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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys. I am new here but not new to gravely. I just had this 300 gave to me but it has a stuck engine. I use one just like it to mow my lawn. What can I do to get this old girl back up? This one hasthe Kohler command which you can't get any longer?
 

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Have you tried to get it unstuck first? These engines are quite tough, might be savable?
 
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Ditto, sometimes the motors lock up for some silly easy reason like the starter bendix stuck in the ring gear of the fly wheel or gas leaked into the cylinder and hydro locked it.
Spend a little time looking things over real good.
Hopefully there isn't a hole in the block from an escaping rod.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It still has all it's oil? Might be something simple. What would be the easiest way to see, put a wrench on the shaft and see if it will turn?
 

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Pull the dipstick and see if the oil level is real high, that would indicate gas in the oil. Also give the dipstick a sniff to see of it smells like gas. That may sound stupid but ethanol does some crazy things to carbs. If the answer is no to this.
Pull the tins or try looking in around the starter to see if the bendix is hung up on the ring gear. If no.
Give the motor a good once over to see if a rod broke and is sticking out of the block.
Once you're sure none of the problems I mentioned are present then try to turn the motor by hand with a wrench. Pull the plug wires first though to keep the motor from accidentally starting. Try it in both directions, if a rod broke and didn't go through the block it could stop the motor from rotating but you may still be able to rotate it the other way, at least for a few degrees.
Those are just some of the simple no cost things I can think of to try.
If you do have gas in the oil and it's hydro locked, pull the plugs, drain the oil and rotate the motor to flush the gas out of the cylinders. If it will rotate.
If it does rotate then put a couple of squirts of oil in the cylinders and rotate the motor to spread the oil in the cylinders, put the plugs back in, fill with fresh oil and try to start it.
If the bendix is stuck to the ring gear you'll need to try to remove the starter to free it. You could try gently tapping the bendix to snap it back out but you run the risk of damaging the starter. Once the starter is removed try to rotate the motor. If good then put the starter back and try to start it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just came back in from messing with it. I took the starter off, the plugs out and tried to move it from underneath. It will turn about 1/4 way both ways then a hard stop? Now what? Could something have goten inside the tin to stop it like that. I put quite a bit of forse trying to get it to move further?
 

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Keep in mind that this is a long distance diagnosis but it's sounds to me you have a broken rod.
Is there any way you can look down the plug hole or even put a thin screw driver in the plug hole and turn the motor? The screw driver will move if the rod is good and the piston is moving. Just be gentle. Other than that you'll need to pull the heads and watch the pistons while turning the motor.
As long as the piston bores aren't scored and are in spec then replacement parts are still available and it can be rebuilt pretty easily.
Go here and plug in the information and you should be able to down load the manual for your motor.
Kohler Engines: Owners and Service Manuals: Manuals and Maintenance
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I have a broken Rod also. Is this something I can rebuild myself? I'm pretty good with mechanics, but it's been a long time.:2cents: If I take it to the shop, they will want to put a new engine on a 30 yr old mower?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After I get it down to the engine only, what's the order of tearing it down? Like the jugs first and etc.... I used to build my old Harley engines.
 

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Pretty much the same thing. I'd start like devans suggested and pull a spark plug, poke a dowel in and see if the piston moves when you turn the crank shaft. If it doesn't, then the problem probably goes deeper. Then I'd pull a head off and see what I could see from that end. If things look more serious it might be time to drop the pan to see what's lurking inside.

Before getting up to your elbows in loose parts, though, it would be a good idea to see if Kohler has a downloadable service manual for the engine model you have. I don't know how their site works, but I'd have the model and serial number off of your engine in hand when doing the search. The little bit I've looked for Kohler information, they seem to be pretty good about providing stuff.
 

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You need the model and serial number and they also have the option of looking up a manual based on engine family. I have a K181 so a search for that turned up the repair manual.
If you've worked on motorcycles then this will be a walk through the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I feel like I can do the build. I said it was a Command but it is a Magnum. The thing is I wish I was younger, that engine is heavy. And like you guys said, I need to find the numbers so I can be sure I can get the parts. Putting them on paper? That is crazy. They must be somewhere else, the paper is torn?
 

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Maybe if you contact the company or a dealer they can give you a starting point on what might fit.

Gravely Parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wish someone on the board with the knowledge and space would offer to do the rebuild. I can do it, but just don't have the time or space. My garage is full. So, anyone reading this and has the experience to do it, please contact me. I pay good. :ThumbUp:
 

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Newton . . . PA ? GA ? IA ? KS ? :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well,
We will have a new Briggs 27 hp V twin on it shortly. It is getting painted and all new decals. It's going to be too pretty to mow with? I have 2 of these 300's. I will put this one up and wait for the other one to go before I have to use it. Here's the new engine that came today.
 

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Can't wait to see the finished product! I bet you can zip around the yard with those machines! :2th:
 
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