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View Full Version : Beware Scag Cheetah 31HP Kawasaki, 2nd time in shop.


Ijustwantausername
01-24-2013, 10:49 PM
First let me point out that the dealer I used was great. No problem with them, Kawasaki however, that's another story.

We'll guys to keep this short, you can refer back to my earlier posts regarding this cheetah and it's issues. I put it in the shop the first time because it was using oil, had things here and there adjusted, and a few other routine things done to it to try and find the oil consumption culprit. Unfortunately the adjustments didn't fix the consumption, it still showed oil consumption over the next 20 hours of use. Anyhow, as usual I was checking the oil level one day after about 20-25 hours since the last fresh oil/filter was installed and it was down to HALF LEVEL. I couldn't believe it. So back to the shop for a second time. We'll I just got the mower back this week and the oil consumption tests are coming back indicating that its using a normal amount of oil for that type of engine, which is about a quart a week or 1.5 oz average/hour, if I remember right. Had I known this I wouldn't have bought a Cheetah, period, heck my last mower didn't start using oil until 1300 hrs. At any rate, if you agree with Kawasaki then maybe this type of engine is for you, but if that's a little too much oil consumption, then I agree.

Oh and don't be fooled by "warranty this" and "warranty that" for X amount of years. Its hogwash. Seems to me like when Kawasaki gets a claim they turn it into a normal issue for a certain engine and write it off as something that just happens to that particular engine, kind of like oil consumption. Do a search and ask around, I'm not the only one with this problem with this engine.

Anyhow, this is mainly for you all considering what to buy for this season. Just keep in mind that you might be spending some extra money on oil/gas if you go the kawasaki route.

Have a nice day.

Ridin' Green
01-24-2013, 11:21 PM
My last new Kohler was worse than that by quite a bit 2 years ago. No problem with the Kawi that replaced it, at least not yet. I've heard far more about this with Kohlers on here than Kawi's. Found a lot more threads about it for Kohlers than Kawi's too, back when I searched. IIRC, Kohler says up to 1.5 - 2 oz per hour is acceptable oil usaage. They finally replaced my entire engine and I traded it in on this one. No regrets either.

djagusch
01-24-2013, 11:23 PM
A/C will use oil.
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ddixon7
01-24-2013, 11:51 PM
I have had better luck with Kohler. I have had 6 Kohlers and 10 Kawasakis over the years. I had one 23hp Kohler go 4900 hours. Most of my Kaws have been awesome until this last year. Had a 23 Kaw go out with only 1400 hrs. Unacceptable in my opinion with the great maintenance they receive. Also, I have a 24 Kawasaki that has backfired since day one every time I take it from full throttle to idle. Every time. It now has 1300 hours on it. While it was under warranty they wouldn't do a thing about it. Kawasaki warranties suck. I think it has to do with a little luck and what exact model motor you buy as to what is the most reliable.

2 of my 3 newer Kawasakis burn oil too! Since they were brand new... I think all these engines are getting worse and worse just like everything else in this world. Hard to find pure quality like you used to in anything.

cdqat1432
01-25-2013, 12:32 AM
"It is normal for Kohler engines to burn up to 2 oz oil per cylinder per hour". Came straight from the Kohler rep and the dealer who sold it to me. My response to that was "I am glad Ford doesn't say that. I would burn several gallons per week!
Maintenance is simplified. You would never have to change the oil, just the filter.:)

LandFakers
01-25-2013, 08:05 AM
My 10 year old exmark still doesn't consume oil... Don't think a brand new mower should be

Jimslawncareservice
01-25-2013, 08:31 AM
I had similar problem with my deere 950. It stopped using after 150 or so hours. I have 300 on it now. It even had more power and cuts better. Deere told and shown me kawis specs. It's 1-1.5 oz of run time.

I talked to Scag/pace rep at green EXPO about a new cheetah. He didn't say anything bad about the kawi 31 he steered me a different size and make engine saying it would be better if I would run a bagger or mulch kit.
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MOturkey
01-25-2013, 12:11 PM
Until my most recent purchase, I've run Kawasaki's. All but my first (a 23 horse, 2002 model) have used a little oil. I use 10-40 synthetic normally, but used straight 30 dino on my last mower the first 100 hours. It still used some oil. I never actually tried to measure the consumption, but I never bothered with adding oil until it got below the halfway point in the "safe" area on the dipstick, and that generally was at around 50 hours or so. I can't believe these figures of an ounce an hour or more. That would mean in at 100 hour oil change intervals, one would have to add 3 quarts of oil, more than the amount it takes to fill the sump in the first place.

