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2016 X738
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Would static buildup prevent the engine of an EFI tractor from shutting off?

2016 X738 with ~265 hours.

Background: Spent several hours Saturday dethatching and sweeping my 2.5+ acre yard using my X738 w/front mounted thatcher and a 52"Agri-Fab lawn sweep. I noticed as I was working that it started to run rough at mid-3/4 throttle but ran fine if I moved the throttle to near 100%. Then when I went to park it for the day, the tractor would not shut off after turning the key. The digital dash turned off but the engine kept running. I turned the key back on and then tried turning it off again with the same results. The engine continued to run until it finally began to sputter and kill itself after about 30-45 seconds. May have been a little shorter as I was more focused on getting a wrench to disconnect the battery. I bought the tractor late last fall and have put less than 10 hours on it since then. This was my first extended use.

In speaking with my brother about it, he brought up static may have factored into it. Saturday was very hot and dry in MN. Like, desert dry at 15%-18% humidity. He thought the metal thatcher tines connected to the tractor via the QH may have created a buildup of static electricity that didn't dissipate until after I shut the tractor off. Plausible, yes. But possible?

As this is an EFI tractor, there was no excess gas in the carb to burn off and the key should have disconnected any eletrical source as the digital dash did turn off completely.

As a follow-up to further confuse things, I finished thatchings and sweeping last night for a couple hours (cooler with higher humidity) and it ran fine the entire time at mid-3/4 throttle and shut off without any issues whatsoever.

Has anyone every experienced anything like this and is there something I should check for wear/tear?
 

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First thing I would do is pull the spark plugs and see what they look like.

It's possible for an engine to run on like that from excessive carbon build up in the engine. More common in diesel engines but possible for gas engines as well.

Next is to inspect the oil and see if you are consuming any. Also check the oil to see if it smells strongly of gas.

The kawasaki engines don't like to run at half of part throttle. You should keep the RPM in the green range on the dashboard while doing anything with the tractor.
 
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Electronic fuel injected shouldn't 'inject' without activation of the injector(s).
Carbureted will keep drawing fuel as long as there is airflow thru the venturi.

Mechanically injected diesels will run on if the fuel shut-off doesn't fully shut off the fuel or if an injector pump fault occurs --- OR if there is another fuel source (oil, combustible vapour) it can burn.

Diesel vehicles in chemical plants often require a positive mechanical air shut off to prevent diesel run-aways.


I don't know what happened with the x738, but wonder about a stuck relay not disconnecting power from the EFI control.
 

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... he brought up static may have factored into it....He thought the metal thatcher tines connected to the tractor via the QH may have created a buildup of static electricity that didn't dissipate until after I shut the tractor off. ...
Actually I would think the exact opposite - the tines touching the ground would dissipate any static charge. Ever see chains hanging down from buses/ambulances/etc.? That's what they are there for. As x738 said, on EFI engines, once you shut the key off the injection pulse would be stopped.

Edit: Come to think of it, they keyswitch is common to all this stuff - powering up/down the relays, grounding the coils......so maybe those internal contacts are sticking. Also, it's probably a bad idea to pull a battery cable on these things while it's running. That may end up being very expensive on the electronics.
 

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I ran across nearly the same issue with my 2014 X734 a couple months ago. I went digging through my technical manual and stumbled upon the following information that I suspected may have been the cause of my problem. I cleaned my air filter and re-filled my gas can at the gas station using fresh fuel. Haven't a clue if stale fuel or clogged air filter was the issue but it's been about 100 hrs. since then without any problems.

"
791404
 

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Actually I would think the exact opposite - the tines touching the ground would dissipate any static charge. Ever see chains hanging down from buses/ambulances/etc.? That's what they are there for. As x738 said, on EFI engines, once you shut the key off the injection pulse would be stopped.
I believe the chains are the "auto traction chains". They are activated in bad weather for extra traction. They spin under the traction wheels. At least that is what they are used for in Virginia.
 
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