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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done some searching and from my research symptomatically this could be a condenser or I'm thinking more of a fuel issue. History, K301 rebuilt in the 90's .010 over piston, I replaced the points, condenser, coil, plug wire and plug timed in with a timing light at a idle, last night I pulled the head and removed any carbon, lapped the head and re-installed (used the old head gasket as I need to order one and this was a on a whim try). Compression before pulling the head was 90psi cold I haven't checked it since or warm. Piston/cylinder looks good and not sloppy at all. It did smoke and burn some oil before cleaning and carbon, gave some black smoke after but didn't seem to have any blue like it used to. Valves are moving well, seats look good and clearances are on point.

Here is what it's doing, idles great! Spark is really good and consistent, problem is when I throttle up it starts and surge and miss and won't run smooth at full throttle. I'm suspecting fuel pump isn't keeping up anymore (original fuel pump from early 80's), and at full throttle is starving the engine. I did have a issue where it ran out of fuel on a full tank and found a piece of garbage in the carb inlet that I'm assuming is a 38 year old diaphragm coming apart.

Any Kohler experts out there have any other ideas?

Thanks,

Rob
 

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I'm thinking a fuel issue considering you went through the ignition system. You didn't mention if there is a fuel filter in the line but there should be. The screen at the bottom of the tank could be partially plugged up. The fuel line could be collapsed and disintegrating on the inside restricting flow, (common on these older machines and possibly what you found in the carb inlet). There could be trash in the carb restricting the main jet. It could be the fuel pump as well but let's start with the cheap/free stuff.

FYI - ethanol fuel is hard on fuel system parts that weren't designed to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm thinking a fuel issue considering you went through the ignition system. You didn't mention if there is a fuel filter in the line but there should be. The screen at the bottom of the tank could be partially plugged up. The fuel line could be collapsed and disintegrating on the inside restricting flow, (common on these older machines and possibly what you found in the carb inlet). There could be trash in the carb restricting the main jet. It could be the fuel pump as well but let's start with the cheap/free stuff.

FYI - ethanol fuel is hard on fuel system parts that weren't designed to use it.
I had a fuel filter after the pump when I found the garbage in the carb inlet, until I added that one there has never been a filter on this tractor. I've been meaning to check the screen in the bottom of the tank looking at the parts diagram I'm going to assume that this one one piece elbow/screen? Looks like I get the pull the carb apart again tonight!

I try to run premium in all of my old junk and small engines keeps them running better.
 

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In that situation I start by removing the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump at the pump. Lower it below tank level to check for fuel flow, if low flow remove the cap from the tank and check again. If flow is good clean the vent hole in the cap.

My 224-78 and 3012-92 both had your symptoms. I found the fuel hose near the tank's to be very soft, in fact when I pinched them, the fuel line stayed colapsted. Replacing that hose and in tank screen requires removing the tank.

:cheers:
Gordy
 

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Fyi - A couple of stations by me that used to sell ethanol free premium gas, now have ethanol in their premium as well. Then I found that Fleet Farm in town has mid grade ethanol free! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting! Well, tinkered with it last night, cleaned the carb again, pulled the tank, the inlet screen was bent so I removed it and put a inline filter before the pump. Fired it up same thing idles smooth, full throttle get rough and starts to miss. So I'm going to pick up a new condenser and see if the one that is on there went bad for some reason. I did have it up on the head v.s. where it was by the coil originally so I'm wondering if the heat off the head killed it. Will find out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting! Well, tinkered with it last night, cleaned the carb again, pulled the tank, the inlet screen was bent so I removed it and put a inline filter before the pump. Fired it up same thing idles smooth, full throttle get rough and starts to miss. So I'm going to pick up a new condenser and see if the one that is on there went bad for some reason. I did have it up on the head v.s. where it was by the coil originally so I'm wondering if the heat off the head killed it. Will find out!
Ok, new condenser no dice, same thing idles great second you raise the throttle starts to spit and miss with an occasional backfire. Starting to wonder what else I need to chase on this thing. When I had the head off valve timing seemed to be on point. Anyone else have any ideas? Voltage regulator? Going to check grounds and wiring tomorrow.

Thanks,

Rob
 

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To rule out the fuel system other than a carburetor issue, you can use a gravity feed tank and temporarily attach it to your carb. This rules out a collapsed fuel line or a bad fuel pump. I use a gas tank from an old lawn mower and clamp higher than the inlet to the carb.

You could have an ignition problem though. Have you tried throttling up with a spark tester on the plug? It might be worth verifying your timing hasn't slipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
True, I will possibly give that a try today, I also need to verify my coil polarity is correct. In my hurry last night I hooked up the new condenser but didn't actually attach it to the frame so it would not have been grounded so I will need to try that also. More stuff to mess with, thing is it went from running well to running like crap. Gotta love small engines!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the verdict is..... dun dun dun.... condenser! For now at least, it actually helps to ground the condenser vs just hook the wire up duh! So a new condenser fixed the issue. However the other things I did i.e. decarboning, fixing the bad screen in the tank, timing with a light, I'm sure helped it run better purrs smooth now! Many thanks for the thoughts and ideas hopefully someone finds this thread and it helps them. Sometimes even if you search asking the question helps to spur thoughts and gives you direction. Now, to replace the missing front wheel bearings...


Thanks,

Rob
 

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Rob,

Sorry that I didn't read and respond to your thread sooner. This is a classic condenser failure symptom, so I am posting for the possibly someone in the future can benefit from this information.

One other thing for any future searches, I've often found the condenser attached to the coil + primary rather than the - terminal which in effect is the same as no condenser at all.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Bob, seems to be the year for bad condensers for me, my 601 ford tractor had a bad one, my 48 allis chalmers g had a bad one also. So I really should have followed the pattern. I think though since it was a new condenser I killed it because I moved it from by the coil to up on the head thinking i was getting it away from the exhaust. I think the heat from the head killed it. Needless to say the new one is back by the coil.
 
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