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Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Mon Feb 11 2013, 13:11

stationary stu wrote:Making good progress Nuts, I know it won't seem like it just cleaning off but it saves so much time when you come to rebuild.

Stu.

That's what I keep telling myself Stu. My hands start to ache, but I just need to think of the time when it starts to come together & I'm picking out nice clean nuts, bolts, fixtures & fittings from tins & jars, knowing all the dirty work has been done Very Happy

Also, there's no rush. I feel like I'm cracking on, but you should see the amount of stuff I've yet to do. & all of it is covered in a layer of old, black, dried on oil.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Tue Feb 12 2013, 12:02

It may be telling you to stick to single cylinders in future save on the cleaning Laughing Laughing Laughing

Nuts you'll get there, the cleaning off is always the worst part of the job, that's all you did as an apprentice when I started working, clean this clean that, one of the most boring jobs but it needs to be done and you'll know once it's all rebuilt that the inside is spotless and nothing nasty was hiding amongst the gunk that could cause problems later. I found part of the governor weights in the bottom end of my Jap engine when I cleaned it out.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Tue Feb 12 2013, 13:32

Yeah, it's not too bad. I have the radio on & just get stuck in really.

Anyway, today I've managed to date this engine (I think). These engines were built from 1923 right up until 1948. I believe mine is a 1928 model. My mistake, it's actually a 1929 model. & yes, the carb is solid bronze.

Which makes it my/our oldest engine (which was previously the Briggs & Stratton, at 1931).

Considering it's age, the cam shaft shows surprisingly little wear. As does much of the engine.

If only I could find out weather the magneto is original or not? I doubt it as it's a British mag (Watford).

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Tue Feb 12 2013, 20:13

I've been looking onto this magneto. It's a Watford mag, made by North & Sons. It's a model FM4 & they were used on both the Austin Heavy 12 & the Vauxhall 30/90 cars. They are quite an expensive mag, & would no doubt cost me a lot of money if I needed any work done on it.

I've been looking into prices & it seems if the engine was no good I could easily make my money back on the magneto alone. I am tempted to bodge a Wico A type 4 cylinder mag on there & sell this one to fund the project, but I could never bring myself to do such a thing.

Although it seems doubtful that Kohler of America would fit a British car magneto on their engines, this one seems made to measure. there are no alterations present on either the mag or the mounting bracket, so either someone got very lucky & this one just happened to fit, or they were put on from new. I just can't work it out, there isn't even any shims, or even slotted holes, it just goes on & fits.

Maybe more will become apparent as I do more work on that area. I'm almost done restoring the mag, I will get some pics up when it's done. It should look a real treat Very Happy .

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by Stamford24 on Tue Feb 12 2013, 22:25

I think you will find that by this time, late 20's there were laid down standards for Magnetos. Shaft height, taper and fixing hole spacings. Mags were bought in, so this year it might be Watford fitted, next year BTH and so on, dependant on availablity, cost and contracts agreed to. Possibly a Dixie originally.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Tue Feb 12 2013, 23:48

Looking at the fixing bolts, I think this was a later addition, so I guess you're right about the standards (which I kind of knew about, but never realised they went across the pond).

I believe these engines were originally furnished with American Bosch magnetos, but I could be wrong. Still, it won't look out of place & should work very well on this little engine.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Wed Feb 13 2013, 12:20

It does start you thinking why have a Watford mag fitted, I hope someone can put some light on it for you. I was even thinking were the mags not fitted because of the sea conditions so they had a British company fit there's (to Kohler design) to stop any damp/corrosion problems on the sea journey. Used a small mag manufacturer for cheapness? Customers choice of mags ( I don't think so LOL)

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Wed Feb 13 2013, 12:37

Funny that Stu, I was thinking along the same lines myself. Were they shipped over without mags for some reason?

I also thought maybe the original mag packed up so someone went through a huge pile of different mags until they found one that fitted.

Talking of the mag, I might just have it back together tonight, if the paint dries in time.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Wed Feb 13 2013, 19:59

Got that mag finished this evening....

Here's a quick reminder of what it looked like when it came off....



Now it's done....











I tested it by wiring up 4 plugs & putting the whole lot on an aluminium sheet. I wound it over with a cordless drill & it works really well. I'm getting good sparks even at really low (cranking) speeds.

I think I've been really lucky with this one.

