Big Time Problems, 25 hp Kohler on Craftsman / Husqvarna/AYP

WolfBlade(z5a)August 15, 2005

My '04 Husqvarna GTH2548 with 60 hours on it started blowing bluish smoke and ran thru a quart of oil in 10 mins. Called Warranty Repairs, as soon as the Tech came out he went right for the right side of the engine (right side looking from driver's seat)and pulled the plug out. Badly fouled. Head gasket blown. He replaced it and the 4 bolts. He told me this is a KNOWN issue with these particular engines. Told me Kohler used the wrong bolts and after heating and cooling the bolts on the right-hand side "stretch" and cause the gasket to fail. Also said Kohler had redesigned the head and eliminated 2 bolts, making the head almost impossible to torque down evenly onto the gasket.

I am livid. I know this engine had to reach unacceptable temperatures when it blew a quart of oil out, yet the Tech tried to reassure me by telling me there wouldn't be any other damage to the engine from the failed gasket and low/overheated oil.

Needless to say, I am now on the warpath and Kohler, Lowes and Husqvarna WILL make this right, even if I have to resort to "extreme measures" to get their attention. When I went to Lowe's and gave them $2400.00, AFTER they talked me out of buying a competitor's tractor, I TRUSTED them, and believed them when they told me if I had ANY problems with the tractor they would "stand behind it all the way."

And, for those of you still reading, this issue is in addition to the ongoing problem I have had since day one with the tractor lurching foreward or backward and taking off when the shift lever is in neutral. They have been out 3 times to fix THAT problem and haven't FIXED it yet.

If you have an '03-'04 25hp Kohler... you might want to get ready for a bumpy ride.

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bountyhunter(z5 WI)


I don't know where you live, but in Wisconsin we have a lemon law. Three repairs and not running right and you get an equal or better replacement or your money back.

Check you locales laws.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:38PM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

Exactly the same problem with my Craftsman GT5000 with the same Kohler junk engine. Fouled the right plug at about 70 hrs. and blew almost a quart of oil out the exhaust in very short time. Sears service said it was a 'no charge' call and repair and their tech is due in the morning. Will see what he says. I know Sears didn't build it and is trying to make things right, but I don't feel very benevolent toward Kohler.

How are we going to drive the Japs, Chinese, whoever, back to their shores when our old line companies still try to push garbage? The only honorable thing they could do now would be to provide a lifetime warranty or replacement engine to anyone stuck with an effected engine.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:07AM
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Yup, my sentiment exactly. The only way I'd keep this engine is if they warranteed it for life now. This is absolutely NUTS. It seems like EVERYTHING I buy anymore is defective... what are we becoming?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:21AM
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paulnakada(z9 CA)

kohler 25hp, 60 hours blowing smoke after running on a hot day... at the dealer awaiting repair.

The sad thing is that I have to get my kids to use their kids tractor w/ a 3.5 HP briggs and stratton built like a tank motor to move things around while my POS is being fixed. Definitely makes me want to have a backup tractor, with no bells or whistles, just a solid motor and 4 wheels to haul stuff around in a pinch.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:09AM
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Can you give me the Kohler Model Number for the Engine? It will help narrow down when the engine (vice the tractor) was built and will maybe help identify which engine model is at risk. thanks, Mark.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:26AM
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Is this the same engine you get if you upgrade a L120 to a L130 to get the kohler?

Spend $300 to get a major engine problem... yikes..

Curious... and glad I have the briggs this time... not that I had any idea... dumb luck, and glad I saved the $300 too..

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:50AM
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Couple other "nice" things the tech told me about this engine... The carb. Can't be cleaned. You heard me. Can't be cleaned. No way to take it apart and clean the crud out of the bowl, etc. He said he and 4 other techs that specialize in the engine work have all tried to find SOME way to clean these carbs with no success. Here's the real kicker: the carbs cost $300.00. No clean. REPLACE. And if the engine itself ever totally pukes, it's 2 GRAND to replace. I find that totally amazing... a $2000.00 engine on a $2400.00 tractor. Now there's some "new math" for ya.

And for those of you who own the AYP made equal to the GTH2548... here's something else to look out for... beneath your shift lever and on top of the tranny there is a sort of a "z" shaped linkage part... the tech told he they have been replacing a LOT of those. BREAK! SNAP! No foreward or backward movement.

Unfortunately there is no lemon law here in Indiana for riding mowers, only cars and such... I called Lowe's last night and talked to the 'supervisor' of Lawn and Garden. He sounded like a 20 year-old and his vocabulary and inability to speak the English language quickly sapped away any confidence I might have had in him... (Not being racist here, he sounded like a regular caucasian... he just didn't seem capable of speaking ANY language with relative coherence.) Anyway, he gave me the old tired line about "Hey, we don't make the things, we just sell them, therefore we're not really responsible for them." I told him the fact that they do sell them makes them TOTALLY responsible for them. They are acting as Husqvarna's agent in the transaction, AND Lowe's is complicit because they represented to me personally that the product they were trying to sell me was superior to John Deere, and their promises of excellent follow-up care were instrumental in my decision to purchase the tractor from them instead of going with the Deere.

Then he told me it would be difficult to get anything done because I have had the tractor for over a year now, to which I replied "The only FREAKIN REASON I have kept it this long is because YOU people kept telling me to keep driving it and the transmission problem would go away when the tractor was 'broken in," and NOW the engine blew on top of that!"

So he's supposed to talk to his superiors today and see what they can do to assuage my determination. In the words of the ancient philosopher Alice Cooper: "Welcome to my nightmare."

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:27AM
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jimbo68(NE US)

Sorry you're having all these problems, WolfBlade. Stay the course. I would be surprised if Lowe's didn't stand behind the sale. You need to get past the local manager. Keep us up to date on the situation. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:06AM
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bountyhunter(z5 WI)


I am working with a couple right now who have an A/C problem, and in the past 2 emails to her, I have told her to quit talking and emailing her concerns to the contractor whose work I am reviewing and communicate ONLY WITH CERTIFIED RETURN RECIEPT LETTERS and to keep a copy and the post offices receipts with her copies. This provides a solid paper trail of what her complaint is and how she tried to resolve it. Sent and received emails can be lost or modified or "never received". If they don't start doing it with this last communication I had with them, I will drop them and in their case, they are talking a $9,000.00 expenditure.

Quit taking the convenient route and start sending CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT LETTERS to whomever you believe can help you with getting your problem resolved. It is amazing to me that people don't understand the power that letter writing has to change things. Those of us who complain in written form (NOT EMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) are more likely to follow through to legal and govenmental agencies than those that rant and rave on email or telephones, and companies know this.

Why haven't you written down and posted the model and serial numbers of the Kohler engine as was asked of you 4 hours before your last post, that is giving you all this grief? You don't want anyone thinking you are shilling for some other company, do you? Give us the information so that if any of us who are willing to write real letters have the same engine, we can protect our interests.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:20AM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

Great news WolfBlade. We don't have a problem (according to Kohler)

Sears tech showed up and did some checks (cylinder compression, case vacuum, etc.) and siad 'Yep, it's a head gasket.' Got on phone with Kohler for a while. Came back and said they'd repair it under warranty and a kit was on order (1 wk and he'll be back). Said Kohler told him that they used to have an occasional problem way back, but they redesigned the head and there is no problem now. Ours are just random failures, possibly caused by engaging the blades at less than full throttle (how 'bout that!).

Wonder if they're smiling a Kohler and saying 'darn, just lost another one to Honda.'

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:37AM
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Hi Wolfblade
Sorry to hear about all your problems but I feel your pain. I bought a Gt5000 in 2003 and with in a month it blew both head gaskets.I wouldn't except the repair ,I said I wanted a new tractor and they gave me one (no questinos asked).This new tractor lasted about 15 hours and the same thing happened and I let them repair it . It worked OK for about 40 hours and started to smoke. When I went to sears I asked for another Tractor which I got a year newer a 2004 and the salesman showed me a memo from Kohler that the head gasket problem was resolved in the newer 2004 models. I have over 100 hours on this Tractor and it's never smoked or backfired ,It runs great all the time. I wonder if you got one of the earlier 2004 models. There's a plate on the side of the engine with the date it was manufactured. Mine was built in august of 2004 and it's fine. My neighbor has one and his has been OK too. I would ask for a newer tractor and I think you'll be fine. I know that Carburater issue is true on alot of engines today not only Kohler so it's a good idea to change your fuel filter at least once a year and you shouldn't have any problems. Good luck to ya ,I hope they make things right for you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:11PM
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davidld(central KY)

Wolf and Hawk Do you have the serial number or exact date of manufacture of your engines? I was wonding if we could track down exactly when the bad bolts might have been used and when changes were made in the head design.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:15PM
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JPPWNY(Western NY)

I engage my blades at half throttle so as to not put too much stress on the mower deck belt and spindles!!!
Now they say engaging blades at less than half throttle will ruin an engine???
What is going on?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:17PM
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bountyhunter(z5 WI)


I am just guessing, but it may have to do with inertia.

Engaging the blades at anything less than full throttle may put a load on the engine that its lower inertia at lower speeds can't cope with safely.

Besides, belts and spindles are cheaper and easier to fix than an engine.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:00PM
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DavidLD... I'll check and get back to you later today with those numbers.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:18PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

I don't believe that "uncleanable carb" crap at all. I believe you when you say they told you that but IMO it is utter horse crap. If you get the numbers from your engine i'll prove it.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 3:35PM
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jimbo68(NE US)

Now we got something going. Git er on, Slam. Yes siree. I sure hope crow is not on the menu.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 3:59PM
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I'm curious about the title to this post. "Craftsman/Husqvarna/AYP." What makes me curious is how Craftsman got into the picture when it is a Husqvarna and was purchased at Lowes. Maybe I missed something.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:22PM
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As I set here reading... I wonder if I might have the same problems with my 27 horse kohler I bought this year? With my luck.... probably. : (

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:27PM
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JPPWNY(Western NY)

"Besides, belts and spindles are cheaper and easier to fix than an engine"

Agree on that!!! I just hope I didn't damage my engine by engaging the PTO while at half speed!!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:32PM
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neilrpf(Garden Hardiness Zone 8)

I have a 2004 GT5000 25hp Kohler, (built 6/30/04). I didn't follow the proper shutdown procedures once and when I started it up I got the initial blue smoke. I freaked out and contacted Kohler. Between him and Slammer here, I realized I wasn't supposed to shut down at idle.. but enough about that.

