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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks. Started pulling the big girl apart. Couple cans of degreaser later... looks like the head gasket is definitely seeping. Valve closet to the exhaust looks gummed up. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated, thanks in advance. Stopped pulling things apart until I get some answers or part availability.
 

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Anything Red . . .
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How long are you going to keep it? Either fix the trouble and unload it, or rebuild and keep it for life.
 

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I don't know if I ever worked on one of those engines. You probably won't know how much work the engine needs until you pull the head off of it. If it smokes a lot it probably is going to need more than a head gasket and a valve job though. Parts should be available either online or through a dealer.

You're going to need a shop manual. http://kohlerengines.com/engines/onlinecatalog/pdf/tp_1288.pdf

Good luck, keep us informed on how it turns out. I appreciated the pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well. Apparently the big 18 single ohv isn't very well to almost not at all backed up, parts wise. Guess I'll pull the head and see what lies deeper. Maybe a 16 transplant is a coming??
 

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Anything Red . . .
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It's not hard to get another 2hp out of a 16. If you toss the 361, save the cam. It will swap into the 16 and it has a little more oomph!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Talked to a couple shops. All basically said I'm out of luck with parts. One said they would credit me 100 towards the usual 250 core charge for the cam. One said no luck. Have some 341s with good compression for around $400. The third said no luck on parts, but to pull the head, put the piston mid stroke and if i can see ring all the way around, it's a goner. Ordered a head gasket today, I imagine I'll wait to pull the head until I get it. If there's no parts, put it back together and run it??? One guy said they drop the valve seats when they get hot.... not exactly sure how to tell that or what I need to do. He said if that's the case, no good. If not and the valves just need ground it would be salvageable. I'm a hvac service tech/ pipefitter by trade, not a small engine builder. Any help or thoughts, I'll take em.
 

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Anything Red . . .
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The Kohler K service manual is wonderful at talking you through a rebuild.

There are rebuild parts available on ebay. Some are better than others. How do all the Pullers rebuild their engines???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did some more tonight. See pics. Head gasket definitely doesn't look good. Valve seats look to still be intact. Top of piston was carboned, but mostly wiped off. Wall is smooth. Exhaust gasket doesn't look too healthy either.
 

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How loose is the piston half way down the bore?
 
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I rebuilt mine about 8 years ago. The bottom end & piston is the same as the K341. You can still get the upper gaskets & orings for the rocker box & tubes. As long as it doesn't need any machine work and the valve seats are intact, re-ring it and install new gaskets & seals. It will last another you another 30 years if you keep the head clean. Overheat it and you will drop the valve seats. I blow the head/fins out on mine with compressed air every time I mow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How do I check if it dropped the valve seats.... push down on the spring and see if the seat comes down out of the head with the valve?? What machining are you referring too? While it's apart? Should I have the jug bored and do piston and rings??
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found a gasket kit. Rather not get into the bottom. As long as I pull the jug, I'll have access to the piston, correct? Fyi, I'll be proton out the manual, tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It'll prob never mow, throw or plow with it. Move trailers, landscape rake to plant bare grass spots... and I don't need it thankfully, however that heavy hitch garbage can picker upper, because why not????
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pulled the head. Pushing down on the valves, the seats still seem to be tight. Kenny. Piston has a little bit of wiggle, not really very much thou. Now gotta look into how to actually pull the valves. Then I guess it's time to try and find a shop to do a valve job and bore it as needed???
 

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I wouldn't bore it until you have the replacement piston in hand. Lesson I learned from years ago, piston may be a bit small or large, so the bore needs to match.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good point, I'll have to get an idea that way I know which size to get thou. Then they can upsize to that
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Only thing that looks a little suspect, to me , at least, is on the exhaust valve stem there is a valve guide seal. It's noted under special bulletin section at the end of the manual
 
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