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My Cub Cadet will start but when break is released engine dies

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Check your seat switch. What model Cub Cadet is it?

Posted on May 02, 2015

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Some of those cadets (like those with the Command 20) have a compression release mechanism on the cam which is intended to make that engine crank easier but disengages once the engine fires up. It's a plastic part and is prone to break, resulting in a lot of strain on the starter motor. Interesting design, bad materials. Sometimes the engine will start anyway but this is not a good idea to operate this way. Pull the valve cover. Look at the motion of the exhaust valve when you turn the engine by hand. It will look similar to the motion of the intake valve if this part is broken. If it's working correctly, you should see the exhaust valve open slightly just after the intake valve closes. I'll attach a video to show what it looks like. Replacing the bad cam is a bit of work but not terrible.

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These are not terribly hard to check, and/or change, yourself. Easy to get to once the motor shroud is removed.

My 25 HP Kohler engine has 2 modules. EXPENSIVE from the dealer - found MUCH better prices online.

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