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Kawasaki FC540v; a few years back the governor went bad. I…

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Kawasaki FC540v; a few years...
Kawasaki FC540v; a few years back the governor went bad. I tried adjusting the governor, but the engine would still race when started. i tracked down the parts and had the gov replaced.Subsequently no one has been able to get it to run. The first shop reported it had compression, spark and fuel, but would not fire up. I brought the mower 1000 miles to Ohio. The second shop said the timing was off one tooth, made the change, but never succeeded in getting it to fire up. They thought it was an electrical issue so I got them a wiring diagram from on-line.The wiring harness is pretty messed up, but back in the governor issue days the engine still started, often requiring a jump from an automotive battery.The igniter was replaced prior to the gov failing.This engine is on a Howard Price 52" walk behind mower. I have a parts manual for the engine model/code? that was put out by Gravely.Howard Price is out of business. The people who sell their remaining parts have a wiring harness for 232.00I've had this machine over 20 years. It's always been a bear to start.Someone recently mentioned a reed valve in the head may be defective.It is an AS01 or an AS03, don't have that in front of me right now.Also the flywheel is frozen to the crank. I have another flywheel.Thanks,
TomObviously I don't depend on this mower to cut my grass, but I can't send her to scrap yet.
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Small Engine
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 month ago
Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 30,124
Experience: have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
Verified

Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! I don't know it all, but maybe together we can get you a satisfactory answer!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Kawasaki FC540v; a few years back the governor went bad. I tried adjusting the governor, but the engine would still race when started. i tracked down the parts and had the gov replaced.Subsequently no one has been able to get it to run. The first shop reported it had compression, spark and fuel, but would not fire up. I brought the mower 1000 miles to Ohio. The second shop said the timing was off one tooth, made the change, but never succeeded in getting it to fire up. They thought it was an electrical issue so I got them a wiring diagram from on-line.The wiring harness is pretty messed up, but back in the governor issue days the engine still started, often requiring a jump from an automotive battery.The igniter was replaced prior to the gov failing.This engine is on a Howard Price 52" walk behind mower. I have a parts manual for the engine model/code? that was put out by Gravely.Howard Price is out of business. The people who sell their remaining parts have a wiring harness for 232.00I've had this machine over 20 years. It's always been a bear to start.Someone recently mentioned a reed valve in the head may be defective.It is an AS01 or an AS03, don't have that in front of me right now.Also the flywheel is frozen to the crank. I have another flywheel.Thanks,
TomObviously I don't depend on this mower to cut my grass, but I can't send her to scrap yet.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 month ago

With compression, spark and fuel, and it will not fire, timing is suspect, and the timing may be the flywheel to crankshaft timing. You say flywheel is frozen to the crankshaft? Need a pullet to remove it and check the key and keyway. The engine has no reed valve, which would only be used in a two cycle engine, and this is four cycle.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Curtis, A shop in Arkansas spent a week trying to remove the flywheel for an issue before the current one. When I say frozen, I mean FROZEN. The engine ran before the gov was replaced; although it would have scattered itself if let to run with no gov.There is a reed valve, unusual, but confirmed online and in conversation with other mechanic's. In my own ignorance I am going to say it is associated with the valves and not the carburetion.It appears you may not be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of Kawasaki engines. I mean no disrespect, but I'd rather end this conversation here. Many hours have been spent by other professionals scratching their heads over this machine.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 month ago

I rebuild Kawasaki engines and have recently built his same engine from the ground up. Not new to me. I'm 72 years old and have been hands-on starting in 1966 when I graduated as a Diesel tech from tech school. There is no reed valve. Timing may still be off inside the engine, or the valves are not working correctly.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
34;Yes sir no problem,,Just do a test and remove the breather hose from the air filter box,,just let it hang down and put some duct tape over the nipple on the air box,,if the smoke stops and you see oil dripping from the hose you found your problem...I believe there is a valve for the breather under the valve cover that might need replacement,,its a small reed valve if If my memory serves me well.""So that is definitely the source of the burned oil. There is a lot of oil coming into the breather through the tube. I am familiar with that reed valve inside the valve cover.Question is: Is it just that the reed valve is allowing oil to get past it or is there another problem causing excessive oil into the valve cover? Is this a sign of worn rings, faulty head gasket, worn valve stem guides or seals, or something else? I'm wishing it was just that reed valve but something is telling me it won't be that simple."I meant no disrespect.
I spent considerable time on the phone last night with someone who rebuilds John Deere mowers with this particular engine. I was attempting to buy a short block from him and by-passs the issue with my engine. He also mentioned this "reed valve" as a possible contributor to the problem.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The quote is from a forum site on small engines. It is not my question.
Technician: Curtis B., Technician replied 1 month ago

No problem, I just know that reed valves are used on two-cycle engines, and never on a four cycle. You can find a lot of misinformation on the internet forums! I will opt out, so maybe someone else will respond, have a nice day.

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Technician: MowerDocMD, Small Engine Technician replied 1 month ago
MowerDocMD
MowerDocMD, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 312
Experience: Sole proprietor of LaGrange Small Engine
Verified

Hi, my name is ***** ***** I'd like to help you. I see that you've been a few rounds with this thing and I want our interaction to be positive and painless for you. We may need to back up a few steps first. These engines are normally very easy to start, so a hard start very well could be a symptom of the larger issue. So, the reed valve in this engine is also know as a breather valve. It's purpose is to let out excess pressure and to allow the engine to create vacuum. If your's is having oil and smoke problems, there could be an internal issue causing it, or the reed could be broken, but the most common cause of this is a stopped up air filter.

