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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. I am helping an elderly man to repair his Ariens ride-on mower. When I first started, nothing would happen when the key was turned. A mouse had eaten part of the wire to the carburetor and the wire to the spark plug. I have performed the following repairs/adjustments:

  • Replaced ignition coil
  • Replaced wire to carburetor
  • Replaced Spark Plug
  • Replaced fuse
  • Gapped intake and exhaust valves to specification
  • Gapped spark plug to specification
  • Replaced oil
  • Replaced oil filter
  • Replaced air filter
Now the engine starts. However, it makes a terrible popping sound, another "metallic" sound, and it is extremely weak. Here is a brief clip that I recorded to show you the sight and sound:


https://streamable.com/1qr03


Could you please offer some advice about how to fix this mower?


EDIT:

I did all the hard work and it was the simple thing that was causing the issue. The throttle was all the way in. Pulled it back a bit and the mower runs great!
 

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Boy that sounds awful...did the old oil have any metal shavings in it?..It sounds like a combination of seriously bad conditions...those courage engines had an inherent problem that I believe caused overheating.....it sounds like the piston is flopping around and possibly the valves not adjusted properly...it's not smoking?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Boy that sounds awful...did the old oil have any metal shavings in it?..It sounds like a combination of seriously bad conditions...those courage engines had an inherent problem that I believe caused overheating.....it sounds like the piston is flopping around and possibly the valves not adjusted properly...it's not smoking?
Hi Mark. Pulling the throttle back to 3/4 seems to have fixed the problem. The engine sounds great, and not much smoking either! Thanks for your help!
 

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Hi Mark. Pulling the throttle back to 3/4 seems to have fixed the problem. The engine sounds great, and not much smoking either! Thanks for your help!


Almost a sounds like the choke is on? When you went to 3/4 throttle you might have inadvertently took choke off where it was ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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They have an automatic compression release when under 100-150 rpms or so keeps a valve open for easy cranking. At that low speed it was popping through open valve.

There is a low speed stop screw on the carb that you should adjust to give it a smooth safe idle when at low throttle position.
 

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BTW, while we are talking about it..what year is that courage single?
They had lots of probs with the front 4-5 bolts loosening up and self destructing the engine.

85%+ of the 04 and earlier I see are loose. Seen 3 06 loose and never any 07+ that were loose.
Always check single courage front top crankcase cover bolts.
If loose, put lock washer or clean and loctite them and torque to spec. I would have to look it up again but its a 8mm and I think the kohler service manual said 216 in lbs.
 

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first off I'd like to say.. it takes a lotta courage to own a Courage engine.. TobyU was right..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello everyone. I guess the choke engages when the throttle is maxed out? I am finding that the mower starts best with the throttle fully forward, but then I need to pull it back to 3/4 immediately, otherwise it runs like it did in the video.

TobyU, it's a Kohler Courage 19 on an Ariens 42" Hydro Tractor. The tractor model is 93603800/A19K42. The Kohler is model SV590S, build date 11/03/2008.
 

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Ah, sorry, I thought by "throttle was all the way in" in was at idle low speed.
Yours is working exactly how it is supposed to.
The all the way up position should have the little cross line pic that is a choke picture, then below that at the 3/4 where it has a notch you can feel is a rabbit for normal fast operation speed, then at bottom is turtle for slow.
A lot pf people make this mistake if they have not read a user manual on them.
Many of the twin cylinder engines have a separate lever/cable for choke so the throttle goes all the way up and you pull the choke lever out.

I was thinking you were at low throttle setting.
At least your choke is working well. The courage singles had issues with the choke adjustment screw not being turned enough turns so they would get little to no choke and not start when cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ah, sorry, I thought by "throttle was all the way in" in was at idle low speed.
Yours is working exactly how it is supposed to.
The all the way up position should have the little cross line pic that is a choke picture, then below that at the 3/4 where it has a notch you can feel is a rabbit for normal fast operation speed, then at bottom is turtle for slow.
A lot pf people make this mistake if they have not read a user manual on them.
Many of the twin cylinder engines have a separate lever/cable for choke so the throttle goes all the way up and you pull the choke lever out.

I was thinking you were at low throttle setting.
At least your choke is working well. The courage singles had issues with the choke adjustment screw not being turned enough turns so they would get little to no choke and not start when cold.
Thanks TobyU. As for the valve cover screws, are you saying I shouldn't have issues since it's a 2008 or later model?
 

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Having worked on a Courage for a widow friend, I can tell you first hand how they fail. The front 5 bolts tend to loosen. The force of the cylinder firing tends to flex the front of the crankcase if the bolts loosen even a little resulting in a cracked crankcase. Amazingly the engine would start easily, would spray oil out the crack, then it starts to overheat. The bolts on that one hadn’t unscrewed to the point of making contact with the flywheel, but was toast none the less. I tried getting it welded, but it failed the first time the widow drove it. I had tried it before taking it back, but it didn’t last. Just because it starts and runs is not an indication it is okay.

Put lock washers on at least the front 5 bolts, but better to put them on all of them. Then torque them all. However the bolts are self threading so even the thickness of the lock washers will mean the bolt threads are not fully engaged.

Best alternative is to replace the engine before you have to.

Link to my experience: https://www.mytractorforum.com/44-small-engines-repair/1056353-kohler-courage-19-hp-sv590-oil-leak-cracked-block-2.html with pictures.
 

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They are the top engine crankcase cover bolts underneath the plastic shroud not the valve cover bolts.. The valve covers do often leak on these engines but that's just a burning off oil in the muffler issue and won't damage the engine unless it catches on fire.
I've never seen any 2008 or above that had loose balls but it never hurts to check anytime the Shroud is off. No reason to worry about replacing the engine or anything as long as you tighten them up you will be fine. It should be done annually though just to be cautious and especially on any older ones that have never been loose. I prefer to take the bolts out clean them and the holes well with brake cleaner dry them off and then use red Loctite. I don't even own blue Loctite. If it needs Loctite than it needs red Loctite. Red Loctite is still quite easy to disassemble if you need to.
If all front 4-5 get to loose it can allow the top cover to walk around a little bit and we'll create oil leaks and can actually wiggle out the guide pinhole a little bit but that's not what destroys these engines. The crack that occurs is when the front Bolt on the left middle raises up high enough for the flywheel to smack it. When the flywheel impacts the bolt it snaps it off and the impact vibration cracks the block down below it in the corner.
Annoying part is to remove the bolts on the front ones you have to remove the flywheel which is only one more bolt but a little tighter.
You could loosen the bolt as high as possible and spray it multiple times with brake cleaner and blow off of compressed air until you think you have the threads clean and then put the Loctite and let it drip around the threads before tightening but to take it apart and fully clean it and dry it or to put on a lock washer you would have to remove the flywheel for two or three of the front bolts.
 
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