Next I'm concentrating on the cylinder head. I've already cleaned it up a bit, & I've cleaned all the valves. Just all the nuts, bolts, washers etc & the valve springs & cotters, & the rocker shaft to clean, then I can start to grind the valves in & get it all back together as one lump. Once that's done I will wrap it up & put it somewhere safe, ready for reassembly of the engine, whenever that may happen (still no word from Canada yet).

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Thu Feb 14 2013, 13:03

You've done a cracking job cleaning the mag, so now you've set the standard so high I expect the rest of the engine to be the same high stadard. Very Happy

Stu.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Fri Feb 15 2013, 13:34

stationary stu wrote:You've done a cracking job cleaning the mag, so now you've set the standard so high I expect the rest of the engine to be the same high stadard. Very Happy

Stu.

Yes, I'm getting some opposition here, my dad firmly believes these old things should have some "patina" to them, & as much as I like to see "original" engines, I also like to see them all nicely painted up & gleaming (not over restored & tarted up, although I will admit that does look nice, it's just stuff like brass tank straps & chromed exhausts aren't really my thing). But I agree Stu, it would be a shame to put that nice mag on a rough old engine. I think I will give it all the drill-wire brush treatment & a good coat of red oxide, while I decide what colour to paint everything (I'm thinking about Stuart Turner green as a final colour, it's close to the original, but a nicer shade).

Anyway, in the meantime, the cleaning goes on. I finished another tray of nuts & bolts (can't remember exactly what now) then I thought I would turn my attention to the big pot of cylinder head bits & bobs. So I cleaned up all the valves, springs, collets etc, then gave the head itself a final clean & spruce up, including a good de-coke with the dremmel down all the holes (not with a grind stone, just wire brushes & sanding drums), then set about grinding in the 7 valves I have. Here's 6 of them....



I put the springs back on (I found out that one is slightly different, it's heavier, so I may look for a replacement, but it will work if not). Then I set about cleaning up the rocker assembly. I managed to get it all off the hollow shaft & put it all carefully in order (I also took plenty of pics, just in case I dropped the tray or something)....



I did what I could to clean out the hollow shaft, then painstakingly cleaned up each part & put it back on in order. Then I dug out the oil pipes, cleaned them up & put it back on the head....



I even cleaned up the rocker box cover & put that back on....



The hollow rocker shaft is the highest point in the pressurised oil line & represents the end of the line. The oil feeds in one end, then out the other end is this pipe....



This feeds the return oil down to the tray which the big ends dip into (the dip & splash part of the system). The reason the pipe is split is so that the operator can check for oil flow through this hole in the rocker box cover....



Basic but clever Very Happy .

Next I turned to the con rods, I did 2 of them last night, I'm doing the other 2 today, then I'm going to clean the crank case & shaft & see about getting some of these bits back in there before any of them get lost.

I suppose if I really wanted to I could aim to get this thing back together & running on 3 cylinders, but even that would be quite a long way off yet, I would still be short some piston rings & I haven't even began to think about putting any primer on yet. Also, there's still lots more to clean (although I'm over half way with the cleaning, I think). I'm still taking my time, as much as I can. Still plenty more to do.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Fri Feb 15 2013, 18:54

Great news, my man in Canada has come good, he's got all the parts I need. A piston, some rings (minus one oil scraper, but I think that's been sorted) & a valve.

Great stuff! Very Happy

Meanwhile, the cleaning goes on, & on, & on.....

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Sat Feb 16 2013, 11:37

OK, so what did I do yesterday?... Well, I finished off cleaning the con rods, including individually cleaning all the little shims for the big end bearings & keeping them on their correct sides of the bearing as some have more shims on one side than the other. Then I carefully deposited them in my "box of cleaned bits which are too big to go into a jar"....



Then I had another little play around with a little piece of the engine I have neglected to mention until now, the oil dipstick. When I dismantled the engine I never figured it would have a dipstick, & I never worked out what the little bobble was that stuck out along the row of rusted off sump bolt heads, until it was too late. I had tried to remove this "bobble" with some kind of wrench & it had fallen apart, it was only then I realised I had destroyed the dipstick handle!

So I set about modelling a new one from metal putty & the left over parts of the old one. I've been working on it, on & off, for a few days now, in between other jobs, & I finally got round to giving it a coat of paint last night....



Not too sure how it looks against the original, but it fits nicely & should work fine.

