Weekend Freedom Machines banner
1 - 20 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Love this forum. Searched for this issue but found nothing. Ive had a 317 with Kohler engine for a year and it always ran fine, with the excepton of it cutting out when the PTO heated up.
A month ago I put the snow blower on, set the PTO air gap and when I tried to restart it acted like a low battery. Jumped it from my truck, charged the battery, tried another battrey. Same. Finally, I ordered a starter and put that in and when I tested it (plugs where out) it seemed to crank OK. Put it all together, same isssue. Bypassed (and tested) the solenoid, same. Grounds are clean or have been bypassed. It just cranks super slow,
Handwriting Font Gas Metal Wood

or may make a couple turns, but not nearly enough to start. Im down to either valve lash or something else. I also have a new solenoid but I dont think thats the issue. Do i have to tear it down and set the valves??? Any other ideas?
Thanks!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
You indicate that the problem began after the PTO clutch gap was adjusted. Is it possible the gap was set too tight and the snowblower is engaged when you try to start the tractor? A locked-up PTO clutch bearing will also leave the clutch continuously engaged. Battery and starter cable connections also deserve a really hard look, as corrosion inside an insulated cable end may not be obvious. I do not see how valve lash alone would suddenly cause a cranking problem.
Harold
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
I’m with Harold, check to see if everything is turning while trying to start. Meaning pto or blower.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
I agree. I doubt it would be valves. But PTO clutches also act as a brake when released. I would disassemble the clutch and see if the issue goes away. It could be a faulty PTO or you did something wrong when you gapped it. If the driven disk is hung on the crankshaft it would do just that. You could at least eliminate that as a starting point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You indicate that the problem began after the PTO clutch gap was adjusted. Is it possible the gap was set too tight and the snowblower is engaged when you try to start the tractor? A locked-up PTO clutch bearing will also leave the clutch continuously engaged. Battery and starter cable connections also deserve a really hard look, as corrosion inside an insulated cable end may not be obvious. I do not see how valve lash alone would suddenly cause a cranking problem.
Harold
Thanks Harold. I thought that too, so i loosened off the PTO, then disenaged the belt before chamging starter. Spins free. Cant be cables, cause I attached heavy jumpers to engine block and starter to test, still cranks too slow.
I agree. I doubt it would be valves. But PTO clutches also act as a brake when released. I would disassemble the clutch and see if the issue goes away. It could be a faulty PTO or you did something wrong when you gapped it. If the driven disk is hung on the crankshaft it would do just that. You could at least eliminate that as a starting point.
Thanks. See my reply to Harold. I'll go through it again tho. Seems crazy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
Depending on where you bought the starter, it may still be that. Some of the cheap stuff on eBay is pure junk. Does the engine turn freely without the spark plugs installed? If you have the plugs out, the clutch completely off the crankshaft and you can't turn it freely by hand, you may have internal damage. Spun bearing or something similar. Hope not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just out there again...went from my car (new battery) to starter and engine block ground. Slow crank - but when i pull the plugs, much better....mentioned it to MrsEtek and she said - is it getting air? Maybe they ARE always right??? ;)Which again would point to valves - but only of both where stuck and it was always under compression..... and man I hate to dissaseemble everything to get at them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,229 Posts
I never had to do anything to the Kohler in my 317, so not sure if you can do this! If you remove spark plugs, can you get your thumb to cover the spark plug hole? If so, have Mrs. crank engine while your thumb is covering spark plug hole. You should feel a light suction (intake stroke), a strong pressure (compression), strong suction (power stroke), and then a light pressure(exhaust stroke). If you get strong pressure and suction ALL the time, valve issue. If light pressure and vacuum sometimes, valve are working.

Another quick check while Mrs. is there: Connect jumper cable from truck pos to starter post. Connect cable to truck neg and HOLD other end against starter. With plugs installed, have Mrs. crank. Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
I can't imagine anything with the valves that could cause this condition. Sticking valves usually result in no compression and easier rotation of the crank. If they were all to be stuck shut, the same would be true as there would be little or no air to compress. And if that were the case, something would have to be internally damaged. Cam timing gear, broken camshaft, bent pushrods, etc. And, even if the engine spun more freely with the plugs out, that doesn't eliminate either the clutch or the starter. Or, even the transmission for that matter. You just removed some of the load the starter has to overcome. Unfortunately, it's the part you need.

