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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I just acquired a 2010 Kohler Courage 24hp vertical twin repower in a 2007 Craftsman GS6500. The hour meter on the tractor reads 194, but the PO says the engine only has 40 hours.

The engine looks immaculate, and seems to run great. However, when cranking (but not starting, such as a cold or warm start without choke), after several revolutions I can hear what sounds like a knock.

I do a lot of DIY jobs on cars, trucks and tractors, but I'm not a mechanic, so I hope I'm not over-reacting to this sound.

What is the best way to know if this actually is a problem? I don't want it to self-destruct, but I don't know of any local Kohler dealers who I can trust.

Mike
 

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Kohler courage twin is basically a no-frills Command with solid lifters, they tend to have a very noisy compression release mechanism that when cranking, and when slowing from being turned off...can make a loud clacking sound.

Check and adjust your valve lash, just for kicks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, that makes me feel much better, thanks RED!!!

New problem. Just tried it out in the rough part of the backyard. Did some bushwhacking with the deck, turned the engine in and off a bunch of times for about 20 minutes, no problems.

Now, the starter is making a loud sound, sounds like it's spinning but not cranking the engine.

What's the fix, and how can that be happening on a new engine?

Mike
 

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Hmm, does it have the starter with the solenoid mounted to it?

might try to GENTLY tap the starter with a wrench or something, could be the solenoid shifter is stuck...or there could be damage to the gears...no way to know for sure without removing the cowling and taking a look at what is going on.

Starters really arent fans of the short cycle on and off operation...they build up heat, plus the heat that soaks in from the engine itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like the solenoid is separate, next to the battery.

The noise is a rather horrible screech, not just a simple spin as if it were missing the flywheel altogether.

Need to print up a manual and take a better look.

I did some searching last night and found a number of starter problems with these engines. Have there been any starter upgrades made since 2010?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not yet, will post it later.

Mike
 

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Sounds like the bendix style starter, as I recall these had an interesting setup where traction between the rubber "cushion" under the gear, is what caused the gear to spin, if it has gotten wet, or oily, it will need ot be cleaned or dried. Make sure the engine isnt locked up, rock the top fan by hand a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If this engine is locked up, you'll hear me screaming all the way down in FL...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not getting movement by hand on the plastic fan cover... if it is locked, how could it go from running smoothly to locked up that fast?

Here are the numbers:

Model: SV725S
Spec: SV725-0013
Family: AKHXS.7252GB
Build: 06/21/2010

What's the warantee policy for a second owner with no original paperwork?

If it's locked, can it be saved?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like there's oil on the dipstick...

Mike
 

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Ive seen a few of these where the starter gear comes up perfectly and jams up under the teeth on the flywheel, some good sharp jerks from both hands on the top fan usually will knock it loose...Ive had to pop off the fan cover and use a socket/ratchet on a few though...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, what's the fix, assuming I get lucky and free it up?

Thanks.

Mike
 

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No fix I know of...most of them never do it again, or just once in a blue moon...Ive never had one come in for it twice, as long as nothing was damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
With my luck, it's probably seized. But I'll definitely give it a shot, probably not until later in the week.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Mentally bracing myself for the worst tomorrow...

I'll pull the shroud so I can hopefully see the starter gear/flywheel. I'll pull the fan cover so I can turn the crank. I'll cross my fingers now and hope for a miracle...

However, in case it's not that simple and it is seized, should I spray something like PB Blaster to free it up? I once was able to free up a siezed Tecumseh HH60 with MMM, but doubt that will work with this vertical shaft engine.

Any other tips?

Thanks.

Mike
 

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Its probably not seized...honestly, its likely the starter gear bound up.
 

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PB blaster works if the engine is corroded seized but I agree with red and the starter is likely the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
OK... good news / bad news...

The good news is, it's not siezed!!!!!!! RED, I owe you a beer. :trink39:

The bad news is, the starter drive pinion is not retracting. It spins freely when I turn the fan/flywheel. I'll pull the dust cover and keep my fingers crossed that it's something simple.

Any extra advice here would be appreciated.

Bonus bad news: I checked the oil before I started, looked too clean/thin. Smells a bit like gas. Lovely...

Mike
 
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