Problem with 425 stumbling, running rough and hesitating
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Thread: Problem with 425 stumbling, running rough and hesitating

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    Problem with 425 stumbling, running rough and hesitating

    I have a 425 with 1270 hours on it that up until Thursday has always run great. I was almost done mowing and it started to act like I was running out of gas. I was able to disengage PTO and lower RPMs and drive to garage. At the time gas tank was less than a 1/4 tank and the fuel filter was maybe 1/4 full. I thought maybe it was low on gas so I filled the tank. I can hear the fuel pump running when I turn the key. I can start like usual but when I increase RPMs it starts to cut run rough and dies. Sometimes this is as soon as I increase the RPMs and sometimes when I engage PTO.

    I bought this unit with over 1000 hours and am not sure if the cam gear has been changed.

    Where should I start looking?

    Thanks
    Steve

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    You should check your tractor serial number to see if it falls within the years for the plastic cam gear. It sounds like it may be a fuel delivery problem since you state that the filter is only 1/4 full. Mine, while running, is almost completely full. The fuel pump may be going bad, or there may be a strainer on the fuel pickup inside the tank that has become partially clogged. Ethanol fuel plays havoc on fuel systems and breaks down the fuel lines from the inside out, resulting in clogged up carburetors. It is easy enough to remove the fender pan on a 4X5 unit to access the fuel tank, pump and hoses. That is where I would start.
    2016 1025R, H120 w/53" bucket, 60 MMM, iMatch, RIO override, Rear wheel weights.
    1994 425, 54" MMM
    1976 212, 39" MMM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oak Hill Farm View Post
    You should check your tractor serial number to see if it falls within the years for the plastic cam gear. It sounds like it may be a fuel delivery problem since you state that the filter is only 1/4 full. Mine, while running, is almost completely full. The fuel pump may be going bad, or there may be a strainer on the fuel pickup inside the tank that has become partially clogged. Ethanol fuel plays havoc on fuel systems and breaks down the fuel lines from the inside out, resulting in clogged up carburetors. It is easy enough to remove the fender pan on a 4X5 unit to access the fuel tank, pump and hoses. That is where I would start.

    Definitely look into weather your engine has the plastic cam gear. Improper cam to crank shaft timing can give you signs of a fuel delivery problem. Don't ask me how I know. lol. Your engine is well above the amount of hours it usually takes to have it cause problems.

    If your engine is not one with the plastic cam gear. Start looking into possible fuel delivery problems.
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
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    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-D dealer dude View Post
    Definitely look into weather your engine has the plastic cam gear. Improper cam to crank shaft timing can give you signs of a fuel delivery problem. Don't ask me how I know. lol. Your engine is well above the amount of hours it usually takes to have it cause problems.

    If your engine is not one with the plastic cam gear. Start looking into possible fuel delivery problems.
    I am pretty sure that it had one as I think it is a 1994 but I will check serials tonight. But I am not sure if it's been replaced.
    Is there any way to tell without pulling it apart?

    And I thought it would just stop running if the cam gear went bad. Based on your experience I see this is not true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandd1 View Post
    I am pretty sure that it had one as I think it is a 1994 but I will check serials tonight. But I am not sure if it's been replaced.
    Is there any way to tell without pulling it apart?

    And I thought it would just stop running if the cam gear went bad. Based on your experience I see this is not true.
    No other way (that I know about) except opening it up.

    Weather the engine quits or not depends on the failure. The problem usually starts with the teeth wearing down or a few of them chip off. This allows the cam timing to wander around instead of being exact. Like it needs to be. If the timing jumps far enough it could also cause other internal damage.
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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    My gator has essentially the same motor and I have a UTV with the same. I have had each of them do something similar and on both it was the fuel pump. On each the pump ran but only pumped sporadically.
    Last edited by Herminator; 06-27-2017 at 12:11 AM.
    Welcome to Intermission.

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    If you have the plastic cam gear, it usually fails well before reaching 1,000 hours. Mine died at about 700 hours. While somewhat intimidating, taking the engine out and disassembling it to replace the cam is fairly easy if you are mechanically inclined. While I had mine torn down, I replaced the water pump, thermostat, oil pump and rings. I also replaced the original (old style) carb with a new, later model, one. This eliminated the hard starts and flooding issues after the engine is warm. Parts are not exactly cheap but are available from JD and it is cheaper to refresh the engine than it is to replace it with a new one.

    As stated earlier, I would eliminate the far easier to repair issues (fuel system).
    2016 1025R, H120 w/53" bucket, 60 MMM, iMatch, RIO override, Rear wheel weights.
    1994 425, 54" MMM
    1976 212, 39" MMM

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    Update -

    The serial number shows it's a 1993 so I would guess it at least had the plastic cam, maybe it still does.

    I played with it a bunch last night and the fuel filter stayed full the whole time.
    I was able to get it to run at low to mid RPM but if I engage the PTO or rev the RPMs it dies.
    I had it running at high RPM for 5 minutes or so but then it just died.
    Sometimes when it dies, it takes a few seconds of stumbling for it to die and others it just instantly dies.
    It does seem like I need to play with the choke a bit to get it restarted. It is definitely not flooding out.

    I think I will pick up a fuel pump and start there.

    Thanks

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    Okay, i ordered the fuel pump today. While waiting i checked the spark and it looks like i have spark even while it is cutting out.

    I had one cylinder that was a bit lower than the other but i thought that was probably due to the fact i couldn't bring it up to temp before testing.

    I made a leak down tester and notice that the same cylinder had 50 % loss through the exhaust valve. I know it probably isn't related to my current problem but i now have another thing on my to do list

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandd1 View Post
    Okay, i ordered the fuel pump today. While waiting i checked the spark and it looks like i have spark even while it is cutting out.

    I had one cylinder that was a bit lower than the other but i thought that was probably due to the fact i couldn't bring it up to temp before testing.

    I made a leak down tester and notice that the same cylinder had 50 % loss through the exhaust valve. I know it probably isn't related to my current problem but i now have another thing on my to do list
    You can do an accurate compression test with the engine cold. Did you open the throttle blade all the way while doing the test? After the first reading put a few squirts of motor oil into the cylinders and run a second test. See if the reading gos up. If it does it's a ring problem.

    Also 50% leak down is a major problem. This will definitely cause running problems. I assume that you hear air escaping into the exhaust system. Pull the valve cover on the problem cylinder. Make sure that the exhaust valve is not hanging open. Like the adjustment on the rocker arm is to tight.

    This is another thing that you can try to check the cam timing without opening the whole engine. Remove both valve covers and spark plugs. Turn the engine over by hand. You are trying to see if the engine is out of time. Touch the top of the pistons with a small wooden dowel. Watch how the rocker arms react in relationship to the pistons moving up and down. Every few degrees of rotation turn the crank backwards. You are looking for a spot or spots where the valve train is not moving correctly in relation to the crank shaft. If you can move the crank a large number of degrees without moving the rocker arms you found a problem.

    Good luck
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
    JD 42" lawn sweeper.
    JD 10P cart.
    JD JS61 RWD walk behind mower.
    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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