Yardman/Kohler won't stay running?HELP

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  #1  
Old 06-01-05, 05:15 AM
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Yardman/Kohler won't stay running?HELP

I have a Yardman Riding mower with a Kohler engine. It has been a great product for the past 10 years or so. Well, I had a leaky carberator. So, I got a carb rebuild kit, and rebuilt it. I got the adjustment screws adjusted so it starts and runs well. The engine is a CV15S (15hp). I don't think I have any more gas leak problems, if I have one its very small. It starts right up and seems to run good until I am about 3/4 through cutting my 1/2 acre yard. Then it just runs out of gas (yes, the tank has gas in it). I look at the fuel filter, and the bowl is empty? I removed the tank, there is no obstructions, I replaced the line and the fuel filter! Same results. I am guessing there is some air leak that is causing the gas line to pressurize preventing the gas from flowing into the carb. If I let it sit a few hours gas again flows to the fuel filter and carb. It then starts back up! Any ideas where to start?
BY the way, the gas filter is an in-line automotive type, bigger than standard. AND I tried running without a gas cap, same problem.
Thanks,
Bill
 
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  #2  
Old 06-01-05, 05:45 PM
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yardman won't stay running HELP

Is there something in the gas tank that covers up the outlet in the bottom of tank?
OR!!! Are the filter and fuel line below the tank,BUT above the level of the carburator??? The weight of the gas and air pressure will push the gas only so far.
Cheese or Supertech will chime in with a more accurate diagnosis!
Post back with what you have found out and maybe this will help some other hapless soul repair his mower.
T.J. terry
 
  #3  
Old 06-02-05, 01:14 AM
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I agree, it does sound like something may be in the tank obstructing the outlet, maybe floating around in there until it happens to get sucked over it. Also, the fuel lines may be getting too old and swelling inside blocking the fuel flow.
 
  #4  
Old 06-02-05, 04:56 AM
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Still looking for help! I took off all of the fuel lines and filter. Blew compressed air thru them, could see right thru, no problem. Hooked everything back up, filled with gas and noticed that the fuel filter didn't fill with gas? It occurs to me that if the float doesn't open, gas will not flow ( even as far as the filter)? I started it right up, and while running it on high idle I noticed a gas leak. So, after changing all the seals I still have a leak, can't tell from where. I checked the manual, on the Walbro carb, leaks can occur 1-when the float level is set too high, 2-Dirt under fuel inlet needle, 3-Bowl vent plugged, 4-float cracked, 5-gasket damaged. Am I safe in assuming that, 2 and 4 are not likely given that the motor dies from lack of gas at some point? AND that 5 is not likely as I just replaced the gasket. So 1 and 3 are the most likely, but I didn't see anything on float adjustment? HOW is it done? Also, Bowl vents plugged, how do you check this? What about the leak being at the barb for the gas line? How is the barb attached? Doesn't look like its screwed on.
Thanks for all the help.
Bill
 
  #5  
Old 06-02-05, 04:59 AM
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Also, the fuel filter is slightly below the inlet of the carb, but not anymore than before I was having problems. No obstructions in the fuel line.
Thanks,
Bill
 
  #6  
Old 06-03-05, 01:06 AM
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You'll have to determine where the leak is coming from in order to figure out what the problem is. There are more causes of leaks than what the manual tells you. Where is it coming from specifically? Does this engine have a fuel pump?
 
  #7  
Old 06-03-05, 04:44 AM
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Cheese,

There is no fuel pump. The gas line goes from the tank to the carb and is gravity fed. The float opens/closes the fuel flow by a needle valve. I did notice that the one in my carb had a orange material on the end. I was thinking it was a silicone rubber tip to help the sealing. The needle valve in the repair kit was just steel.
The leak location is a tough one. There is a draft in the area from the motor running, I haven't figured out how to stop it so I can pinpoint the leak. Do you know if you are suposed to bend the float to adjust it?
Thanks
Bill
 
  #8  
Old 06-04-05, 12:44 AM
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If the new needle didn't have the rubber tip, then it's the wrong one and probably the source of the problem. It won't seal in a carb made for a rubber tipped needle. I wouldn't try to change the float level. If it ran fine all those years, then it's ok. Something else is wrong.
 
