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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to find out why my tractor with an SV-720S V-twin engine cranks really slowly in bursts. I usually hook up a battery pack even thought the battery is new and after 2-3 tries it starts and runs good. From all the reading I have done, apparently the Kohler Courage V-twin engines do not have a compression release mechanism(ACR), only the kohler single cylinder engines have them? I have adjusted my intake and exhaust valves to .005 but is made no difference. I tried to jump start the engine right at the starter with the ground on the engine block and red lead on the starter terminal and it did the same behavior 2-3 burst locks up in between bursts and then starts. I am starting to think the starter is the issue since it's the only think I haven't tried and jumping right at the starter does the same behavior.

How can I be 100% sure the starter is the issue without buying another one and not being able to return it?
 

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Have you cleaned the battery cables/grounds in the cranking circuit?
Under size cables, loose engine mounting bolts etc. can all add to the total voltage drop.

If you have a volt meter, you can do voltage drop tests to isolate potential high resistance parts of the circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you cleaned the battery cables/grounds in the cranking circuit?
Under size cables, loose engine mounting bolts etc. can all add to the total voltage drop.

If you have a volt meter, you can do voltage drop tests to isolate potential high resistance parts of the circuit.
I cleaned the battery cables and checked the voltage at the battery as well but since I jump started the starter with booster pack right at the starter and it had the same behavior, I thought that ruled out all wiring possibilities?
 

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Where was the ground cable from the booster attached?
If not the starter case/engine block......
If you hooked the Neg to the battery neg, what if you had loose engine mounting bolts or poor ground cable connection from battery to frame?

Until you actually load test the battery, you don't know if it's good, no matter how new.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Where was the ground cable from the booster attached?
If not the starter case/engine block......
If you hooked the Neg to the battery neg, what if you had loose engine mounting bolts or poor ground cable connection from battery to frame?

Until you actually load test the battery, you don't know if it's good, no matter how new.
The ground was on the starter body, so all the wiring was right at the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
did this just start ? have you done anything to it recently?
No it's been on going for 2-3 years. Usually I put the big charger on it to start it with 100a start and it starts after a few tries and then runs good but when the engine is hot and you shut it off, sometimes it has a hard time restarting afterwards. And whenever it cools down, then it's the same thing, it might need a boost to restart it. It always requires extra power to start it but even with the extra power it rotates slowly. Here is a video of it:


With the charger hooked up it does the same behavior but faster. You see that it is hard to start but eventually it starts. It just doesn't spin freely like it should and start. I thought the compression release would of been the cause but from what I have read, there is no compression release system on Kohler V-twins, only on single cylinders? And I always said to myself that it's not the starter because of every thread I read says to adjust valves and compression release not working or bad connections but I jump right at the starter and it does the same thing. By jumping right at the starter it eliminates the solenoid being bad I assume since it bypasses it?

And I just came across this starter on Amazon by Chris that says:

DB Electrical is awesome, this product fixes that hard starting problem for Kohler V-Twin engines
https://www.amazon.com/DB-Electrical-SAB0157-32-098-01S-K0H3209801S/dp/B00NVFQUM8/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1525180755&sr=8-8&keywords=kohler+starter



So I don't know I was thinking of trying a starter but I don't want to be out $100 if it's not the starter so that's why I would like to be 100% sure before I replace it. If I remove the starter and bring it to a shop that rebuilds starters can they load test the starter and tell me if it's good or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well i just took the cowl off the engine and the starter stays engaged to the flywheel, its suppose to retract right? So I guess I need a starter no matter what?


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Discussion Starter #9
Now that I think of it, with the starter staying engaged to the flywheel all the time even when the motor was running at full throttle that would of overheated the starter and weakened it? Hence the reason why it didn't want to start at all when the engine was hot, the starter was too hot but when it cooled down it did the intermittent crank symptom. Does that theory sound plausible?

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dont know about the theory that caused the problem, looks like rust and corrosion helped, but replacing the starter should fix your issue.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dont know about the theory that caused the problem, looks like rust and corrosion helped, but replacing the starter should fix your issue.....:)
Ok I was just wondering about having the starter staying engaged to the flywheel all the time, that would of been the equivalent of holding the starter in the start position while trying to start an engine? Hence this would of worn down the starter?
 

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Did the gear remain extended after a successful start? Or unsuccessful?

The idea of the Bendix drive is that once the engine starts, the flywheel is faster than the starter gear and "spins" it back down.
IF the engine didn't start, the Bendix may simply be "sticky" enough that it didn't retract on its own.

As far as any theories, until you have performed voltage drop tests, I wouldn't condemn anything yet.
It's hard to tell from the pic, but the 2 spots where the starter mounts to the block don't look super "spiffy". A bit of corrosion here & there starts to add up.
 

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I've got the same engine and mine has always been a "hard starter". Valves were adjusted last year. Recently the rubber piece under the gear separated, so I bought a new starter from ebay ($40).

I received it today in poor packaging, which meant I had to open it up to check the magnets. They were ok so I put it back together and I'm going to try installing it tomorrow.
 

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So I put the new starter in today and the difference was night and day. It cranks that engine over with authority! It sounds like a motorcycle starter on a CBR1000RR. I should have done this upgrade years ago. :)

So yeah, if your engine cranks slow, buy a new starter. My suspicion is Kohler paid very few dollars for thousands of V-twin starters with less than average copper windings, because my engine was nearly new (when I got it) and has never cranked as nice as it does with the new starter.

I also have an SLT1544 with the same engine and it doesn't crank like the new starter either.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did the gear remain extended after a successful start? Or unsuccessful?

The idea of the Bendix drive is that once the engine starts, the flywheel is faster than the starter gear and "spins" it back down.
IF the engine didn't start, the Bendix may simply be "sticky" enough that it didn't retract on its own.

As far as any theories, until you have performed voltage drop tests, I wouldn't condemn anything yet.
It's hard to tell from the pic, but the 2 spots where the starter mounts to the block don't look super "spiffy". A bit of corrosion here & there starts to add up.
The gear remained extended after both, a successful and unsuccessful start. I now have replaced the starter and it stars A-ok. The initial start took a long time since it was the first start after winter storage but now it seems to be doing ok. I guess the gear that stayed engaged was my problem after all. Should I grease the bendix to prevent this from happening in the future?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I put the new starter in today and the difference was night and day. It cranks that engine over with authority! It sounds like a motorcycle starter on a CBR1000RR. I should have done this upgrade years ago. :)

So yeah, if your engine cranks slow, buy a new starter. My suspicion is Kohler paid very few dollars for thousands of V-twin starters with less than average copper windings, because my engine was nearly new (when I got it) and has never cranked as nice as it does with the new starter.

I also have an SLT1544 with the same engine and it doesn't crank like the new starter either.
Could you post the link of the one you bought? I would like to compare it to mine.
 
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