Hello to all. I have a 1973 Wheel Horse 12 automatic in pretty good shape. It has been in continuous summer use since the day it was new. This machine is only used for lawn cutting in Wisconsin. It spends it's winters inside of a garage that is attached to my house. It has never been left outside when not in use. It has the famous Kohler K series engine, (K301). Other than a replaced fuel pump, and standard tune up items, this tough old engine has never been worked on internally. Over the last few years, I can tell it is has lost some power. It also has begun to use oil (sae 30w) at an increasing rate, Although no signs of smoking. It is also seeping some oil out of the governor shaft bushing. Because this is such a tough old tractor, and the fact that I have a spare hydro unit, I have decided to rebuild this engine. Heck, it's already got 43 years of use from this tough engine. I am not wanting to just "THROW some rings in there" and call it a rebuild. OH NO! I will do this the right way.
I would love to just get a new Kohler short block and call it a day, but I know they are getting rare now especially trying to match up with my unique spec number. So I will have to do a complete tear down and rebuild. I will leave no stone unturned. I have no knowledge of machine shop procedures, but I should have no problem, to dissemble, clean, have machine shop work done, then reassemble. The reason I posted this, is to ask if anyone knows of a genuine small engine machine shop, without a bunch of high school kids learning how on my engine. I have tried in the past to have quality work done at machine shops, and I have discovered that with all my ignorance in this area, I was more informed than most of them. The one place I came to trust is long gone now. I always run this engine full blast when cutting the lawn (wide open throttle) that is why I would like OEM Kohler parts inside. I know getting OEM for something this old will not be easy, but I am much more concerned about finding a trusted and competent machine shop to do quality work. I can find do it yourself machine shop hacks anywhere,
MOST of the members here are well informed, caring and dedicated folks who care about preserving the classic old Wheel Horse. Can you please give me your thoughts on undertaking this rebuild?
Thanks so much