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Thread: Cub Cadet LTX1142 Hydrastatic VS600 Kohler Motor

  1. #1

    Cub Cadet LTX1142 Hydrastatic VS600 Kohler Motor

    Had posted on this machine hard starting and you gave me a number of follow ups. Some were done and while picking up a valve cover gasket the parts guys said one starter motor but a second guy said engine timing. He said its common those motors need the lifters adjusted.

    Since I was already going to be into the valve cover gasket good timing on the lifters. I measured both of them and they are both .012- .013. Specs is .007 for the exhaust and .005 for the intake. I will re set both those to factory and just trying to find out which colour of Permatex to add to the gasket a thin coat on both sides. Past had been told use green with synthetic oil this time heat is involved compared to a Diff so wanted to check that.

    As far as the timing ive looked lots and dont get it. This motor does not have points as far as i can see. Beside the flywheel is the Start Module. There is a gap, the two points in the photo are rusted so the two points on the start Mudule will be rusted as well. I can find no spec on the gap for that. In the manuals able to find torque specs and order for the valve bolts to be torqued and fair bit of into but nothing about how to adjust timing since i dont see points, then no gap info there between the start module and that block on the flywheel with the two points. As im in search of hard start where it clics and tries to start but feels like its restricted could those rusted contacts be causing this?

    THere is more as well as saw there is some pressure relief thing for starting so more to learn about but either way there is nothing positive about the rust here? what is best to clean this sandpaper or a wire wheel on a grinder, dont want to be too aggresive.



    No patience for way they are set up or the motor company trying to get info from either is a test of patience. I remember a time where you made a phone call and humans answered and directed you to experts. Then some companies that had an email on their web site where you clic and there you are type and send not have to fill out the magna carta before you even send, then there is always that one box not answered right with a questions that you dont fit into and after all the typing if you did it it wont send.

    Since posting was able to talk to a parts guy who has done service as well and he said the contacts can be cleaned with scotchbrite and hes seen far worse still work fine. He said there is not timing to do like when they had points. I asked could the valves being out as they are really do that much that its making the hard start and he said yes for sure.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 06-03-2022 at 5:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    NE OH
    According to the Kohler manual, the engine uses a capacitive discharge ignition. There's a magnet on the flywheel that triggers the spark. There is no timing adjustment as it is fixed by the position of the ignition module (non adjustable) and the magnet (also non adjustable). There is a small air gap between the module and the magnet which is not adjustable. There are no points. The spark is generated by the magnet moving past the module.

    Have you checked the fuel filter, air filter, and exhaust for obstructions? The manual does give some steps for testing the ignition using an ignition tester and/or an ohmeter. Is it possible there is a mechanical load on the engine because the transmission or hydraulic pumps are not fully disengaged while cranking?
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
    I have a Honda 4-trax 200 with a bad ignition module, just up and died-
    I have a Honda 4-trax 250 with a bad ignition module, sometimes it runs sometimes it doesn't, no rhyme or reason-
    Our old '02 Winnebago/Chev 454 started backfiring while heading for camping- was a bad ignition module-
    We had an '84 Ford custom van, one day it refused to start. Ignition module was bad.
    My old '84 Buick Regal T-type used to just up and die whenever it felt like it. Ignition module was bad.
    When my wife & I met in '91, she drove an old '81 I think it was, Ford Granada. One day she called me from her work, it wouldn't start. Bad ignition module.
    -- may I suggest-- ...
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle

  4. #4

    ive had some of those motors and never had that issue. Since mechanic guy said it can be the lifters which I dont get ive listened as I was into a valve cover already for the leak. Lifters adjusted well and got them bang on wiht some mcgivered up tools socket held by vise grips then the Torx in the middle of that. Torqued that fastener to proper value and gaps were the same after. New gasket and Permatex as well. Cover is distorted from past and hammered stuff straight and noted a few other things. Torque on that is 50 inch lbs so did it to 30 then checked 10 minutes later and each went further. Ill do 40 now and 50 later in the day. Pushed it out into the sun to cure the permatix quicker. CLeaned one contact on the flywheel of the two with scotchbrite and it worked very well compared to one i saw on the net using 150 paper. I wont know till I try it if this made the change needed but this is all stuff that needed to be done

    When I packed up I looked at the logic. They put three bolts into a valve cover to help suspend and give extra support to a muffler that has weight to it and then you are bouncing all over a lawn. Its well know on the net many you tubes of the weaknesses in these motors and mentioned always is the leaking valve cover. Who designs this stuff, the bolts that the bracket attaches to are all at the bottom of the cover, cause of gravity so is the oil. It loosens up and the oil leaks on the motor. Then you are sending smoke signals.

    I got hoodwinked on a 96 roadmaster wagon and for that for sure I will look at the module you mentioned as well as other stuff, Cleaver computer guy even disconnected the check engine light and more.

