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GravyTrain
01-11-2011, 11:54 AM
I believe it's either a 16hp or 17hp on a 48" Exmark TTHP probably 7 years old. The motor surges when at idle, revs up, revs down, up, down. Sometimes dies if the throttle is at it's lowest, but will continue to run any other situation. Engage the PTO, everything runs like a dream.

Took it to the shop, they changed out the coils ($200), about a week later, same thing. Took it back, they ran it through test after test and decided that it needs a new carb. This would cost ($500 which includes labor) and they are pretty sure this will fix it. Or, I could replace the motor for $1400 plus a couple hours labor and be assured it is fixed.

The other option, which I will NOT be doing is trading it in for $1000 towards a new Turf Tracer or Vantage. I can't pay $7000 cash and WON'T finance that much.

Has anyone had the surging motor issue before, how did you fix it and I'd like to hear anyone else's input as well.

SunState Lawn Care inc
01-11-2011, 12:10 PM
Had this happen years back. If memmory serves me the carb had trash or water in it. Get some sea foam and try running it through it if not pull the carb and clean it out good. It's not hard on the older Kaws to do. Hope that fixes it if not it was a cheap try before replacing the carb.

GravyTrain
01-11-2011, 12:15 PM
Not sure about the sea foam, but the dealer said that they attempted to clean out every part of the carb they could get to. If I recall correctly, they said that there were a few valves and areas that were not easily accessible, which is why the mower is still having problems, therefore, they suggest replacing it.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Robert Pruitt
01-11-2011, 12:17 PM
Carb. was my thought. first try cleaning it out with a degreaser,or get a rebuild kit. very easy to fix.

SunState Lawn Care inc
01-11-2011, 04:45 PM
Not sure about the sea foam, but the dealer said that they attempted to clean out every part of the carb they could get to. If I recall correctly, they said that there were a few valves and areas that were not easily accessible, which is why the mower is still having problems, therefore, they suggest replacing it.

Thanks for the suggestion.If your not going to try cleaning it then just buy a new one and slap it on. Did the dealer drain and clean your gas tank? If not I bet there is water in the carb.

Robert Pruitt
01-11-2011, 04:59 PM
Hard to believe the carb. would be $500. you can have it off,rebuilt and back on in less than thirty mins.
,

nathannc
01-12-2011, 01:20 AM
I had the surging problem with an old craftsman suburban. I tried to run through some spray carb cleaner, rebuild the carburetor, run guitar string through the channels, even soak it for days in carburator cleaner to no avail. With nothing to lose, I did as one small engine mechanic had suggested on a website, and that was to boil the carb in Tide Detergent. Of course you should remove any O rings and anything else that might be damaged during this process.

During boiling there appeared an oil slick of sorts clearly indicating that the carb was not completely clean despite the aggressive use of the other methods mentioned above. Hopeful, I placed the carb back in service and viola, no more surging.

Tharrell
01-12-2011, 02:21 AM
One of the best tools I've bought lately was an ultrasonic tank from Harbor Freight. It works wonders on the carb.
The way the fuel is today, it doesn't take long to gum a carb up.
Your carb could be the problem if you're lucky.

My dealer loaned me a Z a few years ago that did that and the throttle had no in between settings.
It was wide open or nothing. I can't remember what it was but the engine was going to be used until it blew. Seems like it was a briggs twin 18 hp.

Jimslawncareservice
01-12-2011, 10:22 AM
a few years back i bought a jd 657 that sat for a while. it did the same thing you are describing. i took it to the dealer. in lass than in an hour he cleaned the carb, and the machine ran like new. i had the same problem last year with a wright stander. i sprayed carb cleaner in there and ran sea foam in the gas. it a day or 2 but it ran great after.

i think you got taken on the coil since every coil i had go bad never made the engine surge. why would a carb cost 500? i think i would look for another repair shop if it was me

Robert Pruitt
01-12-2011, 10:33 AM
A lot of companys will replace the coil after warrenty.

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
01-12-2011, 10:50 AM
If they cleaned the carb and it did not help then my bet is on the fuel pump. It's a 27.00 part. Make sure your vacume lines are not all dry rotted going to and from the fuel pump either. It only takes a small crack for it not to work right.

Robert Pruitt
01-12-2011, 11:07 AM
you should take a good look at the fuel lines and filter at the start up every year. so you will not sucking air in the line.

