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Balancing Gears - in or out

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I think it was Kevin here who recommended to leave them out and I think I read that on other sites also. So, the question here is - should I leave them out? Or put them back in? What's the ramifications of leaving them out or putting them back in? Opinions, please.

Right now I'm thinking of following Kevin's advice but let's hear it from the peanut gallery, er, I mean experts. :thumbs:

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My opinion, if they're not broken or the bearing surfaces mared, I would put them back in. If they were broken, then maybe leave them out.

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I never gave it a second thought when I had a K301 apart with balance gears.

I should say at that time I did not know you could leave them out when I reassembled it..

If I remember they had to be timed? :thumbs: ...that was the tricky part.

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Unless you have the holding tool, it can be a major pain in the butt to put them back in. If you want to spend the money on new needle bearings for them and you have the stub shafts mic'd to verify they aren't worn, you can put them back in and probably not have any problems with them. You will also have to follow Kohlers instructions to set end play by using various thicknesses of shims, (washers) and you have to be certain that they are correctly timed, or the engine will vibrate more than if you leave them out. :thumbs:

My advice is to remove the gears permanently (the shafts can remain in the block) and forget they were ever in there. :thumbs:

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JD Terry,

Yeah, that was me who first brought it up. If you leave them out (providing you don't have a rubber boot-mounted engine), you'll probably never notice anything unless the engine is at a low idle. It'll have a little more vibration then, but that's it.

I'm with Terry on his summary of keeping them in- They can be a pain to time/shim/install, but don't let that be the reason you leave them out. Most people who leave them out are the ones who have seen what they do if something goes wrong with them. They've earned the nickname among pullers of "grenade gears", among other things.

I have know people who have put them back in and had absolutely no problems whatsoever afterward- for years literally. After all, Kohler engineered them to serve a purpose. BUT, I have seen what they do when they have some wear, or a bearing in them lets go. They will utterly destroy your engine, unless you're lucky enough to have them fail during startup.

It's personal preference, and I apologize if my previous post made it sound like an inevitable problem. Like Terry said, if everything checks out, and you get the timing right, you should be fine. They should function for another 30 years. Just be SURE everything checks out.

And if they are in need of replacement- I have a set I will give you. They are holding a manual in place on the shelf at the moment... :thumbs:

Kevin

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Kevin,

I do have a rubber-booted mount (C-141) provided I get new isolators. I'm leaning towards leaving them out as it sounds like the disadvantage of leaving them out isn't as serious as leaving them in IF there is complications from them. But, I will decide when I get the engine back from the machine shop. :thumbs:

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Terry, That type of mount on an engine may give you more vibration. That's why I mentioned it earlier. I don't know it from personal experience, but have heard it does make a difference. Even more so if one or more of the "bushings" is weak or worn out. I have seen people remove the rubber ones and install solid aluminum ones in their place. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of having the engine mounted than way to me, but some do it anyway.

Kevin

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As most know I decided to leave the balance gears out of my K321. To further reinforce my decision, I decided to do a search on wfm as I know that little topic probably comes up a lot. Here's some threads on this:

Topic Number 1

Topic Number 2

Topic Number 3

Topic Number 4

There are a lot more, but I think you get the gist of this little post. :thumbs:

I think my decision of not putting them in does have merit. :thumbs:

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Once last post, and I'm through. :thumbs:

Here's a direct quote from Brian Miller's site:

And if an engine originally came with balance gears, there's no need to reinstall them. They serve very little purpose.

Brian Miller's website

I'm actually posting these, first, as a FAQ, and second, to reassure myself that leaving them out is the way to go. :thumbs:

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Terry that interesting in one of those links 2 JD owners compare there 140's & the one with the balance gears in had some noise.

I had a C121 a while back that everything seemed tight...but at low to mid RPM it had an annoying clatter.

That was in my pre Kohler teardown days...but now wonde if it was the balance gears?

