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To Much Sea Foam?


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08-05-10, 03:51 PM   #1  
To Much Sea Foam?

Would adding to much of the fuel system cleaner "Sea Foam" to the tank on my mower and also to my gas can cause problems with how my John Deere 185 runs? The darn thing started acting up again (see some of my previous posts) and I added some Sea Foam and also had the carb cleaned and rebuilt but it still stalls after about 5 minutes or so.
I need to figure this thing out or I'm going to have to buy a couple of goats.
Thanks for the help.
Mike

 
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08-05-10, 06:14 PM   #2  
No, that wouldn't cause the problem.

A stall after five minutes of running would be a fuel delivery to the carb problem or an ignition module heating up.

Does it just die and won't restart or does it dog out and die or run rough and die, also without a restart? If does restart do you get another five minutes or what do you get the second time around?

*** But if you do get the goats, DO NOT put Sea Foam in them.

 
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08-05-10, 06:48 PM   #3  
Tonight it sputtered once and then ran for about a minute and then just died. Re-started it at low throttle but it didn't stay running. Would not restart. I'll have to try again on Saturday.
I had the same symptoms about 2 months ago and I put some Sea Foam in the tank and also in my gas can and the darn thing straightened right up and ran great until 2 weeks ago and then started acting up again.
I need help because I can hear the grass growing and it's laughing at me.

Thanks for the advice about the goats.

 
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08-05-10, 07:45 PM   #4  
Anytime you get some run time out of it, it usually comes down to a fuel pump (if you have one), a filter, lines going to the carb, obstruction in the tank, or a plugged cap vent.

First disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor and check it for free flow of fuel. If you have a fuel pump, disconnect the line at the pump. If all is well there, plan on a carburetor cleaning.

What engine is on that little jewel?

** When you hear grass laugh, don't take it personally

 
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08-06-10, 03:23 AM   #5  
This has the Kawasaki FC540V motor. I checked the fuel line and they are all OK. The fuel filter is fuel so I know I don't have a problem pulling fuel from the tank. This has a diaphram type fuel pump and I took it apart a couple months ago when I started having problems and it seemed to be OK. I will pull the line that runs from the pump to the carb and check fuel flow. How strong should the flow be? Should it really shoot out? I won't be able to do any thing until Saturday though.
Thanks for the help.

 
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08-06-10, 05:27 AM   #6  
The fuel pumps just put out a light spurt, just enough to create a good flow. A lot of them are pulse driven off the crankcase pressure variance with the diaphragm acting on the pulse. Still disconnect the line on the pump side of the filter and see if fuel runs out of it freely. You can have fuel in the filter and a flow blockage upstream from that keeps everything from working. Those pumps don't have a lot of pulling power.

When it dies and you can't get it started, check for spark right away = pull the plug and ground it, spin it over and see if you have a bright blue spark. That's easier in dark garage or hold a tarp or something over it to break off the light.

If you have the spark, put about a teaspoon of gas down the plug hole and stick the plug back in it. If it tries to start then dies, plan on a kit that includes a pump diaphragm. Given the flow of the fuel to the pump is good, that's likely when the problem is.

 
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08-07-10, 06:02 AM   #7  
OK, I checked the fuel flow and it seemed to be fine. Plenty of fuel for this size engine. I checked the spark with the engine cold and the spark was nice and bright (I have a in-line spark tester). I replaced the spark plug (just in case). I finally got it started this morning. I think I had it flooded from the numerous times I tried to start it 2 days ago.
I have it running at high throttle just sitting in my yard. Right now it's been running for about 10-15 minutes. I'm going to leave it running for about an hour or so and see what happens. If it does die, I will check the spark with the motor hot and see what I have.
Wish me luck & keep your fingers crossed.

