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nahrwoldt

2000 Soveriegn TH-18/Transmission Fix

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nahrwoldt
Gentlemen/Ladies: Part I I would like to share my 4 year battle and final victory with my 2000 Sovereign. It began the first full season of mowing 2001, when the transmission started to leak around the hydro pump and axles. I had it into my dealer six times that season and 2002 with no results.That summer the starter went on the Kohler TH-18 engine. I then took it to Riteway -Simplicity dealer and found that the axle seals had been leaking. They were repair, but within two weeks, tranny leaking again. I spoke with simplicity and they suggested Cal Neely and they extended my warranty by two years. In April/May 2003 Cal sealed the tranny at the hydro pump. Within two weeks the tranny was leaking from a couple of shafts in the gear box and the engine sounding ruff and the starter would sometimes stay engaged and the left and right valve cover began leaking. I spoke with Simplicity and they told me to take it to the dealer. I changed oil that fall(2003) and found metal shavings in the oil. That did it I was now on a quest to make this tractor right. I started with Simplicity in Jan 2004, due to job startup requirement(living at a power plant). I spoke with Chris P. at Simplicity. He was a dead end due Kohler engine. I spoke with Kohler this was another dead end. That was it Lawyer time. I wrote a letter to Kohler's and Simplicity's President about my experience and how I have still stayed a loyal Simplicity owner. Part II I received a call from Kohler. They stated that they would replace my TH-18 with CH-18 and Simplicity would send my dealer a kit from Al Edens that would convert my TH-18 to a CH-18. About the same time Simplicity called said they would replace my transmission and starter solonoid and the factory would pay and ship AL Edens Sovereign TH to CH conversion kit to my dealer. I was completely happy. The next part is how my dealer gave me the Al Eden's Kit and Engine and let me put it in. Part III I dropped off the TH-18 that I removed from my 2000 Sovereign. I picked up the CH-18 and Al's kit. I spent about one afternoon installing the kit with engine. It was quite easy with the extensive instructions that Al provides. I am only a basic mechanic and I could do it. I then took the tractor back to the dealer to inspect the engine replacement and begin work on the tranny replacement. The dealer was very surprised how well the kit worked and that I was able to handle the job. The engine replacement was approved by the dealer and the tranny installed by end of June 2004. I have been using the tractor now for two months with no tranny leaks and smooth running engine. I would like to say that I am very satisfied with the outcome and Simplicity and Kohler Customer service in the end. I will add pictures later. Thanks for reading, I thought it was worth letting the club know about my experience. Tim

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Dutch
I'm glad to learn your story had a happy ending. It's just a shame people have to resort to lawyers because others hesitate to do the right thing. Both Simplicity and Kohler know the TH-18/Sovereign problem is not isolated.

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Roy
At least they let you put the engine & kit in. I had to pay the dealer labor for the installation. But, I did not have to resort to a lawyer and, so far, no transmission problems. Hope it is finally fixed for the long term.

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leeave96
Tim, I'm glad you got your tractor fixed - but it's a crying same you had to go to the lengths you did to do so. My Dad recently bought a Prestige and the after the sale service and respect were nonexistant! It was enough to make me think more than once - the heck with the 'dealer line' and next time buy an MTD. All the best, Bill

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Al
Tim, I think you were smart to use the letter route. I am sure if you had ever used a lawyer, both sides would have dug in and you would have spent a fortune and one has no idea how one will come out in court. I thank you for the kind words about our kits. Kohler has installed one of these at the factory in a tractor that Simplicity provided them that was setting out at the proving ground. This was to be certain that the kit met all of their concerns regarding cooling, and safety issues being covered in the proceedures. We have been providing these kits for some time to these companies to help out in replacing the TH engines. We only get involved in these when we get a call telling us to send one to some dealer, wh ich we do and bill the appropriate people. I believe we provided the kit for Roy Popes tractor also. I am glad you were able to work a deal with your dealer to install it, because I am happy to get the feedback. Thanks again for the kind words. Al Eden

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