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Chris Huber
Chris Huber, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 625
Experience:  20 years experience. Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician. Dealer for most engine lines.
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I have a 27 hp Kohler Courage engine on a Cub Cadet 1554 gt.

Customer Question

I have a 27 hp Kohler Courage engine on a Cub Cadet 1554 gt. The engine will not start and when I check the spark plugs, number one cylinder plug has black carbon build up and number 2 cylinder spark plug is covered with fuel. When starting, one cylender will fire and not the other. Also, it seems like the cylinder that fires actually pushes the engine backwards as the starter stops and seems to move backwards. It seems like a timing issue but I'm not sure how to fix. I have good spark on both plugs.

tc
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
Hello, I beleive you have a valve problem. If you have a compression gauge first check the compression on each cylinder. The side with the weaker compression probably either has the valves set incorrectly or more likely a broken rocker arm or pudhrod. Check these and please get back with additional questions. Tom
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK, I will need to get a guage and do the tests and get back to you.

thanks
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
Thank You Tom
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I checked the compression on both cylinders. Both are equal at 185 PSI.
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
Hello, next check is valve clearance. You will need to remove valve covers to check. Tom
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
# XXXXX cylinder .011" & .006"
# XXXXX cylinder .012" & .013"
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
Your valve clearances are too wide. Rest your valves clearances at .005. They have a tolerance of .001 either way. Thanks Tom
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
To help a little more here is the service manual for your engine. Tom http://www.kohlerengines.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/tp_2574_a.pdf
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I adjusted the valves to .005". Tryed to start, same result, engine fires once and will not start. Spark plugs look better though, no carbon build up on either. I do have the Kohler owner and service manuals for this engine.
Expert:  TaxTom replied 7 years ago.
I hate to admit it but you have me stumped. The only other possibility is a sheared flywheel key but that is so remote I hate to even mention it. I will opt and refer it to another expert. Tom
Expert:  Chris Huber replied 7 years ago.
Hi, I'll see if I can help. Troubleshoot the dead cylinder as if it were the only one. You have spark and adequate compression, so assuming your sure both valves are opening and closing completely and have clearance on the compression stroke, you may have a spark that is too weak to jump the gap in the cylinder. Swap coils and see if the problem goes to the other side. If it doesn't remove the cylider head from the problem cylinder and it will be apparent where the problem lies. Let me know what you find.
Chris Huber, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 625
Experience: 20 years experience. Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician. Dealer for most engine lines.
Chris Huber and 3 other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I dismised this early on as I could not see how it would happen but you're right, I removed the flywheel and found a sheared key. Thanks for your help.

tc
Expert:  Chris Huber replied 7 years ago.
That was Tom's answer, not mine. From you screen is there anyway to change your accept to Tom's? We work together here, but only get paid when we receive an accept. If you cant. I'll see if I can get JA to switch it. Glad you got the problem fixed.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Not sure. I actually clicked on his answer an clicked accept thinking it would go to him.
Expert:  Chris Huber replied 7 years ago.
Thanks, I'll send it to the moderators, or I'll just buy Tom lunch if I ever meet him!Laughing