Heres the situation im in. I bought a good overall condition (04 ish) 48" Exmark Walker, Hydro, ECS, Floating decka year or 2 ago. The unit came with the Kawasaki 17hp motor (Kawasaki FH500V). Towards the end of last season the engine started making odd sounds (which I was not able to pinpoint), ran rough and on startup smoked for a few min. At this point the mower is in great shape, strong pumps, tight spindles so I feel its best to put a new motor on it...by the time I do repair work or have it looked over the cost of a brand new engine is reached. However I have a few questions: Do I replace it with the same Kawasaki FH500V motor? Are the newer "redesigned motors" FH541V better motors, same 17hp? Any chance the 19hp engine will work on this or is this just pointless? Also can I get a motor with electric start and wire it up or cost wise will this not be smart, I know Id need to make a battery tray and all that but was wondering while im doing this. Figured it would be a good time to start working on it so it will be ready to mow in a short while. Thanks for your help!