  5. #5
    all back together and still the same. No time wasted the other stuff needed to be done. Took the starter out looks pretty new but never know. Put it in the cup holder which was perfect and hot wired it to the battery. Ran then didnt run a number of attempts but likely just not good contact and then ran every other test. Not convinced because it runs that its 100 percent. A few attempted starts the gear did not retract back down but maybe it was just friction from the teeth being pushed against the fly wheel.

    There are grounds and different safeties (PTO and ) and maybe measure the voltage coming from the solenoid if it is proper. Video taped it but dont have the computer or program to edit this camera. The hunt continues.

    I also notice the thing you pull out at the back so you can push the mower works about half the time., sometimes the gears still stay engaged even when its pulled out. Want to push it back in now but it would rather stay put.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    When you say hard starting do you mean the starter has a hard time getting the engine to start turning or it just takes forever for it to fire? I have a spare mower with Kohler engine that's very hard to get to start turning. Inside the engine is a small plastic lever that holds the exhaust valve open slightly when it's not running. As the engine starts to turn centrifugal force moves the lever out of the way and the engine runs like it should. When you shut the engine off just before it stops spinning and the lever moves back into position for the next start.

    As you can guess, plastic was a poor choice for material and it broke. To replace it means pulling the whole engine apart and then the replacement part could easily break again. So what I do is try to start it then stop when it gets to the compression stroke. That's when the starter really struggles. I then wait 3 or 4 seconds as the pressure inside the cylinder bleeds off then try to start it once again. Now the starter has a much easier time. By the time the engine gets to the next compression stroke it has enough momentum and doesn't slow down.

    My real answer was to replace that rider (a cheap MTD Wheel Horse) with a much better Deere with a Kawasaki engine. I don't know if that's the issue you are having but that was my solution.

  7. #7
    It clics then starts to turn but cant do a revolution. The last time it ran I did that five or six times then came back bit later and it did turn over and started right away. It is like soething is clamping down on it after the clic of the solenoid. the irony is my 72 pickup did htis same thing a month ago. Battery voltage was fine. In the end the answer was voltage didnt matter as Amperage wasnt there. so Id measure 12.6 then try and turn it over and it woiuld do a super slow turn over a few times then try again then clic and not turn over. I looked up the batter and it was seven years old so fine new battery. New battery in and it measure 12.29 volts. I though that is low but the batteries sit. I turned it over and the motor spun fast and fired almost instantly. If its sat for a few days its not as fast as if you used it same day or day before then it fires as ou turn the key which I find faster than my fuel injeted cars even

    I figured mower was the same issue. Thinking about it its been this way for a while just its more now. Im thinking I need to measure the solenoid to see if it is sending 12 volts or not. Will take it out tonight and clean all the contacts and look for any more grounds. Im not experienced with testing and it would answer questions

    Am I allowed to turn the key to the on position, not the further turn to engage the solenoid and instead with the key turned to the first level can I put a battery to the starter motor and not damage anything? If so and the starter motor started it in that case then id now solenoid or something before that. I dont know if there is a decompression thing for the starter motor phase. I know the mowers have a number of safety things. I have a sawstop lawn mower.

    Solenoid is a it burried butn ot too bad so will see what that is like and clean all up later on.

    Another thing not working is there is a rod you pull out at the back. when you pull that rod out is supposed disengage the trans and then you can push the mower. Well that works less than half the time I try it. Annoying to move the mower at that point. I lift he back and walk with it but that gets tired fast so lifted the back with a fridge dolly with air wheels then it was easy to take it back into the garage. Will also email mower place tonight and see any more suggestions but maybe i will have it by then

    Alex if I could have posted a you tube it would have answered it really well, better than my words. I turn the key it clicks it tries to turn over and almost does, I mean starter is energized but its like its not strong enough to turn the motor over and this battery is new. I guess I couild try my car battery as well in the odd chance this battery is not good, interestate and bought a few weeks ago busy place so not so likely



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    It sounds a lot like the automatic compression release is broken to me. It could be the starter is getting weak though. I doubt it's cheap to replace the starter but it sure is easier than pulling the engine apart to get to the compression release. You could try my trick. Try to start it, when the starter is struggling turn the key back to the on position and wait 5 seconds or so, and then try to start it again. That'll give the cylinder time to bleed off some of the pressure.

  9. #9
    your trick did work once or twice then not. So last night got back to it and put an amp meter on the starter motor, I video taped it and have to look at the tape but the voltage was no where near 12. 3, 4 5 maybe. The solenoid is burried and pain to get at. Unbolted it and started to play around. Did put a screwdriver to jump it and saw a fan over the trans back axle running and didnt like that not knowing i I would damage something.

    I moved the solenoid to a weird place and attached it. I tried it again and saw the voltage at the starter was low but coming up higher. Then I smelled smoke and poof a puff. I tried it again and way more smoke, filgured the solenoid was toast but it was actually a green wire going down to something else down near the transmission. That was far from ideal. Maybe that happened as the solenoid was not grounded to its body where it was sitting so I peeled the paint off where i had it. It also may have been I had the key furthest advanced too long as I was getting a reading at the starter., the reading i was getting was moving and changing all the time first 3 volts then a bit more a bit more and think eventually to more.

