Coil Replcement On JD/Kohler 12.5s Oldie - Tractors & Mowers - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:34 PM   #1
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coil replcement on JD/Kohler 12.5s oldie


Well, it finally happened. This is the year I couldn't start the 89 John Deere I've had for 25 years.

Was actually thinking of getting a new one, but my buddy trouble shot it, said it wasn't getting spark...and asked me to see if I could find some diagrams online and he'd replace the coil. I told him I'd ask you guys...someone bound to know! I told him to check you out himself..but I'm not sure he'll do it. Enough he's willin to help me out.

Any way around getting a flywheel puller? He's pretty McGiverish, so if anybody out there has done this, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:00 PM   #2
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Why do you need a puller to replace the coil? I owned/operated a small engine shop for 15 years,and never had to use a puller to do this.
What model engine is it? Is it a horizontal,or vertical shaft ?
Model #s for vertical shaft wil be :CV23,etc.
Model#s for horizontal shaft,will be: K-301s,or CH125,etc.
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:47 AM   #3
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Before changing the coil disconnect the coil grounding wire and check for spark again. If still none check the ground wire for insulation chaffing from the connector to the coil.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:57 AM   #4
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Did you check the points, if it has them? Sometimes sitting they'll corrode. Often, just hitting them with a point file will do the trick.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:17 AM   #5
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Not sure about the Model number. I think because I told him the symptoms prior to not starting last year was it would die mid meadow while mowing he thought it was the coil..I'd disengage the blade and it would carry on, but not if the grass was heavier than normal. He also checked for the spark and found none. He wasn't sure about pulling the flywheel, that's why he wanted a diagram. is there any such thing someone could link me to? Really appreciate your replies...all worth the reading. Thanx!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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Sounds like both you and your friend are both just guessing.

First thing to do is get the model number of the mower. After that, it's a matter of trouble-shooting.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #7
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Kohler engines used 2 types of coils.
One,was a battery fed car type external coil,with points. If the battery was weak,or the regulator/ rectifier failed,it will run,until the battery drains to about 10 volts. At this point,there isn't enough voltage to keep up a spark.
The newer type is an induction-type coil,that is triggered by a magnet passing the coil(called an armature).
In this type,heat and age can cause cracks around the armature casing,and it will short out,until it cools,and may restart.
Sometimes the windings inside fail,and it will stop working.
As DrHicks,states,get the #s from the tractor and the ngine,and get a manual,also,or yo'll just throw $$ at it,without fixing the problem.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
Sounds like both you and your friend are both just guessing.

First thing to do is get the model number of the mower. After that, it's a matter of trouble-shooting.
He wrote down Kohler 12.5S mower engine...told me to find a diagram. Of course all trouble shooting starts with elimination. He checked the spark, said it wasn't carbureter prob, said I had good compression. I am just not there to see what the model is, but will find out today if possible.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #9
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It is an STX 38, 1989 Model. Kohler 12.5S OHV

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Old 04-10-2015, 10:06 AM   #10
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The coil(called a module ) for that has a Kohler # of 12 584 04 ,but is no longer available.
You could try ebay,or see if a local dealer has one on the shelf.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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Does this say time for new toy? If so, how do you feel about a comparable John Deere on the market today? Is the dealer the way to go?
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onjtrainee View Post
Does this say time for new toy? If so, how do you feel about a comparable John Deere on the market today? Is the dealer the way to go?
I'm not going to advise you on whether or not you should get a new mower, or what brand you should pursue.

However, if it were me, and I was thinking of buying a residential-grade John Deere, I'd definitely buy it from the dealer. Years ago, the JD dealer I went to sold me the same mower I could get at Home Depot, for the same price. Hopefully they'll still do that.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:54 AM   #13
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Thank you for your help. I just spent 60 bux on a filter for a tractor they are no longer making parts for. 25 years is a pretty good run. Wonder if I'll get a trade in deal?
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onjtrainee View Post
Thank you for your help. I just spent 60 bux on a filter for a tractor they are no longer making parts for. 25 years is a pretty good run. Wonder if I'll get a trade in deal?
You can try, but don't hold your breath! The STX38 was an entry-level residential mower. Perfectly fine for what it was, but it certainly wasn't commercial grade. Your best bet might be to try to get $50 out of it on Craigslist.

If/when you're looking for a new mower, keep a couple things in mind.
1. Color doesn't matter. Features do.
2. All mowers, regardless of make, tend to run the same drive-train. MTD makes a lot of the mowers that are out there today.
3. You get what you pay for. A $1500 tractor-style mower will probably have a 42" deck and about a 17 hp engine. Probably a Briggs. The deck will be fairly light, and you may or may not get a hydrostat. It'll be a fine mower, but it's not commercial-grade.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:14 AM   #15
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I don't mow commercially, but would like it to be reliable and not a maintenance hassle. My neighbor has gone thru several riding lawnmowers over the years, while until recently I have been pretty good to go with oil changes etc. I asked about something comparable just now. John Deere Dealer just told me I'd be looking at 3000 for X300 42 inch cut. Not much for trade in like you said.

Last edited by onjtrainee; 04-10-2015 at 11:17 AM.
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