Matt's Equipment Repair



Kohler Engines

Posted by on January 26, 2016 at 2:15 AM

Kohler has had a few different series of engines, they started with the K series, old cast iron blocks, these weighed a ton but ran forever. Later they went to the Magnum engines, which were their last generation of flat head engines. Then they went to the Command engines, which they are still making. These are some of my favorite engines, the are good running and durable. I have one that is almost 20 years old and still runs great.

Not too many years ago Kohler came out with the Courage engines. These were mostly vertical shaft engines that replaced the Command engines on residential riding mowers. This was a bit sad as the Command eninges were great motors, they are still making Command engines but now they only show up on commercial equipment. The Courage was brought in at a lower price point in order to compete with Briggs and the new imported Chinese engines that were showing up.

In the first few years of the Courage there were some problems, the biggest problem was that the sump cover bolts were not torqued properly at the factory. These engines have a kind of upside down design and the sump cover is on the top of the motor right under the flywheel. The under-torqued bolts would back off and be hit by the flywheel which would then crack the block and many times lead to the engine blowing apart in spectacular fashion. The cool thing about Kohler is that they stood behind their engines and the warrantied a lot of them, and they continued to warranty them even after the warranty period had expired. They sent me a new short block for an engine that had this happen three years after the warranty expired. They did not have any obligation to do so, but the stood behind their product and took care of their problems.

While I don't like the Courage near as much as the Command, they have seen to have worked out their major problems and I don't have many issues with them. If I compare the single cylinder Kohler Courage to the single cylinder Briggs Intek, I fix a lot more Intek motors than I do Courage motors. So five years ago I did not recommend them but today I am a lot happier with them and believe that they are probably one of the better of the cheaper motors.

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