17 Kaw irratic idle at low speeds, what's wrong here

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Popper357, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    I have a year old 17 HP Kawasaki engine that idles irratically at the lowest engine speeds. Used to run smooth at these same speeds (low throttle). Engine runs well up top, clean filter and oil. Anyone think this thing needs a carb screw adjustment or valve adjustment? I looked for the mix screw on the carb and didn't find one so I am not sure what to do next. I may take this to the dealer but it will cost me several $ I'm sure. Any help please?
     
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Popper, my 19 kaw. (I think they have same carb setup) has done that several times. One time my gas had a little water (condensation from the gas can sitting in trailor) and all other times it was a dirty air filter. Even though the air filter did not look dirty it was. New one solved the problem every time. Kaw. do not like dirty air filters.
     
  3. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,345

    Did you do anything to the carb? It sounds as if it might have an air leak some where. What happens if you turn up the idle screw just a bit? It could be set a bit low. When did this start happening? Has it sat all winter and now does this?
     
  4. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    The air filter has in in excellent condition so the problem sounds like I either have an air leak or the idle is set low, I wonder if the carb has a mix screw? Idle speed is the same as it was new and when it ran perfectly. An air leak or mixture sounds like the problem. Anyone ever used a mixture screw on the carb, I couldn't find one. The air leak would be a bad gasket between the carb and block, right?

    The engine choke doesn't fully engage via throttle lever and I have to manually pull the cable, how do I fix this? Is there a screw on the cable plate that I can adjust? I looked at this pretty good and couldn't tell what did what behind the plate.
     
  5. kmclawn

    kmclawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I have a JD LX-188 with the 17hp Kawi motor in it. Last fall it started surging at low idle but when it was under load it ran fine. I took it to the JD shop and they cleaned out the carb. It works great now. Adjusting all the linkages really suck so I had them do it. The mechanic said it was dirt in the idle circuit. Hope this helps.
     
  6. Popper357

    Popper357 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    Nice... dirt in the idle circuit sounds like my problem. Yea I didn't want to mess with those linkages either. How much did your shop charge for those two repairs, BTW? This mower goes in the shop tom. Thanks for everyones help!
    Ryan
     
  7. KathysLGC

    KathysLGC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,345

    You could of dropped something into the carb when changing the filter. Carbs are not hard to open and clean but if it's going to the shop then let them do it. You wouldn't want to put a gasket on wrong then reinstall it only to find gas leaking....
     
  8. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,701

    It says on the Kawasaki web site that their engines do surge a little when they are idleing and aren't under a load due to a catalytic converter or something like that. I have a 15 HP Kawi V-Twin engine on my 48" Bob-Cat WB mower (which I love), and it sometimes surges a little tiny bit at startup, but after 20 seconds or so it runs smooth. My dealer said the same thing as the Kawi web site, in regard to a little bit of surging.
     
  9. kmclawn

    kmclawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    My local John Deere shop only charges me $55.00 to clean and readjust all the settings. Not to bad and it now runs like new.
     

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