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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Cub Cadet 1045 engine

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07-23-2012 10:41:37

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I hope this is the right forum.....

My mother-in-law has a Cub Cadet (Big Box Store version) - S-1045 I think it is. Has a Kohler engine. She was cutting, and said it started making a noise, so she parked it. I went and got it, and took it to Repair Shop A. Guy there said it was "...locked up and it would be cheaper to buy a new mower than to fix..."
I had a hard time with that, so I took it home and took off the hood and engine shroud. First thing I noticed was the starter was engaged with the flywheel. Couple taps later, and it was disengaged. I could turn the flywheel by hand. Charged the battery, and tried to start....Whirring sound and sparks from the starter, so I had the starter rebuilt. Reinstalled, and still would not turn it over - tried 2 different batteries.
Took it to Repair Shop B. Guy there called later on and told me just a dead battery (?!?!?) and it was running, but the motor was knocking badly, and it would not run long. I go get it, take it to Mother-in-law. First time she cranked it - BANG! Hole in the side of the block!
Very nice guy at Repair Shop B said these engines were "...famous for that...", and that it is a design flaw because of California Emissions regs.?

Soooo She has a pretty nice lawn tractor with a bad engine.

Have any of you experts here ever heard of this with Cub Cadets? I *thought* Kohler made good engines....Is that not correct any more?

We are now looking at a couple of 8 year old used, "real" John Deere mowers. Are these more reliable?

All guidance is appreciated!
Tommy D.

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07-23-2012 19:41:36

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 Re: Cub Cadet 1045 engine in reply to ScubaInstr, 07-23-2012 10:41:37  
I am guessing your Mother's mower had a Kohler Courage single cylinder engine.

Those engines have been very troublesome. It seems like everytime they get one part straightened out, another part gives trouble.

-Some of the early engines were shipped with the top cover not torqued properly, and the block cracked near the exhaust valve cam gear.

-They probably had a good design in the counter-balance weight, but it slid back and forth in a similar fashion to the design Briggs and Stratton was using and Kohler changed it when Briggs complained.

-Then they went through a spell where the rod would seize to the crank and break. Kohler repaired several at our shop that were just plain questionable whether it was a manufacturing problem or negligence on the part of the owner.

These engines are particularly sensitive to being low on oil, so if you ever have one, check the oil every time you use it.

There was one that the crank seized in the bottom main bearing. Kohler said they thought some had been made with the main bore undersize.

There were several issues with the re-designed counterweights, On some the bushings the counterweight moved on loosened up in the counterweight. On others with aluminum bearings on each side of the counterweight, the aluminum bearing shattered.

One thing I would like to stress here-The Courage twin cylinder engines seem to be every bit as good as the Kohler Command engines. Its just the single cylinders that have so many problems.

As far as older Deere mowers go, They are pretty good mechanically. The hoods are a joke and expensive to repair. I cannot say much about the box store Deeres, I would stay away from them if they had that same Kohler engine in them. Most of the better Deere tractors run Kawasaki engines. They are pretty good, although some of the older water cooled Kawasakis do have a camshaft that may prove to be a problem after 600 hrs. or so.

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