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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Re: synthetic oil in a kohler twin

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Tom Arnold

06-04-2013 14:05:05
174.95.19.113



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Threads about oil choice are as pointless as discussions about politics and religion. There is no such thing as a single answer.

Your tractor has a Kohler KT-17 engine and hopefully it is not the dreaded Series One, which was a problem for many owners. If you want your engine to have a long life then put an hour meter in a convenient spot so you can track the actual amount of engine use. Then, create a log book so you can record the date, engine hours and what service work you performed. Keep a file with all the invoices for parts you purchase for your tractor.

Use a good quality motor oil, as per what KOHLER themselves tell you to use. Most likely, this will be straight grade number 30 detergent base oil and then change it every 25 hours maximum. What matters most to your engine is CLEAN oil that is always at or near the FULL mark on the dipstick.

Change the air filter on a timely basis and keep the engine tuned up once each year. Make sure the cooling fins on the block are kept clean and that nothing is blocking the air inlet on the front of the motor. It is important to keep your engine from overheating. Using a synthetic oil can help MARGINALLY with keeping the block temperature down but synthetic oil is not some sort of magical potion that can take the place of proper maintenance and timely oil changes.

Synthetic oil gets just as dirty as regular oil does. The only thing that helps dirty oil is an oil filter and the KT Series engines don't have one. One of the big advantages touted for synthetic oil is that you don't have to change it as often but that only applies to modern engines fitted with an oil filter. If you want to spend the extra to run synthetic, then by all means, do so as along as you adhere to the 25 hour oil change procedure called for by the manufacturer.

I don't know what make/model of hydro that is in your tractor but if you join Red Square, which is the dedicated forum for Wheelhorse tractors, you can find out there. See the link below.

Some hydro's come with an oil filter but many do not. Once again, the oil is the lifeblood and should be changed on a regular basis. We are only talking peanuts here expense-wise for the oil and it is always better to change it too often than not often enough.

Anyone who tells you that synthetic oil will extend the life of an old KT-17 engine, is doing so with absolutely no basis in fact. If running synthetic makes you a happy camper, then use it because it can't hurt to do so.

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Ralphwd45

06-04-2013 15:38:01
66.243.212.130



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 Re: synthetic oil in a kohler twin in reply to Tom Arnold, 06-04-2013 14:05:05  
I went to Red Square forum 2 weeks ago, when I got the tractor, and tried to join up, and got turned down. They say that I am already a member, and need to use my password. I have no idea what they are refering to, because I don't remember ever joining them, and have never needed to before! I recieved a owners manual with the tractor, but don't know the year of it. The guy I bought it from said he thought it was around 1984. It does have a white oil filter around the tranny area, as viewed from the rear of the tractor. I planned to post the info numbers on red square, and find out more about it, but now I will have to do that here on YT. If I can't find a way to get on Rd Sq. I reckon I will be bugging you guys with questions!

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Tom Arnold

06-04-2013 17:35:08
174.95.19.113



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 Re: synthetic oil in a kohler twin in reply to Ralphwd45, 06-04-2013 15:38:01  
Confusion does happen on forums, Ralph.

Use the link below. Fill in the form. Tell them that you do not remember any details about joining Red Square in the past but you definitely want to belong to the forum. Ask them to help you by providing your old screen name and giving you a temporary password so you can log onto the site. In the alternative, they could cancel your old screen name and allow you to submit a new application to join using a different screen name and password.

Most sites prohibit members from having multiple identities (screen names) and I think that's what's going on here. Work with them to get it sorted out because you need that site. Perhaps, if you have been using just one screen name everywhere, then it just a matter of them giving you the temporary password.

If there is a filter close to the trans-axle, then that is for the trans-axle and is a good thing to have. Try and find the brand and model number of the filter so you can purchase another one. There should be a tag on the trans-axle that identifies who made it along with the model and serial number. Once you have that info, you can go to their website and find out the correct oil to use so you can drain out the old, install a new filter and refill the hydro with the proper oil.

Some hydro's use ATF while others use 20W50 motor oil.

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