 
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08-07-10, 08:17 AM   #8  
Well, darn it. The mower sat in my yard running for about an hour and I decided to go ahead and start mowing. I mowed for another hour with no problems and then the darn thing just died. I checked for spark immediately and could not see any spark. Could it be the ignition module? Do these things also use a coil? Where would the module be located and what would it look like? Any way to test these?
Sorry for all the questions but I would really like to get this fixed once and for all.

 
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08-07-10, 11:51 AM   #9  
The ignition module is actually a CDI integrated coil = one component. This would be the thing the spark plug wire comes out of.

Some of the Kawasakis use an igniter which is a separate coil/ CDI type of thing to break ground and cause the spark to discharge from the coil. That is an igniter = looks like a little square box hooked to the coil.

Yours has the igniter on it. Disconnect the wire leading to the igniter on the ignition key side of the igniter and check for spark, if none, replace the igniter. If still no spark replace the coil. The igniter is a lot cheaper than the coil and either can cause a no spark.

Make sure you check it with the kill wire disconnected, though. Since it ran as long as it did other things have to be taken into consideration and a faulty seat switch may be the problem. Disconnecting the kill wire isolated the safety stuff from the ignition.

 
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08-07-10, 12:24 PM   #10  
Posted By: marbobj Disconnect the wire leading to the igniter on the ignition key side of the igniter and check for spark, if none, replace the igniter. If still no spark replace the coil. The igniter is a lot cheaper than the coil and either can cause a no spark.

Make sure you check it with the kill wire disconnected, though. Since it ran as long as it did other things have to be taken into consideration and a faulty seat switch may be the problem. Disconnecting the kill wire isolated the safety stuff from the ignition.
Is the wire your asking me to disconnect from the igniter the same thing as the kill wire that you are refering to?
There are 2 wires that connect to the igniter through 1 connection. 1 of these wires lead back under the engine housing. The other wire goes back in behind the starter. The one that goes back behind the starter has a bullet type disconnect in the middle of the lead. Is this where I need to pull it apart?
Thanks much for all the help.

 
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08-07-10, 12:37 PM   #11  
The kill wire - igniter wire = same thing. The one that goes back toward the starter.

 
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08-08-10, 04:38 AM   #12  
Well, I'll try and finish my mowing today and see what happens. The perfect plan would be for me to be able to finish mowing and the mower dies just as I'm putting it back in my shed. Listen to me, hoping that the darn thing stops on me. Anyway, I guess it's just a matter of trying things and eliminating them to get to the root of the problem.
Will post with updates.
Thanks again for all the help!

 
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08-08-10, 01:10 PM   #13  
Well, so much for well thought out plans. The mower stopped on me after about 10 minutes. When I checked for spark I only got 1 flash of spark when I tried to start and then none.
I disconnected the kill wire and nothing changed. I guess I'll order a igniter and see if that's the solution.

 
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08-08-10, 01:25 PM   #14  
That's a pretty common practice. The no spark on those, with the safety out of the equation usually comes down to the igniter, then the coil. Since both are electrical components, there's just not a good way to test them to determine if they'll run when cold and hot both.

Igniter is usually changed out first, then the coil.

 
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08-08-10, 01:48 PM   #15  
I ordered the igniter on line but something puzzles me. Why such a wide price range on these things? I found them anywhere from $14.49 to $73.00. I ordered one for $15.32 and the information stated that it was manufactured by Kawasaki. I guess I'll know for sure when I get it in a few days.
Thanks again for all your help.

 
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08-08-10, 02:22 PM   #16  
Posted By: indyhoov I ordered the igniter on line but something puzzles me. Why such a wide price range on these things? I found them anywhere from $14.49 to $73.00. I ordered one for $15.32 and the information stated that it was manufactured by Kawasaki. I guess I'll know for sure when I get it in a few days.
Thanks again for all your help.
I had the same confusion when i needed one, the Kaw product was $65, Sten $22 and Rotary $15, I used the Rotary and has been working fine. Something I noticed it id highly recommended to use resistor spark plugs on engines with the igniter, something about static. Have a good one. Geo

 
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08-08-10, 02:36 PM   #17  
Posted By: geogrubb Something I noticed it id highly recommended to use resistor spark plugs on engines with the igniter, something about static. Have a good one. Geo
I know John Deere recommends using a resistor plug. Would using a non-resistor plug cause problems with the ignition/electrical systems on the motors/tractors? Just wondering...............

