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Hi. The other day, my 425 AWS was running low on fuel, and apparently ran out. It surged a few times, then quit. I added a little fuel to the tank, but it would not fire. It actually sounds different now, turning over, than it did before. Feels too easy.

Anyway, I changed the fuel filter and verified good flow from the pump. The fuel looks OK, and plenty of flow. The spark plugs are too old and needing a change, but they were dry, so not flooded. I've tried pouring a small amount of fuel in the carb, but no popping.

I have not yet verified that there is spark, but will do that this weekend. I don't hear the fuel solenoid snapping in with the ignition key, and wonder if there is a way to bypass it to see if that is the problem. Does air need to be bled between the fuel filter and the carb? If so, how does one do that?

How do I know if the Kawasaki has a plastic cam shaft, and if it is still good?

Any other thoughts? I really want to get this thing going before the snow flies, as it is what is needed to clear the driveway. The local dealership can't even look at it for three weeks.

Thanks in advance. It is my first post on the forum, so I hope my questions weren't too dumb.
Bill in MN
 

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Hang in there- Someone will post more helpful info than I can on your problem. But you did say one thing which needs more attention. You said if felt too easy when you tried to start it? If there is no resistance or too easy to turn over, you may also have a compression problem. No compression or too low compression will not allow you to start. Then you said your plugs were dry. Sounds like a fuel flow problem. I'm sorry for my lame answer here to your question. I don't know your 425 machine.

Dealer service. I hear you there. My dealer has had my 855 utility tractor in the shop for over a month now & still not repaired yet. Too much work & not enough experienced shop mechanics. I asked my dealer if I could bring my tools there & work on it myself. I'm trying to start a barn building project & I'm screwed without my tractor. I don't have snow to push around. Just a lot of post holes & grading work. Now I'm screwed on getting this barn up any time soon. Good luck
 

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No compression or too low compression will not allow you to start.
Thanks, Maddog. I appreciate your response. On the way home tonight, I got a compression tester, so will be able to tell if it is my imagination. Also got an inline spark plug tester. I'm thinking it is a fuel flow issue, too - maybe the shut-off solenoid, or something air bound, but will eliminate the other things, too.
 

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Parts Catalog doesn't give a serial number or manufacturing year for the break when the steel timing gear began and replaced the plastic gear. My 445 was bought new in late 1995 and had the plastic gear if that helps.

How many hours does your tractor have. I think most of the plastic gears failed around 800 hours.

Someone will be along with a more definite answer for you before too long.
 

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Parts Catalog doesn't give a serial number or manufacturing year for the break when the steel timing gear began and replaced the plastic gear. My 445 was bought new in late 1995 and had the plastic gear if that helps.

How many hours does your tractor have. I think most of the plastic gears failed around 800 hours.
Thanks, DRobinson. Right now, a little over 800 hours, so it is due.
 

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From what I've read, 1998 and up should have the steel cam gear from the factory. That may be the engine manufacture year or the tractor. Older models came with the plastic gear. The compression test should tell you, but a sure way is to remove one of the rocker covers and crank the engine. If the rockers ain't rockin', the cam ain't rollin'!
Replacement is not a difficult job if you have any experience with engine work and purchase the service manual for the Kawasaki liquid cooled engines. Replacing the plastic oil pump gear and the governor gear assembly at the same time is good insurance. On the vertical shaft engines, I always replace the coolant pump too, because they require engine removal to do. Not a problem with your horizontal shaft model however. Normally a broken cam gear does not damage anything else in these engines. I hope though, that it is something less serious for you this time. Keep us posted.

tommyhawk
 

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I owned a 425 for nearly 20 years. Ran out of gas many times. Never had any sort of vapor lock or need for air purging. It would be weird to run out of gas and have the CAM fail at the same time. My CAM failed at 998 hours. Not too bad to do yourself, but I do recommend replacing water pump while in there. It's just easier to do it while you have it apart and isn't all that expensive.

You may have sucked dirt into the fuel pump when you ran it dry and caused the fuel pump to fail. Change your fuel filter or drain it. The filter crucible should fill up when the key is turned to the on position. If it does your pump is working and barring a tubing break or block, there's nothing else between there and the carb. It's also easy to remove the fuel line from the carb and see if fuel is coming out. Cracks in the fuel lines leading to the carb can also cause problems with fuel draw. There are some fuses on the circuit board in the dash that you should check too.
 

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I owned a 425 for nearly 20 years. Ran out of gas many times. Never had any sort of vapor lock or need for air purging. It would be weird to run out of gas and have the CAM fail at the same time. My CAM failed at 998 hours. Not too bad to do yourself, but I do recommend replacing water pump while in there. It's just easier to do it while you have it apart and isn't all that expensive.

You may have sucked dirt into the fuel pump when you ran it dry and caused the fuel pump to fail. Change your fuel filter or drain it. The filter crucible should fill up when the key is turned to the on position. If it does your pump is working and barring a tubing break or block, there's nothing else between there and the carb. It's also easy to remove the fuel line from the carb and see if fuel is coming out. Cracks in the fuel lines leading to the carb can also cause problems with fuel draw. There are some fuses on the circuit board in the dash that you should check too.
Thanks, Gittyup. I did change the fuel filter just prior to this happening, and pulled the line off to test flow after it quit. Fuel flowed quite well into a jar.
 

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When mine broke, it worked fine one day and gave no indication of a problem, until I tried to start engine the next day.
 

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Thanks, Gittyup. I did change the fuel filter just prior to this happening, and pulled the line off to test flow after it quit. Fuel flowed quite well into a jar.
As was suggested, you can pull the valve covers and manually turn the engine. If any of the valves don't move, you know it's the cam. That should only take about 10 minutes to do. It's a lot more work, but you can see the cam, partially, if you remove the water pump. As you rotate the engine the broken part will become visible through the opening.

May be you just think you ran out of gas.
 

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Hiya,

Well, I'm starting to think you really didn't run out of fuel, you ran out of plastic.... :oops:
 

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Thanks, all

Just wanted to pass along a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped here. This was my first visit to this forum, and I'm totally blown away with all of the help you all gave!

It sure looks like the camshaft is kaput. Those who have replaced theirs, did you do it yourself? Is it easy or complicated? I haven't dug into this kind of stuff in years, and if I took it on myself, it would basically be done outside in a MN winter with frozen hands. Should I give it a try or take it to a dealer? Any idea what they might charge?

Bill in MN
 

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Mercy, I couldn't recommend the repair outside, winter, and Minnesota! I've only done 3 FD590 (vertical Deere spec.) and one FD620 (Kawasaki Mule) cam replacements. The winters in Southern Ohio pale in comparison to those in Minnesota. The only completely broken one was in an FD590 that I did in the winter. I'm sure I spent more time keeping the woodstove in my non insulated shop going than the actual repair. LOL
Best to call your chosen dealer for a quote. You can look up all the part prices on JD Parts. Probably triple that for a guesstimate.

While watching the Mule video, I noticed he mentioned installing the round "O" ring but not the oval shaped one right beside it. Both are important and need to be replaced. That engine does not use the internal governor nor the belt driven cooling fan assembly as found on the Deere version.
For anyone who has an older model 2510 Mule, with an FD620, there can be a problem with just installing the new steel geared camshaft. The crankshaft gear (or crankshaft assembly) may also need to be changed. The pitch diameter of the spur gear on the crankshaft may be too large to allow proper gear mesh clearance. The result is a high pitched whine similar to a super charger belt, or worse. Deere engines (1993 and newer) seem to be only of the newer design and do not have that concern. Just a heads up for the archives.

tommyhawk
 
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