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James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3700
Experience:  7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
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I have a 1045 cub cadet riding mower with a 20 hp kohler engine.

Customer Question

I have a 1045 cub cadet riding mower with a 20 hp kohler engine. I has 85 hours on it. The engine blew in it. It has been well maintained. Is there any way that I can get some help with replacing it? The mower is about 7 years old. It still looks like a new one. I don't want to have to junk it.
Thanks
Daivd Kindle
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  James W replied 3 years ago.

James W :

Greetings, My name isXXXXX and I am here to help the best I can. My goal is 100% satisfaction. Let's get started.

James W :

I am not 100% sure the engine has blown.

James W :

can we check this torgether?

James W :

You said that the smoke covered you up

James W :

are you equating the fact that the engine is smoking as proof that it is blown

James W :

How many times in the past 7 years have you changed the oil in this engine...?

James W :

You said you checked it, but I saw no mention of changing it..

James W :

You say that this riding mower only has 85 hours on it, et it is 7 years old.

James W :

are you saying that you have only used it about 11 or 12 hours per year?

James W :

How long does it take to mow your grass.?

James W :

In my area, we have to mow at least once per week on average for about 8 months of the year

James W :

That is mowing about 34 times per year so in 7 years that is mowing 238 times

James W :

Can you mow your grass in 21 minutes?

James W :

Please assist me with the math

James W :

I will keep typing as you answer the questions I have asked so that I may help... Welcome to the chat room.

James W :

In any case, one very common cause of problems with these engines is a dirty carburetor caused by the terrible gas sold these days and because clients insist on using gas that is more than 30 days old

James W :

often the float in the carburetor sticks

James W :

or actually the needle valve and the seat whcih the float controls do not mate correctly

James W :

and gasoline continues to flow when the carb bowl is already full

James W :

the gas must go somewhere

James W :

and so often it works its way through the various passages ways and through the head, breather, valves, rings, etc

James W :

and gravity causes it to gather in the crankcase mixed with the oil

James W :

This gas oil mix is much thinner than regular oil

James W :

in addition to not lubricating well

Customer :

I had an older mower that was giving me some problems. I bought the new mower and had it almost three years before the other one completely quit. I think I used it twice the first year that I had it. I change the oil each year after I started using it. I used the kohler oil that is recommende for it. I buy the oil at tractro supply. The engine started running rough and the smoke went everwhere and the engine will not turn over. It has exactly 85 hours on it. The oil does not have gas in it.

James W :

it seeps easily past the breather and the rings etc and into the crancase where it is burned and creates a Bluish white smoke in large amounts

Customer :

The smoke was as blue as blue could be. It looked liekd the house was fire. I was mowing right behind the house and my wife came running out of the house.

James W :

You were able to smell the oild to make sure there was no gas?

Customer :

Yes. I did that.

James W :

If you take the plugs out, can you turn the engine over either direction by hand?

Customer :

I haven't tried that.

James W :

I am trying to determine exactly what the problem is

James W :

this would be a good test

James W :

did the engine stop or did you stop it

Customer :

What will this tell me?

James W :

There are many causes for oil to go into the head

James W :

not all of them are casued by a blown engine

James W :

if there is liquid in the head then the compression would stop it from turning

James W :

also, if the engine has overhead valves

James W :

there is a compresison release that allows the underpowered starter motor

James W :

to be able to spin the engine

James W :

if the valves are out of adjustment

James W :

the compression release never engages

James W :

and the motor can not turn the engine over

James W :

but it can if there is no compresion

Customer :

Any engine will turn over without a plug in it.

James W :

There are several things that can cause this.


 


I will try to list some of them for you.


 


1. As I have already said, If the carburetor is not working correctly, it will bypass fuel through it into the oil. This thins the oil and will cause the oil to go places that it shouldn't. Check your oil ans smell it to see if there is gas in the oil. If there is gas in the oil, you will have to overhaul and clean the carburetor with a COMPLETE carburetor repair kit.


 


2. If the oil dipstick gaskets are not sealing correctly, it will allow the vacuum.. (Primary compression inside the crankcase) to be at the wrong levels, which will push oil out where yours is coming from.


 


3. If the valve guides in the engine are worn, it will pressurize the crankcase...pushing the oil out.


 


4. If the engine had worn out rings or a scored piston, the it will also pressurize the crankcase and push the oil out. The engine will have to be overhauled if this is the problem.


 


5. If for some reason the engine is running too fast, it will also cause this problem. This happens is someone has messed with the governor to get it to run faster. Also if the governor gear has broken inside the engine this will also cause the engine to run too fast.


 


6. If you have a blown head gasket, this will also cause the problem. In fact, this is one of the first things I would check.