 
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08-14-10, 11:24 AM   #18  
Posted By: indyhoov I guess I'll order a igniter and see if that's the solution.
I replaced the igniter and the mower started right up and ran fine for about a half-an-hour. It started sputtering so I disengaged the blades and reduced the throttle down to low idle. It was missing out and it smelled like it was running rich. I let it run at low idle for about a minute and it smoothed itself out. I slowly increased the speed to full throttle and engaged the blades and was able to mow for about another minute or two and then it would start all over again. I did this routine about 6-7 more times until I just shut it off.
I'm going to let it set for an hour or so and then try and finish my yard.
Could the carb need adjusted? I had it cleaned a couple weeks ago and I did some adjustment on the mixture screw then. It seemed to be running fine when it was running.
Any help would be great.
Thanks,
Mike

 
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08-22-10, 03:19 AM   #19  
Well, I'm just about ready to drive this mower into the lake, if I can get to run long enough! OK, I've replaced the igniter and the coil. I went out yesterday and the mower started & ran great ..........for a half-an-hour. Then it started to sputter & miss out so I disengaged the blades & lowered the throttle to idle. I let it sit there at idle until it engine smoothed out. I slowly increased the throttle to full throttle. If I try to increase the throttle to quickly it acts like it wants to die.
I engaged the blades and was able to mow for about another 4-5 muinutes. It then started this all over again. But this time it died when I lowered the throttle. It would not immediately restart but I waited about 10 minutes and was able to get it started and I put the thing back in the shed. I checked the spark immediately after it died and it appeared to be weak (it was a little hard to tell because of the sun).
So my question is, What am I missing? ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks.
Mike

 
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08-22-10, 06:19 AM   #20  
The only parts in the ignition on that thing would be the coil and igniter, Indy - with the kill going to the safety stuff disconnected.

So a weak/no spark goes back to those two. Once the safety switches are in the circuit a lot of other things can happen. So when you check for spark the kill going to the igniter on the ignition switch side has to be disconnected.

When you're running it, is the kill hooked up and when it dies the kill disconnected for the check?

I know it can be frustrating, but when you get good run time out of it, it's always fuel delivery or ignition.

 
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08-22-10, 08:07 AM   #21  
When I've been using it, the kill has been connected. I've only checked the spark once through all this with it disconnected and if I remember correctly, I still had a weak spark. I am going to disconnect the kill and just ride it around today for awhile and see what happens. Will keep you posted. Thanks. Mike


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08-22-10, 08:30 AM   #22  
Just wondering. Is there a way to check the igniter or the coil when it starts to act up? I have a mutimeter and would be able to check for ohms, resistance, etc. if how knew where to put what.
Thanks.
Mike

 
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08-22-10, 08:44 AM   #23  
I believe trying it with the kill disconnected to check it is a good idea. You'll have to choke it to kill it.

As far as checking resistance values on those things, I have never had good luck at that. A cold component will give you the same readings, but as they heat up and cool slightly you have a part that reads OK, then not serviceable. Then there's the gray area when the part is starting to fail.

A lot of your automotive ignition module manuals, and those are more complicated jobs, just say, to check it, replace with a "known good" part.

Some of the other guys following this post may have some other experiences, but I have come back to what I have described.

 
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08-22-10, 09:39 AM   #24  
Well, I disconnected the kill wire and was able to run it for about 5 minutes. I hooked up my inline spark tester and I was able to start it within 5 minutes. It ran had full throttle and the spark looked good. It started sputtering and died. The spark looked good until it died. HELP!

