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James W
James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3700
Experience:  7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
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Have a John Deere Lawn and Grden tractor X585. It stopped

Customer Question

Have a John Deere Lawn and Grden tractor X585. It stopped running Not getting fuel to the carborator. What can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  James W replied 2 years ago.

James W :

Greetings, My name isXXXXX and I am here to help the best I can. My goal is 100% satisfaction. Let's get started.

James W :

Not getting To the carbruetor is different than not getting through

James W :

getting to can be as simple as a clogegd screen in the gas tank

James W :

or a clogged fuel filter or fuel line

James W :

or a bad gas cap

James W :

or even a bad fuel pump

James W :

which of these have you tested

James W :

the gas cap must vent properly

Customer:

I changed the fuel filter only. whwre is the screen in the gas tank? Where is the fuel pump and how do I get to it. Operator's manuel does not say.

James W :

sorry for the delay

James W :

i was waiting on your reply and the question timed out

Customer:

I took the gas cap off and tried to start it but it would not start

James W :

In the gas tank, IF there is a screen,

James W :

It would be right above where the fuel lines fasten to the tank

James W :

If you trace the fuel line

James W :

it will lead from the tank to the fuel filter

James W :

out of the fuel filter into the fuel pump (IF THere is one), out of the fuel pump and into the carbruetor

James W :

again, you said that gas was not getting TO the carburetor

James W :

how do you know that??

Customer:

It runs if you pour gas into the carburetor

James W :

OK, thanks

James W :

This does not at all mean the carburetor is Not getting gas

James W :

to it

James W :

this can mean that the carburetor is not allowing gas to get THROUGH it

James W :

which is exactly where I started

James W :

when you pour gas into the Large AIR opening of the ccarburetor

James W :

you are actually bypassing every part of the carburetor

James W :

and using fuel injection

James W :

so to speak

Customer:

So what do we do?

James W :

We are well on the way to fixing it

James W :

because finding out this is half the problem

James W :

you will need to clean and overhaul the carbuetor

James W :

Unless you can prove

James W :

that the fuel pump IF present is bad

James W :

if there is a fuel pump

James W :

take the fuel hose off of the carburetor

James W :

and turn the engine over with the fuel hose in a can

James W :

of gas goes into the can

James W :

then the pump is working

James W :

Most likely you have a fuel delivery or fuel quality problem.


As engines sit or get older, fuel that is left in the carburetor can turn to gum and varnish and cause this and other problems.


Also, any gasoline that was left in a gas can for a period of more than 30 days must be discarded because it also has begun to turn to varnish.


Today's gasolines contain MTBE and alcohol. (Ethanol) They turn to "Junk and garbage" very quickly. Alcohol absorbs water. And they call it "Oxygenated fuels! It is the oxygen (and the water) that breaks down the organic compounds in the fuel and turns the gas to "Garbage" (Gum and varnish) The fuels we had just a few years ago had no alcohol in it and would store for longer periods of time before going stale.


Fuel stabilizers do almost nothing to prevent the fuel from going bad with the changes in today's fuels. The whole point of a fuel stabilizer is to form an oily film on the surface of stored gasoline whether in the tank or in a gas can. The idea was to keep oxygen away from the gasoline to prevent breakdown. Since the fuel is already oxygenated, the fuel stabilizer concept is null and void. These fuels start to degrade immediately upon the addition of the ethanol.


Do not buy gas from the "Discount" Stations. The discount stations get a reduced price on gas because they may be buying fuel that is nearly 30 days old already. You may be getting fuel that's nearly stale right from the pump when buying from a discount station. Purchase your fuel from the well-known stations such as Shell, BP, Sonoco, Phillips 66 etc.


More than 70% of all of our repairs in our small engine repair business are due to these same issues. You most likely have dirt, gum, varnish...etc in your carburetor plugging up the small passageways and jets in the carburetor.


The carburetor will need to be cleaned and overhauled as well as the rest of the fuel system.


 



  • If you plan to do the work yourself, take pictures with your digital camera or at least make a drawing of where all the linkages, gaskets, and component parts go. Correct reassembly is critical.

  • Remove the carburetor from the engine.

  • Remove all of the non-metallic parts since the carburetor cleaner will cause them to be disfigured decompose and plug the carburetor as time goes on.

  • Clean all parts with carburetor cleaner. You will want to SOAK the non metallic parts in a cleaner bath.

  • Blow out all the small holes and passageways with compressed air.

  • Use a tiny stiff wire such as is found on the twist tie on a loaf of bread or on a garbage bag to open all tiny passageways found in the carburetor such as in the screw, nut, or jet holding the bowl of the carburetor on (if it has a bowl). Make sure to look for tiny holes in the bottom and side threads of the bowl nut or nozzle a make sure they are clear with the wire.

  • Wash the carburetor cleaner off of the metal parts by washing them in warm, soapy water then rinsing with clean water.

  • Dry all carburetor parts by blowing it off with compressed air.

  • Make sure that all the passageways are blown dry before reassembling (you do not want water back in the carburetor).

  • Reassemble the carburetor using a NEW carburetor rebuild kit.

  • NOTE: DO NOT TRY TO REASSEMBLE WITHOUT USING A COMPLETE CARBURETOR KIT! You will just end up having to do the job again.

  • Find the Model, type and serial or code numbers off of the engine and take them to your local dealer to get the carburetor repair kit.

  • ALWAYS clean the fuel tank and replace the fuel line when doing this repair or you may have to do it all over again. The inside of the fuel line disintegrates over time and these small pieces of rubber will plug up the carburetor too. Dirt and water from a dirty fuel tank will also plug up the carburetor. If this happens, you will be starting over again from the top.


