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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a TX for my wife this year and it has 32.8 hours on the clock. She started complaining about a week ago that the Gator was getting hard to start and the engine was miss-firing. So, I pulled the plugs and found them fouled…the rear plug was wet with gas and causing the miss-fire. I checked the oil level and noticed it smelled heavily from gas contamination and even noticed the level was higher on the dipstick than after the 8 hour break-in oil change. Since the Gator is still in warranty, I contacted my selling JD dealer and he said fouled plugs were common when the Gator is not run hard enough to keep them clean. Well, my wife doesn't baby her TX and never had a problem like this with her previous Gators ( a CX and TS over the last 7 years). Today, the Gator didn't want to start at all. So, I pulled the plugs again, after only 1 hour of use, and found them fouled again.

Anticipating the run-around from my dealer, I decided to call a friend who retired from the OEM engine manufacturer to see if he was familiar with the problem…he indicated that it is more common than most realize. He said JD won't let Kawasaki address any concerns with consumers even though it is "their" engine. My only recourse is to work it out with my dealer. Since we are friends, he did say to consider using a different spark plug manufacturer since the NGK standard plug JD uses is prone to fouling in the Gator…his advice: pay particular attention to the design of the center electrode (Autolite and Denso were suggested). He also thought the problem with the wife's TX is probably high fuel levels in the 2bbl carb that is "washing" into the intake. The dealer may need to replace the carb or at least replace the needle and float. Lastly, he recommended checking the coils to ensure their output is up to spec for firing the plugs, but doubts that they have failed.

Now that I have done some homework on the problem, I want to see if any others on this forum have had a similar experience and how (or if) the problem was solved? I suspect this issue would exist on any JD Gator with a Kaw engine (w/carb). Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update - TX Suddenly Hard to Start, Fouled Plugs & Gas in Oil

My dealer started trouble shooting my wife's TX today and found the following situation:
- ignition coils are below spec enough to result in a weak spark at the plugs. New coils were ordered.
- Carb was not shutting off fuel delivery when the Gator was shut off. Over-flow was depositing into the cylinders and contributing to the plug fouling and gas in the oil.
- Carb (cont.): They disassembled the carb and found the float was not in spec and allowed the fuel bowl level to be too high, and they found the needle was not properly sealing at the seat. They have ordered a new float and needle assembly. Interesting note: I noticed that the float assembly is not adjustable and has to be fabricated with the proper setting from the supplier. The dealer's Tech told me he has seen this issue before, and might be the cause of many Gators out there running rich (poor fuel consumption) and fouling plugs.

Another diagnostic the Tech wants to perform involves checking the fuel pump output pressure. He has found some pumps used on Kaw powered equipment are putting out too much pressure (5 psi or more) which is causing the carb needles to come off their seats. He said the "fix" was to install an inline fuel pressure regulator, and that dealer has installed quite a few this year.

I can't wait to get the Gator back to see if their work results in a "better" Gator than when we purchased it. I hope this information helps others on the forum. I'll update this thread on how it all works out.
 

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Solution - TX Suddenly Hard to Start, Fouled Plugs & Gas in Oil

Just got the Gator back today and here is what the dealer did to solve the problem:
- Rebuilt Carb to replace float/needle assembly,
- Replaced 2 bad coils,
- Replaced bad fuel pump.

They also changed the contaminated oil and the original fouled plugs. After re-assembly, they op's checked the Gator to make sure it went through a heat cycle. Pulled the plugs to make sure they looked good…they looked good. Wife is now happy! I consider the matter closed and give the dealer credit for digging into the problem until it was solved…under warranty.
 
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