Dark oil in Kawisaki 23

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowerman90, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    I change my oil and filter every 50 hours in my 23HP Kawi. I also have a Engineaire air filter on it and check it regularly. Here's my problem/question: After about 5 hours on new 10w30 Valvoline oil it turns a dark color like it was dirty and ready for a change. You can still see through it on the stick, but it is almost black. I thought that maybe not all of the old oil was draining out, so the last time I changed it I just about tipped the machine over so that it would all drain. It made no difference. Anyone else notice this with their Kawis?
     
  2. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    ummmm kawasaki aren't supposed to take 10-w-30. they take SAE 30. flip over the air filter cover, and all the specification for the 23HP kawasaki engine are right there. try using the SAE 30 instead, and see if this solves your problem.

    my guess is that the 10-w-30 is breaking down too fast. that i know of, no kawasaki engine under 25 HP uses anything but SAE 30. no on a kohler engine, that's a different story.
     
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I use 10W-30 Mobil-1 in my 27 Kawi, and when I dump it @ 50 hrs, its still new looking! Its cheap insurance to change it regularly. I don't see a problem using multi-vis oils in small engines. Anything to help initial startup flow will help significantly in ANY engine.

    Something must be wrong with your engine (bad ring?) for it to discolor this way. Is it running OK?

    Little stupid, but....you are changing the filter each time, right?
     
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Ohiolawnguy,

    Page 13 of my Kawi manual says that it's OK to use 10w30 in this temp range. I've been using 10w30 Valvoline since 1987 without any problems in any of my equipment. Yes, TLS, I'm changing the filter every time (at 50 hours) and the engine runs like a top. It's still new, only has aprox 150 hours on it.

    untitled-1.jpg
     
  5. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    well i'll be darned, i stand corrected. my dealer has always said never, never, never put 10w in the kawsaki engines.

    you did notice in the fine print however, that it says that using multi grade oils will increase oil consumption. is it possible that the multi grade oil is breaking down into this black oil that you mention, possibly almost sludge like?

    and BTW, no i don't read every single owners manual we get. If i did, i wouldn't get anything done-LOL

    if you say it runs fine, i would go buy some motor flush at the auto parts store. put it in with the oil level full. start it up and let it run for ten minutes. then drain the oil and put fresh in.

    this motor flush stuff is intended for cars, and i would only use maybe half of it at most.

    i use it on everything ive ever bought used with an engine, it loosens up all the old gunk in the engine.


    if that doesn't help, i would have the dealer take a look at it. ive never seen black oil out of an engine with only 150 hours on it.

    of course, i still say try the SAE 30, that's all weve ever used on kawasaki engines. it'll only cost you 2 quarts of oil and a filter.
     
  6. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    My dealer says he sees the same thing and doesn't know why it's doing this. A friend of mine has the same engine and has noticed the same thing. Kinda freaky isn't it? Anyone know if Kawisaki has a forum or something on the net?
     
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Ed,

    Along with possible washed rings as a cause, you did mention an engineaire air cleaner. Could this NOT be sealing perfectly on the carb flange? May want to get an oil analysis done to see. They can tell a number of things with those. Silicates (sand) is real easy to diagnose in these!
     
  8. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    TLS

    I'm REAL careful when installing a new filter making sure to seal everything as tightly as possible, the reason being that here in Florida there's plenty of sand flying around. However, I'd be interested in having an oil analysis done, just to satisfy my own curiosity. Who does it , how, where, how much etc.?
     
  9. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    i don't know of any kawasaki forums or anything of the like. possibly you could just call kawasaki?

    we have 23HP kawasaki engines on both our bobcat ZT 200. one has 800 hours, and the other has around 200. ive never seen them drop black oil.

    the one with 200 hours we purchased in summer of 2001.

    the one with 800 hours we purchased in spring of 2000.

    we had a bobcat zt 200 with the 22 kohler command, but got rid of it after it had reached the 2000 hour mark.

    BTW, i hate the plastic drain plug on that kawasaki engine. my guys always want to use a wrench, and that just loosens up the sleeve. i tell them to just unscrew it by hand, because you usually can. have you noticed this also?
     
  10. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Ohiolawnguy,

    If there's one thing I hate about this engine it's that da** plastic drainplug. Someone posted a Kawi part number to replace it with a metal one for about $20 (well worth it, IMHO) My friend got the metal plug and it's a real quality item worth $20 (never thought I'd say that about a "drain plug"). I've got one ordered but it's on backorder.
     

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