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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 25482
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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i have a john deere 160 with a 12.5 horse kawasaki it works

Customer Question

i have a john deere 160 with a 12.5 horse kawasaki it works fine for about 30 minutes than all the sudden it starts to idle up and down i shut off the mower deck and throttle it down to idle for about 1 minute and it works fine again for about 2-5 minutes and starts running bad again what could be causing it? i have changed the fuel filter and spark plug.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 years ago.
The engine coil or the igniter is probably breaking down from heat. The igniter is the most likely candidate. John Deere # XXXXX the coil # XXXXX XXXXX The igniter acts as a timing device and varies the timing with rpm. One thing you could check would be the battery voltage with unit running, should be 13,5 or more. Also, remove the fuel line at the carburetor and be sure you have good fuel flow, it has a pulse pump, so you will have to crank engine to check the output. Let me know. Thanks.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
changed the coil and igniter it didnt solve the problem took off the fuel line at the carb it was a slight trickle the tractor would stay running too? the weird thing is it seems like the engine is getting hot thats when it starts running bad. i havent changed the oil in a while its full and clean and seems to be getting good pressure. maybe is the govenor bad and how does it work since it is a rod that goess in the engine block. strange design??
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
changed spark plug coil and igniter and the mower is still acting up after about 20 to 30 minutes it idles up and down and almost stalls how do u change the govner its one of the strangest designs ive seen. if i idle it with the deck off it runs fine but if i put it half idle or so it revs up and down ??????????????????????????
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 years ago.
The governor is inside the crankcase, it is not adjustable . All adjustments are made externally on the linkage. The fuel supply with the fuel pump needs a good look at. It shows to have a fuel pump with diaphragms, the fuel pump has to maintain 2.8 psi on the fuel line to the carburetor. Thats a little hard to measure! I wonder if you shouldn't rebuild it or replace it. Theres not much else to do. The governor causing the engine to idle up and down , could be a sign of fuel starvation and not the governor. The engine needs more fuel with blade on than blade off.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
well i changed the fuel pump and that didnt help. i was wondering if the PTO cluthch could be causing my problem? Because it only seems to act up when the mower is on as soon as i shut off the mower deck it runs fine. or when i have on the mower deck at a low idle.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 years ago.
The pto clutch could be a problem, but did you check the battery voltage when the blade is engaged to see if the voltage is changing?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
checked the battery voltage it read 13.8 when running and 14.03 when blade is engaged.any other ideas?

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 years ago.
Voltage is great, did you get the igniter from Deere? Just wondering. The pto puts load on engine, that is only difference . It seems to be heat related, that is why the igniter was my first thought, plus I had one of the same engines with similar problem and it took the igniter to fix it. Have you checked the fuel tank shutoff valve? could it have trash in it ,restricting fuel flow? Could there be anything in the fuel tank? That is one odd shaped tank!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
gotta love a deere, bought the igniter from deere i mounted it away from the engine heat. i also bought some carb cleaner im going to take off the carb and clean it. i will probly do the same with the fuel shut off to. i was wondering if you had info on carb adjustment so i can clean off the needles and jets on the carb just to be safe.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 6 years ago.
The standard needle adjustment is 2 round out, but that is just a place to start, you have to adjust after getting it running for best idle and such. Or just count the turns in to bottom the screw, and reset at the same number.

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