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Kohler Engine Backfires, What The Hey?


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#1 ladd OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 06:03 PM

sorry I haven't remembered to get pics of it but My Ariens s 14 h was working fine plowing snow, then it was backfiring and cutting out when i move the throttle up. I have to replace or fix the muffler since the back of it is now missing some how(would love to put a stack on it). Just had the fuel line replaced and carb cleaned. Any help?

Edited by MH81, December 12, 2012 - 10:33 PM.
Added to thread title.


#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 06:32 PM

A drastic change to back pressure (missing muffler or parts of it) can cause some unexpected and/or unfortunate results. At the very least, you'll need to adjust the carb, but I would suggest putting another muffler on it until you can get your stack built. Also, running an engine with wide open exhaust and improper fuel adjust can cause stuff like burnt valves, loosening valve seats, overheating (if running lean), etc.

#3 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 06:49 PM

A bad condensor can cause this kind of popping/backfiring. A look at your spark will give a clue. If a good wide & blue spark, condensor is likely fine, but if it's thin & yellow/red, it might be a bad condensor.
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#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 07:29 PM

Like Daniel said above ignition problems can cause all kinds of symptoms. Check the gap and condition of the points as well.
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#5 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 07:38 PM

Check all of the above options and Check to make sure the choke is opening all the way. Believe it or not I have seen quite a few times were the choke cable broke off at the carb. and the person thought it was working because it still felt the same to them when they moved the lever.

Just take your time and check all the basic things like everyone suggested. And Good Luck :thumbs:
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#6 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 07:52 PM

I checked this thread to see if there was cheap round bales for sale. Guess not.

What engine does that bad boy have in it?
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#7 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted December 11, 2012 - 09:43 PM

I think the S-14 came with a Kohler k321. Another thing could be bad fuel or water/ice in the lines.

#8 Farmlife OFFLINE  

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Posted December 12, 2012 - 05:16 AM

yup I would check the magnetto as well and the magnets, make sure the grime, rust, everything is clean...

#9 ladd OFFLINE  

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Posted December 12, 2012 - 10:24 PM

ok will do all I know is it is a Kohler motor

#10 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted December 12, 2012 - 11:24 PM

yup I would check the magnetto as well and the magnets, make sure the grime, rust, everything is clean...


Good thoughts Farmlife but every Kohler K321 engine I've seen has an external coil with the points under a cover under the exhaust port @ the bottom of the crankcase's side. (set them to .020") Low coil supply voltage will also affect your spark quality. If it gets under say 11 V DC the spark will weaken.. Measure it with a volt meter.. The condenser is usually bolted on the coil mount.

Another possibility with this engine is the Automatic Compression relief may have popped the spring and not turned off causing the Intake valve to stay open on the compression stroke. If this is the case you will hear puffing back out of the carburetor on the compression stroke..

If it is water in the fuel you can check the plug as water will clean things up nicely.. You can also drain some fuel into a glass and check for contamination. Either way I would replace it just to rule it out as a cause. JMO

Just some food for thought..
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#11 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted December 12, 2012 - 11:29 PM

Good thoughts Farmlife but every Kohler K321 engine I've seen has an external coil with the points under a cover under the exhaust port @ the bottom of the crankcase's side. (set them to .020") Low coil supply voltage will also affect your spark quality. If it gets under say 11 V DC the spark will weaken.. Measure it with a volt meter.. The condenser is usually bolted on the coil mount.

Another possibility with this engine is the Automatic Compression relief may have popped the spring and not turned off causing the Intake valve to stay open on the compression stroke. If this is the case you will hear puffing back out of the carburetor on the compression stroke..

If it is water in the fuel you can check the plug as water will clean things up nicely.. You can also drain some fuel into a glass and check for contamination. Either way I would replace it just to rule it out as a cause. JMO

Just some food for thought..

And some great food at that!! :D :thumbs:
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#12 Farmlife OFFLINE  

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Posted December 13, 2012 - 05:16 AM

Good thoughts Farmlife but every Kohler K321 engine I've seen has an external coil with the points under a cover under the exhaust port @ the bottom of the crankcase's side. (set them to .020") Low coil supply voltage will also affect your spark quality. If it gets under say 11 V DC the spark will weaken.. Measure it with a volt meter.. The condenser is usually bolted on the coil mount.

Another possibility with this engine is the Automatic Compression relief may have popped the spring and not turned off causing the Intake valve to stay open on the compression stroke. If this is the case you will hear puffing back out of the carburetor on the compression stroke..

If it is water in the fuel you can check the plug as water will clean things up nicely.. You can also drain some fuel into a glass and check for contamination. Either way I would replace it just to rule it out as a cause. JMO

Just some food for thought..

hmmm, musta missed that part.......thanks.
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