I have been in periodic contact with this guy at Kohler and after reading today's posts contacted him about it.

Here is his reply:

"We did have a little trouble with them around 2002-2003. This problem has since been resolved. It sounds as though the account that you read on the internet may have been more of a fluke thing-that is what warranty is for. Your engine has the new headbolts and headgasket, so you should have nothing to worry about".

I know it isn't popular but I still maintain and it has been my experience that Kohler is one of the best engines made. My 25hp Kohler has around 100 hours on it and so far I've had no problems with it. But I guess time will tell.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:43PM
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davidld(central KY)

The one we have shows a build date of 7/20/04, so we should be fine too (fingers crossed)


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 5:04PM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

Kohler Pro 25 HP
Family 3KHXS-7252GC
Model: CV730S
S/N: 3324805471
OEM Prod 185615

On Craftsman GT5000 purchased Jan 2004

To DON, Craftsman and Husqvarna are made by AYP and basically identical machines. But that is not the issue, nor is which store it was purchased at. The problem is with the Kohler engine which is made by Kohler and sold to many companies to power their products.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 5:18PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Here's the deal on the carb...according to the IPB Kohler does NOT sell a "kit" for the carb. But they do sell the gaskets and it is NOT a "sealed" carb by any means. So it can be cleaned. Just for grins the replacement cost to a customer would be $184.00 not $300. You can spend another $100 if you want to buy the fuel shut off solenoid as well but their is no need on this engine as it is seperate. It is also available for purchase seperately. Thanks for the numbers. I hope you get some kind of satisfaction on your problem and I would advise buying from a servicing dealer next time. The dealer I just spoke to was well aware of the problem and was replacing the defective parts before he ever let a unit out of his store front. He also said that the problem has indeed been taken care of though and that the only Kohler issue he knew of right now was with the coil. So if you crank your mower and it runs 20 to 30 minutes and shuts down and then restarts when cool and repeats....:-)


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:06PM
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The carb cleaning thing is bunk. You can clean and rebuild that carb no problem. What he's saying is with labor rates so high, it might not be worthwhile. $50+/hr adds up fast. Buying a new one might actually be cheaper than the labor to clean the original.

Somewhere around the date we are talking, Kohler changed from head bolts to head studs. They hold torque better. I also think the gaskets improved as well. They have a retrofit kit that updates the older engines to studs, and it works very well. No repeat problems on one's I've dealt with.

I doubt any engine damage was done as well. The dealer could perform a cylinder leakdown test to verify that your rings, piston, and cylinder walls are OK.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:18PM
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Wolfblade -

Based on a recent experience I had with a "major home improvement center" (our settlement requires I stay quiet) the best course of action is not via certified letters, but FedEx. Send one to the president of that division and copy the regiional manager.

I'd copy Husqvarna President as well.

Here's why - when a FedEx arrives for execs at that level, their secretary usually does not open them. They are placed on their desk. This ensures they read it and pass it along to someone that reports directly to them. Most people have a problem of reaching someone high enough to do something. When it lands on the president's desk, they have someone handle it so it'll go away.

Don't work your way up - let them work their way down - start at the top.

Worked great for me! Well worth the $13. Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:38PM
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I mean you absolutely no disrespect, and you can choose to believe the fellow at Kohler, but this is no fluke. Not only have the techs verified this problem to me, the general manager at the Lowe's store just acknowledged the same thing to me, AND there are several other people who have posted in this forum and others with the exact same problems. I don't know how the guy at Kohler defines "fluke," but I thought it was supposed to mean a rare occurance... two or more postings of the same problem just this week is NOT a "fluke." My engine is a 2004 Command. Of course Kohler is going to sugar-coat these things... it's horrible P.R.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:08PM
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hawker1, your point is well taken and may I quote you?

"The problem is with the Kohler engine which is made by Kohler and sold to many companies to power their products."

So why mention Craftsman/Husqvarna/AYP in the title of the post? Just asking. Curious!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:02PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Don, does it really matter either way? FWIW, the OP also mentioned AYP specific problems (a very dangerous condition!) in the first post so the AYP in the title is appropriate. Read it again. Have a great evening! :-)


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:24PM
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What Lowes store sold you a Husqvarna lawn tractor with a Kohler engine?

The reason I ask. When I went looking for a GTH series tractor earlier in the spring. The model that I wanted had not even made it to my local husqvarna dealer yet. So to kill some time while waiting for it to arrive, I visted three Lowes stores and was told that they did not have and could not get a Husqvarna lawn tractor with a Kohler engine. And that they could only sale Husqvarna tractors with a Briggs engine. If I wanted a mower from Lowes with a Kohler. It would have to buy a Cub Cadet.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:21PM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

OK Don, I surrender. You've lost me. Where are you trying to take us?

WolfBlade: Looks like Kohler is kissing us off. I'm offended by their apparent lack of concern and then to try to make out that it's really an operator induced problem only adds insult. Unfortunately the only thing we can do is show our displeasure with our feet. This is my first and last Kohler.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:29PM
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Apparently we must be careful when chooing our words for the thread subject as to not offend anybody's sacred tractor choice.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:39PM
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Don, my point in posting here is not to nit-pick anyone or to pick on any one manufacturer. My point in posting here is to perhaps alert someone else with the same engine or mower to the problems I am having, especially when I am told by Husqvarna authorized repair techs and Lowe's managers that the problem isn't just with my mower, but with many others produced by that manufacturer during that time period. I mentioned Craftsman and Husqvarna because the corporate representative of Husqvarna told me this model of the two tractors are identical. Two repair techs confirmed the same thing as did 3 salesmen. I mentioned AYP because AYP makes other mowers and my point was to alert people out there who own any AYP product, especially the Craftsman and Husqvarna, with this particular engine in them, to the potential problems. I mentioned those particular makes because even though the same Kohler engine is reportedly used in John Deeres, etc., I haven't heard of this problem in them, so I wasn't going to include them in my post. Yes, Kohler might have the exact same engine in John Deeres and Cub Cadets, etc., but I don't know of any failures in those at this point. I do know of several failures in the AYP made machines.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:22PM
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fordman_1(z7 ri)

hmmm. wonder when the kohler on my 69 120 will give up? seriously though guys i hope you get your problems straightened out. kohler used to build a great motor.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:24PM
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buzzard_king(7b SC)

This is 2005.. Engineers know what will
work in a manufacturing process and what
won't. They know what the end product will be like and how it will be used. They also know the expected life under
normal use conditions. This blown gasket
thing on these Kohler engines borders on criminal negligence. Class action suit
anybody? They knowingly sold defective
engines. In my opinion, they rolled the
dice to see if the cheap crap they made
would hold up and guess what?? Seriously, hope your Kohler problems get fixed. No
one needs this kinds of crap happening to
them especially after only 60-70 hours!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:36PM
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Lowes can get it wrong given the chance.

I went to the Lowes in town A about 20 miles from me on the way back from getting a shot in the arm at the doc. They didn't have any of the troybilt tillers (full size) on the shelf, but only the one 'refurbished' one near the door.

The garden guy told me (very point blank) that someone came in, bought it from him... took it home, brought it back a day or two later, just used it and returned it. Great new machine. $525 instead of $800. So, I asked.. What about the warranty, return, exchange policy on a refurb?

EXACTLY as a new one... Exactly? EXACTLY...

Ok.. so I bought it.

Got it home, gave it a yank on the cord and the whole tiller came with me. Stuck valve? Turned out the oil was full of water, exhaust dumped water when I tipped the machine.

I called up, gave them he!! over the phone, they told me I could 'bring it back for a refund'... What about it being EXACTLY like having bought new? The POS doesn't work at all... I want to exchange it... if I took a new one home and it did that, I'd bring it back and exchange it.. Well, no.. They didn't have one anyhow... Another Lowes in town B had 4 of them new. I could go there and try my luck.

They told me basically to pi$$ off. I could use my $525 as credit toward buying a new one... After getting the lawn/garden manager from both stores and the store managers from both stores, it was basically hit the road with or without your broken down hunk of crap tiller... Finally they gave me 10% off a new one... which is lame considering I had about 100 miles into getting the thing home.

Lowes doesn't take care of business like sears does in this kinda situation.

I told everyone I talked to at Lowes B that Bob at Lowes A is a bold faced liar. I told Bob at store A that he was a liar, and I told the store manager at store A that Bob was a liar.

About the time I was ready to leave with my 10% off, junior got off the phone from the refurbishing place with the idea that the thing had not been refurbished. Duh... Somehow, I don't think it would come back from refurb with water in the oil, exhaust and no way to turn the crank over.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:47PM
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This just encourages me to only buy from an independent dealer not a big box store....

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:59AM
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I got to believe there are different grades of Kohler engines. Almost all the commercial mowers use Konler 20-28Hp engines. These guys run the heck out of them. I can't think of any commercial manufacturer that doesn't use mainly kohler, with a sprinkling of Kawasaki.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 2:52PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

The 2 I am most familiar with are the Command (the engine in question) and the Command Pro. Command PRO engines offer all of the features of the KOHLER Command, plus larger-capacity oil and fuel filters, high-performance spark plugs and a large-capacity dual-element air cleaner.

The CP also has a plate-type oil cooler that extends oil-change intervals and maintains low engine temps during the entire power range. You usually see the Pro on:

Premium Garden Tractors
Consumer ZTRs
Commercial Mowers
Pressure Washers
Construction Equipment
Golf Course Equipment
(List and specific info is from the Kohler site...)

