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View Full Version : Almost new 15hp Kohler won't start...


topsites
03-22-2007, 07:53 PM
I just put this engine in, I may have put 2 hours of run time on it and it ran fine.
So last night I started it to load it up and it ran fine then, also.
Get to my 1st yard, unload, and s.o.b. fired and kinda ran but wouldn't get up in the rpm's enough, and kept cutting off because of that. After so many pulls, it stopped firing completely.

I can't remember how many times I pulled that string, probably a good 20 or 30, but finally I loaded that sucker back up (fun without power), drove home and swapped it out with the other. When I got home, I tried starting it again and it sputtered a little but that was it. I used a spark checker, that is good, replaced spark plug just in case (gap to .030) removed the air filter and it's definitely getting fuel...
Tried starting fluid, that don't do anything.

I did find this little spring, but there's no telling where it come from, I include a picture just in case it looks familiar but it could be off something else just as well...

Anyway, dunno what to do lol, any ideas would be great.

FIXDISS
03-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Is the choke openning after you move the throttle back to run position ? Where did you find spring ? Are you getting black smoke when it fires up ?

topsites
03-22-2007, 08:23 PM
Is the choke openning after you move the throttle back to run position ? Where did you find spring ? Are you getting black smoke when it fires up ?

Yes, the choke closes and opens with throttle.
I've tried various throttle settings, 2 or 3 or 4 pulls at a time, from fully open choke and no choke wot, to fully closed idle (open choke only). Usually these engines start with a half a pull so to speak, I gave it everything I had and nothing, or maybe a sputter but as time went on, usually nothing. Yes, I guess it could be flooded, but I've never had them act like this, not the Kohler...

I found the spring on the front of the deck, about between the casters, resting against the little retainer wall thing...
That was after I got it home and unloaded it, it was actually when I got back home and tried to fool with it again.
No smoke, some gas smell sometimes.
The previous spark plug was sooty black (I think this means it got fouled?) and again the engine has maybe 2 hours on it, ran strong until this morning lol.

Thanks in advance for the help.

FIXDISS
03-22-2007, 08:30 PM
Wish I could be more help. Not sure bout the spring. Maybe Restrorob will chime in and help you out.

DiyDave
03-22-2007, 08:40 PM
Didja check to see if you have compression?

Roger
03-22-2007, 08:58 PM
Is the engine a ProCommand? You may wish to check the choke more closely. Is the butterfly closing ALL THE WAY when you move the throttle to the choke position?

I have a ProCommand, and getting the choke closed totally is important to starting. If the linkage moves a bit over the course of the season, I find I need more pulls on the rope to get it fired. After making a slight adjustment, the starting procedure returns to what I expect.

In your case, maybe the linkage needed a couple of running hours to get seated, and now isn't closing the butterfly properly. Just one more thing to check.

Jason Pallas
03-22-2007, 10:20 PM
Is there any chance that the flywheel key has sheared off and the machine has slipped time. This would cause you to see a spark, but the timing would be so off that it wouldn't fire. It's unusual that you don't even get a sputter with starting fluid.
Give us some more info.... Also, if the plugs are really black and carboned up, you may have a valve problem. Try new plugs - sometime carboned plugs will give you a weak spark that's strong enough to see but not strong enough to run the engine.

FIXDISS
03-22-2007, 11:45 PM
OK. One more thought. That spring looks like it could be out of a fuel pump or even some kind of relay. You say you are getting fuel so just for s and g try to locate the wiring harnes that connects to the kill wire from engine and disconnect it. Make sure you have some insulated grip pliers available to pull plug wire off cause you want be able to shut it off otherwise. If she fires up then hunt for bad relay or safety switch.

thecrankshaft
03-23-2007, 09:50 AM
You say you are getting fuel so just for s and g try to locate the wiring harnes that connects to the kill wire from engine and disconnect it. Make sure you have some insulated grip pliers available to pull plug wire off cause you want be able to shut it off otherwise. If she fires up then hunt for bad relay or safety switch.

He says he has spark, so the engine kill wire shouldn't be grounding.

