Super Z Kohler 27hp no power/knocking

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by ssgnai, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. ssgnai

    ssgnai LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I have 234 hrs on a 2004 72" Super Z with the 27hp Kohler engine. Change oil regularly. Always experienced the smoke at startup, backfire at shutdown, etc mentioned in other posts here.

    Daughter was mowing and came in saying it had limited power and was making a funny noise. Went out and listened. Regular sound at idle, knocking loudly at 3/4 throttle and above.

    Dipstick shows oil low - less than 1/2 way between fill marks, smoke coming lazily out of dipstick tube. 87 degrees today. Oil cooler looks slightly clogged, but not totally plugged. Original spark plug, fuel filter probably needs to be changed.

    I'm worried about the loss of power and knocking. I'll get a new plug and fuel filter, but I worry that isn't the problem. What should I be looking for? I check the oil when I use it and keep it full, but have been traveling and am not sure it gets checked by my son and daughter.

    Anyone with tips/similar experience?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    Get this mower to your dealer ASAP to prevent any more damage, if iit already has started.
     
  3. ssgnai

    ssgnai LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Update:

    Diagnosis - bad cam (worn lobes). Kohler sent a short block at no charge, but I was stuck with the $950 bill for the labor.

    Doesn't seem right that an engine with 234 hours (properly maintained), would have a cam failure. I think Kohler must agree, otherwise they wouldn't have sent the part.

    Its just no way to treat a customer. Having sent other business to Hustler, I'm now referring friends to other brands and other engines.
     
  4. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    I am really disappointed to hear it was a cam failure, but at the same time Kohler did partially warranty a unit that was a couple years out of warranty, I think that says a lot right there.
    I am sorry you feel otherwise, and I am also disappointed you wouldn't recommend the Hustler product due to a problem with Kohler.

    Pj
     
  5. ssgnai

    ssgnai LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thank you for your input.

    Hustler uses a variety of parts from many suppliers - from hydraulic units to wheels and tires, etc. Arguably the engine is the single most important part. That it would fail this early is just not right. Hustler should stand behind all its components (like the lifetime deck warranty) or let the purchaser deal directly with the supplier. I was not allowed to talk with the Kohler rep.

    I would be more understanding if a part had failed for lack of use or misuse or poor maintenance. Surely the engineer/practical fellow in you is as miffed as I that a CAM SHAFT would fail like this. A soft cast of the lobes is the type of hardness test that should have been tested for. Assuming Kohler does that type of testing, a poor part slipped through and providing a free short block is the easy way out - very little pain for Kohler doing that. Plenty of pain for me however.

    The rest of the Hustler machine works fine. But what good is it with a faulty engine?
     
  6. WildLake

    WildLake LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 368

    I had the same problem on a 27/60 lazer w/1200hrs. Dealer said its normal and happens even when you keep up on scheduled maintenance. Cost me 700-800 for the cam, a set of lifters and labor.
     
  7. ssgnai

    ssgnai LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Normal schmormal. I've turned several buyers away from my dealer and this brand. Caveat Emptor.
     
  8. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    I am sorry you feel this way.
    Kohler supplied you a very expensive shortblock at no charge when the mower was out of warranty by at least 2 years.
    I feel they took care of you very nicely.

    Pj
     
  9. ssgnai

    ssgnai LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    PJ,

    What engineering, casting/forging, testing, and assembly could you possibly conceive of that has a cam failure in 234 hours of use? A warranty tied to age in years for steel is an immaterial measure and an accounting/legal device to not have to track things. Provided there is proper lubrication (and the analysis showed no signs of improper lubrication), there is no excuse. The shortblock they provided is tacit admission of the problem.

    I'm way over feeling anything about it. The facts, however, stand for themselves.

    BTW, I have had one other cam failure in my years of experience. A '69 Fiat Spyder 800.
     
  10. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    These are questions you would need to ask Kohler, I am not a engineer.
    Kohler's phone # is 800.544.2444
    The fact is that they took care of you after the Kohler engine was 2 years out of warranty.

    Pj
     

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