In an Emergency such as a blizzard where you cannot get out to buy a carburetor kit until the plows come through, or during an emergency power outage and you need a generator running even if it runs poorly, you might try the following if your carburetor is the type that has a bowl. Sometimes this procedure works:


While the carburetor is still mounted to the engine:



  • Pinch the fuel line with a pair of vice grips to stop the fuel from going to the carburetor.

  • Remove the bowl nut (or nozzle from the bottom of the carburetor and let the fuel drain from the bowl.

  • Carefully remove the bowl from the carburetor without letting the needle and seat and float fall out of position (if it does, no big deal, but you will have to reassemble it, which is harder with the carburetor on the unit).

  • Dump all of the Gunk out of the bowl and put the bowl back into position.

  • Use a tiny stiff wire such as is found on the twist tie on a loaf of bread or on a garbage bag to open all tiny holes in the screw, bowl nut, or nozzle that was holding the bowl of the carburetor on (if it has a bowl). Make sure to look for tiny holes in the bottom and side threads of the bowl nut or nozzle a make sure they are clear with the wire.

  • Reassemble and see if you got lucky.


You may be able to finish the job at hand then clean and overhaul the carburetor correctly when you have more time and a new carburetor overhaul kit.


The nut that holds on the carburetor bowl has several small holes in it. Some are on the sides and one may be in the end. In order to completely clean the carburetor correctly, you Must clean these holes with a tag wire or a jet drill. (If a jet drill is used, DO NOT use a drill that is bigger than the hole or the engine will run too rich.)


 


If you don't feel comfortable with these kinds of repairs, or if the carburetor still doesn't work correctly after your attempt, I would suggest sending it to a profession repair shop with a reputation for having friendly, knowledgeable, experienced service technicians. It would be best to take it to someone who has an "Ultra-sonic" cleaning machine. This machine uses a very mild carburetor cleaner in concert with ultrasonic vibrations to get the very small passageways clean. This method is very effective even when traditional methods fail.


Here is where you can get an inexpensive "Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine"


http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?category=&q=ultrasonic+cleaner


There is a New Product that you can try which is guaranteed to work or your money back (per the manufacturer).


http://www.b3cfuelsolutions.com/html/mib.html


It is designed to help clean the carburetor without damaging the diaphragms and rubber parts like regular carburetor cleaner. Click on this site and it will tell you all about it. http://www.b3cfuelsolutions.com/html/mib.html


The mechanic in a bottle is NOT a conventional carburetor cleaner.


It actually breaks down the varnish into it molecular components and it completely dissolves. It DOE NOT clog up the jets as conventional carburetor cleaners do. Conventional carb cleaners just loosen the varnish and the varnish particles will go into the jets and filters and clog them up.... usually causing much more problems that was originally there. The conventional carb cleaners also will loosen the "GUMK" that has formed in the gas tanks and cause all of that gunk to go through the carburetor as well.


 


The Mechanic in a BOTTLE is a completely revolutionary product that will in many cases alleviate the need to tear the carburetor down and rebuilt it..... unless there is mechanical wear and tear that would require that parts be replaced.


 


In addition, the special formula actually is designed to soften and restore the rubber parts in the carburetor such as the needle and seats and gaskets.


 


Mechanic in a bottle is NOT a cure-all but it can help customer get going in many cases without them having to tear the carburetor apart. If the customer is NOT mechanically inclined, it might save them a trip to the repair shop.


 


Yes I was very skeptical about this product when I first was introduced to it, but the Distributor demonstrated it and we have tried it on many occasions with terrific results.


Otherwise you will have to clean and rebuild the carburetor.


Please feel free to ask follow-up questions so that we can always arrive at the correct solution. We want you to be 100% satisfied.


 

James W :

Full Size Image

Customer:

Gas does not come out of the hose

James W :

When you crank the engine?

James W :

do you have something that looks like this with 3 hoses on it

James W :

Full Size Image

James W :

That the fuel line from the tank fastens to

James W :

then the fuel line goes to the carburetor

James W :

and a crankcase pressure hose goes to the breather of the engine

James W :

If you do not have one, then either you do not have a fuel pump

James W :

of the pump is built INTO the carbuetor

James W :

which is often the case

James W :

can you provide me the model and type numbers of the engine?

Customer:

model# XXXXX EFI

James W :

OK thanks

James W :

This SHOULD be a link to a service manual for your engine

James W :

I could very much be valuable for helping to further diagnose your problem

James W :

and to help repair it

Customer:

We do have the service manuel and read it for some time before we contacted you

James W :

OK, wanted to make sure

James W :

were you ever able to determine if you have a fuel pump?

James W :

OK, looks as if most of these have a 12V powered fuel pump

James W :

and that is where I would start looking first

James W :

then move to the carburetor if it is not only the pump

James W :

but if it is not sending fuel out with the key on and when it has 12 v

James W :

then it needs looked at

James W :

since it is a 12V pump

James W :

it should pump gas with the ign switch in the run position

James W :

aven without cranksing it

James W :

cranking it

James W :

if it is not

James W :

then look at the pump

Customer:

Where is the pump?

Customer:

Where is the fuel pump?

James W :

looking

James W :

on page 2-5 of the service manual

James W :

but like I said earlier

James W :

Usually it is in line

James W :

from the gas tank to the fuel filter

James W :

then from the fuel filter to the fuel pump

James W :

then from the fuel pump to the carburetor

James W, Small Engine Troubleshooting Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3700
Experience: 7 years as Mechanic & Parts Manager for Brother who has Owned Lawn & Garden Repair shop for 35 years
James W and 3 other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  James W replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank You for your help.
Expert:  James W replied 2 years ago.
let me know if you have follow ups.
I will be notified via email of your replies even after you hit accept

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