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Old 08-03-2013, 02:00 PM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Big Block Engine Owners

The manual clearly states the valve clearance needs to be adjusted at 300 hrs. on my Kawasaki FX1000V, 35 hp engine. This is not necessarily the case, as I have found out.

I noticed an occasional backfire at start-up, whether cold or hot the last few hours of operation. I had my dealer pick the mower up and take it to his service department, of which there is only one mechanic that touches my mowers, and he is a perfectionist. I talked with the mechanic on the phone and told him I had never heard the engine backfire until the last couple of times I operated the mower.

I told him I had not checked the rpms on the new mower but believed they were a little low, it's somewhat harder to tell on the big blocks due to their extreme power. I asked him when they normally checked the valve adjustment on these engines, and told him the manual stated every 300 hrs. He said we check them at different hours, but normally in the 300 hr. range.

I told him I wanted my valves adjustment checked, and I realized the engine only has 71 hrs., but I wanted the clearances checked very closely. He called and said it was a good idea I wanted the valves checked because they were all off considerably. He said, "most people with that low number of hours would never have it cross their mind that the valves may need adjusting, and to be honest it has changed my way of thinking."

The engine rpms were only reaching 3350 on the top end, I told him I wanted them set at 3650. He called and told me that after adjusting the valves and raising the rpms by 300, I was going to feel as if I was operating an entirely different mower. He said, "not only could I tell the ground speed picked up, the blades sound like an airplane taking off, whereas before I could tell they seemed a little slow."

He told me he honestly didn't realize 300 rpms would make that much difference, but when listening to the sound of the big blades under the 72" deck turning (I'm guessing from a more pronounced sound), he could tell there was a considerable difference.

This is the first engine I've owned in a very long time that does not have hydraulic lifters, and from what I've now seen, I would recommend everyone have the valves checked on their engines at 100 hrs. just as insurance. I would also definitely make sure your high end operating rpms are set slightly above your engine manuals recommendation.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:25 PM
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Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
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Wouldn't upping the rpms over factory setting void the warranty if the engine failed?
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:55 PM
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MJB MJB is offline
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Very good advice Puppy I can't believe how fast time goes by even though we jump between 3 different mowers soon to be 4. I sometimes fail to check and adjust the valves until I notice a problem which I have with my FX 850 Kawi.
Backfiring now I got to find the time to work on it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
Wouldn't upping the rpms over factory setting void the warranty if the engine failed?
Not the 25 to 50 additional rpms I'm talking about. Your Kohler engines are designed to be run at 3750, most all engines can run higher, the mower manufacturers specify 3600 to keep their hydraulics within certain parameters, but running an engine too slow will not allow your hydraulic system to cool properly.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:51 PM
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ProStreetCamaro ProStreetCamaro is offline
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I kind of know that the valves on our 15hp kawi needs adjusting now at 2000 hours. The last couple weeks it has started to pop a little at start up. The only other time they were adjusted was around 800 hours and they were only .001 to .002 out at 800 hours which is really no big deal but I adjusted them anyway. I do them myself (I am used to solid lifters due to my race cars). They are easy to adjust.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:18 PM
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Marshmallow Marshmallow is offline
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Valve adjustments arent cheep. If you cant do it yourself its not going to be fun dropping it off so often and paying such a hefty fee.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
Valve adjustments arent cheep. If you cant do it yourself its not going to be fun dropping it off so often and paying such a hefty fee.
An hour tops. Any dealer that charges longer is bending you over.
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