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Sparky

K-181 head(s) Commando-8

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The (original) head on my Commando-8 has a bad head gasket AND the spark plug hole is stripped. In my shed is a messed up Kohler K-181 with a good head that was originally on a 1974 B-80. 

  My question is...are these heads the same? The good head is 6 years newer but not sure if there were manufacturing changes made .

  Thanks!

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Should be the same. The weather is warm at your house now Mike so I would run out there right now and pull it! :teasing-poke:

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They are the same Mike.  When you order parts from Kohler, they only show 1 K-181.  :)

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Thanks guys! Once we get outa the single digit temps I’ll get into the shed and pull the donor head. 

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Finally getting into this repair. The head is off the Commando’s K181 and I was shocked to see NO HEAD GASKET!! This can’t be right can it? 

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I had a 301 with no carb base gasket that ran. Anything is possible. 

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That's only the second Kohler I've ever seen missing a head gasket - not sure how the heck anyone would do that , either intentional or otherwise but it's pretty odd. I'm surprised there isn't more damage showing to the top of the block and the head around the cylinder hole areas, crazy. The one I saw had traces off copper gasket spray - looks like they didn't even attempt to do that one this one...ugh.

 

Sarge

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  Ok....without my glasses I woulda bet the rent there was not a gasket. Turns out there was one! I’m not the most experienced tinkerer and I’ve never seen a smooth one like this. I’m used to the ones with a “rougher” surface like in the pic.

  Learned something today!

 

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LOL - I have seen those and thought the same - it's common aftermarket replacement type. The one I ran into literally had NO gasket, just spray copper seal and some incredible compression as a result - until it blew the seal and half destroyed the block and head as a result of being ran with the leak - it cut the head and damaged the top edge of the bore badly - that one got scrapped as there was no repairing it . It was eye-popping to the machinist , a sleeve wouldn't even fix the damage on the block, even with a new head.

 

Sarge

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  So yes, the newer head was a dead ringer for the older head! She is all back together now and seems to be running great. I wasn’t a fan of the chrome stack on a “patina” machine so before I fired it up it got a light sanding and a few coats of hi-temp black paint....much better B) !

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Nice! Keep 'er running strong again! :greetings-clappingyellow:

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