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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

I'm new to MTF and I could use your help. I'm looking to replace the Kohler CV490S that's on my LT2000. (Yeah, it's really a gonner!)
Small Engine Warehouse lists a B&S for this model, BUT it says that you cannot switch brands without major problems.
Anyone swapped out a Kohler CV490S on an LT2000 lately?

I'm wondering what engine will work without major problems?
Any other "what to watch out for suggestions" are welcome.

Here are a couple of pics, it deserves a second life, it served me well in the past.
(Yeah, I know, it could badly use a power wash)
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I bought a craftsman with a blown CV490 in 2014. Thread Craigslist LT2000, Blown Kohler
I replaced the engine with a Kohler CV13 from a john deere. It had plenty of power to run the 42 inch deck. When you say it's a gonner, does that mean the rod is broken?
Cannon
 

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As Cannon stated, any of the CV13-up single Kohler Commands or the CVS series should be a bolt-on replacement.
I would be looking in my f-book/marketplace or c-list for used candidates.
What have you done to determine it is beyond repair? Is the crankcase being exposed to the sunshine treatment?
Can you list the model number? I think it would be on a tag under the seat. I would like to know the part number for the duct on top of the engine.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
" . . .does that mean the rod is broken?" "Is the crankcase being exposed to the sunshine treatment? " Hah ha ha, the engine looks brand new, right? No, I didn't let it run out of oil :)
Okay, the engine is probably not beyond repair, but I'm not up to replacing the head gaskets or seating the valves or replacing the ring or something like that (yep, sissy) .
In the past couple of years the starter was struggling to crank the engine and when the engine would start it would belch out a lot of black smoke.
I replaced the solenoid and that helped with the starting for about a year.
At the start of this season the engine wouldn't crank. I tried the rocking back and forth trick to try to loosen it up - no joy. I keep the battery inside in my garage over the winter and it was fully charged.
Idiot that I am, I decided to give it a few more amps and tried to jump start it off my car. Something went up in smoke, maybe the solenoid. That's when I decided I didn't want to be spending too much time on it going forward. I read somewhere that oil may be leaking into the cylinder and causing a hydraulic lock and then giving the black smoke on startup. So, my guess is that's what's happening, but I could be wrong. . .

When I was a kid I promised myself that when I grew up I wouldn't spend my weekends fixing lawnmowers, like the time and effort I put into a beautiful contraption like this:
(Have I grown up yet?)
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Cannon, I'll check out the CV13, thanks.
Tom, yep, I've checked Craigslist and Ebay. I saw a used direct replacement on EBay for around $500, but I'd be hoping to get a new engine for around that.
The model number (from the manual) is 917.273135

Thanks, Guys!

Damian
 

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If you are at the $500 mark... Might as well take a look at the HF Predator V-twin series. If you don't / can't get a Kohler for a quick nuts and bolts replacement(pull/drop in the replacement), these have a good reputation. They are regularly at the $600 mark on sale.
I looked up the manual, and part number based in the model number. The air duct in the image is not the one I need, and not the one you have on your engine. 150127 is not the 'deep' duct used on Kohlers, but the one used on B&S engines. I have yet to find a part number for the Kohlers. Got a used 150127 on ebay, and it doesn't fit properly, the dipstick tube is not where the cutout in the duct is located.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestion, Tom. I will look into the HF Predator. Knowing that other Commands will fit opens up a few possibilities on the used engine front on Craigslist.
I took off the duct and took a picture of the part number - it says 150127, so unless they changed the design and kept the part numbers the same. I can get you more pics and measurements if you need them.
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I've got to say I think your making the wrong choice. I would drain the oil out of the CV490 and see if you can smell any gas, if yes check the carb for leaks. If not take the hose off the valve cover and see if smoke is coming out, if yes it's probably a head gasket. I changed my first CV single head gasket 2 years ago at age 66, it wasn't a big deal. Of course I'm retired and enjoy piddling around with stuff. If you live within 100 miles of Chattanooga I'll come get the CV490. Please keep us posted on your progress.
Cannon
 

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Cannon, thanks for your suggestion - what your saying makes a lot of sense. I could be throwing out a good engine because I'm overlooking some other minor problem in my rush. I will have to order up a new solenoid to get it to crank, so it may be next weekend before I get that back. Did you have to remove the engine to redo the head gasket or were you able to swap that out with the engine in place?
Damian
 

