View Full Version : 19 HP Kawi Hard to start

08-26-2011, 10:58 PM
Ive got a 2004 Scag tiger cub with a 19hp Kawi. Ive noticed its difficult to start in the am and then even harder to start on the 4th or 5th time. I only use this mower as a backup now and have noticed that when running I notice the clear fuel filter has barely any fuel in it. I disconnect the fuel line from the fuel pump and once I break the vacuum the filter gets half full, but when I reconnect and start engine again the engine runs like normal but the filter barely has gas in it! Ive replaced the fuel pump and the filter and still have the same results. Ive only been using the right side tank, so I will fill left side with gas and try soon. There is no other filters in line and the fuel selector switch seems to work. Anybody else ever have these symptoms?

08-26-2011, 11:41 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about the fuel level in the filter, The element is like a wick and will maintain enough fuel for the carb.

If you haven't done so, I'd start with checking/adjusting the valves. This doesn't cost anything but a little time, They should be .004-.006" both intake and exhaust at TDC compression stroke.

If that doesn't help, I had two units with the same type issue. A ohms test on the coils showed they were weak, New coils solved the issue on them.

BTW; I'm gonna be down your way next weekend..... Plan on hitting the OldTown cruise/car show Saturday night..... :)

08-27-2011, 08:52 AM
Spark plugs need to be checked, gap .030

08-28-2011, 10:56 PM
Rob, will try the valve adjustment this week. How do you go about checking the coils? Are you talking about measuring resistance or voltage?? I have a motorcycle mechanic who's helping me out with this repair so I'm sure can do this. Just don't know what number of ohms or voltage or whatever is supposed to be normal.

Whenever I've run the machine I've always noticed that the fuel filter was always half full with liquid fuel sloshing around in it. Now, I barely see any fuel in the clear filter. To get to TDC should I just stick a screwdriver in the spark plug hole and see when it gets to the top or are there marks on the flywheel of this machine. Its a 2004 Scag tiger Cub with the 19hp kawi.

08-28-2011, 11:12 PM
Here's the valve adjustment procedure, You can bypass removal of the cover to see the coils. Just use a screwdriver as you mentioned, But watch that both valves are completely closed at the same time. If their not your one complete turn away from compression stroke;


Test the coils with a multimeter set on ohm's scale;


Good Luck

08-31-2011, 11:16 PM
Hey Rob, right again!! The valves were waaaayy too loose! After I adjusted them correctly, the mower started up great and I can see fuel being sucked into the fuel filter. I have always seen the in line fuel filter about half full when running and now it looks like it is. I shut unit off and then tried to restart, but battery is totally dead. Could bad coils be draining the life out of battery? I hate to remove all the covers to get at coils but I assume that is the only way to test them with ohmmeter? Ive replaced the seal on the top of the crank so I remember how to get at coils. Plugs were dirty too, Ill clean them and get another battery tomorrow. Thanks for help Rob!!

08-31-2011, 11:37 PM
The coils will not drain the battery, Maybe it was just it's time to go. Never clean plugs, Especially NGK's that are supposed to be in this one. Just replace them and KNOW their good.

Yeah, Cover has to come back off for coil testing. But if it fired right off after the valve adjustment I'd run it some and see how it does, Most of the time coils act up after heating up over cold starting.

Put your meter across the battery post at full throttle and make sure the charging system is putting out between 13.2 and 14.8 volts.....