Cranking ? - 25HP Kohler Courage Pro

Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
I have a ZT mower with Kohler Courage Pro 25 HP. Model SV830-0012 Does anyone know if this engine has automatic Compression release (ACR)? It appears not to have ACR by comparing part Diagrams of Camshaft vs. Command model camshaft know to have ACR. Starter having a time turning the engine over. Fresh Battery with high CCA, Cables seem OK etc. It did turn over and crank at 40°F with M1 5w-30. Yesterday with my normal Rotella T5 10w-30 I have to jump start it. It never been a great starter set up. Any ideas?
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
509
Location
St. Louis, MO.
Make sure, by removing and wirebrushing, that both ends of each battery cable is making good contact and is oil free. And make sure the surface at which they make contact is clean and oil free, also. Just looking at them isn't enough, take it apart. Trying to diagnose a starting system issue without doing this simple and free check can be frustrating and perhaps lead to a needless expense. And make sure that the negative cable attaches to the block itself, not the mower frame. If it doesn't, try attaching a heavy duty jumper between the battery and starter to see if that is part of the problem. Another trouble spot can be oil between the block and the starter itself. Oil is an insulator.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
Sometimes when they are hard to crank up the valves need adjusted. Sooner rather than later so that you don't bend/damage some of the valve train.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,813
Location
Buffalo, NY
Has this Courage Pro always cranked over slow? How many hours on it? (maybe a lash adjustment like suggested) I had a 20hp Courage Pro V-twin on my Cub Z-Force. It always spun over and lit-off fast, but I only had it a few years and ~70hrs or so.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
I have had cranking trouble. 275 hours. The solenoid went out 2+- yrs. ago Lube the Bendix so starter engage every time 1 yr. ago. Always needs a fresh battery to crank well. I am going to check valve lash and check to see the ACR is working next. I runs great and has power to burn with the 52" deck. The starter doesn't appear to be the quality of the Command engines to me.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2004
Messages
95
Location
minnesota
I have that exact same engine in my Sears ZTS 50" mower. Never had any issues with starting it at all. Same original battery now for 4 years too. I bring the battery inside in the winters and I use Amsoil 0w-40 4stroke oil and our season is April to mid October and its always started up nicely. I agree to double check grounding points, those can really mess with starting.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Well she crank today with temps. up. Valve lash is off. They were .008" to .012" (spec. .04" to .006"). Will adjust to spec. Rolling engine by hand and watching valves either it has no ACR or the ACR is NOT working (ouch). All wires and grounds were clean. I going to double check all wires ASAP. Camshaft diagram in Service manual and online part suppliers don't show ACR mechanism attached camshaft. At http://www.centraloutdoorpower.com/ I look-up camshaft parts for several different engines for comparison. Some camshafts show the ACR mechanism attached to camshaft others including my engine show plain looking camshaft. I don't know at this point what to think.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,813
Location
Buffalo, NY
Man you're right about no info on the Courage V-twin ACR system. I can only find some info on the Command series system, but obviously the Command is different. Maybe try a compression test. Full compression would indicate no automatic compression release I'd think.
 
Last edited:

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Thanks Guys! After adjusting valve lash to spec. it cranked up better than it ever has. Valve lash was most likey wrong from factory.....China I guess..... I will let you know how it does in cold weather (well Louisiana cold)later. Thanks again
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,813
Location
Buffalo, NY
Good to hear! These Courage series engines are made in the US. Only the push-mower Courages are "Chondas". FWIW, I used to run 15w40 in my 20hp Courage V-twin, which was actually a Cub manual recommendation at the time. She lit off with authority, even with that in the sump, so my valve lash must have been good! FWIW, I've never heard of a single Courage V-twin failure. Good engines. The single cyl had issues early on with crankcase bolts loosening up, etc. Not sure if those got better or not.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
I plan to go back to the Rotella T5 10w-30 come spring. Although the M1 5w-30 would most likely be fine for the Hot summer.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Well I finally got to the true starting problem. Adjusting valves and checking all connection it started better and then had starting trouble again. It's was poor grounding of the solenoid. Solenoid grounds with 2 very small tapped screws into the frame. I think vibration etc. it didn't ground very good. I ran a 6 gauge ground wire from solenoid to battery.....Never started like that before.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,813
Location
Buffalo, NY
Thanks for the follow up on that. With today's powder-coating and self-tapping screw grounds, this is probably a more common occurrence than we think.
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Update on engine starting March 2015. Changed starter and it cranks very well now. I think the starter has been dragging / going out for some time. Also check valves and found both to be .006"+- wide. Is it normal the have to adjust OHV yearly with only approx. 50-60 hours use?
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Listen up: Just did this on a friends Courage starter today. Starter quit and Command starter installed (bolted right up) Altered electric wiring to new style starter (onboard solenoid) Friend happy; starter works great and costs less too.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
OK OK I heard that. the courage starter is the one with the unsupported shaft sticking up into the engine with the rubber bendix drive clutch which slips and fails and the command starter is the automotive style with the end of the shaft supported in the hood of the housing with what appears to be a more durable design. So courage vs command go with the command starter- my2cents
 

Bebop367

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
375
Location
Louisiana
Wish I would have know command starter would fit... New starter, fresh battery and battery tender and it's cranking better than ever... Now how long will it last???
 
Top