John Deere LT 133 Kohler motor "knocking" please help

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ksandjd, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. ksandjd

    ksandjd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi all,
    Just joined this group as I am desperate for some help and advice. I have the John Deere LT 133, bought it used 4 weeks ago, and have mowed 2 times a 1 acre yard. On my last pass, the motor began "knocking" very loud, I immediately shut the motor off, and pushed it into the garage. Checked the oil, etc...all seems fine. I tried to restart it, it will start, and knock loudly within about 25 seconds. Shut it off immediately. Called my local John Deere, and they have quoted $1,500 for a new motor. I am....haven't really told my husband the mower is in need of help...and wanting to find a solution for the problem first, As we will probably not mow again for 6 to 8 weeks ...buying some time :) lol...
    Is this a "reasonable" price for the Kohler 13 hp? Could I purchase one myself and install it? (yes I am good with mechanics and tools, no girlie jokes! :) lol
    Is there a way to rebuild it myself? Where would you recommend getting the parts?
    Thank you to anyone who will take time to help and/or advise me! :)
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Welcome K,

    I checked 6 discount engine suppliers I know of for a replacement CV13 engine and came up dry.

    A fellow member had a run-in with the below company a while back and I said I would no longer post their link, But as a last ditch effort to save you from being ripped off so bad by Deere I will this once post the link Deere&Model=LT133

    If your fuel tank is under the seat as stated you will need to purchase a fuel pump to install on this engine.

    Replacing a engine such as this isn't that bad of a job, Should you give it a shot and have any problems/questions just give a shout back here and we will be glad to help.

    Good Luck
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well, it depends what you mean by fair price.

    Is 1500 the cheapest you can get one for?

    But for the correct engine...
    At a moment's notice, with no further research on your part?

    That having been said you'll have to find out the specifications on that CV13 that
    you have and with research in hand you can start looking...
    I believe a new one mail-order (read: NO Warranty) will run you about 5-600.
    With the shipping, maybe 700 at the worst.

    One more time:
    Even thou Kohler AND the mail-order distributors clearly state that "ANY
    Authorized distributor will service any warranty-related defect" what I have
    found is the local shops just give me the run-around.
    The point is: If you don't buy it there, they will not service it.
    False advertising, a load of BS, yes, but that's the way it is.

    So take your pick, 1500 for the right engine in your hands this afternoon and
    if anything goes wrong you take it back to that place...
    Or 5-6-700 you have to find out which details and then order it, could take a week or two and if something goes wrong you fix it.

    Installing it takes about an afternoon, do NOT forget they are shipped NO OIL!
    It's not that hard, takes time and probably a special tool like a gear puller maybe.
    I've done two engines thus far, if you got time you got it.

    Also check into Hondas, and maybe Briggs.
    Here's just an example engine for 469 + 50-75 shipping = 525, dunno if it would fit thou...
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Basically here's what you have to know:

    13hp Vertical <- Got it, just make sure it's vertical and the right hp.

    1"x3-5/32" Keyed Shaft <- Watch out!
    The size of the shaft, and keyed or not.
    So that Honda wouldn't work if yours isn't keyed, however the shaft size is correct.

    You need 1"x3-5/32" Shaft (no mention of key)

    Recoil & Electric Start <- You have to know which one, or both.

    Fuel Tank <- Probably no, thou as likely this could be removed if it were an issue.

    Muffler <- VERY important, yes some engines are shipped without and some mufflers run like $200!

    Oil Filter <- wth idk, don't think this matters much.

    Here's one I think might work, 500 + shipping...
    Right under 6. But look at the connections and everything, the shaft still looks to be keyed.
    Is yours?, Electric Start Only, Muffler, CIS, OHV
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029


    I have all the specs. on K's CV13 which is really a 14hp engine and is what I used in my search, Changing engine brands WILL lead to exhaust/control and electrical wiring issues. For a novice a same brand/block replacement engine would be a much easier install over another brand and re-inventing the wheel.

    She could also purchase part # 12 522 21 shortblock for $757 list with a warranty and still save a bundle over Deere's engine price.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  6. Phil G

    Phil G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 844

    I'm not wanting to question you mechanical ability, but are you 100% sure it's the big-end/crank that's knocking?

    Have you checked for loose flywheel, clutch assy or engine mounting bolts?

    Good luck, Phil
  7. ricky86

    ricky86 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,090

    As stated. Make sure it's an internal problem before you condemm it. You will be rather annoyed if the clutch was only loose (after laying out $1500.00).
  8. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    you can find a used mower on cragslist for less than $700. in perfect condtion

    check out LT 110 LT 111 and LT115s
  9. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    sorry to hear that. you need to realize that these types of mowers are "throw" away models once the repair bill gets that high. some good research on repair options is the right place to start. You might be better to invest in a new tractor, or take the used mower back to the seller with some questions, sounds like you got ripped off.

    for $1,500 Look at the new tractor option at Home depot you get a warranty, and will avoid these issues in the future.

    for $1,500 you could hire a local professional, to maintain your lawn and not have to deal with these issues spend more time with your family, unless you like cutting grass like us crazy folk.:laugh::usflag: really good luck you'll figure it out

    Happy new year
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I owned one of these mowers which I purchased brand new in 2000 for 1599. Mine was used every day commercially and started doing the same thing you are describing. When I took it in for repairs all it was wrong was the mounting bolts were loose:hammerhead: but sounded like an internal engine problem. I used that mower for 4 years commercially and it held up. However, 1500 for a new engine is only 99 less than what I paid for the entire mower brand new.

Share This Page