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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all -

I picked up an LX188 last Spring and have been loving it. I bought a plow blade for it and had really low expectations for it but I've been totally amazed at how much snow it will move. I haven't fired up the snowblower yet! And the plow gets down to the pavement better - especially for light snow and ice. We had a snow/ice storm yesterday and it suddenly stalled on the first trip back up the driveway. It didn't want to stay running. At first I thought it was running out of fuel. It has a full tank but I thought maybe it was starving for fuel. As it warmed up it got a little better but will only run on full throttle. I was able to plow with it, but it's way down on power. After it ran for about 15 minutes it would stay running at part throttle but wouldn't take any sort of load. Then I noticed (saw and smelled) that it was leaking fuel from somewhere. I assume the carb itself.

I'm wondering if there's any common problem areas with these where I can start trouble shooting. I'm thinking either a stuck choke or stuck float on the carb.
 

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I picked up an LX178 last spring and in doing research while working on it I think the carbs on these are known for having dirt & gunk issues.
 

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I picked up an LX178 last spring and in doing research while working on it I think the carbs on these are known for having dirt & gunk issues.
Thanks. I'm leaning toward junk in the bowl that is preventing the needle from seating and flooding it. I guess I'll have to take the carb off. Again. It didn't run when I first got it because the carb was all gummed up from sitting. It's run fine ever since - until yesterday.
 

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Thanks. I'm leaning toward junk in the bowl that is preventing the needle from seating and flooding it. I guess I'll have to take the carb off. Again. It didn't run when I first got it because the carb was all gummed up from sitting. It's run fine ever since - until yesterday.
I'd also replace the line all the way from the tank to the carb. A new filter wouldn't hurt either.

We had the same storm. Looked promising in the morning until it changed to all rain.
 

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Sounds like you already have experience r&r the carburetor for cleaning and that may be the problem. I have a couple tips to pass along if this one has the Mikuni brand carb. on it. When you clean it, be sure to hold a clean rag over the inlet pipe and blow air from inside to out through the inlet. Look for a little speck of black stuff about the size of pepper. Sometimes a tiny piece of rubber (?) gets stuck in that small passage and causes off and on fuel blockage. I don't know for sure if this debris is from a deteriorating fuel pump or fuel lines.
Some of those carbs. might have the electrically operated solenoid fuel shut off that can be troublesome.
If the fuel is indeed leaking from the carb. vent pipe, chances are the needle/seat has some dirt or junk causing the trouble.

Be sure to inspect the fuel pump and fuel lines for leakage. Gas leaking from any of these areas is a big concern as it can drip down on the muffler. NOT GOOD! If the F/P is not leaking but is the older style one with a weep hole only, please consider replacing it with the newer one that has a pipe with a long hose to route leaking fuel far away from the muffler. I like to add a long hose to the carb. vent and route it to behind the front axle, too. Didn't seem to cause any problem.

Here is a photo of the old (bottom) and new (top) style F/P if you are not familiar with them.

IMG_3061.JPG

tommyhawk
 

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If you think its junk in the carb, run some seafoam through it and see if that clears it up first. I have had some success on my JD 400 with using seafoam.

Good luck with your repair, sucks to have to do it in the winter though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took the carb off today and blew it out. Put it back on and it wasn't getting any fuel. The float had stuck. I took it apart, inspected it, and put it back on again. This time it would only run wide open. I adjusted the governor per instructions I found on the 'Net and now the throttle appears to be working as it should. But it's worse now. Same problem as before, I believe, but worse. I think it's fuel starvation. It will only run full throttle, but RPMs are not what they were before (though that might have to do with me messing with the governor). Anything other than full throttle and it hunts badly. Won't go below about half throttle without stalling. I can drive it around at full throttle, but it's down on power. Under a load, even at full throttle, it will start to hunt. If I choke it, it will recover but only at full throttle.

I'm thinking there was indeed some junk in the carb and I've managed to further lodge it into the air passage. The fuel filter looks good (it's clear) and it's full when it's running.

We're getting 3-6 inches of snow tonight so I'm pretty much hosed. I dug out the snowblower but would much rather figure out what's wrong with the tractor.
 

