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97 Sunstar, CH 20S Ignition Mod replacement

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I've got a 97 Sunstar, just turned 700 hours. Keep it under cover out in an RV port. Mice seem to have built in my blower housing and chewed my spark plug wire in half. So,  I guess I'll be pulling the enging and putting 2 new coils in. Tractor is flawless up to this point. I'm not a collector and don't have lots  of time to work on them. Should I consider doing anything else while I'm in there or have the engine out. Also, is it possible just to pull the driveshaft and slide the engine forward....? Thanks much for any feedback. 

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Yes that will give you enough room to pull the flywheel blower housing off. But if you have not had to deal with the cylinder head and a warping problem yet, you might want to consider flattening the head at this time. Also a good time for new crank seals.


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Sorry to sound like such a noob but what kind of time am I looking at to do this? Machine shop costs, roughly etc.... Not sure I can do it right now but if it's not too bad I'll consider or is it easier to repower with something else? Motor runs like a top currently, that is before the scoundrel ate up my wire. I  don't like to procrastinate as I do have some backups but I'm really not sure if I'll keep the beast. Don't really need a 60" cut or my bagger setup anymore but I also don't want to saddle someone else with a future issue..big believer is Karma :)) Thanks much for the advice!

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I'm a big believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". If it runs like a top, I would look for leaks as I did the coils and if it looked good, I'd leave it be.

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If you are not going to keep it and it runs great then just do the coils. It may have been done already unless you have had it awhile. 700 hours is in the wheel house for it needing it but just depends on a lot of stuff. You will know when it needs it as they start blowing oil up into the air cleaner housing. Could at that point be the breather and that is something to consider but again...not till you really need to. I did with mine and the simplicity dealer I use who knows his stuff told me that they pretty much all need it around those hours or later. I think mine had closer to 1800 so it probably went further but then again, right away when I bought it I was having issues.....hard to say how long it had been doing it.

He did say that once you flatten the head that it will not need it again so that's something. If you are going to tackle it do a search of my posts as I have explained it before...not that I wouldn't again tho...

Good luck


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I do get a bit of oil up around the carb but not excessive. I may add a quarter qt of oil during the season but that's it. 

Not sure but is there a better option for a repower than the Kohler? Also, I've read where most of the issues were in the 05 or so models. Does the same head gasket issue apply to 97? What I read is if you have studs you are good, nuts, no good...? I have not checked as I've never had anything apart on this motor.

I've had it since 400 hours and the only thing I've done is oil/filter, plugs, hydro oil/filter and rebuilt the deck/sandblasted and treated it with the POR 15 top and bottom. 

Great info and yes DHoadley, I usually don't open up the can until I have to. I may let it ride, if it goes down and I have to tear into it I've got backup tractors on hand

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