I agree with the fact that the choke needs to close COMPLETELY. Your choke most likely has two or three holes in it - I have had success plugging one of those holes, but do it right - you don't want that rivent or plug coming off.

Flywheel key is another good idea.

topsites
03-23-2007, 10:45 AM
Yeah, thanks guys for all the help, but I've decided to take this one in and have the dealership look at it, hopefully they can fix it quick. I just can't take pull starting this beast any longer lol, I've just about enough strength left to push it back up the trailer ramp one last time and then I'm done with that. Man that rope wears me out...

I checked the choke, I could check compression but I don't see that, the flywheel should be good or I'd notice it on the rope, not saying it couldn't be something but I've suspected valves myself and the whole thing is I think we're taking stabs in the dark because we either don't know or you can't see it, so I think it's best someone have a look.

barnard
03-24-2007, 07:17 PM
Heres my bet. The choke isn't opening up when you move throttle cable out of the choke position. its a spring loaded linkage .

topsites
03-28-2007, 10:38 PM
Yeah, lessons learned:
1) If you mail order an engine, despite the shipper's claim that ANY authorized dealer will repair under warranty engines, please note: NOBODY will work on it lol.
So, the dealer guys tested it and same results (well kinda duh but at least I know it's not me), took it someplace else, same dang song and dance... They referred me to a 3rd place and on my way there I got stuck in traffic and a phone call for an estimate came in so I went did that instead.

Got home, pulled the valve cover off (that thing says OHV on it), and found the upper valve's rockerarm and a couple of pieces lying about, the pushrod was kinda there, too...

Of course I never got a pic of that, but here's a pic of things after I fixed it (the pink circle is the nut that came loose):

topsites
03-28-2007, 10:41 PM
Hopefully it will hold, it was partly stripped and I think I'll want to re-order some parts, but where can I find a parts listing, wth is that nut called, how about the bolt it tightens onto? Other than that, it appears the engine must've crapped out during shut down or start up, there appears literally no other damage (got lucky lol).

Have no way to test it until tomorrow, the cover uses a liquid gasket (in a tube pcv stuff) and it takes 24 hours to cure, I'm sure it will run my only question is for how long that will hold (and whether it's properly adjusted) or will it come loose again, dunno...

No way to tell but I did turn the rpm's back down, I strongly suspect that was partly if not wholly responsible.

FIXDISS
03-28-2007, 11:31 PM
Glad you found your problem. Never suspected that on new engine. Anyway what you have there is called the rocker arm retaining nut. If it or the stud is stripped then you will be pulling it apart again . Fom the picture it appears you have the adjustable valves in this engine. (Look at top of stud and adjusting nut. If the adjusting nut has a hex shaped set screw in it then you have adjustable valves.) Post back for adjustment procedure if you need it.

topsites
03-29-2007, 02:16 AM
Well, I'm sure you're right, I'll order the nut and stuff tomorrow, last time I seated something that was partly stripped it was wheel bearings (lasted 6 months maybe a year, but like you're saying...) and here if it fell apart while running wot omg...

What a pita, transmission was a similar nightmare, is it always like this with mail order parts? geez, time it's all said and done I could've paid the dealer for it to begin with... Well ok, I won't be playing stupid games with the rpm's, awwwrite lol.

But yeah, I could use that procedure, it's got that hex screw in the center, I just set it to where the other one was, but I'm sure it could use further adjusting, once I order the parts and get it all back...

FIXDISS
03-29-2007, 07:17 PM
Well crap ! I have the complete Kohler Command 15 pdl downloaded on my computer but I can't for the life of me figure out how to send you the page you need .You can click on the Kohler icon at top of this forum and navigate your way right into kohler service manual pdf downloads.

topsites
03-31-2007, 10:03 PM
Well crap ! I have the complete Kohler Command 15 pdl downloaded on my computer but I can't for the life of me figure out how to send you the page you need .You can click on the Kohler icon at top of this forum and navigate your way right into kohler service manual pdf downloads.

Yeah, that's really cool, thanks!