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I have kohler 18 hp k361qs the will not start with out

Customer Question
I have kohler 18...

I have kohler 18 hp k361qs the will not start with out keeping the choke pulled, getting fuel new carb,new head gasket

Mechanic's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

I have a 18hp kohler engine that will not start without keeping the choke closed, new carb,new head gasket and getting fuel to carb. this a k361qs engine

Mechanic's Assistant: Can you guesstimate how old the engine is? And has it done anything like this in the past?

I think it is a1978 I had to replace the head gasket for my son

Mechanic's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

I have already completed the head g

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

I have cleaned the carb.spark plug fuel pump pushing fuel to carb.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Small Engine
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed. I authorized Paypal to cover $38, and have not heard back from you. I don't know where I stand at this point.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Resubmitting Question because I believe original question got sent before I finished my explanation. I have a Kohler TRACTOR, 18 hp, #K361qs. It will turn over, but will not run unless you constantly choke it. It has a new carb, new head gasket, spark plug, and everything checks out electrically. Please advise.
Answered in 23 hours by:
1/20/2018
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago
Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 31,015
Experience: have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
Verified

Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! I don't know it all, but maybe together we can get you a satisfactory answer!

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

The carburetor is not letting gas through the main jet in the carburetor. The choke bypasses the main jet. Does this new carburetor have an electric solenoid in it?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
no
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Then I suspect the fuel passage from the tank into the needle valve may be plugged with debris from the old fuel line. Did you replace the fuel line with the new carburetor?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I went from a separate gas can with fresh fuel and a brand new line directly into the fuel pump. We would get fuel coming out of the fuel pump before going into the carb, indicating that there is not a clog. The only way I can get it to run at all is if I put my hand over the inlet of the carb.--It will run (very roughly) until I remove my hand, then it will stall.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

But that does not check the passage in the carburetor that the needle valve closes.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The carb was new last year, but sat with non-ethanol gas for several months. I recently took the carb to a shop and had it cleaned ultrasonically. Shouldn't that have cleaned all of the orifices?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

It should have cleaned the carburetor, but if there was debris from an old fuel line when the carb was installed, it would be in the inlet passage, before the needle valve.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Are you referring to the "main fuel screw" that goes down behind the choke, and then down into the float?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

no, I'm talking about the entrance to the carburetor float bowl through the needle valve and float. Where the line from the tank goes.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I am getting fuel in the carb, and I'm getting fuel in the spark plug if I keep choking it. Does that indicate that fuel is coming in?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

figure # 2 is the inlet, and figure #4 is the needle valve. You are getting fuel in a small amount through the choke, choke does not use main jet to get fuel to the cylinder. see link below.

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Do you mean that figure 2 marked in blue might be where a clog is?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Yes, between it and the # 4 needle valve

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will have to work on this tomorrow--it is close to 10pm right now. Can I continue our conversation tomorrow?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Yes, I will be here tomorrow.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you, have a good evening and I will be back in touch.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I checked the carb again last night, and it is clean. I tried to start it today and about flooded it with fuel--it started to run, but still rough--and fuel was running out of carb, so I cut it off.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Do you have electronic ignition or the points and condenser? Fuel seems to make no difference, maybe the timing is off?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Engine does not have any electronics--timing was set about a week ago and has been checked against timing mark. Compression is good--about 40 lbs. I left compression check gauge on it for 2 days and it did not move.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

40 psi compression? Way too low, needs to be minimum of 60 and 80 would be better. Have the valves ever been checked for clearance?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Valves are .005 clearance, intake & exhaust. I would think tractor would still run at 40 psi. How would I increase the compression other than doing rings?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

That's all that would increase the compression, rering and lap valves.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I lapped the valves when I put the new head gasket in recently. I felt with the age of the engine that unless you totally bored it out that 40 lbs would run it. The compression held fast for 2 days, so I'm thinking it is not leaking back through the piston. Could there be anything on the intake side that is sucking air.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

The only thing that affects compression is the cylinder components. Valves, rings and head gasket. Obviously, they hold at 40 psi.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What is my next course of action?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

When did engine last run right? I think the engine needs to have new rings installed.

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

I assume the exhaust is not plugged from mice or debris.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Tractor belongs to my son--he last had it running last summer. It just quit on him. He tried making some adjustments and go nowhere, so he asked me to work on it. I found the head gasket blown & replaced. Since then I have checked out spark, electrical, fuel, valves, carb. I had the exhaust off & the pipe is open.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Flywheel key not damaged? And points are opening correct gap?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Points are correct by specs in book (.020) Spark plugs are at .035 and I can see spark-- that should that indicate flywheel key is OK?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

No, flywheel key has nothing to do with either, only if the timing is correct.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We set the piston at top dead center, and then looked at the gears for the timing marks, and we felt they were aligned. Was this an acceptable procedure since the engine was not running at that time.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

No, that checks the internal gear timing, but not the flywheel to the crankshaft. Best to pull the flywheel and if there is any damage to the key, replace it.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have a friend coming over tomorrow and we will pull the flywheel and check the key. Do you think the timing would have an effect on the carb flooding that occurred this morning?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Timing affects the suction into the cylinder, and can affect the fuel to the cylinder, and cause flooding.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
OK--I'll work on that tomorrow and will get back to you. Thank you.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

OK , Thanks.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Checked flywheel key this morning and do not see signs of damage.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Did you remove the flywheel to check?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will take the flywheel off.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

OK> Also do you have the service manual? I see that the pint mounting plate can be moved to advance or retard the timing, have you moved the point mounting plate? Here is the manual link if you need it.

