View Full Version : Broken Camshaft on a 20 h.p. OHV Liquid Cooled Kaw?????

02-15-2004, 09:47 PM
Ok, so my front deck John Deere F725 just wouldn't crank the other day. I notice the fuel filter is dry......so I'm thinking it's the fuel pump. Before I pull the pump, I take off a valve cover and spin the engine over. There is no valvetrain movement at all. So it has to be a broken camshft......Correct??? The machine has roughtly 2,000 hours on it. Anyone have any clues or experience with this engine before? How costly could this be to fix? How much other damage could there be as far as valve hitting pistons because of being out of time? Is this even an interfearance engine? So many quesitons.....please help. THANKS!

02-15-2004, 10:06 PM

Kawasaki has had issues with camshafts turning into powder a few years back because they use compressed steel dust to make the cams rather than machined steel like Kohler uses.

Can you pull the fuel pump and look in the hole with a fiber optics light to see if there is anything broken? Chaces are it is the actuator arm on the pump and not the cam.

Dig into it and psot back when you get to the bottom of it...

02-15-2004, 10:14 PM
Uniscaper, maybe you misunderstood my post. You see, I pulled off one valve cover today and spun the engine over for a while. I see no valves going up or down at all. This leads me to believe that the cam is not turning. Since the fuel pump rides on the cam (if the cam is broken) , that's why I'm seeing no fuel to the carb. A broken camshaft would cause multiple problems such as no fuel and no valvetrain movement. Please respond back. Thank you

02-15-2004, 11:12 PM

I did misread your post...Must be my blonde hair acting up again....

If you are seeing no movement, you either have a broken cam, or perhaps a stripped gear...Sounds like time to jurk the engine and split the case, but, at 2000 hours, what is next? If you have a decent set of cylinders and heads, I would ring it and replace the rods. That way you should be good for a while longer.

I am not sure how much Kawasaki will charge for these parts. I do know that when one we had let go under warantee, they did not cover it, and i was young and stupid and bought parts... For $100.00 more I could have had a whole new engine...

02-16-2004, 07:29 AM
Uniscaper, where is the best place to get parts from? Does anyone offer a total rebuild kit for this engine. Like gaskets, pistons, rings, bearings, etc. As you said, it's got alot of hours on it now, so I might as well do it right if the block is workable. Everytime I search for kawasaki parts online, all I get are places that sell complete engines, not rebuild kits. I'd like to attempt it myslef, I work part time at a machine shop to boot. Any feedback? Thanks

02-16-2004, 11:22 AM

Short of finding a distributor through a local mower shop, I am not sure. The distributor or the dealer should be able to tell if they service the block, or you need to buy a new engine. We don't run any Kaweasakis because of the way they treated warrantee issues when we had them.
Thier thing is to sell engines, not parts, as it has taken conseidrable lengths of time to obtain things other than what normally wears. In some instances, they offer assemblies only, such as short blocks, long blocks, etc. The reason was what I had mentioned earlier. Cost. The average shop looks at a job, adds labor to cost of parts, and finds it less expensive to replace engines. Therefore, the need for parts is not as great, so they figure why bother...It is very frustrating to say the least, as I prefere rebuilding over buying new, but, that is the way it is.

02-16-2004, 09:54 PM
Uniscaper, I see your point on shops trying to push complete engines instead of selling parts. I still feel the need to do it myself instead of buying a whole new motor. That is if my block is not hurt too bad. I have a feeling this is gonna be expensive even if I do all the work. Definately a good learning experience if nothing else! I've never tackled an over head valve engine before. I appreciate all the advice. I'll keep you posted on the outcome. I ran out of daylight last night pulling the engine off the frame. The wiring harness is disconnected and the block is unbolted. Do you have any pointers on getting the main pulley off the crankshaft? This pulley won't pull through the frame of the deere. I won't have a chance to work on it again until this coming weekend.

02-16-2004, 10:02 PM
The last one I done the pulley just barely fit through the frame. You will probably find out it is a plastic gear that has stripped out on the cam. If you go new it will be steel. Not too bad to replace. Seemed harder to r&r the muffler and engine than to replace the cam. Be sure to replace the lower seal when you are there. Also good time to check the hydro pump belt. 2000 hrs aint too bad if it has had maintance. good luck

02-16-2004, 10:08 PM
Forgot something. You might want to check water pump for leaks while you have it out where you can at least see it.

02-17-2004, 07:28 AM
Ducky, Thanks! Those are awesome tips. I'll make an update the end of this weekend...........hopefully.

02-17-2004, 07:36 AM
Ducky, one more thing. How about when the engine is running when the cam sprocket breaks? When everything becomes out of time, do valves hit pistons on this particular OHV kawasaki? I know more about autos than mowers. Some cars are designed in such a manner as causing all kinds of valvetrain damage when the timing belt lets go. Thanks for all the advice.

02-18-2004, 07:17 AM
They must have clearance because I havent seen one damaged that way yet.

02-18-2004, 01:18 PM
hey, I was wondering how difficult it is to pull the heads on the kawi. I have a 22 lc that I need to rebuild the top end (leaking head gasket). Curious to where you found the torque spec for the heads? Ive been after a service manal for months and havent got htem yet.

02-18-2004, 07:52 PM
I got my torque specs from my jd dealer. We get along pretty good and he let me look at his service manual.

02-18-2004, 08:12 PM
DUCKY, can you post the torque specs for a liquid cooled kawasaki???? I would assume most of the 18-2?'s h.p. lc's would have similiar specs. Just guessing though.

02-18-2004, 08:36 PM
I will try to get them the next time I go to jd. I will probably have to go soon. meybe this weekend.

