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17 hp Kawasaki Broken Connecting Rod

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Richabrad9, May 5, 2010.

  1. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Well, its me again with these Kawasaki's. This time the bolt backed out of the Connecting rod and it busted the block. I looked at all the manuals I could find and none tell me to break down the engine and check the torques on those bolts after so many hours. I took the good conecting rod off and both of those bolts were almost finger tight. This is the first engine I had to blow up. New is 1200 give or take or I can buy the parts to repair for around 400 if I can get the block fixed. So there we have it. First valve guide and now blown. I will tear the other one down and check all of those parts. Let me know your thougts. PS the reason I say it was a bolt backing out is because I found it laying in the bottom of the pan. Just wish I had been running the mower, Prob could have save the block buy shutting it down in time.
  2. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,329

    How many hours on the engine before rod broke?

    If the bolts werent properly torqued, the rods would have failed within the first 50 hrs.

    You never need to retorque rods. If the bolts were loose, it was probably from running low on oil a few times , and the rods superheated . These heat cycles will allow the rod bolts to back off.

    If the block is broken, stick a fork in it...its done.
  3. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Never say done, A good tig and it should be OK. Done it at the machine shop a couple of times. Bolts were loose, and only around 400 hours on the engine. I check oil and grease all fittings before use every time. I'm one of those people who believe in an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. But none the less, I will break down the other Ferris and take a gander at it to. These have oil pumps on them as well, We do a lot of mowing on hills and banks here in Tn, wondering if that could be an issue as well. Like I said, this is the first engine I ever had blow up on me.
  4. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,329

    Its possible the oil pump is cavitating on hills. Take the oil pump apart and look at the rotor and clover gear. Inspect it for striping (metal transfer).

    It sounds like you are going to rebuild this engine. Inspect the block in these areas before making your descision.
    Top Bushing for wear
    Base of the cylinders for nicks or cracks
    Camshaft for any damage
    Crankpin for metal transfer
    The rod was moving pretty fast when it scattered...I'd hate to see you waste your time and money.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,269

    1200 hours is exactly what we got on our Kaw 17hp before it broke a piston rod but it damaged the crank. Ours didn't damage the block. I plan to take it on next winter. Sorry units.
  6. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I will be replacing the crank, connecting rods, rings and assoc. seals. Looking for someone to tig weld the block for me. La Follette is a small town so I have to reach out to the Knox area for a shop. If I can salvage the block Im looking at around 400 dollars for replacement parts vs 1200 for a new engine. I use JThomas for pricing and parts. Just think its a shame to have tear down the other one just make sure it does not happen to it as well.
  7. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,329

    You shouldn,t worry about the other engine. While some Kaw engines throw rods , most dont. There was probably a few little problems that led to this failure, not worth tearing down every Kawasaki engine in the county. If you could post a picture of the failed parts, it would probably be easier to isolate the main cause of the rod breaking.

    Kaw engines have a 2 yr warranty

    I MOW ALONE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,961

    i got a 17 kaw that i will part out. it runs but not the best so i would part it out. let me know what you need and make an offer if interested.
  9. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    If it is the FH 500V, what would be the price of the whole engine plus shipping to La Follette Tn, 37766 if possible? I will get some pics up tomorrow some time.

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