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littlemarv

23 HP Kohler Command no start

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littlemarv

My old man has a JD L130 with a 23 horse Kohler Command in it. He called me the other day and said it wouldn't start. I went and put my spark tester in one wire- good spark. It cranks real good, just no fire. I took the air filter out to look in the carb (which you can't see into anyways) and tried it and it popped off like normal. Put the air filter back on and it ran fine. He replaced the air filter yesterday and today it wouldn't start. He opened the shed door and it sat in the sun for a few hours- fired right up. Is there something to this problem or is it just due to cold? It has been 0 degrees at best lately.

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CarlH

The Commands can be difficult in cold weather because of lean mixtures. I often give mine a shot of starting fluid into the carb and close the choke to start. If it's not getting fuel at all, it's likely the fuel shutoff solenoid.

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BLT

Turn the igition key on a few times and listen for the fuel solenoid to click each time. If it does, I would rule out the solenoid. You might try a bottle of Heet to see if that helps. It's possible with all the cold weather, a little bit of icing could give you fits. Lastly check the power connector between tractor and engine for dirty connectors. Sitting in the sun might have caused something to help.

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littlemarv

Thanks a lot, you guys! I tried calling the local dealer today, called three times, got put on hold twice to no avail and disconnected once. That took about 15 minutes of my life right there. Posted this question here and on a JD discussion board, got four answers already!

Seems like a sticking fuel shutoff due to ethanol gunk buildup accentuated by the cold is the general concensus. The carb has never been cleaned, and I need to convince him to get a special gas can just for premium (NO ethanol).

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DanD

The other morning I was out blowing snow with my Sovereign and 18 hp command when it was -15°F and it was running like crap. I always treat my cans of gas with sea foam but that can I didn't and it was the last fill up from that can. It was ethanol free gas from weilers although I usually get the ethanol free from kwik trip. Anyway I treated the gallon of gas left in the tank with a couple oz of sea foam and in a couple of minutes it was back to normal. I can only assume it was a moisture/ice problem.

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Brettw

Now, not high-jacking the thread I hope, but it is my understanding that "Heet" was actually basically alcohol. The alcohol mixed with the water and therefore made it so that it wouldn't freeze, and would be able to be taken through the fuel system and burned up. Wouldn't all of this 10-15% ethanol fuel today do the same? It seems to me that "Heet" is a thing of the past. I rarely see it used anymore, and I certainly have not used it in years, nor have I or anyone I know had a frozen fuel line since I can remember. Am I wrong? I find it hard to believe that issues with any of the new fuel with ethanol are actually moisture related issues?

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MikeES

Brett, you are right. The ethanol blends will combine with any moisture and it will get used/burned up just like the old HEET. There was 2 types of gas line anti-freeze. Methanol and Isopropel alcohol. The cheaper methanol would tie up the water but could turn into a slime in the bottom of the tank. The iso like ethanol combines with the water and does not settle out of the gas.

The one issue though if there is a lot of moisture in the air and the gas is exposed the alcohol will absorb a lot of moisture which then can create issues with corrosion in the carburetor if it sits in the carb for a long period of time.

I personally I not seen any issues with ethanol blends with any of my old tractors. Including rubber parts and hoses. I no longer have any carb freezing issues like back in the 70s, never gas line antifreeze anymore.

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Burntime

I vote seafoam it. I mistakenly put old gas in my sovereign and it barely ran at high throttle. Realized it was old gas. Dumped some seafoam in it and 5 minutes later it was running. It was not full power but got the lawn cut and hit it with fresh gas and all was well.

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