Walker Engine Replacement - Murphy's Law

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Westbrooklawn, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    Well, I finally broke down and ordered a new 20 HP Kohler for my Walker GHS....the old one had bitten the dust. Got the best Price from Tulsa Engine Warehouse ($1365 delivery included), and it was delivered to a local Fed Ex Freight location for me to pick up.

    Went to pick it up and noticed a hole in the side of the cardboard shipping box (looked like forklift fork damage). Mentioned it to the dock guy and we opened it up, pulled the engine out, and didn't see any damage.

    Got it home, pulled the old engine out and changed pulley, set the new one in, hooked electric and exhaust back up, and went to insert mounting bolts through the bottom frame into the engine base. Quickly discovered that mounting holes were not tapped from the factory. Had to go and buy a 1/2"13 tap, came back to the shop and was lucky enough to be able to tap them from the bottom through the mounting holes......put everything back together, added oil, and tried to start it up.....selinoid "click.....click.....won't turn over...starter starts smoking. Check all the wiring....can't find a problem. Decide to pull the starter off my old engine and mount it on the new one.....quickly find out the quickest way to do that is pull the engine out again.......Walkers are cramped!

    As I am taking the new starter off and putting the old one on I discover that the casing on the new starter has a dent/crease in the side. In checking further I discover that would have been right where the hole in the box was. Apparently a forklift did the damage. The good news is that after changing the starter out and putting everything back in it cranked and ran like a charm! I'll be going back to Fed Ex tomorrow to see if I can get the new (damaged) starter replaced.......it should be interesting.

    Sorry for the long post, but I needed to vent after everything that went wrong.....I saved about $700 by installing the engine myself....but I also spent about 10 hours messing with it....... Makes you wonder......
  2. YardMeister

    YardMeister LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    Sorry to hear about the troubles you had with the engine swap. Sounds like it ended up ok though. Good luck on the starter problem with the shipping company. They can be hard to deal with at times.

    I have a 2003 Walker GHS that I purchased new. I was wondering how many hours you had on your 20 horse when it went out? I have the Kohler 25, but expect they all give about the same life span.

    I run two machines with Kohlers and one with a Kawi. They are all within two years old. No problems yet, but I think that I like the Kohlers best.

    The Kawi is fine, but it always gives a black puff of exhaust when I start it up. Dealer says that it is simply fuel left in the engine when it shut down, and is not harming anything.

    The Kohlers start and run like champs, but if I don't let them idle for a couple minutes after running them hard, they backfire when shutting down.

    Good luck.
  3. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    My kohler 20 only has 790 hours on it......not what it should have to be worn out. The problem was aggravated when I had an earlier problem with a blown head gasket and blown intake manafold gasket that a local "authorized kohler repair shop" didn't diagnose properly (they are out of business now by the way). By the time I got it fixed by someone who knew what they were doing, it had done too much damage to one cylinder from overheating, and that is why I finally decided to replace it. I got tired of having to change out a fouled spark plug after about 4 hours of run time, and the power was going way down.

    I would expect to get 2000 hours out of a kohler........we'll see if I do better on this one.

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