Kohler engine billowing smoke!


Old 09-10-01, 06:59 AM
L West
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I started up my six year old Yardman riding mower that has a 15 hp Kohler engine as usual to mow the lawn when it suddenly began blowing smoke and oil out the exhaust. So much smoke in fact that you could not see the house anymore! Then the engine shut off. I can restart it after cranking with the choke on for a couple seconds. It will restart but still billows smoke and shuts off after about 20 seconds.

Any ideas? One thought was that somehow gasoline is getting into the crankcase?
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Old 09-10-01, 02:21 PM
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Check your oil level and smell for the odor of gas
on the dipstick, a leaky carb could let fuel seep
in the crankcase and smoking come from an overfull
crankcase. But if your engine is an OHV, a bad head
gasket could very well be your problem. Since it
seemed to happen suddenly, that is quite likely.
Of course a clogged breather is another possibilty,
but the amount of smoke you are describing makes
me lean towards the head gasket.
Old 09-11-01, 01:21 AM
L West
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I had a chance to work on it last night. I found the crankcase was full of gas. I drained the crankcase and changed the oil filter and added new oil. I also cleaned the air filter and reoiled it. I also made sure the breather tube was not clogged.

I then disassembeled the carb and checked the float and needle valve. They looked OK and since I didn't have any new parts to install I washed out the carb and reassembled it. I also installed a new spark plug.

Then to be on the safe side, I installed a fuel shut off valve on the fuel line betwen the tank and carb. This way I can shut off the fuel when the mower isn't being used.

After I put everything back together I started the mower and it ran fine. Once the oil burned out of the muffler the smoking stopped. I let it run for a while (1/2 hour or so) and all seems OK... no smoke.

When I put the mower away I closed the fuel valve and let the engine run until all all the fuel in the carb was gone.

Old 09-11-01, 03:55 PM
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My Two Cents Worth

Congratulations. Excellent Job!

Hello L West

Just thought I would toss in a few words. The advice you got from Fish was good and your repair work was excellent. Great idea to install a fuel shut off valve.

Good luck in the future with the machine.

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