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What is it with you people and Kohler's?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ProStreetCamaro, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    I mean seriously all I hear on here is how bad Kohlers are. Knock on wood but I have never had any problems out of any of my kohlers. 3,000+ hours on one before we sold the mower. 1,700 on my lazer and the others have been great also. On the other hand we have had nothing but cruddy luck with Kawi's. None of which have last over 2-3 years, always leak oil, hard to start alot of times. I'll be honest with you here, we had a 12.5 kawi on a 36" wb and it threw a rod so instead of paying alot for another kawi we got a cheap commercial Techumsa 12.5 and slapped it on there. That was a good strong running motor that was easy to start and lasted longer than the kawi did. So whats your beef with Kohler? I have to double think when I buy a mower with a kawi on it like the 34Z we just bought.

    JPLAWNSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I totally agree with you. Is seems when you see a mower with a lot of hours and the original engine it is almost always a kohler. And by a lot of hours I mean 1500+. I have a 72 model john deere 110 with the original 10hp kohler that has seen 1000s of hours running a 48 in deck and the motor hasn't been touched.
  3. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    This year is my first for kohlor, probably will buy kohlor for now on if possible.
  4. Mudmower

    Mudmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I agree guys. My personal opinion is that the cool down period is not being followed (possibly). My 25 Command on a 60" deck has been cooled down approx. 45 sec. to 2 minutes after every use. I slow it down (not idle) and let it sit for as long as two minutes and have had NO trouble.

    The only other brand I have any experience with is the Intek Briggs and Stratton. Same procedure, no problems.

  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Kohler has really got their act together now it seems. I used to really hate them, I used lot's of Kawi's when I worked for another guy, and I liked them, mostly because they were easy to start.. However, My surfer's Kohler starts instantly with almost no choke, and runs excellent, abheit, a little weak for my taste.. I really wish I had 27hp...
  6. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,973

    My Kohler 28hp EFI though only 7 months old is great, my last Toro had a 25hp Kohler, never missed a beat.

    I'm happy with Kohler!
  7. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    I had no problems with my Kohler other than the ever present valve tapping, which got quite annoying. Have a Kawasaki now and will never go back to Kohler.
  8. greasy_gun

    greasy_gun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    formerly i ran the intek briggs with no probs...

    hope this kaw does as good...

    imho,maintenance is the key
  9. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    I have two Kawasaki 12.5s. One is 16 years old, the other is 15 years old. Both start by the second pull, with no problems. No smoke, low vibration, relatively quiet. Starting is very easy, the compression release actually works. The governors on the engines are excellant, the engines only bog under the worst conditions.

    We have one Kohler, a 14hp pull start on an Exmark metro. 10 years old. It is loud and vibrates. If you aren't careful pull starting it, it will practically pull you back over the mower, if not dislocating your shoulder. This can be VERY painful. It claims to have compression release, you just have to carefully position the piston correctly, and pull carefully (that is NOT compression release!). Although it is strong, the governor is slow to react, so it will bog for a bit before picking up again. The engine has been like this since the day I bought it.

    Now, I guess Kohler, from some of the above comments, has gotten better. Also, possibly with electric start I would like the engine more. Of course, my engine is 10 years old.

    BUT... It soured me to Kohler. Most of the other lawn services around me who bought machines with kohlers around the same time report almost identical situations.

    Our newest machine, Ferris is3000, has a 25hp Kawasaki, and is running great in its second season.

    So, that is the explanation for my dislike of Kohler. I guess I should check out the newer engines.
  10. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    Kawasaki engines are far superior to Kohler engines!

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