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Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1800
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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I have a deere L120 lawn tractor. It started running poorly

Customer Question

i have a john deere L120 lawn tractor. It started running poorly when I engaged the blades the last few times I cut with it. Now it starts on choke but shuts off after a few seconds of running. I changed the plugs and cleaned the carb but it was no better. Also changed fuel. Any items what to do next?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Hello. Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is***** will be happy to assist you.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Jack, is your engine a twin cylinder Briggs & Stratton?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Will your engine continue to run to leave your choke partially closed?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No it doesn't run with choke on or off or any position. It starts each time the choke is on but only runs for about 10 seconds max.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Have you checked your fuel shut off solenoid?

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Your fuel shut off solenoid should click each time you cycle your ignition switch on and off. It has a spring loaded plunger that must retract, when your ignition switch is on, to allow fuel to flow within your carburetor. Sometimes this part will fail either before, or after it reaches full operating temperature.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No but I do hear it click. This happens when it's cold.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Does this sound like a fuel pump issue?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

It could be your fuel pump. You can check it. Remove your fuel hose from your carburetor, and place it into a suitable container, to catch your fuel. Turn your key to start position, as you observe your fuel flow.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Also, double check your fuel shut off solenoid. Turn your key on and off a few times, to see if your solenoid clicks each time.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I did notice several times over this past summer that fuel would leak from the front of the engine. Could locate where but seemed to be near fuel pump or hose. I couldn't find location but stopped after short time later. Was wondering if pump may have crack and unable to keep suction now.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The leak was more of a spray but unable to locate. But it stopped.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Your fuel pump could very well be the source of our problem.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

There is rubber pulse hose that goes from your valve cover, to your fuel pump. Check this hose for splits or holes.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Shine a flashlight into your fuel tank, to check for sediments that could be randomly clogging the outlet hole on your fuel tank.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

If you check out all of my suggestions above, this will help you and I determine what is causing our problem.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There was sediment in the tank so I removed it and cleaned it. I haven't put it back together yet. I wanted to get all possible sources and order parts. What parts would you sugg ordering.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What online part store would you suggest
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

I can suggest an online store, but it will be difficult to know what parts you need, without doing some troubleshooting first. I do not like buying parts that are not actually needed.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

I can say that if there was sediments inside your fuel tank, it is likely that your fuel filter will need to be replaced, and your carburetor will need to be cleaned.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok I would do the above. Can I contact you after doing that. Not ure how this works.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I replaced fuel filter. Cleaned carb. Changed spark plugs.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Sure. We can continue. There is not a fee for follow up to your initial question. There is a link to our discussion in your email. This link will connect you directly to me. I will get an alert, after you return.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Please wait until we are finished, before you rate my answer.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Did you soak your carburetor prior to cleaning it? Did you totally disassemble your carburetor?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I took everything apart and soaked it. Then used carb cleaner and air.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will try the above and check back in a day or two. Thanks.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

You are very welcome! Focus on your fuel shut off solenoid, and your fuel flow to your carburetor.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thanks.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Very good!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Donald. I spoke with you about my JD L 120. I've been busy and just got an opportunity to clean the carburetor again. I let it soak longer and seem to help. I have a question about a spring that I can't figure out where it goes. Do you have a diagram for the carburetor or can I text you a picture of it. The mower starts but runs a little rough. Feel that this spring is the issue.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 month ago.

Jack, a picture will be great.