Kohler also makes some sweeeet water cooled engines in the "Aegis" family. All the way up to 31 HP.


Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 3:31PM
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Bad news first:

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 5:09PM
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I think we hear the problem afecting AYP products is because they sell so many. The problem is a Kohler problem problem that AYP fell into. I'm sure Sears and Lowe's are upset over it. Those same engines are installed in alot of other brands and It's really hard for me to believe that Kohler would build a substandred engine just to sell to AYP. Sears and Husky are getting a bad rap because Kohler didn't do their homework when they designed the heads on these engines.Just my two cents! PapPap

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 5:53PM
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Bad news first: Husqvarna corporate rep. told me all he could do is haul the mower to a dealer and let them work on the tranny. Insisted the engine problem is a non-issue.
When I told him I was concerned because the engine had blown out over a quart of oil and was still running and in my opinion internal damage could have been done. His argument to me was as follows, (and God bless him, this is a direct quote)"Well, people run their cars a quart low on oil all the time. It doesn't hurt the engine at all and all you do is add a quart."
Whew. How does one argue with THAT logic? I explained to him, respectfully, that when your car engine is a quart low the motor still has 4 or 5 quarts in it. When my Kohler ran over a quart low more than HALF of the engine's oil capacity was gone. I asked him what he thought would happen if he ran his car with only 2 or 2 1/2 quarts of oil in it... he said, "Oh, I see your point." All in all tho he wasn't willing to do anything else, he said as far as Husqvarna is concerned the engine is fixed.

So, I called Lowe's back, after calling them monday and sending them detailed records and a complaint letter via e-mail last nite. The local store rep was very polite, knowledgeable and patient. He listened to my arguments and he read my detailed e-mail. Then he said he'd call me back later with a solution. About 2 hours passed and he called back with an offer. Now for the good news: They will pick up my new mower and leave a brand new one, same model, this year's configuration, with a 26 HP Briggs in it. All free of charge to me. The only stipulation was that they want all of my repair notes, maint. records, etc. Lol.

So... Lowe's to the rescue. Now... Slammer, what do you know about the 26 HP Briggs in the new mower? How does it compare to the Kohler 26? Should I keep this new one or try to trade it in for a Deere? The Deere GT is like $3700.00 which means I'l probably have to cough up at least a grand if I trade this one in on it. Ouch. The irony: The Deere has a 25 HP Kohler in it. But maybe a Deere dealer would be better equipped to handle such a problem if it arose in the future? Thanks for all the help guys, and Lowe's is GREAT! At least my local one is.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:03PM
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Volfandt(Z-7, E. TN.)

Congrats on your resolution.
It's hard for me to knock Kohler since I'm sitting only 15' away from a 39 yr old Kohler K181 thats still running strong w/o ever being torn down & rebuilt and also since I ran a 92 Craftsman GT6000 w/a Kohler Magnum 18hp for 8 yrs w/o any problems also so.......
All I can add would be to suggest that the ole never by a car made on Monday's & Friday's may also apply to Kohler engines.......


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 7:08PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Well first off congratulations on the progress you have made. Your determination has paid off.

As for the 26HP B&'s a good engine. As to wether or not you should trade it...that's a tough call. The Deere is a much better unit and will probably have the Command Pro engine vice the Command...irregardless it's a totally differant ballgame because the head problem was restricted to certain year model engines...I have not heard a thing about it on newer Commands. I guess I am beating around the bush here...sorry. I would trade it off. You will get a much better tranny, foot control instead of hand, a better cut, and a machine that will with proper maintenance and care last you 15 or 20 years or more. I would also consider Simplicity while your looking around if you have a local dealer. Tough call but I would ditch it. The AYP guy's won't agree but that's OK everybody is entitled to their opinion.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 8:09PM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

WolfBlade: You can't be serious! You went thru all this, ended up winning, and then you're considering just giving a brand new tractor away.

I'm impressed. Guess it's like they say "you can't hide money"

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 9:38PM
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Slammer: Thanks! I'll factor in your good advice in my final decision. Hawk... the only reason I'm even considering trading the new Husqvarna in is to hopefully avoid another nightmare situation like the one I just went thru. But I must tell you, it's a really hard call to make. On one hand I am getting a brand new mower. On the other hand I could trade it in on a machine from a regular servicing dealer who might (or might not) be better equipped to deal with problems like I have had.

Therein lies the dilemma... keep the tractor from the big chain store and no local service, or trade it on a Deere or some other tractor where I can actually go in and talk to the service people about my mower.

Either way I win. I had the use of my old tractor for a bit over a year and now I am getting a brand new one with a bigger deck. (54 vs 48) I can't and wouldn't complain about that I am extremely impressed with Lowe's resolution to the problem. So no, I am not chomping at the bit to give a new mower away and besides, I still happen to have a fondness for the big orange thing anyway... I'm just trying to see thru the fog and juggle all the danged variables, pros and cons, and make the best decision for me and my family.

Odds are I'll probably keep the new Husqvarna because it will have a new 2 year warranty and if I trade it in I will probably take a bath on the value of it. Lowe's is selling it for $2700.00 right now (plus tax)and I can't imagine a Deere dealer giving me more than, say, $2000.00 for it in trade, if that much, even if it is factory new. If I got $2000.00 for the Husqvarna that means I'd still have to cough up another $1700.00 plus 6% sales tax in order to buy the Deere and I don't know if I can swing that much more right now. If the Husqvarna does me good for the next two years I can probably afford to trade it in then for the Deere. That's my thinking right now.

I think what Slammer is getting at is not that AYPs or Kohlers are bad products, but that I am personally very leery (thus unhappy)with them now and I would be more comfortable with a different make. If that is indeed what he means, then he is 100% right. But in this case it will probably have to boil down to simple economics. I can afford the Husqvarna right now. Trading up to the Deere would make me happier, but I can't hardly stretch my mower budget more right now. And, as I said, I couldn't be more pleased with Lowe's because they did make it right when the manufacturer didn't want to. Am I nuts guys? Or is my logic semi-rational here?

And while I am bugging you guys, is there anyone out there who can tell me what model number the Briggs is in the new Husqvarna I'm getting? The Husq. is a GTH2654 and I can't find anyone or anything to tell me exactly what Briggs engine is in it. I'd like to know so I can go to the Briggs site and read up on it. I couldn't find the info on the Husq. website and so I called Husqvarna and the young fellow on the other end of the line couldn't get me that info either. (Amusing) So, if someone can find that info I'd be pretty grateful! Thanks to you all for your help and assistance! Whatta good place to be!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 1:15AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

The way I see it is your problem stemmed from a bad engine...not the tractor. But now you've got a new tractor exchange with a different, new, and comparable engine. What's the problem? I see the problem that you had has been resolved.

If you still want to trade-up in the near future you can also do that when you're better prepared to do so.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 6:54AM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

WolfBlade: My math says
Husq @ $2700 + 6% (est. tax) = $2862
JD @ $3700 + 6% (est tax) = 3959
Less est. trade in of new Husq(?) -2000

Amount you're paying for $3700 JD $4821

I think you're high on what the JD dealer will give you on trade, but use your numbers anyway.

In my 'think poor' financial mentality I still am impressed. That's a lot of money for a lawn mower.
How much better can it cut the grass for that to make sense?

But you must take what I say with a grain of salt as they say, I struggled with spending $1500 on my GT5000 (a return with about 3 hrs on it, (the guy ran thru a mile of twine and complained it wouldn't cut - probably went out an bought a 'premium' tractor and enjoys 'piece of mind' knowing this could never happen now). I'm not sure being able to talk to the service people vs. Lowe's who just gave you a brand new tractor after a year sways me either. I've not seen anything like that mentioned on here from a local dealer on anything, though pretty common on Sears, Lowes, etc. just because they can.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:24AM
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davidld(central KY)

Whats this about the chain store refusing to give you good service? They gave you magnificent service? They exchanged the problem tractor for a brand new one with a different brand of engine. What more can you ask? Would a little independent dealer have willingly done this for you?

I would think twice before coming down on Lowes or big box stores in general for bad service as a result of this series of events. What I learned from all of this, frankly, is buy from the big box stores as they have the resources and the clout with the manufacturer to make things right should something go amiss--clout a smaller dealer very well might not have because of their importance in terms of sales for the manufacturer.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:24AM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Originally posted by Wolfblade...
"I think what Slammer is getting at is not that AYPs or Kohlers are bad products, but that I am personally very leery (thus unhappy)with them now and I would be more comfortable with a different make. If that is indeed what he means, then he is 100% right."

That's exactly what I meant.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:35AM
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Volfandt(Z-7, E. TN.)

You can get more out of a brand new unit with low low hrs by selling it out right. Try it at 10% below list and see what happens. The warranty follows the unit also.
I highly doubt that any dealer would give you $2000 trade in on a unit they didn't originally sell you. I can hear them now, "You can get more for it if you sell it out right." BTDT!

Lowes went above and beyond what the majority of small independant dealers would or COULD have done. Most just can't afford a hit like what Lowes took. They can refurb it then sell it as used but they still take a loss on it.

You actually have a great opportunity to do some checking out of what you MAY want, in that you have a brand new unit that could bring top $$$ which would help offset the cost of a higher priced unit.
I recommend you go out, sit on and test out some higher $$$ units as opposed to just sitting back and wondering "what if".....You'll always have that bug in you're ear if'n you don't.
If a fancy green & yellow or orange or red unit turns you own, you'll find a way to make the deal work....

In either case, good luck.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:41AM
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Thanks guys... all very good points. And just to clarify something: I am, in no way, criticizing Lowe's or indicating that a local servicing dealer would have done anything better for me. They probably wouldn't have. Especially considering the concept that they get paid for doing warranty REPAIRS. I think they would have replaced both the engine and the transmission before they would have replaced the tractor. That's just my theory.

