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SMOOTHCUT
04-30-2006, 10:44 PM
I been hearing of a few reports of 23 hp kawasakis failing. two people I know personally. Anybody else heard of problems?

Drew Gemma
04-30-2006, 11:27 PM
my 17hp kaw on my exmark I bought it used 3 years previous owner 2 with me and now the dam thing is buring a quart of oil every week well in two weeks we are giving it an overhaul about 250 bucks if that don't work it is getting a new motor all together.

6'7 330
04-30-2006, 11:30 PM
No problems yet with the 23's , but problems with the 19 - 15 and 6.5. A 6.5 with 2 hours on it, had to have a value job. A 19 blew at the damn sump! Brand new! and Kawasaki tried to wiggle out of the warranty.I'm getting sick of Kawasaki's quality control lately.

McHouck
06-16-2007, 09:17 PM
I blew up my Hustler Z today...23 Kawasaki...185 hrs homeowner use....not happy!!!!!

Eric D
06-16-2007, 09:38 PM
I blew up my Hustler Z today...23 Kawasaki...185 hrs homeowner use....not happy!!!!!
What failed? Are the cooling fins clear and the proper oil level in the engine?

Thanks,

Eric D

Frosty03
06-16-2007, 10:07 PM
I have two mowers with the Kawasaki engines. One is a 15 hp the other is a 23 hp...both got oil changed at 5 hours. Both get oil checked at the beginning of each day. Sometimes you just gotta add oil if it needs it.

I have never had a problem with either engine. They got serviced at about 100 hours at the shop and good to go.

MowJoeLandscaping
06-16-2007, 10:13 PM
yep, just had one rebuilt with 450 hours. The seal on the crankshaft failed. This was on an exmark 52 ztr. Never again. Just got two new snappers with 32 hp Briggs. I love them!

MOturkey
06-16-2007, 10:32 PM
Just sold my Gravely 250Z with almost 800 hours on the 23 Kawasaki. No problems. Changed oil and filter every 50 hours, using 10/40 synthetic. ALWAYS let the engine idle for at least 1 minute, usually more, before shutting down. Kind of a ritual with me, load the mower, leave it idling, strap it in, close the lift gate, then walk around to get my trimmer, and reach over and turn the switch off.

ZX12R
06-16-2007, 10:38 PM
No problems yet with 15 hours on the clock:)

txgrassguy
06-17-2007, 12:41 AM
I had one 25 hp Kawi' fail on me in 2003.
It turned out that the locking ring for the oil dip stick would fail, the dip stick would back out and the oil being under pressure would shoot out of the oil dip stick tube.
The motor had under three hundred hours on it yet was replaced under warranty with no problems.
I did have the rep ask me if I couldn't see the low oil warning light come on.
My response was in 100*+ heat and literally blinding sunshine in Central Texas could YOU see that tiny light?
Wisely he said no.
As I understand it Kawi has addressed this problem and the newer motors have the correction.

65hoss
06-17-2007, 02:02 AM
I have 2 Kawi 23's with NO problems at all. They run as good today as when they were new. One is 7 years old and the other is 4 yrs old. They don't use any oil and are very strong.

I change oil and filter at 50 hours and use Rotella 15w-40.

02DURAMAX
06-17-2007, 02:13 AM
i never had any problems with my 17hp kawasaki...and my 23hp has 390hrs and i have never had a problem with it....I change the oil on it every 50hrs and fuel filter every 100hrs...

Envy Lawn Service
06-17-2007, 02:26 AM
This reminds me that I forgot to remove my shrouds and check the cylinder head fins over the winter.

tacoma200
06-17-2007, 02:37 AM
Most of what I hear about Kawasaki is positive. Except in the case of a warranty repair and they seem to have a real problem admitting that anything could be their fault. I been listening to these threads for several years and Kawasaki has one of the best track records and owner satisfaction ratings. But I've heard this about having a hard time getting them to stand by the warranty several times.

But then again every company seems to have some problems with certain models from time to time.

Envy Lawn Service
06-17-2007, 02:57 AM
Briggs is by far a much better company to work with on warranty claims than Kawasaki or Kohler.

The K companies have trouble admitting the ever make a boo-boo.

Eric D
06-17-2007, 07:45 AM
The K companies have trouble admitting the ever make a boo-boo.
I think it is easy for a manufacturer to have an attitude when a large number of the failures are due to people running their equipment other then the way it was designed. If you read through the posting you will find everyone has their own ideas on how to start there units, to engaging their clutches to what rpm to use to cut. Then bad mouth the manufacturer because something fails. Fact of the matter must operators wonít admit they could be a contributing factor in the failure or even feel they have done nothing wrong.

Just my humble opinion,

Eric D

McHouck
06-17-2007, 08:31 AM
What failed? Are the cooling fins clear and the proper oil level in the engine?

