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DrabHorse

K181 timing and points

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I noticed the K181 in my C81 is starting to get more vibration to it most noticeable at higher rpm's. Since I've never checked out the points on this engine I decided to take a look. They looked ok and the gap was a bit tight at around .014. I lightly cleaned the points and adjusted them with a timing light to the S mark on the flywheel, ended up with a gap about .018 or .020.

Now I wanted to ask, I notice the timing mark is steady at and just above idle, but at any higher rpm's the mark is not visible all the time with the timing light, just every once in a while you see it. Is the normal or not? I didn't think there was spark advance on these, but then again I don't know. When I was real close to the engine doing the points and timing light, I did hear just a little pinging or knocking going on in there at the higher rpm's.

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The timing should not change with engine speed. I know that Kohler says that you can use a timing light, but the best way I have found to set the timing (points) is by using the static method.

With the spark plug removed, and the points set at .020, set your multimeter to continuity or the ohms mode, attach the meter with one lead to ground and the other to the points connection. If you don't have continuity, rotate the engine in it's normal rotation (clockwise looking at the flywheel) until you do. Then continue to rotate slowly until the points just OPEN. At this point you should see the S mark lined up with the mark on the bearing plate. If not, readjust the points and do the procedure again until the "S" and the mark are lined up just as the points open.

For a complete description of this technique with pictures, please refer to the "HOW TO" section on a web site by Matt Gonitzke, http://mgonitzke.net16.net/

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I always fine tune my points gap with a timing light, the static method gets it close, but the timing light gets it spot on.

Its not uncommon for the inductive pick up on the timing light to miss the odd spark. It is possible that you could have a missfire and that is why the timing light doesnt always flash, but I would think you would hear that.

I'm thinking that the very early K161's (pre ACR) had centrifical (spelling??) timing advance to aid them starting (due to the lack of ACR). Your late model K181 shouldnt have it.

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I just checked the points setting by the static method and they are okay, no changes needed from when I set it before with the timing light. I am going to borrow a timing light and see if the same thing happens as it did with my timing light just to rule that out. I am wondering if anyone else who has put a light on there engine has seen the timing vary widely though out the rpm range, or if it stays right on steady? It does not even appear to be close on my engine except at idle and just off idle, when I look at higher rpm's the light does continue to flash the whole time but I'm only seeing the timing mark line up once in about five seconds. The first thing I am wondering about is if it could be the coil, I don't know if this sounds dumb or not but could it be not "keeping up" and not putting out fast enough at higher rpm's? I was thinking to take the blower cover off and see just where that timing mark is going, which way and how far, to get a better idea whats going on. thanks for the help.

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I always fine tune my points gap with a timing light, the static method gets it close, but the timing light gets it spot on.

x2.

for me, the static time method is very close, but i feel the timing light is better. i just set the gap to spec, get it running and use the light to get it spot on. ive used the static method quite a few times, but for me its easier to use a light and adjust the gap than messing around with a dvm and adjusting the gap and turning over the engine at the same time. i find that i cant get the same result more than once with the static, and then i check it with the light and its still out a little. so the light gets the final say anyway.

just my experience........

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I just checked the points setting by the static method and they are okay, no changes needed from when I set it before with the timing light. I am going to borrow a timing light and see if the same thing happens as it did with my timing light just to rule that out. I am wondering if anyone else who has put a light on there engine has seen the timing vary widely though out the rpm range, or if it stays right on steady? It does not even appear to be close on my engine except at idle and just off idle, when I look at higher rpm's the light does continue to flash the whole time but I'm only seeing the timing mark line up once in about five seconds. The first thing I am wondering about is if it could be the coil, I don't know if this sounds dumb or not but could it be not "keeping up" and not putting out fast enough at higher rpm's? I was thinking to take the blower cover off and see just where that timing mark is going, which way and how far, to get a better idea whats going on. thanks for the help.

maybe the points spring is a little weak and the points are bouncing. try a new set of points and see if theres any difference.its just a thought, not based on my experience or anything.

edit: when ive used a light on the three or four of mine that i have checked it stays steady through out the rev range. if you use a dial back light you can change the timing of the flash to find out whether the spark is advancing or retarding in your situation.

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maybe the points spring is a little weak and the points are bouncing. try a new set of points and see if theres any difference.its just a thought, not based on my experience or anything.

edit: when ive used a light on the three or four of mine that i have checked it stays steady through out the rev range. if you use a dial back light you can change the timing of the flash to find out whether the spark is advancing or retarding in your situation.

Thanks for the idea, I had not thought of it that way. What points are everyone having good luck with? I remember reading a post here about the quality of points manufactured today and some of them not holding the setting correctly. I believe they said one of the aftermarket companies were actually making a better set of points than the ones available from kohler now a days, because the kohler ones are not as good as the used to be.

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maybe the points spring is a little weak and the points are bouncing. try a new set of points and see if theres any difference.its just a thought, not based on my experience or anything.

edit: when ive used a light on the three or four of mine that i have checked it stays steady through out the rev range. if you use a dial back light you can change the timing of the flash to find out whether the spark is advancing or retarding in your situation.

Thanks for the idea, I had not thought of it that way. What points are everyone having good luck with? I remember reading a post here about the quality of points manufactured today and some of them not holding the setting correctly. I believe they said one of the aftermarket companies were actually making a better set of points than the ones available from kohler now a days, because the kohler ones are not as good as the used to be.

i buy nothing but the kohler points and have had good results. i get them through napa. around $9.00 or something.

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I finally got around to looking at this again and I checked the timing with a different timing light that I borrowed and it shows the timing is right on at any rpm. I checked it back and forth between my light and the borrowed light and it looks like my timing light was the problem here. Thanks for everyones input on this, and overall these k kohler points and timing adjustments are easy to work on.

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I want to set the timing on my K341. I remember on my 69 Chevy, the points had an allen screw to adjust the gap, so it was fairly easyto adjust the dwell angle. Now I understand that there is no dwell angle to set onthe K Series. I thought I read some were Brian Miller used the Chevy points on K series engines. The points on K 341 are just like the K181, with a screw you loosen, to adjust the points with a sloted screw driver.What is the trick to getting the screw just tight enough, that you can adjust the timing with the engine running?

Joe in Norton

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There is no trick, just luck. :dunno:

I put a new set of Kohler points in my K241 and never could get a spot that would hold when I went to tighten them. I ended up going to NAPA and getting their store brand. They had a textured surface that held the adjustment much better than the smooth surfaces on the Kohlers.

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:dunno: :wh: Hi Bob is that a Napa # or is it a off brand if Napa do u know the # of the points. Gary B........... and would they work on 8hp/thru 12hp???

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