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John Deere L111 Lawn Mower Rough Idle

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#1 bbke OFFLINE  


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Posted May 14, 2011 - 08:08 AM

I have a L111 John Deere, 20hp Briggs and Stratton motor that started surging at idle. It happened after I took it out of storage for this year. It also seems to lack power at the high end. It'll smooth out at idle with a little choke. Before I tear the carburetor off, I was hoping someone had a suggestion that may be an easier fix. Here's what I've done so far: cleaned out the hole in the gas cap, fresh gas, carb cleaner in the gas, carb cleaner sprayed in the intake while running, changed the fuel filter, and cleaned & gaped the spark plugs (they looked good, but we're somewhat black around the edges like the engine was running rich). I used Stabil in the gas last year just like the every other year I put the lawn mower in storage. I'm leaning towards I had bad gas last year and I've gummed up something in the carb, but am looking for confirmation - thanks.



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Posted May 14, 2011 - 08:28 AM

Sounds like you've covered the high spots. One thing I've done and had work, take the air cleaner and any brackets over the intake off so the end of the carb is unobstructed. Then start it and take it to mid to 3/4 throttle. When the rpms get up, take your hand and put it over the carb like a super-choke. The vacuum from the engine will (hopefully) suck the port blockage out of the carb. Another thing to try is to tighten any adjustments (counting turns) and then remove the needles. Watch for springs etc. Spray a little cleaner in those holes and put the needle back in. Adjust to where it used to be and let it sit for a few minutes. Then try the above process. Good luck, this new gas and it's associated problems can be a real bear!

#3 middleageddeere OFFLINE  



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Posted May 15, 2011 - 08:19 PM

SEAFOAM! Always worth a try.

#4 jamesbodeis OFFLINE  



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Posted July 14, 2011 - 09:59 AM

i second the seafoam.

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted July 14, 2011 - 10:07 AM

I would give the motor a good once over. You say the plugs look like you are running rich but you need to keep the choke on to keep it running. You could have a spark problem. Maybe a weak spark. I always like to eliminate possible electrical problems before fiddling with the carb. I'd also check the governor linkage to make sure it is free and hasn't suffered some sort of mishap over the winter. Good luck getting it sorted out.

#6 MowerGang OFFLINE  



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Posted July 18, 2011 - 09:46 AM

I have a question: Do you have plenty of fuel at the filter? My L111 always needs to have the gas cap loose, it just doesn't seem to suck enough air through the gas cap hole. In fact, I recently bought a used JD that someone had cut a slot down the fuel filler neck so that it could breathe properly. If it is starving for fuel, you'll hear a whoosh or air rushing in when you open up the gas cap.

But typically, even when starving for fuel it idles well.

I suspect bad gas. It is also the cheapest fix. So drain it and fill it up.

MH81, I've heard that technique described as a "hillbilly tune up" and it does sometimes pull gunk out of clogged orifices.