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Dieseljunky2
Dieseljunky2, Mechanic
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3943
Experience:  20+ years in the mechanic industry
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My 2 year old kohler courage 20 engine has developed a problem

Customer Question

My 2 year old kohler courage 20 engine has developed a problem that came on slowly and now with cold temperatures is real trouble. IT HAS SO MUCH COMPRESSION at startup that the starter will not crank thru compression. I have installed larger automotive battery cables and a 275 amp garden tractor battery which helped until cold weather. Problem most likely is engine compression release device. Can you tell me anything about what to do to fix it? spec PS-SV710-0034 serial XXXXXXXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Dieseljunky2 replied 4 years ago.

Dieseljunky2 :

Hello, this is usually caused by one of two things. Either the starter itself is weak or the valves are out of adjustment. I would recommend starting by setting the valve clearances. The spec is .004 to .006 thosandths of an inch for both the intake and the exhaust valves. Pay attention to the pushrods. These are known for bending and causing all sorts of wierd issues. Just spin the pushrod with your fingers while it is still in the engine and you will be able to see if it wobbles or not. If the valve adjustment does not fixed the hard cranking problem, then the starter will need to be rebuilt or replaced. Thanks

Customer :

You say (this is usually caused by one of two things) Do you know of anything else?

Customer :

What do you think of those small gel cell batterys that come in some mowers?

Customer :

Why did the price jump from $26 to $36?

Dieseljunky2 :

I have no control over the price, that is done from your side of the system. I can only look at what you posted, I cannot change any thing on your side. After you accept, we can still go back and forth for 7 days to make sure the problem is fixed. The gel cell batteries are great, the cost is higher but it virtually eliminates acid related corossion and battery tray rusting. Check it out, and if you still have any problems, we can dig in to the engine deeper. Not likely that it will be needed after the valve adjustment.

Customer :

OK I just adjusted all 4 valves which were not wider than 7. So I set them closer to 4 than 6. No more than 1/12 a turn. This did not help. When I turn the engine by hand slowly it still has great compression fighting me just like before. I do not think that this is the trouble. I turned the engine until both valves opened then closed then turned a bit more to be sure they were not on the cam. One side at a time. I believe I did it correctly as I have done lots of times always correct.

Customer :

The starter seems Ok in every way except when at that place of greatest compression and that is where I also have trouble with a 12 inch handle turning past top dead center. With a twin that happens once ever 360 degrees and that is where the engine wants to stop of course most of the time. I do not feel that the starter system is the trouble because of the too stiff compression. I have a 40 hp outboard that is easer to pull through compression. It has a visible compression relief that works. Therefore I do not think that this Kohler compression relief is working. Anymore ideas?

Customer :

I found no bent push rods.

Customer :

I have double checked the valve clearance.

Customer :

ANYMORE IDEAS " ANYONE" ?

Dieseljunky2 :

Are you sure this engine has a compression release? Either my manual is wrong or the engine number is XXXXX right then if it does. The partds manual and the repair manual both show no compression release on this spec number. Double check your spec number. Thanks

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