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ts923
05-10-2008, 10:59 PM
I originally posted this question in the Homeowner's Assistance forum, but was directed by another member to post it here as I would get better results.
Hello all, Brand new to forum, glad I found it! I have an Ariens GT20 I bought back in '98 for my 6 acre lot ( 3 1/2 + and increasing each year of mowable area ). I'm having an issue this year getting it started and my lawn is growing very fast m ( haven't cut it yet ) I thought it might had been the battery so it was replaced ( under warranty no cost.) Then I heard a Clicking sound when I turned the key so I replaced the solenoid, not the fix. I then figured it might be the ignition switch, (working on troubleshooting that now.) In the meantime I am able to turn the engine over by jumping the solenoid with the positive cable from the battery. It will crank over just fine but won't start. Upon further looking into this I noticed it's getting gas but no spark. Here is my dilemma. It is hard to access the ignition coil on this unit. It is behind a couple of access panels. I went to Ariens site and looked at a parts blowup and they don't even show the coil. I even did a web search to no avail. Does this model even have a coil? If not how does the spark get generated? I followed the spark plug wires (2) to the panel, so I'm thinking it's located behind that. Any help would be appreciated. It is an Ariens GT20 garden tractor with a 60'' deck and a Kohler 20 hp engine (twin cylinder). Thank you.
Edit: It is an M20S engine /spec 49533 ser # 2413014576 and the Ariens tractor model is a 931034

Sharpcut 1
05-10-2008, 11:04 PM
Make sure key is in "on" position, or you can crank till you're blue in the face and not have any spark. Both cylinders going at once is pretty rare. probably a safety issue, especially with no crank. If you can isolate the kill wire out of the harness (Unplug it) and crank over andhave spark, it's a key or safety issue.

ts923
05-10-2008, 11:43 PM
I don't have the electrical schematics for this tractor. Is there an easy way to locate the kill wire in the harness to disconnect? I know there are 2 safety type switches on this tractor, one in the seat that shuts the engine down if the blades are engaged and you get off the seat, otherwise I have been able to start the unit in past years without sitting down. The other one is located next to the "gear lever" (which slides forward to go faster, backward to reverse.) There is a "notch" where you are supposed to place the lever when you go to start the tractor, and if I put my finger in the slot I can feel a rubber flipper which I believe the lever must contact to be able to start the tractor. I will look at the online parts breeakdown and my tractor to follow the wires from these switches and try to locate the kill wire. Thank you.

FIXDISS
05-11-2008, 12:05 AM
On my mv-18s there is a harness just in front of the oil filter that has a connector there which has 2 wires going up toward the underside of fan shroud. the white wire is the kill wire. You may need to connect a jumper from the purple wire to the purple/black connector of the plug but leave white one off. Spin engine over to see if it starts or fires.If it starts up you can only shut it down by grounding the white wire or pulling both plug wires . Hope this helps.

Bill Kapaun
05-11-2008, 12:12 AM
Here's a link to the engine service manual.
http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinecatalog/classic_engine.jsp?clseng=142560&clsfam=Magnum

Most likely, you'll have 3 wires going up under the engine shroud. 2 should be from the alternator and be the same color.
The 3rd should be the kill wire.
Keep in mind that sometimes a mouse can get in there and eat the insulation, shorting the wire. It happens much more frequently than one would expect.
Anyway unplug it and see what happens. If still no start, use a volt ohm meter and check the free end to engine ground. IF 0 Ohms, it's shorted under the shroud.

