View Full Version : Kawasaki Engine

11-29-2000, 01:02 AM
I have a John Deere LX172 with a single cylinder 14hp Kawasaki engine (FC420V). It wont start. If you crank it long enough it will pop a little then backfire. I have drained and cleaned the fuel tank and line, cleaned the carburetor bowl, replaced the igniter (small electrical part on the side), replaced the fuel filter, both air filters and the spark plug. I checked the spark and it is good. The fuel pump works. The engine was running great when I put it away several weeks ago. I was using sta-bil in the gas for the last 2 months or so. however, the igniter went out on it about a month ago. The symptoms were the same. It has compression of about 110-120. The tester is old so I don't know how accurate it is. This engine is 10 years old so and this is the first time it won't start (other than the igniter). Maintenance has been performed regularly. Any suggestions?

11-29-2000, 02:03 AM
Are there any OPC switches that might be broken? Check all your connections, levers and switches. My 14 kawi has done this before and it was an opc switch.

11-29-2000, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I didnít check any of the switches. The dealer told me a switch problem would ground the coil and I would get no spark. As it is it does have spark. It is entirely possible that one of the switches is intermittently grounding the coil so it wont start. A burnt intake valve has also been thrown around but I donít see how that can keep an engine from starting. Any other suggestions. I know Kawasaki is a popular engine now on commercial equipment and I can see why. 10 years and this is the first engine problem.

11-29-2000, 11:27 PM
I had a problem with a 121/2 Kaw. Took it to the shop.
After the mower sat in the warm shop, it started. I had been storing it in a rental unit. Temps in the 20's at night. Anyway....30 weight oil was the problem.

11-30-2000, 04:18 PM
It didn't ground mine. I had spark and it would not crank. The switch was broken, and it wasn't making good contact.

lawrence stone
12-01-2000, 09:03 AM
Try using some starting fluid.

Mike Felices
12-01-2000, 12:07 PM
Try changing the oil. My friend had a mower that did teh same thing. I changed the oil for him and it started right up after about 20 pulls. Turns out he put 2-cycle oil in it by accident.

12-01-2000, 12:49 PM
I tried Starting Fluid (ether) but that did not even work. I thought I would get at least a good second or two of running from that but no go. I have never considered that the oil would keep it from starting. The tractor is almost 10 years old and all the safety switches and engine parts are original (except the igniter). I will let everyone know what the shop finds out. Until then if anyone has any other ideas I would like to hear them. Thanks to everyone who has helped out.

12-02-2000, 04:34 AM
The oil will NOT keep it from starting. It could cause it to blow up, but has nothing to do with not running. Heck, you can put no oil in it and it could start.

12-02-2000, 03:11 PM
When the oil is thick as mud it wont start. Been there.
You 65Hoss?

12-02-2000, 03:26 PM
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but he never mentioned it being hard to pull. True, that would indicate the oil. But from what MattG said, I get the impression that it is one of the safety switches.

John DiMartino
12-02-2000, 05:43 PM
Thick oil will keep it from starting,it happens a lot,especially on single cyl engines even more so,because they only fire every other revolution.If either doesnt get it lit off,and the plug isnt wet,try putting a space heater near it and let it warm up,But even so it should run on either.

Vandora Lawn & Landscape
12-04-2000, 11:38 PM
Try removing the safety switches from their connection to the engine. I believe the connect on the right side of the engine if facing from operator's position. Make sure the it's not grounding out via the kill switch wire which is in the rear of the engine. See if it will start with all possible groundings removed. If it still doesn't then the electrical stuff isn't your problem.

Vandora Lawn & Landscape
12-04-2000, 11:43 PM
Also, check the linkage on the throttle and make sure when it's choked the little screw pushes the choke level, not just touching it. The throttle cable could be damaged or bent and not moving the throttle assembly into choke mode. I've had that problem on my 12.5 & 14's

12-05-2000, 11:55 AM
PULL the plug, squirt several drops of gasoline into the cylinder and replace the plug. if it fires several times and then quits, you know you got a fuel delivery problem.

that particular motor is quite cold natured. I think they probably are. on mine, when temp is below 50 degrees, I pull the starter, nothing happens. pull again, one pop. pull again two pops. pull a third time and it will usually go.


12-08-2000, 01:57 PM
Thanks to everyone for their comments. The repair shop called. The engine has a burnt exhaust valve. They are going to replace both valves. It is an extra $10 for the intake valve. Apparently my failure to properly clean the cooling fins under the shroud caused it to overheat and burn the valve. Does this sound right? Moral of the story. Go clean your cooling fins. Any comments are still appreciated