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Professional Homeowner
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Discussion Starter #1
Just decided to mow with my "kit" 312-A WheelHorse. Bought the tractor, bought an engine (K301 Kohler), and bought a PTO clutch assembly. Engine burns a little oil from everywhere, so knowing this I filled it up before I started. I don't have the governor linkage hooked up quite right, so I have to be careful not to over-rev. I figured I had between 3000-3700 RPM, judging by the speed of the tractor and the sound of the engine (I have another setup just like it).

I went for about 20 minutes, pretty happy with the performance. All of a sudden, it started to labor pretty hard. I disengaged the PTO, stopped the machine, started to idle down the throttle, and there she died. The engine turns either way using a big pair of pliers on the PTO, then comes to a halt within 1/2 turn. Then I turn it the other way 1/2 turn and it stops again. No audible clank, but it's pretty sudden. The PTO then slips on the clutch and I can't turn it any farther. I checked the oil. It's low, but there's still oil in it. the starter won't turn the engine over any farther than I can. I've tried disengaging the PTO and transmission, but no difference either way. I'm wondering if maybe I had the RPM up too high, and it possibly overheated and did something bad inside the engine.

Where should I start? I've always wanted to tear into one of these things, and this might be my excuse. What do you all think?
 

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I'd start by taking the clutch off of the engine,if you can and the engine turns over then,you'll know it's in the engine.If you have to tear into the engine,start by taking the head off to see what the cylinder looks like.From what you say about the way it stopped,it sounds a lot like the engine seized,if it's turning back and forth some,you might have gotten it shut down before it self destructed.
 

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MTF Junior Poster Esq.
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Bearing siezed and threw the rod. Take the head off, the piston will be at the top and won't budge when you turn it.

If your starter would turn it, all you would accomplish is having an electric rod beating machine.
 

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Pull the spark plug and stick a screwdriver down into the cylinder so that it rests on top of the piston then slowly turn the crankshaft while watching the screwdriver for movement. This should tell you if the rod and piston are still connected.
The K301 is a very easy engine to rebuild, of course that statement is qualified by the degree of which you have to replace parts and pay for machine shop services.
If you do rebuild it, go all the way, new piston, rings, rod, Machine/Hone cylinder if needed, new bearings, valves and seats and you can leave out the balance gears if you so desire.

You can download the manual here:

http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/tp_2379.pdf
 

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Professional Homeowner
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Discussion Starter #5
Pull the spark plug and stick a screwdriver down into the cylinder so that it rests on top of the piston then slowly turn the crankshaft while watching the screwdriver for movement. This should tell you if the rod and piston are still connected.
The K301 is a very easy engine to rebuild, of course that statement is qualified by the degree of which you have to replace parts and pay for machine shop services.
If you do rebuild it, go all the way, new piston, rings, rod, Machine/Hone cylinder if needed, new bearings, valves and seats and you can leave out the balance gears if you so desire.

You can download the manual here:

http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/tp_2379.pdf
Great link!!!! Thank you!!!
I'll have to do some exploratory surgery, sounds like. That will be in the next few days. Sounds like I did the right thing shutting it down before any real carnage happened, I hope. Here goes...
 

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MTF Junior Poster Esq.
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Well, if you haden't shut it down, what wth the rod no longer connected to the piston, it probably would have stopped running eventually anyway.

LOL! Good luck! They are fun, and other kohlers aren't hard to find if worse comes to worse.
 
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