GravelyNut
05-11-2008, 07:29 AM
Try http://partsradar53.arinet.com/Scripts/ImgServ.exe/convert?ilFN=D%3A%5CCatalog%20Data%5CEMP_IMG%5CARNS%5CIMAGES_2%5C02%5C25%5C0015.TIF&ilSC=27&ilIV=0&ilBR=0&ilIF=J&ilRE=24 Should give you the wiring diaghram you need.

ts923
05-11-2008, 04:08 PM
UPDATE: I found a connector coming from the back of the tractor to the front, and I unplugged it. (There were two wires on either side of the connector.) The tractor started right up and ran fine. I let it idle for awhile while I "buttoned " everything up. I got on it and drove to the edge of the lawn and set my deck height and then pulled on the lever to engage the blades, and nothing . If I keep the engine running and try to reconnect the connector the engine dies immediately. I started looking at the two safety switches that I am aware of, (I think there's only 2) and I disconnected one of the wires to the switch by the forward/reverse lever and nothing changed. I then did the other wire and still the same results. I don't even know how to disconnect the seat one as it looks difficult to access, and I don't see where I can disconnect any wires on that one. There are two black, small rubber (?) cylinders that the 2 wires that come from the switch pass through but I don't see where they can be taken apart. The wire colors are green and white. In the front the wires that come after the connector, one goes to the front of the engine and the other goes and follows along a path alongside the spark plug wires as they disappear under a plate (cover). I took the plate off between the seat and the dash and followed the harness, but I didn't see any breaks or possible areas of trouble. The wires are all taped together from the factory with electrical tape along the whole stretch. All I want and need to do at this point is to get the blades to engage so that I may cut my lawn. I can deal with the full repair after I get my lawn mowed, and order any necessary parts for repair. Is there a temporary fix to just get the blades able to work so I can cut my lawn?

Bill Kapaun
05-11-2008, 05:08 PM
Did you TRY disconnecting the kill wire to the engine?

ts923
05-11-2008, 06:06 PM
After posting my last post my neighbor came over to look at it again with me. The main problem I am having now is getting the blades engaged to cut. (I can worry about why it won't start w/ the key after I cut my hayfield err, I mean lawn.) He took off the clutch switch that engages the blades on the dash and we cleaned it , that didn't do the trick. I do have a new question that might be related to this whole mess and it has to do with the volt meter. When the engine is running, shouldn't it be registering at least something or shouldn't the needle move? All through the troubleshooting process, the voltmeter has not moved at all and it makes us think that, that may be part of the problem. Yes? Another thing I noticed is that when I had the harness that comes from the rear and has the 2 wires possibly from the safety switches connected, the engine would NOT start when the ignition key was "ON" and I jumped the solenoid. After removing the switch at the speed selector and connecting the wires that went to it together, I was able to start the engine with the key "ON" and by jumping the solenoid and the harness was connected together. Although it would only run for a few seconds before stopping. I'm wondering if it's something having to do with the relay that is near the ign. switch or the clutch switch that may be bad. If I disconnected the harness from the back with the wires from the safety switches is that the same as disconnecting the kill wire to the engine?

Bill Kapaun
05-11-2008, 06:26 PM
Most likely not since those wires may go into various other switches and/or relays.
Disconnecting it AT the engine bypasses all that stuff!

ts923
05-11-2008, 06:39 PM
Most likely not since those wires may go into various other switches and/or relays.
Disconnecting it AT the engine bypasses all that stuff!
Is it fairly easy to locate the kill wire to disconnect it from the engine? I have wires going all over the place and they go under a panel which is hard to remove. Am I looking for a specific location to disconnect it from? Is it attached to the engine or another item such as a relay or other part? I'm going to take another look at the wiring schematic in the meantime. Thank you.

ts923
05-11-2008, 06:45 PM
Another quick question . On the parts breakdown for electrical there is a part called a "time delay module".What exactly does that part do? It seems to be located under the ignition switch and it's wires hook into the harness that includes the ignition switch and a relay mounted nearby. ( That relay that is mounted near the ignition switch - what is the purpose of this part? It's just listed as "relay" and as stated earlier it's wires go into the harness that includes the ignition switch.

