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Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Posted by wheelterrapin1945 72143 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 8, 09 at 12:54

Folks I have a John Deere LX 176 lawn tractor with a Kawasaki 14 HP engine in it. The engine starts perfectly and I can drive the mower about a 100 feet and it will die and not start. You can crank and crank and it will not start. Let it cool for a minute and it will start right up and run the rest of the day with no problems. It does this each week when I got to mow. I was told by someone it might be the electronic board so I replaced it as a cost of $92.00 and no help, still does the same thing. It is not firing.

Someone said it might be the ignitor. Is this a possibility and if so where is it locaed and how hard is it to change.

Thanks guys for the help, it is greatly appreciated.

Paul


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

When it "dies after 100 ft", does it die abruptly, as if the key switch had been turned off? Or does it sputter/misfire while it is dying? Is there any "black smoke" out the exhaust when it dies? Post engine numbers so we might be able to view an IPL for your engine.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Thanks so much for the help. Being a 65 year old grandfather raising two grandkids and laid off from my job of 35 years I am on a very limited income and can use all of the help I can get.

The numbers on the engine are:

Code FC42-0V-ES10
E/No FC420VC69716

The mower had been setting for about 30 minutes when I went out to get these numbers and I jumped on it and it started right up like a new one and it will probably run the rest of the day.

The mower will die abruptly. I do not notice any black smoke and no coughing or sputtering. I checked to see if it was firing and it was not. I had my wife sit on the mower and crank it and I would hold the spark plug wire up against the block and could see not fire whatsoever.

Paul


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Quick dying can be associated with electrical failure, sputter and die is fuel

I'm thinking electronic ignition, (Check for spark immediately after dying failure)

Ignition switch? Possible safety switch the seat, or deck or?


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems(!)

It is definitely a spark issue as I have no spark when it dies. I replaced the ignition switch and electronic board but no help. I shorted out the sfet switch under the seat with a paper clip and no help. I know that I have to depress the brake to start the engine and I would assume that there is a safety switch for this somewhere but I have not found it.

Paul


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

The ignitor should be on the sheet metal shrouding the engine and looks like this. I can't understand why the the spark fails after 100 ft or so and then returns fully, to last the rest of the day.

Photobucket


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems(*)

Thanks Mowie, I will go and look for it. I am assuming it is on the outside of the engine and not under the metal shroud...right?


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engin Problems

***"not under the metal shroud...right?"***
That is correct from what I see on the IPL at the Deere website. Kawasaki lists this engine as "SSO" on the Kaw website (Self Service Oem) which means that Kawasaki does not directly provide support in the parts & service of this engine through Kawasaki dealers. Kawasaki and Deere have an agreement for "all that stuff" to be "proprietary" to Deere. This practice is not too unusual, but it can sometimes cause frustration when you are "forced" to deal with the equipment OEM instead of the engine OEM. Deere is not alone in this, nor is Kawasaki.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems(&)

I sent you a personal e-mail message requesting your e-mail address so I can send you some photos of the outside of my engine and maybe you can point out to me where to look for this igniter. Also, someone said that there was a circuit breaker and a connector block down low by the frame inside of the pedestal area that sometimes causes this problem due to corrosion but I cannot see this either. I may have to remove the battery to see this area. Have you heard of the circuit breaker and connector block causing problems?

Paul

paulmaples@sbcglobal.net


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP photographing method

One means to posting photos in a public forum, click link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Post-it notes


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Apparently, your engine DOES NOT have the alledged ignitor module. If your engine featured the ignitor module, it would be mounted on the cooling shroud panel inside the hand drawn green circle in the image on the left. Absence of the ignitor rules that out as a possible cause. OK, let me study the online stuff a bit more.

Photobucket


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

I knew I was going blind but at least you telling me it is not on the engine makes me feel like I was not totally blind as I could not find the darn thing.

I think I read somewhere that on some models the coil and igniter was an all in one piece and not two separate pieces, maybe this is what I have. What are your thoughs on this.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Post the John Deere serial number. Several different choices in the wiring section of IPL.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

I posted the engine mumbers, where will the John Deere numbers be found?


