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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Kohler K321 starter?

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Mad Farmer

08-07-2020 06:32:10

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Kohler Motor is in a Ford LGT 145 we've owned since new, 1972.

Been a wonderful tractor. Still runs strong. Original engine and drive train internals.

A couple days ago starter gave a brief squeal after starting. I pulled starter and drive was fine. When I turned motor by hand I got a few squeaks from front bearing area. I put a couple drops of motor oil on the shaft, stopped the noise. Also seems to start like normal again.

So is front bearing on the way out? Anybody have directions for servicing these starters? Non-Chi-Com parts sources?

I need tractor for now for a few more lawn cuttings and yard work. I don't want to make the problem worse though.

We have some shops local that do electric motors. One has rebuilt a Ford 9n genny in the past.

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Mad Farmer

08-09-2020 09:29:36

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
I've already got a ratty Jacobsen parts tractor. I few years back the plastic steering wheel broke on my Ford. Could find used online but ~ $50-75 w/shipping. I got the whole Jacobsen for that, but it was w/o engine.

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Mad Farmer

08-08-2020 18:46:03

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
daisyman and T.R.K. thanks for input.

I saw a video of putting one of those starters together, 4 brushes and springs. Saw one great idea on assembly, a plastic sheet with a shaft sized slot. Press down all the brushes with the sheet, slide in the starter shaft, then slide out the plastic sheet.

I had great fortune today. My Cousins were cleaning out a barn with a LGT 125 in it. They had ran the tractor years ago but it threw a rod or something like that. Been in the old barn years. Property being sold, got the whole tractor free.

Lots of good parts, nearly no rust, deck in excellent shape rust free w/good blades/belts. Tires good no dry rot, fronts need to have beads seated/flat. Downside is it's not a hyd lift for implements/deck.
Motor was pulled and stored inside, don't have that yet. I assume starter is w/engine. Will have to see what let go?

Only part that was trashed on the tractor was the plastic front grill.

I've a parts bonanza!!!!

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08-08-2020 20:19:59

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-08-2020 18:46:03  
You've got the bug now, and you're going to have to fix up your parts tractor. That's the way it starts, there's no end to it!!! He He!

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08-08-2020 18:20:05

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
I'm with Daisyman on this. Lets see how long it is before your starter has problems again before we make any drastic plans.

We are Kohler dealers where I work. I don't know if we can supply any parts for that starter or not through our channels. Kohler is like everyone else, they are going to unit replacement (unit like a New starter) and doing away with a lot of their repair parts.

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08-08-2020 15:26:59

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
Heck no, you're good to go. Two drops of oil after 50 years of operation doesn't seem too bad, probably good for another 50. If it was worn, it wouldn't be squeaking, it would be rattling. You, might, however, want to do the same for the back bushing, but you'll have to loosen the bolts holding the starter together, and VERY gently slide the end plate off just far enough to get a couple drops it there. There's two styles of brush assys. One is on the o. d. of the commutator, and the other is pressed against the end of the commutator, and neither are much fun if you've never taken one apart before. You don't want all the springy things flying everywhere, so just take it apart enough to get your oil in there. Oh, and while you're in there, take a peek at the brushes to see how worn they are. They'll last a long time if the tractor is well taken care of, as it sounds like your's has been if you've had it since '72. The actual run time on a starter is very short on a good running, tuned up Kohler. My humble 2cents worth and that's about what it's worth.

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08-07-2020 20:22:34

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
OEM parts are available at your closest Kohler dealer and also available online. Unfortunately, many Kohler parts are made in China. Good luck.

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08-07-2020 07:31:28

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 06:32:10  
They are rebuildable and parts are available online.
New aftermarket units are available online.
IT's tight in there and if you have big fingers like mine, difficult to work on.

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Mad Farmer

08-07-2020 12:05:26

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to steve_in_mo, 08-07-2020 07:31:28  
Are NOS OEM parts available, not Chi-Com crap?

If American stuff lasted ~50 years I'd even look at used, rather than Chi-Com manure.

I'm not buying any parts made of, "Chinesium"

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08-07-2020 20:14:11

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 Re: Kohler K321 starter? in reply to Mad Farmer, 08-07-2020 12:05:26  
Best bet might be a small engine shop that has a tractor graveyard. Those engines are pretty common.

You may or may not not find real NOS OEM parts. You might get lucky, but the problem I have is that a lot of new parts in OEM company boxes are likely to be Chinesium but priced several times as much as the "honest" Chinese parts.

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