I think you need to look further at your PTO. You seemed to indicate that it worked fine (better) prior to your installing the blower and gapping the clutch. When issues like this crop up I always look at what was done last especially when a new issue pops up right after.

Try completely disassembling the clutch and checking to make sure the disks are floating on the crankshaft freely. If anything on that shaft is frozen or moving hard it will throw off your gap as it will rub constantly on the driven disk. And that would definitely cause the clutch to overheat as you mentioned. Try the starter with the clutch completely removed. Then you're sure.

Then, recheck your starter install making sure it is properly mounted and tight. Again, check the work that was done last. If you can establish that the engine still turns hard when the PTO is completely off, the starter is not loose or misaligned, and, also the driveshaft is disconnected if necessary, then start tearing apart your engine. With the plugs out, you should be able to turn that engine over by hand or with the front bolt on the end of the crankshaft. If you can, back to the starter again.

Always check the work that was done last first. No matter who did it. I know its a pain in the butt working on that starter but, look at it this way. If it turns out to be an internal engine issue, you'll have to take the engine out anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Depending on where you bought the starter, it may still be that. Some of the cheap stuff on eBay is pure junk. Does the engine turn freely without the spark plugs installed? If you have the plugs out, the clutch completely off the crankshaft and you can't turn it freely by hand, you may have internal damage. Spun bearing or something similar. Hope not.
Thanks Joe. The PTO pulley turns freely. Even if it where hung up on crank it isnt attached to anything so it shouldnt cuase the issue - should it? With plugs out I can turn engine easy by turning fins on back. I tested the starter prior to install and it kicked over fine - but that was no load of course.
I'm happy everyone still thinks its something simple tho! Ill pull the PTO right off and see if that changes things. - as soon as I finsih watching the next Camarata video on YT! 🤣
I never had to do anything to the Kohler in my 317, so not sure if you can do this! If you remove spark plugs, can you get your thumb to cover the spark plug hole? If so, have Mrs. crank engine while your thumb is covering spark plug hole. You should feel a light suction (intake stroke), a strong pressure (compression), strong suction (power stroke), and then a light pressure(exhaust stroke). If you get strong pressure and suction ALL the time, valve issue. If light pressure and vacuum sometimes, valve are working.

Another quick check while Mrs. is there: Connect jumper cable from truck pos to starter post. Connect cable to truck neg and HOLD other end against starter. With plugs installed, have Mrs. crank. Bob
Thanks BOB. I did both and everything seems normal. Get all 4 strokes, engine turns easy enough by hand or wrench, no wierd sounds.
Maybe it is a second bad starter. ??? Zeesm unlikely but Ive had it happen with coils. Im going ro have the original starter rebuilt, which will rule.that out.
I can't imagine anything with the valves that could cause this condition. Sticking valves usually result in no compression and easier rotation of the crank. If they were all to be stuck shut, the same would be true as there would be little or no air to compress. And if that were the case, something would have to be internally damaged. Cam timing gear, broken camshaft, bent pushrods, etc. And, even if the engine spun more freely with the plugs out, that doesn't eliminate either the clutch or the starter. Or, even the transmission for that matter. You just removed some of the load the starter has to overcome. Unfortunately, it's the part you need.

I think you need to look further at your PTO. You seemed to indicate that it worked fine (better) prior to your installing the blower and gapping the clutch. When issues like this crop up I always look at what was done last especially when a new issue pops up right after.

Try completely disassembling the clutch and checking to make sure the disks are floating on the crankshaft freely. If anything on that shaft is frozen or moving hard it will throw off your gap as it will rub constantly on the driven disk. And that would definitely cause the clutch to overheat as you mentioned. Try the starter with the clutch completely removed. Then you're sure.

Then, recheck your starter install making sure it is properly mounted and tight. Again, check the work that was done last. If you can establish that the engine still turns hard when the PTO is completely off, the starter is not loose or misaligned, and, also the driveshaft is disconnected if necessary, then start tearing apart your engine. With the plugs out, you should be able to turn that engine over by hand or with the front bolt on the end of the crankshaft. If you can, back to the starter again.

