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Old 08-28-2015, 09:13 AM
DMoneyallstar DMoneyallstar is offline
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Location: NW Ohio / SE Michigan
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Solved! 2005 72' Exmark lacking power, 27hp Kohler SP27

So I bought a used but clean LZ27KC724 (~2k hrs) a week ago and, luckily, the seller was very honest with everything about the machine. Started, ran, drove, mowed perfect except there were only two issues:

1. It was lacking power when in full-forward (no load) and obviously lacked a little power when mowing in full-forward.

2. I was seeing some oil on the block and couldn't figure out the source

I was freaking out a little hoping the engine didn't have any major issues. I only paid $3400 for the machine, but engine replacements aren't quick nor cheap. So I dove into it...

My solution to problem #1:
I used the tach on my Trail Tech off my ATV and confirmed RPM to be down around 3300rpm. Manual says 3750, but I prefer 3600. With blades engaged it would mow 7mph, and no load would run 8mph (per my phone gps). I checked/adjusted the throttle & choke cables, reset the governor, checked the basics. I pulled the air canister (4 bolts and 1 hose clamp) to get a clearer look at the carb and that's when I found a broken spring along the choke linkage. Its a long spring with fine wire. The carb-end hook had broken off. I simply bent a new hook with the needle-nose pliers and re-installed. Also found the idle adjust nut (idle nut & bolt on throttle linkage) to be loose, so no telling if it vibrated itself down (advancing bolt inward raises rpm). With the cables adjusted, governor reset, and choke spring fixed...the rpm was repeatable and stable. I simply used the digital tach on the plug wire and adjusted the idle (nut tight) to bring no-load rpm to 3600-3650rpm. I reset the governor again to be sure. Now on full-forward she'll roll 9mph. And when I engage the blade and roll full-forward, the governor maintains power and allows an 8.0-8.3mph mow. Pretty awesome for a 10yr old machine!! I'm going to order a replacement spring simply because there's no telling it the old one is brittle and will snap again. Not everyone has a Trail Tech to use at will, but you can pick-up a "good-enough" digital tach on evilBay for like $15.

My solution to problem #2:
While hunting for an oil leak, I couldn't find anything that looked like a true source at the head gaskets, cover gasket, etc. Then while re-installing the spring in 'solution #1' I put some pressure on the breather hose (comes out top of crankcase and connects to air intake neck above carb). That rubber tube had become brittle and had cracks/splits EVERYWHERE. I searched around my shop and found a piece of rubber hose with a 90deg turn in it (happens to be a hose off an old dishwaser solenoid valve). I cut the hose to length and installed with a couple of cam clamps. Voila! I'm not going to order a replacement part because the hose I used is much more heavy duty that the original.


Anywho, I hope this helps someone!

Happy mowing from NW Ohio!

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2005 72" 27hp KC Exmark Commercial ZT (LZ27KC724)
2009 Craftsman LT1000 18.5 B+S
1990 Suzuki LT500R Quadzilla
1985 Honda FL350R Odyssey
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Laramie on 35's


Last edited by DMoneyallstar; 08-28-2015 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:17 AM
DMoneyallstar DMoneyallstar is offline
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Location: NW Ohio / SE Michigan
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Here she is...
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2005 72" 27hp KC Exmark Commercial ZT (LZ27KC724)
2009 Craftsman LT1000 18.5 B+S
1990 Suzuki LT500R Quadzilla
1985 Honda FL350R Odyssey
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Laramie on 35's

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Old 08-30-2015, 10:24 AM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Nice work! I am having trouble with a diesel tractor where the engine, particularly the right side, is being covered from top to bottom in what looks and cleans off like very black oil, yet the tractor uses very little oil. Do you think something such as your problem #2 could be my problem? I am not too mechanically gifted planning to have someone look more closely at this and a smaller problem once my season is over.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:46 AM
DMoneyallstar DMoneyallstar is offline
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Location: NW Ohio / SE Michigan
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Could very well be a breather or some other type of crankcase vent, or even a valve cover gasket on that one side. Check the filter and drain plug, too, for leaks. Has to be something on that one side.

Just check oil frequently until you have someone look at it. hopefully its something stupid & cheap! =)
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2005 72" 27hp KC Exmark Commercial ZT (LZ27KC724)
2009 Craftsman LT1000 18.5 B+S
1990 Suzuki LT500R Quadzilla
1985 Honda FL350R Odyssey
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Laramie on 35's

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Old 08-31-2015, 09:24 AM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Thank you and welcome to lawnsite. It is nice that you came with something to offer on first posts!
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:31 AM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Nice work. Patience goes a long way. No telling how many hours and parts an unskilled mechanic would have thrown at it at the dealer.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:42 AM
DMoneyallstar DMoneyallstar is offline
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Location: NW Ohio / SE Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
Nice work. Patience goes a long way. No telling how many hours and parts an unskilled mechanic would have thrown at it at the dealer.
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The dealer, LOL! I just learned the dealer lesson on my Onan 6.5kw generator. Paid them $270 to fix NOTHING and tell me it needs $1500-$2000 labor & parts. And then I spent $110 on parts and fixed it myself.

If you're not afraid to get your hands dirty and track down a shop manual (and a good informative owners' forum), you can so a lot of this stuff yourself.

FYI...just mowed my 2-acre property yesterday with the 72" Exmark and it was a flawless performance. It was her first "full mow". I couldn't be happier with the cut, speed & performance of a 10yr old mower.

Although I did find some debris/dirt floating in the right-side fuel tank, so plan on draining & flushing tank and lines out. It has an inline fuel filter, but some of the debris was size-able. Not sure if its old fuel residue, ethanol scale, dirt, or what. When commercial equipment sits, it can & will actual develop more problems than if it was in-use. These machines like to be run. Period.

Another lesson I learned when buying used commercial equipment...the outer 2 deck spindles are aftermarket and the middle is original. So the outside blades have a 5/8" bolt and center blade has a 15/16" hole with splined fitting. I bought 2 sets of original-spec blades with 15/16' center hole. UGH! I ended up at work on the Clausing lathe Sundya 6am making a pair of adapter-washers with 5/8" ID, 15/16" adapter OD, and 2" flange. Now I can use either 103-6404 (15/16) or 105-7784 (5/8) blades -- same blades except center-hole. Commercial equipment is usually an asset. Companies will do whatever they need to do to [1] keep their equipment earning $'s and [2] spending less $'s to keep it running. Don't be surprised to find a mix'n'match parts machine.
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2005 72" 27hp KC Exmark Commercial ZT (LZ27KC724)
2009 Craftsman LT1000 18.5 B+S
1990 Suzuki LT500R Quadzilla
1985 Honda FL350R Odyssey
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Laramie on 35's


Last edited by DMoneyallstar; 08-31-2015 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:54 AM
DMoneyallstar DMoneyallstar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: NW Ohio / SE Michigan
Posts: 10
Also found a split in the right-front tire, although the tire is heavy-duty enough to maintain composure and roll. Two new front slicks ordered and on the way. At least she'll have new rubber all-around now.

So far I've only got $3550 into her. =)
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2005 72" 27hp KC Exmark Commercial ZT (LZ27KC724)
2009 Craftsman LT1000 18.5 B+S
1990 Suzuki LT500R Quadzilla
1985 Honda FL350R Odyssey
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Laramie on 35's

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