CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:47 PM   post #1 of 11
chip6990
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Default CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

ok guys, one more time, not sure if i have a blown head gasket or bad rings? i have a Cub Cadet 3235 with a 25hp Kohler Command w/410hrs. i have checked for bad coils and plugs, both sides are fireing. i am consuming bout 1/2qt of oil bout 5-6hrs mowing. 1 plug is very oily, the other is normal. it started running funny like it was choking itself out with fuel or starving for air. put a new air filter on it, and it ran great. i think its a blown head gasket. so i had a guy do a compression / leak down test. said it only had 55# of pressure. he told me my rings were shot. if a head gasket is blown, it wouldnt hold pressure anyhow...right? plus, if it is only running at 55#, would the motor even run good enough to mow?
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:16 PM   post #2 of 11
Pa-Pa
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Quote: " . . . if it is only running at 55#, would the motor even run good enough to mow?"

You would be surprised how much work a two-cylinder engine can do with a single cylinder.

If you really want to have some fun, try the "Balance Test." Start the motor and run it up to Full No Load speed, then short out the plug on the good cylinder and watch the smoke billow out --if the rings are blown.

If the problem is a head gasket, the usual tell-tale sign is evidence of blow-by and/or oil leaks at the gasket seal. Bad rings, scored cylinder, leaky valves, etc. won't cause the oil to leak.

Finally, if your guy says the rings are bad, with a compression test, you're supposed to test once, then squirt oil down the spark plug hole and re-test. If the reading improves, it indicates that the rings are the culprit, not the valves. I'm not sure how squirting oil in the cylinder would affect a leak at the head gasket, it might mimic the ring failure, if the leak is at the bottom of a horizontal cylinder.

Just some thoughts on the matter . . .
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:43 PM   post #3 of 11
rscurtis
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

I've owned a number of those engines, and if just one plug is fouled, it's most likely the HG. The oil rings will wear out first, and the engine will still have plenty of compression. As long as the intake system is clean and it hasn't been dusted, do the HG and see what happens.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:59 PM   post #4 of 11
Gary in NJ
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Without the reference number, 55 pounds is meaningless. Did he run the test at 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 pounds?

Where did the tech hear (or feel) the air escape? If he used soapy water at the head and saw bubbles, then it's a head gasket. If air was rushing from the dip-stick, then it was the rings.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:03 AM   post #5 of 11
rscurtis
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Not necessarily. The HG can fail adjacent to the pushrod gallery, which will still give blowby from the disptick.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:36 PM   post #6 of 11
Gary in NJ
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
Not necessarily. The HG can fail adjacent to the pushrod gallery, which will still give blowby from the disptick.
True, but I was speaking in general terms. My point was this; if you don't know the basis of the test, the results are meaningless. He needs to talk to the tech so he can understand the results before he can engage in a meaningful conversation about the results.
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:07 PM   post #7 of 11
Pa-Pa
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Icon2 Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Just for the record, RSCurtis and I both think it is the head gasket, and the best method for making a determination is physical inspection.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:40 AM   post #8 of 11
mowergene
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

A couple years ago, I bought my 2550 with only 115 hours on it. It has the 22HP Kohler. BOTH the rings AND the head gasket were shot on one side.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:31 PM   post #9 of 11
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

Recently I was burning oil (dipstick dropping to below the shaded area every 10 hours).
I too have low compression... probably due to rings (IIRC both cyl at ~70psi).

My oil burning issue was caused though by over heating.

Take off your heat shields and blow all the grass away and then reinstall (otherwise you'll have more oil burning issues).

My GT3235 sucks all kinds of grass through the round hole in the flywheel screen and packs the grass into the cooling fins and behind the heat shields of each cylinder's head.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:08 AM   post #10 of 11
jsoluna
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

I'm gonna vote for head gasket...not based on empirical evidence but upon experience. Its the most common oil consumption problem that the 25HP Kohler Commands in particular have had.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:52 AM   post #11 of 11
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Default Re: CC 3235 25HP Kohler Com. Blown Head Gasket or Bad Rings?

I've been having issues with a 18hp Kohler Command, horizontal shaft, twin cylinder engine. No power under load, oil oozing out of the valve cover gaskets and crank seals. The crank case is pressurized. I thought it was rings, but with some internet help was told to check the head gaskets. Over the weekend, I pulled the engine out of the tractor (easier to get down to the head gaskets and remove the shrouds) and pulled the heads. I found what appeared to be intact head gaskets. The cylinder bores were in great shape, almost like new condition. I was told that the head gaskets on the older Commands would develop "worm holes" in the gasket and fail that way and let pressure get into the valve assemblies, pressurizing the engine. I installed new head gaskets, cleaned everything-up (oil everywhere) and reinstalled the engine. Have not started the engine, but when I do, later this week, I'll let you know my findings.

The head gasket was not a difficult repair, but very time consuming. Lots of stuff to get out of the way and I had some screws that hold the throttle linkage brackets shear off in the block - which I had to repair. I found it a must on my tractor (Simplicity Sovereign) to pull the engine to remove the flywheel side shroud. This also made it much easier to access everything and clean the fins on the engine too.

Good luck,
Bill
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