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Kohler Engine Failures

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by deskjob, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. deskjob

    deskjob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    My Kohler Courage SV600 20HP single cylinder engine exploded after 100 hours. The combustion chamber and everything mounted on it blew off the crankcase. It was factory mounted on a Cub Cadet LT1045 lawn tractor.
    This was not just bolts breaking, but an explosion out of the side of the combustion chamber.
    Is this typical of Kohler motors?
  2. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Posts: 912

    The Courage series engine is residential model, and isn't meant to be used in high hour applications.
  3. 4.3mudder

    4.3mudder LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,227

    Hmm, I have 200 hours on mine 22 Horse Kohler courage twin on a troy bilt ztr.
  4. a. palmer jr.

    a. palmer jr. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    The older Kohler cast iron engines were good. They usually just wore out rather than blow up.
  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    My first Kohler, a 13 hp Command, went out with a bang. It threw a rod, right out the crank case and into a Rhododendron bush, Kaboom! It had nearly 2,000 hrs though, never did anything to it but oil/filter and plug changes.

    One thing I don't like about the Command series, all the ones I have owned burn oil, after just a few hundred hrs, and they have no low oil sensor.

    So, if you are running Kohlers, check those oil levels every day! I also ran them a little over full, on the oil, it seemed to help on severe inclines, to keep them from running dry.
  6. a. palmer jr.

    a. palmer jr. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I have always checked the oil and greased my mowers before each use. Maybe it's overkill but it doesn't hurt. I currently have 2 Kohlers, a 13hp John Deere STX38 and a 1982 Cub Cadet which has a K301 log splitter engine adapted to it. I couldn't complain about either engine.
  7. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    your right, but 100hrs is nothing on any engnie short of a $150 3.5hp model made in china lol

    i have over 1200hrs on a 1989 briggs v twin before the vangaurds were out... sitll runs 85% strong. eats a tiny bit of oil and runs rough when starting.
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    Just junk that thing and chalk this up to experience. Courage engine= junk. Cub Cadet LT 1045= junk. What you have is a cheap junk engine on an even cheaper/junkier mower.
    As a former Kohler, and Cub dealer, I can tell you that your problems started the minute to loaded this onto your truck/trailer. Live and learn. Sorry you had to learn the hard way.
    Now, go out and buy a good quality mower at a real dealer, rather than a "big box" store
  9. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    That's gross over kill ... not to mention expensive !!
  10. a. palmer jr.

    a. palmer jr. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    My mowers aren't very new...the Kohler in the JD STX38 is aprox. 10 years old and the Kohler 301 in the Cub Cadet I bought new around 1994. I always thought that in older engines it's a good idea to check the oil before use. As for the greasing, I don't usually grease all the tractor, but I do grease the blade spindles because that part gets used the hardest, in my opinion.

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