23 hp Kohler smokes on startup and valve noise

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  #1  
Old 07-26-08, 07:37 AM
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23 hp Kohler smokes on startup and valve noise

The engine is on a Snapper Lawn Tractor GT23540 23 HP Kohler Command, Vertical Shaft, Carbureted, 54 inch deck. Tractor is 2 yrs old and engine has 49 hours. I purchased it new from a Snapper Dealer.
It has begun smoking at startup after sitting a week between cuttings. Additionally it has what seems to be a noisy valve as the tapping sound is pretty loud at startup. It appears to be on the passenger side per my stethoscope. It quiets down when the engine warms up maybe 3 minutes after running.
The oil was changed at 5 hours as required with 10W30 SJ, new filter too. Always been garaged, always blown off when done, never even rained on.
All help is appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-26-08, 09:00 PM
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The engine has a 2 year warranty, so look into that even if you're over the mark. Explain your meticulous upkeep and maintainence and that it only has 49 hrs on it.

The problem could be gas in the oil. If so, forget the warranty and just fix it yourself. Smell the oil and see if it smells like gas.

If not, then the problem may be a bad head gasket. If this is the case, it would be great if warranty would cover it. If not, we'll go from there.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 04:09 AM
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Cheese - thanks for the response. Actaully, we purchased the double engine warranty when we bought it so it should be covered under warranty. I just want to know what is wrong. We bought the mower in April of 2006. Coincidentally, the regular waranty just expired. It would seem oil is somehow leaking down the valve guides which wold explain the blue smoke. I dont believe this engine has hydralic lifters which might explain the valve noise until it warms up. I always felt the motor was running rich -- no black smoke - it just acted that way kind of sluggish and some gas smell in the exhaust. I will check the oil to see if it smells. I will probably put it on the trailer and take it back to the dealer this coming week. I have never been a fan of Kohler engines.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 04:25 PM
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I went out this afternoon and smelled the oil. It had a faint gas smell however no more than any other engine I have.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 04:40 PM
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I went out this afternoon and smelled the oil. It had a faint gas smell however no more than any other engine I have.
 
  #6  
Old 07-27-08, 10:31 PM
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The oil isn't getting down the valve guides. It's probably seeping through a leak in the head gasket between the pushrod chanber and the cylinder. Kohler had some trouble with that for a while, and has a revision kit to take care of it. Both heads should be done if this is the case. Kohler makes good engines. About as good as you can get in domestic engines.
 
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Old 07-28-08, 04:53 AM
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Cheese -- thanks I will look into it
 
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Old 08-04-08, 12:56 PM
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Well - I am almost embarassed to report what I did to fix it. Cleaned pre-filter on air cleaner and replaced air cleaner. Problem gone. I felt the mower had been running rich and it was. I later changed the oil and filter as well after the problem was fixed. I think the old filter system was not allowing proper vacuum. Remember this engine only had 47 hours and I cleaned the pre-filter & filter at the beginning of the season. Just goes to show you -- check it before you use it every time.
 
  #9  
Old 08-05-08, 12:49 AM
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Glad you got it, and thanks for the update!
 
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