Need Kohler advise

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Ciero, May 18, 2008.

  1. Ciero

    Ciero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I am new to the site and I have read a lot of great info on here. But I have a question about my Cub Cadet. It has a Kohler 18hp magnum m18s from I guess the mid 90's. There are about 1045hrs on it. This is a mower that I got from my father when he passed away, it has been sitting for some time and all I knew was that it started smoking when he had. So I started it and there was a bunch of white smoke and would only run with it fully choked. So I searched and read to try and clean the carb. So I pulled and cleaned the carb. When I went to try and start it again the started wouldn't engage the flywheel. So I know I need a new starter to get anywhere. So here is my question. The plugs had oil on them and with the white smoke I am thinking maybe bad rings? Do I need to rebuild? When it did start the smoke would go away after running for a bit, it was fully choked so there was a little smoke. Where can I find a rebuild kit or a good site for parts for these motors/mowers? There are a couple things wrong with it so I am looking for somewhere to find parts. Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.
  2. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    Unless the motor won't turn, try pulling it and lubing the bearings. Also lube the bendix on it. Carb kits can be bought at any local Kohler dealer. Or any of the dealers who advertise here.
  3. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 921

    I'm assuming the motor spins but doesn't engage?
    Remove the starter, and clean/lube the Bendix drive.
    Stay away from petroleum lubes that will tend to gum up & attract dirt.
    Silicon type's work better, but in a pinch....
  4. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    also their was a problem with the breather valve on those magnums. you might want to check to see if it has the rubber valve in it they will cause it to burn oil. the rework switched it to the reed type valve.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I'm on my third 15hp Kohler cv15t and I assume these are similar enough for the explanation:
    As far as I know ALL Kohlers have self-adjusting hydraulic valves (lifters) and the following is normal behavior:

    Anytime a Kohler has been sitting for more than a few hours, be it overnight or some years, it can and will blow white smoke when starting and it could start sounding off like a Mercedes Benz diesel as well, this is ALL normal!

    For Kohlers the white smoke should disappear in short order, however the valve ticking may remain for up to 20 minutes as the hydraulics re-adjust themselves or however that bs works anyhow it should quiet down in some kind of order and before you're done mowing the lawn.

    In order to tell for sure if a Kohler needs a rebuild it really has to RUN first, and I mean RUN.
    But I would make sure it has FRESH oil and a new filter on it!
    Now if after 30 minutes or an hour it still acts stupid or worse yet it seizes, why then yes it probably needs a rebuild.

    As for the choke issue, that needs attention :p
  6. Ciero

    Ciero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Thanks for the reply's. As far as the starter, it was grinding when I would try and start it. Then it would spin freely and not engage the flywheel. I was worried the gears in there eventually grinded down. I will pull it apart and grease it.

    As far as the motor, how do I find info on the breather valve?
  7. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    you can probably receive that info from the manufacturer.
  8. Ciero

    Ciero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I took my air filter off and if I look down into the carb is see gas and it won't start. Does this mean that I probably bent the float adjustment or it is stuck open? To find out where the float should be, should I just google it? Sorry, I don't know much about carbs or these motors.
  9. Bill Kapaun

    Bill Kapaun LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 921

  10. VegetiveSteam

    VegetiveSteam LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297


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