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312 motor problem?

2089 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Yooper75
So i picked up a 312 yesterday. I didnt need it, but it was cheap, in good shape body wise, little to no rust. Small home made wheel weights and a brush guard. That pins on and off just like a normal attachment for the front of a 3xx series. I got it loaded in the trailer using the not finished 318 and after I moved the 78 sears ss10 and the cab and blower, got it home and started looking.

It will turn part way over by hand, then clunk and stop dead. It will roll over back the other way and same thing. This is just my hands on the driveshaft. No tools or anything else. It feels like it is coming from the engine, not the hydrostat. Im guessing a dropped valve? It doesnt feel like it has compression but I pulled the spark plug and stuck a screw driver in and it moves when rolling by hand.

Is this thing worth fixing to use as a mower? It has the 38" deck on it. No front hydros but has 1 lever for raising the deck so Im guessing they could be added if I wanted, maybe at least 1 rear and 1 front set to use a 2 way blade or raise and lower a dump trailer I still havnt had time to start on.......

What is common in the k301? Is it worth repowering? or maybe just a used motor? I will try to get a pic up tonight, and when i say cheap, it was $50 bucks, so i think its at least worth looking into.
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I went through my 312 two years ago and the only thing I did internally to the motor was measure everything to make sure it was in spec then replaced the seals, gaskets, main case bearings, and she runs like a top. Run good quality oil, change it often, and make sure it's always topped off and you shouldn't have a problem with that motor I also run it WOT all the time even side hill mowing.

That oil looks nasty! How badly did it smell like gasoline?
The oil didnt smell like gas but man was it thick and had lots of metal in it. I had the pan upside down for 2 days and it still hasnt all run off of it yet. Its probably the worst i have ever seen.
I would probably say that it broke from lack of maintenance if the old oil is that thick and nasty.
I never run my 214 at WOT so there is room for error if the governor and carb are adjusted incorrectly. I make sure the carb is at 3550 RPM every mowing season. I don't like to run my Kohlers on a hill, but I'll do it once in a while. My 332 mows my back hill and my 214 mows my front yard.
You are actually doing more harm to the motor running it at anything less WOT. An air cooled motor needs to run at full throttle to get the volume of air it needs to cool it's self and the engine oil. The other thing it's doing is you're running at closer to 100% load on the motor all the time because the flywheel doesn't have the momentum it needs to keep ahead of any load the motor may encounter such as turning on the PTO. The other reason to run at full throttle is you can potentially oil starve the motor because it rely's on oil splash from the crank shaft instead of a pressurized oil system like your 332 has.

There is a reason why the owners manual says to run the motor at full throttle.
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