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New Gator 4X2 CX with Questions

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bobinyelm
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 16 Olympia, WA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2017-06-29          196787


Just bought a 2005 4X2 CX work-Gator w/ 630hrs on it. It was used in a plant nursery to move stuff around the place.

Hadn't been run for a few years and the fuel system was very bad (varnish was dry and caked in the FP and Carb), but got that to where it runs like a Swiss watch.

Not a lot of compression hesitation during starter cranking-might be normal or not? What should crank-compression be?

Hot starts are instant. Cold starts a challenge. No choke, no start, some choke, floods and will start w/o choke after a 3 min wait.

Shifting into F or R the CVT clunks and grinds a bit when engaging despite a VERY low RPM idle. Machine creeps forward/reverse even at idle.

Maybe the centrifugal weights are not returning to their "rest" positions at idle? SOMETIMES fully disengages and pops right into gear.

Any hints or ownership suggestions for a well-used machine like mine most welcome.

How many hours do most Kawasaki engines go before needing more than oil changes?

Bob














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New Gator 4X2 CX with Questions

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Trainpilot
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 67 Ukiah, CA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2017-06-29          196789


Congratulations on your Gator. We have the Kawi v-twins on several Mules and they have been quite reliable. Probably going 1200 hours without any unscheduled maintenance. When you say it hesitates when cranking, that sounds like plenty of compression. If the engine is not blowing excessive oil out of the breather, your rings are probably OK. I would suggest adjusting the valves--it is not any harder than overhauling a carb, and can have a big impact on starting, power, and longevity. If you haven't run it much, I'd drive it for a bit and see if shifting improves. If it creeps even at low idle, it may have too short of a belt. Are the pulleys shiny? If they haven't polished themselves up yet, you might take some Scotchbrite or very fine sandpaper to the surfaces. Or just drive it a bit. Securely blocking rear up and observing clutch action in/out at different speeds may also be helpful. Be safe--keep fingers, rags, hair, clothes, etc. well away from moving parts. Most of the tranny's in these vehicles use simple dog clutches to engage the gears, and most drives will spin in neutral with the engine running, so most will clunk or grind a bit going into gear. A firm shift can avoid much of this. Also, I have learned to shift into gear immediately upon starting the engine. This helps too. My father-in-law turns his key off momentarily while shifting to further reduce engine speed.

Let us know what resolves your issues please. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
New Gator 4X2 CX with Questions

View my Photos
bobinyelm
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 16 Olympia, WA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2017-07-01          196791


Thanks.

Reassuring that at 650 hrs I should have plenty of hours left before any serious service is required.

I've put 10hrs on the machine now (I had a LOT of stuff to do on our property stacked up to do, and the Gator made easy work of it), and about to get into the machine a bit.

It makes rattly sounds at low rpm, kind of like loose sheet metal parts are rattling/banging around (NOT from the engine or transmission, maybe the CVT pulley mechanism). Once engaged in gear above idle, the sounds go away, and they are worse at idle in neutral. I've had snow machines that sometimes would make similar (though much less) noise from their centrifugal clutch mechanism.

I will do a valve adjust, since I don't think I have as much compression as I should (less rotational hesitation while cranking than I would expect), and if teh clearances have closed up, it could affect that, but the engine seems to have plenty of power- I barely need off-idle to move it around the place, though it's level and not much of a challenge. I will crank it w/ a compression gauge before I adjust the valves to see it it makes a difference.

Strangely, the engine requires absolutely no choke to start (if you dare pull it out even briefly, it appears to flood the engine), and you just have to crank several seconds until it starts, and then it runs smoothly as soon as it fires. There is no way to adjust the idle mixture I can find. The idle screw isn't slotted, nor does it have a proprietary profile as do my various 2-cycle carbs for which I have tools to fit. It's a smooth disk with no visible way to get a hold of it to adjust.

I don't think my CX was "well-loved" by its nursery shop owners given that the plastic body is dead-dull (zero shine), one black fender trim is missing, and both seats were destroyed (by sun it would appear), so I ordered a set of after-market seats (the local JD dealer wanted almost $500 w/ tax for a pair), not to mention it was left unserviced for at least a year or two to where the varnish deposits in the fuel pump and carb were solid (to where they had to be picked at and scraped to loosen them to where carb cleaner would start to dissolve them even a little).

On the valve adjustment, is there an easy view-able timing mark to set the crankshaft at when adjusting the valves, or do you just find TDC on the compression stroke (say, w/ a screw driver inserted in the spark plug hole to locate TDC)?

I don't have any manuals (yet) so do you happen to remember the intake and exhaust valve clearances for setting (cold, I assume)?

My parking brake handle is frozen tight, which I assume is the inner cable rusted/corroded tightly to the outer sheath since the handle won't pull out even 1/16th", though our property is pretty level. The foot brake is effective though makes a horrible screech which I attribute to a rusted friction surface until I find otherwise.

BTW, does the front cowl/hood lift up? Between the cup holders there is what appears to be a hand-hold, and it appears that is how one accesses the headlights. One is loaded with dead bug carcasses (I suspect one or more got in and had a LARGE family in there), and I'd like to remove them.

Thanks,
Bob ....

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