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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:banghead3 This one seems simple but it's not that easy. I did read one other similar thread a few months ago and that has helped me a bit.

Basically T1700HX Kubota, so 17 HP gas that's getting older for sure and run pretty hard for it's size. Love to replace but $$ just not there.

This Spring I replaced the choke cable and the half moon shaped steering gear. To replace the gear, you have to remove the gas tank, etc. (maybe a clue)

Runs just fine (both idle and full throttle) all the time when mower deck not engaged. In the last 2 weeks it has begun to experience problems with sputtering, backfiring and dying out when the mower deck is engaged. Mower is hydrostat driven via belt and the switch operates an electric brake to turn on & off.

Now the problem - it just happens sometimes, not always. Last Fri. I started it up just fine but could not cut at all. It was backfiring within a few moments of engaging the mower deck. Sunday I did the same thing and it ran & cut perfectly for over 2 hours before it started to be a problem. Sometimes I can mow for an hour, sometimes not. If it's going to stutter when cutting, it' likely to start when going uphill. However, on Sat. I cut our big hill and it was not a problem at all.

I've checked the carb as best I can but I find it so unlikely that it's carb related when everything runs so well at high rev.until the mower is engaged.
I strongly suspect an electrical issue that is related to a safety on the deck but everything I can easily find checks out OK. I even bypassed the safety switches and no difference. My money is on wiring that is rubbing and frayed but I can't find any.

Suggestions??? Thanks.

Machinery enthusiast
4,257 Posts
Welcome aboard DougA. sorry for the late response so hopefully you've found the problem and if not I'll take a couple swags.
1) check for a pinched/skinned wire, especially the wire that feeds the ignition module. I had a similar problem on an old Wheel Horse in that it only missed and sputtered at certain rpm and/or under load. Ends up the ignition wire was old and frayed and when I rR&R'ed my fuel tank I must have moved it close enough to the metal frame to where the vibrations woul dcause it to short out. Kinda sounds similar to yours :D

2) Could be a partially clogged fuel filter. When these small enogines are put under load is when they need max fuel flow.

3) bad fuel. Only way to know is to drain and refill with new known good gas.

4) Loose wireing in the engine compartment. Check over all the woreing you can get to making sure theres no pinched. frayed, loose or corroded conections.

Let us know
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