Guessing, I'd say mine might consume 8 - 10 ounces in 100 hours.

ztman
01-25-2013, 12:18 PM
Have the 31 kawi, in 200 hours never used oil that I noticed. I change the oil and filter every 40-50 hours

Landrus2
01-25-2013, 02:23 PM
My 10 year old exmark still doesn't consume oil... Don't think a brand new mower should be

How many hours on machine .

Mickhippy
01-25-2013, 04:09 PM
The trouble is we have very few options when it comes to engines on mowers. If I could of bought a briggs with the SZ, I would of. But no choice, had to get Kawi. I certainly wouldnt want another 31. Mine started leaking oil from the governor area and would/could of cost me a packet to repair it.
The 37 I have now doesnt use any oil (or very little) but its still young at 250hrs.

I used to use semi synthetic oil but now Im going to stick with dino and see if that helps keep the leaks to a minimum.

weeze
01-25-2013, 05:08 PM
my 26hp kawi used oil a lil bit for the first 100hrs. after that it pretty much stopped for the most part. i fill it up and after 100hrs when i do the next change it's still 3/4 up on the stick in the safe range. it does use a lil bit but not that much. i think it's best to just pour a dab of oil in there after 50hrs to keep it at the full level and then change it at 100hrs with new oil and filter.

ashgrove landscaping
01-25-2013, 07:50 PM
First let me point out that the dealer I used was great. No problem with them, Kawasaki however, that's another story.

We'll guys to keep this short, you can refer back to my earlier posts regarding this cheetah and it's issues. I put it in the shop the first time because it was using oil, had things here and there adjusted, and a few other routine things done to it to try and find the oil consumption culprit. Unfortunately the adjustments didn't fix the consumption, it still showed oil consumption over the next 20 hours of use. Anyhow, as usual I was checking the oil level one day after about 20-25 hours since the last fresh oil/filter was installed and it was down to HALF LEVEL. I couldn't believe it. So back to the shop for a second time. We'll I just got the mower back this week and the oil consumption tests are coming back indicating that its using a normal amount of oil for that type of engine, which is about a quart a week or 1.5 oz average/hour, if I remember right. Had I known this I wouldn't have bought a Cheetah, period, heck my last mower didn't start using oil until 1300 hrs. At any rate, if you agree with Kawasaki then maybe this type of engine is for you, but if that's a little too much oil consumption, then I agree.

Oh and don't be fooled by "warranty this" and "warranty that" for X amount of years. Its hogwash. Seems to me like when Kawasaki gets a claim they turn it into a normal issue for a certain engine and write it off as something that just happens to that particular engine, kind of like oil consumption. Do a search and ask around, I'm not the only one with this problem with this engine.

Anyhow, this is mainly for you all considering what to buy for this season. Just keep in mind that you might be spending some extra money on oil/gas if you go the kawasaki route.

Have a nice day.
If you are interested I know where you can find 32 hp vanguard engine that only has around 20 hrs. on it. Good price too.

lifetree
01-25-2013, 08:16 PM
I have had better luck with Kohler. ... I had one 23hp Kohler go 4900 hours. ...

WOW, that's impressive ... I hope my Kohler's will run for 4,900 hours !! From your signature it looks like your still running that machine, a TT ... did you re-build the Kohler, or, buy a new engine ??

retrodog
01-25-2013, 08:20 PM
Yeah, its normal for air cooled big blocks to go through some oil, i have some that dont, but i would say 60/40. Hard explaining that to a customer with a $10000 mower, but it happens. People dont realize the extreme operation these motors take when used. Run a ford at full throttle for an hour and see what happens, mower motors are miracles daily
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Greyst1
01-25-2013, 11:28 PM
Yeah, its normal for air cooled big blocks to go through some oil, i have some that dont, but i would say 60/40. Hard explaining that to a customer with a $10000 mower, but it happens. People dont realize the extreme operation these motors take when used. Run a ford at full throttle for an hour and see what happens, mower motors are miracles daily
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RD,

Is that just Kohlers or all BB's? My 30 Vanguard BB doesn't burn oil. Its only got 100 hours so do i have something to look forward too?

ddixon7
01-26-2013, 01:00 AM
WOW, that's impressive ... I hope my Kohler's will run for 4,900 hours !! From your signature it looks like your still running that machine, a TT ... did you re-build the Kohler, or, buy a new engine ??

