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KeithCT

17GTH-L disaster

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KeithCT
I was hurrying to finish my lawn tonight before it got dark, when a bunch of smoke started coming from under the hood. I disengaged the blades and hustled it back to the garage. On lifting the hood, there looks to be oil all over the Kohler KT17-II, and also dripping. I'm thinking things like a cracked block or a blown head gasket. Is there any chance I could have blown a hydraulic line or something? It has a hydraulic lift. When I have better light I'll have to track down where it's coming from, but it doesn't seem too encouraging at this point. Note that I didn't notice any change in the engine when this happened, but I don't know if I would. Thanks, -Keith in CT

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KeithCT
Looking at it more closely, it looks like it must have been the seal on the flywheel end, not the PTO end. The fan then blew the oil everywhere. I'll have to study the service manual and see what I'm up against as far as replacing the seal. Thanks for the help.

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Brettw
It is not too difficult to replace the flywheel side seal, however, you will have to pull the engine to do so. I would also suggest as Ray said, check the breather assembly too. Usually there is a cause or reason for a failed seal, and it is many times a result of a bad breather. The breather assembly lies under the valve cover that the hose from the air filter goes to.

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KeithCT
I'm guessing that the "trickiest" part will be getting the flywheel off? Any tips on that? Do I need the specific strap wrench called out on the Kohler service manual? Will the seal go in without tearing the engine down farther than that?

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Brettw
A wheel puller is the way to go for removing the flywheel. You can usually get a universal one at NAPA or such for a reasonable amount of money, ore rent one. Once enough pressure is applied it will "pop" off and it is simple. You can substitute other things for a strap wrench, as long as you can hold the flywheel to hit the proper torque, without damaging it. Do not over-torque, and do not oil the surfaces of the shaft and flywheel prior to reassembly. The seal is removed from the exterior of the engine, and replaced from the exterior. There is no need to tear into the internals of the engine to replace the seal. Seal should be about 12 bux.

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KeithCT
The manual says to replace the washer that goes under the flywheel bolt every time it's disassembled. Are they just trying to sell lots of washers or is there a valid reason for that? I want to make sure I have all the parts on hand that I need (as best I can, anyway).

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