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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was mowing and smoke started coming from the left side of the engine, so I stopped and hopped off to see where it was coming from, and while I was standing there I head a "tink" sound and no more exhaust noise... I watched the driveshaft spin down... Now it is sitting on my car trailer next to my garage. I pulled the plug thinking I could look to see if the piston moves when I turn the crankshaft. I forgot its a flathead and couldn't see the piston, but even with the plug in the head I can easily spin the front pulley. I haven't done this yet, but I am going to pull the engine in a day or two and have a look inside.


I have been looking around at parts, some performance parts, not that I am going to go pulling or racing with it, it's just for mowing and dragging trailers around my driveway (easier than hitching up to a truck)

What I am wondering is should I do more than a stock rebuild?
There are kits on ebay that include the gaskets, new piston, and new rod, does anyone know if they are good to use?
 

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It sounds like you lost your Connecting Rod (Broken). Since the 169 goes back to 1974, then 39 yrs of service was good.

Since this is a 16HP Kohler Engine, you will have all the power you need to do the tasks you are stating. Thus, with that in mind, a stock rebuild would be my suggestion. You may have to slightly over bore the cylinder and under grind the crank but if done right, you can get another 39 yrs.

The 169 is rare amongst the Cub models and is a beast of a machine. It is well worth spending the money to rebuild the engine vs buying the junk that there is out there today.

:fing32:
 

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If in fact the rod gave away, I would with out a doubt, have the engine re-built. :fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sounds like you lost your Connecting Rod (Broken). Since the 169 goes back to 1974, then 39 yrs of service was good.

Since this is a 16HP Kohler Engine, you will have all the power you need to do the tasks you are stating. Thus, with that in mind, a stock rebuild would be my suggestion. You may have to slightly over bore the cylinder and under grind the crank but if done right, you can get another 39 yrs.

The 169 is rare amongst the Cub models and is a beast of a machine. It is well worth spending the money to rebuild the engine vs buying the junk that there is out there today.

:fing32:
Part of it may have been my fault, I hadn't checked the oil yet this year and when I drained it not much came out.

I'm not going to buy a new tractor or a new engine, when I was tractor shopping I specifically was looking at Cubs because my Grandpa bought a 108 new and it is still in service. I just didn't know if I should do more than replace the rod and keep chuggin away.
 

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Pull the engine out, and set on a bench--and go to work dis-assembling it---I would get the engine servfice manual before you start.
Do you have a good machine shop close by that you trust?

Good luck--

glenn
 

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It does sound like the rod went unfortunately. If there is no major damage to the block, you can probably get away with a small overbore and a new rod.
 

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Part of it may have been my fault, I hadn't checked the oil yet this year and when I drained it not much came out.

I'm not going to buy a new tractor or a new engine, when I was tractor shopping I specifically was looking at Cubs because my Grandpa bought a 108 new and it is still in service. I just didn't know if I should do more than replace the rod and keep chuggin away.
Emphasis above mine. Since you plan to keep it a long time, I recommend a careful inspection of valves, guides, lifters, cam, crank, piston, in short everything! Replace anything that measures or looks less than standard or near perfect. It's not all that expensive to do new guides, valves etc and that will assure you of a service life equal to a new engine.
 

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Despite all the praise for the old Kohler K-Series, you do HAVE to be careful with oil changes and level inspection. Ive seen so many otherwise good engines be trashed by being run low on oil or be lack on oil changes. No oil filter, no pressure lube system. They can deal with neglect well, but only to a point.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I've been reading a bit, and some people say to take the balance gears out, and some say to leave them in, are they known to crap out and wreck engines?


I've got a k161 in the garage, but I don't think I'd be able to use it as a temp engine. I don't think the driveshaft will bolt up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Pictures didn't show up, so here is a link to them on flickr.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157633814491385/

I'm currently looking for instructions on removing the pto, I took two set screws out but it's not moving, may just be rusted on. The flywheel made a nice bang when it came loose.


