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I have a zero turn with a 19 hp Kawasaki on it. I have been having a surging problem with it for a while now. I have taken the carb off several times and cleaned it with limited results. It seems to be running lean since it gets slightly better with the choke out slightly. Fuel filter was changed with no change Any other suggestions on what to check?

This is on a Gravely stand on, not that that makes a difference but you guys are always helpful I thought I would ask here.
 

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Does it have a fuel pump or is it gravity feed? If it has a fuel pump, what is the pressure and flow rate?

Have you inspected inside the fuel tank to make sure there is no debris limiting flow?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Inspected in the tank and also the fuel lines and all is clear. I thought the screen on the intake might be clogged but it does not have one. Did not check the fuel pump. I could check the flow but no way to check pressure
 

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On my X585 which has a Kawasaki Engine but EFI not Carb I had a similar issue with surging, running lean. I thought I had a thread here on this but maybe it was on a different forum. Anyhow a long story short, my issue was with the fuel pump. It wasn't the pump itself but rather the fuel line. I was able to do a fuel pressure test and what that revealed was normal fuel pressure but it wouldn't hold. I had no visible fuel leaks so I pulled the fuel pump assembly and found the issue. On the output of the fuel pump it should be hooked up to a hose that is about 2" long. The fuel pump was spraying fuel into the end of the hose which would initially build up pressure but then pressure would drop since the fuel would start spraying all over inside the tank. You might be able to open the fuel cap and if the tank isn't full you might hear fuel spraying around in the tank. I never tried that, I just pulled the pump and found the issue.
 

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I had the infamous surging problem on my 318 a few years ago. Thanks to the help of this forum. It turned out to be that the intake gasket had failed causing a vacuume leak which will cause an engine to surge. Re-sealed the intake and ran like a dream. Just a thought as something to investigate if you have determined that there is no issue with your carb or fuel delivery.
 
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When you say you've taken the carb off and cleaned it, does that include taking it apart and cleaning all of the jets and passages to make sure they're clear? Most of the surging issue she I've dealt with were due to a plugged jet in the carb or a carb out of adjustment. Air leaks are also a common cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the suggestions. I did take the carb apart and cleaned out the jets but could have missed something. I think I will pull it off again and take it apart to clean. Will also double check the gaskets and pull the fuel pup and check. Will let you know the outcome.
 

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My #1 rule when dealing with any kind of running/performance problems is change the spark plug(s) first. It's cheap, easy, and fixes at least 50% of the problems I've seen over the years. Get that out of the equation and then troubleshoot from there.
 

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My #1 rule when dealing with any kind of running/performance problems is change the spark plug(s) first. It's cheap, easy, and fixes at least 50% of the problems I've seen over the years. Get that out of the equation and then troubleshoot from there.
Also by inspecting the old plugs you can get some data like if it is running rich/lean.

As I mentioned I went through this on my X585 which is Kawasaki powered but EFI not carb. I knew I had a thread where I was going through the diagnostic process and the resolution. It was on a different forum. If you want to take a look at it follow the link below. My case was the fuel pump came off the fuel line so it was just spraying fuel into the end of hose so PSI would go up to spec but then drop off rather than hold pressure. A Fuel Pressure Test would likely diagnose it. This thread had lots of tips from others as I worked through the process.

Performance issues with x585 - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
 

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Check all gaskets first...Head gasket, I take gasket etc.... Then replace feul pump if the gaskets are all good... The gasketd will need to be replaced in order to Che k them correct toy
 

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I have a zero turn with a 19 hp Kawasaki on it. I have been having a surging problem with it for a while now. I have taken the carb off several times and cleaned it with limited results. It seems to be running lean since it gets slightly better with the choke out slightly. Fuel filter was changed with no change Any other suggestions on what to check?

This is on a Gravely stand on, not that that makes a difference but you guys are always helpful I thought I would ask here.
I would opt for the fuel pump. My JDZT started it last year. Dealer gave me a fuel pump to try out. Fixed the problem. Same engine.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I did take the carb apart and cleaned out the jets but could have missed something. I think I will pull it off again and take it apart to clean. Will also double check the gaskets and pull the fuel pup and check. Will let you know the outcome.
There are many tiny passages that can be plugged, I have a tool with small wires of different gauges for cleaning cutting torch tips that I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tried the fuel pump since it was easy but didn't work. As soon as I get a chance I will pull the carb back off and clean again taking care to get in all the holes.
 

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Just an update. Pulled the carb again and cleaned out all the small holes but noticed I missed some the last time in the housing near the butterfly. Poked them out and re assembled. Runs perfect now.

Note to self, make sure you look better for ALL the passages. Eyes aren't what they use to be
 

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Just an update. Pulled the carb again and cleaned out all the small holes but noticed I missed some the last time in the housing near the butterfly. Poked them out and re assembled. Runs perfect now.

Note to self, make sure you look better for ALL the passages. Eyes aren't what they use to be
That's the biggest mistake most people make cleaning a carburetor, they don't get all the passages.

I have a *pristine* torch tip cleaning tool set aside just for carb. cleaning, a jeweler's X10 flip down visor for really
seeing what I'm doing plus the liberal use of compressed air.

Ain't seen a liquid or spray carb. cleaner yet that will get all the gunk out.
 

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Good job on the fix!
I would add that most modern carbs on small engines don't have adjustable needles anymore, just fixed orifices. When all else fails it is sometimes required to very slightly enlarge the appropriate passages to get a rich enough mixture.
As Old Cajun stated, a new set of torch tip cleaners works pretty well but you may need to cut the non textured ends off. Best is a micro drill set, more diameters to pick from.
 

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IMG_0047.JPG


:lol:
 
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