12-hp Kohler engine help

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by East Texas Pine Rooter, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

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    I have a 1989 Gravely garden tractor, with a 12-hp Kohler engine, with electric start. When i start to crank it, it sometimes just clicks, and i turn the key off and start over. After a couple of times, it will go ahead, and crank right up. Can you tell me what i need to check?
     
  2. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Battery leads for a start... then the battery lead to the starter and to the body , check for loose or dirty or rusty conections and if they get hot during cranking
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The small starter solenoid has the contacts inside oxidized IMO. A replacement solenoid for a small riding lawn mower costing around $5 at an auto discount store should fix it.

     
  4. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

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    Where is the starter solonoid located? What does it look like?
     
  5. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    trace the heavy wires back from the starter , it will be between the starter and the battery , they are usualy round , about the size of a can of baby food ,
    If it has one and it has not started but " still clicks "switch on then put a screwdriver across the two LARGE terminals on the solenoid , ( this should spark a lot be carefull about the Gas ) if it still clicks and dont crank its the starter
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Kohler electric start engines are designed to have failures. In the compression release system there is a weak spring that holds the flyweight decompression activator, on the camshaft, it has a milled trough where the flyweight gets hung up and will not work. The starter is not strong enought to start the engine without the decompression activation. To overcome this design flaw, which usually causes you to have to purchase a $90.00 replacement cam; is easy to do. You have to take the camshaft out and install a cap screw in a drilled and tapped hole you locate on the side of the cam gear; to prevent the flyweight to travel enought to get caught in the milled slot. After installing the cap screw travel stop it is necessary to peen the threaded end to prevent its looseing during operation.

    Kohler wants you to buy a replacement starter at $120.00, and then a $90.00 replacement camshaft to fix the problem; this is how they keep and their franchizees in business.

    If your engine still starts this has not yet failed, look to the electrical system as the cause, as mentioned above. Its when the engine only turns a partial portion of a complete rotation that this failure flyweight has succeded.
     
  7. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of replacing the mower when it quits. I had to weld the front wheel on the 42-inch mower deck. I am thinking about a zero turn mower. What is the best mower motor to look for. I have had bad luck with Briggs Stratton cast iron engine, mounted on a yazoo mower in the past, they might have emproved in the last 20-years. The mower i think, is only as good as the motor. I bought a JDeere with a Honda engine, The engine is grate, but the cast mower deck, and 5-sppeed transmission is shot.

    QUOTE=moopups]Kohler electric start engines are designed to have failures. In the compression release system there is a weak spring that holds the flyweight decompression activator, on the camshaft, it has a milled trough where the flyweight gets hung up and will not work. The starter is not strong enought to start the engine without the decompression activation. To overcome this design flaw, which usually causes you to have to purchase a $90.00 replacement cam; is easy to do. You have to take the camshaft out and install a cap screw in a drilled and tapped hole you locate on the side of the cam gear; to prevent the flyweight to travel enought to get caught in the milled slot. After installing the cap screw travel stop it is necessary to peen the threaded end to prevent its looseing during operation.

    Kohler wants you to buy a replacement starter at $120.00, and then a $90.00 replacement camshaft to fix the problem; this is how they keep and their franchizees in business.

    If your engine still starts this has not yet failed, look to the electrical system as the cause, as mentioned above. Its when the engine only turns a partial portion of a complete rotation that this failure flyweight has succeded.[/QUOTE]
     
  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ........................Briggs has bought out Snapper so Almost , IF not ALL , Snapper mowers will have a B\S engine and if you want a Kohler or Honda they're going to Over charge you greatly for that privilage , fordy.. :)