Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

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Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Jeff M » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:45 pm

This is an email my son sent me today:

"I need some power equipment advice. I'm having second thoughts about the new Husqvarna. The thing is awesome and has tons of power. Blew every leaf in the yard clear into the woods yesterday and the cut is perfect. However..... I'm pretty attached to the Cub. I also can't help but think if I rebuild the Cub it will go another 40 years. I think the Husky will look like crap in another 5-10 years. I'd like to at least know what a complete Cub motor rebuild would cost before I do anything."

It's a Cadet 108, recent new clutch, tinware is pretty good. 44" mower apparently still pretty good too. He thought about doing the rebuild himself, but has enough other projects (including a 1951 Jeep restoration) that it probably won't work. The Husky is almost brand new and I believe he can turn it over and make a few bucks.

What would be the approximate cost of the Kohler rebuild done by a shop? I'm thinking $200-$300 or thereabouts...

Thanks!
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Eugene » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:11 pm

Jeff M wrote:What would be the approximate cost of the Kohler rebuild done by a shop? I'm thinking $200-$300 or thereabouts.
Previous to recent inflation I have been averaging just under $100- for a rebuild of a single cylinder Kohler engine. The but here is that I have just about all of the tools needed for an engine over haul and do all of the work myself. The parts normally used were rings, gasket set, ignition parts, some times an exhaust valve and very occasionally an over sized piston.

My guess is $400- to $500- for the shop work and parts. You could save a considerable dollar amount if you do most of the work yourself.

I'm partial to the older Cub Cadets. Inexpensive to repair when considering the cost of a brand new lawn mower. They are well built and last forever. You do have to spend some money occasionally to keep them running.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby JackF » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:27 am

I agree with Eugene on the cost. One other thing you have to consider if the engine cylinder bore is over .030. This means another block or if you can find a mechanist to put a cylinder sleeve in place.

I just overhauled a 108 engine not too long ago and the cylinder bore was over .030. I thought I could just take the block to any shop to install a sleeve and found out at least around here they didn’t sleeve something that small. After trying to find a block at a reasonable cost I called in a favor of a friend that knew someone who could do the machine work. It still cost me $60.00 to install the sleeve in the engine.

One other thing I found out was if you use a non Kohler piston the engine will make noise after assembly almost like if the engine is over bored. This happened to me and I tore the engine back down thinking the machine work was done wrong and found out the after market pistons make noise. No one could give me a reason except they just do.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby BigBill » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:31 am

Whats wrong with the 10hp kohler engine whats it doing? If its not too bad try some seafoam while he saves up some cash for the rebuild.

My 108 has some blowby when it seems to like over heat or run very hot. I believe the crankcase breather needs cleaning plus the valves need adjustment too. I had the head off and the cylinder walls are so smooth they look like new with no scores at all. It doesn't blow any oil. We must remember these were designed for 30wt oil. I was runniong my favorite 10/40wt oil but they all seem to use oil with the lighter weight. As soon as i went to the 30wt oil from walmart the oil usage stopped.

You could get another block on ebay. I have a stash of 10hp and 12hp blocks now just incase.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby BigBill » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:38 am

One other thing I found out was if you use a non Kohler piston the engine will make noise after assembly almost like if the engine is over bored. This happened to me and I tore the engine back down thinking the machine work was done wrong and found out the after market pistons make noise. No one could give me a reason except they just do.[/quote]

My experiences with non orginal equipment is we need to measure the new piston in hand before we bore the block to make sure we don't over bore it. I measure the piston first then bore it.

We can get a spark knock from the timing being off or the knock from the low octane gas were using too. I always run high test in everything today.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Jeff M » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:10 pm

The problem is major-league oil consumption. He's decided to unload the Husqvarna and concentrate on the 108.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Rudi » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:32 pm

Jeff:

Good on him for staying with the 108. As you know Gord has one and it is in his words one of the best he has ever had. The only other brand that can compare to it is an old MTD that weighs a ton. I like my JD but I will be glad when I can get my 129 up and running :!:
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby JackF » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:51 am

BigBill wrote:
My experiences with non original equipment is we need to measure the new piston in hand before we bore the block to make sure we don't over bore it. I measure the piston first then bore it.

I used a Stens Corporation piston. According to Kohler's specs, when using an OEM or aftermarket piston in their engine, the piston-to-cylinder wall clearance should be no less than .007" and no more than .010". The new piston was the same specs as a Kohler OEM piston. My engine was fitted (at my request) at .007 thousands of an inch. I checked the specs before assembly and after I ran the engine and hearing the noise it made I still doubted the machine work and rechecked.

Also I had to rebuild another brand engine which needed a piston and I installed Stens Corporation piston in it and it makes the same noise.

BigBill wrote:
We can get a spark knock from the timing being off or the knock from the low octane gas were using too. I always run high test in everything today.

For as I know the timing is at specs. Is there something more I should know about timing on a K301 engine? Both engines make noise when they are not under pressure, so I see no need for higher octane fuel.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Jeff M » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Well, the first quote he got for a rebuild was (ready for this?) $800. He's shopping around some more. I told him that if he decided to go ahead with the rebuild he'd best be on the lookout for a parts mower and mule drive.

And yes, Rudi, I certainly remember Gord's 108. Please greet him for me if you remember to do so (and if he remembers me!).
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby Rudi » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:35 am

Jeff:

Gord does remember you ... and we talk about that trip to Dave's often.

Rebuilds on engines can be expensive. I am having my 12.5 HP B&S rebuilt for my Craftsman - been 2 years - doing it as he has spare time and trying to locate parts - so far it is over $200.00. We replaced the top end (boss got torn off) with the top end from another one that the bottom end went. Hopefully I will get it back at some point.
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Re: Cost of Kohler rebuild for 108

Postby 169Cub » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:28 am

Here is another idea, the Kohler engines are moslty the same except for the 16hp. Since it is a wideframe, you could put anything in there up to the 16hp. The bolt pattern is the same for all the engines where they mount to the frame. You could look around for another engine that is in good shape and save the cost of having someone else rebuild it for you. The other thing is this, you could rebuild it yourself. A good Kohler manual will take you step by step through the rebuild process. The only tough part is adjusting the automatic compression release, where you have to carefully bend the tab on the cam that lifts the valvle during start up to assist in turning the engine over. There are plenty of knowledgeable people here that would help you out if you need advice/assistance.

I had that same issue with the K341 I rebuilt in my 169. She really makes noise when she runs, and I mean loud. Almost sounds like a rod knocking, but it is not. I ran it hard at the Ohio Plow Day after I rebuilt it, and have cut grass, plowed my garden, rotor tilled it, and have done numerous other things, all with that knocking sound. If I rebuild it again, I will go to the Kohler piston if they still make them when I rebuild it again...
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