My point about buying at Lowe's VS a local servicing dealer was more or less philosophical and rhetorical... I was just asking the question, not stating a fact... wondering out loud, as it were. I agree 100% that in this case, given these specific parameters, things turned out magnificently for me. But one could, COULD... envision problems with such a machine that might be better handled by a local dealer. Especially (grin)if you consider that in my current and personal reality there is probably no way in heck Lowe's would replace this new tractor if, if by some cruel Karmic quirk it was also a lemon.

In the end I Lowe's has more than earned my trust and their service has been exceptional. The fellows who came out to do the warranty repairs were as good as any mechanics I have ever seen. They knew their stuff, they were curteous and professional.

I believe I will trust in Lowe's and Husqvarna on this matter and keep the new mower in confidence. I know if it screws up Lowe's will fix it. Can't ask for more than that. I think Lowe's deserves kudos and they will get more of my business than they already have gotten in the past. The things I buy at Home Depot and Menard's because they are 10 miles closer to home I will now buy at Lowe's.

Thanks again all you good fellows with all your good points. This is what America is all about... the melting and combining of ideas, the melding of minds, the brotherhood of men united by their love of their countrymen and their machines... This is why the terrorists hate us... because we can unite no matter what our differences are... and because we have LAWN TRACTORS, dang it. God bless you all and God Bless America. Dang it, while I'm at: God Bless Husqvarna, God Bless Craftsman and all other AYP products, God Bless John Deere, MTD, Cub Cadet, Hustler, and every other lawn mower maker. It's a great country when you don't have to feed a smelly old camel 365 days a year just to get a ride or mow your grass.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 11:35AM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Well said Sir. After what you've been through I believe that "kharma" dictates you have a great experiance with this unit. I sincerely hope you do! Of course with my luck my Kharma would run over my dogma...LOL!!!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:06PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Coulda swore I heard the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing somewhere in the background...hmmmm hmm hmm hmm hmm during that last paragraph. LOL! Just a little humor, but you ARE right on it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:08PM
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fordman_1(z7 ri)

how about god bless all the kohlers? maybe a little holy water could help?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:12PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

I was gonna send some holy water Fordman but Jimbo used up all I had...he has to sprinkle it on his tractor to help it start...


    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 1:58PM
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actech(5 ILL)

I really doubt a dealer would give a new tractor without corporate (husq.) approval. It didn't sound like husq. was going to do that like lowes did. The big box stores have the power to get a manf. to see thing their way if they sell enough of the product. i doubt any dealer can touch lowes sales #'s, due to lowes is nationwide. i hope i dont have any issues like you did, i went to a small local dealer that sells farm equiptment much more often than lawn equiptment. they probally could care less about my business.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 3:13PM
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davidld(central KY)

I think I am starting to hear the piccolo solo from the Stars and Stripes Forever playing ever so faintly in the background. And was that a drum roll?
Quietly repeat after me "Wisconsin is not in China; it's in the US Upper Midwest."

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 5:18PM
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nort01(z5 MA 01886)

AAGGHH ... I just started having the same problem with my '04 Husqvarna GTH2548 with approximately the same hours on it! I "Googled" and it lead me straight to this thread (gotta love the internet).

I had my dealer pick up the tractor last week while I was away on business. A couple of days later I called to find out how they made out and was told it was all set. They changed the air filter and the oil/filter twice because they felt that the oil was a bit thin (a "thin" explanation if you ask me) but assured me that they ran it for a while with no problem. They power washed the tractor and delivered it to my house (with a $144 bill). When I returned from my trip I hopped on the tractor to mow the lawn and ... puff ... white smoke filled the garage and here I am on the net trying to find out what's going on.

I'm printing out as much of these threads and will be visiting the dealer in the morning ... so, I'll keep you posted.

Here's my engine's info:
Family: 4KHXS.7252GC
Model No.: CV730S
Spec No.: CV730-0027
Serial No.: 3404321251
OEM Prod No.: 189681

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 12:20PM
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Pull the spark plug on the right side (as seen from sitting on the seat)if it is all carboned and gummed up with crud you know you probably have the infamous Kohler head gasket blown problem for that factory run. Make the dealer/manufacturer and/or Kohler stand behind it. Don't let them buffalo you as the repair should be 100% free of cost to you. Good luck!
By the way, to the rest of you guys... I had an interesting talk with the midwest regional manager for Husqvarna the other day. I had some minor issues with my new tractor and when I e-mailed Husqvarna to ask their advice I was surprised to be contacted by the head of consumer relations and the midwest regional manager. They had been following my odyssey and they told me if I had ANY issues with this new tractor they wanted to know immediately and they gave me their word that they would 100% stand behind it. They told me there was absolutely no reason the problems I had should have taken a year and a half to resolve and they volunteered to take care of the minor issues I have at this point, which will save me $350.00 out of my own pocket. (Can't really give out the details of that yet... suffice it to say they are doing something great for me that they don't have to do.)

Anyway, in discussing chain stores selling Husqvarna tractors the Husq. regional manager told me (take it with a grain of salt if you want) that Lowe's made 22 million dollars last year selling Husqvarna tractors. He told me that Husqvarna's attitude is that if a chain store makes that kind of money selling Husqvarna products they can darned well stand behind them too. He also told me (again, grain of salt here) that the big box stores only make 15% profit on the Husqvarna tractors. That would mean Lowe's sold a HECK of a lot of them. Anyway, no real point behind those tidbits, just found them interesting. I'm still very proud of how Lowe's has treated me and I am even more proud of Husqvarna for standing behind their products too. God bless Lowe's. God Bless Husqvarna. God bless us all, every single one...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 6:18PM
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lildeere(z7 TN)
    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 11:18PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

LOL!!! That's cute lilDeere. Timely too. :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 6:56AM
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"The dealer I just spoke to was well aware of the problem and was replacing the defective parts before he ever let a unit out of his store front."

Bull Sh&t! That is like a dealer fixing TSB's on a car before it leaves the lot. Your dealer is feeding you some more of that kool-aid, Slammer.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 10:22AM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Hardly NC. The "dealer" I am speaking of is my brother who bought the business from me. The Kohler engines with the problematic HG's are easily recognized and all are from 2 runs. The vast majority of the problem engines have appeared on Cub, JD L's, and AYP products. Out of all of the Husqvarna units that Steve sells only 6 from last year had the "bad head" and he replaced them with the new head before selling them. Despite what Kohler says this was a fairly well known problem last year, to the dealers anyway. However it's not the huge deal that some folks want to make of it either.

I will let your ignorant and rude commentary pass this time NC but just for future referance you might want to become a little more familiar with folks around here before you start screaming "bullsh!t" and calling their family liars...


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Big time problems i have a gt 5000 at a bout 170 hours dont remerber exatly but my trator smoked right off the im thinging it just needs to break in, at the time i called sears at about 120 hrs. it filled up my filled up 30=40 foot building with smoke and at that point i had had enough called sears they came right out to my house to fix it right side gaskit .the teck was less than impressof then he took the head off as i watched him .Put on new gasket on and tryed to install new bolts but they were two small so he put the used ones back.any one who is a gear head like myself bilt my elcamino engine form groundup many performence mods, and i have a steady diet of harley bikes to wrench on.i saw my kohler heads an they have a little bump in the middle of the head .So to me they left out two bolts a side.the kohler head is big enough to have six an not four.and i asked the ,teck if he new not to reuse strech bolts he looked like he did not know what i was talking stil smokes alittle now then 247 hrs of use, the tracker is about 1 and a half years old.we wil see what happins down the road if it does it again i will use them one more time if it fails againe i will drill out the holes in the head an tap the block .i beliye if i go that route that shoud fix it for good .an for the record i use the crap out of this unit blades etc,so in ending my rambleg a nuff said. next i need to take a speling class.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:57AM
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carsnthrds(z7 MD)

I guess I'm missing something, looks like there was a Kohler head gasket problem and it would have been repaired under warranty, what's the big deal? Why would a person continue running the engine ("10 minutes") to the point of losing a quart of oil when it would have to have been smoking like crazy??? Kind of sounds like operator error to me, in the unlikely chance that there's any internal engine damage. But no, let's blame it all on somebody else! I just don't seen the need or point of all the ranting and raving about Kohler when you never even gave them the chance to make the standard repairs under warranty. While I have nothing against Lowe's, let's see how helpful they are when your tractor is well out of warranty and you need someone to actually do a little service work on it and maybe replace a part or two. They may have made you happy for now (probably mostly to get you out of their hair), but it's over the long term that the true equipment dealer will have the advantage. Ed.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 12:19PM
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"I will let your ignorant and rude commentary pass this time NC but just for future referance you might want to become a little more familiar with folks around here before you start screaming "bullsh!t" and calling their family liars... "


Not sure where you see I called you or your family liars. Dont take things so literal, Slam. You got beat up a lot in high school, didnÂt you? The fact your brother changed the head gaskets on the new units prior to selling them is unseen in any dealer network. But since you mind read, and you know what I was really thinking, yeah, I think you are fool of sh&t.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 12:34PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Well NC I think you said "Your dealer is feeding you some more of that kool-aid, Slammer." That definately implies a lie does it not? Now I know that you called Steve a liar out of ignorance and apparently a feeling that all dealers just do enough to "get by". I am sorry that your experiance with the OPE industry has been so negative. But you need to realize that not everybody in the industry is the same. Some are decent hard working folks that try to do their absolute best for their customers. Rare? Sure, but they do exist. And for the record just changing the head gasket does not solve the problem. Are you once again commenting on things you know nothing about?

Second point...I suffered one good ass whuppin in school. I decided at that point that one was enough and saw to it that it never happened again. Not so far anyhow, though a few have tried. Are you offering or threatening?

