Kawasaki FH680V is hard to start

bdom

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After sitting idle over the winter this engine, on a Ferris mower with 900 hours, takes starting fluid and loads of cranking to start. Same if the engine is hot. Runs fine otherwise. Gas was treated over the winter and now am using fresh fuel with no change. Time to test the fuel pump, or what?
Thanks for your time.
 

bdom

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Have good fuel flow from fuel pump when cranking and disconnected from carburetor.
 

bdom

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Thanks for thinking about my problem. I fixed it. It seems I've forgotten what 16 foot pounds of torque is. The second time I looked at the spark plugs I tightened them and the engine fired after some cranking. I checked with a torque wrench and did some mowing. Seems fine. Have more power. Life is good.
Thanks again.
 

bdom

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After using this mower a few times, it seems that the problem has returned, or was never really addressed. Very hard to start, even with starting fluid. once running is fine with good power. When I went through the troubleshooting chart, I pulled the plugs and tried to demonstrate a spark while grounding them and spinning the engine with the starter. I never saw sparks, but the engine does run once started. Should sparks be visible?
Thanks.
 

gregjo1948

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The gap on the plugs should be .030". There should be a very visable blue spark if you ground the plug or plugs and crank the engine. If no spark or weak yellow/red spark, possible coil problem or bad plug. The coil air gap should be .008"-.012". If gaps are good, try unpluging one coil and check spark plug spark. Then try the other coil. If the spark is good and the engine compression is good, check valve clearances. Intake and exhaust should be .004"-.006"cold. gregjo1948
 

bdom

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Thanks much for your input. Got a spark checker and spark was good. Did compression check and both cylinders were 100 lbs. Took the carburetor apart several times. cleaned everywhere, replaced most gaskets and float and float valve. Engine was still very hard to start but ran well with good power at top rpm. Backing the engine speed down it would surge. Really what was happening was it would not idle. I did take the pilot jets out and put them back in along the way, so I backed them out and it would idle somewhat. What I noticed was that fuel seemed to be leaking out back past the choke into the plastic part that the air cleaner hose attaches to. I finally spent the money for a new carburetor and just put it on the engine. Seems like all is well now. Thanks again for your interest.
 

bdom

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In fact the engine continues to be hard to start. I spoke with a mechanic who suggested a valve adjustment and a look at the flywheel to see if the key had sheared. I looked at the flywheel but did not pull it and adjusted the valves, which were out by 0.005 inch. The engine certainly has more power now, but is still hard to start. However I think I may have stumbled on a cause. The engine has an automatic compression release. I think the spring is broken, which would explain everything. I'll follow up when it's fixed.
 

gregjo1948

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In fact the engine continues to be hard to start. I spoke with a mechanic who suggested a valve adjustment and a look at the flywheel to see if the key had sheared. I looked at the flywheel but did not pull it and adjusted the valves, which were out by 0.005 inch. The engine certainly has more power now, but is still hard to start. However I think I may have stumbled on a cause. The engine has an automatic compression release. I think the spring is broken, which would explain everything. I'll follow up when it's fixed.
I don't believe there is a compression release "spring". The release or relief is done by the valves. When you say it's hard starting, do you mean it turns over hard or you need to crank it over several times before it starts? If it cranks over hard it's probably your valves are still not adjusted correctly. Remove the plugs--turn the engine over until you pass top/dead/center, passed the compression stroke about 1/4 down the power stroke. Now adjust the valves on that cylinder and do the same on the other cylinder. gregjo1948
 

bdom

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Thank you for your interest in my problem. The mower is hard to start, meaning it takes a lot of cranking. Once started it runs great. Better after I adjusted the valves. I think I have them right. I mowed for two hours today. The jury's still out on the problem. But here is the part number of the spring that I think is broken. Kawasaki 921457001 SPRING . What do you think? This spring is part of the mechanism that opens the exhaust valve at low RPMs to allow for easier starting.
 
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