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Old Iron Connoisseur
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2,785 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have experience with aftermarket complete engine rebuild kits? Looking at one on E-bay for a Kohler K181s motor. Just looking for feedback from those of you with experience with these kits as opposed to paying for the factory original stuff.
 

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Machinery enthusiast
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4,257 Posts
I used one of those kits from ebay for my K181 about this time last yr and I'm about to tear it down again. I'm going to guess I have no more than 25 hrs on it since the rebuild. It's developed either a rod knock or piston slap thats progressively gotten worse. The parts were STENS, new std piston, std rings, std rod and gaskets.
I've decided when I tear it down I'm going to plasti-gauge the rod to crank and mic the differences, if any, between my orginal piston and rod which didn't knock and these new STENS piston & rod. I did some research before I ordered them and found good reviews from those who used them. I'm not happy with mine....
Altho it was getting harder to start, I had no other reason to rebuild the engine other than the rubber tip of my airgun shot into the crankcase when I was blowing out the residue during an oil change and I decided to rebuild since I had to remove the oil pan to get that blamed tip. I don't do that no-mo :D
I have about decided to go back w/my original OEM piston & rod and purchase new OEM rings. But that depends upon what I read in any differences when I take it down again.

Good luck
Dave
 

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Old Iron Connoisseur
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2,785 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Let me know what you find. I really don't want to do this again and this little JD 110 see a lot of use pulling wagons around. I'll be curious to hear what you find is out of what and I feel for you going back into one this soon.
 

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All Fired Up
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454 Posts
Are those the Chinese parts (stens)? When we had the K341 apart recently we had a chinese piston and Kohler, the kohler was definitly a higher quality item. There was a noticable weight difference in the two.
 

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2,370 Posts
Are those the Chinese parts (stens)? When we had the K341 apart recently we had a chinese piston and Kohler, the kohler was definitly a higher quality item. There was a noticable weight difference in the two.
I noticed that when I ordered a "kit" for the last K 181 I did, as well; I had a new OE piston and a few other parts here just not "everything" I needed; and the "kit" was cheaper than the "rest" of what I needed on the OE level; upon comparison I repacked the box w/ the kit and returned it, spent the $$ to do it right with OE Kohler stuff;
My most recent rebuild candidate is a Briggs 289707 12-1/2HP I/C engine; alum block w/a cast iron sleeve; built w/ a mix of OE and aftermarket parts; rod was only avail in OE; (I needed a 0.020 undersize; I had to have the crank turned) I chose the "Rotary" piston/ring assy for $25 vs the OE one for $50; upon opening it ("Rotary" is Taiwanese):thSick: I found a nice looking piston and broken rings taht were still in the cellophane; so I called the place I got the parts from, and they sent me a set of Stens rings to replace the busted ones; I was encouraged to see "made in USA" on the Stens ring box;
I hope they are OK, as I have too much into this rebuild for it to go sour;
Further encouragement came when I checked the ring end gap in the freshly rebored engine and it was at the "low end" of the spec range; but the oil ring scraper seemed kinda "oval" w/"daylight" between the outside of the oil scrapers and the cylinder; God I hope that was just because of not being on the piston and not having been run yet.

and I have another 289707 on the shelf to do up next.

This engine I just built is going onto a Ransomes Bobcat 48" commercial walk behind;
I see a twin to this mower on CL as we speak that also needs an engine; with the 2nd 289707 sitting here; I may see what these Stens parts "can do".... big difference in cost vs OE B&S; I really hope I dont get bitten in the @$$ but I figured "what the hay'; I'll try them once and see.
 
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