Hard starting Kawasaki 420V

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by johnb143, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. johnb143

    johnb143 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Hello all -

    At the beginning of this season, I bought a 48" Encore walk-behind with a Kawasaki FC420V engine to maintain a commercial property I own. I have an ongoing problem with the engine starting hard. Initially after I bought it, I was using the choke right away, and occasionally flooding the engine. After 2-3 times like that, got in the habit of pulling it a couple of times with the throttle in the run position to see if it would start without choke.

    Meanwhile, it developed a habit of consistently dying about 20 minutes after I started mowing. Ran it in to the dealer 2 weeks ago about the dying issue...they "adjusted cables" and suggested that when I start it, I run it all the way down to idle and then back up to the run position. I took that as kind of an implication on their part that they thought I was running it too rich.

    Ran it again last week (first time back from dealer), started fine, ran fine for about the 2.5 hours it takes to mow the property.

    Went to start it this morning, started on 3rd pull, idled it, engine died as soon as I started to increase throttle. Wouldn't restart. Let it sit for a while, tried again, wouldn't start. Pulled the plug, looked dry, felt dry. Still wouldn't start after it sat again for a while. Tried spraying some starter fluid in the air intake...engine would fire long enough to consume the starter fluid, then die. Let it sit awhile again while I consulted manuals/internet. Tried some more. Finally got it to start and run...engaged blades, mowed about 45 feet, died again. Would then let me start it with the choke engaged, and would die immediately.

    I can't figure out if it's flooded or fuel-starved, so I parked it and will try again tomorrow. Not really excited about trailering it up to the dealer, as loading it and driving it the 10 miles or so is guaranteed to break free whatever is causing problems.

    Looking for some suggestions from others with FC420V engines...if you flood them, how do you get them started? This one acts like it's a one-time deal...if you get it started in the first 3-4 pulls in the morning, it's golden. If not, you might as well park it. Any other things I can be looking for for fuel delivery? I have a translucent fuel filter, and I can see fluid in the filter, although it's never "full". Any thoughts welcomed. Thanks.
  2. Redneckn

    Redneckn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    If it is flooded, the plug should be wet with fuel. I tend to think that you have something else going on. perhaps something with the carb is kind of what it sounds like. it also sounds like the dealer may not exactly what is going on either.
  3. johnb143

    johnb143 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Yep, that's why I was thinking maybe fuel starved. I'll try it again in the morning...will be interesting to see if it fires up right away (although I don't know what that will then indicate). The wierd part is that it worked fine the last time I used it, which was post-dealer visit, so unless I have something intermittently failing...

    Glad this machine is for single-property use, if I were a LCO I'd be really upset with the performance so far. It cuts great once it's up and running, but it certainly hasn't proven itself reliable yet.
  4. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Sounds like a plugged fuel filter. Filter will have fuel in it, but is not going through.
    Sometimes a little will seep through, enough to let the mower run briefly.
  5. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I would suggest cleaning the carb., There may be some trash or water causing the problem. This is a fairly easy task and if it isn't the repair at least the carb. will be eliminated, But it sure sounds like it.
  6. johnb143

    johnb143 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks guys. It fought me this morning, but I finally got it started, then it slipped back into its usual behavior of stalling out while operating (2nd gear, blades engaged) and while idling for short periods (neutral, blades off, full throttle...while opening a fence gate). So I documented all of this and took it back up to the dealer. They're going to take another look, but the counter guy was thinking coil replacement.

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