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Kohler won't start w/o starting fluid

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#1 Brads mf12 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2015 - 10:36 AM

I'm stumped. I put a brand new carb on my friends JD212 with 12 hp Kohler and started and ran great. A few days later need to use starting fluid to get it to go. Then runs fine. I have adjusted the carb, checked the float level, there is gas in the bowl.
Could it be the fuel pump? Any help here would be great....
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#2 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2015 - 10:49 AM

Low cylinder compression maybe,  Noel

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#3 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2015 - 11:36 AM

I would suspect that enough good fuel is not getting to the carb. Suspect that your friend may have used old gas. There may be a restiction in the fuel line or a plug in the tank, filter, or line. I was the victim of bad gas many times. Fix an engine and a week later they are complaining that I screwed up. So what if the gas had been in the can for 2 years and stank. One idiot put kero in a gas tank. Be patient and take it step by step from a troubleshooting guide. It is aslo possible that contaminated gas put crap in the carb. Good Luck, Rick

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#4 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted August 13, 2015 - 11:49 AM

have you tried different throttle/ choke positions? I have one that starts at low throttle with a quick choke, 1 that starts mid throttle no choke and a bunch the like high throttle and half to full choke. I also had one that wouldnt start without pulling the air breather and plugging the hole in the choke plate, but that was due to a crapped up fuel pump.

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#5 Kyocum OFFLINE  



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Posted August 13, 2015 - 12:16 PM

Did you change the gasket as well? If so check and make sure a piece of the old gasket is not stuck on the engine. It will let it suck enough air to make it hard to start. BTDT

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#6 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  


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Posted August 13, 2015 - 12:23 PM

Another possibility may be valve lash or ACR malfunction causing low fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber @ start conditions..  Do a compression test and go from there..

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#7 Lmiller3358 OFFLINE  



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Posted August 13, 2015 - 02:31 PM

My 12 hp is always fussy to start,,, floods easy, I pull on the governor arm when I turn it over and it kicks right off

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#8 EricFromPa OFFLINE  



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Posted August 13, 2015 - 02:46 PM

Low cylinder compression maybe,  Noel



Had a Decent looking JD 110 that ran when I got it and 2 days later it would not start unless I used starter fluid.This tractor had sat for a while before I got it.


Went through and replaced the fuel pump,rebuilt the carb,gapped and cleaned the points and still would not start on it's own.


It lost almost all compression.Was turning over to fast with the starter.I could tell it was low on compression.Tore the head off and had a look.Yep Alot of piston slap and not only was the compression ring not seating any more I could see down beside the piston as far as the 2nd ring.I bet there was a 1/4" gap between the piston and cylinder.



Funny thing is it ran fine 2 days ago just a little smoke at startup.


I didn't feel like spending what I paid for it to have it bored out and install oversized piston and rings so I sold it.I got about 1/2 what I paid for it and I think I was just lucky it even sold.

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#9 Brads mf12 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 13, 2015 - 03:39 PM

All good ideas, we did put new gas in it. When my friend got it 2 yrs ago the fuel line was partly plugged an was replaced but he lets his stuff sit out in the weather. Guess I will start over with cleaning fuel system, may replace fuel pump too. Thanks everybody!!