  #9  
Old 06-06-05, 05:10 AM
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I figured that the rubber tipped one was the right one, and left it in the rebuild. I checked the carb out this morning under the microscope. I can't find any cracks, and the sealing surfaces look okay. Anything I should check before I put it back together? Is there any reason for me to take the welch plug out if it runs fine, just leaks somewhere?
Thanks,
Bill
 
  #10  
Old 06-06-05, 03:16 PM
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Man I'm really frustrated on this one. I was wondering if maybe I had 2 different problems. The first being the fuel filter too low, that caused the motor to stall after 1/2 the lawn was cut. AND the 2nd being the leaking gas. Well, I shortened the gas line as much as I can. Its almost stretched between the tank and the carb. I took te carb apart again, checked everything I could think of, put it all back together. I cut the lawn tonight. It stalled out a few times and still has a small gas leak at the carb. So , I didn't get anywhere. When it stalls the fuel filter is empty of gas. If I disconnect the fuel line on the carb side of the fuel filter and lower it below the gas tank as far as it will go, the gas will start flowing ad fill the filter. I then reconnect the filter to the carb and away I go. Cuttin gthe lawn for about 20minutes. I then have to repeat the process! Whew! What's going on here????? Anybody?
Thanks,
Bill
 
  #11  
Old 06-06-05, 04:27 PM
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Bhowe,

I have been following your post and have read it carefully. One thing that concerns me is your leak at the carb. Is this leak from around the bowel or from the carb overflow port which would indicate an inlet needle problem ? The second concern I have is does your engine have the solonoid cut off mounted on the bowel?

Keep in mind that if your inlet needle, at some point during mowing, freezes in the inlet hole you will have vapor lock and your gas will not flow from the tank. Did you replace the inlet seat when you did the rebuild? This will present the problem your having. If your carb is gravity feed you should be using the hard tipped inlet needle and I recommend installing a new seat.

Also, don't pull your hose very tight. There is no need to do so. Your problem is else where. Also, check your vent cap in the tank again. Make sure it is fully open.

Hope this helps and God Bless!
Dave 237
 
  #12  
Old 06-06-05, 11:09 PM
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Any chance your muffler has blown out and is blowing hot exhaust at the carb?
 
  #13  
Old 06-07-05, 06:11 AM
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Dave,

I don't know where to look for a carb overflow port? The leak does look like it is around the bowl seal. However, the inlet barb line is right above it. The leak could be coming from there and dripping down onto the seal? There is no solenoid ( electrical) device on the carb, the gas is gravity fed.
I didn't replace the needle or seat. The needle was not the same as the one in the rebuild kit. I didn't get a new seat with the rebuild so I couldn't replace anything. There is a c'bore deep in the seat, maybe its designed to accept an o-ring? If that was the case then I could use the new needle valve. But I would need to know the size of the o-ring.
I've been running the mower with the cap on, but loose. Still have the problem, I don't think its that.
Thanks,
Bill
 
  #14  
Old 06-07-05, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cheese
Any chance your muffler has blown out and is blowing hot exhaust at the carb?
Cheese,

The muffler is good, and not near the carb!
Thanks
Bill
 
  #15  
Old 06-07-05, 08:32 AM
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Are u absolutely certain that there is no fuel pump...? I am by no means a Kohler expert but have yet to see one without a fuel pump. They are usually almost incoporated in the carb. Should be a rectangle metal cover with 2 maybe 3 fuel lines. Model CV15S-41610 made for John Deere is equipped with such a fuel pump.

I am not familiar with the walbro carb u have, however some needles tips do appear to be the same material as the rest of the needle. Depress your fingernail on the needle tip and see if there is any give...also I have found parts listings for needle and seat kits for CV15S Kohler engines...not sure which carbs.....

If the carb fuel inlet is at or above the fuel tank outlet...I would bet on some type of fuel pump. These are diaphram, vacuum actuated pumps and after sitting for 5 yrs, will certainly be worth replacing.

P.S. If equipped with a fuel pump, this could also be a source for a fuel leak which would be hard to locate as it may actually be leaking by the diaphrams and to the outside via another path.
 
  #16  
Old 06-07-05, 08:38 AM
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Bhowe,

With everything else given to be in check I would consider removeing the carb and pulluing the inlet seat and replacing it with a new one along with a new needle.

God Bless,
Dave237
 
  #17  
Old 06-07-05, 08:44 AM
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Aziz,

I am certain there is no fuel pump. I have taken the carb off and disassembled it. The fuel line runs directly from the tank to the carb without any other assemblies in between.
Thanks
Bill
 
  #18  
Old 06-07-05, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dave237
Bhowe,

With everything else given to be in check I would consider removeing the carb and pulluing the inlet seat and replacing it with a new one along with a new needle.

God Bless,
Dave237
So you're thinking its not stopping the gas flow? Wouldn't that flood the motor? OR at least run very rich, black smoke, etc. AND why would that effect the amount of gas in the fuel filter? It seems to me the fuel filter would stay full in that case, which it doesn't.

Thanks
Bill
 
  #19  
Old 06-07-05, 09:32 AM
Azis
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Originally Posted by Bhowe
Aziz,
Az is

Can u provide the model # of your mower? I may be able to find more info to reference.
With the fuel filter being empty at time of failure, I would say the problem is between the tank and needle of the carb at least.

