Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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What happens if you spray a little carburetor cleaner or fuel directly into the intake? Remove the air filter and spray in through intake and see if the engine will fire or start.
My thought is that you may have a push rod that has come loose or bent. I would check all four(two in each cylinder) behind valve covers. Easy to get access to them to check.
By the way this does have the Kohler Command series engine CV740 correct?
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Okay, so I would check the valves and more importantly the push rods.
Did anything unusual or out of the ordinary happen right before you started having this problem?
Has the engine by chance backfired hard recently?
Okay, did it get fuel into the crankcase when the carburetor flooded? If so, did you changed the oil?
Does it do anything at all when you try to start it without spraying fuel into the carburetor or intake?
You said that the push rods were tight which brings me to another thought. This engine has hydraulic valve lifters, if the lifters stick it will cause the valves to not close all the way which would cause the engine to not start and run properly which would also explain the pop when you sprayed carburetor cleaner or fuel into the intake.
The last time the engine run did you have any noticeable problems or issues?
Can you do a compression check on both cylinders and let me know what kind of readings you have?
I have seen that happen on occasion. The machine runs just fine one time, you shut it off, the next time you go to start it it just will not start.
I am looking for compression readings on both cylinders so that you can compare the two. The two cylinders should be withing 10% of each other per Kohler, if not then I would be looking for issues in the low side.
The other thing that I have seen is air or the fuel oil mixture gets into the hydraulic valve lifters and will not let the lifters compress as they should so that when you try to start the engine the valves do not fully close which would explain the pop that you are getting and a no start problem.