How to Time the Ignition on a 20 HP Kohler Engine

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The timing of an engine's ignition is crucial for the spark plug to ignite and start the piston in motion. A 20 horsepower Kohler engine's timing is determined by the alignment of the flywheel on top of the engine. There is a magnet on the side of the flywheel that passes the engine's magneto, which causes the spark plug to ignite the gas in the piston. The flywheel is held onto the crankshaft by the flywheel key. Over time, the key will wear out, throwing off the engine's timing. To time the ignition of the engine, you will need to replace the flywheel key.


Things You'll Need

  • Flywheel Holder

  • 2-Arm Gear Puller

  • Socket Ratchet

  • 20 Hp Kohler Engine Flywheel Key

  • Socket Set

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Step 1

Unscrew the right bolts that hold the flywheel shroud over the flywheel on the top of the Kohler engine.

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Step 2

Push the flywheel holder over the flywheel fins on top of the flywheel. Hold the flywheel holder while an assistant unscrews the center flywheel nut.

Step 3

Hook the two arms of the gear puller under the outer edges of the flywheel and center the puller bolt on the crankshaft in the center of the flywheel. Tighten the bolt of the puller until the puller pries the flywheel off the crankshaft.

Step 4

Remove any remains of the old flywheel key from the groove in the crankshaft under the flywheel. Push the new flywheel key into the groove. Slide the flywheel onto the crankshaft so the groove in the flywheel center hole lines up with the new flywheel key.


Step 5

Push the flywheel holder over the flywheel fins. Tighten the flywheel nut back on. Remove the flywheel holder.

Step 6

Replace the flywheel shroud and tighten all its bolts back on.