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Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by 71gearhead, Apr 23, 2011.
Paint it yellow to match the seat
Well (this is my opinion and speculation, no one elses) it looks like what happened was the Kohler motor backfiring cracked the exhaust pipe going into the exhaust cannister, the heat from the exhaust leak melted the plastic carb on the Kohler motor, and when the fuel bowl dropped out, splash, there was the instant big fire. The fuel line kept feeding it from that point.
So (again my personal opinion) if you have one of these 19 hp Kohlers and it splits the exhaust, know that driving it around loud considering when and how to fix like you might do on any other mower may not be a good idea. My mower went maybe three lawn mowings like this until this happened (this was the third).
I went on the Kohler website and there is even a FAQ "why does my engine backfire" which I was suprised to see out there like that. Also any Google search of "Kohler backfire" brings up hundreds of hits it seems like the Kohler motor and carburetor just do this backfiring as part of their history or design.
My local dealer (a new Hustler dealer) said he's seen Kohler motors split their exhaust from backfiring on several Scags, this was the first Hustler he had seen.
Experience with this taught me something so for the new mower, even with the Kawasaki motor I have an auto/marine extinguisher mounted right on it. I know this small extinguisher might give me only a few puffs, but for the first momments it might buy enough time for me to retrieve the larger commercial unit I bought to hang in the garage. I hung this away from the fuel system, carburetor and fuel filler neck. If you have property that has the potential to burn far in excess of the value of the mower, I would recommend this.
Well it appears Hustler hooked you up with another machine. Glad it all worked out for you and thanks for posting your story. Perhaps you've helped prevent at least a few of these incidents from occurring in the future.
I believe the new mower was supplied by his homeowner's insurance company which will, no doubt, be in 'discussions' with Hustler. A small point, but let's not give credit where it is not warranted.
It did work out, here are my key points for this thread and I am out:
1) It's true, Hustler is a good company to work with, just as good as the product
2) Under my State Farm homeowner's policy, the mower was covered because it is not licensed for highway use, and is "dedicated to servicing the property" AND the "covered calamity" specifically listed is "Fire". "Subjugation" is the term that comes up when something like this happens.
I did not need to list it specifically, but as you are reading this, I recommend that you do not assume you will be as fortunate as I was for mower fire coverage - check specifically with your insurance company about what it would take to cover something like this.
3) The fact the mower caught fire within reach of a garden hose was, in this case, worth at least hundreds of thousands. If I had caught fire at the rear of my property in the pines I would have at least made the local news.
4) There's no reason why not to mount a fire extinguisher on mobile equipment like this ESPECIALLY if you mow anywhere near high value items (field, timber, real estate) out of immediate reach of water.
5) In My Opinion, if anyone is running a motor with a plastic carburetor on any piece of equipment and the exhaust splits adjacent to it, you should stop using this immediately or you risk the same outcome as me. I never imagined this would happen but I had no experience to know otherwise!
6) The dealer makes a difference. Try to get hooked up with a dealer that actively services this equipment and can return phone calls and e-mails.
71gearhead, good points.