View Full Version : 3,000 hour oil change on a Kohler!!!

Eric ELM
08-11-2000, 07:48 AM
I did the 3,000 hour oil change on the older Dixie Chopper last night. I'm not sure if it's the extra Amsoil by pass filter, the Donaldson air filter, or just good luck, but it still runs like new. Repair work on this 22 HP Command engine has been an intake manifold gasket and I replaced one module on the electronic ignition. There has been several discussions on which engine is best, Kawasaki, Kohler, ect, ect. I've had both, but this is what I would get in this order on another machine. Yanmar diesel, I feel is the best, have 2 of them, had 3 total. Kohler is number two on my list, I've had 3 of them. Then Kawasaki, I've had 3 of them. The money you save on fuel on a diesel will pay for the machine over the extra years they can last which is a big plus.

The old Kohler is running strong and I'm hoping to get another 1,000 hours or more out of it. :)

08-11-2000, 10:10 AM
Great!!! are you using Amsoil in it or reg. oil and just the filter?I wonder what the most hrs. are on a Kohler. Hope ya get many more hrs. out of her.

08-11-2000, 12:37 PM
So I guess all you guys that say your lucky if you get thise Kohler's to run 20 hours, well you can shine Eric's up realllllllllly good, take and turn it side ways and.............

Eric, I gurantee this says something about the way you keep up your equipment. I'm sure you do you preventive maintenance, etc on it. I think the people that have all that trouble with their machines are the ones that wait till somethings broke to do the maintenance on them, instead of following a maintenance chart, etc.

Well good luck on your next 1,000 Hours!!

Eric ELM
08-11-2000, 01:20 PM
Dixie Chopper deluxe models come with an Amsoil bypass filter on them, plus a regular oil filter. The Amsoil bypass filter filters out dirt as small as 1 micron in size. I use Penzoil and an additive called Tufoil. I've used Tufoil for the past 12 years in all 4 cycle and diesel engines and it seems to work great. The most hours I've heard of getting out of a Kohler is my dealer who also has a lawn maintenance company. He has one with over 6,000 hours on it and has only replaced the rings once, but this is an exception, as he said. Normal hours from what I've heard is 3,000 with an Amsoil filter and coolers, 2,000 without is what DC figures as an average life of the Command. My first DC was the painted model which has no Amsoil filter or coolers, and I got 2,500 out of it before I sold it to a friend, who is still using it to mow his 1.5 acre lawn and a few others and after 2 years, he has had no problems with it. It also had Tufoil used in it and he is using it too. Some guys say additives are no good, but I've had great luck with this additive. :)

08-11-2000, 07:19 PM
I had a 1992 JD with a 20 hp kohler. Lasted over 2600 hrs. no problems with the engine. Until it died in the end. Just used 10w 30 all its life.

Eric ELM
10-26-2000, 08:35 AM
Another 200 hours has been added to the old Chopper and it didn't need any repairs at all in the past 200 hours. Even with this many hours on it, it is more reliable than some brand new mowers I've had in the past.

10-26-2000, 08:51 AM
Now with 3200 hour on your chopper how many miles have you rode?

Turf Kutter
10-26-2000, 09:32 AM
I think eric has the trick to have a great kohler engine to last from what he uses how about the others that had problems with their engines?Those that did what did you use for oil on your engines and how bad were your engines?

10-26-2000, 10:47 AM
While at one of the local dealers a while back, I saw a mowing crew come in. There were two very young adults that came in with a mower that had a Kohler engine that was locked up. (They had two very expensive mowers on their trailer) They said that they had already had lifter problems in the past. Just curious, I asked him about the kind of oil they used etc. When I asked about the frequency of oil changes, He replied "I don't have a schedule I go by, I just change the oil when I think it needs it." I wonder if that had any thing to do with the engine problems?

10-26-2000, 06:39 PM
At first i thought you were saying 1st change
in 3000.da I wish you the same results in
the future

John DiMartino
10-26-2000, 06:56 PM
Ricky,some of my equipment does not have hr meters,or they havent worked since the Carter administration.I use my judgement,guessing on when to change it based on ambient temp,load,operating conditions(dust,etc..)and most importantly-I look at it on the stick,maybe put some on a clean rag,inspect it,when its starts to darken or thicken when cold- i usually change it.If its something that rarely runs,Ill change it right before thanksgiving when i winter prep,and at leat once during the season.I always start up the stuff im not using at least once every 6 weeks or so,I let it run until I cant touch the oil filter and then 10 more minutes to make sure all the condensation is burned off the oil.I have never had a single engine problem until this year(not related).I have used this method on over 100 golf carts in my care and 30 or so commercial engines that I run/service in the last 11 yrs.I have to machines with over 8000 hrs on them,still original and strong.I swear by wix filters and Shaeffers oil/grease,its expensive,but not nearly as much as an engine.

[Edited by John DiMartino on 10-26-2000 at 11:00 PM]

Eric ELM
10-26-2000, 08:07 PM
If I would have gone in a straight line for 3200 hours at 10 MPH that it goes, that would be 32,000 miles and I probably would have gotten wet. Even at 8 MPH, that is 25,600 miles, so it has a few miles on it.

