Kohler Courage Blown Engine?

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  #1  
Old 08-13-14, 07:27 PM
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Kohler Courage Blown Engine?

Hello. I was mowing my yard today when my Toro zero turn started to miss and then backfired and shut off. It wouldn't restart, and when I crank it, it turns over real fast and sounds as if it hasn't got any compression. Theres also oil leaking from where the motor mounts to the body, all around the motor. In fact, I left it sitting because I had to go to work and when I returned the motor had drained completely. I had just checked the oil 2 weeks ago, I keep it in a garage and there was no prior leaks, so I think its safe to assume the crankcase was full before this incident occured. My questionion is do you think the motor blew? if so, what should I do about a DIY repair? I don't see any obvious places where the oil could be coming from. What parts should I order as a start? Any pointers are appreciated. Its a SV610-20 model motor for a Toro Timecutter 5000
 
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Old 08-14-14, 06:47 AM
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My first guess would be a broken connecting rod that blew a hole in the crank case.
Remove the spark and see if you can see the piston move up and down.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 07:17 AM
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I would first suspect a seal on the output shaft. If it lets go when mowing you'd probably not notice as all the oil is draining down and out of sight. Your first sign of trouble is when the motor dies from oil starvation.

Don't feel bad. There's probably not anything you could have done if it was the seal. It's tough to catch even if you have an oil pressure gauge. The gauge is probably down to the side and you can't constantly stare at it while mowing. Stationary engines have low oil shutdown but it's problematic on a machine that's driving on hills and bouncing about.

A blown (I think of broken connecting rod and a hole poked through the side of the case.) engine is a possibility but I think you would have noticed the sound. My money is on the seal. Is the engine or mower under warranty?
 
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Old 08-14-14, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the reply ya'll. I am going to look into both of these issues, first being the output shaft seal. I guess I need to remove the motor and have a look, huh. I did add oil and try to crank it, but that didn't change anything. Does the low oil pressure shutdown have a reset other than refilling oil? And no, unfortunately it is not under warranty. It has been a great mower. I will do whatever it takes to get it back up and running again, short of replacing the $850 motor. That would constitute a replacement mower. Anyway, I'll let you all know what I find.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:16 AM
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Sounds like bad news. I'm betting on the rod poking a hole in the block.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:28 AM
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Your mower probably does NOT have low oil shutdown. That is a feature usually only used on stationary engines like generators. The movement of a riding mower causes the oil to slosh around causing nuisance shutdowns.

I've blown engines (broken connecting rod which pokes a hole in the case) when racing. It alone is not that bad to repair. If you just had a rod break the other parts of the engine may be OK. Worse would be if the seal went, draining out the oil which opens up many internal parts to oil starvation damage... which can cause you to throw a rod and poke a hole in the case.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:44 AM
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Okay, so I have a question, albeit dumb as it may sound. If the connecting rod did break, where is the oil coming from? I looked everywhere and see no "hole poked through the block". The oil looks as though it is coming from a non-existent leaking gasket evenly about a half inch from the bottom of where it mounts to the frame. That being said, I can't access the bottom of the motor just yet. I haven't removed it yet. I will take pictures this afternoon when I get home and post them. I'll also remove the spark plug and look for the top if the piston moving. I'll post back in a few hours. Thanks ya'll. I hope this isn't going to cost me a fortune.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 10:48 AM
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Could be coming from anywhere. When te rod breaks, it swings around and often jams the inside of the block, often poking a hole or cracking the block and the oil runs out. Sometimes it's behind the starter or in some place not easily seen. It could be leaking from somewhere else too, you'll just have to gain access and look.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
". . .I've blown engines (broken connecting rod which pokes a hole in the case) when racing . . ."
Not to change the subject; but is that competitive Lawnmower Racing . . . . or something less exciting ?
 
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Old 08-14-14, 01:31 PM
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Go kart racing. Briggs & Stratton even produces racing engines.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 04:02 PM
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Well if you didn't have the noise normally associated with a "fly apart" you may have blown a head gasket and the compression in the crankcase is blowing the oil out the crankcase vent.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 05:03 PM
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Ok so I got home and pulled the motor & filled it with oil because I still didn't see any obvious holes and I saw oil leaking from a hairline crack located in the pictures.
My next question... What do I do from here? My guess would be a crankcase and rod with the] pistons and rings, but is there a better option? Do they have a shortblock replacement?
 

Last edited by quackstacker; 08-14-14 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 08-14-14, 05:13 PM
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Here's a close up of exactly where the crack is.
 
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Old 08-14-14, 05:34 PM
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Thanks again for all of the help!
 
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Old 08-15-14, 05:51 AM
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I would go one of two ways:

1. Search the web for a replacement engine and bolt on a new engine. Easy but probably the most expensive option. It would give you a new engine however and for a fraction of the price of a new mower.

2. You or a shop can rebuild the engine. The crack in the case can be welded and any damaged parts inside replaced. This would be lower in price but possibly half the price of a new engine depending on what's bad inside and you'd still have an engine with a lot of old parts.

3. Yes, a #3 option. Take the mower to recycling and get another one. Probably not your choice, but it is an option. Since you're at a major decision point you have to look at the entire mower and judge it's condition to see if it warrants a $850 new engine or several hundred in repairs.
 
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Old 08-15-14, 07:12 AM
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Yea, that's kind of what I was thinking. I think I'm going to go with getting a replacement engine. If I take it to my local shop it is going to cost me close to that, if not more to rebuild it. If I do it myself I don't know when I will find the time to do it, and the ol' mower still has a lot of life left in her. So I guess I'll be ordering a new motor this week. I found them all to be around $850, just like you said. Not many exceptions. You'd think that if someone could sell them for about $100 cheaper they'd corner the market, but I guess there's not that much of a margin on them. Anyway, thanks a lot. You all have been a big help, don't know if I'd have had the courage to attempt to diagnose this thing on my own, probably would have taken it to the shop and had to pay 2X as much.
 
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