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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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.
 

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Thanks. Is there any easy way to test the coils?
Check first for contact on rubber boot and spark plug -mine had lot of soot They sell a tester that is less than $10 It is a very common problem on kawasaki engine that coils go bad You have 2 coils , i run my tractor with one bad coil/intermitent power hard to start would die under heavy load or low idle for 2 months past year
 

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Also.. Pull those spark plugs and have a look. We have seen many that were lean on one cylinder and fine on the other. Removed carb, disassembled and found debris in a jet. Cleaned it out, installed a gasket kit and let her ride, no problems.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
 

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Ok, I tried taking the fuel cap off while it was surging and it didn't help. Then I pulled the spark plug wires off one at a time to make sure both cylinders were firing and they are. I pulled each spark plug to have a look and they look good. Finally resorted to tearing down and cleaning the carb. I was very thorough and made sure it was spotless before putting it back together. I used a new gasket kit. It's even worse now.

The two pilot screws (idle mixture screws) on top have those little black limiters. During the tear down and rebuild process, I removed those limiters and screwed in the jets to make note of how many turns out they were. The left was almost three turns out and the right was 2 1/4.

The service manual for the engine says the left should be 3 5/8 and right should be 2 3/4. So I thought Aha! When I put it back together I set the pilot screws per the service manual. It started and would run (rough) anywhere I put the throttle, but only on full choke. And I mean full choke. Let it go even the slightest and it dies right away. So I figure I will just put it back to what they were before. It does the exact same thing. I have tried adjusting them in and out several different settings and it just flat out won't run without full choke. And it still surges and runs rough.

So I'm really lost now. I know the choke cuts off incoming air, so that would tell me the idle setting is too lean...but again, backing out those screws doesn't seem to make a difference. Shouldn't have messed with it...at least it ran...even if it did idle like it had a drag racing cam!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, I tried taking the fuel cap off while it was surging and it didn't help. Then I pulled the spark plug wires off one at a time to make sure both cylinders were firing and they are. I pulled each spark plug to have a look and they look good. Finally resorted to tearing down and cleaning the carb. I was very thorough and made sure it was spotless before putting it back together. I used a new gasket kit. It's even worse now.

The two pilot screws (idle mixture screws) on top have those little black limiters. During the tear down and rebuild process, I removed those limiters and screwed in the jets to make note of how many turns out they were. The left was almost three turns out and the right was 2 1/4.

The service manual for the engine says the left should be 3 5/8 and right should be 2 3/4. So I thought Aha! When I put it back together I set the pilot screws per the service manual. It started and would run (rough) anywhere I put the throttle, but only on full choke. And I mean full choke. Let it go even the slightest and it dies right away. So I figure I will just put it back to what they were before. It does the exact same thing. I have tried adjusting them in and out several different settings and it just flat out won't run without full choke. And it still surges and runs rough.

So I'm really lost now. I know the choke cuts off incoming air, so that would tell me the idle setting is too lean...but again, backing out those screws doesn't seem to make a difference. Shouldn't have messed with it...at least it ran...even if it did idle like it had a drag racing cam!!!
So this ^^^^^^^^ is how they run when you get the main jets mixed up with the pilot jets. Got that straightened out, set the pilot screws per the engine service manual and fired it up. Runs good! I think I got it warmed up enough to tell that the surging is gone. I'll take it for a better test drive tomorrow (it's almost 1:00 am). Still bogs down very bad when I start the blades - almost dies but not quite - but I can live with that. It also got very fumey in the garage, so it might be a bit rich. I'll check the plugs after I run it a while tomorrow. Will post an update tomorrow.
 

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So this ^^^^^^^^ is how they run when you get the main jets mixed up with the pilot jets. Got that straightened out, set the pilot screws per the engine service manual and fired it up. Runs good! I think I got it warmed up enough to tell that the surging is gone. I'll take it for a better test drive tomorrow (it's almost 1:00 am). Still bogs down very bad when I start the blades - almost dies but not quite - but I can live with that. It also got very fumey in the garage, so it might be a bit rich. I'll check the plugs after I run it a while tomorrow. Will post an update tomorrow.
Test run was a success! No surging at all! But...I started the blades three times; it died twice. I am worried that when I put on the power flow bagger it will be worse because there will be even more of a start up load. I plan to take the deck off and look everything over. But if that continues to be a problem, I probably should start a new thread. Thanks to everyone that took the time to read through this and offer your thoughts. I really appreciate it!!!:thumbup1gif:
 

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Glad to know you persevered and things worked out for you. Thanks for reporting back.
Most Kawasakis I've run in Deeres seem to bog badly when engaging a mowing deck. I haven't seen a torque chart for them, but obviously they don't have enough on the lower part of the RPM scale. I've noticed when I greased the deck spindles on my sister's LX188 x 48" the engine bogs more for a while. It can't engage the deck at anything under half throttle until the engine is fully warmed up. It's one heck of a mowing machine there after!
Check out the spindles and idlers with the belts off. Keeping the underside cleaned out helps too.

Again, happy to hear you solved one problem. :bigthumb:

tommyhawk
 

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Glad to know you persevered and things worked out for you. Thanks for reporting back.
Most Kawasakis I've run in Deeres seem to bog badly when engaging a mowing deck. I haven't seen a torque chart for them, but obviously they don't have enough on the lower part of the RPM scale. I've noticed when I greased the deck spindles on my sister's LX188 x 48" the engine bogs more for a while. It can't engage the deck at anything under half throttle until the engine is fully warmed up. It's one heck of a mowing machine there after!
Check out the spindles and idlers with the belts off. Keeping the underside cleaned out helps too.

Again, happy to hear you solved one problem. :bigthumb:

tommyhawk
never mind seems what i was posting has already been said
Best of luck
 
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