23 Hp kohler-oil leaking and burning. what to do???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Well things are looking bad for my 23 hp Kohler engine on my Dixon. I was having some carb. problems and took it to the dealership for repair. While it was in the shop I mentioned that it was also using oil, about a half quart a week. they did a pressure check on the engine and found that the left side intake valve is leaking "halfway up red", and the right side exaust valve is leaking "just into green". Now just what their scale means there I'm not totally sure, but they told me that it would be ok for a while. Power is still pretty good and I upped the RPM's to 4,100 and it was running better than ever for a couple weeks.

    The past 2 weeks I have developed an oil leak, pretty much right after I had it in the shop and they did their pressure test. Now I'm dripping oil everywhere, but only when the engine is running. It is on the oil filter side. I replaced the valve cover O-ring and the oil filter, thinking maybe one of those was leaking but i didn't stop. I have de-greased that side of the engine twice now but the air blowing when it's running sprays the oil all over and I can't tell where it's leaking from. I'm getting oil on driveways and sidewalks, as well as a puddle where I stop to dump grass at the truck in the street. I NEED TO GET THIS FIXED!

    Anyone else had oil leaks like this?? I'm afraid with the amount of oil it's burning alone that it's ready for some kind of re-build. That's not really feasable mid-season.... BTW. the engine has roughly 1,400 hours on it. hour meter died at 976, so i have to guess now...
  2. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,154

    I would rebuid it or repower the mower, upgrade.
    4100 rpm, I could be wrong, seems awfull high to me, I run mine at 3650 rpm's

    BALDEAGLE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    sounds like she's ready for rebuild- can't imagine it will take being over-revved for very long.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    over-revved? I was talking to the Dixon reps one day at a trade show and they were telling me that the kohler engines can run way faster than industry standard. somewhere around 6,000 rpm before the valves start to "float". I asked them about 4,000 or so and they said it's ok. I know another guy here that runs the same mowers as I do and his are running around 4,500 (at least it sounds like it. i can tell how fast their rapping from listening, and i just set mine the same... The 3650 rpm "magic number" is usually there to keep blade and blower rpm or the tip speed within specs, and usually dosn't have much to do with top engine performance. The first thing every new mower gets is a little tweak of the rpm's, and that's everyone I know too...

    I dunno, there are many smarter people than I ! But I know the cut and bagging quality difference btw 3,600 and 4,000 rpm. it goes from barely working to always working. same was true on my Ex-mark, cut went from crap to nice with a bump of the revs. Of course that machine was running about 3,300... no wonder the cut was crap!
  5. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    With the higher rpms, comes higher oil pressure. Thus the leaks.
    Cut may improve, but engine reliability will suffer.
  6. Jimmyed

    Jimmyed LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Posts: 82

    Huh? thats like asking ford if the chevy's are any good.

    Kohlers engines arn't built for that kind of rpm stock. sounds like you have probably ruint your motor. Ive built a few dozen pulling motors and it takes alot of parts/machining to make one run 4500 all the time.
  7. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    i've been having an oil leak too, right near the spark plug. how do you check your RPM's? is there a guage to buy or do you have to have a certified tech look at it?

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