Third point. Nope I am not a mind reader and truth be told I am glad i'm not...point in case...I would hate to delve into the sludge you lodge in your cranium. As for your opinion of are of no consequence to me why would I care what you think? If you prefer to think I am "FOS" that is your preogative and I say more power to ya!

You are welcome to your opinion and I support your right to say whatever you want...just be aware that all actions have consequences so it pays to engage your brain before you put your mouth in gear. VROOM VROOM!

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 12:53PM
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    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:42PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.) rumblin' Houdini. NC and I have taken up enough space with our off topic silliness...I'll be leaving it alone...


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Dammit!!!!! SLAMMER, I just put the popcorn in.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 10:27PM
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SlammerXXX(Western Ky.)

Sorry DE!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Hey Guys,
I haven't seen this Kohler problem on Deere's. I have seen lots of gasket problems on the 25's starting back in late 99'. I have installed a few head stud kits and not had problems. The problem was explained to me as the block boss's were shallow or had shavings in the hole and the bolts bottomed out and did not provide proper clamping to the gaskets? Anywho, the studs work good.

Now for news kiddie's.

You will be seeing the Green & Yellow in the Lowe's stores by January 06'.

"Deere, which already sells its lawn tractors through Home Depot Inc. and other retailers, said this week that Lowe's Cos. will begin carrying them in January."

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 2:44AM
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Part II

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 2:47AM
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Sorry for the delay in answering your post above. I didn't see it til now when I was re-reading the posts. The reason I didn't post all the info you demanded was because I was in the middle of negotiations with Lowe's and Husqvarna and they had me agree that if they replaced my tractor I had to turn over all my maint. records and personal written notes regarding the matter. I also had to agree that I would not go public with specific details. So I opted to give enough information here that folks who thought they might have the same problem could get a head start in the problem. Now you might think I should have been more loyal to all my very close personal friends here and given out the numbers anyway, but would you have? (Oh, wait, I have no close personal friends here.) Would you have jeopardized your chance of getting rid of a lemon tractor and getting a brand new one in its place? Anyway, I gave them my word and I wasn't going to break it no matter what you wanted to insinuate about me.

Contrary to your insinuation I don't get check for $10.00 from Briggs every time I slam Kohler engines on this forum. Matter of fact, if you read my posts father down you will see where I very openly admit that Kohler makes good engines too.

And as for chiding me about not weaving and leaving a paper trail: My wife is a well respected attorney and I am an investigative journalist, trained legal mediator, published author and have 4 college degrees. I was a Navy Medic, member of an Elite Forces Team, Master Gunsmith, Black Belt in Kung Fu and a private body guard. I have raised 6 wonderful children and I KNOW I don't know everything, but I have been around the block a time or two. Matter of fact, the more I learn the more I realize how little I do know. Whilst I appreciate your advice I would point out the fact to you that I managed to get my problems solved without sending even ONE paper letter. I didn't waste money on sending certified mails, I didn't waste one piece of paper, (thus saving the life of one tree limb) I didn't clog the already over-clogged US Mail system and I still managed to get through to the people I needed to get through to.

My style is to take the simplest path, the path of least resistance first. And then, if that hadn't worked I could have still done what you demanded. For those reasons I believe your criticism of me was unwarranted, if not worse. Also, I would hope you know that in this day and age there are ways to make sure even e-mails and faxes are legit enough to stand up in court. My wife uses e-mails as evidence and exhibits in her job all the time. It only makes sense to me to use technology for what it was intended: to make our lives easier. In the end it made my life easier and it still got the problem solved.

Five or six years ago I would done the same things you suggested, but not these days. So, while I appreciate your advice I respectfully disagree with most everything you demanded of me. Didn't I see in another thread on this forum where you said you are a "good Christian?" I think I am a good Christian and I would never presume to go around calling other people a liar or insinuating such things for no good reason. I believe, and have been taught since I was a little boy, that part of being a truly good Christian is not judging others and possessing a good measure of humbleness. I KNOW I don't know everything and I KNOW I am not qualified to judge the lives or actions of other people, especially when I haven't been there to witness their reality. Really not trying to criticize you here, just giving you something to think about.

Carsnthrds: just because YOU believe or THINK something doesn't make it necessarily SO. My engine never did really "smoke like crazy." It let out occasional amounts of whitish-blue smoke, but most of the time it was hard to tell if was white OR bluish. Even at the end when I decided it had a major problem it was only because I had just checked the oil twice and I knew it blown a quart out in the last ten minutes. I think it would behoove you to learn a tiny bit of humbleness also. Meaning you really shouldn't use your personal assumptions to call other people liars. Yes, maybe in your life and in your personal experiences you have learned or witnessed things that make you honestly believe a motor blows A LOT of smoke when it loses a head gasket. But in reality, as evidenced by my engine failure, not ALL engines "smoke like crazy" when they lose a head gasket. I've had engines with clogged air filters blow as much smoke as my Kohler was at the end.

And I did give Kohler a chance to repair the engine. Because it was a Kohler engine I called Kohler first and they literally laughed at me. Lowe's steped up and had their repair service fix it. The real problem was that I had been having other major issues with the tractor for a YEAR and a HALF and the blown head hasket was the final straw.

It was my personal decision to be DONE with that particular tractor. If, in your life, you had the same problem and you decided that the repaired engine was no problem and you wanted to trust in that machine and keep it, more power to you. But you really have no right to assume your opinions upon me. I would never begrude YOU for opting to keep or get rid of such a thing. This is America and we are all free to act, believe and make decisions as we wish so long as they don't harm others. So you go do your little thing and I will do mine. Difference is, I don't care enough about what you do or say to call you a liar, BECAUSE, and more importantly, I KNOW I don't know enough about your reality to even begin to call you a liar. Unless, of course, we want to define liar as "one who tells untruths," which would make you a liar because you made some statements that were blatantly untrue above. I would still opt NOT to call you a liar though. God Bless you.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 10:34AM
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hawker1(C. FLA)

Hey Wolfblade, congrats on getting it worked out for the best. But things are clearly way beyond the information sharing stage.

I vote we put this one to bed.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 5:43PM
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I bought my gt 5000 in dec 03 the 2 year warranty just ran out and what do you know Saturday she started to smoke after an oil change.I checked the plugs and the right side was loaded with cabon and oil fouled.The funny thing is it seems to run fine except a little sputter out of the exhaust.Im sure that will change next time I start it.Mine has about 60 hours of easy running time.It also just started after I put synthetic oil in it but they say that wouldnt do anything.Now im looking at putting a 1600 doolar motor in it at my cost might as well buy another one I only paid 2100.00 for this piece of junk from sears.Just thought I would add myself to the kohler junk list

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:40PM
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davidld(central KY)

Why do you want to put a $1600 new motor in if the head gasket replacement is $200 at best, the repair works well, and some of the guys here are even doing them themselves?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 6:52PM
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machiem(Z8 WA)

Contact Kohler directly.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Contact Sears too. You might get them to take care of it if Kohler won't. This seems to be a widespread latent defect that should really be the subject of a recall.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 8:19PM
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grassmaster(5b MO)

How's your frame holding up?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 8:30PM
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I take it it won't be another Kolher!?!. Hondas or Vanguards run around 1100 bucks From northern tools, I sure you can find them cheaper if you shop around. Good luck if it out of warranty. I dought Kohler is going to do anything. They always blame the owner, As far as sears the only chance you got is you had warranty works done, maybe this will extend the orginial warranty from sears hopefully. Remember Sears don't make the engine or the tractor they just sell them under there brand name, other models have similar problems with engines with known design defects.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Seems like a lot of posts over a simple head gasket job.

Briggs had a bit of trouble with their ohv engines and
head gaskets as well.
No great heat or damage has occurred, just a tiny bit
of gasket has broken away, allowing oil to get sucked into
the cumbustion chamber, or compression leaks into the
pushrod gallery or crankcase, forcing air/oil through the
breather into the intake, etc......
Everything is usually well lubricated in the process, but
no engine damage. The problem starts slowly sometime,
so the oil usage is slow, and smoking minimal, and can
come and go, but gets worse progressively. A compression
test will not really show much either.

As far as your demanding a replacement engine, or a
lifetime warranty is just plain silly, the store or
manufacturer has treated you very well, it was likely
filed as a "good will" warranty, which is reserved for
customers who are such a pain in the ass, it is better
to give them what they want, just to get them to shut up
and go away.
The engine problem you had is not a big deal really,
Kohler stands behind/cover their products, and have a
decent engine.

I am not sure what the final outcome was in your case,
I don't have time to wade through all of that, but it sounds like AYP or Lowes gave you what you wanted, a smaller independant dealer would likely have not put up
with all of that.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:14AM
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davidld(central KY)

They have CV730S with various spec codes mainly made for Electrolux/Husqvarna. I notice that the Spec codes differ in Crankshaft length and position of drive pulley. I think the 04-05 GT5000 have the 4 5/16ths inch long crankshaft, but I am not entirely sure. I would check with the company before ordering :-) As I recall Spec code 0027 on CV730S is for a Husqvarna GT about '04 The price on that is $679.95 plus shipping which it says is up to another $80.

A replacement engine for that much money makes sense on a $2500 tractor whereas a $1300-$1600 engine makes less sense.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:40AM
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Okay guys. Bought my Husky new the late summer of '05. Engine build date was 07/21/2004. 30 hrs on it now, changed oil and filter in the fall, using "Kohler" filter and Amsoil 20W-50 for air cooled engines. No smoke, no backfire, no nuthin'. I'll let you know if something does happen though. Has it been determined that the problem DOES NOT exsist on these dates?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 7:44AM
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Glad it worked out for you Wolfie!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 2:48PM
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Amsoil actually has microscopic particles that target and
build up head gaskets so they do not leak.

They also cure gout and herpes simplex 2, 23, 34,
but it is really not that effective against any of the
hepatitus strains, but handles rabies and scours fairly well.
Amsoil is also quite effective against avian flu,
ebola, and mad cow, but can foul sparkplugs.....
or fowl.....


