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I have a 1993 LX178 that I bought new. It has the Kawasaki FD440V twin cylinder liquid Icooled engine. This spring it started "acting up" After 25 to 30 minutes of mowing it will start cutting out, drop a cylinder and stall. After it cools down, it will start up and mow for another 25 or 30 minutes. I don't think it is a fuel or carburation problem as I have checked all of that system. It has fresh gas, and a new fuel filter. Fuel pump works fine and carb has been rebuilt and does not leak. It has new, properly gapped plugs and a new battery this spring. I suspect one of the coils is bad, or the ignition box itself is bad. As they heat up, it causes the open circuit, and the dropped cylinder and stall out. As both of these parts are expensive, I hate to just buy and hope they solve the problem, since I know you cannot return used electrical parts. Is there any way to test these? I have a VOM meter and know how to use it. Any other ideas? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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I have a 1993 LX178 that I bought new. It has the Kawasaki FD440V twin cylinder liquid Icooled engine. This spring it started "acting up" After 25 to 30 minutes of mowing it will start cutting out, drop a cylinder and stall. After it cools down, it will start up and mow for another 25 or 30 minutes. I don't think it is a fuel or carburation problem as I have checked all of that system. It has fresh gas, and a new fuel filter. Fuel pump works fine and carb has been rebuilt and does not leak. It has new, properly gapped plugs and a new battery this spring. I suspect one of the coils is bad, or the ignition box itself is bad. As they heat up, it causes the open circuit, and the dropped cylinder and stall out. As both of these parts are expensive, I hate to just buy and hope they solve the problem, since I know you cannot return used electrical parts. Is there any way to test these? I have a VOM meter and know how to use it. Any other ideas? Thanks in advance for any help.
Coil(s) it could be. First eliminate fuel quality entirely, as you had the problem after winter storage.

I have previously used a industrial/military spec heat gun. A hair dryer may also substitute! Just be VERY careful not to overheat or damage anything nearby, including the components that you are so carefully warming.
 

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after it drops one cylinder use the VOM to see if the coil is getting voltage. Then check to see if the plug is firing. or simple way is switch them from side to side to see if the problem then goes to the other side. Same with the capacitor.
 

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This could still be a fuel issue. Try loosening the fuel cap when it stalls out. The vent could be plugged and the tank could be in a state of vacuum. When it stalls, slowly crack the cap and listen for air.

Simple stuff first. :good2:
 

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This could still be a fuel issue. Try loosening the fuel cap when it stalls out. The vent could be plugged and the tank could be in a state of vacuum. When it stalls, slowly crack the cap and listen for air.

Simple stuff first. :good2:
This where I would start. I seen this issue many times here on the forum.

I there is probably ignition test steps in the tech manual, it might be a good idea to pick one up.


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Discussion Starter #7
New Gas and cap vent.

Gas is new, I removed tank, drained it, blew out with compressor, blew out lines too. Checked cap vent, it is ok, and no "woosh" when cap is loosened. Is there an ohm reading the coils should have that I can check with my VOM to establish a base line and then heat up the coils to about 180 degrees and check again?
 

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all coils are different so the ohm specs would only be found in the manual. Since you don't have one and have been offered one FOR FREE then take it (can't ask for better than that), you have no idea how much information is in this. A john deere mechanic at your local John Deere does not just go into the shop every day and fix things because he knows it all, he reads the manual to guide him on how to fix these machines. You can do the same thing, maybe not to the extent that he can but with a little mechanical ability and understanding things when you read them you will be able to do much more than just guessing on what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Test Idea, what do you guys think?

Now that I have the ohm range for a properly functioning ignition coils, and they test within the range cold, here is my plan. I will screw together 2 small wood L brackets out of scrap 2X4 and mount a coil to each. Then into the wife's oven at 150 degrees for 30 minutes, to simulate 30 minutes of mowing. Then check again with my VOM and see if the coils are still within John Deere operating specs or if I have an open circuit? It sure beats driving it around in circles ( it's 100 degrees outside), or letting it idle for 30 minutes or until it starts to cut out. What do you guys think? Could not hurt anything, could it? Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't think I would do the oven thing either. But, I did do that very procedure many many times with aircraft ignition coils. It's still a standard troubleshooting procedure in aviation. I'm just not sure if what's all included with your coil.....

I think I would run the engine under load and start troubleshooting when the problem shows itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update!

UPDATE! The local Craigs list had a real treasure. A local guy with a LX188 that had been run low on oil, burned up the engine and was being parted out. I bought both ignition coils and the ignition box. The coils ohm check good and the ignition box is clean and in very good condition. So should I change out everything, just the box, just the coils or still go ahead with my old parts, and just switch the coil sides to see if the miss follows the coil? I was told the LX188 my "new" parts came off of ran great. My gut says change over to the new "set" of parts and see what happens. What do you guys think? THANKS!
 

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Change one thing at a time. That way you can find out if the part you changed was the culprit.
 

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put on the new parts. now it runs good, install old parts one at a time and toss the one that causes it to run bad again.
 

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I always try to work one direction at a time. I seen to many times that one part is frying another and would hate to see you burn up the whole score in one shot.


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Discussion Starter #17
Think I have it fixed!!!

It stopped acting up and stalling during the cooler weather last fall, and pushed snow all winter long, only to start stalling again this summer when it got in the 90's again. This time I changed the voltage regulator and that seemed to fix it!! No more stalling so far, and I can mow for over an hour and NO STALLING!!!. Anyway, thought you guys would like to know!! I don't understand myself how the voltage regulator could have been causing this, but it seems to be fixed, so I"M HAPPY!!!! Thanks again for everyone's help and suggestions!
 
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