How to Time a 16 HP Kohler Engine


The timing of a small engine is crucial for it to actually start and run properly. The timing on a 16-horsepower Kohler engine and all small engines is determined by the alignment of the flywheel. The flywheel is bolted onto the top of crankshaft and held at the correct position via the flywheel key. When the flywheel key gets worn out or shears off, the flywheel timing will be off and the magnet located on the flywheel won't spin past the engines magneto at the correct time, therefore preventing the spark plug from firing.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Kohler flywheel key
  • Flywheel holder
  • 3-arm gear puller
  • Unscrew the 8 bolts holding the flywheel cover over the flywheel on top of the engine. Use the proper sized sockets to remove the bolts around the perimeter of the cover. Pull the cover off.

  • Fit the flywheel holder over the fins on the outer edge of the flywheel. Have an assistant hold the flywheel holder firmly. Unscrew the flywheel nut from the center of the flywheel with the proper sized socket.

  • Hook the three arms of the gear puller under the bottom edges of the flywheel. Position the center bolt of the puller over the crankshaft where you just removed the flywheel nut. Tighten the puller bolt until the pressure breaks the flywheel free from the crankshaft.

  • Pull the old flywheel rectangular key out of the crankshaft under the flywheel. Push the new 16-hp Kohler flywheel key into the groove where the old one was set.

  • Slide the flywheel back onto the crankshaft so the groove in the flywheel hole lines up with the flywheel key pressed into the crankshaft. Tighten the flywheel nut back on.

  • Tighten the top flywheel cover back over the flywheel on the top of the engine.

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