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Kohler makes the gas powered engines for many different riding mowers & garden tractors both for home owners and professionals.

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Craftsman LT2000 Kohler 17.5hp Motor - Trouble Idling, Power Issues

So can anyone diagnose what may be the problem with this mower? I inherited it and the previous owner reported it was very hard to start and took 10-15 minutes of cranking before it would catch. I took apart the carburetor and cleaned that real well, replaced the spark plug. It drives around ok but when at the top of a small hill started losing power and nearly stalled out. When I finally got it to start it was very loud and just my opinion sounded like what I think is a timing problem, but I apologize for the vague question I’m not sure where to start. Can someone tell me if that’s a good guess, how to fix it, and what other things I might look for if that’s not the problem?

Update (01/24/2020)

This is my motor information

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Adam Schaeffer  that sounds more like an issue with either the valvetrain or the piston (rings etc.)Craftsman used 3 different Kohler engines on this model. Kohler Command Single CV490S-27508 and CV492S-27506 as well as Kohler Courage SV490-0004 We’d need to know the exact engine used on yours. Do a compression test on your engine as well as a leakdown to see if it has valve or piston issues. I would suggest you pop the valve cover off and take a look at things on there. Check something like this manual for a better understanding Kohler CV engine servic emanual

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Thank you. I downloaded a mower manual but that isn't very helpful. This service manual is far better. I'll post a photo of the motor information plate below, if that helps narrow any advice down.

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@Adam Schaeffer thanks for the picture. It validates that we posted the right manual. It will not narrow this down. Troubleshooting things are the hardest part of the job. I am still leaning toward the top end having issues.

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