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28 hp efi cold starting issues

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by dmkunkel, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. dmkunkel

    dmkunkel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have an Exmark 28 hp lazer z with the kohler efi engine. I have a blower for it so I use it in the winter. The first winter I used it I had no problems. Even on a -10 F day it started right up. I use the synthetic 5W30 oil which helps. The 2nd winter it began acting up and now it is doing it again. When I start it up it runs for about 2 seconds and then stops. After that it starts really hard. I have to crank it for a long time and it sputters and coughs and I just keep cranking until it sounds like it might stay running. Eventually it starts. Once I get is started it runs fine.

    I've had the fuel system drained, new plugs, new battery. I've monitored the fuel pressure when it acts up and it looks normal at 30psi. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    My apologizes for your issues. I am out of the office this week and have forwarded your post to our service department. Please be patient in our response.

    Do you have a local dealer in your area that you can get their opinion?

  3. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Are there any stored error codes? Turn the key on/off 3 times and after that leave it on. The light will start giving you blink codes. Count the flashes. It will flash a number of times...then pause. Write that number down and get ready for the next. Each code is 2 digits.

    I forget what the all clear code is. But if you go to www.kohlerplus.com and click on enter as guest or something. You can then download the service manual for CH or CV twin engines. Whichever yours is. I wanna say the fuel injection system info is in Section 5A or 5B or something like that. If there are any codes it will give you info on them.

    Also where do you have the throttle lever at when you are starting? If you are trying to start it at idle you may want to give it a little more gas when cranking.

    Dont keep cranking and cranking and cranking or you will be buying a shiny new starter.
  4. dmkunkel

    dmkunkel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the replies. When I check the code all I get is 61 which is everything is OK. I have the throttle at the halfway position when starting. I took it to one dealer once and another dealer twice. The first dealer drained the fuel system and put in fresh fuel, put in a new battery, etc. The second dealer is about an hour away. I would load it up, haul it to the dealer, and then leave it there for a week. It would start fine when I got it there. They would start it every day for a week and it would start fine. Then I would bring it home again and as soon as I tried to start it to get it off the trailer it would act up again. Same deal the second time although it acted up once for them but they couldn't determine anything.

    I believe the original battery (the one that worked fine for the first winter) was a 240 CCA. The first dealer put in a 230 CCA battery. The second dealer said the battery was too small. I believe Kohler recommends a 400 CCA for winter use. The biggest one I could find in the U1 group size was 340 CCA. I just put that in a week ago and same deal. Sorry for the long reply but as you can tell it has been a long process.
  5. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    One other thing to try is to cycle the key a couple of times before you actually start cranking it. Turn it on, leave it for a few seconds, then off. If you can hear the pump that helps. Just key on, listen for pump to stop, then key off and repeat a few times before you try to start.

    Where did the dealer that had it for a week store it during that time? Was it in a heated building? Was it outside in a yard? Was it cold enough to cause problems that week?

    Have you tried starting it a few days in a row? Just wondering if you only have problems the first day and it starts fine the 2nd day.
  6. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Also, I just looked to make sure...but 30psi would be low. Should be around 39psi. I thought 30 seemed low when I read that but couldnt remember the spec on the kohler engines. Couldnt remember if it was the same as an LT1 or not...LOL.

    Could be part of the problem.
  7. dmkunkel

    dmkunkel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    When I had it at the 2nd dealer I'm fairly sure it was cold enough to act up. I think it ranged between 15 and 30 that week. They were pretty good. They left it outside and always tried to start it first thing in the morning when it was coldest. I believe I even went there first thing one morning to see if I could get it to act up and I couldn't.

    Starting it every day doesn't seem to make a difference. One day I picked it up from the dealer and it started fine. I loaded it up, drove an hour home, then tried to start it and it acted up again.

    I'll do the fuel pressure test again. I remember it being ok at the time I checked it but now I'm not sure.

    I will try cycling the fuel pump a few times next time I try to start it. Thanks again.
  8. dmkunkel

    dmkunkel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Last night I hooked up the fuel pressure gauge. I cycled the fuel pump for 6 times before I tried to start it. The fuel pressure looked good (39psi). It did the same thing as before. After I finally get it running it runs really rough for a while and then it starts sounding better. Last night I noticed that after it was running good for a bit (maybe after running 2 minutes) it sped up noticably all of a sudden without any change in throttle position and then maintained the new rpm. I blew snow for about 20 minutes last night to make sure I got it good and warm.

    I tried starting it again tonight. Same deal.
  9. mowersower

    mowersower LawnSite Member
    from ia
    Messages: 7

    How has everyone been getting along with the efi engines? are they worth the extra money? Do you have more or less problems? Is their a difference in power?
  10. dmkunkel

    dmkunkel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Mine is a 2006 I believe. Other than this one nagging issue I have no complaints. I haven't had any issues with it in the summer. I have the 72 inch deck and I have been happy with the power. I knew I was going to get the blower so I went with the efi figuring it would be easier to get it going in the winter.

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