Ranch King/Kohler Difficult Starting

jahatfieldSeptember 17, 2013

I have a Ranch King Pro/Kohler 22hp garden tractor that I have difficulty starting. Seems to be a short somewhere? When you turn the key, it sometimes hits and takes right off. Other times, it clicks, clicks, clicks, then hits and starts. I've cleaned and tightened the battery cables and even replaced the ignition switch. Any other ideas?

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bill_kapaun

IF ALL the battery cables are clean & tight, including grounds (which includes engine mounting bolts) you have a bad solenoid.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:05AM
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justalurker

"IF ALL the battery cables are clean & tight, including grounds (which includes engine mounting bolts)" get the battery load tested.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:02PM
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bill_kapaun

Why? What's your logic? Why do you try to use my quote?

The OP stated that sometimes it takes off.
So the battery is bad sometimes and then instantly get's "good"?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 2:36PM
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justalurker

What's your problem Bill? I quoted your sound advice, reflecting my agreement, and added my advice to it unquoted.

Does your edict "... you have a bad solenoid" prohibit the OP from having have his/her battery tested? The OP did not mention even a cursory voltage check on the battery or how old the battery is. That's my logic.

Marginal batteries will spin a starter and then not spin it. Seen it too many times to ignore especially with a sulfated or dry cell. Marginal batteries can make good solenoids into bad solenoids. Even if you are right should we treat the symptom and ignore the disease?

My apologies for learning and practicing a more systematic diagnostic approach than you. It has worked well for me for 45 years or so and I've made a good living diagnosing problems when others use a more myopic diagnostic approach misdiagnose or overlook the obvious.

In the future if I see that you have posted sound advice I'll refrain from noting that it is.

This post was edited by justalurker on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 16:00

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 3:16PM
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bill_kapaun

Truly spoken by one that usually adds their 2 cents after the problem is solved.

Apparently your logic works for you. Good luck with that.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:06PM
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justalurker

Bill,

You're faster at personal attacks than you are posting substantive solutions.

You're a legend in your own mind and really deserve a forum of your own.

This post was edited by justalurker on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 17:33

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:37PM
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bill_kapaun

Snivel snivel

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:14PM
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jahatfield

Sorry to have started World War Mower. I just wanted some help identifying the source of my TRACTOR not starting all the time.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:48AM
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mownie(7)

Well, all of the technical suggestions made by both parties above are certainly worth doing.
I will ask this, you stated "clicks, clicks, clicks, then hits and starts."
You may have to go back and watch the fan screen atop the engine to answer this.
When the "clicks" are heard......is there ANY movement of the fan screen (indicating that the engine may be trying to turn)?
If there is ANY movement at all of the fan screen, the starting issue is not caused by an electrical defect, but instead indicates the engine valves need to be adjusted to the proper clearance.
Diagnostics online is an uncertain application until we sort through the descriptive words offered by someone looking for help.
I just wondered if perhaps you did not know whether there was any actual movement of the engine (however slight) that might get us past a nonexistent electrical problem.
The Briggs overhead valve engines require valves to be kept adjusted periodically in order for their compression release feature to function effectively.
So, what you have been calling a simple "click".....may actually be the starter engaging.....but failing to spin the engine until you have "hit" the key a few times which gets the engine beyond the compression stroke.
Check that screen for movement and post back please.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:56AM
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jahatfield

Eliminated the battery. Had it load tested and it showed good. I'm going to put it back in tonight and try the valve / fan theory prior to replacing the solenoid. By the way, anyone have a valve adjust how to? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:11AM
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mownie(7)

Before we go off on an unproductive tangent, do the check to see if the engine is trying to turn when you operate the key to start.
No point in arbitrarily going into valve adjustment procedure yet, we need to determine a few facts first.
If the engine is attempting to turn, but seems like it moves and stops..........and if you repeat the process until it finally spins and begins running.............that is what we want to know.
And then we can move on to the valve adjustment "how to".

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 10:46AM
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bill_kapaun

Another option is to jumper the 2 large terminals of the solenoid together.
IF it cranks every time that way, it would indicate a bad solenoid.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:23AM
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jahatfield

Charged the battery real good, put back in, tried to start and it took right off. I think the battery was just low. Couldn't get it to just click to see if maybe the valves were out of adjustment. Also jumpered the solenoid and it only turned the starter, didn't attempt to start the motor. Thanks for all the help!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:33AM
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mownie(7)

If you charged the battery and it "took right off" then the problem certainly wasn't due to needing valves adjusted. Good thing we did not jump right into that issue prematurely.
Wonder why we did not try charging the battery earlier?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 10:09AM
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bill_kapaun

Typically, a battery would be charged before load testing!
Probably a matter of cleaning connections when the battery was R&R'd

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:52AM
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