Kohler lifter replacement

jtc001April 25, 2007

I have a Kohler engine cv16S spec 43526. It has hydraulic lifters. Last year I could hear valve tappet noises. This year, at start up, it was much louder, so much so that I did not feel comfortable running it. When I pulled the valve cover, one lifter seems bad - it does not keep the rocker arm tight. The engine has less than 200 hours on it, no other problems seen.

I have ordered two lifters and gaskets. (Thank you Kohler for not making the hole in the head large enough to pull the lifter without removing the head). The lifters came with Thixotropic camshaft lube. What is this for and where and how much should I use? Other than making sure the lifters were filled with oil (which the service manual details), is there anything else I should be doing?

Thank you.

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bill_kapaun

"camshaft lube"
Put some on the bottom of the lifter where it contacts the camshaft. Otherwise they would have called it something else:-)
It protects the cam lobe & lifter from galling on initial start up.

IF you don't have the service manual, you can download one at the link. It's probably a GOOD idea to read the pertinent parts. There might be some "quirks" that you aren't aware of.

Here is a link that might be useful: Manual

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 5:52PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

Are you using 10W30 oil? This is important with hydraulic lifters.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 8:14PM
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jtc001

Thank you for the answers. Part of my question about the grease is that they give you a tube of it about the size of the lifter!

I always use 10W-30 conventional oil and change it every 25 hours (oil and filter). I changed the break in oil at 5 hours.

Question - in the Kohler service manual linked above, it indicates that I should purge the oil from the lifter before installation. The John Deere service manual for this tractor, which includes a section on the Kohler engine, indicates that I should make sure that the lifters are full of oil, allow 10 minutes for the lifters to bleed down after installation, and they try to turn the engine. It says that if I can not turn the engine, wait another 10 minutes.

Do I fill the lifters with oil or not?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 8:35PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

You want to fill the lifters with oil and purge the air before installing.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 9:07PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

You may want to re-think your plan of action. The infamous "Kohler Tick" first surfaced with Kohler 15HP engines about 6 years ago. The lifters would bleed down and never recover  thus the constant tick. KohlerÂs post production fix was to install solid push rods, (a tech service bulletin was issued). The solid pushrods seal the top of the lifters and prevent bleed down. ItÂs certainly a heck of a lot easier to replace the pushrods than the lifters. Kohler claims the fix wonÂt compromise engine lubrication.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:07AM
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echoman

May just want to try using some Lucas Oil Stabilizer, synthetic type. I've been using it for a few years for extra protection and to help lifters hold their prime especically in colder weather. It will flow to critical parts at start up and it designed for the problem you're experiencing. Add about 20% to your TOTAL FILL amount when changing the oil. This might solve your problem without the lifter replacement. If it's a bleeddown problem, I'm betting it will. If it's mechanical, then you know what you have to do then. Let us know if you try the Lucas.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 11:29AM
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wise_guy(NW MN)

Purging of the lifters before installation is not required. Kohler has changed that procedure in their manual due to independent testing.

Always use 10w-30 oil as stated.

Testing shows that after a long period of storage, it may take up to an hour for the air to be purged out of the lifters. No harm will be caused to your valve train or lifters within an hour of running with air in the lifters.

Reference:
" A. Priming

Based on information supplied by the lifter supplier we have been recommending that new replace-
ment lifters or lifters that had been removed for service or cleaning should be manually primed
with engine oil before being installed.The task force has determined that this procedure is not
worth the effort.In timed tests,there was no significant difference in ÂÂpump-up ÂÂ time between
lifters which had been pre-primed and those that had not.As a result,KOHLER will remove the
priming procedure from service literature as it comes up for revision.

B. ÂÂPump-UpÂÂ Time

When an engine is started,it usually takes just one or two minutes for the lifters to pump up.If it
was out of service for some time,and the lifter chamber is full of air,or replacement or serviced
lifters have been installed,that time may be extended while the air is being purged.Originally,we
believed 20-30 minutes of running was adequate time to allow for purging any trapped air.The
timed tests conducted by the task force indicated it could take 30-60 minutes before the lifters fi-
nally quieted down.

If you get a report of lifters that are noisy after start-up,tell the customer to make sure the oil level
is in the proper operating range.Also check that he is using the multi-viscosity oil.Although the
lifters may be noisy,it doesn Ât harm the engine in any way.Usually within 15 minutes the noise will
disappear.If it is still noisy after an hour of running,make arrangements to get the engine/unit in
for further diagnosis."

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 2:25PM
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wise_guy(NW MN)

Let me be more direct:

"Question - in the Kohler service manual linked above, it indicates that I should purge the oil from the lifter before installation. The John Deere service manual for this tractor, which includes a section on the Kohler engine, indicates that I should make sure that the lifters are full of oil, allow 10 minutes for the lifters to bleed down after installation, and they try to turn the engine. It says that if I can not turn the engine, wait another 10 minutes."

^As I stated in the previous post, purging the lifters of air by pumping them up with oil is not necessary. People will still do it though. So.... if you DO pump the lifters up ahead of time, you must wait 10 minutes before turning the engine over to allow the excess oil to bleed out. Then you want to turn the engine over by hand a few revolutions. If the engine does not want to turn past a certain point with little force, stop and let the engine sit for another 10 minutes... and repeat until engine spins freely. This entire procedure is performed to allow excess oil to bleed out of the lifters so that the valves will not be forced to open too far and cause valve, push rod, or piston damage.

If you install the lifters without pumping them up ahead of time, this whole procedure can be skipped. But, check that the engine does spin freely of course before throwing the starter on.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 3:20PM
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engine_tech(Utah)

No need to prime the lifters. Just coat them in oil and go. They will take care of themselves.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 8:31PM
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hippy

Who built the engine Kohler or John Deere?

Point is. What does John Deere know about building Kohler engines?

Go with the Kohler manual.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:11PM
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jtc001

There is a wealth of information here.

My John Deere service manual was purchased in 2000 and contains the current information at that point. Thank you above for updating that information.

I've had my ear on this lifter most of last year. It was noiceable, but not too bad, even at the end of an afternoon of work. When I started it this year, it was obviously not functioning properly. For $36, I will replace both of the lifters (price of 2 lifters and gaskets). THe engine is mostly pulled apart now anyway.

But, I've got a new problem. This is one of those dreaded Scotts by John Deere, purchased in 2000 and therefore should be completely dead and worthless now (you know, not a "real" Deere). Is it even worth the $36 of repair? (Sarcasm intended).

Thanks for all the assistance above!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 9:49AM
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mcroach52_yahoo_com

Hi, I have a 17hp Kohler motor on a Craftsman lawn tractor. The tractor was given to me so I don't know its history. I do know it had been sitting a long time, so I cleaned the carburetor and tried to start it. The only thing is would do is backfire through the intake and the exhaust. It was late in the evening, so I stopped working on it. The next morning I noticed that the needle and seat were not sealing off the fuel as they should and that the carburetor had filled up with gas in the intake track. I checked the oil in the motor and noticed it was way high on the dipstick. I drained the oil and found it was contaminated with gas, which was a result of the carburetor overflowing. After draining it and putting new oil in it, I tried to start it. It ran for 30 seconds, putting out a lot of black smoke, then died. I tried to start it again and I had the same results as the 1st time: backfiring through the intake and the exhaust. I pulled the valve cover off and it seems as though the lifters are holding the valves open a tad. Does anybody have any idea why??? Thanks, Dave

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 1:10AM
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