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K181 rebuild

2227 Views 29 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  gene_royal
'm tearing down my Kohler after it developed a knock this fall. Both of the tags have been painted, and one of the previous owners had tried to remove the paint before I bought the '67 110. From what I have been able to find online the "B" designates a '66 model. I was trying to determine if my motor is original to the tractor, but thought mine had been assembled mid to late '67. What else can I learn from this tag? It has obviously been overhauled at least once before, and possibly a replacement motor. Can I get replacement tags made?
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The tag will not tell you much. A"B" number motor could be the original for many reasons. JD may have bought a large amount of B engines in late 1966 when the 1967 models were already out and used them up in the year 1967. It may be a replacement motor after all it has only been 47 years since the tractor was built. When I worked for JD starting in 1975 we were regularly replacing short blocks and engines in the earlier tractors. One of the CC forums had a vendor selling replacement tags at one time but you had to add your numbers. Kohler does not. Roger
My crank has worn below the low limit, can these be built back up? I'm only finding a -0.010 rod.

How do you determine whether or not to replace a governor gear?
Most better machine shops should be able to build it up by flame spraying it. Don't know how it works or the cost. May be cheaper to find a crank on the want ads or else someone that reads this thread may have one.
Maybe I'm misinterpreting the lower wear limit in the service manual. -0.010 would fall below that. I'll see what the shop says this week and go from there.
Gene,flame spray won,t work on a crank ,it will come off ,i used flame spray for many years where i worked ,it works on a fixed bearing ,like a ball bearing fit ,chrome would be better ,but the cost would be very high ,David
A new crankpin should measure 1.1860/1.1855 according to the service manual. The max wear limit is 1.1850, which I now interpret as the point at which a crank should be re-ground to -.010, or 1.1760/1.1755. My crank has worn egg shaped and is 1.1810/1.1830 so there should be just enough meat left to true it up and use a -.010 rod. If my logic is sound.
I was basing the rebuild cost on piston and rod pricing at hapco. Genuine Kohler parts are 2-3 times the price.

My question is: are they worth it? And has anyone had problems with the quality and fit of Hapco's parts?
You can do what you want but I would buy the connecting rod from Kohler. Roger
I think I'll have to get the rod from Kohler; Hapco doesn't offer a -.010 rod for the K181. The cheap piston doesn't instill much confidence either...
Gene Royal I sent you a great POC to touch base with.
I ordered my piston and rod from your contact today Jim. Thanks for the help!
I'm having trouble sourcing the fasteners to re-attach the engine ID tag. There was only one left holding mine on; and it dissapeared when it popped out. What are you guys using?

And what are you using for break in oil?

Re-wiring and hope to fire the tractor this weekend.
Gene, Any small pop rivet will work fine for the engine tag. For break in oil, use 30W non-detergent with an oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil. Run it hard with a load for about an hour then replace with same and run it for another couple hours. After that run the your choice of oil.
Ugh. New wiring harness and cables installed. Gen. Light comes on but solenoid does not click and generator does not crank. Replaced solenoid with same result. Saftey switches are temporarily bypassed. Battery has a full charge. Test light shows no power at gen side of solenoid, and terminals f and gen. When switch is in start position.

I'm also aware of the schematic error...

I've read everything I can find on this problem, now my head hurts and I need a nap.

Tractor was working before I pulled motor and wiring.

Gene if you painted everything the parts need to be sanded so the electricity can get through grounded parts. An example would be the motor mount bolts. Roger

I read that on this forum as well; and was one of the first things I checked this morning. I masked off the bosses on the oil pan and they are in contact with bare metal on the frame; I also removed paint from my generator brackets.
After some checking with the test light I am positive i have good ground anywhere on the frame and generator. I replaced the solenoid with the battery cables; and the engine will crank when I jump a couple posts. I read somewhere in the service manual that lead me to replace the switch this morning; but that didnt work either. So I pulled the regulator and adjusted one of the air gaps that measured too large. I'm not equipped to adjust voltage. Still will only crank when I jump the solenoid. Is it time to replace the regulator, not confident that will fix the problem but nothing else is left.
Your neutral switch on the shifter and pto safety switch need to have current going through them to make it crank. The purple wire. Might need to use a ohm meter and check for continuity through the switches to verify they are good.
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