Bill Kapaun
05-11-2008, 07:26 PM
Is it fairly easy to locate the kill wire to disconnect it from the engine? I have wires going all over the place and they go under a panel which is hard to remove. Am I looking for a specific location to disconnect it from? Is it attached to the engine or another item such as a relay or other part? I'm going to take another look at the wiring schematic in the meantime. Thank you.

Read post #5

Sharpcut 1
05-11-2008, 09:45 PM
Like Bill and I recomended, disconnect the kill wire AT the engine. Your clutch switch also acts as a safety, and if it thinks the blades are on with nobody in the seat (when they really are'nt) it will kill the engine. With the kill wire disconnected at the engine, it can't kill it. You can jump the clutch switch from power in to power out to see if your clutch comes on. Take your volt meter to the battery. You should have 12.6v dc with the engine off, and at least 13.5 with it running, even more if you have a voltage regulator on the side of the engine. You may also have enough voltage, but your battery could be getting to much amp draw, thus you need a new battery. Good luck.

GravelyNut
05-11-2008, 11:55 PM
Another quick question . On the parts breakdown for electrical there is a part called a "time delay module".What exactly does that part do? It seems to be located under the ignition switch and it's wires hook into the harness that includes the ignition switch and a relay mounted nearby. ( That relay that is mounted near the ignition switch - what is the purpose of this part? It's just listed as "relay" and as stated earlier it's wires go into the harness that includes the ignition switch.

I will assume that you looked at the link I posted in message #7. That wiring diagram is for the GT20. The time delay relay ( #17 ) is for keeping the engine running for times when you bounce off the seat. Depending on the module, it can be up to 30 seconds. If you have the brake on, the PTO clutches off, and the tractor in neutral, the relay should be out of the circuit and the engine will keep running without anyone on the seat.

ts923
05-12-2008, 12:16 AM
I will assume that you looked at the link I posted in message #7. That wiring diagram is for the GT20. The time delay relay ( #17 ) is for keeping the engine running for times when you bounce off the seat. Depending on the module, it can be up to 30 seconds. If you have the brake on, the PTO clutches off, and the tractor in neutral, the relay should be out of the circuit and the engine will keep running without anyone on the seat.

Yes I did , thank you. It is a little hard to read and I can only enlarge it one time by clicking on it. I'm an amateur when it comes to deciphering electrical schematics, I understand them to a point and then get confused following all the wires to certain points. I also have been looking at another electrical schematic on the Ariens site similar to the one you posted. This one I can enlarge quite a bit.
I kind of feel stupid because I am having trouble finding the kill wire at the engine as directed by member Bill Kapaun. A lot of the harness is wrapped in electrical tape pretty good from the factory and there are a lot of covers that go over the engine and gaining access to remove them is proving to be difficult. I have already snapped 4 bolts that hold these covers on and it is frustrating. I follow the wires from the switches on the schematic to see where they go but the schematic on the Ariens site, not the one you linked to are not complete. They show the wires but they don't show where they terminate.
There is the rear clutch in on of the parts diagrams. I wonder if that is the clutch that operates the blades. Another issue I am having is I don't have any place inside to work on this so I am at the mercy of daylight and the weather.

GravelyNut
05-12-2008, 12:47 AM
Yes I did , thank you. It is a little hard to read and I can only enlarge it one time by clicking on it. I'm an amateur when it comes to deciphering electrical schematics, I understand them to a point and then get confused following all the wires to certain points. I also have been looking at another electrical schematic on the Ariens site similar to the one you posted. This one I can enlarge quite a bit.
I kind of feel stupid because I am having trouble finding the kill wire at the engine as directed by member Bill Kapaun. A lot of the harness is wrapped in electrical tape pretty good from the factory and there are a lot of covers that go over the engine and gaining access to remove them is proving to be difficult. I have already snapped 4 bolts that hold these covers on and it is frustrating. I follow the wires from the switches on the schematic to see where they go but the schematic on the Ariens site, not the one you linked to are not complete. They show the wires but they don't show where they terminate.
There is the rear clutch in on of the parts diagrams. I wonder if that is the clutch that operates the blades. Another issue I am having is I don't have any place inside to work on this so I am at the mercy of daylight and the weather. The drawing is from that site. On the GT series there were 2 clutches. One for the rear and one for the belly. Make sure that both PTO switches are pushed in when testing. The GT series was also branded as a Gravely. Not one of Gravely's better sellers around here.

