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Push Rod knock in Kohler CH15

4710 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jodyand
I have a 15.5hp Kohler in my 3 1/2 year old tractor. Once in a great while I used to get a "clicking" sound as if a push rod was "sticky". Usually it would go away after the engine warmend up, It started happening more often and now is "clicking" constantly. I have checked the oil level and it's full and fresh.

Could it be I need to adjust the valves? There is no maintance procedure for this in my tractor manual but I have downloaded the service manual from Kohler.

Has anyone else had this problem with their Kohler? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Sounds like your lifters are tapping it could be your valves need adjusting but it sounds like the Kohler tick to me. I think Kohler has some new lifters to get rid of it maybe someone else can tell you more about it.
Greg, These Kohlers have Hydraulic valve lifters and I'm assuming it's in a vertical style engine. Jody's right as Kohler has changed the lifters to try to hold oil in the lifter instead of running out when you turn the mower off. In most cases we've changed the oil and put Kohler brand 10W30 oil in and we have had very good results. You can replace the lifters with the new ones and it also should stop the noise. I would like to say that while the engine is noisey we haven't had any failures with engines that were related to lifters, just the noise. I'd suggest purchasing the Kolher oil and try that first. There is no adjustment on Hydraulic lifters. Tony
Thanks for the quick replies. I suspected there was no adjustments on the hydraulic lifters, but wasn't sure.

What is involved in replacing the lifters?

I have Craftsman oil in now. Don't know where I can get "Kohler" oil. What is different about it?

The noise is irritating and just sounds a little "scary" like something could come apart soon. Other than the sound, the engine runs well.


GregC are you using 30w or 10w30 you should be using 10w30 that is what Kohler says to use. 30w is a little to heavy and will cause the lifters to tap.

I'm using 10w-30 Craftsman branded oil. Would putting Mobile 1 5w-30, my standard oil for other equipment, be helpful? I had the Craftsman oil handy when I changed the oil/filter a couple of months ago.

Hey Greg,

Although you have the horizontal 15HP, I believe what I’m about to put forth applies, (might want to check with your dealer). I had a CV15 (Command Vertical). Darn thing began tapping at 7 hours. Long story short, Deere agreed to replace the engine with a CV460 (16HP) @ 40 hours because the dealer couldn’t cure the tap. It’s a known flaw with some 15HP engines. The lifters can’t hold pressure and you get a tapping sound as a result. The cure, (which came out after my ordeal) is to replace the hollow push-rods with solid ones. The job takes about 30 minutes – not brain surgery & it works.

By the way, replacing the lifters was the natural route for dealers, but it didn’t always work, (as in my case). Replacing lifters requires a complete break-down of the engine; head off, oil pan off, etc… a real mess.

Hope this helps.

The wonders of Mobil 1...

Well the lifter tap just continued and I couldn't stand it. Yesterday I decided to change the Craftsman oil I used last July and put in my now regular Mobil 1 5w-30. Warmed it up and drained every last drop of the old oil out. In went the Mobil 1, started right up, idled it and guess what??? Very little lifter tap!! Drove around a bit and it sounded good.

Started it again this afternoon and no tap! Drove it around and no tap!

I'm not ready yet to drop on my knees and sing praise but Mobil 1 certainly did something.

Thats Great

I'm glad it worked out for you one less thing for you to worry about:smiles:
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