Agriculture and Farm Equipment

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I have a 1988 Wheelhorse 518H garden tractor with an Onan…

Customer Question
I have a 1988...

I have a 1988 Wheelhorse 518H garden tractor with an Onan engine. It operates fine for 20-30 minutes, then the revs start to increase and within a minute or so it starts to hunt. I've had the governor apart and it seems to be fine. I've also disassembled the intake system, checked for leaks, and reassembled using a sealant, plus I've played with all of the throttle/governor/linkage/spring adjustments with no success. I had this same problem several years ago and solved it by adjusting the linkage to the governor, but then this latest problem cropped up fairly suddenly and it doesn't respond to the same adjustments. Any ideas?

Mechanic's Assistant: How old are the hoses? And what driving conditions do you most often encounter?

There are no hoses to the intake manifold or the carburetor. My use involves a fair amount of uphill and downhill driving, but that doesn't seem to affect the engine operation.

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the make/model of your car?

Wheelhorse 518H.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?

See first note.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

Can't think of anything.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Agriculture and Farm Equipment
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Answered in 4 hours by:
11/19/2017
Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago
Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Agriculture and Farm Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 4,206
Experience: Technican turned service manager on multiple lines of equipment and rental equipment.
Verified

Hi,let's see if we can work together to get to the root of your problem! will try my best to help!

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Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago

Symptomd are a lack of fuel. The carburetor seems to be loosing the fuel required to keep engine rpm steady. May be debris in fuel tank plugging outlet from tank.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have gone through he fuel system thoroughly, including a new pump, new filters, checking fuel pressure and flow, checking the float level, cleaning the carburetor, and checking spark plug color. A lack of fuel would cause rough running, inability to climb hills, and a loss of RPM, not the increase that I experience.
Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago

Increase of rpm can be fuel mix getting leaner, and then the surging starts.?? Have you tried test line from the inlet of the fuel pump, back into the fuel tank filler opening, bypassing the tank and lines up to the fuel pump??

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I've replaced the fuel elements that you list, mostly as routine maintenance, despite the fact that the old elements looked fine.
Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago

Have you ran the test?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I haven't run that specific test, but I've checked the fuel pressure just before the carburetor and the fuel flow downstream of the needle valve (after it enters the carburetor). I've also shut the engine down in the middle of symptoms and checked the float level. It all seems to be fine, which would not be the case if I had an obstruction anywhere in the fuel line.
Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago

Test is easy enough to run, you can be right, but many times you will find that fuel problem is upstream of the carburetor.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Again, I've replaced all of the elements that you question, and any problem with those elements would show up in the downstream tests that I've run. How is it possible for a downstream test to pass with flying colors when there is an upstream problem?
Mechanic: Curtis B., Technician replied 8 months ago

I will opt out. Maybe someone else can help. Sorry.

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Mechanic: Dan, Technician replied 8 months ago
Dan
Dan, Technician
Category: Agriculture and Farm Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 6,833
Experience: 17+ yrs. shop and field experience with all major brands of heavy equipment, trucks and farm equipment - 1995 WyoTech graduate.
Verified

Hi my name is***** will be glad to help. Please post the engine model and serial number info from the engine ID tag. We can follow up as needed.

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