John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help! - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

I have a JD LX173 with a Kohler CV15 engine. I pulled the carb to clean it out so I could start using it instead of the push mower. It had a bunch of nasty crap in the bowl (see pictures). So I cleaned the carb and put everything back together. It wouldn't run. I pulled the fuel pump and checked it. It wasn't really bad but I switched it out for one from a Kohler Magnum 20 that I knew ran fine. Still no go. So I pulled the carb and soaked it in carb cleaner for a few hours and sprayed it through all the openings and orifices as well with the straw. Still no go!
It only runs when the choke is on and you hold the throttle lever closed via the governor lever. I can get it to "high" idle on it's own by slowly letting the throttle open by hand (holding the governor lever) finally to the point I can let it go completely. At that point it still won't run un-choked. I did spray a bunch of carb cleaner in the carb while it was running too. It took it ok, without stalling. I'm at Whit's end. Now it's just time to throw parts at it unless someone can give me some insight.
I was going to start with a new fuel pump and probably a carb rebuild kit too.
Any suggestions??

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 03:14 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

Simple, There are still plugged jets or openings (emulsion tube, also small holes at the bottom (some carbs)) in the carb. I'm looking at a heated, ultrasonic bath, for some carbs I need to get cleaned.

Check the nut that holds the bowl on, it may have a passage way that is block too.

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 05:03 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

I would price out a new carb, that looks pretty bad.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 05:57 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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I would price out a new carb, that looks pretty bad.
I agree, when they're as corroded and full of rust and deposits as your pictures show it's usually easier and less aggravation to just buy a new carb.

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post #5 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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Originally Posted by RussKish View Post
Simple, There are still plugged jets or openings (emulsion tube, also small holes at the bottom (some carbs)) in the carb. I'm looking at a heated, ultrasonic bath, for some carbs I need to get cleaned.

Check the nut that holds the bowl on, it may have a passage way that is block too.
I actually have an ultrasonic cleaner and it was in there for a while. I may have to stick it back in with a stronger cleaner. I actually took the container that had the carb cleaber and carb in it and set it in the ultrasonic cleaner. It actually did create bubbles through the plastic container and into the carb cleaner. I probably didn't leave it in long enough and I wasn't running the heat due to the carb cleaner.

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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Originally Posted by spokes100 View Post
I agree, when they're as corroded and full of rust and deposits as your pictures show it's usually easier and less aggravation to just buy a new carb.
Dang. I was hoping that was not the case but your probably right on the money (both of you)

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

Well now.. isn't this interesting. Went back to check fuel flow... There is nothing being pumped when cranking so I pulled the "good" fuel pump and found this. Hmm. Something seems wrong here. LoL

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post #8 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

Fixed that. Pumps like a champ... Still no go. ****... I was SO hoping that was the freak problem.

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:14 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

The main jet on these carbs is on the side of the main well. Yours is probably still clogged up. Also, is the after fire solenoid retracting or has the tip been cut off ?

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post #10 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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The main jet on these carbs is on the side of the main well. Yours is probably still clogged up. Also, is the after fire solenoid retracting or has the tip been cut off ?

Thanks for the suggestion!
I am pretty sure I sprayed that port/jet out with the straw but it doesn't hurt to check it out again.
Yes the after/backfire solenoid is working correctly. I actually pulled off the rubber tip just to test to make sure it wasn't the problem as a last ditch effort but it, as I figured, wasn't the problem.

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post #11 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

At least it looks purdy after all that work

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post #12 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:24 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

When you pull off the AFS does gas run out ? I have had a couple these that needed to have the metal fuel line that runs under the shroud replaced. Totally crudded up. It was less than $10 for a new one. You could hook up a temporary gravity feed tank and hook it directly to the carb fuel inlet.

ETA, ignore this. I forgot that it runs with the choke on so obviously there's gas in the float bowl.
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:26 PM
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

One of my favorite engines because you can whip off the float bowl without having to take apart anything else
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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When you pull off the AFS does gas run out ? I have had a couple these that needed to have the metal fuel line that runs under the shroud replaced. Totally crudded up. It was less than $10 for a new one. You could hook up a temporary gravity feed tank and hook it directly to the carb fuel inlet.

ETA, ignore this. I forgot that it runs with the choke on so obviously there's gas in the float bowl.
Mine was kind of rusty and I didn't like the look of it so I actually replaced it with NiCo tubing bent in the shape of the stock line then covered with DEi "Floor And Tunnel Heat Sheild" to keep the engine heat off the line. I also replaced the rubber hoses from pump to line and line to carb with pieces of braided stainless fuel hose.
I have a bunch of braided line, NiCo tubing, AN fittings, and various DEi heat protection products from doing engine swaps on cars....
A couple 3800 series 2 supercharged v6 powered Pontiac Fiero, a 4.9L Caddy V8 powered Fiero, a 6.0L LSx swapped KIA Sorento, and just finished a LS1 RWD swapped Chevy HHR Panel Edition...

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post #15 of 15 Old 06-07-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: John Deere LX173 (Kohler C15) only runs choked, help!

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Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
One of my favorite engines because you can whip off the float bowl without having to take apart anything else
I wish I would have done that when I first got it just to clean it out. However I just put gas in it and fired it up. It sat for a while and the PO said that he drained it and "prepped it for storage". I should have known better. I probably packed that crap deeper into the carb by running it. I used it a couple times last year then it started running funny so I parked it and drained the fuel tank, and ran it until it ran out of fuel. I figured I'd have to clean the carb so I didn't bother draining the bowl.

I checked on eBay and they have some knock off CV15 carbs for about 70$
Wonder if they are any good?

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