View Full Version : New Motor or New Mower?

06-03-2005, 01:04 AM
I have a 48'' Exmark TTHP with a 17 Kaw. The mower is on its fourth year and i have averaged about 50-65 weekly accounts (12-18K sq feet) with this it over the life of the mower. The engine is starting to wear out and loose a little power and becoming a pain with oil leaks and wiring problems, etc. Other than the engine the rest of the mower is working flawlessly (hydo, deck, etc...). I was just wondering if it would be better to replace the engine(doing labor myself hopefully) or would it be better to just replace the mower with one exactly like it because i have loved the mower. If i go with replacing the engine about how much will it cost(17 Kaw) ??

06-03-2005, 01:13 AM
For ME It'd be an easy choice; As long as the rest of the machine was A-OK, I'd be a swappin'.. It quite easy if you are at least mechanically inclined. While you're at it, I'd upgrade to a more powerful engine..

Either way, It would hinge on whether the rest of the machine was sound.

But an engine is a LOT cheaper than a new machine..

06-03-2005, 01:16 AM
I would replace the engine if your happy with the mower. I would guess $700-$1000 for an engine. Try smallenginewarehouse.com or j-thomas.com or e-bay.

06-03-2005, 01:18 AM
put a new engine on. with a walkbehind, it's a snap. a total novice could do the whole job in three hours max. I know, because I did.

it's amazing what you can do when you have to (or are just ignorant of what you are actually doing), but I took a chance on a lazer hp 48" that had a "bad" engine. I took the old one out, and put a new one in. it took me about three hours, but I did it. it started me down a path that said, "just go for it" because it will probably turn out ok, if you take your time, and don't make any silly mistakes.

now, I am attempting to rebuild that bad engine that was on the exmark, if I get it running, it's going on the quick 36. the cylinders look to be in pretty good shape, I am going to hone them, and all new rings, polish the valves, and inspect everything.

this is coming from a person who 3 months ago, would cringe at the thought of rebuilding an engine. if I were you, I would DO IT. I would buy a 20-23hp kawasaki or kohler, and stick it on there. good luck.

PS- the small engine warehouse is a great place to get a new engine. make sure you match the shaft orentation and shaft size. as long as the length of the shaft is within 3/4" of the original one, you should be fine. also check the sump bolts to make sure that the bolting pattern is the same. I don't know about kawasaki engines, but kohler uses the same bolt pattern for all their V-twins in the 18-27hp range. I would E-mail or call the small engine ware house and get information from them, tell them the model that you have, and what hp you want. if you don't want to go through all that, you could just buy a exact replacment and not have any hassle, but when your putting a new engine on, you've got a chance to really upgrade the engine.

06-03-2005, 01:19 AM
ENGINE based on what you said and while I was at it I'd go up to a 19HP KAW

06-03-2005, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the input, The rest of the mower is in great shape due to routine maintance. I think that i will take the advise and upgrade to a 19 Kaw! I also have a Exmark 36 metro HP that is also probably due for an upgrade but i will probably wait till the off season and see how the other engine swap goes.

Richard Martin
06-03-2005, 07:51 AM
Kawasaki small block V-twins are from 13 to 17 horsepower. They share the same bolt up patterns among themselves. If you go larger than 17 hp you are looking at drilling new bolt up holes, different muffler arrangements, different cables, different wiring and possible problems with shaft sizes.

Glenn J
06-03-2005, 08:47 AM
I just did this myself. Engine swaps on mowers are really easy. I bought an engine from smallenginewarehouse.com, converted it to a recoil start and put it on my machine.

I didn't have a manual for my mower, so I took digital pictures of how the belts were routed off the main pulley. Boy, did that come in handly when it came time to put everything back together.

06-03-2005, 09:55 AM
purchase a new one
then, you depricate using section 179...........
if, you paid $3999 for you'll get it back from uncle sammyyyyyy