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Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Flywheel key looks good. Are you referring to the Breaker Point Assembly?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Yes, breaker point assy.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I did not move the point mounting plate, but will look at it to see if I can tell if it had been moved.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

OK< did you have the service manual showing the timing?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We looked at the timing and could not find the S and T as indicated in the manual, but found a dot that lined up in the middle of the window with the points opening at .020. The next think was adjusting the float in the carb to 11/64" (it was about 1/8" off); reinstalled carb & tractor cranked right up. It is running good at low idle, but at high speed, it still runs rough. It looks like the governor is not modulating like it should at high speed--should it be pulsating? I did adjust the gov as the manual indicated.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Governor should stay steady as long as the engine has enough fuel to the cylinder. Governor only pulsates when t is trying to compensate for fuel required.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Any thoughts on the rough idling at high speed?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Have you tried to adjust the high-speed screw in the base of the carburetor?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
but I can't seem to find a happy medium. Either starts to smoke (too rich) or if you back off, it runs even rougher.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Any gasket leaking on the carburetor to the cylinder head, causing a vacuum leak?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
When I had the flywheel off today, I went ahead and reworked the gasket on the intake by adding gasket sealant. The carb has a new gasket, too.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Try moving the points mounting plate. To change the timing. Move one direction, if worse or no change, try the other way!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Up and down or left and right? There is very little movement in the plate. Will I need to reset the points?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Up and down, points will not change the setting.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will work on it again tomorrow--late afternoon. I'll be back in touch.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

OK>

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Curtis--I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you--I was away from home a bit this week. I adjusted the points as you suggested, moving up and down. This did not make any change. I adjusted the float to the dimension 11/64. It started up, but still will not continue to run unless I hold my hand on the carb face to choke it--otherwise it will stall out. Any thoughts?
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

Everything tells me it is not getting enough gas into the cylinder from the main jet in the carburetor. What kind of compression does it have? 80 psi would be good.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I had it running on low, and it ran smoothly, until I tried to throttle up. In the meantime, I found a leak in the carb around the gasket, and replaced that. After I replaced the gasket, it will not run without choking. The compression is about 40.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 4 months ago

I'm at a loss, I don't think the compression is high enough, but that usually shows when it will not tart, you say it starts , just will not accelerate. O will opt out and see if anyone else will answer. Sorry.

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Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago
JohnF2015
JohnF2015, Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1,209
Experience: Owner/Service Technician at S & J Small Engines
Verified

Hi, my name is John I will attempt to help you with this issue.

First of all after reading through the prior conversation I have two issues.

  1. Your compression is not high enough.
  2. The valves are not set correctly on this engine.
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Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago

My suggestion would be to do a vacuum test on the engine and see what kind of vacuum it is pulling. It is not extremely hard to do but does require special tools. Otherwise, I would adjust the exhaust valve clearance to around .009 and see if that doesn't solve your problem.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Both valves were set by the book requirements at .005. I will set the exhaust valve tomorrow afternoon. I will be out of town tomorrow morning. I checked the compression and it is 40.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
OK, I worked on it today. I changed the valve setting to .009. The tractor started & idled well, but when I tried to accelerate, it runs rough. I have already set the governor by the book. Could the problem be with the governor?
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago
Compression at 40 seems really low, but if the engine starts then you should be fine. The only other thing that i would suggest at this point is to reset your point gap to .018 and see what happens.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I changed the points to .018. It started up, but is backfiring through the carb when I try to throttle up. Low idle OK.
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago

That makes it sound like the intake valve is not sealing properly.

Can you take me through the process that you are using in order to set the valve clearances?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
When I had the head off (to replace blown head gasket) I re-seated the valves, by cleaning everything and then using a "hand seating tool" with polishing material. I set the valves at top dead center to .005 according to the book. Then I changed the setting to .009 according to your recommendation. That is where everything is right now.
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago
Rather than setting valves at TDC i prefer a different method as a lot if these engines are equipped with a mechanical compression release and trying to set valve clearances at TDC is very tricky. Try resetting valves by rotating the engine until one valve is fully open and then set the clearance on the opposite valve then rotate the engine until the valve that you just set is fully open and set the other valve, i find that this is a much more bullet proof way of ssetting the valves and it takes all of the guess work out of it.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
OK, do I go back to the .005 setting on each valve or the .009? And I won't be able to get to this until tomorrow afternoon.
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago
I would go back to .005 on both valves and see what happens.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Both valves are set at .005. Tractor started up, idled OK. I can throttle up by hand about half way, and then it will backfire when governor tries to kick in, and it tries to stall. If I throttle back, it is OK.
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago

This makes me think that your problem is valve related, maybe a valve not moving freely so that when you try to throttle up it is not closing as fast as it needs to in order to seal and allow the engine to run properly at higher rpm.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I did notice one of the valves had a seal on one of them the other one did not. The one that had the seal did not feel as smooth as the other valve. What do you think I should do next?
Technician: JohnF2015, Technician replied 4 months ago

That seal is there to keep oil from passing through the valve guide and getting into the exhaust system which can then cause issues with emissions and the engine would not meet or pass original emission specs.

I would recommend removing both valves and cleaning the valve stems as well as the valve guides in order to make certain that the valves can move freely in the guides and that they are not sticking.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I did completely remove and clean the valves, stems, guides, reseated the valves, lapped the valve seats, polished the guides--when I had the head off.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I haven't heard back from you for a few days. Any more suggestions? I feel we are close, but not quite there yet. Thank you.
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