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Roy

New Engine In My Sovereign

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Roy
Gang, Thought I would pass this on for what it is worth. I just got my new Sovereign back from the dealer with a new Kohler CH18 engine in it. To make a long story short, the original CH-18S (OHC) engine was self destructing due to problems with fuel pump cam lobe disintegrating and worn timing belt pulleys along with the other problems the new engine and came to be known for. Since Kohler no longer makes the TH-18S OHC engine, and my TH-18S only had 106 hours on it, Kohler agreed to provide the new CH18 engine under warranty despite being out of warranty (I purchased the tractor in September 1999). Likewise, Simplicity provided a conversion kit from Al Eden's Repower Engineering at no cost to me. I did have to pay for the labor to do the conversion (ouch). Have not run the tractor much since I got it back last Saturday but it seems be OK and installation looks factory. Hopefully the Sovereign will now last forever without major problems. I have the instructions that came with the conversion kit. They are comprehensive, clear, and complete but do have a few minor grammar/spelling errors. It took the Simplicity dealer 8 hours to do the installation. Simplicity and Kohler did the right thing to correct a bad situation for a customer. I only wish it had not been necessary to go through the experience. Christmas came a little early this year in this case. That's all,

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Kent
Glad it worked out for you Roy, even though you had to stand the labor costs. I think you'll be much happier long term... And we know where you can ask questions about that kit, if necessary, huh? :D

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Guest
Merry Christmas Roy...have fun with your new refurbished present! Doug

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HubbardRA
It is nice to have the new engine, but I don't think it is fair that you had to pay for the labor if the engine self-destructed and Kohler admitted that it was their fault. Enjoy your new engine and have a Merry Christmas!

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roma3112
0geez Reading this one gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, (and not in a good way) I have the same engine /tractor. Hopefully i wont have problems, and if i do i hope it is within the year i haveleft on the warranty. I know i have read some stuff on these engines being crappy, do you guys think it is a design flaw or was it a run of bad production? What should i be looking for PM wise to keep these problems from happening to mine? thanks john

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thedaddycat
John, go back to the dealer and talk to them. Tell them your concerns and if you have to you can always reference this post to show where Kohler replaces the defective engines. I have to admit that 106 hours to wear out an engine seems a bit "premature" considering some of these cast Briggs singles last over 40 years.........

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roma3112
kirk i may just write to Simpliciity, not having any problems yet i am not sure thay will be of any help, but if the engine is such a dog i am sure they are aware of it. Does anybody know of any recalls associated with this engine, or was it soo bad that they just stopped making it???

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Roy
John, They had some problems with no/poor heat treating of the camshaft lobe. The timing belt pulleys were not hardened originally. They have a kit to install a new cam and hardened timing belt pulleys. I think Fuzy mentioned it here once. Kohler also offers a kit to put clean out ports on the cylinder shrouds. I think they may have also had problems with the lost foam process used to make the blocks. Add this to the leaky valve covers (not a good idea to put the fuel pump on a plastic valve cover), leaky fuel solenoid valve, air filter problems, and some other things I am not aware of and the whole engine ended up being unreliable and expensive to fix. By dropping the engine I think Kohler elected to bite the bullet and end a bad situation (my opinion). I more or less ignored the problems until I found the bad cam lobe and loose timing belt although I did make a few posts about some of the problems. Once I knew the engine had metal particles from the cam circulating in the oil, along with the worn pulleys, I knew the engine was doomed. It started missing the last time I used it before the engine was replaced. In my case the engine had some bad parts that were only compounded by a poor design. I do appreciate what Kohler and Simplicity did for me to set things right. This is my experience and some of my opinions. Value them accordingly.

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JP
Roy, Me too! Mine has been in for leaky valve covers & I've been accused of 'fogging the neighborhood' on occassion ( going up hills & after oil changes, it SMOKES like H#$%). I thought the problem was solved when the previous owner had the motor replaced (with the same one....), Nada. Thanks, JP PS I wonder if anyone from Simplicity or Kohler look at this site?

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BLT
One of the few things you generally don't see in air cooled engines, but it can happen is dipstick calibration. For one reason or another, trying to keep the oil level on the full mark of the dipstick will cause you to have more oil consumption then if you leave the engine find it's own level. This means that at times the oil consumption will cease when you get consistent readings somewhere between the full and add marks of the dipstick. So if you seem to have a consumption problem, see if it will settle between the full and add marks. It it does that is your full mark forever. This has been and always will be a problem for the big guys. We have had complaints of a quart oil being consumed every 250 miles on the over the road trucks. We'll do a calibation check and find the level to high or advise the owner to let it find its own level and then make a full mark on dipstick and problem is gone.

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stevenj
In reviewing several posts, there seems to be some issues on Kohler engines. Are the Kohler engines more prone to failure than the B&S engines? Which Kohler engines should I try to stay away from?

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Guest
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