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Old 04-26-2006, 05:52 PM   post #1 of 16
HerbsGT
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Angry Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

I have a 2003 Gt5000 with a 25HP Kohler. Sometimes when it starts it smokes like crazy and will keep smoking without letup. If it is shut down for awhile, the next time it starts everything is O.K. Only have 130 hours on it. Any idea what could be wrong? Herb
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:28 PM   post #2 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Well, you could be over-choking it on start-up but there was a problem with some 2003 Kohler 25 HP engine's head gaskets. NOT ALL but some. Contact Kohler directly and they will send you the repair kit for you or someone to install for you.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Archives. Scroll down the archive page and look for the Craftsman Forum. Click on that and look for articles concerning smoking engines. There are more than a few of them. Read them with a grain of salt. Mostly for information. A couple of those threads have a Kohler phone number for you to call.
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:28 PM   post #3 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Ed, thanks for your response. I am not overchoking the engine. Once it starts smoking it won't stop until you shut the engine down. Fills the yard with blue smoke. Maybe the township will hire me to get rid of the mosquitos this summer. LOL. I'll read thru the archives and see if there is any info. Thanks again. Herb
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:51 AM   post #4 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

first understand that oil is supposed to lube everywhere...including valve guides and piston skirts...all the way up to the top ring...bottom ring distributes oil over the cylinder. middle ring wipes it back down, and only the top ring is the compression ring...and oil is good.

horizontal shaft engines benefit from gravity to let that oil run back down into the sump...vertical engines puddle in the cylinder...and that's what you see on start-up. oil can only get into the combustion chamber thru the valve guides or past the rings. if an engine is run on old oil, and allowed to sit for long periods, crud can act like glue to stick the rings to the piston instead of springing against the cylinder wall...or dirt can score the walls to allow an excess in the conbustion chamber.

a bit of smoke on a cold engine means nothing...only if it still smokes at operating temps do you have a problem.

usually, the exhaust valve guide will wear first, and the rings should last a long long while...and are replaceable...as are scored pistons ect...the critical part is the aluminum cylinder wall (unless it's sleeved)...and even that can be fixed.

you might try changing from a 10w-30 to a straight 30w oil. hydraulic lifters like 10w-30 on cold starts because they pump up faster, but a straight 30w won't hurt them a bit, and the thicker oil should lessen the puddling/smoke. winter specs may even specify a 5-30w...what do you have in there now?

I suspect you have a normal condition, with perhaps some mechanical wear, amplified by thin oil.

you might also check the plug color, and if it's black-ish more than cocoa, switch to the next higher heat range.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:55 AM   post #5 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

>Once it starts smoking it won't stop until you shut the engine down. Fills the yard with blue smoke.<

if that's the case, (blue smoke is oil) then you have a bad exhaust guide, scored cylinder wall, or stuck ring.

how many hours on that?
do you religiously change oil?

it only takes one unaddressed episode of gas in the crankcase to ruin an engine.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:30 AM   post #6 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Modre, I religously change the oil every 25 hours and use 10w30 as specified. The oil burning only happens at times,usually after tractor has been sitting for a couple of hours. When it is started after sitting all night using the choke, everything is O.K. No smoke.
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:40 AM   post #7 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Pull your air cleaner housing and air cleaner off. Look into the cavity and see if there isn't a rubber hose -- I think to the right as you are looking into the cavity. That hose functions as a crankcase ventilation hose/breather hose and it may be cracked, split, whatever. If so, replace it.

Modre made a good point when he said to go from 10W-30 to straight 30W oil. I use straight 30W oil in my GT5000 year round and I have no start-up, oil flow, etc. issues at all during the winter when I am plowing snow etc..

If the oil burning is only intermittent, then I'd say the head gasket is not the problem. Check out Modre's suggestions and check that hose. I'm on the way out the door to do some jack-rabbit hunting but when I get back later, I'll try to post a bit more about that hose.
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:12 PM   post #8 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Ed, took your suggestion and pulled the air cleaner. Breather hose looked O.K. but I took the whole breather assembly apart and washed it out with carb cleaner. Reassembled everything and changed oil to straight 30 weight. Added some fuel system cleaner to the gas tank. Started up and ran great. No smoke. Hope that it stays that way. Time will tell. Thanks again for all the help. Herb
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:05 PM   post #9 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Herb, good to hear back on your results and hope everything stays working well
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:09 AM   post #10 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

carefull mine did the same thing and it blew both rods and cracked the block. for my money craftsman is junk
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:00 AM   post #11 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Sounds like you got a broken peice of gasket bouncing around in your breather (not your air cleaner) If your oil cant return back to the crank it will go into the aircleaner and make alot of smoke... There is a little return hole in the bottom of the breather that can get blocked up with gasket chunks...
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:00 AM   post #12 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhyland
carefull mine did the same thing and it blew both rods and cracked the block. for my money craftsman is junk
Let me get this straight...the "Kohler" engine blew the rods and cracked the block...and THAT...makes the Craftsman junk?????
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:23 AM   post #13 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbsGT
I have a 2003 Gt5000 with a 25HP Kohler. Sometimes when it starts it smokes like crazy and will keep smoking without letup. If it is shut down for awhile, the next time it starts everything is O.K. Only have 130 hours on it. Any idea what could be wrong? Herb
Herb...my going on 3 years old GT5000 has shown that symptom since it was new...as did its predecessor, a GT3000. It's a inherent characteristic of this particular model Kohler engine that operates in the horizontal position. It "doesn't happen all the time" and it "smokes steadily until it's shut off" are common complaints.

One of the theories as to why this happens, I think Modre covered pretty thoroughly...

Why it happens only occasionally and not consistently is open to much speculation. One possible reason that made sense to me is this...occasionally all the rings will line up at the segment portion where they lock together, thus allowing some oil a clear path through to the combustion chamber. Now it only takes a small amount oil in the chamber to create a tremendous amount of smoke giving the illusion that you have an oil pumper. If that were the fact you would be changing fouled spark plugs often and would notice oil consumption over time.

I hope this helps relieve some of your concern.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:05 AM   post #14 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhyland
carefull mine did the same thing and it blew both rods and cracked the block. for my money craftsman is junk
Now that's what I call an astute first post!!! As Argee implied, I'm sure that Kohler is very pleased that it isn't their fault that their engine blew up but that it's Sears fault. Wow!!!! Sears better watch out or they will have to take the blame if a tire on one of their tractors goes flat.
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:44 AM   post #15 of 16
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Default Re: Craftsman w/Kohler engine-Smokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhyland
carefull mine did the same thing and it blew both rods and cracked the block. for my money craftsman is junk
Drive by poster... Maybe he'll come back with something productive to add, and become a valued member of our community...
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