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Small Engine Repair Forum
Forum topic/blog entry started by Darren on 8/25/2006 3:34:03 (server time).
This topic has been viewed 23764 times.


problem with 19 HP Kawasaki engine

Hi, I'm having an issue with the 19 HP Kawasaki engine on my Dixon Kodiak mower and dealer has no clue what the problem is.  Problem started last year, resulted in replacement of fuel pump, issue returned couple months later.  

The problem I am having is engine will sputter/hesitate/surge and eventually stall.  This year same dealer could find no issues, felt it was the mulching kit on the 50 inch deck causing engine to bog down and quit. He took mulching kit off, told me to switch to premium gas.  Now, couple months later, same problem again.  I disconnected the fuel line, fuel pump working just fine.  I let mower run 20+ minutes at full idle last night, not so much as a sputter.  I engage the blades, mow less than one strip and it sputters, cough, dies.  When this happens I have to fully choke it to get it to restart.  I have a Donaldson air cleaner and one suggestion a friend has made is to remove the safety filter (the one the main filter slides over).  Any other suggestions anyone can make would be very helpful.

I will not go back to this same dealer, when I got the mower back in June he had broken the throttle cable and did not reinstall all of the parts, the Dixon rep and another dealer had to come to my home and fix all of the stuff that was broken by the other dealer and I can't just keep throwing good money after bad.  I'm getting desparate as I spent 6600. on this mower last year and love the way it mows and the time savings.........WHEN IT WORKS!.
Reply from/

2/14/2008 3:09:04
I had the same problem with 19 hp Kawasaki on a Scag and replaced the in-line fuel filter.  I had replaced a spark coil and I don't know what else but used the mower all 2007 with no problems after replacing the fuel filter in late 2006.

[Posted from : UNITED STATES]

8/18/2008 12:13:49
Same problems with my scag mower. I have replaced the in line filter. Where is the spark coil i will check it next. Still having the same problems.

[Posted from : UNITED STATES]

7/30/09 12:55:29 PM
I am having a problem with my 19 horsepower kawasaki engine on my Exmark.  It has about 1200 hours on the unit.  The problem is it is hard to start after the engine has been hot.  I start the mower in the morning with no problem.  I cut one yard and let the mower set while I trim.  After trimming for about 20 minutes I try to restart the mower.  It is always difficult to start after it has been hot.  I have cleaned out the vent in the top of the gas cap which has helped but it is still difficult to restart after the mower has been hot.  The longer the engine cools down after it has been hot the more likely the engine will start easy.  Any suggestions???Thank you Donald.  e-mail

9/20/09 11:23:28 AM
I have a 61 inch Great Dane ZTR mower with a 25 hp Kawasaki FH721V-AS18 with a similar problem:The engine ran fine but the next time I started it, the engine slows down, the governor advances it, it slows down again.  This cycle is about every two seconds as if I was pumping the foot feed on a car, over and over.I have a shop manual and a parts manual but they are very vague and not much help.I installed new spark plugs (per the manual). No change. I took off gas cap. No change. I disconnected the line from the fuel pump to the engine (per the manual) and fuel pump seemed fine. No governor linkage bent or binding.I have an inline filter but the gas flows freely through it. I suspect the problem is the carburetor, but I am only guessing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

4/4/10 2:19:03 AM
Donald, I am having the same problem with my 19 hp kawasaki engine on my scags mower.  It is difficult to start when hot.  I changed plugs, filters, and still no help.  Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.  

4/26/10 3:51:59 PM
I have a Dixon 19 HP Kaw 50" ZTR with 150 hrs on is it.  My yard is very bumpy and I had a problem with the carb fluttering and starting hard after it was hot.  Took it back to dealer and they put a new carb on it under warranty and it runs fine.  The shop says the Kaw carb has 2 spots where it feeds fuel, a larger one and smaller one and the smaller hold gets clogged with debris very easy this is what causes this problem.  Next time a Honda or Kohler engine for me, the Kaw cycles have always been my favorite but now not the mowers.

6/6/10 1:40:53 PM
I had the same problem with the Kawasaki 19 hp engine on my Great Dane mower sputtering, surging and stalling. I think I fixed it.
After changing the air filter, spark plug, putting new gas in and swapping out the in-line fuel filter for a copper pipe, the problem persisted.
It occurred to me that the problem was exacerbated by being under load, and resolved when load was removed from the engine.
So I disconnected the fuel line at the tank side of the filter and blew into the hose into the tank. After a few seconds I could hear my breath gurgling. On reconnecting the filter, and starting up, the problem was gone. I mowed for an hour with no recurrence. Then I forgot about it, and two weeks later, the problem reappeared. I repeated the process and - voila! no more problem.
Tomorrow I'm going to clean out the gas tank after siphoning off the gas. I think that will permanently fix it.
Hope this helps.

