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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Got the S2048 last year as a freebee. Had been sitting neglected in a field for a few years. Complete but broken grill, flecked with white paint, flat tires, cracked seat, lots of black widow webs, etc. When I picked it up I did not know what a stout mower it is.
Spent more time on cosmetics than the mechanical stuff. Used fiberglass to fix the hood. Tubed the tires which were cracked but usable. Cleaned the fuel system and carb, replaced the plugs and fuel pump, lubed it up, sharpened the blades and cleaned the brake.
Now it is kept in a shed, runs great and uses no oil. I enjoy the 20 hp and the easy to use hydro trans.
I don't have a real large yard and no need in So Cal for a snow plow so it doesn't get much of a workout.
Wheel Tire Riding mower Lawn mower Mower
 

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Nice!! I have a scotts 1642 (cheaper, more boring) that I bought for $30 and have slowly been modifying. I mostly just did little things like mounting a phone holder and a usb port/voltage gauge thing, but just last weekend I adapted a 50" cutting deck from a Toro to it, and went from the normal 15"/20" turf tires to 18/22" with rib tires in the front and ATV style tire in the back. Basically going to a bunch of work to make it more like yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have an issue and wonder if any of the experts have any thoughts on it. Unless I really warm up the motor it dies when I engage the PTO. I have lubed the spindles/deck zerks and do not have any significant resistance to blade rotation but I have not checked pto free rotation. Once the motor is warmed up the pto engages just fine. I don't have any strange noises from the deck like you would have with bad spindle bearings. Perhaps the motor is worn to the point that it needs to be fully warmed up to handle the deck load?
 

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I think I would make sure the governor is working as designed. In my opinion, for the engine to be so worn that you couldn't operate the PTO, it would seem to me it would barely run at all.

Check the governor operation, and check the carburetor for junk floating in it.
 

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I have an issue and wonder if any of the experts have any thoughts on it. Unless I really warm up the motor it dies when I engage the PTO. I have lubed the spindles/deck zerks and do not have any significant resistance to blade rotation but I have not checked pto free rotation. Once the motor is warmed up the pto engages just fine. I don't have any strange noises from the deck like you would have with bad spindle bearings. Perhaps the motor is worn to the point that it needs to be fully warmed up to handle the deck load?
I don't think you have a problem. It's an old, tired engine, so that doesn't surprise me. Some people here say they can turn on their PTO at idle, some say half throttle. I had a 2019 X570 that liked to be warmed up a bit before turning on the mower or it would dip down in the RPM's a lot. I have an X730 now and I drive around my yard until the engine warms up a bit before putting a mower deck load on it. Just seems to be the best way to do it for me.
 

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Yup. But we don't mention Deere around here since my wife retired from Caterpillar!
My wife is a former Massey Ferguson tractor Mechanic(Nurse Now) for one of Her Grandfathers dealerships In Ontario, Canada. I make sure I mention John Deere every day just to drive her nuts. As she is so anti-John Deere 😈
 

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I don't have any decent pics of it, but there is this one i took while in the process of adapting the 50" deck to it.

She aint no beauty queen. o_O😂

But I was very pleased that the engine seems to have 'absorbed' the extra load of running the 50" deck just fine! This is a manual engagement lever and if i slap it and let it spring itself to 'engaged' as fast as it will move, it will stall the engine under some conditions, and some others it will just take it, but with a lot of lurch/vibration.

For the record I don't think not being able to engage the PTO until engine is fully warmed is 'acceptable', but it's hard to correlate load vs power on governed engines like this because one person's governor will have their throttle 40% open to power a load, and another person's governor will have their throttle 90% open to power a load, and from the operator's seat it takes a very mechanically inclined person to notice any difference at all. So people can say 'it works for me' but not know whether it works with room to spare, or BARELY works because they don't see how far their throttle is open unless they actively go look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
She is a beaut. Functional solid machine. Sounds like you are having fun. Is that a 15hp Kohler single?
Governor - good ideas. I will check the throttle position the next time I mow. It does bog somewhat when I hit tall grass. Re the carb, I just cleaned it for the second time in a year and a half but didn't find anything unusual either time although the motor ran better afterward. So maybe my problem is the carb. I think I did a comp check when I first got it running and both cylinders were good.
Re the electric pto there are some advantages vs a belt drive. But I kinda like the belt drive for easing the deck into full operation. Maybe I'll try activating the pto at lower RPM.
 

