X500 engine running unevenly (hunting) .... Need help
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    n8cas's Avatar
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    X500 engine running unevenly (hunting) .... Need help

    After a seriously long day of leaf collection late this fall my 2008 x500 engine started to run unevenly. I changed the oil & filter, cleaned the air filter with warm soapy water, and improperly cleaned the paper element with compressed air (my inexperience). When I went to do my driveway with my 44 inch snowblower attachment a month later (today), it started unevenly but eventually ran well for about 10 minutes of blowing snow. It then started to run unevenly (hunting in and out until it died and gave me the red oil light. I put a new fuel filter in thinking that was the problem and let it be for a half an hour. It started up unevenly but within 10 seconds was running fine! I figured I was in the clear, but 20 minutes after blowing more snow, it happened again. The engine ran unevenly until it died on me and gave me the red oil light again. I just changed the oil 3 weeks ago and had not run it since. However I only put 2 quarts in when it calls for 2.1. Something tells me it's not the oil.

    To me, the fact that it started for me after I let it rest and when it did run, it ran fine for 20 minutes or so - points to a overheating problem. The cause of this, to me, is puzzling and I'm wondering if someone could help me out.

    Could it be a bad paper element / air filter (thanks to my inexperience of cleaning it with a compressed air)?

    Could dirt have found it's way into the carburetor?

    Is my fuel line gunked up? (it ran fine for 20 minutes after I changed the fuel filter)

    My old man said maybe the spark arrestor? Never heard of it. ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    It may be the oil, at least the amount needed. I would try adding that .1 amount of oil.

    If no help , then catch the new oil and change the filter.

    Have you added any additives to fuel .
    Try running with gas cap loose.

    Just some thoughts.

    Adv auto and other locations sell a Sure Start in the lawnmower small engine section. Could try a can of that if lines are gunked up. Cost some where around $10.00 guaranteed to start your engine.
    Last edited by etcallhome; 12-29-2015 at 08:06 PM.
    Gene

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    Here is a video from my x585 from about a year ago when I had an issue that kind of sounds a bit like yours though not totally the same. I don't know the specs on your machine but the x585 has the Kawasaki 25hp EFI engine.

    In the video note how hot the exhaust is getting. You can see it turning cherry red. I didn't notice this right away but once I did it was a good clue to the problem. The pan to the dash shows that the engine coolant wasn't reading outside the operating range even though the exhaust was glowing red.



    The cherry red exhaust was a sign of an extreme lean situation. Once I noticed it I turned my attention to fuel system. I busted out a fuel pressure gauge and the tech manual. As I tested I would see proper pressure but then it would drop off to levels below acceptable. I dug around for a bit scratching my head and started thinking fuel pump. In talking with some others they agreed I needed to take a look at the fuel pump. I pulled the rear fenders and pulled the fuel pump from the tank. Turns out that the fuel pump is in a bracket. The pump has a small section of fuel line (1-2" maybe) that connects the fuel pump to the connectors where it transitions out of the tank. The fuel pump had jarred itself loose from this fuel line. So it was mostly lined up with the end of the fuel line and was squirting gas into the line. This would pressurize the system properly to start but the pressure would start to drop as the pump just started spraying gas all over the inside of the gas tank. There wasn't a good way to diagnose this other than seeing the pressure drops in my fuel pressure gauge. I was initially thinking the pump was failing. Which is possible in your case as well. After talking with others on this finding, I was reading that I wasn't the only person to experience this failure. I replaced the bit of hose with some bulk line from the auto parts store. I want to say John Deere sells this as a complete assembly for $$$.

    So see if you can get it to do this again. If it is doing it pop open the hood and look at the exhaust. It should never be glowing cherry red. In person it was brighter than what the camera picked up on. If you see it I would dig into the fuel system more. It might be a fuel pump that slipped off the hose or a failing fuel pump. If the pump is going out there may be 3rd party options that will fit in the application. From what I recall the pump in my tractor looks a lot like the pump that I used to replace the fuel pump in my Honda Motorcycle. That was a complete assembly replacement though I found a compatible pump on eBay for about $40. Sure beats $400 that they wanted for the assembly.
    Last edited by sennister; 12-29-2015 at 11:04 PM.
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    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

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    n8cas's Avatar
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    I will try all these things later tonight. Thanks for your suggestions !

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    Could it be carburetor icing?
    Deere makes a "bra" to eliminate this problem.
    Definitely in the carburetor whatever it is.

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    n8cas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    Here is a video from my x585 from about a year ago when I had an issue that kind of sounds a bit like yours though not totally the same. I don't know the specs on your machine but the x585 has the Kawasaki 25hp EFI engine.

