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  1. #1

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    Oct 2013
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    John Deere

    Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    I recently purchased a 69 or 70 John Deere 110 with the K181s motor. I have converted this one over to external coil and have a new 12v coil, condensor, clean points, and a ballast resistor mounted to use when I get this thing running good. It seems to start decent the first time and will idle and run fine at full throttle. The problem is when I idle down to fast it will die out or just die off on its own and will not start again. If it sets for even 5 mins it will fire back up. I have checked the gas cap vent, its getting a hot blue spark, timing is very very close, and fuel seems to be getting there. I am lost..... can a weak stator cause this to die out and not start? Please help!!

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  3. #2

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    Mar 2012
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    Toro

    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Do you have a good blue spark when it shuts down. Could be caused by a heat short or open.
    This is only my opinion, and many will say it ain't worth a darn, as I'm only a retired grease monkey instructor and not a professional mechanic. Use what I post at your own risk as you know teachers only know book knowledge.

  4. #3

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    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    So you switched it over to a battery ignition? Did you get the right condenser?

    Also, you should check your valve clearances cold, your problem could be there.

  5. #4

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    John Deere

    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivets View Post
    Do you have a good blue spark when it shuts down. Could be caused by a heat short or open.
    Yes I have a good blue spark,
    when it dies it was orange when I first did the conversion and that was because I had forgot to change out the condenser. The coil is mounted out front on a bracket I made. I have it positioned so that it will cool with the flywheel. It is a good 4" from the motor and seems to be staying cool enough.

  6. #5

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    Oct 2013
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    John Deere

    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    So you switched it over to a battery ignition? Did you get the right condenser?

    Also, you should check your valve clearances cold, your problem could be there.
    Yes I did switch to external coil and I have replaced the condenser with an automotive 12v condenser. That's what gave me my good blue spark. I also noticed yesterday that there is a constant flame in the muffler, sometimes it shoots outta the pipe. I mounted a bracket in the front of the motor by the flywheel and I have the coil, condenser, and resistor mounted to it. I have it placed so that it will stay as cool as possible. Haven't had to use the resistor yet but I have a 1.6ohm that will cut the supply to around 9v.

  7. #6

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    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    From what you are saying seems to be heat related, check valve clearances (already mentioned) try a spark plug with a higher heat rating and also check the timing, is it retarded this would make it run hot.
    "Information/Knowledge not shared will be lost for ever, now that I'am over 60 I will give freely any information that will help you out, you don't have to take it, that is up to you...! the word "thank you" will not cost you anything, so be nice sometimes and use it now and then"

  8. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by EngineMan View Post
    From what you are saying seems to be heat related, check valve clearances (already mentioned) try a spark plug with a higher heat rating and also check the timing, is it retarded this would make it run hot.
    Engine Man, the whole thing is retarded to me..LOL!!! I have set the timing with a volts tester. As soon as the protruding mark on the bearing plate aligns with the "S" on the flywheel the volts break. I had read from a brian miller thread that this is the most accurate way to set the timing for a backyard mechanic. I am not sure if I should be on the s or the t though. He was unclear about that. What do u mean by retarded? Can you tell me how to troubleshoot that? Trying to find specs for valve clearance tonight. I just want to run it this winter and then I am doing a rebuild and restore starting in spring.

  9. #8

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    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Intake .006-.008
    Exhaust .017-.019

    Sounds like your exhaust is open all the time

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    John Deere

    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    Intake .006-.008
    Exhaust .017-.019

    Sounds like your exhaust is open all the time
    Thanks for the specs, I will write these down for future reference. As for the flames.... I have gotten them to stop. I removed the shut off valve from the gas tank, put a straight through 90 on it, blew out the gas lines, replaced the fuel filter, and reset the gaps on the points to .018 instead of .020. Not sure what fixed that but it has stopped. I still have a very hard time getting a restart when its warm and am starting a new thread in regard to the situation. Thanks for the help guys.

  11. #10

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    Re: Kohler 181s is starting very hard when its warmed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cork View Post
    Engine Man, the whole thing is retarded to me..LOL!!! I have set the timing with a volts tester. As soon as the protruding mark on the bearing plate aligns with the "S" on the flywheel the volts break. I had read from a brian miller thread that this is the most accurate way to set the timing for a backyard mechanic. I am not sure if I should be on the s or the t though. He was unclear about that. What do u mean by retarded? Can you tell me how to troubleshoot that? Trying to find specs for valve clearance tonight. I just want to run it this winter and then I am doing a rebuild and restore starting in spring.
    Retarded what it means is that the timing is too late, most engines are timed to degrees BTDC. only you (or the person who did it) will know what has been done to the kohler181s because it has been modified by you so we here can only give you limited help, so do one thing at a time and do the valves first.
    "Information/Knowledge not shared will be lost for ever, now that I'am over 60 I will give freely any information that will help you out, you don't have to take it, that is up to you...! the word "thank you" will not cost you anything, so be nice sometimes and use it now and then"

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