6/20/10 6:09:54 PM
I had a problem with my 19 hp Kawasaki surging at idle.  I replaced the spark plugs, fuel filter, air cleaner, fuel lines and the battery (unrelated to the problem).  Well come to find out after not being able to figure this out, it ends up being that there is some kind of plug in the side of the carburetor that vibrated it self out.  I pick up my mower on Monday and plan on having them show me exactly where this plug is.  Anyways, I hope this helps someone.
The symptoms were surging idle, engine bogging down at full throttle and then sounding like it cleared itself off and on, and fuel filter going from full to empty and then full again.
Gary Bowersock

9/14/10 11:27:25 PM
I had the surging problem at Idle. Took carb apart cleaned with Cem-tool put back on and runs smooth as a dream and has been for over a year!

12/18/10 1:19:10 AM
I had the same problem on my 19hp Kawasaki on my Scag. The dealer told me to change to Champion N11YC spark plugs.  The problem never returned.

1/24/11 9:16:51 AM
I had this problem with my 19 HP Kawasaki also and found the problem myself. The problem was the electric solonoid on the bottom of the fuel bowl. The solonoid would over heat and shut the gas off. After it cooled off it would start back up but would start missing faster each time. It has something to do with the safety of the fuel system. I removed it and put a old style bolt in the place of screw in solonoid. I did this 3 years ago and never another problem. The shop where I went to get solonoid didn't have one in stock so I asked for a bolt to replace solonoid. They would not sell me one because they said the solonoid was part of safety so they couldn't sell me something to bypass it. I went to another shop and told them I needed a bolt to hold on the bowl on bottom of carb. The only thing the gas needs to be shut off before transporting the machine. The solonoid cut the supply of gas going to carb to keep gas from going into cylinder when traveling. You should be turning the gas off each time during transport but it is more important with solonoid removed.

4/5/11 10:42:38 AM
i have had that experience twice. turns out that if you don't change the fuel filter it leans the carb out real bad. has anyone had a problem with the bolt that holds the rocker arm backing out? had the heads replaced last summer $1100.00 dollar fix. Today I was mowing and lost power checked all the obvious things then took of the valve cover had a bent push rod due to these bolts backing out.I noticed no thread locker on theses bolts. Dealer said they don't need thread locker.And he wasn't willing to work with me. Is this a bunch of bull or should they have put thread locker on these threads or not?

10/9/11 5:10:56 PM
I am having the same issue with my Kawasaki - Scag Turf Tiger. I can mow for about 20 minutes and it dies. Ive replaced the battery. Its not the problem. What is? Anyone have any luck figuring out what the issue is?

12/8/11 12:47:58 PM
Start with fuel tank. remove and clean out
next check the hose that's in the tank
(on most mowers there is a screen on that hose, inside the tank)
this could be clogged with something (bug, sediment, gum, etc.)
check all lines to fuel filter and then to the engine and fuel
injector and pumps. only replace fuel filter,(about every 500 hrs.)
the rest should last a long time, before wearing out. (anywhere from
2500 to 10/15000 hours.) Normally

always and i mean always; start with the fuel tank and work toward the engine.
it's less costly from the tank...

i found a black bug on my screen, after weeks of pulling out my hair.    

12/16/11 9:37:41 AM
I am having the same issue with Scag Turf Tiger. Initially, it would let me mow for about 20 minutes and stop. Almost like it was out of fuel or lost power. I could get it started once it cooled off. I could let the mower run at full idle and it ran fine. However, when I engaged the blades it sputtered and died.

Then it quit starting back up when cool and I would have to jump the battery. I swapped the battery and it mowed for 20 minutes and it stopped.  

Now, I cant get it to start at all.

Charging system? or safety solenoid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


12/16/11 9:37:42 AM
I am having the same issue with Scag Turf Tiger. Initially, it would let me mow for about 20 minutes and stop. Almost like it was out of fuel or lost power. I could get it started once it cooled off. I could let the mower run at full idle and it ran fine. However, when I engaged the blades it sputtered and died.

Then it quit starting back up when cool and I would have to jump the battery. I swapped the battery and it mowed for 20 minutes and it stopped.  

Now, I cant get it to start at all.