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems(

The Vehicle Identification Number is:
MOL 176X170986


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

I had one this summer with the failed coil (non igniter model- first one ever. If it were mine I would also verify the grounds are good. On occasion, the engine bolts come somewhat loose and the ground cable can't keep a good ground.There is a ground to the carb as well. The circuit breaker in the lower part of the harness (behind the engine) and the harness can corrode on this vintage. A person for test purposes could unhook the kill wire and see if it happens or for that matter power the carb solenoid to help narrow those issues. I can dig up coil specs if you want.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Someone else mentioned a circuit breaker and a contactor block at the bottom of the steering console down by the frame. I looked into this cavity but the battery was blocking my view and I could not see anything. I will remove the battery and see if I can see this circuit breaker and contact block and I will clean the contacts. Where are the ground wires located so I will know where to look for them?


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

The John Deere website is not any help on this problem. Of course they don't allow you to look at a wiring diagram of any usefullness in seeking out locations of components, just a brief listing of items in case you want to buy something. Anyhow, let's get the pictures into the thread where they might be used as a referrence in identifying the location of the mythical circuit breaker and/or any connectors that may harbor corrosion.
I would be interested in finding out where that "red turns to green" wire runs to from the battery positive terminal in the first photo.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Larry, it will me Monday before I can remove the battery and track down the mythical circuit breaker and the contactor block. When I do I will take some pictures and post them on this forum UNDER THIS THREAD. I will also try and see if I can see where the green wire/red wire terminates. If you look closely at this wire just above the connector there is a crimped on blue butt connector. I bought this mower new and I did not install that butt connector.

I will also go out to the local John Deere dealership and see if they will run me off a copy of the wiring diagram for this mower. If someone on this forum has a wiring diagram for this mower I sure would be interesed in seeing it.

Paul


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

It was the presence of the "non OEM" yellow eyelet terminal on the battery positive cable AND the "unsealed" blue butt splice that caught my eye in the first place. The green wire and the black plastic connector where red wire becomes green wire looks OEM though.
I may be wrong on this, but I think the OEM battery positive cable has red insulation and the small red wire is "integral" with the cable end. For some reason, the OEM battery positive cable may have been replaced. Note the difference in the "style" of crimp when comparing the battery negative cable end to the same on the battery positive cable. The red wire would have been "cut out" of the OEM cable and given its own eyelet terminal in that case. You can be sure that "whoever" did the work was no "purist" in the trade! The yellow eyelet terminal features "heat shrinkable tubing" in its design, but there is no sign that any attempt was made to "heat shrink" it down for sealing the connection against water/corrosion. The "unsealed blue butt splice" is further proof of an "amateur job". My guess is that this wire might lead to a circuit breaker, or a fuse, before going on to the key switch.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

This is supposed to be a wiring diagram for the LX-176.

John Deere LX-176 Wiring Diagram

I will check (redo) all of these connections just to be sure that I do not have a bad connection due to corrosion.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems and how!

Hmmmm! I also notice that this engine does not feature an "oil pressure sender unit" in the usual, obvious places, and an unconnected wire having a "yoke terminal end" is twisted and tied around the wire that serves the carb fuel solenoid. That too looks "non OEM" (in how it IS NOT being used). The Deere website info alluded to the presence of a "low oil pressure light" but it might be an "optional at additional cost" item. Anyhow, if that wire end is "hot" when the tractor is operating, it at least needs to be insulated so it can't "touch a ground" and short out. Yes, a wiring diagram would be so helpful.


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RE: LX176 wiring diagram

Well hush my mouth! Ask and ye shall receive! I'll get right on that.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems!

I have been told that the unused brown wire with the yoke connector was for the optional Low Oil Pressure Light which my mower does not have. I will get some heat shrink tubing and seal it off.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Remove the green plastic cover at the bottom of the tower to get at the lower part of the harness. (The 10MM headed bolts on the side of the battery) The red wire runs to the switch as Mownie suspected.Many times there is a terminal midway that gets funky too. Personally, wouldn't worry about it being a weatherpac terminal. That wire by the solenoid harness is also just like that. Goes nowhere!


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems)

I will move the mower into the shop Monday and remove the plastic cover as you suggested and see what lies hidden in the dark recesses of this area. I will check every connection for corrosion and tightness and take pictures as I go and post them for anyone else in the future who may have this problem..