In a failed condition, instead of lowering the fuel line when removed from the carb side of the filter...leave it at the same height as it would need to be to run normally then begin to diagnose fuel flow.
Do you get fuel flow by simply removing the line from the carb? if no...
Loosen the cap on the tank (I know u have done this but lets be sequential ) if no...
Remove the fuel line from the filter to the carb...if no remove the filter...line....if no...
slightly pressurize the tank by cupping your hand around the filler neck and blowing into your hand...BE CAREFULL and use Common sense Saftey first!!!!

At some point u should get fuel flow without lowering the hose below where it would normally be.

I have located some engine manuals online...can you determine if your engine is a command or command pro series...?
 
  #20  
Old 06-07-05, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Azis
...

If the carb fuel inlet is at or above the fuel tank outlet...I would bet on some type of fuel pump. These are diaphram, vacuum actuated pumps and after sitting for 5 yrs, will certainly be worth replacing.
I was mistaken, these are mechanicaly actuated diaphram pumps


Here is some new (at least to me) online info from Kohler. I am quite relieved and impressed to see it
http://www.kohlerengines.com/service...ls_results.jsp

Here is link to the Service manual for the Command series,http://www.kohlerengines.com/common/.../tp_2339_d.pdf
 
  #21  
Old 06-07-05, 10:39 AM
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Aziz,

The model is a CV15 (spec #61515) with the Walbro carb. If I remember correctly. I had no flow to the filter, I removed the line on the carb side of the filter, still no flow. I removed the gas cap ( tank), still no flow. I then lowered the filter and I think I moved the tank back and forth a few times. It then started flowing like water ( no restriction).
I will empty the tank and take another look inside tonight. Like I said before, I did this once, and shoved a drill bit thru the opening, so I don't think its restricted, unless its a hinged screen?
That is the correct sevice manual you listed above. It shows a fuel inlet seat (looks like an o-ring) and fuel inlet needle. Mine did not come with an o-ring, it has a rubber tipped needle. I do not have the solenoid on my bowl, just the screw.
Thanks for the support
Bill
 

Last edited by Bhowe; 06-07-05 at 10:51 AM.
  #22  
Old 06-07-05, 10:54 AM
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If you have a fuel valve, this would also be worthy of checking or replacing.
 
  #23  
Old 06-07-05, 10:59 AM
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I have the fuel needle that came with the kit, its not rubber tipped. I have no seat or o-ring to install. So, I am hopping that this is not the problem as I don't have any options to repair it.
Thanks,
Bill
 
  #24  
Old 06-07-05, 05:47 PM
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Bhowe,

You were mistaken with my post about the inlet seat. I was inferring that your needle was at some point, during mowing, hanging in the inlet seat and starving your carb bowel of fuel from the tank. This would explain your vapour lock condition in the tank line and filter. If gas can not flow by the inlet needle and seat then I would expect to see this symptom.

Sincerely,
Dave237
 
  #25  
Old 06-07-05, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Azis
If you have a fuel valve, this would also be worthy of checking or replacing.
I was refering to an on/off valve in the fuel line most likely at the tank fitting. Yours may not be equipped.
 
  #26  
Old 06-08-05, 01:17 AM
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I believe your fuel lines have begun to swell internally. Collapsing and restricting the flow of fuel. Could be wrong, but that's about all that makes sense unless something is in the tank that occasionally gets over the outlet and restricts the flow.
 
  #27  
Old 06-08-05, 08:07 AM
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Just last week I had a small pickup pull in my drive with a riding mower in the bed. It would start and run but not well, missing and sputtering. Once unloaded it started ran and mowed normally. I removed the gas cap and plucked a well preserved "Wasp" floating in the 1/8 tank of gas from the tank, sent the lady on her way and have not heard of any further problems.
 
  #28  
Old 06-08-05, 10:45 AM
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I disconnected the fuel line, and the gas flowed easily into the gas can, no restriction or hang up at all. When it was just sitting, I noticed a slight leak, I had to look for a while to see it. It was around the bowl rubber gasket. I took it off and checked under the scope at work. I thought maybe I had a groove in a sealing surface. I didn't see anything. I believe the bottom of the bowl is cupped in slightly, this causes the hold down bolt to tighten up before the seal actually has pressure on it. I flattened the bowl bottom out, I'll check tonight to see if it still leaks. I am optimistic at this point. I think I was drawing in air instead of gas.
Will let you know
Bill
 
  #29  
Old 06-15-05, 11:38 AM
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Well guys, it looks like the gas leak was the problem. It was indeed leaking around the bowl gasket. It was hard to identify becasue it could leak anyhwere around the perimeter of the seal. I don't have a leak anymore and I don't seem to have any stalling or running out of gas. I will cut the lawn tonight to be sure all is fixed.
Thanks for all your support and answers.
Bill
 
  #30  
Old 06-28-05, 11:50 AM
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Apparently I was wrong. The mower still cuts out on me about half way through the lawn. I ran it last night without the gas cap off and it still happened. I checked the fuel filter and it looked empty. When I went to remove the gas line on the carb side of the filter, the filter started filling with gas again. I do have an automotive filter inline. Could this be the problem?
Ideas,
Bill
 
  #31  
Old 06-28-05, 10:49 PM
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Check the carburetor bowl vent. It could be clogged. Try loosening the bowl screw next time the filter looks empty and see if fuel runs out.
 
