Problems keeping 17hp Kawasaki running


Old 06-02-04, 08:42 PM
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Exclamation Problems keeping 17hp Kawasaki running

I have a 17hp Kawasaki in a John Deere 185 that isn't running right. I can start it, sounds like it is running fine, pull out of the garage and mow about 150 ft and suddenly it will start running really its not getting enough gas. When it first did it, I was able to choke it to keep it running and mowed about 20 minutes that way before it died. I let someone talk me into replacing the fuel pump (vaccum pump) thinking that was the problem. It did the same thing (only you can add back firing to the symptoms now)so I took it back to the garage, opened the needle valve a half turn and again mowed about 150 feet before it started its little fit....only now choking it just barely keeps it running long enough to get it back to the garage and the backfiring stopped. I would have thought it was an ignition problem had it not kept running with the choke. Anyone got any ideas???
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Old 06-02-04, 09:24 PM
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Since your having to keep the choke on in order for your engine to stay running the problem is the carb.If it was mine,I would take it off and soak it in chem-dip for 20-30 minutes.And use a torch tip cleaner through all the holes in it and the emertion tubes(running through the center of the carb too.)
That stuff is sorong tho.Make sure to get all ruber parts out before dipping it.And don't get any on skin(it will blister.)

Old 06-03-04, 08:35 PM
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Well, didn't have any carb cleaner to soak the carb so thought I'd try the spray I had. I noted quite a bit of dirt buildup on the body of the carb and remembered something about a vent on the outside, so I sprayed it down while it was sputtering. Engine actually smoothed out....still required the choke on, and nearly dies when put to a load. So, removed the carb and broke it down to spray the cleaner. Re-assembled and change. Technically it has gotten worse since it will no longer "run normal" for a few minutes, but requires a constant choke now.

I will get some carb cleaner to soak it in this weekend to see if it helps. Still think its odd that spraying the outside with all parts in tact makes it run smoother. I'll update you after I get the cleaner.
Old 06-04-04, 11:42 AM
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If when u sprayed the carb or area with cleaner and the engine smoothed out?? Sounds to me like a vacuum leak. Try spraying cleaner or WD-40 on the gaskets and hoses, if its vacuum you should be able to pinpoint it with short bursts from the can.

Old 06-08-04, 08:12 PM
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Just wanted to say thanks for the help. Cleaning the carburetor didn't help. Still can't explain the carb cleaner spray - couldn't find any vaccum leaks and am assuming it was going in around the throttle shaft at this point. It looks like the problem was a sticky intake valve. Evidently the buildup on the shaft was expanding or causing it to stick as soon as it warmed up. Anyway, dumping fuel system cleaner in the carb while it was running corrected the problem for now. Hopefully that will get me by till this winter and I'll tear it down then (haven't messed with overhead valve motors before and want to wait till the grass quits growing). Now that it works, it makes sense and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Anyway, mowed the grass hour and a half worth of problems! Thanks again.

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