Big C
01-12-2011, 11:38 AM
Air filter plugged?

alexschultz1
01-12-2011, 01:33 PM
$500 for a carb?!?!, tell the guy to go "F" himself

dtc0207
01-12-2011, 02:19 PM
If it is hunting surging at idle the first thing to do is hold the trottle shaft in one postion and see if engine cuts off or stays running this will tell you if it a govonor issue or carb problem, if it is carb it is a block in the idle circuit most likley behind the welch plug if you have a model number i will tell you what to clean on the carb put first do the holding trottle test

GravyTrain
01-12-2011, 04:00 PM
I'll try to hit on some of the points in a generic response.

A majority of the things mentioned (boiling the carb, replacing coils, checking governor) have been checked by the dealer (at least, that is what they have said). I don't recall anyone mentioning the fuel pump, but they have said the motor runs just fine (good compression, no shavings in the oil, etc.) so that is why they think it is something with the carb, stuck in one of the valves that are not easily accessible.

As far as price goes, I had no idea what was reasonable, although it seemed strange that 2.5 hours to replace a carb was the same to replace the entire motor. In most people's experience, what is a reasonable price for a full carb replacement?

At this point, I think i'm going to talk to the guy and get him to lower the price (which is why I need some ideas of what would be considered reasonable) and if this does not fix the problem, have them buy the carb back and I replace the motor. That might seem like a stretch to some of you, but with a new motor, that should get me a long run with no motor breakdowns, giving me time to save up some cash to buy new at some point this year, or next year, and have a better trade value when I do.

If the guy won't come down, I've got another guy that works out of his garage that works on my smaller equipment. I assumed that a certified Exmark dealer would be better equipped to support Exmark equipment. I'm learning quick though that this Exmark dealer is actually a Kubota/new Holland tractor dealer that just so happens to "sell" and "service" on the side. And I do use those terms very loosely.

Gravelyftw
01-20-2011, 08:28 PM
I suggest learning how to work on your own equipment. IMHO i dont know how people can do this type of work and not fix their own equipment. It shouldnt take YOU more than an hour to change the carb on a Kawasaki assuming you have no idea what your doing. I cant see someone who knows what they are doing taking more than 30 minutes to do it. At $100/hr it shouldnt cost more than $50 lol.

tjlco
01-20-2011, 08:51 PM
If an ignition coil goes bad, it'll sound like its running on one cylinder...used to be pretty common on kawi motors.

Clark Griswold
01-20-2011, 10:37 PM
My Kawi 22 does that when the air filter is clogged up with dust & I assume you've already checked it!

Greyst1
01-20-2011, 11:25 PM
Check the orings on the intake manifold. Happened to my viking, did everything you mentioned till i pulled the intake.

bc3xx0
01-20-2011, 11:41 PM
so that is why they think it is something with the carb, stuck in one of the valves that are not easily accessible.


While you're there, ask him when they started putting little valves in the carb.

I'd tell them to get f'ed and find a new person to service it. A new carb would be about 150 or so. (not including labor) Sounds to me you just need the carb cleaned out real good.

Robert Pruitt
01-21-2011, 04:58 AM
you should take a good look at the fuel lines and filter at the start up every year. so you will not sucking air in the line.

i had the same problem with Kohler & Kawi.. cleaned carb,replaced pre-cleaner,problem gone.

GravyTrain
01-31-2011, 04:00 PM
For those interested, it was the carb. Price I was quoted, although I still don't completely agree included several hours of diagnostic work. Of that diagnostic work, several other things were also cleaned, changed, tweaked, etc. Total of $750 got me new coils, new carb, completely cleaned and updated fuel system, as well as several other odds and ends. When I picked it up, it has run better than it has in years.

Was $750 more than what most of you guys would be willing to pay, I'm sure it is, and I wish I didnt' have to pay as much, but so far it seems to be worth it. I'll be using them again to work on my exmark, although I think I'll probably start shopping around different brands for a different walk-behind.

Thanks for everyone's input, your assistance saved me at least 1000 dollars by not putting on a new motor.

Greyst1
01-31-2011, 09:57 PM
Whoa, that's outrageous. Sorry to hear that.

SunState Lawn Care inc
01-31-2011, 11:12 PM
Should have totaly cleaned and rebuilt the carb like was said first then replace the carb yourself if the cleaning/soaking didn't work. It's pretty easy to replace it..... why buy coils if they weren't bad?.

Glad your back running if your happy that's all that matters.

SunState Lawn Care inc
01-31-2011, 11:15 PM
a few years back i bought a jd 657 that sat for a while. It did the same thing you are describing. I took it to the dealer. In lass than in an hour he cleaned the carb, and the machine ran like new. I had the same problem last year with a wright stander. I sprayed carb cleaner in there and ran sea foam in the gas. It a day or 2 but it ran great after.

I think you got taken on the coil since every coil i had go bad never made the engine surge. Why would a carb cost 500? i think i would look for another repair shop if it was me

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