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Cub Cadet tractor with blown head gasket


jl66redcpe's Avatar
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02-18-16, 09:04 AM   #1  
Cub Cadet tractor with blown head gasket

Someone stopped at the shop today and wanted to give me a Cub Cadet 2186 tractor with a Kohler Command Engine and a blown head gasket. It also has the bagger unit. He just bought a new Husqvarna and needs the room. I said I would be glad to take it. I am a bit confused because he told me he changed the head gasket and five days later it blew again. Looking from the front of the tractor (not the seat) it is the left bank where the problem is. I know Kohler had some issues with their 2 cyl engines a while back blowing head gaskets. What was the permanent solution to fix this and why do you think the second gasket blew ????? Again this is a Kohler Command either 18 or 20 HP horizontal engine.

 
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02-18-16, 09:38 AM   #2  
When you change head gaskets using something abrasive to clean the block or head is a really bad idea. Taking material off leads to a failed installation.

Also, if the engine overheated, the head could be warped.

Lastly it could have been the torque on the head bolts or the sequence of tightening.

Bout any of this stuff would cause it.

 
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02-18-16, 11:43 AM   #3  
If the cooling fins are caked with dirt and grass, if the blower shroud and/or shields are not in place, if the head is warped, if the carb is filling the cylinder with gas, if the head bolts are the type that have been updated and they haven't been updated yet, if they weren't torqued properly, of if the mating surfaces weren't properly cleaned and prepared for reassembly, it could blow the new gasket.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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02-18-16, 05:00 PM   #4  
I think Cheeses advise is the one I would take on this one.
Any time I change a head gasket I take the head and lap it on a piece of glass with emery cloth paper taped to it and move it in a figure 8 to lap it flat.

 
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02-19-16, 03:24 AM   #5  
Hello jl66redcpe,

Adding to all the great replies to your question, it's possible the head gasket he was sold was old stock of the old design, not the latest greatest design. Make sure the replacement you get is the latest which comes as kit form with all new mounting hardware.

Couple tips;

It only takes a little more time since the intake and exhaust are already off to replace the other side as well, do both sides or you could be doing the whole job again shortly down the road.

With your finger, add just a little coat of oil to the head bolt threads, this will reduce thread friction for a more precise torque setting.....


Good Luck,

31

 
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02-19-16, 05:01 AM   #6  
Thank you all for the replies. I asked the owner where he bought the head gasket and he told me he bought it at a local cub cadet dealer in Hammonton NJ. Does anyone have the part number for the new head gasket kit. I assume new head bolts come with the kit -- correct ????

 
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02-19-16, 03:55 PM   #7  
Hello jl66redcpe,


Could you please look on the flywheel cover for a white decal, on that decal will be a model and spec. number. Post those numbers up and I'll be happy to look it up for you, I want to make sure I post the correct part number.....


31

 
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02-19-16, 09:31 PM   #8  
If I recall correctly, the old bolts are thinner across from the head to the threads, then the diameter increases at the threaded section. I think the new bolts are pretty much the same diameter all the way down the shank, both portions (threaded and unthreaded sections).


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02-20-16, 05:04 AM   #9  
Hello Mr. Cheese,


You are correct, that was the first change made trying to solve the blowing gasket issue.

As I recall;

The first design Command engine had head studs with the same smaller shank between the threaded area's, shortly after introduction they made a running change from head studs to small shank head bolts. The first head gasket "kit" consisted of the original design head gasket with both larger shank studs new washers and nuts along with head bolts, you replaced which ever your engine had.

The second "kit" consisted of the same studs and bolts but a new second design gasket, they still had the issue. They then came out with a third design gasket, they then decided at that point to remove the studs from the "kit" to I assume save cost. If your engine had studs, they were replaced with bolts.

They had finally gotten the fork in the pickle with the last design head gasket, since Kohler always suggested to replace both sides at the same time they only included one intake and exhaust gasket in each "kit". Today's "kit" is comprised of four large shank head bolts- latest designed head gasket- one each intake and exhaust gasket and installation sheet.

I'm requesting jl66redcpe's engine numbers due to the head gasket issue service bulletin #257 doesn't apply to CH/CV 18 and 20 hp engines, only CH/CV 23.5 to 27 hp engines......


31

 
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02-20-16, 06:10 AM   #10  
They had finally gotten the fork in the pickle
Never heard that one before. That's pretty good Tech.

 
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02-20-16, 08:20 AM   #11  
Thanks all for your responses.
It is a Kohler Command 20 HP - CH20. I charged the battery and tried to start it. It started and smoked blue smoke like a mosquito sprayer. I was afraid the forest fire service was oging to give me a call -- that is how much smoke there was. A couple thngs -- the engine was way overfilled with oil double the amount per the dipstick. The oil smelled a little like gas but not terribly. The engine backfired while it was running. It doesnt sound to me like a blown head gasket ???? I did not see any oil around the head that supposedly has the blown gasket. I am thinking maybe carb needle and seat. I will need to do a leak down test before I tear into it however I am going to drain some oil out of it to a normal level and see what happens. I neveer asked the guy why he thought the head gasket was blown - dumb me.

 
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02-20-16, 09:20 AM   #12  
Hello jl66redcpe,


I suggest changing the oil if there's any hint of fuel smell, if there is it's also thinning the oil out. Just draining down thinned oil could still promote smoking. As you mentioned, a leak-down test will tell the full story.


Good Luck,


31

 
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02-20-16, 09:28 AM   #13  
Hello marbobj,


Ha! Must be a younger fella eh ?


31

 
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02-20-16, 09:44 AM   #14  
Yes I was... A long time ago.

 
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02-20-16, 12:13 PM   #15  
31 - you certainly cant be calling me a younger fella I am one of the older folks on here that's still working on this stuff every day in the spring/summer.

 
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02-20-16, 12:51 PM   #16  
Can't say as I have ever heard it stated just quite like that, but the meaning is clear. When you like sweet jerkins with you burgers, getting them out of the jar can be a bit challenging. Getting the fork in the pickle is only the first part, then you still need to get it out of the jar
Bit more than stick a fork in me, I am done...


Just needs a bigger hammer
Peace

 
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02-20-16, 05:18 PM   #17  
Hello BFHFixit,

I agree with trying to slide the first few pickles out, but the analogy I was thinking is when you get down to two/three dills in a large jar, they float on top on their side. Every time you try poking the fork in, it pushes the pickle down at the same time causing it to roll from under the fork and bob back to the top.

When you do finally get one forked, most times it's toward the center, good luck try'n to get a sideways pickle out the neck of the jar.....


So sorry jl66redcpe for pickling up your thread, sometime things just get carried away......


31

 
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02-21-16, 04:04 AM   #18  
No problem 21 enjoyed the banter.

 
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