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 8:48PM
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"using "Kohler" filter and Amsoil 20W-50 for air cooled engines"

I doubt that oil is recommended for Kohler Commands. Check your manual. You probably should be using 10W-30. I understand Commands are pretty fussy about oil viscosity due to the hydraulic lifters.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:10PM
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I would like to comment on this one thing that is bugging me and I hear folks talk about it all the time.
Thanks guys... all very good points. And just to clarify something: I am, in no way, criticizing Lowe's or indicating that a local servicing dealer would have done anything better for me. They probably wouldn't have. Especially considering the concept that they get paid for doing warranty REPAIRS. I think they would have replaced both the engine and the transmission before they would have replaced the tractor. That's just my theory. End Quote"

The warranty REPAIRS paid to dealers is way under what you or I would have to pay: Say you want the head gasket replaced at the dealer and it takes 2 hours, Say the shop rate for the 2 hours is $75.00 a hour for a total of $150.00 for the labor, Well the manufactors will tell the dealer what his shop rate will be warranty repairs is $36.00 a hour and the dealer only gets $72.00 for a two hour repair. The dealer is feeced by those companies and they have to argue and fight the company at every turn to get them to honor the repair Sure the dealer gets the headgasket for free and if he uses the speced oil and filter the manufactor will pay for these items but only at dealer cost not what they can charge you or me. The big thing is the dealer has pay the guy to fix your machine and the dealer has to pay the overhead so he is screwed in two ways on warranty and you are screaming at the dealer to get the machine fixed fast so you can mow your yard. so Mr. Dealer is screwed anyway he goes on "warrranty work"

I personally have seen this for years and alot of times I ask the dealer if it is possible I do the repairs as this saves the dealer money and I return the defective parts. Some dealers will allow me to do this and others will not it all depends on how service concious the dealer is.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 5:42AM
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davidld(central KY)

That's odd. Is this different than for auto dealers? As I understand it, most auto dealers see warranty and recall work as a fairly major "profit center" for the dealership. If a tractor dealer wants to take on a particular manufacturer franchise, he is certainly free to get information from the manufacturer with respect to reimbursement rates for warranty work, and choose to sell the brands of tractors from only the manufacturers who offer reimburements that more than cover the actual cost of doing the work. The market works for these kinds of things as well, and if manufacturers want good dealers to sell their tractors, they need to be able to reimburse warranty work at reasonable rates so the dealer isn't normally doing it at a loss. It's not in the manufacturers interest to have their own dealers going broke doing warranty work.

I've never heard a Deere dealer complain that their warranty work reimbursements are inadequate, but then, maybe Deere tractors never break down during the warranty period! Seriously, the Deere dealers took on quite a responsibility when they agreed to take on the warranty and other service work for the L- and 100-series Deere tractors sold at HD and Lowes, and I doubt very much that they would have bought in had Deere not made sure that the in-warranty reimbursement rates would be profitable for the average dealer. I gather when a Sears tractor blows a head gasket, Sears may reimburse the local store service department, but Sears must then collect from EHP/AYP, but then EHP/AYP must have a deal with Kohler to get reimbursed for the cost as well. Or maybe Kohler directly reimburses Sears for engine repair work. If the local Sears service department doesnt think they are getting reimbursed adequately, then they need to deal with their own corporate headquarters and not take it out on the customer. The reimbursement rate hould not be a concern of the customer who in good faith bought the warrantied tractor from Sears!

And so on up the line to Kohler. Kohler may have spent more money on in-warranty repairs on the CV730S engine than they expected, but but they need to deal with that one at a manufacturing level. MOST small lawn tractor engines don't blow head gaskets routinely even after 2 years is up, or because of something the owner did in using or maintaining the tractor.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 7:57AM
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If you're so pissed off, why not buy a real tractor with a Kawasaki engine?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 2:29PM
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lildeere(z7 TN) of them vortex units!

Yea,,,dont believe that would work.....;-)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 12:30AM
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When I had my own shop in the early nineties, I started
out small. I became a Briggs "dealer" right off the bat,
because I thought I needed to, I also did Tecumseh and
Kohler, because I was delusional (didn't know what I was
doing), was listed in the yellow pages as dealers for
these brands. I was partially reimbursed for that. It brought in business, but not really the kind I wanted.

In every case, the person bringing something in under
warranty is frustrated and/or pissed off, and usually
vented as such on me, even though they did not buy anything
from me. But since I was a "dealer", I was somewhat
culpable of something involving their problem.
And in general, 90% of the stuff brought in for
warranty work, is not considered warrantable by the
manufacturers, but classified as customer abuse, or falls
under as maintenace.

One case I had, involved a lowes/MTD pushmower. The
customer dropped his mower off, he told me his crankshaft
on his new mower broke, all he did was mow into a clump
of tall grass. I told him it was very unlikely that they
would cover a broken crankshaft, but I would look at it
anyway, so he left the mower.
Later that week, I looked at the mower, and the blade
appeared to be the original, was used, but had no damage.
I called the distributor rep, he came by, looked at it
agreed that it looked like a genuine defect, but it would
be doubtful that Briggs would cover it, it had to be removed and shipped to Briggs with a disputed claim form
and they would look at it, and if they found it to be
truly defective, they would pay the claim, but I had to
complete the repair to file the claim. It was an odd crank
because the mower was a self propelled, and expensive.
I asked the customer if he could put up the money for the
cost of the part, which just pissed him off more. Just
starting my business, I was real short on cash. Was barely
able to pay rent, let alone pay for this $70 crankshaft
which Briggs may or may not reimburse me for, and quite
likely not.
Barely scraping by, just getting started, pregnant
wife, mmmmmmnnn. I repair the mower, let the customer
have it back, but if it is not covered, get the customer
to pay me back, yeah right.
Fix the mower, using my money, let it sit two months
waiting for the Briggs verdict. The customer, as poor as I
am, needing to cut his waist high grass, mmmmnnnnn....
Then if two months later, Briggs declines, then the
customer needs to pay a bill of @ $120 on a $250 pushmower.
MMMnnnn. Boy that warranty work is sure sweet.

Another one came up that fall, involving a Troybilt
chipper/shredder. The local Troybilt dealers in 5
counties already sent him packing, I believe he bought
it at Lowes, a sore subject with the Troybilt dealers.

The thing looked brand new, well it was. The first
time the customer used it, the crank broke. Everyone he
talked to told him he put in too large of a log in it,
or metal, or whatever.
Being wise to the process, I explained to him my

Called Tecumseh, they said no warranty, period.

I called Troybilt, they told me to disassemble and get back to them, I did, even retrieved the piece of wood, the
blades on the fanwheel showed no sign of metal contact,
called them back, told them what I found, they said they
would get back to me. They never did. The customer came
back in a week or two later, I told him about everything
so far, but I was not going to order a crankshaft until I
knew I was going to get paid for it. I gave him Troybilt's
phone number, he said he would sic his wife on them.
They called the next day, wanting my address, as the would
send me a check to repair the unit.

It really impressed me though, that they would send me,
a non-Troybilt dealer, a check to fix one of their units.

They were out of business a few years later.........

Sorry for rambling, just the senile rants of an old
"servicing" dealer, remembering the salad days, and the
orgiastic pleasure of doing that "gravy" warranty work.
And all of the claims the factory refused to pay for..


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 8:10AM
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davidld(central KY)

how it can possibly be in the manufacturers' best interest to have A. Angry customers who sincerely believe a product was defective in materials or workmanship and yet not repaired under the clearly stated terms of the warranty.
B. The manufacturer's own dealers going broke because the dealer agreed with the customer that the product was defective even tho the manufacturer somehow refused to pay for the repair under the terms of the warranty. If the manufacturer has confidence enough in the dealer to take on the franchise, why would a manufacturer want to second guess the dealer on the warranty repair?

I would think twice before agreeing to be a franchisee for a manufacturer who somehow decided that this behavior was in his best interest.

I was walking past the tractors at LOwes the other day and I overheard a guy saying to his wife "I would never again buy anything with the name Troybilt on it!" There is obviously more to that story, which I did not get to hear.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 6:13PM
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Echo and Stihl rejected the first waves of their fuel line
claims on their trimmers a few years back, saying that the
customer was using bad fuel, leaving gas in them, etc.
Eventually, they realized that there was a problem.

To sell any line of mower, be a dealer, that is. You
also have to be a dealer for the engines that are mounted
on them, and Briggs is the biggest, and most expensive.
Becoming a Kohler dealer is costly as well.

But like I said before, @ %90 of the stuff brought in
for "warranty" work, is truly warrantable. In the customer's mind, though, anything that goes wrong is
warranty. I knew a guy once, that had a transmission go
out on his brand new Murray, he took it back to WalMart
and raised enough h ell that they gave him a new rider.
He was telling me about it, right after he got his new tractor, it was still on his truck. I asked him how the
transmission went out, was he going uphill, pulling
something, etc. He said, "well I had a flat, and I took the tire off and up to the gas station, when I put the
tire back on, the transmission was out."
I laughed and said, "One of the rear ones, eh?"


