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K321 Balance gears

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#1 OFFLINE   pfrederi


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:02 PM

The C141 I got at auction this weekend runs rough e.g. a lot of vibration. She has the isolation/shaker mount but even just at cranking speed she bounces a lot more than any of my 12hp 301s. I had the head off to clean it and check the valves and found she has been overhauled at some point (.010 over on the piston).

I figure there are 2 possibilities here...One they left out the balance gears or two they didn't time them correctly. ( I did my M12 and it was a picky job putting the timing gears back in, but she is a lot smoother than this 321.)

I know a lot of people say get rid of the balance gears. My question is does that make the engine vibrate noticeably more???

Paul f


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Maintain 3 other for neighbors

#2 OFFLINE   TT-(Moderator)


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:01 PM

My question is does that make the engine vibrate noticeably more???

In short, the answer is no.
Since you know it's been worked on in the past, it is possible that someone could have installed a K301 crankshaft, which is dimensionally identical, but balanced differently than the K321/341 crankshaft.


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#3 OFFLINE   bowtiebutler956


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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:16 PM

I left the balance gears out of my K301 when I rebiult it, and it doesn't vibrate any more than it did before.


#4 OFFLINE   Duff



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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

Over the years I've read a lot of threads about this very subject here and the consensus has been almost unanimously that the balance gears are next to useless and, worst case, prone to grenade a block. I can't recall a whole lot of "positives" for keeping them in. A few people have suggested that Kohler must have put them in for a reason but I don't recall anyone saying why they did. JMHO......

Duff :thumbs:
Livin' life large in West Lebanon, NH! Two 312-8's, two 310-8's, a "mystery build" just beginning, and always looking.....

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:02 PM

To me it seems one of the reasons they are even there in the first place is just to provide lateral counter balance in response to the crank. Are they also designed to 'help' the crank out in ballancing the piston and rod as well?

#6 OFFLINE   pfrederi


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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

Well I guess its time to pull the engine and take off the oil pan for a look. I am hoping they screwed up the balance gear timing...Having to get a new crankshaft is not a pleasant thought. This project just got switched to a slower track.

This is a big week for my one of my other hobbies...The East Coast Military vehicle show at Aberdeen MD :)

Paul f


13 Horses of my own

Maintain 3 other for neighbors

#7 OFFLINE   Buckshot 1

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:07 AM

When I rebuilt my K321, I throwed the balance gears in the scrap pile. This engine is not in a WH, it is solid mount, no ISO mounts and I do not notice any difference in the vibration. When I rebuilt my K301, no balance gears and its also a solid monut. I had too many old timers tell me about the gernadeing balance gears. I kind of womder if Kohler got smart and realized the problem with those gears, which is why some engines have them and some not. Don B.
Don B., Ft. Wayne, IN. United States Air Force 1962-1968

#8 OFFLINE   Don1977


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

Kolher built engines with and without them, that should tell you that they are not needed.

#9 OFFLINE   pharmer



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:33 PM

I've read you may notice some vibration at low rpm but that's about it. I'm rebuilding my K321 right now, and the balance gears will be left out.

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