  #32  
Old 06-29-05, 11:19 PM
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wow!!

What a great story. The longest thread I've seen to date. Automotive fuel filters plug very easy. (much finer mesh) Some even have a one way valve in them. I would have replaced that sucker a long time ago or just turned it around maybe.

S/T
 
  #33  
Old 07-07-05, 12:52 PM
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Cheese,

So if its the bowl vent, I can expect no gas to leak when I loosen the screw, and gas should start flowing through the filter?
Correct?
Bill
 
  #34  
Old 07-08-05, 12:27 AM
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Loosening the screw would allow trapped air to escape and fuel to enter. You might expect a very small amount of fuel to leak out, but not a full bowl of it.
 
  #35  
Old 07-13-05, 12:17 PM
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Kohler won't stay running

I just came across this discussion board while searching for a Kohler carburetor solenoid. I have a Craftsman 15.0 HP riding mower with the same engine and the same problem, except I do not have a leak. With the fuel line disconnected at the carburetor, the gasoline flows unrestricted through the filter. This is a gravity fed system, but there is a solenoid mounted to the bottom of the fuel bowl. The solenoid opens and closes the port from the fuel bowl into the carburetor. The solenoid on my unit does activate, but my next attempted fix is to replace it. The engine runs fine for the first half of the mowing, and then gradually dies. By taking the load off the motor, I can usually keep it running until it gets back up to speed. It will then run for another 10 min. or so. It usually dies while going up a 10 -15 degree incline. I have no solution, but I can verify the same problem.
 
  #36  
Old 07-13-05, 12:22 PM
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My problem is different. I have no loss of performance or power until it abruptly cuts out (just like running out of gas)! I am going to change the filter next chance to see if that changes things.
Good luck
Bill
 
  #37  
Old 07-13-05, 01:10 PM
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I should also have said that the fuel filter is translucent, and it never has much fuel in it. Just barely enough to get to the carburetor. I would think that the fuel line and filter would be full.
 
  #38  
Old 07-18-05, 10:15 AM
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Me too!

I have a Kohler Command 17hp, and I have the same problem described here.

Mine dies after it has warmed up for 20 minutes, then seems like it is running out of gas.

I can get it to continue running when it seems like it is running out of fuel by pumping the gas cap while plugging the vent. It will then continue for about another 10 minutes. If it let it die then push the cap, I can hear it bubbling into the carb. I know it has to be fuel delivery!

When it all started I went and got all of the tune-up parts. When I opened the hood I saw that the gas tank was sunken in, and pushing on the tank popped out a dirt clod that was plugging the vent. I went ahead and replaced the air/fuel/oil filters and replaced the oil (it was time anyway). I noticed that the fuel filter I bought was actually the wrong one, it's much fatter, but fuel still flows through it quickly enough when I drain my tank for maintenance! Could it be a problem though?

The next attempt to fix had me taking apart the carb and cleaning it out with thin wires and carb cleaner...obviously still no dice. I can let it sit with a full tank and it will keep going until it get just under a full tank, then gas goes bye-bye somehow from the carb.

I'm still having the problem, but I can get through my three acres, though with quite a bit of frustration. I'm looking to replace the carb, but haven't had much look online yet.

I'm very interested in what any of you find...I want to mow without having to "work-around" it!

Thanks,

-Jeremy
 

Last edited by Jer213; 07-18-05 at 12:23 PM.
  #39  
Old 07-20-05, 11:38 AM
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Today, I mowed for about 15 - 20 min. before the engine died. So I replaced the fuel filter with a Kohler OEM filter. During the install, I noticed the fuel line ends were swollen and cracked inside where they attached to the carburetor and the filter. I trimmed about 1/2 in. off the hose ends before I installed the filter. The mower ran much better afterward and did not stall before I completed the job (about 30 min.). I will report back after the next time I mow.
 
  #40  
Old 07-21-05, 12:29 AM
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The swelling fuel lines is a common enough problem. I mentioned that at the beginning of this thread. I think whatever problem people are having with these kohlers is nothing that hasn't been already covered in this topic. If someone finds out differently, I would like to hear about it.
 
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