Kohler KT17 Again

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Jim Becker
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Kohler KT17 Again

Postby Jim Becker » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:29 pm

Back in April, I posted about my Kohler KT17 in a John Deere 317. It had blown the oil filler plug out and gushed engine oil. Nice smoky mess. I was looking for input about what problem might be lurking. The main thing I gathered was that although there could be deeper problems, evidently KT17s with plug in type filler plugs like to blow them out. My fix was to wire the filler plug in place. The old thread is here:

The new story: After the previous go-round, I used it a bit with a tiller then mounted the mower. Friday I started my second lawn mowing. A little bit into the task, it started again blowing out a huge cloud of oil smoke. As before, it seemed to be running normally. I took a quick look under the hood and found oil everywhere, but the filler plug was still in place. So the symptoms were the same as the last time, except there is a different oil escape point. I quickly ran it back to the work shop and parked it. A quick inspection failed to find where the oil was coming out. I decided to leave it to drip and cool off. Total run time since the last mess was about 1.5 hours.

The problem: I went back to it on Saturday. After doing some minor disassembly and looking it over, I finally stuck an air blowgun in the oil filler to see where the air might come out. A little came out the crankcase vent, but couldn't tell where the rest was escaping. I finally found it. Of all things, the fuel pump has come loose from the engine block. The gap between the block and the pump isn't all that huge, but it is big enough to throw out a lot of oil. It isn't clear how the engine kept running. The pump is powered through a lobe on the camshaft. It must have been close enough to in place for the lobe to keep hitting the lever on the pump.

The question: The pump is moderately visible down through some gaps in the shrouds and other assorted engine parts. However, the two screws that hold the pump in place are down inside the flywheel/fan shroud. I don't see any way to get at the pump and the attaching screws without removing the shroud. And I don't see how to get the shroud off without removing the whole &^#$ engine (or at least moving it several inches forward, at which point it is ready to lift out anyway). Anybody have any insight or suggestions on how this might be fixed without major disassembly?

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Re: Kohler KT17 Again

Postby Stanton » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:06 am

The Kohler KT17 (series II) on my Cadet 782 has access to the fuel pump from above, w/o removing any tin. Looks like similar engine, different setup (JD vs. CC).

I've had to remove the engine to get to the starter on mine; not that bad of a job. Besides, when you're in there, you can thoroughly clean out the fins which are almost impossible to clean with the engine in place.

Or, since you'll have the engine out anyway, buy and install one of these:
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