Weekend Freedom Machines banner

What's your favorite Kohler K Series Engine used in the John Deere 200 Series Line Up?

  • K-241 (10 HP)

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • K-301 (12 HP)

    Votes: 7 41.2%
  • K-321 (14 HP)

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • K-341 (16 HP)

    Votes: 4 23.5%
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,

As my search continues for a replacement Kohler K series for my 1978 210 I began to wonder. How many of you have a back up engine ready to go just in case? I really love my 210 and all the attachments I have either built or bought for it. I can't see myself owning anything else but a 200 Series Tractor. So I am committed to keep the 210 going! My problem is that I use my 210 weekly for mowing and it's my primary snow mover. I can rebuild my K241 but it would leave me dead in the water for at least 2-3 weeks due to the required machining and parts ordering, and reassembly. Rebuilding the K241 would need to happen in April when the snow threat is lower. My luck I would have the engine out and get 12" of snow every day for 3-weeks in April!❄❄❄ So I thought I would upgrade to a bigger engine and rebuild it then make the swap when it's convenient. This would only require a weekend of down time.

Given the choice of repowering my 210's K241, which K series engine is your favorite? The K241,(10 HP), K301 (12HP), K321 (14 HP), K341 (16 HP). Please state your reasons. I'd love to hear your experiences with the Kohler K series.

As always, Thanks in advance!:)

Hec
 

· Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
How many of you have a back up engine ready to go just in case?
Depends on the tractor model. I have several NOS engines, several used and a few rebuildable cores on hand. Most of the time I will either pull what I need off of a parts tractor or just start using a different tractor. My favorite 200 series is the model 214. The 200 (8hp) labored when cutting moderate to heavy grass, the 210 is good but not as impressive as the 214. Never had a 212 or 216 so I can't evaluate them. Run my worker 214 (have 3) with the 2-blade model 38 RM and often cut through brush taller than the tractor without it laboring. Has all the power I need and decent fuel economy. Think it comes down to does the engine have enough power for what you're using it for.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
I have a 214 hydro lift I used for snowblowing, tiller, and I have a 43c center blade for it. I bought a 318 that I've been getting up and going, 318 is superior because it has power steering and hydr trans are both very nice for maneuvering. Once I get the 318 dialed in this winter I feel like I'd be able to sell the 214, but attachments for the 318 are alot more money. 214 is definitely easier to work on. If I could start all over I'd just get a 318, but it always depends on the deal that comes up.
 

· Registered
1989 318
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
Thanks for starting this thread, I find it quite interesting. Tom
 
  • Like
Reactions: hec_in_omaha

· Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
I have 2 John deere 140 that if 1 goes down I have another to pick up the slack. They have both been the summer mower's primary job and can both run the snow blower as well. 1 runs the tiller other 1 has a 3 point on the back. I want to get a backup tiller tractor as well or get the PTO for my 69 so it could run the tiller if needed.

For Snow removal I have 3-4 things in the tool box for that aspect of things if 1 item goes down I go to the next till that item is fixed.

Primary Snow removal #1 2002 Honda Foreman 450S 60" Moose Plow, #2 2000 Honda Recon with 48" plow #3 Borrow Dads Kubota 1100UTV with V plow and cab and heat or his Boomer Tractor with snow pusher this stuff only 1/8 mile down the road from me. #4 John Deere 140 with snow blower's

I also have 2 other ATV in reserve that I can plow with if needed.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
your also puttin faith in that you wont smoke a axle or something else mechanial in your 200 tractor as well Might snap the front tire off? alot can happen to take it out of snow removal duty.

Id lean towards a 2nd backup unit that can be used if needed if something goes on your primary unit. Just my thoughts but also space needs factor in as well.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So after the first 24 hours of starting this thread, the general consensus is to get a back up tractor not just a back up engine. There is definitely some excellent wisdom with that thought! Just last night, my drag link forward ball joint completely failed. So you never know what is going to break, other than the engine, and leave you dead in the water. In addition there has been zero votes for the K241 so far! Keep the comments coming!

