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Oh yeh, one more thing. and that's it for the night, I promise!!

Posted Thursday, March 19, 2009, at 8:49 PM

Can anyone answer a question about the fuel system on a 17 hp kohler mower engine? I've done all the troubleshooting I can except for the carburetor. Does it have a fuel pump?


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Many many thanks. I am bookmarking that page and may print it out, since I would not carry my laptop out to the engine.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 11:30 AM

Here's A Little more to look at.

http://www.kohlerengines.com/common/reso...

Hope it helps. You can do all of what I told you Steve. I know you.

-- Posted by herewegoagain;-) on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 10:47 AM

Thanks so much. I was hesitant to look too deep in the carburetor in case there wasn't anything there to check. Crud in the fuel bowl could explain the unpredictability factor.

The manual did not break down the carburetor to know what was in there. They just said it should be taken back to Sears. It might have to go anyway, but I can at least KNOW it needs to go back. Sludge in the bowl does not need brain surgery and I think I can handle that.

Thanks for the detail answer. That took some time and I truly appreciate it.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 10:41 AM

FYI you can clean the solinoid with carbuater fluid, if it is just stuck from sitting up.

-- Posted by herewegoagain;-) on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 10:25 AM

There are 12V fuel shut-off solinoid the holds the carb. bowl on at the bottom of the carb. when you turn the key on it opened and lets fuel flow. you should here a click when the key is turned in the on position. You can probe with a multimeter set on DC volts with the key on touching the wire to the solinoid and the other to ground. should read 12.38 or so volts (what ever the battery is producing)

If still not sure it's working move the tractor outside (if working inside) due to raw gas will be come out of the carb. (FIRE HAZZARD). you can disconnect the wire. using a 1/2" or 9/16" open end wrench I think. turning it CCW as viewed from the bottom looking up and unscrew it. Your carb. bowl will probably have some crud in it. you may want to wash it, the carb float, and squirt some up the center hole to clean it out.

with the fuel shut off solinoid off reconnect the wire and ground it out against the engine block or oil drain pipe and turn the key on you should visually see the end of the solinoid move up and down as you turn the key on and off. or using you batt charger touch the red clip to the wire and the black (ground)to the side of the solinoid which will actuate the solinoid by completing the voltage curcuit.

Now to get it back togather. The bowl has a rubber 0-ring to seal it against the carb. and a gasket on the solinoid. These can be used over 95% of the time if you are careful when installing the bowl and solinoid. (usually you would want to lubricate the o-ring thin coat of vasoline jelly works well) Slip the bowl on the carb. hold it with one hand and thread the solinoid on finger tight. Look for a pinched o-ring, if not visable then tighen the solinoid remembing how tight it was when you loosen it.

If there was alot of crud in the carb. bowl you may want to change the fuel filter also.

you may also have a bad fuel pump if the solinoid is working and the carb. bowl wasn't full of crud. too know for sure remove the rubber hose at the carb. (HARD to get to and get off, Use WD40 or something to lub the rubber hose to the carb to lubricate and make it easier to slide off without tearing). ("RAW FUEL" Fire hazzard) attempt to catch the raw gas spriting out of the fuel line at the carb by attaching another hose long enough to put in a container to see the fuel pump action); now with the fuel line dissconnect at the carb. and the spark plug removed crank the engine over, you should get fuel spriting out the hose in a pumping action.

you also may have alot of crud in the gas tank and may have to remove and clean it out or it will just plug up again. I see this happen alot with the amount of corn gas being used now days.

Good luck

-- Posted by herewegoagain;-) on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 10:10 AM

By the way, something I did not state, but anyone diagnosing will probably want to ask is if the fuel filter is installed correctly. Yes, the flow arrow is pointing in the direction of flow.

What is happening is that fuel gravity flows freely from tank to filter, through filter, to carburetor UNTIL it is attached to the carburetor. The tractor runs fine until it empties the fuel filter at which time the obvious occurs, it runs out of gas.

This makes me think there is either a vacuum lock or block. It does not seem to matter if the fuel tank cap is loosely attached, securely or removed.

Now this is getting kinky, but I can blow on the fuel tank fill opening and hear bubbles in the carburetor and it fill up the fuel filter, but as you might envision, this is not practical nor enjoyable.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 9:54 AM

i'll ask my husband.. i will do some research also.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, Mar 20, 2009, at 8:09 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.