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I took the carb off today and blew it out. Put it back on and it wasn't getting any fuel. The float had stuck. I took it apart, inspected it, and put it back on again. This time it would only run wide open. I adjusted the governor per instructions I found on the 'Net and now the throttle appears to be working as it should. But it's worse now. Same problem as before, I believe, but worse. I think it's fuel starvation. It will only run full throttle, but RPMs are not what they were before (though that might have to do with me messing with the governor). Anything other than full throttle and it hunts badly. Won't go below about half throttle without stalling. I can drive it around at full throttle, but it's down on power. Under a load, even at full throttle, it will start to hunt. If I choke it, it will recover but only at full throttle.

I'm thinking there was indeed some junk in the carb and I've managed to further lodge it into the air passage. The fuel filter looks good (it's clear) and it's full when it's running.

We're getting 3-6 inches of snow tonight so I'm pretty much hosed. I dug out the snowblower but would much rather figure out what's wrong with the tractor.
Sometimes carbs are just toast. No amount of cleaning will bring them back to proper operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sometimes carbs are just toast. No amount of cleaning will bring them back to proper operation.
As much as I hate to throw money at the problem without being 100% sure of the diagnosis, I did order a new carb. These aren't terribly complicated machines. It's definitely a fuel delivery problem, and the pump is pumping strong. That really only leaves the carb itself. I hope....
 

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As much as I hate to throw money at the problem without being 100% sure of the diagnosis, I did order a new carb. These aren't terribly complicated machines. It's definitely a fuel delivery problem, and the pump is pumping strong. That really only leaves the carb itself. I hope....

I don't think you will be throwing money away. Check the shaft the throttle plate screws to. You want to look where the shaft goes through the housing. Any side to side play will reek havoc on the fuel mixture. Sometimes the linkage hides the problems. Carb bodys warp causing leaks. Also passages get blocked by dirt and corrosion. That you can never seem to get out.

I recommend checking inside the tank for debris. Also the fuel lines, pump and filter. You don't want any chance of contamination getting into the new carb.
 

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I fought with the problem for 3 years and bought and cleaned (multiple times) 3 carbs. I cleaned the tank to surgical standards, added new and better filters and replaced all hoses. The pump was disintegrating internally and sending small bits of rubber straight to the carb. Replaced the fuel pump and haven't had a problem in almost 2 years. Small black "bits" are the telltale sign.
 

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The new carb fixed it. I think I'll replace the pump, too.

I don't have the RPM range I had before but I'm sure there are adjustments I can make. It idles a lot lower and RPMs won't go as high as they did before. But, I'm not sure I really need super-high RPMs. Previously it did seem like RPMs got higher than maybe they should have been.
 

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The new carb fixed it. I think I'll replace the pump, too.

I don't have the RPM range I had before but I'm sure there are adjustments I can make. It idles a lot lower and RPMs won't go as high as they did before. But, I'm not sure I really need super-high RPMs. Previously it did seem like RPMs got higher than maybe they should have been.
I would check/adjust the governor again. Now that it's running right. The carb should have a screw to adjust the idle.
Also remember that when you have the throttle on full rabbit. The governor will not let the carb throttle plate open completely until it determines the engine under load. Only then will it open all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would check/adjust the governor again. Now that it's running right. The carb should have a screw to adjust the idle.
Also remember that when you have the throttle on full rabbit. The governor will not let the carb throttle plate open completely until it determines the engine under load. Only then will it open all the way.
I set the governor per some instructions I found. The process, it said, is to hold the throttle wide open with the governor rod and then turn the governor shaft all the way counterclockwise and tighten the clamp. It seems to be functioning as it should as it does maintain the RPMs under a load. I can hear it adjust. I think maybe I just need to adjust idle speed on the carb. At the lowest (turtle) setting, it's barely running and the battery light flickers. All in all it seems to run much better, though. Not that it ran bad before but it just seems smoother.
 

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Wondering if all you needed to do was replace the float needle, since you'd mentioned several times the float sticking. At any rate, a new carb is a new carb, so it's all good now.

I agree your idle or something throttle related is still too low as per your noting that the battery light flickers.

I especially like the idea of replacing the fuel pump "as preventative maintenance" if it can indeed clog a carb. My two tractors still have their original pumps, and I'm not often in the mood to go diagnosing expensive carbs ... especially if an ancient pump is secretly sabotaging them. That's the sort of mindf*ck that can cause a person to sell the entire machine at a loss if they can't figure it out. :)
 

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Well I'm back. After a few months of running great, it's doing the same thing now with the new carb. No I did not replace the fuel pump. Coulda woulda shoulda.

I'm going to replace the pump and clean the new carb out.
 
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