Simplicity Sunstar tractor oil light on

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  #1  
Old 07-21-16, 04:00 PM
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Simplicity Sunstar tractor oil light on

My 1995 Simplicity's oil light came on while mowing. I immediately shut down the machine and checked the oil level which was actually a bit over full. I took it back to the garage and removed the excess oil and restarted the engine and the light came on and remained on for a minute until I shut it down again. The mower has a Kohler Command CH20 Spec # 64512 with about 1200 hours on it. I need to know what to check first before removing the engine and accessing the oil pump, relief valve and whatever else might be causing this. There is supposed to be a sending switch somewhere on top of the engine, but thought someone might have a clue as to what to check first
 
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Old 07-21-16, 04:31 PM
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Is this a separate oil light or a message on a LCD?
I doubt there is a pressure switch for the oil system since most likely the only thing pressurized are the main bearings on the crank.
Any sensor should be a contact switch...so I would guess a bad switch or a wire came off or cut or..???
 
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Old 07-21-16, 04:50 PM
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On the models that do actually monitor oil pressure, the pressure switch is screwed in right at the oil filter and has aone single wire connected to it. Do you see that on yours?
 
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Old 07-21-16, 06:20 PM
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Simplicity Sunstar Oil Light

Something is sending 12 volts to a light behind a plastic screen with "oil" superimposed on it so you know what it is for. No LCD

Tthere is no single wire at or near the oil filter going in the direction of this light. There IS supposed to be a switch under the carb plate between the cylinder heads on this engine according to OPE engines, but the machine is stored 15 miles away and I couldn't check it before I posted the questions.

Personally I don't know how you can have an automotive type filter without a pressurized oil pump system, but I am not the expert, you guys are. There is also supposed to be an oil pump, pressure relief valve and one other thing accessable by removing a plate of some kind on the engine block.
 
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Old 07-21-16, 06:26 PM
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I was thinking of a single cylinder command when I mentioned the oil sender near the oil filter. On the twins, it is where you described, between the cylinders. It may just be a bad sending unit. The only way to be sure is to check with a gauge or pressurize the sending unit and see if it loses continuity to ground with 10 psi or so.

If it has an oil filter, the system is pressurized. Normaly the rod journals, main bearings, camshaft, lifters, and valvetrain are given oil from the pump.
 
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Old 07-21-16, 07:23 PM
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Sunstar Oil Light

I found a switch like you describe on a Parts Website. I suppose if I removed it, I could test to see of oil streams out of the hole and take it from there...
 
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Old 07-21-16, 08:01 PM
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You could. It won't tell you what pressure it's under but it will tell you if it's pumping or not. I doubt seriously that you have no oil pressure but it doesn't hurt to check. The way these pumps are made, about the only way it could lose oil pressure is for it to be out of oil. I've seen more oil pressure switches fail than oil pumps fail on these things... by far. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen an oil pump fail on one of these except in cases where the engine was run without oil entirely.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 08:49 AM
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Simplicity tractor Oil Light On

Hi Cheese,

Considering that this engine did not run out of oil on my watch, I'm inclined to agree with you about the switch. A guy on another site posted to me that if I remove the single wire on the switch with the engine running and the light goes out, (I did that and the light did go out) that the switch is stuck and isn't opening when the oil pressure gets to it. He also stated that HE has never seen an oil pump fail on one of these either (except in the conditions you describe.) I think an order for a new switch is prudent. I can plainly see the switch with the steel plate that supports the air cleaner etc removed. It is accessable with a pair of channel locks but you may have a better Idea for which tool to use?

Thanks again for your words of wisdom!
 
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Old 07-23-16, 08:57 AM
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Don't know about your switch but if it looks like a auto type there is a socket for it. Have one still in my box haven't used since I retired. Auto zone may have one to lend.
 
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Old 07-23-16, 09:05 AM
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Oil Light ON

I'm glad you said that! I have one of those sockets I bought for repairing an '87 Chevy Cavalier I thought I would never use again! Its the right type, circular, hopefully It' s the right diameter! I'll let you know!
 
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Old 07-23-16, 08:20 PM
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Lol, yep, it's the same thing. It's a standard oil switch. I think you'll have it fixed when you change it.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 10:03 AM
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Sunstar oil Light On

Hi Cheese,

The new Oil Pressure Sensor switch did not solve the problem. I did not have a guage, but the oil pumps out of the hole with the switch removed profusely. I checked the wiring everywhere I could reach, and unless there is some logic box that I can't see somewhere, I don't know what else to check. I also checked the new switch and it is giving me a max resistance reading for a normally open switch. (I am assuming that the oil pressure closes the switch to create a ground which turns off the dash light when the pressure comes up where it should. Any other clues for me to explore?
 
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Old 07-28-16, 11:20 AM
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Does the resistance value of the switch change when the engine is running versus off? If not, then you either have no pressure or a bad switch.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 01:16 PM
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Oil Light on

I tested the resistance engine running and engine off. same max reading either way. This will at least narrow it down to the engine side of the light wire rather than the dashboard side. Hopefully I can borrow an oil pressure gauge soon.

