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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kohler 23 HP Model CV23 twin is getting a little too hot in my opinion.

I have noticed the engine getting much better fuel economy for the last three or four times I mowed the lawn. I began to get a whiff of something getting hot. A couple of days ago this engine only used half the fuel it normally used while doing the same amount of mowing in mostly the same conditions. Something smelled way too hot.

I'm thinking a lean run. Possibly the carb or fuel pump. Maybe the filter. Talked to a Kohler tech and he seemed to think the cooling fins are clogged with accumulated debris. From what I see of the fins, they are in good shape. Engine oil is fine.

I am going to:
Pull the shrouds and check the cooling fins and fan.
Change the oil and oil filter.
Change the fuel filter.
Check the fuel flow to pump.
Check the fuel pump flow to carb. The tech said the engine would surge at full throttle with the mower deck not engaged if the pump was bad. Tried this and no surging. Crank case pressure powers the pump.

So, what would the mechanics look for next? Carb? Timing? Other?

All ideas welcomed.
 

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I'm not a mechanic, but the lean fuel theory sounds like the right one. Definitely don't run the mower any more until you identify the problem. You're going to burn a piston or valve eventually. You might want to add checking for debris blockage in the fuel tank to your list. But that's probably not it since the lean condition is at the engine. If it was a blockage at the tank, the engine wouldn't run or would have vapor lock symptoms more than likely. Sounds like you're doing all the right things to me............... Dave
 

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get some seafoam and see if you can clean out the carb. These things are super-lean from the factory. I'd do a spark-plug check with fresh plugs and see what it looks like: if you have ashy white deposits with no brown down in the deep part of the insulator, then it's lean. If you have metal flakes on it, you have already had detonation and it's on the verge of major damage.
 

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Vacuum leak you have. With engine running after all shroud removeal, use carb cleaner to spray around the carb mounting and intake mounting to find vacuum leak. Engine should rev up or stall out.
 

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What gtownwrench said.

Another remote possubility: the main jet fuel shutoff solenoid plunger may be opening only partway. Burning ethanol can gum em up.

I have two Kohler-powered mowers. One had gotten so gummed up from ethanol that I had to replace the solenoid. ~$80 for the part.
The other, I ran some Mechanic in a Bottle through and it quit running lean. Don't know if the problem was a sticking solenoid plunger or just some ethanol-induced buildup in the main jets.

I make sure I put ethanol treatment in my gas cans and run MIB through them every few months. No problems so far.
 

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send me the oil fill cap......I am missing one at work and they are impossible to order;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some good ideas, guys. Thanks for posting them. Company is leaving tomorrow, hopefully I'll get to spend some time on it Monday. If that fuel shutoff just had a few stainless parts, repair would be much easier. That plunger in this carb rusts and causes problems.

Ed; what is MIB? Doesn't ring a bell with me.

Gtown; that old Merc is still going. Step down is a little rough, but no more failures to start. I'll get a new IAC if I have any more problems.
 

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Mechanic in a Bottle.

You can get it a Home Dumpit and Wally World. Wally World has a twofer pack (with the mower stuff) that has a small bottle of MIB and one of Ethanol protectant.
Last time I was in HD, they had two- or four-ounce bottles of MIB and the same size bottles of Ethanol protectant. HD also has a promotional video on that there Yore Toob about it.

If you can't find it at HD or WM, you can find it online.

Oh, it ain't cheap. About $7 for the bottles that HD sells. But it is well worth it.

I had been tinkering with our Kawasaki Mule for several months and could not get it to smooth out. Someone suggested MIB before I tore down the carb again. I ran some through it, according to directions, and haven't had a problem all summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, got most of the shroud off and the fins look pretty good. Picked up some spark plugs, although the ones in the engine were a little sooty and had no signs of a serious problem. Gonna try to push the mower out in the driveway and check for a vac leak. This engine has a plastic intake manifold, so it is possible it may be cracked. I haven't figured out to run the engine without the shroud. The throttle and choke linkage are on a bracket which is mounted to the shroud. Choke won't be a problem, but the throttle is tied in with the governor which is on the bottom of the engine.
 
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