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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37

    Default Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    Hey Guys.. These little gassers are completely out of my league, so I need some advise.

    This is one of the older green Craftsman models, (used to be able to get them at Sears back in the late 90's), which is what this one is. It's been well cared for and is in darn near pristine shape to look at but last year I had a friend work on it, who by all rights is a professional at such things.

    Since then, I can't keep the belt on the pulley to save my life, If I want to go in reverse or change speed, I have to either forget it, pray I'm near another vehicle so I can jump start it after I have to stop to put the belt back on or do it and just gamble on the idea this is the one in three times that I get it just right and don't have to stop. According to Craftsman, the drive belt I have is correct and it looks correct too, but it's got just enough slack that it jumps off the pulley up under the drivers seat. Don't know where there might be an adjustment and need advise here, Plus...

    So when I go to re-start this wonderful machine I have to jump it... At first I thought, ah,, probably just a bad battery & put in a new one,, (my friend had also installed one), This has not solved my problem,,, so since I also have a more them full time job that required a crap load of traveling to sell orchard and vineyard tractors,, when I get home, I really don't want to work on my own. So correcting all of these problems has been well over a year now in the making. closer to two years of just putting up with it long enough to get the job done.

    Anyhow, so the other day I finally stopped at sears and got a new solenoid. Thinking this is why I'm having such a hard time getting it started. This didn't do a darn thing.. Oh,, I forgot to mention,,, this machine also likes to shut down at random.... I suspected at first because of the high percentage of ethanol in pump gas that I might be having a vapor lock problem,, so I extended the fuel lines to by pass the worst of the engine heat. Bulk Ethanol making is one of my latest hobbies so I was quick to catch on to this as a possible solution... It wasn't.

    Anyhow, I now suspect that there could be a safety thermostatic shut off ?? Any clues,,, this thing is a bear to start and even harder to keep running... the last two times I ran it it also sounded pretty rugged and un-even. Yesterday I found that when I run uphill,, and not steep... it is shutting down. these are a gravity fuel feed with siphon/suction through the carburator right??

    Have any of you had this happen on this model?? Before my friend worked on it,,,, it ran like a top, It had simply blown the drive belt and needed fluids and filters changed out for the year. The sad thing is,,, my friend is actually/normally very good and has a top notch reputation. I don't know what happened, and I hate to think it could have been something he did or missed.


    Paula






    My dilema is that I think this is about a $300 lawn mower,,, I just want to keep it running and do maintenace,, not dump more then it's worth into repairs.... Especially since it's gas. I understand diesels,,,, and big gassers, but am pretty intimidated to get invasive with this small gas engine,,,, I also know if I start working on it and cant finish it will cost me even more for someone else to come in behind me and pick up and sort out where I left off.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    466
    Location
    Quebec
    Tractor
    Two Gravely Two L One with 10 h.p Dek-Diesel engine one Grillo 107d and one BCS 735 diesel

    Default Re: Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    Hi! I think a safety switch . under seat May be bad adjustement . can make motor stop or do not start. For belt drive Check all pulleys for free running Look for tensionner idle pulley alignement and spring tension. Good luck! Oldmech

  3. #3
    Gold Member beckmurph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    448
    Location
    Home/Catlettsburg Farm/Robinson Creek, Ky
    Tractor
    B2650 TLB

    Default Re: Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    If there is a "belt guard" above your drive pulley it might not be close enough to the pulley and letting the belt jump off. Also are you using a Craftsman belt. On my Craftsman I have to use Craftsman belts. Gate or anyother brands will not work well.

  4. #4
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,230
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    I don't know what your friend did, but even the best make mistakes sometimes. It almost sounds like your friend did a tune up using the wrong set of specifications. I.e. tuned a 19.5 hp engine to the specs of a 14 hp or something like that.

    If you really do want to do the work on this mower, get the book. If you've worked on the bigger engines, you'll pick up the smaller engines pretty quickly. It's all the same concept... Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow.

    The belt issue sounds like it could be a tired idler tension spring. Could be a worn pulley too.

    The starting issue could be anything from a bad charge system to a worn out starter. The poor running may be valve settings or it could be you need to adjust or possibly even rebuild the carburetor. You could start the process with an $8 can of Sea foam. It's cheap and quick compared to most other work, and if it doesn't fix anything, you're not out much.

    Keep us posted.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5
    Location
    nc
    Tractor
    craftsman 19.5 twin turbo

    Default Re: Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    Hey tractor rep, I have the same mower that I think I am going to retire since the engine is gone. Are you interested in my tractor to use for parts?

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    132
    Location
    Central Pa.
    Tractor
    JD2305

    Default Re: Craftsman, 19.5 HP Kohler

    Hi tractor rep,

    I had almost the exact same belt problem; turned out that the transmission mounting bolts were loose! And, of course, they weren't loose enough to call attention to the transmission, but just loose enough to allow the transmission to wobble and to throw the belt off the main drive wheel.

    Ray

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