First New Pushmower for a 43 year old

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I finally broke down and bought a new mower for the first time ever. I had always bought used or revived dead mowers in the past, but the recession has dried up the stream of available mowers that need a minimum of work. I am only mowing about 1/3 acre with a significant amount of trim-mower type work, so I am getting rid of my 2000 Simplicity rider. My old trim mower is a 3.0 B&S on a cast aluminum Craftsman deck. It has no power, smokes, the carb is finicky, and I think the coil is going bad. It was time. I got a Craftsman 3-1 Highwheel with the Kohler Courage XT-6. It came down to that or a 190cc Briggs, and I decided to go with the OHV Iron-Sleeved engine. Before I ever started it, I added a fuel filter and fuel shutoff valve (I like running the carb dry every time). I mowed about an hour on high damp grass in mulch mode and it never lugged in grass that would have stalled my trim mower. The only "Oh Shxx" moment I had was that it started missing and then died after about 3 runs around the yard. I was thinking I was going to have to replace the fuel line and return it when I found the spark plug wire loose. Very Relieved. I hadn't seen much in the way of discussion on this engine and thought I would put my first experience out there. And the answer to the inevitable question: I am planning to change the oil after another hour of use with Delo (I use it on my TW200 dirtbike) and go with roughly 25hr changeouts from there.
 

01rangerxl

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It's a very good engine overall. Kohler was replacing a lot of carbs on them under warranty due to all sorts of issues, but I think they fixed that. Overall they seem to be solid, good running engines.
 

JTK

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Very cool. I haven't seen any write-ups on the new small Kohler push-mower engines. As far as I know Kohler imports them from China, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. At least with the Kohler nameplate, parts should be easily available. They really needed to jump on the bandwagon with Tecumseh being gone. Joel
 

01rangerxl

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Originally Posted By: JTK
At least with the Kohler nameplate, parts should be easily available.
They are, and they are relatively cheap. IIRC, they use either a RC12YC spark plug or D7EA depending on the specific model of the engine. Repair parts are cheap and readily available too. Kohler is good about covering things under warranty too.
 
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One more thing you should consider is to pull off the blade adapter (and the drive pulley if so equipped) and grease them where they fit over the shaft. Should you ever need to remove them and don't do this you will have wished you did. The damp conditions under the mower cause moisture to wick in and rust the pieces solid. Then to remove them you need a great amount of force to pull them. Another rust preventative measure you can take is any place something bolts to the deck, remove it and caulk between the body and the piece (Wheel adjuster, drive mechanism etc.) If you have a drive unit on this mower, take some time and remove the belt. Take it down to the auto parts store and measure the belt. As an example, the drive belt on my Craftsman rear wheel drive mower has a part number of 182212. Sears wants $17.31+ freight for the belt, (Good luck finding it at the store.) whereas if I buy a 3L 350 fan belt at the tractor supply store it was $5-6. On line you can find them for less than $3.00. If you make a note of this size it will help because no one seems to have a cross reference.
 
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I just made a comment in another thread that you don't see too many small vertical shaft Kohler engines. I didn't know it was a new line for them, and that they're apparently imported. On a side note, I'd love to see pics of your old aluminum deck Craftsman. Any chance you'll re-power that one and "restore" it?
 

01rangerxl

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
I just made a comment in another thread that you don't see too many small vertical shaft Kohler engines. I didn't know it was a new line for them, and that they're apparently imported.
The OHV is pretty new to the market. Husqvarna and TTI have been using them on some pressure washers and push mowers since 2009 or so. Overall, I like them. Easy starting, smooth running, and surprisingly quiet.
 

svhanc

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I thought about re-powering the old aluminum deck with a Harbor Freight engine, but eventually decided to just suck it up and get the new one. I think that is about the 4th motor on that deck and to be honest it really doesn't do a very good job of mulching and dispersing the clippings without clumping. I even thought of doing a bondo project on the bottom to get the aero/grasso-dynamics better, but my time seems to be more limited lately for interesting projects.
 

svhanc

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Changed the oil for the first time after about 2hours of mowing over a couple of days. It was kind of milky looking, which was a surprise. It has never been out of the garage other than mowing and has basically mowed nothing but damp grass. I just put quaker state 10w30 in it and will probably swap it out after another few hours just to make sure.
 
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