Thanks,

Eric D

The machine is babied....I air blow it off after each use, then wash it it down, top to bottom....I have never checked under the engine shroud and I will now, but there is never a piece of grass on it, when I put it away (heated basement). The oil was changed every 20 hrs for the first 100hrs, then every 40 after (185 total hours). Homeowner use only, to cut 4.9 acres. The oil was changed just before it blew up. I mowed for 1 1/2 hrs then it blew. The oil level was right, even after it blew. Nothing came out the motor, so I'm hoping maybe a piston only went. It lost power, then a big cloud of grey smoke and it smelled like a hot brake rotor/pad smoking. Shut it down, then tried to start it and it made a bad clanging metal sound, then locked up. No red light from the idiot light either.

Eric D
06-17-2007, 01:10 PM
The machine is babied....
McHouck,

From your description of preventative maintenance you have followed on your unit I wouldnít have expected this sever of a failure. Just a guess, but it sounds like you broke a connecting rod. Was it an exceptionally hot day or were you cutting heavy grass? One failure mode for a connecting rod is if the piston seizes from over heating. Iím working on a lawn tractor that mice built a nest on top of the cylinder under the cooling baffles where you couldnít see it. The engine ran fine for about and hour before it made a big bang and stopped. Nothing was damaged in this engine other then the connecting rod. Hopefully yours will have the same outcome.

Best of luck,

Eric D

MTR999
06-17-2007, 01:25 PM
The machine is babied....I air blow it off after each use, then wash it it down, top to bottom....I have never checked under the engine shroud and I will now, but there is never a piece of grass on it, when I put it away (heated basement). The oil was changed every 20 hrs for the first 100hrs, then every 40 after (185 total hours). Homeowner use only, to cut 4.9 acres. The oil was changed just before it blew up. I mowed for 1 1/2 hrs then it blew. The oil level was right, even after it blew. Nothing came out the motor, so I'm hoping maybe a piston only went. It lost power, then a big cloud of grey smoke and it smelled like a hot brake rotor/pad smoking. Shut it down, then tried to start it and it made a bad clanging metal sound, then locked up. No red light from the idiot light either.


Are we supposed to "wash" top to bottom? Water will ruin motor somehow. All we use is some greaselighting spray on gum and dirty area especially fins, both of our 17 and 23 have been flawless, logging well over 2k hr of both. We only use amsoil 10-30 every 50 hr with new oil filter and new air filter every 100 hr.

McHouck
06-17-2007, 11:32 PM
McHouck,

From your description of preventative maintenance you have followed on your unit I wouldnít have expected this sever of a failure. Just a guess, but it sounds like you broke a connecting rod. Was it an exceptionally hot day or were you cutting heavy grass? One failure mode for a connecting rod is if the piston seizes from over heating. Iím working on a lawn tractor that mice built a nest on top of the cylinder under the cooling baffles where you couldnít see it. The engine ran fine for about and hour before it made a big bang and stopped. Nothing was damaged in this engine other then the connecting rod. Hopefully yours will have the same outcome.

Best of luck,

Eric D

The grass was relatively short, and I cut it at 4 1/2 inches anyhow....the day was about 75-80 degrees...I doubt any mice because the mower stays in my partially finished basement and with a Jack Russell Terrorist at home, I doubt the mice would last long ! ;) I pulled the sparkplug (one of them) and there was a lot of black carbon, but the end of the plug was white (too hot??). I will know Monday morning the prognosis and I'll post it here. I hope it wasn't something I did or didn't do (ie. it just broke), but I really expected this thing to last forever, considering how much time I put into maintenance and care. Maybe it was a Monday morning or Friday afternoon engine!!!

Eric D
06-18-2007, 12:02 AM
The end of spark plugs will tell you if you had a piston failure. The debris from a shattered piston will peen the end of the plug. Very easy to see once it is pulled out. As far as your question on the plug, it should be lighter in color at the tip.

It doesn’t sound as though anything you did caused it. One thing that could have happen well before you ever got your unit, if for some reason the engine had been over revved it could have over stressed the connecting rod that finally broke. There maybe no way to ever really know.

Eric D

Envy Lawn Service
06-18-2007, 02:53 AM
I'm afraid this is going to be another one with a leaky / weepy head gasket on that side.

The oil is there, but not enough for you to ever know there is a problem.
Just enough to be tacky and trap debris in the cylinder fins.

Before you can possibly know anything is wrong....
Well that cylinder head overheats...
And BANG...

S#ity part is, I know they have refused to cover that under warranty.
They pass the buck to the owner....
Improper maintenance....
Failure to remove the shroud and inspect/clean the cylinder heads.

In other words, they take the stance that you should have caught the leaky/weepy head gasket and had that repaired under warranty, which makes them feel they are not liable for the subsequint damage.

I call bulls#it on that... but it doesn't matter.

McHouck
06-18-2007, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the insight guys. I will know in a few hours what the real cause is and hopefully it won't be too expensive ;(

McHouck
06-20-2007, 12:22 PM
Well good news! The motor wasn't toast. The PTO clutch is what blew up, so so far it appears that was the problem...still expensive, but a lot better than a motor. Thank for all the insight!