 

James W :

No, not any engine will turn over with the plugs out

James W :

if the engine is locked up because of main bearings which are frozen, it will not turn over

James W :

And the only reason not to fix an engine of this age is if the main bearings are locked up

James W :

or if the cylinder wall is damaged so badley that it can not be honed

James W :

or if the crankshaft is damaged so badley when a rod broke that it has scores on it or is not smooth where the rod fastens

James W :

In my opinion, all else can and shoudl be fixed before replacing the engine

James W :

can you provide me with the exact model number, type number, and spec number of the engine?

Customer :

The point is, I should not have this problem with no more hours on it than it has

James W :

OH, I was not understanding

James W :

i was under the impresison you were looking for help locating a new engine for your unit

James W :

and I was trying to save you a lot of money

James W :

You were looking for a way that Kohler would make an exception to the warranty period so that you could get some financial assistance to help pay for a new engine..

James W :

am I correct..

Customer :

I would never buy anything else with a kohler engine

James W :

Kohler is not the problem here

Customer :

Yes

James W :

MTD is the problem

Customer :

Why MTD

James W :

cub cadet in the past was a Very good brand of tractor

James W :

But, when MYD purchased them, they started making everythign cheaper

James W :

hey wanted to undersell everyone else and put them out of business

James W :

they have been very sucessful

Customer :

Do they make the engine

James W :

if you look up cub cadet on wikipedia you will see a huge article where it talks about

James W :

MTD buying Cub, white outdoor, yardman,

James W :

and then waitng for Bolens and troybilt to go out of business and buying their names

James W :

they just take the formaerly good names and put them on theri Own cheap junk

James W :

they are so huge now

James W :

tey force engine manufacturers to make engines to their specifications

James W :

The engine on your cub is NOT a well designed engine, but it is the best anyone can do

James W :

do meet the price point and specs that MTD was demanding

James W :

it is also made in china

James W :

Most all othr Kohler engines are much mroe expensive and made in the USA

James W :

they also last 5 or 6 times as long on the average

James W :

But changing engine oil once per year is not enough

James W :

we suggest our owners change oil 3 or 4 times per year

James W :

I can guarantee you that you will have no luck getting cub (which is MTD) or Kohler to help replace a 7 year old engine.

James W :

They see this too much

James W :

Actually using the mower is better than letting it sit

James W :

I still think the best plan is to determine exactly what is wrong with the engine and

James W :

see if there is an economical fix

James W :

Here is the cub cadet article I mentioned

Customer :

The manual says every so many hours to change the oil I knew I would get the run around.

James W :

I do not work for Kohler

James W :

do not work for cub

James W :

I am an independent expert here to help you

James W :

The manual is a standard manual for the engines which does not depend on which type of use

James W :

it does say "more often if the engine is used in a dusty or dirty environment".

James W :

I am here to solve your problem. You are paying me for my time as an idependanct consultant

Customer :

I will put a sign on it and put it in my front yard. DO NOT BUY ONE!!!!!!!

James W :

In other words, you are paying me for my opinion and advice

James W :

We have been a dealer for 37 years

James W :

and we are an MTD dealer

James W :

We only have the MTD brand so

James W :

that we can buy parts

James W :

We will NOT sell our customers any product made by MTD in any brand

James W :

nor will we sell any of our customers and engine made in china

Customer :

Who makes the kohler engine?

James W :

I agree with your attitude

James W :

It depends on exactly which model it is

James W :

most are made in the USA and are just fine, although I would much rather have a briggs and stratton in most cases any day

James W :

But there are others made in China

James W :

also, MTD now has their one WORSE engine that is made in one fo their chinese factories

James W :

at the moment, the best engines seem to be kawasaki

James W :

But the parts are a bit harder to get

James W :

and more expesive

James W :

there are only 5 or 6 brands of tractors that have survived the Tractor wars

James W :

without greatly cheapening their quality

James W :

Toro bought wheel horse and survived for a long time

James W :

BUT they even through in ther towel and also took a lesson from John deere

James W :

rather than go out of business al together

James W :

toro decided to allow MTD to make their front engine tractors for them

James W :

Yes, the front engine toros are junk too

James W :

BUT, Toro decided to be the king of ZTRs

Customer :

Thanks

James W :

they purchased Xmark

James W :

and now make the best ZTRs around

James W :

the only other companies to survive in this segment are

James W :

Snapper and simplicty (survived by being bought out by Briggs and Stratton).

James W :

and Ariens and Gravely who combined forces

James W :

John deere survived by makeing some very MTD like tractors and cheaplly selling them at big box retailers and hardware stores under the name SABRE then dropping the sabre name and calling them john deere

James W :

you must be careful even at a john deere store because you will run into these as well

James W :

Thanks for your attention

James W :

I will convert your question to Q&A mode

James W :

I will be available to help and notfied of your replies via email

James W :

even after you HIT ACCEPT

James W :

please hit ACCEPT to release the funds from your deposit so that I can get paid for my work, time, effort, etc

Expert:  James W replied 3 years ago.

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James W
James W
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7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years