Exmark 26 efi crapped out on me today.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by greenlawnlandscape, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. greenlawnlandscape

    greenlawnlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    My primary mower is in the shop. Went to my backup 60" Exmark with 26efi Kohler. I have not been able to keep a charge on the battery(new). Today while mowing it began blowing black smoke and idling roughly then died and would not start or even turn over. Any ideas what this sounds like? Also, I have a pretty good oil leak from the top of the engine. Took it to the dealer today. Mechanic said oil leak looks like a breather gasket. They will call with estimate for repairs. The engine has about 2700 hrs. Definately doesn't have the power that it used to. Wondering if I should just bite the bullet and put a new 26efi on it or short block? If anyone has done this let me know. And how much was it? :cry::cry::cry:
  2. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    man 2600 hrs!! put a new engine on it dont pay the dealer to fix that old girl. it will just break and let you down again soon.

    could be a voltage regulator.
  3. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Wow, Deja Vu. Man, this sounds familiar. After my Super Z was stolen two weeks ago I tried to go to the 26 EFI Exmark. I had put new cylinder heads, valvetrain and gaskets on it and upon firing it up it was running on one cylinder, blowing smoke like crazy and pouring oil out of the breather gasket.

    This mower has a lot of history. I'm almost certain it is cursed. It had a great deal of problems when it was brand new. After causing me a lot of distress, it was finally fixed the same day I purchased the Super Z. I figure the logical answer is, now that I have purchased a new Super Z, the Exmark should fire right up and run fine :D

    Seriously though, that is a lot of hours. How good a shape is the rest of the mower in? That 26 EFI complete is about $3000. It's a pricey dude. You could long block it for about $1500. Of course they don't actually sell a long block for this spec, but you could buy the shortblock and heads and do your own.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Pouring black smoke out of the exhaust is a EFI problem and not an issue with the engine itself. The computer needs a minimum of 7 volts to operate correctly. If you are having a problem with the engine charging the battery then I wouldn't expect that the voltage is where it needs to be. You must fix the charging system before proceeding any further.

    There is very likely nothing actually wrong with the engine or the EFI outside of the charging system. I certainly woulldn't entertain replacing it until you have a real reason to, like it threw a rod out of the side of the block or something like that.
  5. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Have you changed the battery? You said it was a back up so i assume it may have been sitting. You may want to try that first ,as it is a cheap repair, i went through a bunch of stuff with mine just to figuged out that is all it was. Mine would even start and run for a couple mins before acting up.
  6. grassaholic

    grassaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Richard is right. The black smoke is probably due to the low voltage and a problem with the EFI. The leaking breather gasket is also a big problem. I've replaced many of these on Kohler command engines. Some of them are just slow leakers which wont kill your engine right away, while others just gush engine oil and could possibly drain the engine of enough oil to lock it up. If yours is a slow leaker then that means it's probably been leaking for a long time. All the oil thats been leaking has been running down all over the engine and collecting all the dust and debris that is blown over the engine by the fan on the flywheel. When that happens the engine can't cool itself properly and you end up with major problems. Hopefully your mechanic can fix the battery charging problem, fix the gasket and everything is cool. With the amount of hrs. your engine has and the leaky breather gasket, I'd say it's time for a new engine.
  7. greenlawnlandscape

    greenlawnlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Dealer called on my 26efi kohler. They checked out engine. There is a bad cylinder, leaking head/valve, and lots of blowby. I'm not a mechanic so this doesn't mean jack to me. New engine would be $3780 + 2 hrs labor with a 2 year full warranty. The 26 has been discontinued. Exmark has gone to a 36efi. Short block would run about $2400 with only a 60-90day warranty. The rest of the machine is in great shape. Never any probs with hydros etc. Please give me some sound advice. My primary mower is a Gravely 260 with 650 hrs. It has been nothing but problems from day one.It is currently in the shop waiting for a part to repair the left hydro. The right side was repaired 6 months ago. Dealer also sells Hustler. I demoed a new lazer, not impressed. What should I do? New engine, short block, new mower, or no backup? Help!!! :dizzy:
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Will the fuel injection setup on the 26 work for the 36 short block? Will it provide enough fuel? I know those 26's are actually just the 25 block.
  9. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Is the spec number on the engine 78518? You can get the short block online for under $1000 with free shipping. The cylinder heads cost right at 100 bucks each. The gasket set for the heads is maybe $50 for both. And the cylinder head kit with valves, retainers, locks, springs, and push rods sells for under $100.

    When I priced it out, this was the only way I could justify doing it. The complete engine can be had for just under $3000 to the door, but that was just to much to invest in a 6.5 yo machine.

    Rather than ripping your hair out worrying about getting back in business, it might just be easier to buy a new machine and be done with it. In your situation I am almost certain that's what I would do.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  10. ucfbrian

    ucfbrian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    What is the model and spec # on that engine. There are some service bulletins on some of the EFI engines.

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