 
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08-22-10, 12:26 PM   #25  
With a good spark when it dies, that goes back to the fuel system. Since you have some good run time it would be in the fuel delivery to the carburetor, most likely. There could be some things in the carb still suspect, but the delivery of the fuel to the carburetor is most likely. That would be the fuel pump, the lines, the filter, the tank or the cap on the tank with a plugged vent.

Did you put a kit in that fuel pump when you had the carb cleaned?

 
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08-23-10, 05:41 PM   #26  
Posted By: marbobj Did you put a kit in that fuel pump when you had the carb cleaned?
No, I have not replaced the diaphram. I went out this evening and pulled the carb just to check it out. I pulled the jet and made sure all the orifices were clear, which they were. Checked the float setting and it looked good. I put it back on the mower and it started and ran for about 15 minutes. I checked the spark and it was good. I checked the fuel flow at the carb and it appears that this may be the problem. The fuel filter is full so I suspect that it may be the fuel pump diaphram. I checked the vacuum line from the motor to the pump and it looks OK. I'm going to the JD dealer tomorrow and pick up the diaphram and eliminate that potential problem. All I can hope that it IS the problem. One question though, when it starts to act up, why does it smell like it is running rich if it is starved for fuel?
Thanks, Mike

 
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08-24-10, 08:18 PM   #27  
No, Mike that's not a symptom of starving, but rather an overly rich mixture. The place that would point to would be either the choke isn't fully off or the float valve isn't sealing the incoming flow of fuel like it should and the engine is flooding out.

If the float valve was at fault with the symptoms you have, It would have to be sporadic. One that's continually leaking would have a problem right after starting. A lot of times when the leaking is sporadic it's from pieces of foreign material coming down the fuel flow and lodging at the valve seat = leakage = flooding out and the engine dieing.

 
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08-25-10, 04:20 AM   #28  
That's why I ask that question about running rich yet starved for fuel. I replaced the fuel filter a couple months ago and it still look good and it is full of fuel. Could it possibly be that the diaphram in the pump is coming apart and pieces of it working their way into the carb? The fuel lines all look OK, they have some age on them so I'll probably replace those.
I would think though that if the engine is flooding, wouldn't it smoke some? There isn't any smoke when it's acting up or when I'm able to get it restarted.
Maybe we're on to something, finally!
Thanks

 
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08-25-10, 09:49 PM   #29  
It's a little tough to say. If all you have is a gassey smell, it may not be anything to go on. As you said, if it is flooding you should have some black smoke. I believe I could check the spark plug for a sooty coloration. If the plug is perfectly clean and the porcelain light brown, the chances of it flooding are pretty slim.

The pump diaphragm, to be shedding, would have to be in really bad shape. Right now I would still lean toward a problem with the pump and it not working properly. The rest of the flow to the pump still has to be clear and unrestricted. But check the spark plug color and see what you have.

 
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08-26-10, 02:05 AM   #30  
I pulled the plug and it looks good. There was a slight gassy smell but not to much. I'm going to check the fuel line from the tank to the pump to see what that looks like. My local JD dealer has a pump in stock. I thought about getting a carb kit, I think the guy that worked on mine just cleaned it. The darn kits are $80! I thought I might try just replacing the needle valve but it's 28 bucks! For something no bigger than a june bug!
At least it hasn't rained in almost a month so the grass growin' has starting to slow down just a bit.
I'm going to keep messing with this and one of these days I'll get it figured out.

 
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08-26-10, 05:51 AM   #31  
That stuff is a little pricey. I believe I would try some of the online small engine sources or a small engine shop. The Kawasaki engines aren't the property of John Deere. They just use them. You can get those parts from a number of different sources. Just have the model of the engine and its serial number when you talk to them.

