Friday, November 26, 2010

1999 Kohler 16.5 Engine Carburetor Repair

(Part 1)

This shot is of the Carburetor before removal (Nasty)

Carburetor removed from engine for inspection

Float Bowl removed

This is the electronic fuel solenoid

My previous post of the electronic part ~ of which I never did find out the name for ~ was reinstalled after I did some back track thinking. Being that the part could not be identified it was decided to put it back on and try different avenues. This being said, I pulled all the safety switches wire connections loose that I could find and cleaned them. The toughest one being the blade safety switch which is hidden and tough to get at behind the dash. Leaving the spark plug in the engine but connecting another spark plug to the plug wire gave me electrified results, in other words a good strong spark. So another step in the right direction as before there was no fire at the plug what-so-ever.

Trying the starter she turns over good but still won't fire off. Next step is to replace the fuel filter, maybe it's plugged up. New filter installed then drain the gas and put in brand new gas after blowing out all the line. Next step is to pinch off fuel line, disconnect from fuel tank and attach my little IV fuel bottle to the line, and with float bowl removed, let fuel from the IV bottle run through line; filter; carburetor then in to a catch bowl. Everything seems well here flowing free so re-attaching the fuel line to gas tank then replace the fuel bowl. The fuel solenoid goes back in bottom of carburetor and we give her a go.

Still nothing. Shooting some cleaner in the carburetor throat makes the engine fire up for only seconds. As long as the carb cleaner is constantly fed to carb she runs but as soon as you stop she quits. Pulling the bowl back off it is found to be full of fuel time and again. Pouring fresh fuel in the carb throat makes her run but yet again only if you keep feeding it. This tells me it's fuel starvation.

My thinking here is that the 1) fuel solenoid is bad even though in testing it works fine. 2) the passage is clogged that solenoid shoots fuel through. 3) some sort of vacuum leak.
My wife checking the price of a new fuel solenoid for me (That by the way is not shown in schematic even at mower shop) finds an outrageous price of $64. Out of curiosity she asks how much for a whole replacement carburetor and is told $143 for the unit with the fuel solenoid included. Those prices are way up there for a garden tractor that only cost $1100 or so brand new in 1999 ~ well it was a showroom model. But good grief, $64 dollars for that little solenoid! come on get real.

My wife calls and gives me the prices and asks what I want to do. I say let's yank this carburetor off and run it in my sonic machine first.
When I take off the carburetor I do find a hole in the vacuum line that is fairly large so that could be contributing to the problem. Next step, sonic clean the nasty ass carburetor. We'll post pictures of the process in part 2.

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