Liquid Cooled
02-19-2004, 02:02 AM
Is your Kawasaki vertical shaft or horizontal shaft.
I have the torque specs FD620D 20HP and the FD661D 22HP (horizontal shaft).

02-19-2004, 07:24 AM
Thanks Ducky

Liquid, I'm getting my part number off the engine in a few more days. I'll know for sure what it is then. The horsepower sticker fell off when the previous owner had it. So as it stands now all I know is that it is an 18-20something from pics I've seen.

Liquid Cooled
02-19-2004, 11:53 AM
764 if the cam gear fails the piston will not hit the valve train.

To test valves, with the valves closed blow comp. air into the cylinders.

If no air comes out the intake or the exhaust, the valve train is OK.

Liquid Cooled Baytown TX.

02-19-2004, 07:41 PM
Ok guys, my kawasaki engine part number is FD590V. It turns out this thing is only an 18 horse. I'm kind of bummed. The previous owner told me it was a 20! Oh well too late now I guess. Anyone have the torque specs.? This is also liquid cooled by the way. I plan on getting it tore down this weeked to hopefully find a broken "plastic" cam gear. THANKS!

02-19-2004, 09:15 PM
A good place you guys might want to check for parts is www.j-thomas.com. They have alot of parts for Kawasaki engines. A great place to buy a new kawaski engine would be from www.alamia.com. They have cheap prices and free shipping on engines

02-20-2004, 06:04 PM
Nitrous, here are the specs you were wanting. These are in inch pounds instead of foot pounds.
Head bolts first round is 115 in. lbs.
final round is 186 in. lbs.
Rod caps are 186 in. lbs.
Water pump bolts is 70 in. lbs.
case cover is 186 in. lbs.
Valve clearance is .010 for both intake and exhaust
If you dont have a in. lb. wrench you can divide these by 12 and it will give you the foot pounts torque. The book showed tightening the bolts in a stagered pattern. good luck

02-20-2004, 07:44 PM
Thank you very much Ducky. I'll keep you posted.

02-22-2004, 10:48 AM

Got the engine apart. It was a broken cam gear and it is plastic and it is in a MILLION little pieces. No valve train damage. Pistons and cylinders look great for the machine having 2000 hours. Should be a pretty straight forward and reasonably priced repair. What kills me is how wormy the inside of this kawasaki looks. I mean ALL the gears are plastic. Water pump drive, oil pump drive, and of course the broken cam gear. This mower was like $9,000 or so when new. You would think for that kind of money one would get all metal parts wouldn't you? Oh well, just venting I guess. Thanks for everyone's help with my first visit to the inside of a water cooled kawasaki.

02-22-2004, 11:28 AM
I can understand your thinking in a way about the plastic gears.But 2000 hours isnt to shabby and if they were metal then you would have metal shavings floating around in the engine and possibly doing damage, but then again if they were metal , maybe they would of lasted more than 2000 hours

02-22-2004, 03:36 PM
If the gears were metal the engine probably would not run quite so quiet either. Glad you found the problem. Kaw did go back to a metal gear on the new cams. Probably having a little trouble with the plastic ones.

03-23-2004, 08:57 AM
Thanks for everyone's help. Got the mower running a few days ago. Cuts grass fine. Ended up getting the updated cam with steel gear from J.D., new standard rings(just honed the block), and complete gasket set. Engine smokes a few seconds on startup. I'm thinking I should have bored it and installed new pistions. But I swear it hardly had any wear for having 2000 hours. I figured I would be fine with just a hone job. Oh well. live and learn. If I think about it I will post pics. of the borken cam shaft. See ya'!

03-23-2004, 01:56 PM
Maybe after a few hours of running the rings will wear to the block and the smoking will stop

03-23-2004, 09:11 PM
Grass cuttin............so far I only have about an hour on the budget rebuild. I have to admitt that the smoking has gotten much better than when I initially first ran it. It smoked like crazy for several minutes. After an hour's run time, it smokes for about 10 seconds on a cold start up. The top ring in my ring kit was shiny chrome and the next ring was black. Some people have said that this chrome ring may take a while to break in................ like you said. Then others say it should be broken in within a few seconds of cranking up. Who to believe? Anyone have somethin' to add. See ya'll!!

03-26-2004, 09:15 PM
I've got a deere with a kawaski 17hp...... It rattles and vibrates like everything........

03-26-2004, 09:22 PM
Going to check that out for you tomm. cutnitclose. Has me real curious! The "mailbox man" has a Shind. T-270 he is looking to get rid of (100.00)

03-26-2004, 09:36 PM
nitrous Im just wondering since you rebuilt the lower end of the engine if maybe the new compression is pushing a little oil by the valves now???

03-26-2004, 10:59 PM
Grass Cuttin'............I did a valve job to the heads also along with the rebuild. I had the valves reground as well as the seats in the heads. New valve seals were installed and also the heads were shaved .005". I dind't cut any corners. Unless you call not boring the cylinders and getting new oversized pistons cutting corners. The only reason I didn't go this route was because the cylinder wear really was minimal. I'm just gonna put a few more hours on the mower now and see what develops. Right now it's got less than an hour on it. Maybe everything will pan out.

03-28-2004, 04:34 PM
I'll post these in case someone wants to see how mickey mouse the mid 90's kawasakis are. This part has since been updated to all steel, at least my replacement camshaft was.........no more plastic thank goodness.

03-28-2004, 04:36 PM
Here's another angle!

03-28-2004, 05:24 PM
Try checking out http://www.buykawpower.com It has complete breakdowns on your engine.