    Took all the wires off and cleaned all the contacts, cleaned all the posts and bolts. Took all the paint off where the solenoid bolts on. Used Die electric grease on all. Also cleaned that one green wire now half exposed casing burned off so cleaned where it terminate and the bilt and die electric. Same on batter posts.

    Its never started this well ever. It always sort of clamped down a bit and you would try 3-5 times then it would just go. that aspect had been slowly getting worse and I just figured it was the battery.

    I used a torque wench of the valve cover and each time I checked it again it was lower so re torqued it and im still under speck. Looks like it distorts stuff too much so either this torque wrench is wrong or ilve read something wrong. Even putting the plug in im under spec and still seems too much. that stuff doesnt matter so much.

    when I last measured the voltage at the starter motor it was 12.36 so clearly a different storey and it starts now as you turn the key not even turning over a few times. Hope it stays this way. Watched some more you tubes and learned more about it. Had disconnected the seat safety based on a you tube and it was helpful. Now see you can turn the TPO off and press a button and it stays in park still running so same thing without the blades so can put that safety back.

    Next like to find out why I cant move it once i pull that arm out at the back., I do it and it makes zero difference though a few times it did work. only needed to move if a few times but had to use a dolly on the back.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 06-06-2022 at 1:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    I thought that I had posted "my money is on a bad ground", but that must have been on a similar thread somewhere else. Glad it's working. Electrical system issues can be the most aggravating.

  11. #11
    you did and not ignored. Just how many grounds and where and I had not got that far. From the bit ive learned so far it could have been a few contact points. I was cleaning grounds and every wire contact point plus removing the paint off where the solenoid bolts on. Only way I could have identified it exactly would hve been one at a time and too hard with the solenoid. i also cleaned the motor with the starter motor off, again another ground area.

    So yes thanks, your and other ideas not ignored just had not got that far. getting the valve cover gasket mower guy there said likely valve adjustment, another said starter. Good he mentioned the valves, that it was not the problme though but it made me check them and they were way off. That adjustment went very well.

    Appreciate all the info.

    Need to take the deck off and put new blades on and really its past due for spindles but will do a few cuts first with the new blade. Tom I know you have them in stock

    Worth noting I have a friend with maybe an Astro Van. He says he takes all the contact points apart in harnesses and sprays them wiht some cleaner and swears the truck runs better after he does that. He has well over 600k on that thing

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    My experience with 12 volt car starters is if the voltage while cranking is under 10 volts it will probably not start. Turn on the headlights and have a helperwatch them while cranking. If they turn yellow battery is bad. If they stay bright battery is okay and starter is not getting enough voltage from bad wiring or grounds.
    Bill D

  13. #13
    I just learned from my truck then questioned one of my hot rod friend.

    My battery in the 72 pick up measured 12.6 volts., The truck would not start and its started for the last 19 years all the time. My car friend said there is voltage and amperage. I said I didnt know about amperage or how to check it. I looked up the battery (Interstate) and it was 7 years old., fine battery time. PUt the new one in, it measure 12 something volts and was lower voltage that the old one? I put it in and it turned over like a monster and fired up after a few turns as it had now been sitting for weeks. After running once then same day it always starts as you turn the key.

    You are right on the headlight thing have heard that. Maybe in that case its really the amperage and not the voltage, I dont know it but do know the hot rod guy was 100 percent right. My voltage was high yet it couldnt turn the truck over to save its life. Once in the truck and used a few times the voltage was higher than when I picked it up from the dealer. Interstate again.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Power and ground is the key. Simple as that. Just as a reference and a quick verification. If you have a test light and hook one end to the battery ground and touch the probe to the frame. That can be done on the negative side of any circuit if you question whether the ground is an issue. If it lights the light the ground is bad. If you aren't sure about the battery attach the volt meter and hit or have someone hit the starter. If the voltage drops down below 10 you have a battery issue. Actually it will probably fall much further. I've saw them fall into the 3 or 4 volt range. When the load is removed it may recover. As a sidebar if the battery drops to say 9 or 10 and holds it might just be in need of a good charge. But if after the charge if the result is the same then you have a weak battery. Most small batteries are sealed caps these days so you can't measure the specific gravity of each cell.

  15. #15
    Thanks on that.

    All voltage measures were below 10. I saw 3 or 4 I saw 6 or 7 and it was like it was creeping up as I held the key in the final start position which is bad to do and maybe why that green wire burned some of its casing off. Im sure I measured the output of the solenoid and it was down as well.

    As soon as all the contacts on the solenoid where cleaned and that one green wire that goes to something lower I was seeing 12.3 at the starter. Ive used it a number of times and its never started this well. Didnt need the new battery.

    I drilled out two of the bolts one stripped from the exhaust hanger set up. 6 MM became 1/4" x 20 and fine. Lock washer on and have to look up if there is a high heat loctite. Poor system all that but its the best its been now. More to solve then the mystery now got new blades and proper size and they wont fit on the spindle. Ill do a seperate post on that as its bizarre. I figured power coat but its more than that.

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