Kawaski 17HP burns oil - When to rebuild?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by khutch, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,088

    Sadly I am on the replacement engine and now it is burning oil. I have kept all external leaks fixed pulled it off last year replace all gaskets. I assume if they leak past the valve guides I am sunk? I put a better air filter on one of the two standers.
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,536

    Not sunk. You can have new guides pressed in or some machine shops can knurl them for a few hundred more hours.
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  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,088

    I am a little hesitant in putting much money into these 17HP Kaw a lot of them in the junk pile at the dealer.
     
  4. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,240

    Its easier for a dealer to sell a new engine than to find a mechanic that can build one that won't come back...
    While there is no substitute for experience..if you check the block in all the right places...you should be able to determine if it is worth rebuilding before you spend a dime..
    The weakspots on the FH series is the upper crank bushing , the governor assy, and the castings where the coil bolts thread into...if these are good ...and the bores look good when you place a new ring in them...it'll probably be ok..
     
  5. RickyDL77

    RickyDL77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    right.. who puts 50 cal balls incased in a plastic ring for use in the gov. sandwitched between 2 metal plates? I like Kawi, but i seen that and shock my head. as for the 17hp, all of ours, 20 or so, have burnt oil since birth..right off the shelf they smoked, mainly till they get warm then it goes away. they stay relatively good on oil throughout the life of the oil but reek havac on spark plugs.
     
  6. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,240

    If you deglaze the cylinders and put a 30 degree crosshatch on the bores...the rings will seat better and it will virtually eliminate any oil consumption caused by the rings..
     
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,088

    All of the ones in bone pile are broken cranks...don't knowwhere they break. The shop I use usually does at least two rebuilds a week but always Kohler units. That was the failure on the first one I had.
     
  8. khutch

    khutch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 495

    All of these options make for a tough choice - and knowing that the skill of who is working on it makes me feel like taking it to the dealer may be a waste of money. That said, what is a typical cost of just replacing rings, and then the cost of some of the extra things mentioned?
    Just thinking of it, what should a FH541V new be to put on the TurfTracer?
     
  9. RickyDL77

    RickyDL77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 431

    looking at about 3 hours labor ($60-$80hr) for the rings, while in it mind as well replace all the seals and gaskets. Roughly $35 each set of rings. New Engine ranges from $1350-$1500, depending on the spec code (ES23, CS33). 1+ hour labor to change the engine depending on the machine and ease.

    You said you put a "better" air filter on one of the standers? did this make any difference? some of these machines have internally vented and some have externally vented carbs...putting the wrong one on could cause minor flooding i think. dont quote me on that though. just a thought.
     
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,088

    That darn seal kit with all those bolt an stuff runs close to $200. So a ring and valves grinding could slide up into $400 or so.
     

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