Replacing a motor

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by FLC2000, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,839

    I have an Encore 36 walk behind with a Kawasaki FC420V. Its probably got a good 2500 hrs on it. Unfortunately its run its course and I need to replace it.

    Basically I noticed small amounts of oil on my shop floor where it was parked and as time went by the amounts of oil got larger. One day while mowing I stopped to pick up some trash and looked at the front of the motor. I noticed oil spraying out where it attaches to the deck. I thought it might be a gasket so I took it up to my mechanic. He told me what he thought it was ( I dont remember) and quoted me $1300.00 to rebuild the motor.

    After some research I found some online distributors that have motors in the $700-950 range.

    My questions are this:

    I see that the FC420 is no longer available. What is a comprable replacement from Kawasaki for it?

    As far as replacing. Im a halfway decent mechanic. I can replace the belts and adjust the hydros, stuff like that. How does one go about doing this?

    I noticed it has 4 bolts. Do I just remove those bolts, lift the motor off and put the new on?

    Im pretty tight with my money so I would rather do this myself.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    Subscribing, interesting thread.

    I have an older Bobcat WB with the same motor. Still running strong though, one pull.
     
  3. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,839

    It starts great. It just requires a quart of oil every other day...
     
  4. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,023

    I dont understand why he would even quote you a rebuild if he wants more than what a new 15HP Kawasaki would sell for.

    If it isnt burning oil, I would look into finding the leak and fixing it. An oil leak doesnt need a rebuild. Now if there is a hole or crack in a major part of the engine then it isnt worth it.

    A good replacement would be a 13HP or 15HP Kawasaki V-twin. You will need a longer throttle/choke cable since they route to the front of the machine instead of hooking right on the back of the engine.
     
  5. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    As long as you choose and engine with the same crank diameter and length that will fit in the confines of your mower you should be OK, as long as you don't have electric clutch/electric start, in which case you may have other considerations.

    In the past I have ordered several engines from Tulsa Engine Warehouse. They used to have an 800 number for engine replacement questions--I didn't see one any longer. Parts orders are internet only now. The do have a message line and a chat feature that you could use to check what they advise for a favorable replacement. Mounting patterns are pretty standard among manufacturers.

    http://tulsaenginewarehouse.com/

    The big boys may be around later with additional suggestions but they're probably busy right now with their steak and shrimp.
     
  6. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,839




    Im going to assume there is much more labor in rebuilding a motor then slapping a new one on and thats why it is so expensive.
     
  7. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,240

    The only cheap labor is your own.....
    I would replace the base gasket, pto seal, and governor seal on the FC420,

    And use it for another 5 years...Those engines are bulletproof, and don't care how you treat them.
    Dutch.....on Friday's ....its Lobster and Cracked Crab......
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    You're right on the three likely leak sources, Slapper. It doesn't happen often, but I've seen a mounting boss crack develop over a period of time, so it doesn't hurt to check the integrity of the pan.

    Sorry, Slapper, time passes so fast when I'm having fun, I thought it was Saturday. As a result, I was a day ahead on the menu.
     
  9. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,839



    Is this something a guy with relatively no small engine experience could do easily?
     
  10. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,240

    Saturdays are good too....Ahh...if everyday were Saturday.
    A full bank account.....and Daisy Maes as far as Restrorobs eyes can see....

    Sorry FLC...didn't mean to get off topic....
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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