I bought the exact same engine to replace it. I have replaced just about everything on the mower. New hydros, new wheel motors, new spindles, a lot of belts, and tires LOL. But, heck I had a brand new mower by the time I replaced all of that so I still use it. It is more of a backup now. I put the mulch kit on it in the fall. This last year it probably only got 300-400 hours of use. But that is after being the primary mower for many years. I was very surprised it lasted that long. I ran the living crap out of that mower for many years.

I still have the original motor on the shelf. It was burning so much oil that in a typical 5-6 hour usage day I was dumping a whole quart of oil in it. It finally blew up.

The mower looks like it is only 2 years old. You would never guess it has over 6000 hours on it. I see a lot of people with a 2 year old mower with 900 hours and it looks like total crap. I can't believe how some people treat their equipment.

aroddy
01-26-2013, 10:32 AM
I've sold many big block Kawasaki and Big Block Vangaurds and the reliability on the Kawasaki's are not up to par just yet. They are working on it hard tho. The 37hp DFI Kawasaki is actually dependable now. When they came out they were horrible. But I have yet to do a warranty claim on a vanguard Big Block in 4 years!!! They are super reliable and when I sale a new Ferris/ Snapper Pro mowers I always push them because they are the best on the market for now

Ijustwantausername
01-26-2013, 03:25 PM
The trouble is we have very few options when it comes to engines on mowers. If I could of bought a briggs with the SZ, I would of. But no choice, had to get Kawi. I certainly wouldnt want another 31. Mine started leaking oil from the governor area and would/could of cost me a packet to repair it.
The 37 I have now doesnt use any oil (or very little) but its still young at 250hrs.

I used to use semi synthetic oil but now Im going to stick with dino and see if that helps keep the leaks to a minimum.

What was your 31 on? Did you replace it or just get a mew mower altogether?

Ijustwantausername
01-26-2013, 03:25 PM
If you are interested I know where you can find 32 hp vanguard engine that only has around 20 hrs. on it. Good price too.

Thanks, PM sent.

Ridin' Green
01-26-2013, 03:40 PM
What was your 31 on? Did you replace it or just get a mew mower altogether?

I'm not Mickhippy, but I know he had that 31 (FX850) on his old SZ. he bought a new SZ with the 37 (now rated 35) HP Kawi.

retrodog
01-26-2013, 06:35 PM
RD,

Is that just Kohlers or all BB's? My 30 Vanguard BB doesn't burn oil. Its only got 100 hours so do i have something to look forward too?
Like i said its not on all, but very normal on some oil consumption. This is my sixth year being a mower dealer will have sold 1000 ztr mowers here pretty quick i have seen it all. I did several tear downs on motors that burned ounce per hour with nothing found wrong with motor, i have learned to deal with it now instead of costing the cash of the tear down (most of the time customer refuses to pay for tear down when nothing found to warranty). If it doesnt to start with chances are you are good for a while until after midlife.. usually its the other way around i see it burn until after 100 hours or so then smooth out to nearly nothing. Big thing to remember is to absolutely never overfill oil reservoir, i have seen quite a few motor failures now due to over filling. Something i was never told and just recently figured out.
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Ijustwantausername
01-26-2013, 08:31 PM
It may be normal for a mower to burn oil, but as a consumer that paid over $10K for a brand new mower, that's unacceptable. Especially when other 31 Kawasakis arent doing it, and especially if the company's slogan is "Simply the best." Now I will have to be paranoid about keeping up with my hours, checking the oil more often and spending an additional $7-8 per week on K-Tech that I hadn't originally planned to do. Plus spending hours, time and $ taking it to and from a dealer.

All I want is for the problem to go away. I am having to do something that the manual hadn't originally said I'd have to do, that is, add oil to an engine that's used it since I bought it brand new. My buddy isn't doing this to his commercial Toro, I didn't have to do it to my Commercial John Deere until 1300 hours, many of you who have posted aren't having to do it to your mower(s), so why should it be okay that it's happening to a brand new mower?

What's the point of a THREE year warranty if you aren't going to fix a problem?

I appreciate everyones input, this just frustrates me to no end, so I thought I'd use lawnsite as a vehicle to vent.

djagusch
01-26-2013, 09:12 PM
It may be normal for a mower to burn oil, but as a consumer that paid over $10K for a brand new mower, that's unacceptable. Especially when other 31 Kawasakis arent doing it, and especially if the company's slogan is "Simply the best." Now I will have to be paranoid about keeping up with my hours, checking the oil more often and spending an additional $7-8 per week on K-Tech that I hadn't originally planned to do. Plus spending hours, time and $ taking it to and from a dealer.

