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Discussion Starter #1
My X360 just started acting up on me. It starts and runs fine for about 5 minutes and then it starts to sputter, backfire and stall. I've checked the inline fuel filter and it's clean, air filter is clean. Gas is fresh. I haven't gotten into the carb yet. I thought I'd look for some advice before I possibly go in the wrong direction. The tractor has 200 hours on it. I bought it used a few years ago with about 160 hours on it. I've changed the oil and serviced the deck etc. since I've owned it but I haven't done anything with the carb or plugs.

Any advice would be great.

Thanks

Dave
 

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Since you haven't changed the plugs yet, change the plugs and fuel filter. They're cheap. Also consider resetting the ignition coil gap. The manual calls for a gap of 0.008"-0.016". I set mine at 0.010" and it helped my no-restart hot condition. The original coils have been prone to failure, though I haven't heard of them causing a backfire issue, though it's possible.

Since you can start and run fine for a few minutes before it acts up, I'd look into the ignition first. It may be carb, but the original coils get "heat soaked" and start acting up. Have you checked the spark with one of those spark plug checker lights? Available at auto parts stores for about 10 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll change the plugs filter and coil. Do you know what the proper spark plug gap is?

I have not checked the plugs with one of the spark plug checker things. I did pull them out last night to have a look at them and they seem a little whiteish looking.

Thanks

Dave
 

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I'll change the plugs filter and coil. Do you know what the proper spark plug gap is?

I have not checked the plugs with one of the spark plug checker things. I did pull them out last night to have a look at them and they seem a little whiteish looking.

Thanks

Dave
The spark plugs gap is 30 thousandth's, or .030, which is .75mm but I don't know too many who set the spark plug gap with metric measurements. The spark plugs should be torqued at 15 foot pounds and being aluminum heads, you don't want to over torque........

Running some fuel system cleaner through your engine would also be a good idea since it sounds like you use your x360 about 20 hours (approximately) per year. A good cleaning product is Sea Foam and will help to clean the fuel system. Just add it right to the fuel tank and let it work through the system. Also, always make sure the air cleaner filter is clean.

The commonly available pump gasoline sold today is often 10% or more Ethanol. This results in fuel degradation and the fuel system can get "gummed up" from the fuel sitting.

I use Star Tron Fuel Treatment in all of my gasoline powered equipment to protect their fuel systems. When used consistently, this is very helpful in preventing fuel system issues from gasoline. It's not uncommon now for gasoline to start to degrade and almost "crystallize" in fuel systems in as little as 90 days. Using this product can help to prevent these issues.

Please note, the link I provided is for the large size of this product which will treat 256 gallons of gas, you can order it in smaller quantities and at a lower cost. I use this large bottle to refill smaller bottles which I use for putting in our vehicle gas tanks, etc. This product is rated very well for helping prevent fuel degradation issues and keeping fuel fresh.

Also, here is a link to a page which lists many of the specifications of your x360.

Specifications

Please make sure to post a follow up and let us know what you found and how you resolved the problems you are having. It makes the thread helpful for others in the future who might be having the same problems to know what you have done and how the problem was fixed.

Thanks.
 

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As SulleyBear mentioned, 0.030" gap for the plugs. The Kawasaki manual lists it as 0.028"-0.031". Seems the new plugs I put in were already set at 30 out of the box. I checked them prior to install and they were good.

You may not want to change the coils yet, just set the gap to 0.010" first and see if that helps. Coils are roughly $35-80 US each, so you might want to wait for now. I can post the procedure for setting the coil gap and/or a link to the Kaw manual later if you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I picked up a new set of plugs today and had to order the coil. They didn't have it in stock. The plugs were set at the proper gap out of the box. I removed the bowl off the carb. It was clean but cleaned it again and blasted some carb cleaner through the carb without removing it. I syphoned as much gas out of the tank as I could. Is there an easier way to drain the tank? It was challenging to get a hose into the tank because of the way it's designed. I refilled with fresh fuel and took it for a spin. Same result. It ran great for about 5 minutes and then started sputtering etc. I'm hoping the new coil solves the problem. I'll check the gap before I put the new one on. If it's way out of whack I'll adjust it and try it again. I'll also pick up some Sea Foam and run it through the system.

Thanks for the help.

Dave
 

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I adjusted the coils. They didn't look too bad but I moved them in a bit. Same thing. Ran great for about 5-10 minutes and then started acting up. I guess I didn't realize there is 2 coils so I only ordered one. They are $85 Canadian each so I'm not sure I want to throw $170 at it not knowing if that will fix the problem. The alternative is to take it in to get it looked at by a "professional" unless anyone has any other things to try or if it is likely the coils.

Thanks

Dave
 

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Something else to look at/check (plus, it's free...)

My D160 was running bad for a bit and mostly acting up when warmed up but the valves needed to be adjusted. As it turned out, the lock nut on one wasn't tight so the valve was able to move out of proper clearance on it's own. Once I git it back to the proper clearance and locked down it starts much easier and no more popping.

I believe your Kawasaki FH661V should use .010" for valve lash clearance but double check just to be sure.
 

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I adjusted the coils. They didn't look too bad but I moved them in a bit. Same thing. Ran great for about 5-10 minutes and then started acting up. I guess I didn't realize there is 2 coils so I only ordered one. They are $85 Canadian each so I'm not sure I want to throw $170 at it not knowing if that will fix the problem. The alternative is to take it in to get it looked at by a "professional" unless anyone has any other things to try or if it is likely the coils.

Thanks

Dave
Are both coils the same part number? If so, you can use the new coil to trouble shoot both the old ones. Swap one at a time.
 

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Is your gas tank vent clean? Could be stopped up and pulling a vacuum in the tank.
 

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Fuel starvation doesn't usually cause backfiring, but Jim may be on to something with the valve train. When the metal expands after warming up, it may be out of adjustment enough to cause a valve to stay open a little, causing a backfire. Worth looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok thanks guys. I'll check the valve clearance and see what I come up with.

Dave
 
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