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Sergeant - I remember by grandfather's Massey Ferguson, tricycle configuration. He was a NB farmer.
When it come to Farm Tractors I bleed Green . When it comes to Garden tractors I don't Care what color it is I usually like it (y)
 

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It is a Kohler single, supposedly 16hp. I really like it although it seems to have a bad hydraulic lash adjuster that causes a fairly loud tick until it's warmed up. I had the valve cover off diagnosing it and it doesn't seem to be doing any damage up there, so since the pushrod isn't falling out of the rocker arm and im not finding anything bad in the oil, i've just left it like that so far. My previous riding mowers were a couple of Craftsman DYT4000s with ~18hp Briggs Intek engines in them and I definitely like this Kohler better from the driver's seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Latest prob is a bent intake pushrod. Still ran but not well and sounded hurt. Straightened it and reinstalled. Back to running good. Looking for a replacement pushrod. But I am worried about a deeper problem.
 

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I had the bigger 2554 for 14 years. Very good tractor after upgrading the welded steel hubs for the JD cast hubs. Trans finally gave up. No shame in that for mowing my steep yard and plowing snow. Replaced it with an X475 i found used for a good price. Now 10 years down the road I just bought a new X758.
 

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Bent pushrod could be due to a number of things. Usually on cars bent pushrods happen when the engine has been sitting for a long time and on first startup a valve is a little stuck and doesn’t want to open due to gunk/corrosion at valve guide and seat.

If the engine wasn’t sitting for a long time it could also be because something allowed the valve lash to massively increase and let the pushrod unseat. So for example if you had a hydraulic lifter that ‘drained’ while sitting, or a rocker arm a bit too loose, those could let the pushrod move too much. The pushrod basically sits in bowls or cones at each end, and if one end of the pushrod was to come out of the botton of that cone/bowl and then end up on the ‘rim’ of that during the next valve opening, it would act like it was ~.2” longer and if it maxes the available valve travel (valvespring coil bind or retainer hits top of guide) it would then bend the pushrod. A drained hydraulic lifter would create a chance for that at startup but then would ‘pump back up’ and hide itself as the root cause. A loose rocker arm would be loose all the time and cause low power and uneven running constantly.

So if it ran fine and then was parked for a good while and started back up with a bent pushrod id suspect either slight corrosion on a valve making it not want to open, which would likely NOT reoccur after you ‘fixed’ the pushrod (in which case you’re already done), or hydraulic lash adjusters ‘bleeding down’, which might lead to slight clatter until oil pressure comes upand a slightchance of a bent pushrod, but only applies if you HAVE a pressurized oil system and hydraulic lifters! Which i dont know on that engine. Just speaking generalities from my 2 decades of being an auto technician.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Vigo - thanks for the perspectives. My son is also a pro mechanic who suggested similar scenarios. I use the mower weekly. It has been a bit temperamental in the past probably due to carb issues but has started well lately. But when I started it yesterday it did not run well, like it was running on one cyl, so I pulled plug wire 1 and the motor died. Reattached, restarted and pulled plug wire 2 - motor continued to run. So I figured I had a prob with cyl 2. Reattached and raised rpm. After maybe a minute it began to run better so I did the plug wire pull thing again - this time it ran on both cylinders but better on cyl 1. Checked cyl 2 and found the bent pushrod - bent about far as it could bend inside the head.
The motor uses no oil and does not smoke so a "sticky" valve seems unlikely.
I guess it could be somethin like a loose valve seat not allowing the valve to close then having the pushrod do as you mentioned - jump out of the cone, bend, then the seat re-seats and the pushrod jumps back into the cone. But you would think once the pushrod was out of either cone it would not somehow jump back in.
So I will replace the pushrod and run it. Maybe I will pull head 2. If the motor dies of something serious I don't think it would be worth replacing the motor with a new one and I probably would not chance a used one.
 

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You will need to know the variant of the cv20s, as well as the serial number. The random one I looked at, used two different pushrods, with a serial number split.
 
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