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tntatro

Question About Leaking Head Gasket Cause (K241)

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tntatro

Hello, the first Kohler engine I rebuilt seems to have an issue with the head gasket leaking. I had the cylinder bored to .020" over, crankpin machined .030" under, new valves, seats re cut and flattened the head on a piece of glass with sand paper. When I first rebuilt it I forgot to run it for 20 minutes, let it cool completely then re torque the head gasket. It started leaking the first time I mowed. I let it cool and re torqued it and it seemed fine for a while, maybe between 50 to 75 hours. Then I noticed a small dark spot on the top fin right next to the gasket which I'm pretty sure was oil. Since the first time I flattened the head I bought a surface plate so I flattened it again on a surface plate and re installed it with a new head gasket. I'm pretty sure I re torqued it also. I have since traded the tractor to a friend and moved. My friend said the muffler fell off and was asking me how to fix the threads. I realized the block must be getting too hot if the pipe unthreaded from the block and had her take off the tin and look at the fins. It is leaking again, this time on the flywheel side. I think it has around 100 hours on it now since the rebuild.

 

My question is, what are likely causes of this? The top of the block looked okay to me. I'm wondering if maybe the head bolts might be worn/stretched or maybe I didn't do a good job on the valves being my first time and caused overheating? I don't think the block is cracked (at least when I rebuilt it) because I sprayed some stuff on it before I rebuilt it which is supposed to show any cracks. Maybe ignition timing off? The fins where not plugged but I forgot to ask about the flywheel screen. It is a K241 with the K301 block. Any thoughts on what might be happening here?

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tntatro

Here is a link to the original rebuild of the engine. It is five pages long but if anyone is curious enough to help figure out the problem then here it is:

 

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squonk

I always install new head bolts. Grade 8 flange head and I add thick washers too. 

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tntatro
1 minute ago, squonk said:

I always install new head bolts. Grade 8 flange head and I add thick washers too. 

That would be an easy thing that she can do if she can get a torque wrench. I just used the existing bolts when I rebuilt it..

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tunahead72

@tntatro  I took a quick (but not complete) look at your rebuild thread, and a couple of things jumped at me...

 

At some point you mentioned having a problem with the breather assembly on this engine, did you check that out carefully to make sure it was clean and assembled correctly?

 

Also, is your friend running a 48" mower with that engine?  Some will disagree, but I think that's too much mower for a 10 HP engine.

 

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tntatro

 

7 minutes ago, tunahead72 said:

@tntatro  I took a quick (but not complete) look at your rebuild thread, and a couple of things jumped at me...

 

At some point you mentioned having a problem with the breather assembly on this engine, did you check that out carefully to make sure it was clean and assembled correctly?

 

Also, is your friend running a 48" mower with that engine?  Some will disagree, but I think that's too much mower for a 10 HP engine.

 

I think the breather was just leaking oil from the gasket. That's something I'll consider checking when I go there some day if she doesn't get it figured out. I don't think she can handle messing with that. It does have a lot of dust and oil on the engine but I don't think that's abnormal for these due to the breather and governor shaft. I don't think I assembled it wrong.

 

It has a 42" rear discharge deck. The non running Raider 9 I just got has a 48" deck which I thought seemed a little big for a 10hp engine. I suppose if they didn't mow in 3rd gear and kept up with the lawn it might have got by alright. 

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tntatro
20 minutes ago, tunahead72 said:

@tntatro  I took a quick (but not complete) look at your rebuild thread, and a couple of things jumped at me...

 

At some point you mentioned having a problem with the breather assembly on this engine, did you check that out carefully to make sure it was clean and assembled correctly?

 

Also, is your friend running a 48" mower with that engine?  Some will disagree, but I think that's too much mower for a 10 HP engine.

 

I'll also add though that she isn't the one who uses that mower much, her boyfriend does and I think he beats the crap out of it. He's kind of the type that does nothing more than gas it up and use it. Every time I get over there I notice they have a tire on at least one of their mowers that is nearly flat. The first thing I told her to do was check the oil, she said it was good. They do a ton of mowing and some on rough ground where horses often walk all over and make it all bumpy. That guy would run it to the ground and be like "Duh, I didn't know. " He once nearly cut through the mule drive shaft when a bearing went on one of the pulleys. Another time he drove one all around with a flat tire and destroyed the tire that could have been tubed had he not drove it like that.

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RED-Z06

42" is alot for 10hp if the grass is less than kept, ive seen nearly 290⁰ at the head vs the normal high of 260⁰ just from letting the grass go a couple more days.  If they aren't adept at tweaking on an antiquated engine it may not be an appropriate tractor for them.  Id start with a new oem gasket, hit thr new gasket with high temp spray copper on both sides, new bolts, and torque in sequence...see where that takes them.