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 6:51AM
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Add another Kohler to the list. Mowing the other day and a bunch of white smoke came out. I immediately shut down the engine and checked everything. I was shocked how much oil had disappeared! After following the postings above (WOW!) - I examined the air filter and plugs. I see no oil in the carb. nor do the plugs look fouled. I did purchase new plugs to replaced the existing ones. I have fired it up a few times for a short period to see if it will reproduce the smoke. It has only done it once since. Now when I start it I get a rhytmic up and down of the engine as if someone was messing with the throttle. Definitly a loss of power is noticable. Still - no signs of oil or oil loss!? Could it still be a head gasket?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 9:18AM
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The throttle going up and down, sounds like crap in the carb, which needs cleaning. The smoke and oil loss is
likely from a head gasket starting to fail.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 3:24PM
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Hello All! I've been reading all the head gasket and smoking problems. From what I've been able to figure out, the smoking is from burning oil? I have a Sears with the Kohler CV730S from early 2004 and it has 159 hours. It's been maintained properly and winterized in the off season. Cleaned up and Stabil added. My wife was cutting grass and noticed it was smoking. She shut it down and lifted the hood just to be met with FLAMES. A few inches closer and she may have been burnt. Luckily just a few shinged hairs and frazeled nerves. I witnessed the whole thing. By the time I got there with an extinguisher, it was out. Upon closer inspection we noticed the muffler was soaked in oil. After it cooled I cleaned it all up and started it up to find the leak. Oil just poured out from under the right cylinder. Engine doesn't smoke and ran fine. It probably dumped a cup of oil in the 10 to 15 seconds before I shut it down. Is this the same problem? Of course the warranty ended this spring on both the tractor and the engine. Did buy the extended warranty because the other Sears/Kohler we owned was a workhorse. This is a little past concerns about a defect. This is a safety issue! As dry as it has been in our area it could have easily caught our yard on fire and the 10 acre field next to us. We dodged 2 bullets, personal injury and property damage. The tractor itself amazingly made it through, little scorced plastic was all. Can't get Kohler to respond and Sears washed their hands of it. I don't want to keep fixing something I know is going to break in a year or two. Any suggestions other than the usual get rid of it and buy brand X?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 11:32AM
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Well it looks like I have the same problems everone is talking about. After 3 years and a little smoke last season my sears GT5000 just started smoking like a chimney. I unscrewed the dip stick with the engine running and almost couldn't get it screwed back in, with so much compression coming out. Can someone give me info for new Sears or Kohler part numbers for the New Improved studs and head gaskets. The other option I guess is to go to a larger more heat resistant bolt and hope it dosn't stretch.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 2:18PM
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I've become used to seeing old threads come back , but from almost two years ago ? Lupus , is it lupus ?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 8:09PM
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2 Years ago I bought a used Craftsman DGT 4000 because it had a 23 HP Kohler Aegis LV675 Liquid-Cooled engine in it. Guess what had a cooling leak because of a blown head gasket. Was literealy blowing coolant out through the coolant reservoir. The local dealer replaced both head gaskets. But I still ocasionally find the Coolant Reservoir cap blown off. However, when I remove the radiator cap I find the cooling system full, which wasn't the case previously.

Now I'm experiencing a new problem. If I run the engine at any thing over 1/2 throttle it will eventually just stop running and not restart until it has cooled down. The dealer says it is probably the coils and I should check for spark when it stops. What bothers me about the scenario is that it has seperate coils for each cylinder and I would not expect them to both fail at exactly the same time. Any insight would be appreciated. Engine details are:

Model: LV675S
Serial# 3029914281
Family: XKHXS.6742GV
Spec# 851509
Disp: 674 cc

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 4:55PM
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Must be lupus and it is contagious and spreading.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 5:22PM
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old thread - same problem. My 2003 GT5000 had (note past tense) a CV730S with less than 150 hrs on it. Lightly smoking for a while at start-up but I kept it oiled. I was ignorant of the head gasket problems until it threw a rod last night. I'm SOL no doubt.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 9:58AM
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I KNOW OLD THREAD, but i have '04 gt5000 w/ the kohler 25"pro", sounds like something came loose inside engine, rep said not a head gasket problem? probally a rod has come loose from low oil, i say bs, i'm the only one who has used it and always serviced properly and not low on oil. my question is do i try calling sears or just tear it down and put a rod in it and hope for the best? or is the so-called rep feeding me a line? any help will be nice and thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 12:10PM
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The Kohler rep is your best friend on this one - Curious how did you get to the Kohler rep without going through a Kohler dealer first? Unless you have a extended warranty Sears warranty ended in '06 (2 yrs). If you have gone thru Sears or another authorized Kohler dealer on the problem the rep is the last resource. The rep should at minimum have the engine torn down before making any diagnosis of the problem and give you a report in writing.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 2:55PM
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i say rep, it was actually the local dealer, who said you can bring it by for me to listen, but a head gasket is a hissing sound and not what i described. he kinda gave the " your on your own" speech. thanks for the quick reply. just kinda would like to know what to do next? how do i contact the rep? do i take it to the local dealer? thanks again fo any info.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Well, the dealer is right as "you're on your own" since your are out of the warranty period, but the dealer sounds as though they will be helpful in diagnosising the problem at minimum $$ to you. If you feel the equipment has not been operated outside it's limitations and the dealer thinks it has (low on oil) then thats when the factory rep can help you, probably by having that or another authorized dealer send the damaged parts along with a sample of the oil to the factory for analysis. If it proves that the dealer is right you may be liable for the costs incurred in the analysis. If you are right the rep can have the factory stand the repair or replacement costs. If there has been a known problem in that engine and you may be right the rep can recommend the factory repair or replace the engine without any additional anaylsis............. but all of this takes time.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 4:41PM
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thanks alot, i"ll start there, and let the board knows how this never ending saga plays out, thanks again


    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 7:43PM
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My '04 GTH2548 purchased at Lowes started smoking as well just out of warranty. Ironically, their $80 charge to just drive in my driveway turned me off, and most Husqvarna dealers in the area will NOT service what they don't sell. My first large yard, and my first tractor of any kind. I finally got a local Cub Cadet dealer to fix it, so I thought. Within 3 months the engine seized completely. After parking it dropped what appears to the be rest of the oil on my garage floor.

The lack of service, or at least quality service after the fact has me quite turned off of a Home Depot, Lowes type tractor. The premium you pay for a Deere (or the like) may be well worth the after the fact service.

My question for anyone would be, after things blew, I have went without and the tractor has been parked for going on 2 seasons. Do I have any course of action whatsoever or should I just haul it to the road and start again?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:48PM
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Let water run over the dam, donate it to charity and buy that Deere you always wanted...

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 11:56PM
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I know this is an old thread, but does anyone have the Kohler manufacturing dates in 2002-2004 or the engine serial number ranges that should be avoided in order to stay away from this head gasket problem?

I am thinking of buying a very low usage lawn tractor that was built with this Kohler two cylinder engine in Feb 2002, but I don't want to purchase one with a the problematical head bolts or or head gasket design. Thanks for any inputs or links to this information.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 2:33PM
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dynamike59 about grave robbing.....this post is almost 3 years old.

For a minute I thought that LB 59 was back

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 2:48PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Well, one of my friends bought a JD mower with a 25 Kohler and it blew up with about 50 hours on it. This was a few years ago so they must have had some issues with this engine. Luckily for him the JD dealer replaced the engine at no charge and no hassle.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Mine threw a rod for the second time and the cam broke in half also. Has anybody pinpointed what causes this or should I buy a different engine. What engine will be the same specs as the piece of crap that is currently on my bench in 100 pieces. Thanks for your help..Rich

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 5:20PM
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" * Posted by gypsy1969 (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 08 at 14:33

I know this is an old thread, but does anyone have the Kohler manufacturing dates in 2002-2004 or the engine serial number ranges that should be avoided in order to stay away from this head gasket problem?

... Thanks for any inputs or links to this information."

This may be an old thread, but some of us would still appreciate this information if anyone has it...Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:42AM
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Just found this thread. I bought one of these Husq. GTH 2548 Garden Tractors. Started heavy smoke at about 30 hours. Warranty person came to my house. Looked at tractor, said it was because my lawn is half on a hill, and that the slope is why it smoked. I didn't like the answer, but what could I do. I continued to use it. I have changed plugs occasionally, and kept oil level up to full. The tractor now has 157 hours and still smokes. It's been out of warranty for a good while, though I did make an effort to have it fixed under warranty.

My question is... is there any information on how to change out the bolts to studs and the gasket myself?

Same machine could use a rebuild on the hydro trans. Reverse is weak, and if on a hill, will not move tractor. Dealer also looked at this, and said everything was normal. I have also have the tripple bagger, the plow blade, the 3-point hitch style lift, wheel weights, and tire chains. I'd like to fix the engine and trans problems myself, if possible.

I've downloaded the parts manual and service manuals for the tractor, but it does not address how to change the head gasket and bolts, or the trans.

Any place to find info and help on this?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 1:38AM
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Ok, I got a 25hp Kohler w/same problems. Built date of 6/11/04 blowing white/blue smoke for a few months now. So, where do I find the correct size, length, etc. of studs and gaskets to make the fix to be sure I'm getting the right hardware and not just a replacement of the original faulty bolts/gaskets? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 8:25AM
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satch_n and etch100 -

If nothing else, might try giving Kohler's service dept a call and see if they can give you needed info and repl parts details...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:11AM
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madurodave(z4 NH)

I have 85 hours on mine now. It used to blow a little smoke at start-up and shut-down. Now it is starting to blow more smoke all the time, especially when the load gets heavier (engaging blades, changing direction). I will pop off the spark plugs soon and check for oil. Looks like the right side may be the issue based on this thread.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 12:45PM
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backman01(nc pa)

I posted same problem with my gt5000 25hp kohler 2 months ago i fixed mine myself kohler would not help me with the smoking it was a faulty breather with mine heag gasket was ok, it cost me $70.00 parts but sears,kohler would not help since tractor was new now has 300hrs but no more smoking,sears never documented the calls i made for help with smoking,kohler was no help, Rick in ncpa

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:44PM
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I will never have anything to do with Kohler engines again. I found this site eight years ago; and complained about my Kohler engine. A brief synopsis:

Bought a "used" Cub Cadet with ten hours on it; because the seller didn't like all the safety features. I mowed my lawn for one summer. The following summer it started burning oil; then leaking oil; from the front of the engine. I had a friend that was certified in small engine repair; tore the front of the engine off, gave me the gasket; and told me to get one just like it. (It was torn up!).

Brought the gasket home; engine reassembled, and oil flew all over the place. He tore that damn thing apart three times; and told me I had to get the "Exact" part. I assured him I did. He got pissed at me; I got pissed at him; and I finally took it to a Cub Cadet dealer.