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To remove the head and head gasket, the engine can stay on the chassis. The blower housing, the rocker arm cover, the intake, and the exhaust must come off for ready access. You can leave the intake attached, and the exhaust pipe will come out the top of the muffler, so if they are too difficult, the head can be removed with them attached. The throttle control and the fuel line must be disconnected. The rocker arms should be loosened, and the pushrods removed, then the head bolts can come off making the head removable.
BUT, this is putting the cart before the horse. You can simply remove the spark plug and turn the crankshaft via the screen on the top or the pulley underneath the chassis mount. With the plug out, any fluid causing hydro lock could escape via the plug hole.
Have you tried rotating the crankshaft manually? You may have a bad starter which is less expensive to replace.
When you report needing a solenoid, I figure you mean the starter relay that supplies power to the starter motor when the key is turned to START. You can use just about any generic part for that purpose, you do not need to get an OEM or factory part. For the relay to work, it needs the power connected from the START position lug on the ignition switch, and a ground. Some ground through the mounting bolts, others need a separate ground wire. Connect the two large cable terminals, and that's it.
To determine if the starter is functional, WITH SPARKS, you can connect a jumper cable to bare metal of the chassis and the "-" car battery terminal. Connect the red, "+" wire to the battery, and touch(jam) the jumper cable wire onto the bare terminal on the starter motor. Be aware you will get sparks, AND the engine may startle you by cranking and starting (if the key is ON, fueled, etc). That should determine if replacing the relay will result in a crankable engine. It does take your mower battery out of the equation.
Last thought was if all the safety switches are intact, you need the brake/clutch pedal depressed and latched/locked in place, the PTO lever must be in the disengage position(no blades running), and maybe the seat must be occupied(maybe if cranking to start the engine, but you are jumpering).
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tom, thank you for your time and the useful info. I will pull the plug and manually crank the engine and see if that gives me any clues as to what's going wrong. I might be able to get things freed up so that it starts again.
"When you report needing a solenoid, I figure you mean the starter relay that supplies power to the starter motor when the key is turned to START " - Yes, that's right. I'll check that with a voltmeter. Last time I tried to jump-start the engine I blew something and I think it was more than a fuse. I will trace trace the current through and see what's wrong and report back.

Take care,

Damian
 

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I would be sure there's no gas in the oil before anything else, gas leaking past carbs is common on Kohlers. If you do determine that the head gasket is bad watch this short video from Repair Clinic. Like Tom said the solenoid can be worked around until you can get one.
Cannon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I pulled the plug and I was able to crank the engine by rotating the fan on top. It seems okay, no fluids, and I didn't notice anything binding, so that's encouraging.
The oil on the dip stick definitely stinks of gas and guess what, the gas tank is completely empty. I never leave my tanks run completely dry - I dump anti-gum additive into the last few gallons at the end of the season.

My next steps are: charge up the battery and replace the oil. I will search for treads on gas-in-the-oil on Kohlers here on MTF. As Cannon suggested, I'll check the carb. I'll strip and clean with Berryman's and clean out the jets. Due to work and family commitments I'll report back next weekend after I've done that.

I really appreciate the helpful advice I've gotten from you fellas!

Take care,

Damian
 

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Read through this thread on rebuilding the Walbro LMK's.
I have one cv15 with a Nikki carb but most came with Walbros.
Cannon
 

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Be careful when removing the needle valve and seat. Memory fades, but I think the Walbro has a 'rubber' seat and a metal needle. The seat is about the size of the 'o' within the quote marks. It will, repeat WILLLLLL blow somewhere in the basement if you use compressed air to 'clean out the junk' and forget it's there.
If you have the Nikki, I have not taken one apart yet. The Walbro kit was close to $50 maybe 10 years ago, so someone thinks their parts are/should be gold plated. Proud, they are, of their product, and value accordingly.
That said, I would consider looking on the various sites for one sourced from the far east. Even if you just use the gaskets and seals, you would be ahead if you had to buy two to make one good one. Caveat Emptor.
I did have a leakdown where the tank was empty... and the garage strangely smelt of fuel.
I installed a shutoff valve, and try to be religious about using it every time I park. The other has a fuel pump which should act as a shutoff if the poppet valves are functional(spring loaded to close flow until pressure forces them open).
Point being, a shutoff may be a good investment, not only preventing oil dilution, stinky storage areas, but potentially having a liquid fueled fire. You just have to remember to use it.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, guys! I'm back on the job :)
I ordered an OEM gasket set for the carb last Monday and I'm still waiting on it even though it's coming from KY. The carb has been pretty much trouble free for the past 15 years, so I figured it was worth keeping. I could have bought a new carb for an extra $10, but I figured I might be buying another new one in two years time.

I also got a new air, fuel, and oil filter and that kit included a fuel shut-off valve and fuel line.

Thanks for the great advice guys, especially for the heads-up on the needle seat. I'd have definitely lost that. I have the old black tiles on my basement floor and I can't tell you how many times I've had to crawl around the floor on my hands and knees feeling around for a small bolt or nut that jumped out of my hands.

More later . . .
 

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As luck would have it, the carb rebuild kit arrived yesterday afternoon and the fuel, oil, air filters and fuel shutoff arrived earlier in the week. I replaced those things, hit the ignition and the engine fired right up. I mowed the yard today and the engine ran like a swiss watch. And to think that I was willing to dump the engine - I never though I'd suspect myself as having more money than brains, but there you have it . . . This leak-and-lock situation with the engine presents doomsday symptoms. Maybe that's why there are so many good engines on the used-engine market.
The Walbro carb didn't have a rubber seat at the base, it's all brass. I didn't get the kit that had the replacement brass seat/insert, it just had the gaskets and the floating needle that dropped into the seat. So the seal probably wouldn't pass the vacuum test that a video on YouTube shows. But, I added the fuel-shutoff as close to the carb as I could - worst case scenario, a bowl full of gas will leak out slowly over the winter. No big deal, I change the oil in the spring anyway.
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Everything else was pretty much uneventful, except for this:

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Grrrrr, I hate meeces to pieces. I ripped off the cover and got that mess ut of there. Otherwise, it would have left the engine feeling hot-headed! I'll have to remember to get mothballs in there in the fall. Fortunately, they didn't chew through the wiring.


Cannon and Tom - thank you so much for your help. My first post to MTF has been like having a brother or a dad to bounce ideas off of.
I'm hope your good citizenship brings you good karma.

Take care,

Damian
 
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