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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 26038
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a john deere gator 4x2. Engine model FE290D. It will

Customer Question

I have a john deere gator 4x2. Engine model FE290D. It will not start. When I try turning it over it has carburater backfire, but the engine won't fire at all.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 5 years ago.
Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! Lets start with the basics, pull spark plug and see if there is spark. Also with the plug out , put finger with rag over spark plug hole and see if there is compression. If you have spark and compression, put a teaspoon of fuel into the spark plug hole, re-install the spark plug and see if it will fire for few seconds. If it does, fuel problem. If it doesn't, remove the valve cover and see if a pushrod could be off and the valves are not working. Let me know, and we can go from there. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Pulled the spark plug and there is compression and a spark. I put gas in the hole and it never tried to fire. I also tried starter fluid. I pulled the valve cover off and watched as i turned it over and the valves seem to be working. The only sign of any fire is coming from carb backfire.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 5 years ago.
Carbuiretor backfare indicates valve is open, or timing is off. Go back and check the valves for clearance, gap should be .006in. If they are ok, it would seem to be a timing problem. The flywheel key to the crankshaft should be checked. Usually it wouldn't shear on a UTV, but if flywheel has been off, it could happen. How did this problem show itself?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I checked the valves and the exhaust seemed off a little. I adjusted both to .006...I disconnected the carb from the intake sprayed a starter fluid in the spark plug port, and it never fired. Still only carb backfire. This time it actually caught a small flame. The flywheel has never been off and I have owned this from brand new.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 5 years ago.
Could the exhaust pipe be bent closed , where the exhaust can't leave the cylinder?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It looks fine. It is located under the bed of my gator. Should i try to unhook it and then start it?

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 5 years ago.
Might be worth while to loosen it at the engine end and see if it makes any difference.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I took off the muffler at the exhaust manifold and sprayed starter fluid in the spark plug port. It never tried to fire, and still has carb backfire.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 5 years ago.
Everything points to it being out of time.