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Old 04-06-2018, 03:47 AM   #1
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Kohler Generator Sound Shield

All,

I thought I'd post an issue with the sound shield on my 8kw Kohler generator. Just doing some routine maintenance I found the following:

Overall, it's SO TIGHT, that it's impossible to get to some maintenance things without removing it. And it's SO hard to remove a few parts that I just pulled the whole thing off.

With the Lazarette already insulated, I don't believe sound will be a big issue and if it is, I'll build a much easier to remove sound shield.

Things WITH the sound shield in place.....

Impossible to get to the coolant fill cap, it was pushed against the sound shield insulation. Impossible to get to the starter and anything on the back side. Impossible to remove the heat exchanger.

And really hard to get to a lot of parts unless they were right on the front.

With the shield removed, I can now crawl in on one end (after battery removal) and just lie there and enjoy an afternoon playing with the backside of my generator. A lot more fun after stripping the cover off of her.....
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:14 AM   #2
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At least on my Kohler 13kva genset, it is relatively easy to remove all sides/top of the soundshield. When I do my annual genset service, I just take all apart & off except the rear siding (nothing there I need to access). For in-between oil level checks, there's a small panel set into the soundshield I can use for access to the dipstick. Oil has never needed topping up between services, but if it did there's another small access panel on top that gives access to the oil fill point. Coolant is checked via a remote overflow bottle in my case. I suspect a tight soundshield is a quiet soundshield.
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:50 AM   #3
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I would be looking to make the sound shield easier to take apart.

hopefully you only need to take off one panel to do a fluids check (checking overflow bottle not expansion tank)...and see belt tension.

if its more than that, maybe a few viewports?

I think I would get rid of the genset and figure something else out than run it without a soundshield. I am looking to upgrade the noise barrier on mine this summer.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I would be looking to make the sound shield easier to take apart.

hopefully you only need to take off one panel to do a fluids check (checking overflow bottle not expansion tank)...and see belt tension.

if its more than that, maybe a few viewports?

I think I would get rid of the genset and figure something else out than run it without a soundshield. I am looking to upgrade the noise barrier on mine this summer.
Psneeld,

There's no way to make mine easy to take apart. I does have panels on the front, back and sides that come off easily. The back is a bit awkward to get to.
The top is impossible to get to. There's two inches above it and the deck, and zero space below it where the coolant cap is... in fact, the coolant cap is pushed into the insulation of the top.

And with just the frame, one cannot remove the heat exchanger and some of the hoses.

It took about three hours to remove the whole thing and it's not going back on. It's really a poor design.

If I can't stand the noise, I'll build my one sound deadening thing. I've got access to some pretty high tech sound shied materials that I've used in the aircraft business, but hope it's not needed.

There's a few things that boat builders do that just doesn't make much sense and this is one of them. It would make much more sense to just better insulate the whole lazarette, and mine already has some pretty think insulation there.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:03 PM   #5
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Aircraft grade insulation will probably not provide much of a sound barrier for a generator in a boat. Aircraft insulation like polyimide are extremely light and fire resistant, but will work no better than any other "soft" material as a sound "absorber." You don't want a sound absorber, you want a sound barrier. That's what the enclosure and the insulation provide.

If what you use doesn't weigh much of anything, don't waste your time. Mass stops noise, not foam




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If I can't stand the noise, I'll build my one sound deadening thing. I've got access to some pretty high tech sound shied materials that I've used in the aircraft business, but hope it's not needed.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:58 PM   #6
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Seevee,

About three years ago I removed the soundshield from the genset on my 400. I haven't regretted it for one minute. As you point out, maintenance was just too difficult to do with the shield in place. Even changing the zinc on the HE was a major chore. Without the shield it's still not perfect, but it's much better.

It makes me wonder about the other 400's out there. Have they never changed the coolant? Or the air filter?

I don't find the noise to be that much greater. It's louder than I would like in the cockpit, but very quiet inside the boat with the cockpit doors closed. Most of the time we run the genset we also run the air conditioners, so the doors are closed anyway.

If you end up fabricating a soft shield, please post a pic or let me know. I might be interested in making one. But if not, I can live with it the way it is.
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:49 PM   #7
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if I was worried about getting a heat enchanger off and it took an extra hour or so because of a sound shield, I would get another hobby....this is a 5 year cycle or greater.

for a genset, getting to fluid checks is important...usually everything else is much longer term maintenance.

I have worked on gennies where both me and my supervisor have been trapped/stuck in a boat for hours (Sea Rays around 28 to 31 feet)....big difference in accessibility and shield removal though. Those being gassers, they didnt even have shields but were mothers to work on.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
...Impossible to get to the coolant fill cap, it was pushed against the sound shield insulation. Impossible to get to the starter and anything on the back side. Impossible to remove the heat exchanger.

And really hard to get to a lot of parts unless they were right on the front.

With the shield removed, I can now crawl in on one end (after battery removal) and just lie there and enjoy an afternoon playing with the backside of my generator. A lot more fun after stripping the cover off of her.....
I know several that have removed their sound shields and have no complaints, if anything they like it better with out, for the reasons you mention. If you donít notice an increase in noise or itís aceptable, all the better. Definitely easy to service and inspect.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
Aircraft grade insulation will probably not provide much of a sound barrier for a generator in a boat. Aircraft insulation like polyimide are extremely light and fire resistant, but will work no better than any other "soft" material as a sound "absorber." You don't want a sound absorber, you want a sound barrier. That's what the enclosure and the insulation provide.

If what you use doesn't weigh much of anything, don't waste your time. Mass stops noise, not foam

:social:

Keys,

Not really. It works. BTDT
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
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Hi, Seevee, Actually I'm looking for a sound shield for my genny. Is it Kohler 8EOZ diesel? Mine is located under the living quarters and driving me nuts. If you still have it and want to sell it I'll buy it from you. I'm located in Fort Lauderdale. If the price is right I'll come over and pick it up?
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:45 AM   #11
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It took about three hours to remove the whole thing and it's not going back on. It's really a poor design.

We have an 8EOZ in the sound shield. I wouldn't at all say it's a poor design, just that the sound shield AND the genset installation position in our boat don't work perfectly together. IOW, not Kohler's fault, not something they could control.

-Chris
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