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Done with Kawasaki engines

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by ddixon7, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. ddixon7

    ddixon7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    In the last year I have had:
    - 17hp Kaw with 941 hours all the sudden leak oil FAST and die (like all the sudden a few minutes unnoticeable fast on the top.)
    - 19hp Kaw KAI with 764 hours throw a rod
    - 23hp Kaw FH blow a head with 1,464
    - 24hp Kaw FX throw a rod straight through the block with 1,374

    and now a 24hp Kaw FS that only has 300 hours on it (replacement for the 23) is leaking oil so fast I can keep up with it. This is exactly why the other 24hp just blew up on me. The dealer won't do anything about it because he say it is "normal." He also says Kawasaki is hard to deal with... I've know for years that my dealer sucks, but he is the only one that sells Exmark around here and I will only run their walkbehinds for more reasons than one so I have sucked it up for years.

    I am wondering if anyone else is having this much trouble with these recent Kawasakis.. Have they taking a hard tumble in quality? They have crappy seals all the sudden. They all leak fast out of the cam shaft seal. I have to clean them up all the time and dump oil in them all the time.

    All this while my 20 year old 15 hp Kawasaki (FC480 i think) with a minimum 5,000 hours runs like a champ, and 2 Kohler Commands run flawlessly, and one with very high hours. In fact, I have never gotten LESS than 4,000 hours out of a Kohler Command and once almost 6,000 hours. Vanguards run strong too and I always thought Kawasaki was good also, but not recently. I maintain my equipment flawlessly. I change the oil more than I need too and try my best to make sure they are clean (its just a pain to keep taking the engine cover off all the time because I should not have too).

    I expect a minimum of 2,500 hours from such high priced motors. I have small 2 cycle equipment with more hours than these new Kawasaki engines can handle.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  2. rkeeling

    rkeeling LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    funny you should post this, just recently noticed leak on my kaw.21hp, oil coming from back of motor, 900 hours
  3. wahlturfcare

    wahlturfcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 544

    i too have had the same problem with kawasaki motors. I have pulled a 2 year old 29 dfi motor off tone of the tigers and swapped in a kohler due to the problem of a head gasket leaking at 50 hrs( junked the motor) and the walkbehinds are all briggs or kohler motors except for one that is still running. Plus, im tired with the surging problems that kawasakis give me all the time while ideling.
  4. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    AMEN I will never touch another kawi either with the issues we have had.
  5. ddixon7

    ddixon7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I just ordered 3 Kohler Commands so I have them ready when needed. I am absolutely done with this pathetic Kawasaki... Its not just me, I know A LOT of people having the same problems, I just wanted to get a little more perspective around the country. These engines are not built any better than an engine you could buy on a lawn tractor at Lowes. I had one backfire like a son of a gun EVERY time you go from full throttle to idle.

    The only little thing I like about Kaw more the Kohler is that Kohler engines like to backfire when you turn them off after running them for more than 20 minutes at a time, but I don't care. I will take the longevity of a Kohler any day.
  6. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I'm about sick of lawn equipment in general. My FS481V on my gravely likes to drink oil it seems. I change it with SAE 30 every 50 hrs but it starts using oil at about 20hours or so. Just today I cut one lawn with it and put it back on the trailer behind my ztr and then ride two streets over to cut another lawn and go to get the walk behind off and it wouldn't start. Tried everything from removing the gas cap to changing the fuel filter and it still wouldn't start. I ride home and it starts fine =/

    Company's are just getting cheaper and cheaper.
  7. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    Now see it is the complete opposite. The kawi on our WB backfires once in a while when you cut it off. The 31hp kawi on my last gravely 460 would backfire so bad it sounded like a 30-06 rifle going off. I have never had a kohler that backfired and my new one on the new 460 we just got doesnt backfire but then again it is efi.
  8. tony b

    tony b LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Same problem on our walkbehinds but we usually get a few more hours than others are saying. We buy only Briggs vanguard engines for replacement. German engineering!
  9. ddixon7

    ddixon7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I hear ya. One of my Kawasaki's backfired so loud ALL the time it was embarrassing. I am in a million dollar type neighborhood and it sounds like someone is getting shot type of loud.

    When my Kohler's backfire, its more of a "fart" and I think it has more to do with a carb adjustment. It doesn't seem to hurt them at all.

    I will also say another positive about Kohler, they drink WAY less gas. At least this is true on my walkbehinds. Even my 19hp and 20hp Kaws on TTHP 52" drink more than my 23hp Kohlers on 60" Turf Tracers. And on the new FS model Kaws, the choke system SUCKS. It is always getting stuck and I have to walk to the front of the mower to open it with my finger.

    Just CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP trash all the way around. Cheap parts and crummy engineering.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  10. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    You guys are scaring me all 4 of my ztrs are Kawasaki but the last 2 are FS 730cc and the 31 FX which has almost 600 hrs. My other 2 are over 4 yrs old maybe ok 4560 hrs and my 28hp 1800 hrs. Anyone running straight 40W in the heat of summer?

    My FS recomends it over 80 to 104

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