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Stephen,

That's a very real possibility. But, the bearings on the C-141's balance gears were bad and I never heard any noise from the engine before the rod gave out. So it's hard to say if the rattle was from the balance gears or not. But it's a good chance it was.

The most strikingly testimony for leaving them out, I believe, came from Brian Miller's website. So, I think, leaving them out is the way to go. And it should ease my mind in the future, as I won't have to worry about the bearings going bad and the gears becoming "Grenade Gears". :thumbs:

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Terry I think you'll be happy with them out. I have apuller buddy here locally that has 2 5 gallon buckets full of them. He runs his Kohlers alittle above the recommended rpms too :thumbs: No problems from not having the gears yet, and He's been at it over 20 yrs. I don't have any personal experience to give you, but it seems to be working for others.

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Joel,

If Brian Miller says to leave them out, who am I to question him. :thumbs:

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A lot of engine never came with Balance gears. they where and option. If one lets go they can put a hole right through the side of the block. Not that much of a difference with or without them.

Especially if the engine is mounted with the PTO coming out of the sides of the tractor. It is when the PTO is facing front or back when you feel a slight difference.

If you have them out, I would leave them out. Especially if you plan on using higher rpms then recommended like some tractor pullers do.

Just one less thing to go wrong if they are not in the engine.

just my opinion, I left them out of several engines that I have rebuilt and do not see that much of a difference in them

Joe

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This is just my take on this.

One of my gt14s has a rebuilt replacement motor on it. Either its one without balance gears or they left them out, the thing vibrates lilke hell :thumbs: compared to the others. and since i'm not up to replaceing them it'll be goin up for sale soon.

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This is just my take on this.

One of my gt14s has a rebuilt replacement motor on it. Either its one without balance gears or they left them out, the thing vibrates lilke hell :thumbs: compared to the others. and since i'm not up to replaceing them it'll be goin up for sale soon.

Who rebuilt it? :thumbs: Do you know anything about the internals?

I know of a K-301 block that was bored .125" and fitted with a STD K-321 piston and rod. (the guy couldn't find another K-321 block after a balance gear went out through the side of the original one) It shakes and bounces more than a "fat chick" on a trampoline. :D

If your engine is a 14hp (or 16hp) with a 12hp crankshaft, it'll try to jump clear out of the tractor! :P

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Its a 14, had my engine builder check it out, and since it only vibrates he stated it was one or the other. He also stated that in the last 35yrs( WH dealership) he has never left the gears out just for this reason. When kohler removed the gears in the newer motors everyone went to the rubber mounts so thets why he said it could be either case.

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It shakes and bounces more than a "fat chick" on a trampoline.

Whoa........ :thumbs: it's gonna take a while to get THAT image out of my mind.

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So to summarize, we have a whole bunch of guys who have had good experience leaving them out, and a couple who say leave them in.

Personally, I'd go with the odds. WAIT, I did, they aren't in mine either... LOL

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It's been 6 months so what's the verdict about the balance gears? I had no

problem timing them. Now the needle bearings was a whole nother (nother?)

story!! :D But since I somehow :hide: scored the cylinder walls putting the new piston in I'm doing another tear down. :hide: I have the K341

and wanted to know if it's best to leave the gears out. But I don't want an engine

that vibrates. And is it to my understanding that these gears are known to explode?

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Butch,

There is a slight, noticeable vibration at low idle, which goes away as you throttle up. But, it doesn't vibrate anymore than my stock C-125 with the K301 in it. I would recommend leaving out the balancing gears.

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I have a K341 from a genset that came without the gears. So, they aren't absolutely necessary.

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The easiest way to fix balance gears is with a slab of concrete and an 8lb sledge.

I have seen many blocks ruined by balance gears that failed.

If you have a slight knock and no balance gears there are a couple of place to look.Check your timing with a light.If the timing is good, check the end play on the cam.....yup,it'll make you think your loosing a rod.

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