Hec
 
  • Like
Reactions: sashiery

· Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
I like the 241 and 301, not really enough power to hurt themselves . Just rebuilt the 210 , I have a spare 241 that needs rebuilt.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,605 Posts
I need to get my B48G reassembled so I have a backup for the the two B43Gsthat I have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sashiery

· Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I would also suggest having a second tractor if you have the space to store it. I live in southern Louisiana were parts for our tractors are almost non existent. I have paid more for just an engine than what i see whole tractors go for on this site because the engine was available.

I can only comment on grass cutting and not snow removal. I can also comment on all but the K321 14hp.

Had a K241 wearing M12 sheet metal on my wheel horse when i bought it, mowed with it for 3 years before replacing it with a M12 (K301). Once i replaced it with the m12 I instantly noticed it didnt run as smooth as the 10hp did. For normal mowing with the 42” deck the k241 was enough but i did notice the k301 has more grunt keeps going if the grass is super thick or high.
I have also spent some time on my dad’s 216 with the 48” deck and it has never bogged but i cant say that its needed. After running a k301 in my wheel horse and a k341 in my dad’s 216 I feel that the k341 is over kill for mowing and the belt would probably slip before you were able to use all 16hp.
Since you have a 210 I would opt for the K241 so that all parts interchange.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the posts and suggestions. As of today 10 people have voted and only 1 vote has been cast for the K241. The K301 has the most votes so far. I had my eye on a 216 but couldn’t agree on a price with the seller. So that deal fell through. I will keep searching for now.
In the mean time I gave my 210 some needed maintenance to ensure it runs as good as it can. I changed the oil, air filter, points, condenser, spark plug, serviced the crankcase breather with a new filter, timed it using a timing light, adjusted the valves, and replaced the ball joints on the drag link. The tune up definitely improved how the K241 runs! The points had never been changed by me and I have owned this tractor since 2014. They were due to be changed.
It always ran great, but now it runs really nice and smooth! I can start it now with no choke! Even cold starts. I always had to apply a little choke.

Hec
 

· Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a question for the Kohler Guru’s. Is it advisable to take a K301 block that has a bore for a K241 and bore it out to K301 spec and still utilize the K241 crankshaft and connecting rod? I think the K301's have a different crankshaft and stroke but I think all the rest of the internals of K241 are the same as the K301.

Thanks in advance!

Hec
 

· Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
I suppose it is doable. The K241 has a 2 7/8 inch stroke while the K301, 321, and 341 have a 3 1/4 inch stroke. But it shouldn't be an issue as long as the K241 connecting rod is used, as the 241 and 301 share the same blocks, or sometimes share the same block. The block should have either K241 or K301 embossed above the crank seal on the pto side. If it says K241 I would be concerned about the bore being too thin, because the block was never meant to be bored that large. If it is stamped K301 it could be done, as it is just a smaller bored K301 block.The K241 bore is roughly 3.25 while the K301 bore is roughly 3.375.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I have one of the blocks you are talking about. It has a 241 bore and crank but the block is embossed 301. It came on my wheel horse tractor and i always thought it was a 12hp due to the markings and didnt know any different until i pulled the head. I can tell you that the internals differences between K241 & K301 are the crank, piston, and connecting rod. I looked into boring the block to use the k301 piston while keeping the k241 crank and connecting rod. I decided to leave it well enough alone out of fear that it would be un balanced running a larger piston on a crank balanced for the smaller piston. Not sure if this is a real concern or not but the small increase of power was not worth it to me. Maybe if the block was wore past what .030” over could fix i would try.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
Re Post #15: When a one cyl eng reaches 30 cu. in. you'll feel the power stroke. Don't confuse that with imbalance. The power pulse can be masked w/ a heavy engine block,etc and (cw) counterweight shafts, which these engines have neither. The cw on crankshaft is an engineered compromise dealing w/ secondary imbalance. Don't alter it at random w/o proper recalculation. Also, simply changing piston assy. weight will shift the best "sweet spot rpm. You can choose the R's you use most and primary balance to that. Great fun. David
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top