Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Kawasaki won't keep running


Got an old Kawasaki horizontal shift built for Keene Engineering
back when, believe it is a 1.5 hp, has "KT 17" on the side,
and this number on a label 311786B, and on the block 168445,
and that is all the numbers.

Question is, any ideas of why won't keep running? I though was a tang setting, but have bent them krazy with still the start and stop problem, cleaned jet, metering, air intake, and bowl, anc checked float.

Also, do you work on these old ones, or do you sell carb kits,
or know where I can buy one?


ANSWER: It's a 2 cycle so no valves to worry about.  Have you checked the engine compression?  Does the engine have points and condenser?

When was the last time the engine ran?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Not checked the compression with a compression meter, but seems to have a lot of kick to it.

I was thinking it was electronic ignition, but have not been able to find any information on it, guess due to its age, guessing from the 80's or older.

It ran for a while, yesterday, and then just dyed out.

Very hard to get to start, and always dies quickly there after, that is why I was thinking it could be the ignition.

ANSWER: Did you replace the spark plug?  How long will it run before it stops?  Does it start easy?

Let me know as this info can help me provide better advice.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Eric.

Plug seems fine, and not burnt at all.

Runs about 15 seconds and stops.

Very hard to start.

Do you have ideas on setting the tang?...

as I reset it several times, and if too low, it overflows,
and if too high it overflows.

May need a needle seat you think? I cleaned it, but it did not seem worn.


Floats are generally set about level when holding the carb upside down.  I suspect the carb seat/needle is leaking...don't know where to find a new one.   A pressure test would tell for sure.  The float/needle should hold about 5 psi.  Can you keep the engine running be squirting fuel into the carb...with no fuel mix in the fuel tank?

Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)

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Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

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