Always check the work that was done last first. No matter who did it. I know its a pain in the butt working on that starter but, look at it this way. If it turns out to be an internal engine issue, you'll have to take the engine out anyway.
I know youre logic is spot on. I have yet to REMOVE the PTO but ill do that. Again, just figured that if there's nothing attached to it (belt/implement) it shouldnt cuase engine to drag regardless. Does that not make sense?
As I said above, seems unlikely to be a bad second starter too but I can rule that out with PTO off. If it IS the PTO that would suck as I ordered one and it was wrong and 8TEN says they dont make one for that engine. Anyone know a source for those?
Back to it using your logic today!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Depending on where you bought the starter, it may still be that. Some of the cheap stuff on eBay is pure junk. Does the engine turn freely without the spark plugs installed? If you have the plugs out, the clutch completely off the crankshaft and you can't turn it freely by hand, you may have internal damage. Spun bearing or something similar. Hope not.
It turns easy enough by hand - even with PTO and drive attached - and no wierd noises....so maybe it IS the second starter. As i said in another reply I'll have the original starter rebuild by my go-to guys - which for 30 years was my MO, but this time I ordered new🙄. Still making basic errors!🤔 Rebuilding would havevbeen faster and guaranteed tested!🎯
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,229 Posts
Etek, OK, you have 2 issues, one is pto and the other is no crank.

Pto should never spin freely, it should be either engaged to crankshaft (pto "On") or engaged to brake (pto "Off"). In one respect, this is good! If pulley spins when pto is "Off", bearing is not seized. At this point, I wouldn't remove pto as it won't affect your non crank issue.

Non crank issue: I wish I could say it's "this" or "the other", but I can't! I'd start at battery. Remove and take to auto parts store for load check. A battery can show 12.8 volts, but only have a few amps available. With plugs removed, fewer amps are required to turn starter, and visa-versa, plugs in, more amps required. Next would be connections or positive battery cable! Cable has been known to corrode underneath the insulation totally invisible. Connect jumper cable to starter and verify not touching any metal other than stud and then connect to pos battery post. With plugs installed, crank engine. Next connect another jumper cable to neg battery post. Touch other end of this cable to outside of starter housing and crank. If it still cranks slowly, I'd say bad starter. Try these checks and report findings. Bob
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dirt Sailor

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts
Ditto on the cables. The 332 I'm working on decided not to crank/spin or otherwise move out of the blue one day. The pos battery cable was barely long enough and the connector on the battery end had worked loose inside the crimp. Swapped in a longer cable, problem solved. As noted by others, corrosion is real good at hiding inside insulation of old stock cables. Check ground connections too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Guys - you might want to reread Etek's post #7. Yes, his tractor battery might be weak and his cables could have corrosion but the way I read it, he's already used a second known good battery and separate cables and still has the slow crank. I think JetJoe's advice about checking everything that has recently changed is the path to follow.

His comment in post #1 about the engine cutting out when the PTO got hot might also have relevance.

Etek - are any other components (like the PTO) or wires getting hot when you try to crank?

You pulled the old starter and replaced it. Did the old starter crank the engine faster before you installed the snowblower and adjusted the clutch? How does that old starter do on a bench test?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,229 Posts
One item I totally forgot about is automatic compression release! I don't know the actual value, but I'd think if a compression tester was installed, you'd only see 20-60 psi. Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
Guys - you might want to reread Etek's post #7. Yes, his tractor battery might be weak and his cables could have corrosion but the way I read it, he's already used a second known good battery and separate cables and still has the slow crank. I think JetJoe's advice about checking everything that has recently changed is the path to follow.

His comment in post #1 about the engine cutting out when the PTO got hot might also have relevance.

Etek - are any other components (like the PTO) or wires getting hot when you try to crank?

You pulled the old starter and replaced it. Did the old starter crank the engine faster before you installed the snowblower and adjusted the clutch? How does that old starter do on a bench test?
I agree MIke. It sure sounded to me like he did a decent job of eliminating the electrical side of things. I may have missed this in all of my years of putzing with KT engines, but I don't recall any compression release on these engines.

The PTO can hang up. I've seen it several times with older clutches. The driven disc which is required to float on the crankshaft often gets full of rust and or the key gets worn causing it to hang up creating a lot of drag and heat. But it does sound like that has been eliminated. But it wouldn't hurt to disassemble it and give it a good cleaning and while its completely off, see it the issue goes away. He also mentioned he tried to install a different style PTO which also indicates there are issue with it. Not in this case, but when these clutches short out completely they can stop the engine by taking all of the available current away from the ignition. I've seen that also.

