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Background:
The tractor been running great for 14 years (550 hrs on the clock). My wife is the operator and reported to me that it had a little rattle. I found the front tire bushings and blade spindle bearings were worn. I replaced the bushing with bearings, replaced the front axles and blade spindles. I started it up, ran it for 2 minutes, shut it off and it would not restart. I found it was very low on oil (I am embarassed). Pulled the carb and cleaned it. Sanded some rust off the alternator and flywheel magnets. Found the bolt on the intake rocker arm had backed out and the valve wasn't moving on the Kohler single piston engine. I tightened the bolt (no locktite) and it fired up and sounded good. Now it takes 75 minutes to cut the grass instead of 45 minutes. The mower drives slower and doesn't completely mulch the grass. I found the drive belt (with previously replaced pulleys) was a little eaten up. I replaced the belt and blades but it didn't fix anything.

So, in a nutshell... Mower was fine before I started working on it. Found it was low on oil, had the carb off to clean, rocker arm was "off", replaced the drive belt, engine sounds good, plug/filter are good. I have not done a compression test. Any ideas what is causing my problem?

Thanks!
 

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3,228 Posts
Background:
The tractor been running great for 14 years (550 hrs on the clock). My wife is the operator and reported to me that it had a little rattle. I found the front tire bushings and blade spindle bearings were worn. I replaced the bushing with bearings, replaced the front axles and blade spindles. I started it up, ran it for 2 minutes, shut it off and it would not restart. I found it was very low on oil (I am embarassed). Pulled the carb and cleaned it. Sanded some rust off the alternator and flywheel magnets. Found the bolt on the intake rocker arm had backed out and the valve wasn't moving on the Kohler single piston engine. I tightened the bolt (no locktite) and it fired up and sounded good. Now it takes 75 minutes to cut the grass instead of 45 minutes. The mower drives slower and doesn't completely mulch the grass. I found the drive belt (with previously replaced pulleys) was a little eaten up. I replaced the belt and blades but it didn't fix anything.

So, in a nutshell... Mower was fine before I started working on it. Found it was low on oil, had the carb off to clean, rocker arm was "off", replaced the drive belt, engine sounds good, plug/filter are good. I have not done a compression test. Any ideas what is causing my problem?

Thanks!
You should go back and recheck your work. What you replaced shouldn't have caused the engine not to run. Maybe you disturbed some of the wiring harness or plugs.

Did you grease the new spindles? The other small pulleys also have sealed bearings. I ended up replacing them when I did the same thing to my old L108.

You need to figure out if you have an engine power problem or the transmission is slipping. If it's not cutting grass I would think it is lack of power. First 3 things I would recommend. Sounds like you are comfortable with working on the tractor.

1. Buy a home maintenance kit and install it. This will include spark plug, fuel filter, inner/outer air filters, motor oil and oil filter. If your oil level was allowed to run low the little bit left gets burnt. Then it can't lubricate correctly. The rest of the wear parts are probably over due. Clogged filters will also cause poor performance.

2. Pull the valve cover and do a proper adjustment to both valves. You can't just tighten them up. The rocker arms must have a specific gap between the arm & valve when they are closed. The wrong adjustment will also cause poor performance and possibly engine damage.

3. Use a leaf blower or air hose to blow out around the engine cooling fins. Also on top of the flywheel. A hot running engine will also cause poor performance.
 
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