If you think about it, a car going 3,800 RPM's for that long, would have gone around the world several times. That would probably be close to 320,000 miles. I think any engine that runs for this long in these conditions would have to be considered an above average engine.

AWM, I think I will change the oil again in another 3,000 hours. :)

10-26-2000, 09:11 PM
General rule of thumb for small gas engines, 1000 hours is equivalent to 40,000 miles on a vehicle.

10-26-2000, 11:54 PM
We have two DC, our 1996 22hp Kohler has 2900 hours and the 1998 25hp Kohler has 2500 hours. I had two older DC with 20hp Kohlers that had 2300 hours when we sold them.

10-27-2000, 12:32 AM

I maybe getting off the subject a little, but I have a qustion for you about Kohler mufflers. My 25hp Kohler on the DC has blown out the baffles again. I purchased the machine April 1998, dealer replaced muffler October 1998. October 1999, dealer replaces muffler again. Now October 2000, the baffles in muffler have blown again. Have you or anyone else had experiences with this. I called Kohler directly, they said they have not had any problems. However; they told me 1500-2000 hours was what they expected from that engine. The muffler cost $145.00, I didn't think this should be a yearly thing.

Lawn Cruiser
10-27-2000, 10:50 AM
Oil is cheap and the best service you can do for your mower. If you keep it changed frequently you will have an engine that should last a long time. I like the customers that come into our shop and think because they have to add oil every once in a while that this is the same as an oil change.

Eric ELM
10-27-2000, 03:26 PM
From what I have heard, the normal hours for a Kohler is around 2,000 on a machine that doesn't have coolers, the Amsoil bypass filter, and Donaldson air cleaner like the DC's have. With these items added, it should last 3,000 hours or more. This all depends on how it is taken care of also. Regular oil changes, clean air filters, and oil filters sure help.

I haven't owned a 25 HP Kohler engine so I can't help you on the muffler issue. I did replace the muffler on my 22 Kohler at around 2,200 hours because it was getting a bit loud, but not to bad. I thought is was mainly because my equipment sits outside all summer on the open trailer. I replaced it with a muffler from a 25 Kohler, because my dealer said it was quieter, which it is. After a 1000 hours on this muffler it still is nice and quiet. Is your engine back firing or doing anything like that, that could cause it to go bad in that short of a time? It should last a lot longer than it is.

John DiMartino
10-27-2000, 03:49 PM
According to my dealer,the kohler command V-twins go thru mufflers crazy.He has plenty in stock,and told me to take off my heat shield by 100hrs or i will be replacing my muffler by 5-600 hrs.He says the shield brackets break off from the weight and the heat it holds in helps the baffles to break loose and aggravates the backfires when shutting it down.I left my shield on,for safety,and its stored in my shed where my children sometimes go,after its been running.

10-27-2000, 11:52 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the information, thats more than Kohler could tell me. I'm not ripping on Kohler, I'm just a little disapointed they could not help me the problem.


10-29-2000, 12:37 AM
if somehow I could modify the muffler to sound less like a lawnmower and more like a jet or something real powerful? BTW I have got Kholer 25 on a DC. Down here in GA people drills hole in there mufflers. They sound like Harleys. I remember one guy put straight pipes on his new turbo diesel Ford F-250. It sounded like a tractor. Anybody got any ideas on the Kholer muffler modifying?

10-29-2000, 01:12 AM
My 20 hp Kohler on my Grasshopper runs great with 2700 hrs, still doesn't burn oil. All I do is blow the dust off the engine everyday, and change oil every 100 hrs, and always have a clean air filter. Regular maintenance is all it takes, unless you got the 25 hp, well we've all heard about them...

Bluegrass Lawn Service
10-29-2000, 10:27 PM
we change the oil in our dixie's each week, filters every other week. by that time the oil is changing color form clear to a golden brown. Oil is cheap engine's aren't.

[Edited by Bluegrass Lawn Service on 10-30-2000 at 03:30 AM]

10-29-2000, 10:41 PM
Sounds great Eric, wish everyone could have your luck.

10-30-2000, 08:27 AM
How much oil does a 25 Kholer on DC take after draining oil?

10-30-2000, 08:37 AM
Are you using the 2.5" or 5" engine mounted filter? With the 5" filter I was using, I installed 2 and almost a half quarts. Start it up with 2qts. and warm up, let drain back to sump, and check repeatedly and add untill full. DO NOT OVERFILL!!! If you have the room, run the longer filter Fram PH3600.

Hope this helps.

[Edited by dixie1 on 10-30-2000 at 01:41 PM]

10-30-2000, 09:15 AM
I am using the Kholer oil filters. I put some motor honey in with oil to help keep it running cooler.

10-30-2000, 12:24 PM

If I were you, I'd skip the motor honey stuff. Unless your Kohler has a couple thousand hours, and clearances in the engine are severely worn, that motor honey will do much more harm than good. As my Father always said, "Where does it tell you in the manual to put that Sh*& in your engine?" Oil is just fine, and todays premium oils have all the additives you'll ever need. Just change it every 50 hrs with 2.25 qts of quality oil (10W-30). And a filter. Dont forget to put the drain plug back on!!