:edit: PTO is off, crank is out. Whats left is the block with the balance gears cam, and valvetrain. I have a manual on PDF so I will be reading that and going by the book.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I ended up not only buying a partly disassembled 1450, but got a couple other rider mowers and push mowers in the deal as well. One is a Craftsman something, and the other is a Noma, which I have never heard of and haven't found much info on. I'm not sure where to start, get one of the other riders running so I can mow, put the 1450 motor in my 169 for now, and rebuild the 169 motor? Then sell the rest, try to get back some money and maybe come out with a "free" 1450.

Will the 14hp motor bolt in to my 169? Should I try to use the geared starter and flywheel alternator, or swap flywheels to use the starter generator?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Still no progress with my motor rebuild due to buying a house, moving, vacation, etc.

Bought a set of bore gages from harbor fright and checked the bore. It is a hair under 3.850. It's about 2 degrees in my shop right now so I didn't stick round to take a lot of measurements. If the bore is round, would you recommend another .010 piston and hone, or bore it another .010 and buy a .020 over piston?

Doesn anyone have an opinion of the rebuild kits sold on ebay? They are about $120, comes with piston, rod, valves, rings, and gaskets.
 

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It was highly recommended to me, to buy the Kohler genuine parts. I was also told if you are going to get an oversized piston, you should have piston in hand when you take it to the machine shop. I have a kohler k301 I need to rebuild, but I did some research and there is a high performance kohler parts guy, I cant think of the name at the moment.
 

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You are probably thinking of Brian Miller. His info is extensive and well worth reading if you have a Kohler K apart. There are lots of links to his sites in MTF threads.
 

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Definitely go Kohler for the rod, piston, crank, etc. They are exactly as they came original and while they might look identical, there is a possibility that they weigh differently and are made up of different alloy mixes.
 

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I agree with everything you guys have said.K series parts are abundant, OEM or aftermarket so there's really no need to get a cheapo kit off Ebay. It won't be cheaper in the long run.

I had a 14 HP cast iron B&S on a Sears Suburban that had been rebuilt with an Ebay kit. Not long after I bought the tractor it started knocking. There's no way a 2nd OEM connecting rod has been worn out on that tractor, it isn't that worn out. The problem with that engine is the cheap Ebay kit is the only option for a rebuild.
 

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Go with Kohler replacements, that 169 is a fairly rare machine and doing the motor right will keep it on the move for another 39 years. From your Flickr gallery, the cylinder has a pretty deep looking score, the rod journal was ground zero with all the aluminum welded on, and the top of the piston tells the tale of worn rings.

Get it to a machine shop and get some non Harbor Freight measurements taken. They'll probably do it for free since you have it all the way down to the block. Have a valve job done, check/replace the guides, bore it and turn the crank. You'd be surprised how affordable machine work can be, just ask questions first.

As far as the balance gears, I've opted to leave them out of my 14hp rebuild. There were two main issues with these gears: The early gears were more breakable by their very design, and the early needle bearings were too small for the job. Both of these deficiencies may have been solved by the time your 16hp was assembled at the factory. You'll just have to do some digging on that.

Now you can take a look at that bayonet looking dipper on the end of the rod and see how crucial a full oil pan is for these older K series. A knife edge splash on every revolution...that's all the motor gets.
 

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Go with Kohler

There were two main issues with these gears: The early gears were more breakable by their very design, and the early needle bearings were too small for the job. Both of these deficiencies may have been solved by the time your 16hp was assembled at the factory.
Just learned something, Thanks SaturnV.

Any idea if there is a before and after serial number listing for the balance gear and needle bearing upgrades ? I have a '76 K341aqs that previous owners believe is all original and is still going strong.
 

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Hey Larry, no idea on the serial number/production breakdown. You can tell what gears you have with the oil pan off. The older gears have a 3-segment "heavy" side, while the newer gears look solid. A bit confusing, but if you look for images on the web you'll see what I mean.

If I really don't like how my 321 runs after I get the tractor back together, my plan is to get one of those crank balancing kits. It will stink having to tear the motor down again, but at least I have some option in my pocket. I'm thinking it's going to run smooth enough.
 
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