Now, the timing must be confirmed. One of the controls of timing is the flywheel key. The flywheel must come off to check it. If you already have a new flywheel then the answer is to take a die grinder and a cutting wheel and start slicing into the flywheel around the crank shaft. You don't want to cut into the crank if you can help it, but the pressure between the flywheel and crank (it is a tapered fit) must be relieved. The cuts will both help relieve pressure and allow for some penetrating oil to be added between them to aid the removal. Let me know if I've lost you along the way. Sometimes I ramble.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Brian, Let's give it a whirl.1. Hard to start: the mower was used maybe 6 times per year for the past 15 years except the last 5 when not used at all. So the hard start could have been lower compression, weak battery, stale gas, etc..2.The only smoking this mower has ever done has been on start up because the float would stick and gas leak into the oil sump. Finally I wised up and shut the gas off. This also could have lowered compression over the years due to the washing of the cylinder. The "breather valve" only entered into consideration after a conversation last evening with a guy who restores John Deere Mowers of such vintage as having these engines and I was attempting to buy a short block from him to solve my problem. He mentioned the breather valve. I'm going to guess it functions in the fashion of a reed valve and hence the ensuing confusion.3. Regarding the flywheel: I am reluctant at this stage to do as you suggest, primarily because this engine would still start up after the governor failed. It just wanted to rev till it scattered. So I had a new governor installed professionally. The flywheel has never been off of this engine as long as I have owned it; 20 plus years. So the people (2) who have set the timing, once in Arkansas and once in Ohio have not removed the flywheel. The shop in Arkansas had two separate mechanics look at it. The second one recently retired and the first called him in to check everything after he could not get it to start. All have told me it has spark, compression and fuel.
IF and I mean IF my memory serves me correctly the engine had somewhere between 90 and 110 lbs compression when it was running. I have a compression gauge. I used to have a mowing division with my tree and landscape company I owned. I'm no mechanic however.
The Ohio mechanic maintained that the timing was off 1 tooth when he checked/reset it here.I cannot verify that it will fire with ether at this point. I got it back from the Ohio shop partially disassembled, and missing a few bolts.
Can the compression test adequate if there the valves are not properly seating?
The mystery in my mind is; why would an engine that starts not start after having the governor replaced?
Thanks,
Tom
Does the breather valve have anything to do with the delivery of fuel to the the cylinder? PERHAPS, the notion it has fuel is confined to fuel to the carb. Still, what causes a running engine to not run after the gov is replaced/
Technician: MowerDocMD, Small Engine Technician replied 1 month ago
1. Yes, could be.
2. If the oil level is over full, due to gas or over filling, the breather will allow excess oil or oil/fuel to exit to the air filter housing.
3. The flywheel need not have been removed for the key to have sheared. A backfire could cause it to shear. The over speeding, though not as likely, could cause a shear. It really needs to be ruled out, as a sheared key causes excess tightening due to the extra material within the taper. A compression test doesn't always read true due to compression releases. A leak down test gives a better picture of engine health.
Now, I don't know your mechanics, and I do not mean any disrespect at all, But, the fact that you were returned an engine that wouldn't run without a diagnosable reason why makes me question either their skill or their effort.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok, I have a paid for flywheel from a previous issue that resolved itself by bouncing my mower down the highway on my trailer on a return from another shop (a year or two earlier and a different issue; a coil. after which the shop could not get the mower to start). Fortunately, as I related the tale to my two retired neighbors' who opened the one's shop doors daily at 3 pm to watch traffic go by and drink a few cold ones, they said, "Show us". Well, lo and behold. she started to sputter. They brought out a battery charger, poured some beer on the mower, uttered a few incantations, or slurred speech, and she fired right up. I ran her for a year until the governor failed.
Maybe this mower has gremlins. Unfortunately one of my neighbors passed from brain cancer, and they weren't available after bouncing it to Ohio.
As far as the mechanics go I think the Arkansas ones were reputable and gave it an honest shot. They spent considerable time on it after the gov was replaced and responded to my suggestions based on its past behavior. Ultimately they only charged me 75.00 even after storing it for three months until I made my final trip back to Arkansas for the remainder of my treasures.
Now the Ohio guy; well he may have talked a better game than he could pitch, or he just over-extended himself in terms of what he could accomplish. I understand though that a one man show can only invest so much time in a machine and still pay the bills when he can't bill the customer b/c his mower still won't run. He had for a year, but never got slow enough to stay on it long enough. I think he had to re-acquaint himself with it every time he worked on it. He never charged me anything.I doubt I will dive into the flywheel very soon. No heated garage here, and several other irons in the fire. Will we be able to pick this thread up later? I have a retired acquaintance who recently rebuilt my Tanaka gas drill who's willing to work on it when the weather breaks. Then I will have current feedback and observation for you.
Technician: MowerDocMD, Small Engine Technician replied 1 month ago
I think you can, but if not you can grab my handle from here and reacquaint. If you don't want to hurt the flywheel, you can gently heat it with a torch. You might ruin the upper seal, but that's an easy fix once the flywheel is off. Please let me know how it pans out.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Will do. The flywheel was previously under pressure from a puller and penetrating oil for a week, with recurrent tapping. This was done when the coil was replaced b/c when they couldn't get it turn over they thought there was a problem with the stator. They couldn't get the flywheel off and didn't want to break it. I bought another one then, but my beer swilling neighbor'put their spell on it and it ran.
Technician: MowerDocMD, Small Engine Technician replied 1 month ago
Understood. And there could be a problem with the stator. I've seen magnets come loose before and cause excess friction.
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