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Old 05-15-2005, 05:17 PM
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 101
Problems with 17hp Kaw

I have a Gravely 144z with the 17hp Kawasaki engine. The mower now has 45 hours on it and has been to the dealer 5 times over the engine. I really like this mower but I am disgusted with the way it runs. It might mow perfect tomorrow and the next day it will be running along and start cutting out on me to the point that you can't even mow. The dealer says he can't find out the problem since it is intermittant. They have changed the plugs, fuel filter, fuel pump and still not fixed it. I believe they even changed the coils. While the dealer had it they loaned me a great dane with the same engine, and after a while it started acting the same although the dane's engine had 1400 hours on it, so I am not sure if it is the same problem. Has anyone else had problems with the 17hp kaw or is it just me?
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:24 PM
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Cut 2 Please Cut 2 Please is offline
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Location: Montgomery, Al
Posts: 221
I have a 17 Kaw on one of my Exmarks. I have never had the problem you are talking about but mine is hard to start some times. Try replacing your air filter and see if that helps. I know mine starts running poorly if the air filter gets even a little dirty.
52" Hustler Super Z 27hp Koh
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:32 PM
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South Florida Lawns South Florida Lawns is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: usa
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Maybe you are getting contaminates in your fuel system?

Could this be a possibility? If there is dust particles in the fuel lines some how getting past the filter this could cause the engine to run harsh and or cut out. Also make sure that water doesn't get mixed in with the fuel which could mess with engine performance.
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 101
I don't believe it is water in the fuel because it has done this through every 5 gallon can of fuel I have run through it. I have even used water seperator in it and it didn't help any. The air filter has been changed. Any more ideas?
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:44 PM
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dfor dfor is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: So. New England
Posts: 848
I have a 17 Kawi. My first thought was the coils, but you said they were replaced. Second thought is the fuel. I went to a certain gas station a few times, and I remember the mower running awful. My sisters car did the same, I asked her where she was getting gas. Same place. Can't think of what else it could be.
Mama, whats vacation mean???
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Old 05-16-2005, 05:21 AM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 14,655
Hmm... You may be looking at the wrong system. A mower is a group of systems that when put together properly should cut grass. Basically you've got your drive system, deck system, engine system, controls system and electrical system. I really think you should be looking at the electrical system and specifically the safeties. What I want you to do is start the mower and see if you can disconnect the wiring harness without the mower shutting off. There should be a connector on the right hand side of the engine with several wires coming out of it. Just disconnect it. If the mower continues to run try to turn on the blades. If the blades come on you're all set to test the mower.

The next time it starts acting up disconnect the harness and see if it straightens out. If it does then the problem is in the mower's wiring somewhere, probably the safeties. If it continues to act up then the problem is in the engine. Just remember to reconnect the harness or you will not be able to shut the mower off.

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Old 05-16-2005, 07:22 AM
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Runner Runner is offline
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Location: Flint, Michigan
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I was going to go in that direction, but Richard has just explained it to you...actually better than I would have.

Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:57 AM
BobcatZT BobcatZT is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 75
Our 17hp Kawi's were having the same problem. We tried everything, and nothing changed. The spark plugs were gapped at .025, I gapped them at .030 and they been running much smoother.
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Old 05-16-2005, 11:07 AM
jh701 jh701 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: dfw Texas
Posts: 3
My Gravely 44Z was doing the same thing. I drained the fuel, checked all fuel lines etc... no change. What did finally correct the problem was I loosened the screw at the bottom of the bowl on the carb and let the gas in the bowl drain out. Not a problem since. Maybe there was some moisture at the bottom of the bowl.
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Old 05-16-2005, 12:01 PM
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gramps gramps is offline
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Location: port huron,mi
Posts: 242
try gassing at a different station.
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