Charging system? or safety solenoid?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


12/16/11 10:01:49 AM
Emasloski, 20 minutes us about how long your battery will have enough charge to keep the engine firing.  It sounds like it may be going flat while mowing. Its not charging the battery while running.  Seems to likely be an alternator problem or a problem with the charging system wiring. You can check this by putting a multimeter across the battery terminals and checking that the voltage goes up to a few volts higher than the battery voltage , I.e. if the battery is 12v then when charging while the motor is running it should show 13.4 to 14.5v across the battery terminals while running. If it shows 12v or less while running then something is definitely wrong with the alternator that charges the battery or something related, such as the regulator or rectifier. A workshop manual should should you how to check the alternator output as well as the rectifier/regulator output. It can all be checked with a cheap $15 multimeter.

A permanent $5 voltage meter mounted on your dash might be a good idea, simply attached to the + and - battery terminals will always show you if your battery is charging correctly. The reading should rise a little when you have started the engine, if not there is a charging problem.

4/17/12 1:42:38 PM
Hi. We have had similar problems to the above people,with our Kwak powered Great Dane Scamper. After much fiddling with the fuel system,over several days,I noticed that if we touched the right hand spark plug cap the engine would suddenly run a lot smoother. I have cut off the plug caps and replaced them with NGK motorcycle plug caps and 'HEY PRESTO' she runs like a dream and sips the fuel. No more cutting out when you engage the blades either!

8/3/12 1:32:57 AM
Problem: My 19hp Kawasaki engine on my scag runs for 1 hour, then spits and sputters so bad I can't mow.  My dealer cleaned the carb, changed spark plugs.  Still no help, 1 hour then done.  I put two new coil packs on it, but still same, 1 hour and done.  Then my dealer tore the engine down, put new head gaskets and rings on it along with cleaning the valves and springs.  Still not fixed.  I took the screen off the end of the fuel line in the tank and put a new fuel filter on it. Still, 1 hour and I'm done.  I'm in for $855 thus far.  Can anybody help.  I heard it might be a ignition module?  This thing is about to drive me crazy.

9/28/12 11:03:17 PM
Have you removed the gas shut off solinoid from the carb and cliped the little plunger off with a pair of dikes ? If not due so . Allso depending wich carb you have there are hidden ajustments  .If you have the two barrel carb looking down from the the top of th carb there are two little caps the cover ajust ment screws they will be faceing the sky normally rite where the carb fitts up to the maifold. I use a scribe and a small hammer to remove the caps ..Then back the scerews out some and try that.

10/14/12 4:27:29 PM
kawasaki eng blows oil into air breather

4/24/13 1:25:30 PM

5/9/13 2:04:16 PM
My 22 HP Kawasaki  engine  on BobCat Zer-turn  is continuously burning up ignition coils. Replaced both coils after 11 mths old , and now 10 mths later-  I just replaced  1 more ignition coil since it was burned up and and in 1 hour 1 cyclinder started cutting in and out again. Is there anoither component Im overlooking?? Any help would be Great..



5/15/13 5:15:48 PM
I also have a 19hp Kawa Dixon, and having the same issues with bogging down, sputtering, shutting down and not wanting to start. I followed all of the TS ideas that yall have posted with no results until I removed the fuel shutoff solenoid. I found that the plastic plunger on the end of the shaft that blocks the fuel flow was loose from the solenoid shaft. I think that when it got hot, the plunger or plastic end would slip off the shaft and through the venturi action of fuel flow would be sucked back in to its seat. After the engine cools down the plastic plunger tightens back up on the shaft until the engine heats up again and the plastic loosens up from the shaft and repeating the cycle all over again. This solved my issue and hope it helps someone else.

5/16/13 10:17:44 AM
I have a Scag mower with a 19 HP Kawasaki motor on it, was running into some of the same problems. Mine were mostly after mowing for awhile mower would just die. After about 30 seconds would start back up. Mostly noticed this when I would hit rough spots or hills it seemed to die more. Did several checks on fuel system and all seemed fine. While doing one check noticed that when I removed the fuel line from the output side of fuel pump all the gas in fuel filter sucked back up into fuel tank. Now keep in mind this check has to be done after engine has been running for awhile and take all safety precaution when performing this check. The fix I found was to drill a small hole through the gas cap and have mowed roughly ten hours or so without any issues. Would recommend if you choose to try this is to purchase a new gas cap if this solves your issue.

6/7/13 11:22:47 AM
I got a  19hp kawasaki  got a leak in crank housing gasket waz wondering  how hard to replace

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