I think he should go ahead with rebuilding the starter. It's the only way to eliminate it. Just because it appears to spin freely doesn't mean it can produce the proper torque. You didn't make a mistake buying a new starter, you made a mistake buying a "cheap starter." We all do that from time to time.

I'm surprised 8ten doesn't have a clutch for that engine. I know they don't offer them for the large shaft Onan's. All you really need to order a newer style is the shaft size and rotation. I don't have time to do the research that right now but I will later if you need help with it. Try "Xtreme", They are identical to 8ten. As I recall, the shaft size is either 1" or 1 1/8". And that should not be a problem finding a clutch that size. Just don't ask them if they have one for a JD 317 as they likely don't know and don't care.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mike_U

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
I'm not familiar with that model Kohler. I skimmed through the Kohler service manual and did not see mention of a compression release but maybe I missed it? I did see some videos of K series compression release mechanisms on the cam but I have no idea if the KT17 has a compression release.

If the clutch checks out bad, I think you found your answer. If it checks out good, by chance does that starter have a separate solenoid? If so, I wonder if the contacts are worn and not able to pass full current to the starter. If so, it would probably get plenty hot during cranking.

Is your tractor battery completely discharged or fully charged? If it is heavily discharged and still connected to the system while you are jump starting with your car battery, the dead tractor battery will act like a load on the system and could cause the starter to not get enough current to spin fast.

This may be a real dumb question but you mentioned the engine turns over fine by hand with the plugs out so I'm assuming you have a multi weight oil installed? Straight 30W at the cold temps you are probably experiencing now does not like to flow very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,229 Posts
NOW looking through the Kohler KT17 Service Manual AND the parts diagram, the KT17 does not have a compression release mechanism. I was wrong, not the forst time and probably not the last either! Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
We all are wrong at times Bob. No big deal. I've had a dozen KT's over the years, and I couldn't say for sure if they had a CR or not. Lord knows I'm one of the worse at being wrong. We read so many posts it's hard to keep track of which engine/machine we're talking about at times.

It's often hard to keep your mind on point when you're trying to help somebody not having the machine right in front of you. It's a guessing game with just a few clues to go on. Maybe that's why we do it. But with so many possible variables who knows? We really don't know exactly what engine he has, has the wiring been all hacked up? Perhaps the starter or clutch is miswired? "Turns over freely" is a pretty subjective statement.

All we can do is advise with the info we have and assume it's fairly close to how the factory delivered it. Bob. that statement is why I decided to keep the TDCM in the 420 after you made that suggestion. And, I'm now glad I listened to you and Chuck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Etek

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Depending on where you bought the starter, it may still be that. Some of the cheap stuff on eBay is pure junk. Does the engine turn freely without the spark plugs installed? If you have the plugs out, the clutch completely off the crankshaft and you can't turn it freely by hand, you may have internal damage. Spun bearing or something similar. Hope not.
Thanks Joe. The PTO pulley turns freely. Even if it where hung up on crank it isnt attached to anything so it shouldnt cuase the issue - should it? With plugs out I can turn engine easy by turning fins on back. I tested the starter prior to install and it kicked over fine - but that was no load of course.
I'm happy everyone still thinks its something simple tho! Ill pull the PTO right off and see if that changes things. - as soon as I finsih watching the next Camarata video on YT! 🤣
I never had to do anything to the Kohler in my 317, so not sure if you can do this! If you remove spark plugs, can you get your thumb to cover the spark plug hole? If so, have Mrs. crank engine while your thumb is covering spark plug hole. You should feel a light suction (intake stroke), a strong pressure (compression), strong suction (power stroke), and then a light pressure(exhaust stroke). If you get strong pressure and suction ALL the time, valve issue. If light pressure and vacuum sometimes, valve are working.

Another quick check while Mrs. is there: Connect jumper cable from truck pos to starter post. Connect cable to truck neg and HOLD other end against starter. With plugs installed, have Mrs. crank. Bob
Thanks BOB. I did both and everything seems normal. Get all 4 strokes, engine turns easy enough by hand or wrench, no wierd sounds.
Maybe it is a second bad starter. ??? Zeesm unlikely but Ive had it happen with coils. Im going ro have the original starter rebuilt, which will rule.that out.
 
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
Top