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J.R., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 7445
Experience:  Owner of outdoor power equipment business, repairing all makes and models.
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My lx277 lawn tractor loses power after 10 minutes every time

Customer Question

My lx277 lawn tractor loses power after 10 minutes every time i mow. There doesn't seem to be much fuel getting to the filter after that period. Is this the problem (solution?) or is there something worse?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JBFixer replied 8 years ago.
Hello Gl, I'll see if I can be of some assistance.. I would suspect that the botom of the fuel tank has debris in it and that has caused a fuel flow restriction to the filter... Get a small container, if the fuel tank is equipped with a shut off valve, turn it to the off position. Remove the line before the filter , place the line in a container, turn the fuel valve back on and note how the fuel flow is... *CAUTION* gasoline is EXTREMELY flammable, the slightest source of ignition could cause a fire/explosion.. this would be best done outdoors, away from pilot lights, sparks(switches). Let me know what you find
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not the fuel. I drained and cleaned the tank and purged all lines. One of the plugs is dry and much hotter than the other. If I switch them it happens with the other plug. Is there a cylinder problem. Im a dyi-er but that is not my expertise. I like to learn though. Just don't know where to begin. If it is a problem, why would it run great for the first twenty minutes then fail? Sometimes it will kick back in with a big cloud of smoke for a couple minutes then bog down again. Thats why i thought there was a fuel problem. Any advice is appreciated. I'll even go up on payment if you help me through this. Thanks. Gary
Expert:  JBFixer replied 8 years ago.
Have you checked the condition of the intake manifold gaskets? It could be one is leaking, and once the engine comes up to temperature, with expansion the leak is sufficient enough to cause performance issues.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry for late reply. Went on vacation. Its not the gaskets. They were good but i replaced them anyway. There seems to be no fuel getting to one of the cylinders. The plug is hot and white and dry. It does have good spark however. Also, the tractor smells of excessive fuel when running and i seem to be using more fuel when doing my lawn.
Expert:  JBFixer replied 8 years ago.
Hello Gl, for the moment I will opt out of this one and send it to another expert's attention (got a lil too much on my plate atm)
Expert:  J.R. replied 8 years ago.
If one cylinder is hotter than the other the problem may be that one of the ignition modules is bad. Do you have spark on both plugs?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes. Both plugs are good. The one is very hot and dry. If I switch the plugs it happens again with the other plug, same cylinder.
Expert:  J.R. replied 8 years ago.
I am not talking about the plugs being good. Pull both spark plugs off and the check for spark on both wires.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Both plugs have good spark. I should have stated that more clearly. Any advice is appreciated.
Expert:  J.R. replied 8 years ago.
Do both plugs have good spark after it is hot. Some will work when cold and not when hot.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes. After mowing again with a lack of power, I removed both plugs and checked. The one was so hot it was hard to handle. Both had spark. These plugs were purchased and installed after the 1st time I had trouble. In case you havent read the history, the tractor starts out great then loses significant power after about 20 min. It even stalled once going up hill. Once in a while full power will kick back in for 10 min or so. Plugs arent expensive, I can try a different brand if you think it will help. A friend said he went from champion to auto-lite, had problems, switched back and everything was fine again.
Expert:  J.R. replied 8 years ago.
Use the plugs that are recommended by the manufacturer. Have you tried to run the mower with the gas cap loosened up or off?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Havent tried that. Would that be some kind of air or vapor lock thing? I'll try it next time. Any other ideas if that dont work?
Expert:  J.R. replied 8 years ago.
Yes, a vapor lock. Just return to this question if that does solve the problem and we will keep plugging away at it.