:cool2: :blob3: :cool2: :blob3:
~~~~~~~~~~ payup payup payup

06-03-2005, 10:15 AM
I swapped a Kohler off my Exmark Viking a couple of years ago -- no problems, EXCEPT getting the pulley off the engine. I don't know your layout, but the hole in the traction deck is too small for the pulley. The pulley (actually, two pulleys, one for hydro drive, one for deck drive) had to come off the engine before taking it off. Others who have done the job on your model can comment. But, you may wish to invest in a gear/pulley puller before starting the project. Mine did not have any anti-seize when initially installed at the factory and it was a bear to get off.

Others have comments about getting the pulley off?

One more point -- a friend of mine replaced the engine on his w/b. He wasn't careful in checking the set screws after a few hours of service and the pulley worked loose. He didn't know it, and the pulley/key/setscrew damaged the engine shaft. He managed to salvage the new engine, but not without some hassle. In other words, check the set screws a couple of times after you put the new engine into service.

06-03-2005, 12:37 PM

If you're interested in a used engine, I've got two used 17HP Kawasaki recoil start engines off of 2003 TTHP's. Excellent condition. PM me and I can give you more details. (One has 485 hours on it, the other is unknown hours, but has considerably fewer hours.)
I'd be happy to give you a call later to give you more details.

06-03-2005, 01:43 PM
I'd go new.

You can now get a 48" TTHP with the 19hp Kawi!!!

Will it run enough to sell? Pressure wash all the oil stains, and sell it as-is. Let someone else mess with it.

You'll get a new mower, bigger engine, fresh everything else.....plus the tax deduction come April 15th!!!

A+ Lawncare
06-03-2005, 02:04 PM
:waving: TLS.... you asked does it run enough to sell, pwer wash all the oil stains, and sell it as-is?

well the definition of sellin as-is, means exactly what it says... and technically you don't have to tell any1 the condition of the mower unless they ask, but if Joe the home owner goes to look @ a used mower and sees it run decent, and few to no signs of troubles he'll pay top dollar... but put urself in Joe's shoes, i'm sure u were once a newbie to something, even mowers and you perhaps been cheated out of a deal and lost $$ on a purchase...

i remember 5 yrs ago, when my dad bought a 1989 chevy cheyenne 1500 from my cousin, he was in trouble w/the law. he was runnin a small scrub carpentry business trying to support himself, turns out something happened (can't remember what it was, but it was something and the homeowner sued him and had him put in jail for it). so he desperately needed $ and he wanted to get rid of the truck turned out b4 selling it he taped the backlight up so you couldn't tell that the truck brakes had problems... ended up puttin more than $700 in the truck :angry: .... so i guess i can say my dad & i have been in those shoes...

its not wise to sell something w/o telling some1 your vehicle or w/e troubles, sure u can get away with it and he has nothing to back it up, heck u have the title or bill of sales signed by both parties that show the iteam was sold on a "as-is condition", but you have a name to live up to....

06-03-2005, 02:12 PM
If you put a new engine on it you can get at least 4 more season out of the mower. At that point sell it and you got more than your money's worth out of the mower. How much would you sell it for now, $2000? I'm sure you can get $1,000 for it in 4 years.

06-03-2005, 02:30 PM
A+ Lawncare......two words.... BUYER BEWARE.

If your buying ANYTHING used....there IS a reason it's being sold. Trying to find that reason is imperative to the buyer. Hiding that reason is the imperative of the seller.

Remember, a mower that is on its last legs for a commercial cutter will still last the average homeowner the rest of their life.

You have to look at the following with regard to keeping or selling this mower....

Tire tread remaining.
Belt life.
Hydro pump and motor life.
Spindle bearings.
Idler bushings.
Idler pulleys.

In other words, what you get with a NEW mower has to be considered into the equation.

Personally, I think you should still sell it and buy new.

06-03-2005, 04:46 PM
Got all this info from www.smallenginewarehouse.com

FH500V-S21-ESP 17 HP Vertical 1" x 3 5/32" Keyed Shaft, OHV, Electric Start, Fuel Pump, Left Side Manifold
Limited Quantity Item: Only 18 Remaining $875.00

FH500V-S27-ESP 17 HP Vertical 1" x 3 5/32" Keyed Shaft, OHV, Electric w/solenoid shift, FP, Right Side Manifold
Limited Quantity Item: Only 1 Remaining $875.00

FH500V-S29-R 17 HP Vertical 1" x 3 5/32" shaft, OHV, Twin, Recoil, Alternator for Electric Clutch, Fuel Pump $760.00

FH500V-S30-RES 17 HP Vertical 1" Keyed Shaft, Twin, OHV, Recoil & Electric Start, Fuel Pump, Right Side Manifold $900.00

06-03-2005, 04:48 PM
your crazy, a new engine would be so much cheaper, and it would be like a new mower. even if he only got one more season out of it. it would be worth it.

how bad are the oil leaks? do you think you could baby it through the growing season, and in winter when you have some spare time, take it down and go for it. that way, if something does go wrong and it takes you a while, you won't have customers breathing down your neck.

I would say JUST DO IT. just replace it with the exact model that is on there now, and take pics of it before, so you have all the routing correct (I didn't, and I almost installed the hydro belt on the wrong side of the idler pulley, lucky the belt won't go on that way.)

if I were you, what have you got to loose? it's either a new engine or new mower, so if the engine doesn't work out, you can just return it.

06-03-2005, 04:49 PM
you could also look on ebay, you could probably find one for $450.

06-03-2005, 07:09 PM
Swap the motor recoil start at the mower shop runs about $900 and electric about $1200 plus tax. Engines are tax deductible too.

06-03-2005, 07:28 PM

What model engine do you have? I am looking for a used engine to put on a 32" Scag unit that is simply a back-up unit. Send me e-mail if interested.

06-03-2005, 08:18 PM
Switching to an electric start could cost quite a bit more I would think,battery,wiring,battery bracket,etc. so you might be better off with the recoil start. Put a new engine on a unit with 3200 hours on it last year and has almost 3900 hours on it now.The deck was good, it was a hydro so no worries with the drive. So if your cutting deck is in good shape, get the new engine.

06-03-2005, 11:12 PM
Thanks for all the help everyone!! After reading all of the advise I think that i will probably go ahead and replace the engine with a new one because I have tried to really take care of the mower and everything else is working great. I may try to baby the mower a little longer because it has not died yet but is just a pain. It keeps leaking oil really bad around one of the ohv covers even tho i have replaced the gasket twice!! Also the mower keeps acting like one of the cylinders goes dead sometimes and it is only running on one cylinder and then eventually fires back (It sputters and has no power) up if i mess around with it and shake it around (I think its a wiring problem but i have checked all connections several times...Maybe its the coil?????). The only problem is that i cant seem to find the right engine on smallenginewarehouse.com??? The only sticker i find on my engine says FH 500V-BS06 and E/N0 FH500VB35628 but this doesnt match up to any of the models they have listed. Am i looking at the right thing...IT is a 2001 KAWI 17HP recoil on a EXMARK 48'' TTHP

06-03-2005, 11:53 PM
you have to e-mail the smallengine ware house or call them up. what you see on the website is not all that they have. if they don't have it in stock, they can order it from the manufacterer. I'm sure they will have the engine though, it is a very common model.

Richard Martin
06-04-2005, 05:29 AM
You may want to check this one out too. Free shipping, free handling and free muffler!