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lynnmor
On 5/13/2022 at 8:30 PM, tntatro said:

I'll also add though that she isn't the one who uses that mower much, her boyfriend does and I think he beats the crap out of it. He's kind of the type that does nothing more than gas it up and use it. Every time I get over there I notice they have a tire on at least one of their mowers that is nearly flat. The first thing I told her to do was check the oil, she said it was good. They do a ton of mowing and some on rough ground where horses often walk all over and make it all bumpy. That guy would run it to the ground and be like "Duh, I didn't know. " He once nearly cut through the mule drive shaft when a bearing went on one of the pulleys. Another time he drove one all around with a flat tire and destroyed the tire that could have been tubed had he not drove it like that.

Home Depot makes disposable mowers for that kind of person.  You are wasting your time, some cannot be helped.  Best Advice

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tntatro
7 hours ago, RED-Z06 said:

42" is alot for 10hp if the grass is less than kept, ive seen nearly 290⁰ at the head vs the normal high of 260⁰ just from letting the grass go a couple more days.  If they aren't adept at tweaking on an antiquated engine it may not be an appropriate tractor for them.  Id start with a new oem gasket, hit thr new gasket with high temp spray copper on both sides, new bolts, and torque in sequence...see where that takes them.

She's willing to work on it or get it fixed. She has two Wheel Horses, the other one only she drives and hasn't had problems. 

 

This will be the third new gasket on that tractor in around 100 hours of use, maybe 125. I owned it up to around 75 hours. I think there's something more going on. I like the copper spray idea. 

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RED-Z06
4 minutes ago, tntatro said:

She's willing to work on it or get it fixed. She has two Wheel Horses, the other one only she drives and hasn't had problems. 

 

This will be the third new gasket on that tractor in around 100 hours of use, maybe 125. I owned it up to around 75 hours. I think there's something more going on. I like the copper spray idea. 

Gasket quality can mean alot too.  I put new gaskets on my onan and blew both in a couple hours.  Replaced, blew those.  Pulled the old oems out the trash and put them on..no more problems there 

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tntatro
1 minute ago, RED-Z06 said:

Gasket quality can mean alot too.  I put new gaskets on my onan and blew both in a couple hours.  Replaced, blew those.  Pulled the old oems out the trash and put them on..no more problems there 

When I first started rebuilding Kohler engines I used some of those cheap gaskets in the k181's but I'm pretty sure I put the metal one's in this one. 

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tntatro
7 hours ago, lynnmor said:

Home Depot makes disposable mowers for that kind of person.  You are wasting your time, some cannot be helped.  Best Advice

He actually has his own Husqvarna mower. He hasn't used it for months because it would't start. When the Wheel Horse broke down my friend said she was going to get the Husqvarna fixed. I told her I'd help her figure it out. It turned out that the battery terminals needed to be cleaned. He's not very helpful when it comes to fixing things, she has to do everything.

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RED-Z06
46 minutes ago, tntatro said:

He actually has his own Husqvarna mower. He hasn't used it for months because it would't start. When the Wheel Horse broke down my friend said she was going to get the Husqvarna fixed. I told her I'd help her figure it out. It turned out that the battery terminals needed to be cleaned. He's not very helpful when it comes to fixing things, she has to do everything.

Sounds like she got a real winner there...soft hands, likes soy, probably has a man bun and drives a Prius

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lynnmor
1 hour ago, tntatro said:

He actually has his own Husqvarna mower. He hasn't used it for months because it would't start. When the Wheel Horse broke down my friend said she was going to get the Husqvarna fixed. I told her I'd help her figure it out. It turned out that the battery terminals needed to be cleaned. He's not very helpful when it comes to fixing things, she has to do everything.

That's why I suggested the disposable mower, if it won't start just kick it to the curb and he can buy another.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

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tntatro

I told her to check the flywheel screen and she thinks it's very likely it was plugged with grass. She's working now so can't look at it. I suggested giving it new bolts, gasket and spraying with the copper spray or just re torquing the bolts and have her boyfriend take better care of it and see if it leaks again. I hope she goes with the new gasket and bolts.

 

She just texted me back and said her boyfriend is going to have to just use his mower. 

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tntatro

She took off the head and showed pictures of the gasket and surfaces. It doesn't look bad but I can see where oil had got through in places. Basically, around the intake and the area opposite the intake showed signs of oil leakage. I told her to get some copper gasket spray and clean up the gasket and surfaces really well and see how that goes using the same gasket.

 

I'm sure I did a good job flattening the head. I suspect the block itself might be a little off. I know the previous owner ran it for all he could. It was a standard bore but had to be bored to .020" over to get out all the wear. It also has a fin on top that is warped from heat. The piston was also cracked in half and the skirt in pieces. If I ever get my hands on that engine again I thought about gluing a sheet of sand paper to my surface plate and flattening the top of the block. I've never heard of anyone doing that but it's all I can think of as to why it keeps springing leaks. Maybe the copper adhesive will work though.

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tntatro
On 5/13/2022 at 7:17 PM, tntatro said:

The non running Raider 9 I just got has a 48" deck which I thought seemed a little big for a 10hp engine. I suppose if they didn't mow in 3rd gear and kept up with the lawn it might have got by alright. 

Not related to topic but I just measured the Raider 9 deck today and it measures 46" total width and probably 42" cutting width. That makes more sense for that machine.

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