HELP! X540 surging
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Thread: HELP! X540 surging

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    HELP! X540 surging

    I have a 2006 X540 with the Kawasaki FD731V (liquid cooled, not fuel injected). 54 inch mower deck. It only has about 250 hours on it. My issue is that once it has warmed up, it surges at idle. Sometimes it will come out of it and idle fine briefly, sometimes it just dies. In addition, at full throttle when I engage the blades, the engine nearly dies before it revs back up. On occasion, it will actually die when I engaged the deck. After searching the web high and low, I came across a YouTube video of one doing pretty much the same thing. The user stated that the problem turned out to be a fuel pump and a few comments to the video stated that they had the same problem, which was also fixed with a new fuel pump. Convinced that was my problem, I bought and installed a new fuel pump, but it did not help. I have seen many other posts where the answer suggested is dirty carb - clean it. Before I go that route, I want to mention that as it idles (surging), if I manually hold the governor arm so that it stops kicking up, the thing smoothes out and purrs like a kitten. To me, that tells me the problem may not be in the carb. My thought is that if the problem is a dirty carb - resulting in not enough fuel, thereby causing the engine to starve and begin to die, thereby causing the governor to kick up and save it, well then it should run like crap when I prevent the governor from kicking it up, right? That's my thinking anyway. This leads me to believe it is something with the governor. Seems like the governor just has a mind of its own, just revving the thing up every second or so. But since that mechanism is inside the crankcase, I am really reluctant to tear that far into this engine when I'm not quite sure of the problem. Sorry for the long post. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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    I have never worked on any of the two barrel carbs on a Kawasaki, but can offer some low budget things to try. Make sure the air filter is clean or better yet, new. You could add some Seafoam gas treatment to the fuel and mow a few times. Follow the instructions on the can.

    In the parts blow up there seems to be two idle mixture screws in the top of the carb. They appear to have limiters on the screws but maybe a little adjustment could improve things. Best to have a service manual to follow.

    If none of that helps, I'm thinking a good carb cleaning is in order. Just a speck of pepper causes these fuel miser Kawasakis to surge or act up.

    tommyhawk

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    bigben5054 (08-30-2015)

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    Thanks tommyhawk

    I made a video of the engine and posted it to YouTube. Here is a link, but in case the link doesn't work, the title of the video is "Surging John Deere X540 8.25.15"

    https://youtu.be/BHtR0IJth5U

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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Give it some choke.. If the engine smooths out its for sure a fuel delivery problem.

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    Thanks for the video. It does appear the two plastic covered (limiter) screws are accessible for adjustment. New designs usually allow for nothing more than an idle mixture adjustment and sometimes just an idle speed adjustment screw. There may be a speck-o-dirt in one of the pilot jets that will require a carb removal and disassembly, but I'd try adjusting those screws first. One at a time to see if it improves or worsens the surging.
    If you decide to get a manual, you may have to get the latest Kawasaki Liquid Cooled Engine Manual for info on any part of the engine repair. The tractor service manual may not include any engine repair info.

    Engine bogging when engaging the deck is normal for these Kawasaki twins but an out of tune carb will make it worse. Just a little lean on the mixture is all it takes. It is running on both cylinders, right? New spark plugs gapped correctly and exactly the same may be in order, also.

    Again, Seafoam may just take care of it. It isn't magic, but it could be the easy trick.
    Keep us posted on your progress.

    tommyhawk

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    HELP! X540 surging

    I had a similar problem. It was the gas cap which became plugged with dust around the inside perimeter that could not be rinsed out. The JD dealer advised replacing the cap which did resolve the fuel surge issue.

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    bigben5054 (08-30-2015)

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    i took the carb off the murray because it was running really bad. cleaned it, put it all back together and--- man, i thought it was bad before but now, my gosh its bad. it looks like the governor is moving a whole lot, and when i put on the choke it runs fine. also, if i lower the throttle all the way, it just dies.


    so, to the op, is it your governor?
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    Thanks to everyone for the ideas.
    xcopterdoc: If I give it some choke, it does smooth out. So I guess I will redirect my focus back to the carb.
    tommyhawk: luckily, there is a complete Kawasaki service manual available for free online that includes a detailed section on the carb. I will check to make sure it's running on both cylinders, the plugs, etc. I may try the Seafoam eventually, put I just filled the tank with 93 octane plus a fuel system cleaner. I'd hate to mess with this tank of fuel much more.
    ottawa02: I'll check on that. Seems to me, I should be able to test this one by simply removing the cap to see if it fixes it and if so, I'll know the cap was the problem.
    johnH123: I haven't ruled anything out (other than the fuel pump). But the governor is going to have to be the last resort, as it seems quite a chore to get at it inside the crankcase.

    I think my next step will be to verify that the governor is adjusted correctly and check the fuel cap. If neither of those work, I'll get a gasket kit and go through the carb. Any more ideas are welcome. Meanwhile, I'll get to work and keep you all posted. Thanks again!

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    Mine did same thing, it was the ignition coil Check them too they go bad easy

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    It's a pretty darn rare thing to have a governor go bad on a small engine. That's the last thing to suspect. Just because the governor is hunting around, doesn't mean it's bad. They will do that trying to correct a flat spot in the throttle range. It's usually indicative of a fuel issue.
    xcopterdoc, tj1 and gbnpp05 like this.
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