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Old 06-03-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
Karolyn
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Help John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

I have a John Deere LX 288 about 10 years old that has been acting like it's out of gas after mowing anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes or so. I can disengage the blades and it runs better or even slowing down sometimes seems to help alittle. Also sometimes when I'm turning a sharp corner or mowing on an angle that seems to kill it. It seems to run better or longer on a full tank of gas before it starts acting up, but especially have problems when it's getting close to 1/4 of a tank. I've tried cleaning the gas cap, and we also bought a new filter at wal-mart .....wasn't the exact filter for JD 288 but listed other JD compatibles and it was our only choice at the moment (small town). It looks just like the original JD fuel filter so we installed it and it didn't make a difference. What else should we try? I've read that there could be something in the gas tank itself clogging it up. Need help???!!! Another thing...I can use the choke when it starts to die and keep it running and sometimes powers back up and will run for a while longer before doing it again. When I turn it off sometimes runs for a few seconds before shutting down.
Thanks,
Karolyn

Last edited by Karolyn; 06-03-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Hi Karolyn and welcome.

This might be beyond your level of expertise but dirty fuel systems are common and I often have to pull the carb down and clean it.

The fact the choke helps does indicate its starving for fuel.

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Old 06-03-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

there could be a filter in the tank that is clogging up when the level gets low.

May be a pump problem too.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Quote:
It seems to run better or longer on a full tank of gas before it starts acting up,
First of all it sounds like a gas tank vent issue, BUT the above quote leads me away from that as it usually runs longer with less gas becasue there is more air to remove b4 it starts acting up, BUT lets start at the tank vent becasue it is easy to test.

TEST: With less than a full tank just remove the gas cap and run without it, (less than a full tank becasue a full tank will bounce out gas ) does it run past 30 mins now? If yes replace the cap or the vent line.

Next, there is a pickup tube that is in the tank and pulls fuel, it can be caught on somehing inside of the tank or if old enough, the ethanol can cause the rubber pickup to curve up, so when the tank gets low, it cannot reach the gas even though there is some fuel still in there.

Cannot speak to your specific model but you need to get to the tank and check the pickup tube...

Carb issues are another possibility but lets start with the easy things first! (not that a carb cleaning is hard, but if you are going to do a carb cleaning replacing all the fuel lines is suggested too, and the PROPER fuel filter is important, even if they look the same they can prevent flow)


Please post back, we can help you get it right!


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Old 06-03-2011, 02:25 PM   #5
Karolyn
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Thanks for the ideas...I will go to the nearest JD dealer and get the proper fuel filter for it and try that first. I will post again after I test it. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

It's not that filter so don't bother changing it. Look for one inside the tank
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

...and most importantly in this day and age of "questionable gasoline", check for WATER in the bottom of the tank and possibly collecting in the carburetor!!! Picking up a slug of water will act almost like a fuel starvation issue (because it is) and also mimic a somewhat plugged tank cap vent.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:40 AM   #8
Karolyn
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Ok, so how do we get in to the gas tank to check the filter in there for debris etc?
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Karolyn, here is a diagram of your fuel system (they have a bit of difference depending on Briggs or Kawi) you will want to check the filter shown, and one of the big thinks is that tube that goes down in the tank (a pickup tube) you need to check it for holes or being broken. Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Use of the dreaded Ethanol blend gasoline can also cause the symptoms you are reporting. I have had one week old 10% Ethanol blend gasoline separate and cause the exact problems you have and employing the choke enabled it to run better. When Ethanol separates from the gas it drops to the bottom of the fuel tank where your fuel pick-up is located and your engine sucks pure Ethanol which ain't good ! Any equipment that sits idle for a while like: boats, string trimmers, chain saws, walk behind mowers, lawn and garden tractors, ATV's, motorcycles etc, etc. are subject to this Government caused problem.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

May not solve the problem right now, but StaBil or other favorite fuel treatment can help with most ethanol issues (Gov't mandated or not)...
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Something I've been doing lately is to shake the filler cans (5gal Eagle steel) good before I fill the equipment. Seems to get the water suspended enough (if there is any) to not have all of it go into the tank in the first pour. Not sure of the results yet... I'm always expecting to see a new informercial on TV with a really neat new snake oil that...

"...guarantees to rid you of that awful stalling and provide a more pleasant carbon footprint experience! Your fuel lines and filters will just love "AlkyNoMore"! Your neighbors will like it too, you'll be so pleasant that they will think you scored a bunch of Xanax!"

WARNING! If taken internally "AlkyNoMore" will clean out your colonic carbon in quick time!
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:19 AM   #13
Karolyn
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

This weekend the gas tank was taken off and cleaned out, it had a little bit of black stuff in it. Also cleaned out the carb and it too had some black stuff. There was a white fan under where I think the seat would be and it was completely jam packed with grass. Of course, I'm sure it didn't contribute to the fuel problem but sure didn't look good. The mower was put back together and Wa La! Runs and sounds better, and no more problems! Thanks all for your input!!!

Happy Mowing!
Karolyn
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: John Deere acts like it's out of Gas...Help!

Excellent! That "white fan" is your transmission cooling fan and keeping that packed grass out of there will help with the cooling. I use a leaf blower to clean that stuff out every time I mow. I direct the air in over the back tires, seems to do the trick.
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