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Thread: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

  1. #1

    Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    I have a 2006 Toro LX460 riding mower with a 20hp Kohler Courage motor. It sat for two months in my basement through the winter. It started with one crank a few weeks ago and ran perfectly for a few minutes (don't think it is bad gas). I was cutting the grass at wide open throttle with the blades engaged. I am uncertain of the exact sequence of what happened next. I wanted to get off to move a tree limb out of the way, and cannot recall exactly what I did (may have put it in neutral with the blades still engaged?), but the engine speed dropped to idle without me touching the throttle. I moved the throttle from low to high and this had no effect on the engine speed. It sat there and idled for about a minute before I decided to kill it. I have been unable to get it started since.

    This is what I have done to troubleshoot the problem:
    Replaced gas
    Pulled carb apart and cleaned it - no visible debris that I could see
    tested the fuel shut off solenoid - good
    tested for spark - good
    sprayed WD40 into the carb while cranking it - causes a backfire but does not sound like it wants to start

    I think it may have something to do with the governor. I went to Home Depot and found a Cub Cadet with a Kohler engine that had the same looking throttle mechanism as mine. When I moved the throttle on it (while engine was not running obviously) the governor arm moved too. My governor arm does not move when I move the throttle - unsure whether it should. I can see inside the carb and the inner butterfly does not move with the engine off, nor does it move while I operate the throttle lever while trying to crank it.

  2. #2

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    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    Sounds like the governor spring may have become unhooked or broke. Without a governor spring the engine will idle only
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  3. #3
    Agree - quality of springs are crap now and the old original ones are brittle from heat and age .

  4. #4

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    I checked the springs and from what I can tell there are two of them in place. Hard to tell if they are worn out? It does not look like anything is missing or broken when compared to this diagram.

    Parts and Diagrams for Toro Consumer 13AX60RH744, LX460 Lawn Tractor, 2006 (SN 1A056B50000-)

    The one which connects the governor arm to the Throttle linkage is #7 in the attached diagram.

    Is there something inside the engine that functions the governor arm that it could be?

  5. #5

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    Are you sure your trottle cable is not unhooked? Or broken?

  6. #6

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    In most mechanical governors I have seen, when you throttle up, you tighten a spring and the engine has to increase it's speed so that a set of flyweights or the cooling fan airflow against a vane provide an equal opposing force, balancing the governor at the new speed. So either a weak or broken spring or broken or disconnected cable sounds likely. The fact that your governor arm does not move makes me suspect the cable.

  7. #7

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    I think you are right in your suspicions. I moved the governor spring down one hole on the governor arm and throttle linkage and the throttle control lever will now move the inner butterfly as I believe it should. The only problem is that it still wont start. Battery was dying so I have it recharging now and hope it might start in the morning.

    Do you think I should replace the spring anyway? Will it make a difference if the spring is worn and not brokeas such?

    Thank you all for the suggestions.

  8. #8

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    Be careful. Changing the hole where the spring is attached, can cause you problems down the road. Unless you removed the spring while cleaning the carb or at some other time, the spring is in the correct hole. The spring could be stretched and will just stretch more in the new hole, plus you will not have proper governor operation under load. Check, the Manuel for how to set, not by sight and sound.

  9. #9

    Re: Kohler 20 won't start - Governor problem?

    Thanks for the info. I ordered a new spring and will make sure I install it in the factory position. Will report back if that solves the problem.

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