17HP Kawasaki won't run without choke most of way closed

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by genesis215, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. genesis215

    genesis215 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Hi all,

    I've got a 2003 48" Exmark Turf Tracer HP with the FH500V 17HP V-Twin Kawasaki engine. I bought it used last spring, and as long as the choke is almost completely closed it runs perfect. No smoke or missing.

    I used it all last season this way, and it performed just fine, but now that it's winter, I'd like to get it operating correctly.

    When I open the choke all the way to normal running mode it leans out and acts like it's run out of gas and dies. When the choke is completely closed it does start right up every time first or second pull (recoil start), even in the cold. And if you leave it on too long, it will run too rich. So the choke works, just for some reason when opening it, you can only open it so far before it runs too lean. It's supposed to run normal with the choke all the way open, but it doesn't.

    I don't have many ideas as to what might be wrong. Maybe a clogged jet? Bad fuel pump? The fuel filter and air filter are new and good. Spark plugs are new. Like I said it runs perfectly when the choke is in this certain position.

    Any ideas? I greatly appreciate your help.
  2. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    Run about half a can of Sea Foam to a full tank of gas in it. I bought a mower one year that ran like this and that's what I did to it. After about 30min I had to cut the choke off. I think it's the high side of the carb that's stopped up.

    I MOW ALONE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,961

    carb needs to be cleaned sounds like main jet is plugged.

    I MOW ALONE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,961

    your luckier than me lol. i have never had seafoam work on a plugged up carb not once and i have tried. pull the carb and soak it and then use compressed air to blow out jets.
  5. cariboulou

    cariboulou LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Ive got almost the same issue with my 13hp honda on my pressure washer. It runs great at half choke but starves for fuel when I open choke. When and if you clean out carb, make sure you not only clean out the jet but the nozzle that sits on top of it. thats how it is on my honda with a float bowl carb.
  6. genesis215

    genesis215 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Thanks a lot, I MOW ALONE.

    I took the carb off, swapped it with a carb off a blown 17HP Kawasaki I had laying around, put it all back together, and it runs great, no more problems! Thanks again! I'll plan to clean the other one for a future backup carb.

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