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-28-16, 02:02 PM
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Oil Light ON

Hi Mr Cheese,

I have a pressure guage coming in the next few days, I tested both switches with compressed air and they both made contact with the same readings. So I probably wasted my money on a new switch but that is the price of education. Do you happen to know if the oil pump system can be accessed without tearing the engine completely down? I thought I saw something somewhere about some covers that could be removed to do this?
 
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Old 07-28-16, 03:22 PM
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I am not sure on Kohler but briggs has a cover that comes off the bottom of the block, just need to pull the engine.

Looking at an IPL though, it looks like you need to pull the engine and split the case.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 12:26 AM
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Yeah, the briggs had a plate that could be removed but I don't recall seeing that on any kohlers. Maybe try blowing compressed air through the passage in case some sludge is blocking it? Interested to know what happened, I have never seen a pump just go bad on one of these. Are you getting a loud lifter tick? If you had no oil pressure, the hydraulic lifters would be making a racket.
 
  #18  
Old 07-29-16, 07:23 AM
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Simplicity Oil light on

I thought I heard some hydraulic lifter noise when it first happened, but I don't hear it now. It seems to start and run fine, but there seems to be more burned oil smoke than before after it warms up. I was planning to put in new piston rings and do a valve job this winter, but that may happen a lot sooner now. My go to guy is past his divorce and is back in business. He is bringing over the pressure guage and he will know what is probably going on.

If anybody would be the only one to have an oil pump failure, it would be me, lol

(but I did NOT run out of oil on my watch!

I will let you know what we find!
 
  #19  
Old 07-30-16, 05:05 PM
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Sunstar Oil Light On

Dr Quest showed up today with an oil pressure guage, and there was not enough pressure to move the needle. He will do an autopsy on the engine for me, and we will take it from there. He was on board with your opinion that (he and never seen one of these Kohler oil pumps fail and he has 20 years of experience) with them. Ill try to get a picture of it when he shows it to me.

Thanks for all your replies!
 
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Old 07-30-16, 06:48 PM
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Please do! I've been working on them on and off since the 1980s and full time for the past 18 years too, so that's a pretty good track record for Kohler pumps if both of us can't recall seeing one go bad.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 08:04 AM
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Simplicity Sunstar :Oil Light On

The teardown of the crankcase on this engine has revealed two things. First was a bent pushrod along with a lifter pushed up out of its socket. Second was a Front Sleeve Bearing that was installed by someone other than the factory where the oil holes did not line up with the case holes. My tech is sure that the lifter and pushrod would have caused a low oil pressure situation, not so sure about the front sleeve bearing alignment, but that couldn't be good for the life of the crankshaft. We are not sure about would cause a lifter to push up out of a hole, maybe a sticky valve? Going to repair all of the above and put in new rings while we have it apart! I suppose the 3oz overfill could have had something to do with the lifter, but live and learn I guess..
 
  #22  
Old 08-14-16, 02:33 PM
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Nah, the overfill wouldn't have done it. Sometimes if the engine hasn't run in a long time, the lifter can "leak down" or lose the hydraulic pressure inside, letting the pushrod loose. Often these kohlers will tap a lot when this happens until it warms up and the lifters pump back up. 10w-30 instead of 30 weight helps this when they are old and losing their pump, but since you have it open I suggest replacing the lifters. They are the same as chevy small block engine lifters and work the same way. You know how a "bad lifter" will tap until it warms up on an old chevy? Same thing here. A 350 chevy lifter actually fits this engine.
 
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Old 08-14-16, 07:49 PM
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Sunstar Oil Light On

We are going to replace the lifters, rings, anything questionable. The Engine has been running OK for this season until recently when this happened. I use 10w30 in it. It just seemed like something let go, (which it obviously did) and I got the offending light. When I found the overfill condition, I looked to my own stupidity first, but I guess I was misdirected! (at least I paid attention to the warning light, and followed my own rulesl! The last time I got an oil light, I had just scattered a Chevy 302 all over Interstate 80 in Indiana, and I was on my honeymoon! Great start for a marriage lol
 
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Old 08-15-16, 12:12 AM
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Lol, the hard-learned lessons are sometimes the ones we learn from the most!
 
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Old 08-30-16, 07:02 PM
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Simplicity Sunstar Oil light on.

The Simplicity is back in action. New Lifters, valve job, piston rings, seals and a correctly installed front crankshaft oil seal (with the holes lined up this time). My tech deduced that it was a valve that was sticking that caused the lifter to pop up and bend the pushrod, and that has been rectified. Lots of oil pressure now. I guess the lesson here is that even though you have lots of oil, pay attention to your warning lights! I could have kept going and running on just one cylinder for quite a while I guess, as there was no apparent engine damage other than the bent pushrod, and it just was sitting there doing nothing at all.
 
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Old 08-30-16, 07:35 PM
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Glad it's back in action and no harm done!
 
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