ts923
05-12-2008, 01:05 AM
That's what I thought. When I look at the electrical schematics or parts list I only see the rear clutch and not the one on the belly. I believe it is the one on the belly that operates the blades, not the rear or front ones. I'm going to try and look underneath the tractor and above the mowing deck to check out that middle clutch in the morning, (weather permitting.) One other quick question. I was looking through the Kohler manuals that were linked to me in a previous post in this thread and I was wondering, is the kill wire to the engine located on the ignition coil? They show the coil and in the middle of the coil they show a white wire that is labeled "engine kill". Is that the location I would disconnect it from the engine to see if that might be a root of my problems?

FIXDISS
05-12-2008, 01:14 AM
Indeed the white wire from coil is the kill wire.If you do not have the shroud off the top of the engine you should find a harness that runs from underneath the shroud down the engine block behind base of carb and there should be a disconnect that has a purple and a white wire going back toward top of engine and 3 wires in the other direction in the other half of that disconnect.

GravelyNut
05-12-2008, 01:10 PM
That's what I thought. When I look at the electrical schematics or parts list I only see the rear clutch and not the one on the belly. I believe it is the one on the belly that operates the blades, not the rear or front ones. I'm going to try and look underneath the tractor and above the mowing deck to check out that middle clutch in the morning, (weather permitting.) One other quick question. I was looking through the Kohler manuals that were linked to me in a previous post in this thread and I was wondering, is the kill wire to the engine located on the ignition coil? They show the coil and in the middle of the coil they show a white wire that is labeled "engine kill". Is that the location I would disconnect it from the engine to see if that might be a root of my problems?
The one that is called the front PTO clutch is actually for both the belly and front. It drives the mower or a snowblower. Item #23 is the front/belly clutch.
Item # 4 is the rear clutch. The top PTO switch ( #6 ) is for the rear in the drawing. Bottom switch ( #6 ) is for the belly/front clutch.

ts923
05-12-2008, 01:29 PM
The one that is called the front PTO clutch is actually for both the belly and front. It drives the mower or a snowblower. Item #23 is the front/belly clutch.
Item # 4 is the rear clutch. The top PTO switch ( #6 ) is for the rear in the drawing. Bottom switch ( #6 ) is for the belly/front clutch.

So that explains th eduplicate switches marked #6 on my diagrams. I was wondering why they show 2 when I only have ONE switch (#6) that operates the blades. I thought I had a rear clutch as that was told to me by the dealer when I bought the mower back in '98. I haven't had the need to use it yet as I haven't fully haven't developed plans for my property where I will need to use attachments that hook onto the rear, so I haven't paid as much attention to what is back there ...yet. I bought the tractor with many intentions, but had to put them "on the side" for the time being to to family matters , but hope to revive them in th efuture so I can use th efull potential of this machine,
Now I'll have to see if there IS a rear clutch back there, and if there is, why isn't there another clutch switch to operate that one?

ts923
07-09-2008, 12:21 AM
Update: I ended up having a local small engine repair business pick up my tractor to diagnose what was wrong. Finally got it back June 10th. According to the repair invoice, the problem was the "module update" Ariens part # 53125500 for $112.74. The counterman told me it had something to do with the safety switches and couldn't be bypassed. They also had to re-install the seat switch for the tractor to work. Now I'm playing "catch up" with over 3 acres of my lawn that I couldn't cut since the growing season began in late April. I figure 2 to 3 cuts within a week or so should get me back to where I should be.