The dealer had my tractor for 2.5 months; told me I could pick it up, and they mowed a half acre of grass with it; and everything was "fine" Final bill: $890.00.

Got it home; and my step son jumped on it; and five minutes later he (he's a big boy); and the tractor, disappeared in a cloud of blue smoke. I never got a chance to ride it.

I called the dealer the next day; and they literally told me to "F***" myself. It was my fault; any idiot should know to check the oil, and dilebrate abuse is not warranted"...

In the meantime; I push mowed the front lawn; and my brother-in-law came over and used a brush hog on my back lawn after it literally turned into a field. It was a horriable summer. This old place really looked like crap.

I reported the "Cub" dealership to the B.B.B.; wrote both Cub and Kohler; neither gave me any sympathy. Bought a Craftsman with a 22 h.p. B & S six years ago. Had a warranty for three years; and the rest of the time; the kind and knowledgable people of this forum help me out.

Ended up selling the tractor for $100.00; for a net loss of around $3,000.00. (Price of tractor; plus repair bill).

Sometimes while I am mowing on my Craftsman; I still get teary-eyed. I don't know if it is because I miss my dad (who passed years ago and loved Sears); or because I miss the reflective American Flag decal on the back of the seat of the Cub Cadet that proclaimed "Proudly Made In America". But it could be reminants of that blue smoke emmiting from that old Kohler engine.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:14AM
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Hi all,
Just found this thread...Mine is a sears 26hp tractor. Sears seems to claim 26hp, but everything I read and find says its a 25HP..How's that possible. It's a cv730S..

Also having the smoke issue... Started this year.. Just about the 3yr from purchase date mark. Mower started smoking after oil change. I figured it was alittle spilled etc.. Let it go, but still smokes.. After reading here and others, I believe I have the issue of the head gasket. My motor was built in 12/04 and haven't confirmed type of head mounting yet. However I'm going to sears and kohler..actually doubt any help, I'm sure I will get out of warranty speach...but never had a mower only last 2 seasons. Had bought a sears 10hp rider over 25 yrs ago..ran great and this one has not performed well or seems to last...WTF..
If anyone has suggestions (other than above) please post..Looking for help...


    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 3:23PM
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No, no, no! You did not hijack this four year old thread. Please start a new thread of your own to outline your problem. Old threads are for researching to find an answer. If you find an answer in an old thread, good! If you don't find the answer you need, begin a new thread devoted to your machine problem. Welcome to the forum. Please create your first thread now.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 7:15PM
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backman01(nc pa)

Same problem with my gt5000 kohler would not help me as sears never documented my calls,.i have 300hrs on it,i fixed it myself but it was not a headgasket it was the breather that made it somke since day one,i bought a breather,head gasket,head bolts, vcgasket,new plugs, it cost $80.00 but no smoking now really pisses me off about sears,kohler Rick nc pa

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 9:10PM
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madurodave(z4 NH)

Well, I am now going through 1/2 qt in less than 1 hour. Right spark plug is wet, blue smoke billows. I believe I have a little black smoke at start up when cold also. Breather is falling apart, which could add to smoke, but I do not think it would increase consumption so much. Anyway, I will call a local dealer tomorrow and see what they say. I really don't want to bring it in for repair. I saw a post above about paying almost $900 for nothing. I believe I need new head gaskets and breather.

Question for those that have done it - is the head gasket change difficult? I would assume not, being an air cooled V-twin, but let me know how bad it is. Also, am I on the right path for repair?

Compression measured 170 rt, 175 left and motor feel strong. It is just hard to see through the clouds of smoke!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 6:24PM
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madurodave, would you please create a separate thread to serve for the project you are about to undertake? This old thread has served its original intent (long ago).
It is better that you have your own thread for Q&A regarding this different issue. You'll be glad you did.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 6:01PM
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madurodave(z4 NH)

I don't think there is any need for a separate thread. I did the repair myself. Right hand side was using oil (plug wet, high oil consumption as noted). Left side looked fine.

I ordered a new head gasket kit (head gasket, exhaust gasket, intake o-ring and 4 bolts), new valve cover o-ring, and a new separator and tube going to carb. About $80 for the parts. 3 hours later - it runs like a champ. Better than when new (new it blew smoke at start-up). It looks like Kohler damaged the gasket at assembly (the old gasket had nicks and tears in it). So at 88 hours, it runs like new!

Thanks to the forum for great information on issues/suggestions!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 6:39PM
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I have the Husqvarna. I have replaced the head gaskets twice in the past. It always works great for 20-40 hours and then goes bad again. This time I would like to fix whatever the problem is that blows the head gaskets. I read in the thread that engaging the blade at low rpm can harm the engine. That sounds unbelievable for a 25 hp engine on a lawn mower. My head gasket looked pretty good last time but I changed it anyways because I had the parts already. The thing I suspect is that reed valve/breather back to the crankcase. I also replaced that and it did look bent. So it worked great for about 25 hours and went bad again. In my case, if you remove the dip stick while engine is running, oil spits out with some white smoke implying a lot of pressure in the crank case. I checked the compression and got 175 left and 168 right. The rings and valves are good. I am really tired of all these overhauls on a machinw with 133 hrs ($2400 down the drain!).
The reed valve looks like something to meet California emmissions, well I am in Michigan. Can I shut off that passage with a plug and forget the reed. I have throttled down and shut off the engine and got a loud backfire and my wife does it all the time. I am told that blows head gaskets. This damn Kohler sure is fussy about operating procedures! That is very poor design to require the customer to be sooo careful! Anybody know if I can eliminate the reed valve from the cylinder to the crankcase? Thanks, Doug

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:36PM
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"Anybody know if I can eliminate the reed valve from the cylinder to the crankcase?" No. The breather under the front cover has been updated a few times over the years. Also, new head gaskets will have a "fire ring" embedded in them soon. Be extra diligent in your clean up and check the surfaces for distortion. There is also a bulletin that applies to some for a change in flywheel key - which changes the timing slightly to alleviate the problem.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:38PM
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I seem to remember in this years update that the new fire ring gaskets will be available in June? Could be wrong on that. If there is any ? on that with the distributor let me know. I just don�t have the notes nearby. I�ll send you a bulletin.(SB 289) If you put your engine in parts look up, you will note that the part # for the front breather gasket has changed. The front breather cover is central in the block (4 bolts) behind the carb. Earlier ones used RTV, then they went to a gasket, now to a printed gasket. The only bulletin that I recall was advising dealers to update engines in stock way back when w/ the newer gasket at that time. Bolts or studs- I�ve no opinion. I�ve not had one come back after following the guidance given with the kit/ manual. Scuff those surfaces nice w/ scotch brite.


Subject: Your advise on Kohler engine - THANK YOU

Thank you Tom;

Your helpful post on is appreciated.

I hope I can find the details and source for the modified flywheel key. There is a large Kohler distributor in Ohio that I got my head gaskets and reed valves last time. I hope they know enough to send the updated head gasket with "fire ring". I will talk to them on the phone and see what they know about updated parts. I also heard that the head bolts can be replaced with studs and nuts that hold better. I see the service manual specifies higher torque for the studs and nuts over the head bolts. Do you have an opinion on this?

I do not know exactly what you mean about "updated" breather under the front cover. Does that mean an improved reed valve or that oil separator between the right valve cover and air cleaner? Could you explain further on this item?

Your help in making this a lasting engine repair for this engine is greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:48PM
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I too have had massive problems with a sears gt5000 tractor with a 25HP kohler cv730-0044 engine. Had somewhat minor problems for a couple of years and last summer I was cutting and it suddenly bogged down and seemed to run at 1/2 the power. The dealer said, no compression on the right side, you need a new motor for over $2000. I said no thank you. had trouble finding someone who would tear it apart so it sat that winter. This spring I found a local guy and he took it apart and the roker arm fell off as he took the valve cover off. Put it back together and ran great. Got it home and that weekend I started to cut the grass and 10 min. in it died. No compression on the left side this time. Called the guy back and he took it apart again and said I have big time problems.The left side connecting rod broke in half and tore up the bottom end. Blew a hole on the block, broke the cam and chewed up the crank. Got no help from sears or kohler, so I'm guessing I had the same oil problem. I found another motor that will fit. a 24.0 HP Kohler COURAGE SV725S 1 1/8" dia x 4 5/16" length. So my question is has anyone hav problems with this engine? Thank in advance for any info,

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 5:23PM
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I too have one of these lemons and the low usage engine has about had it. Craftsman and Kohler can both go to HE!!. I'll never have another.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 11:56AM
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I need to change out the electic clutch on the bottom, its only one bolt, but I need to know the bolt, is it left thread or right thread bolt, should I use a impact gun or a breaker bar, how do you keep the motor from rotating while changes out the pulley?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Lefty loosy. STD rh thread. With your impact, there won't be a need to hold the shaft. If you don't have an impact, some clutches have a "double d" nut directly above the head of the clutch bolt.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 6:23PM
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Purchased one of these engines on a Cub Cadet late last year and now have 47 hours on it and it is blowing blue smoke when making a left turn on a slight down hill incline. Sounds like I'm in for big problems from what I have read here. Guess I will have to start the process of getting it resolved. It is still under warranty so maybe I won't have a hard battle. got my fingers crossed...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:48PM
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I cannot believe this thread is still alive.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:45AM
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Just wanted some info on 25hp. Kohler engine...thought women were all about the drama...guess not!!!!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:22PM
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All threads are visible to the same audience.
No need to make multiple postings to garner attention.
The same members see them all.
If you have something specific to discuss you can just add it to the other thread that you created.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:34PM
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So tell me how much is an 25 hp. Husqvarna 04 tractor worth. Has snow blade.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 4:44PM
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10 yr old machine.. best to chk ebay, craigslist, the like...

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 9:01PM
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8 year old thread too.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 10:18PM
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