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Kohler Commander Question?


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#1 farmer john ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 11:12 PM

Gentlemen; as the snow melts and the tulips start to pop out a mans mind turns to "where the heck did the time go , i gotta fix my tractor"!!!!!! I bought a bolens hydro with a 20 hp kohler commander in it about 1000 hrs on it, Heres the history that i know of, the lady i got it from had it serviced at a local dealer regulary, one day she started it up was cutting ok then it started losing power, smoked a bit so she shut it down called the dealer who picked up the machine took it to the shop called her back in less than 1 hour told her the mower needed $3500 worth of work and it would be better if he just brought her a new one  $8500, well she had the machine brought back paid $150 for the ride and inspection. now i own it, the oil is clean and does not smell off, does not appear to have any filings in it, the motor does start easily, no knocks, just a hint of oil burning, but has very low power, now for my questions are these motors noted for carbon build up, bad valves, anything? with it starting easily and not smoking bad i would think the sleeves and rings would be ok, i am leaning towards thinking its a bad head gasket or stuck valve, any thoughts or experiences in this matter greatly appreciated, Happy Easter One and All


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#2 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 11:26 PM

I am not really sure as I haven't had one of these engines yet. But I know I have seen threads in the past on issues like this. I am almost thinking a bad coil on one side was an issue on some of these??

 

Have you checked if both sides are firing yet? Just from the things you are saying it doesn't seem as if it is something serious.

 

I know others will be able to help more but I thought I would at least give you something to think about till then. Good luck with it :thumbs:


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#3 Dieselcubmike OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2013 - 11:27 PM

Well im assuming its a vertical shaft drive. This too has plagued our vtwin puller :wallbanging: Im leaning towards maybe the head gasket hasn't sealed correctly. Maybe if not the head the second thing would be the rings not seeting properly either. Or both. Did you do a compression check on each head to make sure both have the same compression?


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#4 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 05:28 AM

Check the "easy" stuff first. Is it getting "spark" to both cylinders?


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#5 Kyocum OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 07:05 AM

I know the commands are notorious for having bad valve seals which would contribute to the oil smoke. I guess if it were me I would run a compression check on both cylinders and see whats going on there before you can make any decisions.


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#6 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 07:05 AM

Hi John, did you have a look at the Service and Maintenance sector on tbe Kohler site - maybe this could help. Happy Easter


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#7 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 07:29 AM

I know the commands are notorious for having bad valve seals which would contribute to the oil smoke. I guess if it were me I would run a compression check on both cylinders and see whats going on there before you can make any decisions.

 

I agree on the compression check.  Bad spark can also give low power.  How do the old spark plugs look?  That will tell you a lot.

 

Ben W.


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#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 07:50 AM

While you are checking stuff make sure the crankcase breather is not plugged and have a look to see if any oil is being pushed out through the tube. 


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#9 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2013 - 08:56 AM

I have a couple of 17.5 HP commanders in the shop right now and all of them smoke on start up. The commander does have a history of bad oil seals  I agree with the compression test and or cylinder leak down test.  


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