Gravely 260Z with Kawi 25 problems.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by haueterlandscaping, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. haueterlandscaping

    haueterlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hi , I would appreciate some advice if anyone has any to offer. I apolgize that this post is similar to many others, I have been searching the forum, and finding some similar problems, the but the solutions offered do not seem to help. Here is the story. The machine is 3 yrs. old. I have only put 250 hrs on it, and have owned it since new. It has worked flawlessly until maybe August of the 2005 season. At that point it began to act up. What it does is basically just cuts out at random times. Through "fighting" with it, I have discovered that cutting the load ( stopping and disengaging the deck), and turning on the choke will usually keep it running. Now after I have done that, i may be able to turn the choke off and continue mowing the entire day without a problem, or it may just keep acting so badly I can't get anything done for 20 - 30 min with it. It ALWAYS eventually starts working again. Also through experimentation, I have found that removing the fuel line that feeds the fuel pump, and re-installing will often solve the problem(at least for a while). Anyway, i fought it through the rest of last season, and parked it. Well when i was getting equipment ready for this year, I talked to my dealer for suggestions (i have to believe it is a fuel problem.. ), and he sold me a new set of the fuel lines that come out of the tanks. Well that didnt work, so i broke down and took it to the dealer, they installed a new fuel pump. No help. I have continued tinkering with it.. I have been through the carb twice, i have removed the needle from the fuel shutoff solenoid, bypassed pcv, adjusted the governor, i tried feeding the carb with a temporary gravity feed tank i rigged up, i extended the carb. bowl vent, for lack of a better method i hooked up two timing lights and watched when it was acting up, and they flashed right until the motor died, so i dont believe its an electrical problem, and finally i did check the valve clearance when warm, i didnt bother to check the exact clearance since i couldnt find a warm spec, but they did have some free play at TDC.. so im doubting it sucked a valve... So sorry for the long post, but i have to think its best to get all the info out there. The engine is FH721V Kawi. Like I said when its running its running good.. when it wants to act up, its a real pain. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Mike Haueter
    Haueter Landscaping
  2. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    Sounds similar to what happened to me when the fuel filter needed to be changed. I'm going to ask the dumb question, have you changed that?
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Are your gas caps venting properly? Try running with the gas caps loose to see if that helps.
    Could you have an obstruction in your switchover valve that changes which tank you are drawing gas from?
  4. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    I have been having a VERY similar problem with my gravely 44z w/ 17hp kawi. Last time I went to the dealer he replaced engine to deck belt cause he thought it was slipping making the rpms go nutz. That didnt help but the problem has gone away for now. It was so bad last season that I though of just buying a new f#$king engine for it.

    Every time it does this you can see no fuel filter in the small canister that it is in. That is why I thought it had to be a fuel problem as well but I dont know. It has only stalled about 5 times total but it has bee REAL close more times than I can count. Gets to the point where you hafta feather the hydros and go very slow/easy on the unit and/or disengage the deck right? Please let me know if you ever find a definate fix; I will pm you if vice versa.
  5. lucforce

    lucforce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    OK, its a fuel prob.

    Debris in the tank lodging against pickup tube.
    Restriction in pickup tube.
    Trash or water in filter.
    Switchover valve failing.
    Fuel sloenoid failing or losing its 12v for some reason.
    Fuel line collapsing or pinched.
  6. haueterlandscaping

    haueterlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. I finally just went with my gut that the fuel pump wasn't working even though the dealer put a new one on. I installed an electric pump. Fixed things right up.. I have to think that probably the original pump was ok, but there must be a problem with the actuating of the pump.. I dont know much about it.. but it appears to either work on crankcase pressure or vacuum.. So I guess malfunctioning PCV or anything of the sort could cause the fuel pump to not work? I was fortunate to get the engine to act up in the garage for an hour or so.. I just put a hose on the carb bowl drain,looped it up and opened the drain screw so i could watch the fuel level. Sure enough it would drop to a certain point every time the engine would act up. Kinda hard to blame it on anything other than constant fuel supply when u can watch that happen:) Maybe posting that little info will help someone else out.

    Again, thx.
    Mike Haueter
  7. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,249

    Since I have left the shop envoirnment, I have worked on two Gravelys here in my home shop which had similar problems. The first one I worked on I really struggled with, first checking the carb, then replacing the fuel filter, then the fuel pump, with no success. If you notice Gravely pulls fuel from the top of the tank rather than the bottom. When I noticed the fuel line barbs going into the top of the tank it was a dead give away. The barb goes horizontally into the side of each tank and the fuel line hangs horizontally on that barb and a weighted screen holds the fuel line on the bottom of the tank for fuel pickup. Due to the constant movement of the unit the fuel line deteriorates just inside the tank where it attaches to the barb. Gently remove the tank bushing with the fuel line from tank and I'm quite sure you will find cracked fuel lines allowing air to enter the fuel system, therefore an erratic running condition.

    When the tank is completely full you may have no problems but as the fuel level drops in the tank, exposing the cracked fuel lines, air starts entering and therefore the problems

    I later learned that the Gravely dealer 16 miles away was replacing the OEM fuel fuel lines when they arrived at the shop from the factory. Needless to say, they didn't say a word about this problem when I went to pickup the fuel pump as they preferred you didn't find the problem and they would get some shop time at $60/hr.

    When replacing the fuel lines use the 1/4" Tygon which is more resistant to fuel than the OEM fuel line.

  8. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    This makes perfect sense to me. Infact I think this may solve my 17kawi problems! I will try the fuel line replacement and then the electric fuel pump. BTW, after replacing the fuel lines was the fuel filter bowl always full? Also, what electric fuel pump did ya use haeter? Woo Hoo!
  9. haueterlandscaping

    haueterlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I did not even think to watch the fuel level until i had already replaced everything (excepting the electric pump).. so even with the lines and all, the fuel level was dropping below the minimum usable level in the carb. The pump i installed was a "Posi-Flo" 60100 series according to the paperwork. It looks like its made by Purolator. It cost me i think $55.00 at NAPA with hose and fittings.. Note, this is half the price I paid the dealer to install the factory pump that didnt work. :)
  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Well, I was excited that I may have found the cause with the fuel line issue but im afraid not. I went out and pulled the fuel lines with a coathanger and they are either tygon or better than tygon. Dutch, what color/type were your OEM fuel lines inside the tanks? Mine are thick and red; very flexible. Might try the fuel pump idea though, seems like what mine is doing. If you could take some pics of your setup, I would appreciate it hauter.

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