Kohler Engine on Toro Hard to Pull Starter - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-24-2020, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Kohler Engine on Toro Hard to Pull Starter

I garbage picked a Toro Front Wheel Drive model 20371 with a model XT675 Kohler 6.75hp 149cc on it that looked in decent shape. The first time I went to start it fired right up and was surprised thinking I'll just change the oil (fairly dark) and clean it up. Then I noticed on subsequent attempts to start it it would be hard to pull with too much resistance. If I pull it it I can get the crankshaft to move a little and then it will be easier again. Sometimes the handle wants to snap out of my hand back to the starter as well. It almost seems hit of miss when it will be easy or tough. Usually it only needs a solid short pull maybe 1 or 2 feet and its enough to turn the motor over and it revs up. I pulled the starter and it seems to work fine with spring and all on its own. I have noticed thru the shroud after mounting it tends to bind up/warp when its getting stuck to pull. I figured this was from the force being put on it? Perhaps this annoyed the previous owner and why its on the curb?

Anyone got ideas where to look next?

Thanks in advance
Mike
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 01:18 AM
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Make sure the flywheel key is not sheered.

Mark - 2002 John Deere LT150H

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 03:31 AM
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remove the spark plug and see what comes out when you rotate the engine
Let us know what you find .
Could also be a bent valve binding or even a loose valve guide allowing the piston to kiss the valve
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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I thought about checking the flywheel key next as well. Took it apart and it looks like its still in good shape from picture attached? Not sure if it supposed to be taller and/or pop-thru the top of the wheel more?


I pulled the plug and rotated the engine but nothing comes out. The plug shaft turns damp/black but easily wiped off and but comes out black/damp again after quick run. This motor turns over very easily if I can get a good solid 12" pull, but still wants to kick back if I am not careful with it. Seems to depend on where the engine is on the rotation position. Once it starts, it sounds mostly fine, not hearing any knocking or power issues.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 05:15 PM
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Sounds like it is flooding from the plug condition
How much oil is in the engine ?
If the float fails fuel runs down inside the carb and fills the sump
A bit too much oil in the sump can make them a bugger to pull .
However the latter usually goes hand in hand with smokey running.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-25-2020, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Its not smoking at all when it runs...but I think I wanna drain the oil next and see how much comes out. It's pretty black. I've dealt with gas in oil before which usually comes out quite thinner and is smokier, but not happening on this one. This engine has the oil stick way down low like snowblowers etc. not like the normal mowers dip sticks.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2020, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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I drained and changed the oil, cleaned up the carburetor as well though it looked like it had been replaced fairly recently and wasn't too dirty. I then checked the valve clearance as another possibility for the hard to pull issue. They were definitely wider than the .004 recommended spec. I had to take the valves off completing to tighten the base nut on the plate as they were rotating as well.

Seems I have addressed the hard to pull issue by doing this, but after a solid start the first time, it seemed to lose power after running it around a bit then I couldn't start very well again even though easy to pull. Almost seemed like lack of compression now. Checked the valves again and made some adjustments and then it started again, but it seemed to be weak power with some black smoke like it was sputtering. Sometimes the full power would kick back in again or slow down again with less power. One of the screws for the valve cover appears stripped now. Wondering how much of an issue that would be causing or if there is something else going on with loss of power back and forth?

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-27-2020, 01:38 AM
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Pu a bigger bolt in the rocker cover .
Check the valve lash every time before you try & start it
If it continually changes then the valve guide is moving in the head.
Also check that pivot stud.
If tit keeps pn coming loose you will need to locktite it
And remember the torx screw is the locking device & the nut is the adjuster.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-29-2020, 08:41 PM
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All the conditions can be explained, with exception of the kick back...I believe that is a sign of retarded ignition timing...also noticed as some loss of power when running awhile..normally too hot...I would look further at the flywheel key, and flywheel ..IMO
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