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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Re: Kohler oil question

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Tom Arnold

07-16-2014 23:03:40
174.95.9.234



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There is nothing detrimental about using the Rotella 15W40 because it will behave like a 40 weight oil when the engine is at operating temperature. Rotella or DELO are the two best choices because both are designed for use in diesel engines.

The Kohler K/M Series engines along with several other L-head cast iron engines from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's were DESIGNED to burn small quantities of oil during normal operation. The key issue here is that of OIL LEVEL because it is critical to keeping the crank throw and main bearings heavily lubricated at all times.

Therefore, if you want to use a multi-grade oil, then you must keep a much closer eye on the dipstick level and keep the crankcase topped up at all times. If you forget to do so, then it only takes a few minutes while mowing a ditch or hill on the cross-slope to cause an oil starvation situation and the loud bang you hear will be the con-rod snapping in two.

Kohler themselves WARN owners about increased oil consumption when using multi-grade oils when the ambient temps are warmer than 32F. Very few owners have hour meters installed on their tractors and they end up guessing when it is time to change the oil. With no oil filter, it is essential to the life of the engine to change the oil every 25 hours MAX or sooner if the conditions are more severe than normal.

Oil is cheap compared to the cost of rebuilding at changing it takes a lot less time than rebuilding does.

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D beatty

07-17-2014 07:33:45
24.12.128.33



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 Re: Kohler oil question in reply to Tom Arnold, 07-16-2014 23:03:40  
Tom I am not trying to dispute what your saying. But I have two of my Craftsman Garden tractors that are powered with Kohler ( 22 hp with 500 hours and a 25 hp with around 800 hours)and these engines never use a drop between oil changes. The Garden tractor in picture is Briggs & Stratton powered with the two cylinder opposed which was known not to be a high hour engine but this one is getting close to the 2000 hour mark. All my garden do run on Shell Rotella T 15-40. I don't use my tractors in winter so in the fall I clean,repair and pickel them for the winter.

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Tom Arnold

07-17-2014 15:31:53
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 Re: Kohler oil question in reply to D beatty, 07-17-2014 07:33:45  
Your Craftsman is powered by V-twin Kohler with OHV and a pressurized, fully filtered lubrication system. You cannot compare one of those engines to the L-head Kohler K and M Series engines on the issue of oil consumption. The modern OHV twins have much tighter tolerances in their design and manufacture.

Therefore, I do not dispute what you report about that engine. But this is an apple to oranges situation and unfortunately, so many of these discussions end up that way. One person cites their personal experience with their OPE but they do not take into consideration the technology differences.

Fords, Chevs and Dodges built in the 50's and 60's came with engines that routinely burnt about 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles or so. As someone who worked in Service Stations back then, it was routine for me to pop the hood and check the oil on every car that pulled up to the pumps for gas.. Those days are gone. Better metallurgy, better design, tighter tolerances etc all provide engines today that don't consume a pint of oil in 5000 miles or more

I cannot comment on your Briggs engine because I am not familiar with them.

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