I also cleaned up some more of the castings & their associated nuts & bolts....



But all I was doing was putting off the inevitable job of cleaning the crank case, so I set to that. First of all I needed to find a way to balance the case upside down, preferably in a tray to catch all the cleaning fluids. I don't like balancing the crank case on the head studs (although I have done it), so I had to remove the studs....



I would like to tell you it was really difficult, but they all came out relatively easily. None of them could be turned by hand, but they all turned with the mole grips & all 9 of them came out.

So I turned it upside down in one of my big industrial oven trays & got on with the job in hand. First I took some pictures of the gaskets, for when I make the replacements. All the gaskets on this engine must have been put on with Araldite or super glue or something, every one has stuck firmly to the surface & has required scraping, then wire brushing, then sanding off with the Dremmel (normal sanding just will not remove these gaskets), they've all been real hard work, but I have been left with a lovely clean surface afterwards. Anyway, the gaskets were removed after cleaning, first I had to clean....

Before....



After....



It took me all evening, but I did it. I then replaced the oil feed pipes....



& I can tell you, these pipe unions were not easy to do....



I've also replaced the tappets & the cam shaft. I noticed a little bit of corrosion on the cam shaft, where the valve had been stuck open all that time....





But there's little I can do, I expect it'll be fine & I've certainly seen & used much worse on other engines.

So, here we are, one completely clean (well, as best as I could do) crank case, complete with oil feed lines & cam shaft....



Next I'm going to clean up the head studs & put them back in, then I think I will clean up the crank shaft, ready for that to go back in eventually. I'm going to take it easy today though, I'm out all day tomorrow at a Classic Bike Show, so nothing's getting done Sunday, but I hope to pick up some bits & bobs while I'm there.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Sat Feb 16 2013, 12:22

More good work done Nuts and great news about getting the parts you need from Canada. By the time they arrive you should have everything cleaned up and all the gaskets made so it won't take you long to finish it off. There's quite a few oil pipes in the engine so it shouldn't have any problems with lubrication.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Sun Feb 17 2013, 23:20

Right, I'm really tired now, been up since half six, done over 350 miles & spent the day walking around a classic bike show & autojumble (6 of us went down to Shepton Mallet in my dad's car to the Bristol Classic Bike show, although I don't know why they call it a classic bike show any more, what with all the modern crap there Rolling Eyes ). Anyway, I got some good bits to help me finish this engine, but I never said how well I got on yesterday (Saturday), so here goes....

Now, where did I get to? I think I had just finished cleaning the crank case. So yesterday I started by putting the governor back onto the crank case, which wasn't easy as the gear is a very tight fit on the shaft, but it went on without too much hassle.

Then I thought I should finally finish off cleaning the sump, which was almost done, but just needed the final treatment, which it got. Then I put it on the bench & decided to re-fit the oil pump & oil tray (the oil tray fitting is not a job I wish to do again, but I may have to if the height isn't right for the big end dippers)....





I also took off the bottom half of the oil retainer (strictly speaking it's not an oil seal). This has been broken at some point in the past & badly repaired. In fact, some complete idiot has had their hands on this engine in the past, as the top half of this split oil retainer was fitted to the bottom part of the engine, I know this as it has some drain holes drilled in it. Also, the big end dippers were fitted round the wrong way, which could have been catastrophic. I just hope the big ends have survived OK. My guess is this engine didn't see much service after this botched monkey rebuild. I have used some JB weld to set the 2 broken pieces together & bolted them into place. I will make up the hole that's left after this sets with some metal putty. the part is under no stress, so it should be fine (famous last words, i expect like all metal glue repairs it will need doing about 2 or 3 times to get it right, but i have little choice with this, as it's made from a poor grade alloy of some sort). I did have a pic, but it seems to be stuck in my phone (having photobucket troubles as well, it seems).

Then I put the sump back on the plank of wood I have on the floor (after a good sweep up). I thought I would place the crank case on top, just to see what it looks like....



Hmm, very nice, I thought. I wonder if I should clean up the head gasket & maybe just.....



Ah, yes. That's better. Now, earlier I cut myself a few gaskets....



I thought the best & safest place to store these would be..... You've guessed it, on the engine, along with those nice clean castings. So I pulled the rockers off, put the pushrods in & set the tappets by hand, just so I could turn the cam shaft & check the valves weren't sticking (of course) then set about piecing it all back together, finger tight (just playing about really)....