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

I am "reasonably certain" that the white wire indicated in the photo is the "kill wire". It seems to correspond to wire locations "X4" and "X5" in the wiring diagram. You might want to pull the top shroud off the engine and "trace" the white wire to see if it leads to an "Ignition module" and then on to the "Magneto Ignition Coil". If this is the case, you can try unplugging the white wire from the black? wire indicated in the photo. It appears that "grounding" the kill wire circuit anywhere in the tractor wiring (by closing a safety interlock switch, or turning off the key switch) will kill the spark by grounding the magneto ignition coil "Primary positive lead" (the primary negative lead is already "always grounded", at the other end of the coil windings). The ignition module appears to provide an alternate path to ground for the ignition coil primary wire through a set of resistors. It is probably neccessary (on this engine) that there be some kind of continuous path to ground for the primary positive wire at all times to keep the operation of the ignition coil from arcing internally and self destructing, the resistors in the ignition module provide that very weak ground that keeps the coil safe from its own electrical "flash off". Or, it may be that the ignition module provides a weak path to ground to prevent arcing, or the creation of electrolytic corrosion, at any of the switches that manage the "kill wire circuit". When the actual kill wire circuit is grounded somewhere with the intention of killing the spark, THAT GROUNDING is not through a set of resistors and is such a "complete, dead short" in the coil primary circuit that the magneto coil no longer generates the high tension current that makes a spark, and so the engine is "killed due to no spark". With all that for an introduction and explanation, unplugging the white wire will mean that the "normal things that "kill" the engine (such as seat switch, PTO switch) will be defeated, for as long as the wire is unplugged. Turning off the key switch might still stop the engine by cutting the power to the fuel solenoid. If not, you'll have to plug the kill wire back up to kill the engine. Basically, unplugging the "kill wire" as suggested, will eliminate all the things that are capable of killing the spark with a safety interlock switch, or the key switch (whether intentional or due to a fault). If unplugging the kill wire allows the engine to keep running continuously, without the recent shutting down occuring, we may infer that there is a problem or defect in either the key switch (kill circuit of switch), a faulty or erratic safety interlock switch, or an intermittent "short to ground" of a conductor in the kill wire interlock wiring somewhere. If this turns out to be the case, a systematic process of isolating each component will need to be done. If the engine still continues to "run and quit" soon after the initial start up, we will have to suspect an internal defect in the magneto coil/ignition module area. I'm offering this as a possible explanation. What do the experienced Kaw and Deere folks have to support or "shoot down" this theoretical piece?

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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

Larry I totally agree with your analysis. I think I will drag the mower out tomorrow, if we do not get rain all day, and run it until it dies and then immediately unplug the white wire and see if it will restart. If it does, then I will know that the problem lies somewhere withing the "Kill Circuit" wiring and components and I will trace thewire through each connection and switch until I find the problem. I will keep you advised of what I find.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

My LX176 started stalling out last year. It would have to sit for almost an hour to restart and then I could run it only a few minutes at a time.
Since I figured there was some kind of sensor for heat shutting it down, I took the engine shroud off and found that it was full of accumulated grease and grime over the years. After cleaning and blowing it out (and the fins) as best I could and wire brushing the magnetic section on the wheel, I wire brushed the metal contact flanges on the ignition coil.
What I also noticed was that where the fuel pump is bolted to the housing, there is a round hole behind where the fuel pump is mounted. The same dirt and grit you see on the previous picture of the fuel pump was inside the motor and caked on the back of the fuel pump. Cleaned that off real good too.... The long a short of this is that after I put everything back together, the problem went away and the thing has run for a couple of hours since with no stalling. Maybe you engineers can guess what the problem was....I am just glad it works again!


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

I have a john deere with a 14hp Kawasaki engine. this engine has been setting up for some time at a chicken farm. needless to say it was covered in chicken droppings. The gentleman wanted me to see if I could get it running. I ran the carburetor through the cem dip got the jet and the rest of that cleaned, cleaned the flywheel and magneto. once I got it all together seen that I was getting fire to the plug. yes there is fire. there is compression and although I put gas straight into the carburetor and even in the spark plug hole. I can get it to act as if it wants to start, yet that's all it does act as if it wants to start.


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RE: Kawasaki 14 HP Engine Problems

just a carb soak usually wont remove jelled up fuel deposits. Gotta get in there with a small dia brass wire and a magnifying glass to probe every orifice in every component - blow out with clean compressed air - rebuild with new kit - do not re-use old gaskets.
also pull valve cover to see that valves are not sticking....


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