View Full Version : Kawasaki FC540V ignition problems

03-19-2007, 01:47 PM
My John Deere lawn tractors with the Kawasaki FC540V 17hp single cylinder engines are always having problems with weak ignition spark. I like the engines but am tired of paying for $140 coils and $70 ignitor moduals.
Is there a way to convert the engine to use an external mounted automotive type of ignition coil?
Any info would be appreciated.

03-19-2007, 05:45 PM
First of all, which one is going bad? Generally they do not both go bad... You may be replacing parts you do not need to replace.

Also, where are you getting them from? John Deere? Kawasaki Dealer?

The coil lists for 70 and the igniter is 55 from Kawasaki. There is also another coil that might work...it lists for like 44.

There is also an aftermarket igniter available that might work.

03-19-2007, 07:40 PM
I have 3 of the John Deere 265 mowers. They are old but have been very dependable except for the ignition problems with weak spark. I try to keep an ignitor and a coil on hand. I get parts from the Deere dealer and they say there is no bench test for the ignitor and can only check ohms for the coil.
The people at the local auto parts store told me that these engines can be converted to use a standard automotive coil but they did'nt know the particulars in wiring it up. I was hoping that this might solve an on going problem with the factory set up.
Thank You for your follow up on my posting, any info is appreciated------JRL

03-19-2007, 07:53 PM
I had the same problem, bought a relay kit for the starter at the jd dealer and never had anymore problems

03-19-2007, 08:57 PM
Well JRL,

Your people at the auto parts store don't know what there talking about. To install a 12V auto coil you must have points to break the spark and a condenser. This engine has no provision for either.

Your Deere dealer doesn't either, They had rather sell you both coil and igniter and scrape that money in.

I would suggest the relay kit as DaughtryLC stated if you only have weak spark at start-ups. Or you could try a higher cold cranking amp battery to get more power (spin starter faster) for start-up.

Print this test procedure out and next time you stop into your Deere dealer hand it to them.


03-20-2007, 09:06 AM
Thanks for the info. I will check into the relay kits and make sure the batteries are up to specs. Sounds like a much cheaper fix than what I've been doing.
It looks like my Deere dealer does'nt have all the tech. info that he should have or ??
Thanks again to everyone for the advise.-----John

07-18-2010, 08:08 PM
I have a Gravely Walk behind with Kawasaki FC540V-AS03 17 HP engine that I bought it used last week.
Only doing the test cut for 5 minutes and engine die out on me.
There was no spark at all so I checked the coil resistance.
The reading between plus lead and core is 13.89 k ohm, terminal and core is .8 ohm.
I can't find the specs value for this type of engine anywhere online.
Also I 've notice that the ignition module mount out side of the engine with 1 terminal was not connect to any where?.
Its seem to me that the white wire that connect the coil terminal to the ignition key switch must also connect to that module but not sure?
Any one have the ignition schematic for this machine or any idea what I should check on. Please help

07-18-2010, 10:09 PM
Well, For some reason I can't find a spec AS03 engine so I can't tell which ignition system you have.

But here's the proper coil test;


Where does your ignition switch kill wire hook up ?

If a ignitor is required there should be a lead going from it to the coil then the ignition switch would hook to the igniter as well.

Dirty Dawg
12-01-2010, 01:18 PM
Wow, older thread, but seems to be my issue. FC540V, weak spark while cranking. Runs great if I can get it started.

This relay kit mentioned, is it an update to cure an issue such as too much voltage drop to the starter resulting in slow cranking and thus weak spark? Or is it just replaced to freshen the contacts?

Even with a new battery, this engine sure seems to crank hard. Even with perfect valve lash for the auto-decomp to work correctly.

12-01-2010, 05:41 PM
is it an update to cure an issue such as too much voltage drop to the starter resulting in slow cranking and thus weak spark?

Yep, Also make SURE your choke butterfly is closing FULLY.....

Dirty Dawg
12-02-2010, 12:53 PM
Yep, Also make SURE your choke butterfly is closing FULLY.....

Oh yea, choke is good.

Do you know the part # for this relay kit? Dealer is claiming he can't find anything, never heard of one?