Craftsman Kohler Fuel Line Problem

doitmyselfrApril 29, 2008

I have a 7 year old Craftsman 42" 18hp Kohler Tractor and over the past 2 years, everytime I drive on an up incline, the engine stops because there is not enough fuel going to the carb. I lift the engine cover and push down on the fuel line and filter and all is then fine - until that is when i drive up a hill again. I tried cutting back on the fuel line and replaced the filter twice, but it keeps happening. How can I determine if there is a fuel pump or if it is even possible to install one. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks.

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The Sears model # would be a good place to start. 917.XXXXXX Maybe even the engine model#. Sometimes the fuel tanks are under the hood and others below the seat.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:44AM
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I had a Scotts by JD with a 16 hp Kohler that did the same thing. What I found is that the Kohler engines are EXTREMELY fussy about the fuel filter. I could only use a Kohler filter designed for that engine. The JD filter would give me the problem that you had. This engine had gravity feed for the fuel - the fuel tank sat higher than the engine.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 11:09AM
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machiem(Z8 WA)

As previously stated, Kohler command engines require Kohler branded filters for that engine.

It's probably happening because your putting a higher load on the engine when going up the hill. More load means it needs more fuel which is restricted by the generic fuel filter. I doubt it has to do with the angle of the hill at all.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 12:12PM
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This makes sense, however, how could it be the filter when the fuel isn't even making it to the filter when riding uphill?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 12:16PM
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machiem(Z8 WA)

The filter is completely empty or there is just a little bit of fuel in there? There doesn't need to be much fuel in the filter for the pickup tube to "suck" the fuel out. Note, the picture below isn't a Kohler filter, but the overall design is the same.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Should the fuel filter be in the horizontal or vertical position when installed? Currently, it is in the horizontal position.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Shouldn't matter.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 12:49PM
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I had the same exact problem !!! My tractor was gravity feed. I changed the filter 3 times...same problem. II eliminated the filter...same problem. I left the fuel cap off...same problem. I tested the shut off solinoid under the float bowl of the carb...tested OK...not the problem. Finally I removed the carb and completely cleaned it out. I used carb cleaner through all ports. I pushed thin pieces of wire into and through all ports. Removed and cleaned float and needle valve. Haven't had a problem since.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Do a search for "tpaul" and you'll find the post "Fuel Flow Problem". This was from when i had the problem.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:14PM
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thanks alot. i'll check it out

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Wow tpaul, quite a write up on your issue - seems as if someone made their problem part of your forum. Oh well. Anyway, I will replace the filter with a genuine Kohler filter (do you have the part number)? I will also clean out the carb - any suggesetions on how to do this most effectively? Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:19PM
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I removed the carb, put a light colored towel/rag on the work bench and cleaned all dirt off carb then dismanteled the carb. The towel/rag is so i didn't loose any parts. Gumout carb cleaner through every port, a small thin wire through all ports, and more carb cleaner. i also removed the float and jet, carb cleaner and wire through there too. Then i blew through the entire carb and all ports with my air compressor. Basically the carb was like new inside and out. No dirt, crud, varnish anywhere. I think my problem was a partial clog in a small port which after awhile would not let gas into the carb. I believe the carb was getting air locked.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 7:45AM
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Just wanted to add that I recently went through a fuel starvation issue on our Kohler Command 25 that is on our Dixon 7025 ZTR. Initially wore through fuel line due to contact with mower drive belt. I put a brass 1/4 - 1/4 splice in the line and away we went. That is for about 30 to 45 minutes and then it was like it had been shot. After much frustration, new fuel pump, fuel filter (first other brand and then Kohler) found that spliced line was kinked. I put a new line on it with better routing and the Kohler filter. Now all is good! I've mowed twice since the above fix and no trouble.
I should have seen the kink in the line. Oh well - maybe next time around.
Take care - GaryC - Indiana

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:24PM
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I had same problem with replace fuel filter. I finally found the same kind that came on that was original.
Do NOT use the Poulan Pro fuel filter. It restrickes the flow to much on hills.

I have an 2002ish LT200o Craftsman 42" 18hp Kohler Command engine.

I found the original style filter at Home depot i think....
Put it in and never had the problem again.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 10:31AM
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