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Kohler Command Valve Noise

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by mikemerritt, May 29, 2003.

  1. mikemerritt

    mikemerritt LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 42

    Anyone have experience with the Kohler Command engines with the constant valve tappet noise? I know what normal OHV valve noise is, this one makes some serious chatter. Engine is a 16 HP Command (vertical) and has almost no hours on it. Warranty service isn't an option because the engine was pulled and replaced as warranty work. I'm fairly certain the tappet noise is why this engine was replaced and am confused by this because a brief net search turned up references to a kit for this problem. Has anyone been through this and if so where does it lead?.....Thanks....Mike
  2. Wangel

    Wangel LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 54

    Kohler has this problem with many of their Command engines. This was discussed last week at:


    I wrote to Kohler and explained to them the problem. They sent me a repair kit (FREE). I haven't had time to install it yet, (Takes about an hour or two) and is suppose to cure the oil foaming problem that develops in the lifter area which is what causes the noise.
  3. Wangel

    Wangel LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 54

    Well, I spent the day putting on the kit Kohler sent me. I put it on a Kohler Command 25 HP on my Scotts 2554 tractor. The kit had more pieces than necessary. The instructions 'suck' and were only a bare guide. The real part was a rubber plug that you inserted into the engine to block an oil passage. After I got everything back together, I took the tractor for a test ride and it still made noise. Ten minutes later the noise started to fade, and so far I haven't heard it again. I'll be needing the mower in a few days and that will be the real test. Kohler claims that this kit takes care of the tappet noise 100% all the time. The tech also told me another tip. I was having problems with the mower backfiring after use. It didn't matter if I let it idle low for 2 or 3 minutes or shut it off immediately, there was still a loud backfire. The tech told me that the throttle needs to be in the middle and it won't backfire. I didn't put much faith in his solution, but tried it anyway. It worked! I did notice that my muffler is cracked and leaking and will need to replace it soon. Probably from the years of backfiring.
  4. taylob

    taylob LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 14

    Mike, first off if you have a cv16 engine then you have a single cylinder and wangel's comments are wrong he has a twin cylinder and his issue is totally different from what you are experiencing, you might want to look at oil pressure first to make sure it is ok it should be about 35 to 40 pounds and can be checked where the oil pressure sending unit is or using an oil pressure tester that Kohler provides. You may want to see if it is valve noise or could it be compression release noise. Is you engine hard to turn over and stall on compression stroke? If so what you hear is the compression release lever hitting the block internally. Otherwise you may not have enough pressure in the valve train. There was some info about a new style push rod that was solid not hollow as were the original ones, what would happen is that the oil would not build enough pressure and drain off so the lifters would not pump up sufficiently to quiet down. So, check pressure, and check push rods for new type and does it stall on start up.(compression release). Good luck
  5. wws

    wws LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Wangel, That is the exact problem my 2554 with less than 50 hours has! How did you contact Kohler for the kit? This things driving me nuts!! I even have the backfire you have!

    Thanks, Bill
  6. Wangel

    Wangel LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 54

    Go to Kohler.com and file a complaint of your engine with their customer service. I was contacted in a few days and corresponded with a fellow who assisted me greatly. It's now been 100 hours since the install of this kit and no more noise.
  7. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Get used to it or buy a Honda or Kawi.
  8. wws

    wws LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Got rid of the Honda for the Kohler. Had the Kaw in a JD. Honda was smooth and tough until it got some age and all of the o rings started to fail. It was not cheap to work on. Kaw motor was a pos. It knocked more than the Kohler does, and it wasen't valve noise!!
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    You can buy the kit for about $15-20.
  10. wws

    wws LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Guy at the local JD dealer (mechanic) is pretty willing to help. I was supprised that the inside warranty person was not as happy to get it fixed for me. She first stated that there was no kit and the noise was normal, then later said the kit was only for certain Sns. ???? In any event the noise was normal.
    Yeah, right. I had to fax the information from this site and the SN to her this past week and haven't heard a thing. So much for on the ball customer service!! I guess this will be another deal where the customer has to keep banging away to get a manufacture defect repaired. Thanks Kohler!!!

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