Obviously there's no crank shaft in there, but it just goes somewhere to showing me where all my hard work's been going these last 2 weeks (yes, it seems I've now had this engine a whole 2 weeks!)

Still, there's a crank shaft to clean & check (I will be getting the micrometer out & checking all the bits & bobs), & there's still these bits to clean & sort out....



& these bits to finish off as well (the rad has a sheered off bolt in one of the top flange holes)....



I've still got the fan blades to clean up as well, then I've got some pretty big gaskets left to cut & a whole load of painting prep work & priming to do, so I should be busy.

The good news is I managed to get replacement UNC bolts today for all the rusted ones I took off. I also got myself some big rolls of gasket paper, so I can do those sump gaskets in one piece, & I got a good quality set of "Easy-Out" type extractors to (hopefully) get that sheared bolt out of the rad (already soaking in home made penetrating fluid & some GT85). I also bought myself some much needed workshop supplies & some tools I've been wanting for a while, I'm still short some circlips & a set of decent circlip pliers though, (I ran out of money at the autojumble Crying or Very sad ).

So I will crack on with all that (& more) tomorrow, after a long lie-in! Sleep

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by kevjhnsn on Mon Feb 18 2013, 00:21

my mate got back to me today about the parts
he sold all of them as a job lot end of last year
but he says to look on flebay for onan/kholer parts and the username of umbro or umbrum or that model kit glue that sounds simialar to umbro
used to use it for airfix kits as a kid yellow and blue tubes best i can remember sorry
kev

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Mon Feb 18 2013, 10:52

OK Kev, thanks for trying anyway. I will keep my eyes open on eBay, see what turns up in the future.

I think I have sorted all the parts I need to get this engine running anyway. The gentleman in Canada has the spare piston & valve & he has a set of rings minus one oil scraper which got broken.
Another gentleman in this country contacted me & said he had some spares. After looking he said he only had an oil scraper ring. Only!! I thought. That's pretty much the only bit I was struggling to locate! He also has a replacement choker part for the carb, as there is a broken one on mine (although that wouldn't actually stop me from getting it running).

But, I don't actually have any of these parts in my possession yet. I believe they are all on their way. But, with the bits I got at the show yesterday, & the cleaning & prep work still to do, I've got plenty to keep me busy.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Mon Feb 18 2013, 13:33

All coming together well, you've got your parts sorted, most of the engine parts cleaned off and looking good. I was wondering about you painting it as your normally preping and undercoating as you go, so are you painting this engine as one lump and just touching the smaller parts in later.

Stu.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Mon Feb 18 2013, 18:32

Not sure yet Stu. I know it's not like me, but what's left of the old paint is so sound I was even considering an oily rag resto on the cosmetic side of things.

I'm just about to line up & put the governor back together, which will mean there will be areas I can't get to, to prep & paint. But, like I said, the original paint (I'm not sure how "original" it actually is, but you know what I mean) is very sound. I have sanded bits here & there with the dremmel & it's still very well stuck & very hard (it's probably old lead based stuff).

Anyway, much of the engine will have to come apart again. I was going to give it a once over with a powered wire brush, then just a quick sand down & some red oxide. But, thinking about it, I could still do that when it's back together.

Maybe I should leave this one as my tatty or "original" engine. I know the insides are clean & all good. All my other engines have been painted (except the Homelite, but that will be done eventually & that's not really a rally engine as it's too noisy). I think I need to concentrate on making up a trolley for this one first, as there's no chance of lifting it when it's all together. Think I will modify the trolley I got my Stuart Turner P6M & gearbox on. Don't think the wheels are particularly nice, but I'm not too bothered, it just needs a trolley.

I've got no plans to show this engine this season (I didn't think it would be ready in time Rolling Eyes ), & I think it's going to take some time to finish it off once it's running (I also tend to lose interest pretty quick after they're running). I want to get my hands on an "Autovac" vacuum fuel pump system & use a low tank on this one. I just missed one on eBay & have no idea when another will turn up, so that could take some time. I don't like the look of the gravity tank on this one. I think getting it running will happen pretty quick with this one, but actually making a working exhibit out of it will take some time, & will take some funding (I'm keeping this one, not selling it on). So the plan is to finish off the Stuart P6M & sell that for funds, once I get this running.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by Andrew1971 on Mon Feb 18 2013, 20:49