    In the video note how hot the exhaust is getting. You can see it turning cherry red. I didn't notice this right away but once I did it was a good clue to the problem. The pan to the dash shows that the engine coolant wasn't reading outside the operating range even though the exhaust was glowing red.



    The cherry red exhaust was a sign of an extreme lean situation. Once I noticed it I turned my attention to fuel system. I busted out a fuel pressure gauge and the tech manual. As I tested I would see proper pressure but then it would drop off to levels below acceptable. I dug around for a bit scratching my head and started thinking fuel pump. In talking with some others they agreed I needed to take a look at the fuel pump. I pulled the rear fenders and pulled the fuel pump from the tank. Turns out that the fuel pump is in a bracket. The pump has a small section of fuel line (1-2" maybe) that connects the fuel pump to the connectors where it transitions out of the tank. The fuel pump had jarred itself loose from this fuel line. So it was mostly lined up with the end of the fuel line and was squirting gas into the line. This would pressurize the system properly to start but the pressure would start to drop as the pump just started spraying gas all over the inside of the gas tank. There wasn't a good way to diagnose this other than seeing the pressure drops in my fuel pressure gauge. I was initially thinking the pump was failing. Which is possible in your case as well. After talking with others on this finding, I was reading that I wasn't the only person to experience this failure. I replaced the bit of hose with some bulk line from the auto parts store. I want to say John Deere sells this as a complete assembly for $$$.

    So see if you can get it to do this again. If it is doing it pop open the hood and look at the exhaust. It should never be glowing cherry red. In person it was brighter than what the camera picked up on. If you see it I would dig into the fuel system more. It might be a fuel pump that slipped off the hose or a failing fuel pump. If the pump is going out there may be 3rd party options that will fit in the application. From what I recall the pump in my tractor looks a lot like the pump that I used to replace the fuel pump in my Honda Motorcycle. That was a complete assembly replacement though I found a compatible pump on eBay for about $40. Sure beats $400 that they wanted for the assembly.

    It's a 24hp Kawasaki - thanks so much for sharing - I'll run it later tonight and troubleshoot and I'll repost. Thanks again!

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    n8cas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveontheridge View Post
    Could it be carburetor icing?
    Deere makes a "bra" to eliminate this problem.
    Definitely in the carburetor whatever it is.
    I used it the last two winters without this problem. But it does seem highly possible that it's my carburetor. Thanks!

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    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n8cas View Post
    I used it the last two winters without this problem. But it does seem highly possible that it's my carburetor. Thanks!
    If it has a carburetor then the issue may not be the fuel pump. An EFI Engine is more sensitive to fuel supply (pressure) than an engine with a carburetor. This is because the carbs have bowls that will help even out any supply fluctuations. If your engine is an EFI I would strongly look at pressure. If carbed then consider it but it may not be the issue.

    With mine all it took is most likely hitting a bump right and the fuel pump popped off the end of the hose. Some people have reported this hose in the take breaking down over time which is why I replaced it with bulk hose rather than just hook it up again. Also as long as I was in there, I replaced the fuel line from the output on the tank to the fuel filter. It was the same size and I figured it was 12 years old. It does take a bit of work to get to the fuel tank so be sure to check other things as well. Mine started this after collecting leaves so I was thinking kind of like you that it was an air supply issue at first so I picked up one of the service kits. For mine it is new air cleaner, spark plugs, oil and fuel filter. I do that after leaf pickup is done as I usually have the mower off by then for getting ready to do snow duty so it makes it easier. Also the air cleaner gets the worst of it when picking up leaves.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

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    I'd suggest start with simple stuff. How old is the fuel? Fuel doesn't store nearly as well today as it used to, and I
    have seen it go bad in as little as 30 days. If you pull the fuel fill cap off and it smells like varnish, drain the tank or siphon the old fuel out and start with fresh. The symptom you describe as hunting is usually the result of a rich or lean fuel mixture, and a simple adjustment of the mixture screw at the carb can solve the problem if its a carbureted engine. If it's fuel injected I would check fuel pressure. Either way, start with fresh fuel.
    1025R, 60"mmm with hydraulic lift option,H120 loader with 53" FEL bucket, 260 backhoe, JD ROPS lights with Artillian horse blinders, Kenny's bucket hooks and clevis attachment for backhoe, ROPS mounted LED light bars x 2, 54" everything attachments box blade, JD 655 tiller, 60" rear blade , piranha tooth bar, 3 pt drawbar and trailer mover,

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    First thing you need to do is replace both air filters. Don't think it's a fix to your problem. Continuing to use the one you blew holes in will damage the engine.
    You defiantly have a carb on your tractor.

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