Toro Z589 Fuel Problem--help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MikeSp, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. MikeSp

    MikeSp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    This Toro Z589 with water-cooled, digital fuel-injected Kawasaki engine started having fuel issues at 52 hours -- the electric fuel pump heats up and runs out of fuel OR runs out of fuel and heats up--in any event, there is a sudden lack of gasoline in the fuel filter and turning the pump back on will fill the filter and it suddenly empties. This happens after 30-45 minutes of mowing. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and it starts right up and runs great for another 35-40 minutes of mowing when the whole things happens all over again. Normally the fuel pump is warm, but when the fuel flow stops, the pump gets hot.

    The dealer cannot get to it for 2-3 weeks and then a week for parts means too much down time at this time of year, so I have been putting up with it. The dealer allowed me to replace the fuel tank selector valve and I coughed up the money for a new fuel pump ($171) and neither helped the situation. It also does not make any difference which tank is used.

    Since the downtime while at the dealer is a killer -- can anyone suggest what might be the solution after the fuel tank selector valve and fuel pump have already been replaced and the mower has low, careful hours on it?

    Unless I can get this cleared up ASAP, it will be my first and LAST Toro ZMaster!!! GRRRRRRRRR


  2. Martinson9

    Martinson9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I have experienced the same problem with the same machine. The mechanic at my dealer thinks it might be vapor lock.

    I have only experienced the problem 2 times. There aren't that many hours on the machine and it only happens when it is pretty hot outside. Since you are in KC that is pretty much everyday. We've only had a couple of hot days in Minneapolis this year.

    Both times it happened to me the fuel tank was selected on the right fuel tank. Have you had problems on both tanks? The fuel lines run right underneath the seat near the hyro resovoir and it gets very hot there. This could be causing the vapor lock in the line

    Once I was aware of the problem from the first time I might have found a simple quick fix if it dies on you. I lifted up the seat and took a blower and blew lots of air into the area by the fuel pump, filter and hydro resovoir. After a couple of minutes of doing this the machine started right up.

    This isn't a good permananet fix but it did help me keep mowing. My mechanic wondered about re routing the fuel lines. I had a thought of a small fan mounted down there to move out the hot air.

    Let me know if you found any solution or type of resolution from your dealer or toro.
  3. MikeSp

    MikeSp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Thanks for the response. Yes--it happens with both tanks and is worse when it is hotter. In desperation, since my local dealer was not interested (IMHO, a warranty machine AND a commercial unit gets top priority and he did not feel that way) I visited a Toro "Master" repair service and sales center about a half hour away and the owner acted as though it was HIS TOP PRIORITY to get the issue resolved ASAP and called Toro while I was there. He felt it was vaporlock. Since it was a Monday, Toro dealer support was busy, so the owner of this store indicated he would call back when he had some news. Later that day he did call back after a visit with Toro, one with Kawasaki and a second visit with Toro. It seems it WAS vaporlock and there have been a half dozen cases of that reported due to alcohol blended fuels (they are required by law in Missouri and have been since the first of the year--DUH!!) Kawasaki stated that the only solution was to use their fuel pump designed for that problem and sent one right out and not to use the Toro part number for a fuel pump.

    The new fuel pump's electrical connections and bolt holes do not match up with the OEM electrical connections and bolt holes, so it will take some effort on the part of the service center. That dealer/owner is on vacation this week and will pick up my Z589 next Tuesday at his expense and time -- AMAZING that he made so much effort compared to a dealer that is 3 miles away :mad:. I will report back after the mower is returned with the new fuel pump as well as an evaluation of how well it was retrofitted (am picky--for $10,000, I don't want it looking like a bastard add-on). I am optimistic!!!

    (IF the new fuel pump does not fix the issue, I plan on rerouting the fuel lines since it will cost little and just take a little time)

  4. Martinson9

    Martinson9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Thanks for replying so quick. I'm glad to hear that you are getting something done. Please let me know how the modification works and if it solves your problem. I think most, if not all, gas in MN is and ethanol blend as well. Funny you mentioned that because the mechanic did suggest that fuel could be a contributing issue.

    I know it has to be a bear for you down there. My wife is from the Shawnee area and was just visiting OP and Olathe. She said it was 100F when she was there. I'm glad we've missed all that super hot weather. With the temps you normally get I'm sure that thing is locking up all the time.

    Other than that issue I must say I love this new machine. I added some significant "estates" to my list of accounts this year and this mower eats them up. I have a 52" Toro Z as well and this thing crushes that for productivity.

    Please post back once your modifications have been made and let me know if the problem is fully resolved.
  5. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Messages: 1,625

    Sounds like this dealer wants your business. Return the favor by buying from them every chance you get. :waving:
  6. MikeSp

    MikeSp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Curtis Arnold (owner of the Toro Master Service Center) personally took an immediate interest as has already been mentioned. I gathered that the main conversations were between him and Kawasaki dealer service support. The new fuel pump that Kawasaki shipped out was quickly installed--Curtis even picked up and delivered my ZMaster 589 FREE and the new fuel pump has cured the vaporlock problem. My local dealer is 3 miles away where the expensive ZMaster 589 was purchased and had a different philosophy regarding where warranty work and commercial machines belonged in the service queue and 3 weeks of waiting was unacceptable to me. Curtis Arnold owns a dealership a half hour away in the next state and acted as though this was the most important issue he had to work on -- even though it was not purchased from him. Kudos to Curtis and his fine efforts and YES, he DOES deserved my business from now on. (I was a week away from purchasing either a Kubota or a Scag to replace the Toro with 52 hours on it -- thanks to Curtis, that was not necessary). The right dealer makes the difference!!!!:clapping:


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