Hi Nutsgone
I would be tempted to do oily rag resto it keep's the patina of old age. If you do repaint dont paint over the nust's+bolt's to me it does not look right. She will look good either way Smile
Many Thanks
Andrew

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by kevjhnsn on Tue Feb 19 2013, 02:24

thats what i always try and do first before the paint, if i can ,
is get them to run as best you can
then you know what or if theres gremlins in there to sort out or try and find parts to fit, that at worst will shelf the engine,
until such time your looks in and you get them, then on the repaint your not fitting odd coloured bits and chipping paint off that you not needed to ect
but all in all your coming along well with her and the parts pile is getting ever smaller Smile Wink Smile
kev

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by Smitty on Tue Feb 19 2013, 07:11

Hello Nuts,
Finally got to reading this.

Nice going with the Kohler. I just love the way you work and zip along. I am that way, but the day job and being gone gets in the way a lot.
It was nice to have the week and a few days off, as that took care of most of my own dirty work to be done and I'm about done and ready to collect parts needed.

I like the Kohler! It forces me to check up about a similar setup. There's been a two cylinder around here with a small rad and a direct drive genny from about the 40's I think. The gent used to take it with him camping and then it ended up at a friend of mine and sat since the '90's unable to get it going. I wonder if it could be a Kohler eventhough you said they only made fours.
I hope it is still there. I'm going to find out. Very Happy Amazing how reading a thread can motivate one Laughing

Awsome results for your spares, I'm impressed. Looks like you may get it together faster than it looked. I agree with you on leaving the paint as is, it isn't too bad looking and it's more important to have it sorted and running.
I don't know how you can have two or three of them on the mend and not get bogged. I sure can't do it, I need order and one at a time lol. I have two Chevy V8's sitting on stands looking for me, but first thing first.

Anyway, don't hesitate to ask if I can help fom here for parts to post or ship, I'll be glad to help although not home every day.
It makes the hobby a nicer thing for us all that way. Looks like I'm getting some bits together myself from over your way with some help.
The only way to go!

I read the whole story while laying down trying to sleep (laptop and wireless lol), and got here to the end and loved the engine and the write up, well done.
It's going to be a dandy little conversation piece when it's done, good luck with the rest of it, I'll be following.

Cheers, John.


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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by stationary stu on Tue Feb 19 2013, 13:44

Nuts the paint work does look good enough to leave as is and if your not taking it to rallies you could maybe thing about a re-paint next winter for something to do. It would look good on display at a rally but movong it about could be a bit of a problem for you due to it's size and weight, if you could maybe rally it local see how it goes and what kind of reception it gets then decide it's rally future, I know I'd like to see something like this on display, something different from the normal D's, A1's etc.

Stu.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by nutgone on Tue Feb 19 2013, 14:00

That's quite inspiring actually Stu, & you're right, I would like to see this engine at a rally too. Maybe I should enter it for one or two this season?

In all honesty I didn't think it would be ready this season, I obviously don't know myself very well, do I? Rolling Eyes

The weather is fine here today, so I think I will see what I can do about making up a trolley for this one. I have enough bits to make something simple for now, & can elaborate on it later on.

Last night I put the crank shaft back in to check the fit of the main bearings. If anything they seem a bit tight. I also bolted on each of the con rods, 2 of them are a bit tight, one is a tiny bit too loose, but pretty much perfect, the other one is a little too tight for my liking, I will probably play around with them after the sun goes down.

I also found what looks like a crack in the side of the block. It's not in the water jacket & doesn't look structural, so I'm going to investigate that as well.

Then I've just got the last few bits to clean, but that includes the 3 good pistons, which have very dirty ring grooves, so my work's cut out for me there.

I need to get my entry forms filled in for the early rallies this year as well, but I'm not sure what I'm going enter. Need to get together with Ian & make our minds up. The only complete & show-able engines are the Scott & the Tarpen (with a little work). Part finished, but running, we have the Homelite, the Briggs & Stratton & possibly the Stuart Turner P5XC.
We need to get realistic about what we can have ready by the end of May.

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

Post by Andrew1971 on Tue Feb 19 2013, 15:41

I agree with stu try and rally her this year she will still look good in her original paint Smile
On the plus side think off all the money saved by oily rag resto + time.
With what you have done in a short space of time i would be proud to show as is. Smile Smile
Many Thanks
Andrew

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Re: Kohler 4 cylinder engine.

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