kawi fh601v runs on 1 cylinder (sometimes)

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by bruno_rs, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey guys i've got an older bobcat zt219 with a 19 hp kawasaki fh601v (350 hrs. on whole machine). started "acting up" today.

    first i noticed when throttling down there was a SLIGHT back fire. a couple hours later, it began to run on 1 cylinder. stopped... pulled the plug and i verified NO spark on one side. crazy thing is, started it up to load on the trailer and within a second or two the "dead side" kicked in and both cylinders were firing again. i returned to cutting however it did happen a few more times, throughout the day.

    any idea what is going on? i've never had to do anything to these engines, other than basic maintenance. haven't pulled the shroud, yet... what might cause 1 side to have spark and the other nothing... coil? regualtor? moreover, why would the "questionable" side work intermittently? i always thought if a coil, reg., etc. failed, it would fail completely. hoping one of you experts have run into a similar problem and/or can help me out here. thanks, looking forward to hearing your answers. have a good one.
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    There are too many ways for a electrical component to fail especially coils, They can spark fine cold but drop it after getting hot. You let the unit sit and cool then it started firing again. Replace the coil and the problem should be solved.
  3. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    thanks resto, i thought it would most likely be the coil. can you think of anything else, in the electrical system, which would allow one side to fire and the other not?
  4. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey resto, just a follow up and to make certain you know exactly what is happening with the engine.

    the engine did this on the first lawn of the day. initially i thought the sluggishness and/or rough running was due to spec of dust/dirt in the carb. cleaned the carb with (spray) cleaner and it seemed to work after a few "shots" HOWEVER after cooling off it did the same thing for about 30 seconds and the dead side fired up again, without me doing anything. throughout the day, i noticed ever so slightly, the engine would surg alittle more than normal under strain (hills/high grass). also, it indiscriminately ran on 1 cylinder a couple more times, for a period of approximately 30 seconds and then corrected itself... very weird.

    not sure if this changes your thoughts but i wanted to make certain you understood exactly what was happening. thanks again. have a good one.
  5. bruno_rs

    bruno_rs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    hey guys, probably should have looked up the schematics before posting... i did not realize this engine had dual coils. i'll take your advice resto and replace the coil. thanks again. have a good one.
  6. robfam

    robfam LawnSite Member
    from mi
    Messages: 3

    mine has 2 new coils and still it only runs on one
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I realize it's a different machine but my Echo which I just short-blocked...
    Ran fine yesterday until it ran out of gas, I dropped more fuel in it and then it started sputtering, like miss-firing.
    Still ran but acting so silly, almost like when an Echo hasn't warmed up yet, it runs but you ain't getting far, that kind of silly.
    And it wouldn't straighten up so I finally put it away and grabbed another trimmer, to finish the job.

    I would check Coil gap, and Spark plug gap.

    Because on my Echo, after I got home I regapped the coil, and now it runs like a champ.
  8. ratfink

    ratfink LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I don't really work on Kawi engines but typically there are diodes somewhere near the mags that if they failed in an open state to shunt current meant for the plug to the ground. Your multimeter's continuity test against the diode flow should tell you if the diode failed. Sorry can't be more help.
  9. robfam

    robfam LawnSite Member
    from mi
    Messages: 3

    i have regaped coils and put in new plugs . worked great !!!.then two weeks later started doing all over. this sucks.:dizzy:

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