All I want is for the problem to go away. I am having to do something that the manual hadn't originally said I'd have to do, that is, add oil to an engine that's used it since I bought it brand new. My buddy isn't doing this to his commercial Toro, I didn't have to do it to my Commercial John Deere until 1300 hours, many of you who have posted aren't having to do it to your mower(s), so why should it be okay that it's happening to a brand new mower?

What's the point of a THREE year warranty if you aren't going to fix a problem?

I appreciate everyones input, this just frustrates me to no end, so I thought I'd use lawnsite as a vehicle to vent.


Air cooled engines use oil, period. Depending on the temp they run etc they could use more or less.

You mentioned manuals. I have never read a engine manual that didn't say check the oil everyday or 8 hrs of use.

Have you thought your engine could still be breaking in?

Have you thought of trying a different brand of oil?

How do the plugs look? Do they have oil deposits on them like a engine that burns oil or are they clean?

The engine is a kawi if it was put on a different brand mower do you think the results would be the same? If so why bitxh about scag?

If the dealer is doing its job have they told or found out what amount of oil usage is cause for warranty? (Back in the 90's it took a qt every 700 miles for dodge to do anything for warranty).

I guess what I'm saying is quit venting and start thinking on the issue.

I had the same motor on the super z few years back and it used some oil but about 150hrs it used a lot less. Vride uses a little oil but not much. 35bb on a tt uses alittle oil its whole life. Its part of life, get over it.
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ztman
01-26-2013, 09:19 PM
It may be normal for a mower to burn oil, but as a consumer that paid over $10K for a brand new mower, that's unacceptable. Especially when other 31 Kawasakis arent doing it, and especially if the company's slogan is "Simply the best." Now I will have to be paranoid about keeping up with my hours, checking the oil more often and spending an additional $7-8 per week on K-Tech that I hadn't originally planned to do. Plus spending hours, time and $ taking it to and from a dealer.

All I want is for the problem to go away. I am having to do something that the manual hadn't originally said I'd have to do, that is, add oil to an engine that's used it since I bought it brand new. My buddy isn't doing this to his commercial Toro, I didn't have to do it to my Commercial John Deere until 1300 hours, many of you who have posted aren't having to do it to your mower(s), so why should it be okay that it's happening to a brand new mower?



What's the point of a THREE year warranty if you aren't going to fix a problem?

I appreciate everyones input, this just frustrates me to no end, so I thought I'd use lawnsite as a vehicle to vent.

Just curious, you had two Cheetahs that you blew engines on and then sold.In I havent heard of any others blowing up engines, let alone two. How were you using the Cheetahs?

Ijustwantausername
01-26-2013, 09:37 PM
Just curious, you had two Cheetahs that you blew engines on and then sold.In I havent heard of any others blowing up engines, let alone two. How were you using the Cheetahs?

That must be someone else? I've only owned this cheetah and it hasn't blown up.

ztman
01-26-2013, 09:41 PM
That must be someone else? I've only owned this cheetah and it hasn't blown up.

My apologies, it was another member that just blew up two and sold them on the forum

Jimslawncareservice
01-26-2013, 09:50 PM
It may be normal for a mower to burn oil, but as a consumer that paid over $10K for a brand new mower, that's unacceptable. Especially when other 31 Kawasakis arent doing it, and especially if the company's slogan is "Simply the best." Now I will have to be paranoid about keeping up with my hours, checking the oil more often and spending an additional $7-8 per week on K-Tech that I hadn't originally planned to do. Plus spending hours, time and $ taking it to and from a dealer.

All I want is for the problem to go away. I am having to do something that the manual hadn't originally said I'd have to do, that is, add oil to an engine that's used it since I bought it brand new. My buddy isn't doing this to his commercial Toro, I didn't have to do it to my Commercial John Deere until 1300 hours, many of you who have posted aren't having to do it to your mower(s), so why should it be okay that it's happening to a brand new mower?

What's the point of a THREE year warranty if you aren't going to fix a problem?

I appreciate everyones input, this just frustrates me to no end, so I thought I'd use lawnsite as a vehicle to vent.

Scag has nothing to do with the engine. I have the same engine in my deere z950 and it did the same thing until it reached 150 or so hours. Now it used really nothing between changes. If your not happy with your cheetah I'll trade you my deere that uses no oil and has no problems.
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