fuel in crankcase-fuel shut off valve.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 65hoss, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I had to take my exmark 12.5 hp kawi into the shop yesterday. It sat for 7 days because of rain. All my other mowers sat beside it. I go to crank it and put it on the trailer and nothing happens. I decided to wait until later and got the Lazer HP and the encore and took off for some leaf jobs.

    That evening I tried again, it cranked and ran really bad for about 5 seconds. Then the crankcase vent poured gas and oil into the carb. I took it to the shop and they drained about 1 gal of gas from the crankcase. They said its because "I" didn't shut off the inline valve. Well, the 14 hp kawi sat beside it without a problem. Matter of fact, it sat there for about 2 weeks. Because I didn't shut the fuel off they don't want to warrenty it.

    For the fuel to get thru like that the float must have been stuck, that is the only thing I can think of why the fuel would have poured thru the carb.

    What do you guys do?

  2. jordanlawnsrvc

    jordanlawnsrvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I always shut off the valve when the mower is not in use and usually between jobs too, for that reason. It's just a habit now. I have a Little Wonder cart blower that does the same thing. The float sticks and fills the crank case (the carb needs rebuilding or replacement) so I shut off the valve immediately after stopping the engine and change the oil more often for now.

    I run a few tablespoons of carburetor cleaner in the gas for all of my equipment on a regular basis to help cut any varnish. You might try cleaning the carb this way. If it works it might save buying a new carb. Higher octane fuel for a while might help too.

    Be sure and change the oil and filter immediately. Do not run it with gas in the oil. Consider changing the oil and filter several times until your'e confident that the carb is not leaking anymore. And, last but not least, check your plug for fouling after sucking up all that oil.

    So the dealer is saying that the float sticking open is controlled by the valve? Hmmm. Duh...Why do you need a carburetor on your engine then? Sounds like a warranty item to me, based on what you said. I'm not familiar with Kawasaki, but I can change the carb on my Briggs 18 in about 15 minutes or less. So, it should be easy warranty money for your dealer. Why is he hassling you? Shutting off the valve does not fix the problem. But, yes you should turn it off anytime you're going to leave it set; for safety and because the float may stick open.

    Just MY opinion. I'd like to know how you get it fixed.
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    All the servicing the shop is doing, oil change, plug, and took the carb apart. This motor is only 7 months old, so I shouldn't be having any problems yet. There is less than 50 hrs on this machine. I sent an email to an exmark rep I know to try and get his help on the warrenty issue.

    [Edited by 65hoss on 02-27-2001 at 08:46 AM]
  4. Dave

    Dave LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 315

    as being a kaw dealer i would change the needle/seat and float.and if that did not work ,i would change the carb.from what i can see your dealer can,t be bothered,or he is not a warrenty kaw dealer,Manufacturers and dist,seem to be on another planet some times I have seen manufactures tell the dealer ,we only use there engine ,you have to have the engine fixed by a warrenty dealer for the engine,good luck
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Hoss when that hapened to me it just needed a carb kit.
    That was a few yrs ago on a briggs.
  6. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    shutting the fuel valve is not the problem. i never close fuel valves unless i'm making a long trip or storing for a long period of time. It sounds like to me you need a new needle and seat. It should be warranted. These can go bad for many different reasons, bad gas, water in gas, dirty gas, sitting for an extended period of time, etc....... your mower may have sat in a warehouse for months prior to delivery to your dealer. These things happen all the time. You've got a good engine, with proper maintenance it should last you a long time. I rebuild my carbs 1 or 2 times a year. It is cheap maintenance. The last thing you want is to run too lean or rich.
  7. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    If your carb is leaking like that it can ONLY be one thing - a problem with the needle valve/float assembly. I would check these (float and needle valve). Make sure that they seat properly - you can do this by blowing air through the gas intake line (slowly!) and then closing the float. If the air stops as the float rises - you're OK. You may also want to check to see if there is something stuck (dirt, grass,etc...) in the seat for the neddle valve. This could also cause the gas to leak as the neddle valve is not fully seating.
    Finally, just shutting off the fuel line is not the answer. It's a quick fix - but it's treating the symptom not the problem. This is a relatively easy problem to track down and fix. If your dealer is worth anything as a mechanic, he should be able to fix it in 5 minutes in the parking lot with about $15 of parts (max). If he tells you anything else - start looking for another dealer! Good Luck.
  8. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    As I told 65Hoss yesterday when he asked me this question, I have never shut off the gas on my old Chopper. I have never rebuilt the carb on it either, but the dealer should take care of this problem free of charge, at least a good dealer would. Good luck. ;)
  9. russman

    russman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I had a similar problem with an much older Exmark last year. It kept flooding itself out if I didn't use the gas shut off. I later found out that there was a small pin hole in the float and when that would fill up the whole motor would flood. Gas anbd oil in the crank case. Just thought it might be a place to look
  10. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    russman is right - check the float carefully too. They don't often go bad (especially the solid/cork ones). But, one pinhole could be enough to weight it down enough to allow it to leak. Your dealer should definetly warranty this at 7 months - these engines usually carry a year warranty and this should definitely be covered.

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