Craftsman Lawn Tractor - Kohler 25hp - Oil leak


Old 10-27-12, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: USA
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Craftsman Lawn Tractor - Kohler 25hp - Oil leak

I got so much help with my Echo Brush cutter I thought give my leaking lawn tractor a go.

I have had this machine about 4 yrs. After 2 yrs bought a Cub and now use the Craftsman only to move snow.

It has a small oil leak somewhere. I don't know from where because the shroud covers the area. It must be small because it has been leaking for at least 2 yrs and I have never had to add oil between changes.

I removed the shroud and all else necessary to locate the leaky area. It is behind the starter which I also removed. The area is very crudded up. I managed to clean it up with Simple Green. But, now I have no way to see exactly where the leak is unless I start it up and allow it to run while shrouds, etc. are removed.

So, question #1: How long can I expect to run the thing without the stuff in place to cool it as I try to pinpoint the leak?

Question #2: will follow, I'm sure.

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Old 10-27-12, 05:01 PM
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Most likely it is blowing back from the head gasket if it's behind the starter like that. You can crank it and run it for short periods of time but be careful, these engines are known to have head problems when they get too hot. The head will expand and let the valve guide come loose, drop down, and hold the valve open, possibly hitting the piston and ruining the engine.
Old 10-28-12, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South Jersey
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Cheese - Is this situation on the Kohler Courage single cylinder ???? I had a customer bring over a cub cadet kohler courage with a cracked block etc. It looked like the engine had stopped suddenly. What should I look for when I service one of these. Better yet, what is the solution. .... thanks john lolli
Old 10-28-12, 07:15 AM
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This is a V-twin.

Could be the issue... we'll see.

Is 5 minutes or so a short time?
Old 10-28-12, 01:12 PM
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Attachment 4799

I believe this issue to be resolved.

After taking another look at the tractor I decided to reinstall the starter and shrouds. I ran it for about an hour checking for leaks.

Found none! I moved it outside and allowed it to run bit more while I cleaned up the shop floor.

Still no leaks found and no smoking from oil dripping onto the exaust pipes.

After I thought about how I went about this, I decided I can't remember this either. At 75 yrs it's becoming more & more a challange. Got a smartphone to help out. Takes pics & makes notes... Great.

Anyway, what I believe may have been the problem is the oil filler tube. It is a press-in type. It may have been a bit loose and over time would splash a bit of oil and the air pressure from the cooling fins helped distribute it over the area. I made sure it was well seated and will check it every time I fill or add oil in the future.

I up loaded a picture of the area so others might see what I talking about.
Hope the picture makes it... never uploaded one to the forum.

If anything crops up I'll post a follow-up.

Thanks to all!!

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Old 03-12-13, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: USA
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I had a similar problem. One day, after taking the kids for a ride, and hitting some bumps, it started to smoke. Oil appeared to be pouring out. After letting it cool off, and several days, it still poured out oil and eventually smoked bad when oil hit the hot exhaust. To get a good look of where the oil was leaking, I removed the hood, blower housing, baffles and air intake. I then removed the spark plug wires and turned the engine so that I could see where the oil was coming out without having to start it. I found that the breather gasket was faulty. I could actually see the red edge of the gasket without even taking the breather cover off. The inside edges of the gasket are red, and red should never be seen with the breather cover on. Very smart for Kohler to do that. Anyhow, I hope this helps someone in the future.


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