not clear the hood or side covers. If I was doing it again I would use a Facet Cube electric pump mounted on the inside of the frame rail near the fuel tank.
3. Double check the dimensions after the engine is mounted as Kohler offers a bunch of different sizes (see the Kohler Command Accessories catalog) My 317 has a 20.5” factory drive shaft.
4. Used a Kohler wiring harness which plugs directly into the connector on the CH18 and onto the Kohler Ignition switch. Costs a $22 but makes a clean and simple wiring job. I have detailed notes of how I reused the existing 317 wiring.
5. I used bulk vinyl covered control cable and retrofitted it to the original 317 control.
6.


Main rework items:
1. Drill new engine mounting holes and oil drain plug notch in existing brackets (I have dimensions)
2. Mount Ogura PTO Clutch with required shims on the crankshaft and spacer washers on coil plate. (I can supply more details if required.)
3. Retrofit 317 muffler using Kohler flanges and 1” flex exhaust tubing and a lot of cutting and brazing. ( I have pictures)
4. Rewire using existing 317 wiring harness Kohler harness (see note 4) (I can supply more details)
5. Rework and install KT17 exhaust shield. This requires several custom sheet metal pieces and work!!




TOO LARGE FOR ONE POST SO CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The side covers fit but touch the oil filler cap and only clear the valve covers by 1/16” at best. I have installed the side covers unmodified but not run them for extended periods. I want to install the proper temperature monitoring gauges first. First use was a 1 ½ hour mowing on my hilly front yard and it’s amazing how much reserve power the CH18 has. Keep in mind the CH20 uses more fuel!

Main Kohler parts used with approx price:
CH18 62502 Kohler Command engine (see note 1) - $1300
25 099 04-S Ign Switch & Key (see note 4) - $15
24 393 16-S Pulse fuel pump (see note 2) - $38
24 755 140-S Valve cover with oil filler - $15
24 144 16-S Front Drive Shaft (see note 3) - $97
24 295 01-S Exhaust flange (Qty 2) - $15 (also order required metric nuts)
24 041 49-S Exhaust gasket (Qty 2)
24 126 12-S Muffler bracket (also order required metric screws)
25 155 09-S Connector assembly (see note 4) - $22



Misc parts:
108009-03 Bobcat choke cable
Throttle cable (see note 5)
DT438B Autozone Duralast 38” Battery cable (POS)
DT432B Autozone Duralast 32” Battery cable (NEG)
 

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No need to run an electric fuel pump as the mechanical (valve cover) or pulse pumps will work fine.

A reason for the electric is if the other 2 don't have enough lift (height wise)The 12" from the bottom of the tank to the carburetor is nothing for either pump.

The price of the electric pumps might make you think otherwise as they are not cheap.



As far as the oil fill goes, you can also go with a dipstick fill, where there is a big 3/4" ID or so dipstick on the front of the engine, in place of the small one. Its not a retrofit as the hole in the closure plate is machined larger for the bigger dipstick and the stick is pressed in. I guess a guy could retrofit one with some machining and a dipstick tube, which I dont believe is sold separately.

When I did my 318, the oil fill caps rubbed on the side panels. I put a smoother cover with no cap on the one side, and eventually will put a different closure plate on with the fat dipstick tube to get rid of the other side. At the same time I will swap the crankshaft so I can use a 1 7/16" Clutch that came on the 318.


For a digital copy of the Kohler Accessory Catalog go here:

http://www.kohlerengines.com/accessories/landing.htm
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mike, thought about using the oil fill dipstick tube but for some reason Kohler’s book contains a note to not use that dipstick tube with a canister muffler. The smaller dipstick tube barely clears and required heat shield rework.
 
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