 
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08-27-10, 02:14 AM   #32  
Well I checked the fuel line from the tank to the pump and everything looks good. I made sure the vent was clear and also made sure the pick-up tube was clear. I pulled the fuel pump off and checked the diaphram and it looked OK also.
I pulled the carb back off and I'm going to investigate other sources for parts. I did find a online store that can sell the needle valve for about 16 bucks. I'd have to wait 2+ weeks to get it though.
This thing has a Mikuni carb on it and I could not find any numbers on the carb itself. Is this going to be a problem when I go to buy a kit/parts for it?
Thanks,
Mike

 
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08-28-10, 02:24 PM   #33  
OK, I pulled the carb and everything looks good internally. I had to reset the float a bit. Needle valve looked good. I used a magnifying glass and looked at the tip and it looked good, still pliable. I put it back together and mowed for about 15-20 minutes and it started sputtering again. I disengaged the blades and pushed the throttle to full choke and the motor smoothed out some and I was able mow for another couple minutes at full choke before it started acting up again. I did this a few more times and then it finally died. I had to give it full choke again to get it to start. In the past when the motor was hot it would not start at full choke, it would start at low idle. Does the carb still need some adjusting? I have the mixture screw set at 1 1/2 turns, or is it something else?
Thanks,
Mike

 
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08-28-10, 04:06 PM   #34  
Try this Mike:

Get a piece of vacuum line or gas line long enough to bypass the fuel pump. Go directly from the tank to the carburetor and keep the tank completely full of gas. Try to keep the mower on fairly level ground and see if it runs any longer.

 
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08-28-10, 07:06 PM   #35  
I'll try that but doesn't it need the vacuum created by the motor to pull the fuel from the tank and pump it to the carb? Just wondering.
Thanks, Mike

 
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08-29-10, 06:54 AM   #36  
All you need is a good flow from the tank to the carburetor. The vacuum line is a pulse line from the crankcase that runs the fuel pump.

The idea is to try it without the fuel pump under a controlled landscape = somewhat level. The fuel pumps are often there to handle slope applications.

 
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08-29-10, 07:18 AM   #37  
Sounds good, I'll try it. Just put the hose on the hose barb that is in top of the tank, right? Hey, it's worth a shot!

 
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08-29-10, 07:23 AM   #38  
Hold on, Indy, is the outlet from the tank from the top of the tank, or from the bottom of the tank? If the fuel outlet is through the top of the tank, this won't work and it's back to working on the fuel pump. What is the whole model number of that engine?

Is this your engine?

https://ehub-catalogrepositoryservic...ductid=3267686


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08-29-10, 08:49 AM   #39  
Here is a thought from someone who is not a professional in this area but has a JD 185.

Start as you normally do and run until it quits. Check the fuel filter - mine is clear - does it have gas in it? If not the fuel pump is not able to pull fuel from the tank for some reason. You either have a bad fuel line from the tank, something obstructing that line, or a bad pump. If the filter has fuel in it, disconnect the fuel line from the pump to the carb. Was there fuel in the line? If not the pump was unable to do the job of getting the fuel from the filter to the carb. (Note: this run requires the pump to pull the fuel up from the filter which is mounted lower than the pump.) If there is fuel in the line then the engine is either getting fuel and fuel is not the issue, or it is not flowing into the carb. If the fuel line from the pump to the carb did have fuel you might want to drop the bowl of the carb. Was it full? IF dry the fuel is not flowing into the carb.

While I am certain that I have a lot less experience than just about everyone on this board I do have a JD 185 in the garage that I can reference.

If you lived anywhere near me I could even loan you a fuel pump that I have in my tool box for the motor.

Steve

 
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08-29-10, 12:33 PM   #40  
Posted By: marbobj Hold on, Indy, is the outlet from the tank from the top of the tank, or from the bottom of the tank? If the fuel outlet is through the top of the tank, this won't work and it's back to working on the fuel pump. What is the whole model number of that engine?

Is this your engine?

https://ehub-catalogrepositoryservic...ductid=3267686
The outlet from the tank is on top.
This is the model # FC540V-AS00 & Serial # FC540-057941

My engine looks very similar to the picture in the link you supplied, but not NEAR as clean & shiny!

 
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