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Almost new 15hp Kohler won't start...

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by topsites, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    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 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    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 ?
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    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 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    Wish I could be more help. Not sure bout the spring. Maybe Restrorob will chime in and help you out.
  5. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Didja check to see if you have compression?
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    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.
  7. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    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 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    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.
  9. thecrankshaft

    thecrankshaft LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    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.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    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.

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