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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Great State of Louisiana!
    Tractor
    MTD Lawn Tractor (Breaks almost every time I use it!!)

    Default JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    Hello to all! I am a new member to this site.
    I recently purchased a JD Gator HPX 4X4 Trail with the Kawasaki gas-burner. I am surprised with the difficulty in getting the Gator started (especially when cold).
    I learned that I can hold out the choke and pat the gas pedal when starting her cold. I have to slowly release the choke and keep patting the pedal for a few minutes to get her warmed up.
    I also noticed that even when she is warmed up, if I shut her down for more than about 10 minutes, she requires choking to get going again.
    I can deal with quirks, but don't you think that for a >$10k vehicle, starting should be less hassle?
    The Deere Dealer said "JD is aware there is a problem and are working on a remedy."
    Can anyone out there give input on this issue? Any other starting "secrets?" Or, any word from JD on addressing this problem?
    By the way, other than this problem, the HPX 4X4 is AWESOME!
    Regards,
    Greg

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    My Gator starts great. I did have a friend that had the brand new Mule which has a similiar engine. His did not start very well at all. He took it back in and they worked on the jets in the carb. His starts great now.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Great State of Louisiana!
    Tractor
    MTD Lawn Tractor (Breaks almost every time I use it!!)

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    Thanks for the quick reply!
    I guess it's my luck to get one that is a bit difficult to start.
    Actually, I can deal with it okay. It's my wife that is more impatient and more of a "get in it and take-off immediately" type of personality.....you know how that goes.....she's not interested in the mechanics of the vehicle.
    But, it SHOULD be easier to start. I will inquire about the jet adjustment at my local JD Dealer.
    I'm glad that yours starts okay, though. I HAVE made contact with a few people on the internet that DO have problems starting the Kawasaki engines. Maybe it is more common in the latest ones to roll of the assembly line, although I don't think anything has changed in the engine design lately, right?
    Thanks again!
    Greg

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,098
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    I have the gator with the kawasaki engine, and mine is a bit on the cold side (not near as 'cold' as you described).

    I am impressed with the engine and gator overall, and don't find the choking 'on-intitial-start' and some choke to 'get-going when in forward' to be annoying. However, unfamiliar drivers who never had to choke anything (i.e cars) can be a bit handicapped when trying to operate the gator until after the first 30-60 seconds it takes to warm it up.

    The choke is in a very handy place (under the left hand cheek of drivers seat) but not intuitive if the 'new' driver doesn't know where it is or what to do with it if they find it. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Great State of Louisiana!
    Tractor
    MTD Lawn Tractor (Breaks almost every time I use it!!)

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    Yes, this is the message I've tried to convey to my wife...it's not a car (although it costs as much). But, she is a "creature of convenience."
    I will definitely show her your post. Perhaps it will give her some inspiration.
    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    65
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    M6800 4wd

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    I got a 98 Mule 550 and its been hard to start like yours every since I had it. No problems when its hot but if it sets 15 mins or longer look out. I use to just hold the pedal to the floor when it was cold and it would finally start but it seems if I pat the peddle some it starts faster. Close to 650 hrs on it now.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Great State of Louisiana!
    Tractor
    MTD Lawn Tractor (Breaks almost every time I use it!!)

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    Thanks for the input Larry.
    I'll be getting my HPX back today. I'll let you know if the throttle adjustment makes a difference in starting. The Service Guy at my JD Dealer said they can only increase the idle a VERY SMALL RPM. Too much increase would cause it to grind when engaging gears.
    Has your original Starter Motor held up for the 650 hours, even with the extra time you must turn it over when cold?
    GPA

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    142
    Location
    Burks Falls, Ontario
    Tractor
    yanmar 195D (for sale)

    Default Re: JD GATOR STARTING PROBLEM (KAWASAKI ENGINE)

    my 08 610 has been a brute to start since day 1. I finally opened the plug gap to .040", which is wider than the .032" spec. but it now starts like a dream. Almost instantly.
    Big problem, small fix. gotta like it.
    Tractors are like women. All nice, Just some nicer than others!!

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