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Expected life for Kawasaki FH580V 19HP engine?

roger1

LawnSite Member
Location
San Angelo, TX
I have this engine on my 13 year old Scag Freedom Z 52" ZTR mower that I bought new.
My mower presently shows 484 on the hour meter. I was just wondering what the expected life on this engine is.

I've been having trouble with leaking oil and my Scag dealer couldn't find the exact source. They said it would be $900 to reseal the entire engine but the money may be better spent towards a new engine which he said would be a Kohler. I told them do neither right now and they brought it back to me with no bill.

I wasn't satisfied with that answer and am in the process right now of trying to find the source of the leak myself. I think I found it and it's the upper crank seal. Thanks to info after searching on this site, I found it was easy to remove the flywheel. I had to clean everything well, then reassemble and mow the yard again before tearing it down again to be able to trace the oil leak path. That pretty much led straight to the crank seal. Waiting on a new one to get here so I should know for sure this fix works this week.

Anyway, I would appreciate thoughts how much more life this engine should have lift in it. It does run great right now.

Wet all the way to the top of the seal:


I can't see where why the seal leaks after taking it out. No damage on it. If it's the culprit, it must just be wear I can't detect.


The rest of the mower is in great shape and like I said, other than the oil leak, the engine runs great.
 
OP
roger1

roger1

LawnSite Member
Location
San Angelo, TX
Wow 2000 hours. That's good to know. The mechanic at my Scag dealer said maybe 1000. Quoted me $2200 to $2300 for a new Kohler installed.

$900 sounded high to me too. I also thought a total resealing of the engine didn't make much sense rather than to do what it takes to find the source of the leak and just fix that. He did put dye in the oil and said he thought it was the pan gasket. It didn't take me long to rule that out but it did take me a while to figure out how to trace it to the upper crank seal. I'm mechanically inclined but don't have a lot of experience with small engine work.

Just got Sunday delivery from Amazon so I'm installing the new crank seal right now.
 

Mownmachine144

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Memphis TN
Wow 2000 hours. That's good to know. The mechanic at my Scag dealer said maybe 1000. Quoted me $2200 to $2300 for a new Kohler installed.

$900 sounded high to me too. I also thought a total resealing of the engine didn't make much sense rather than to do what it takes to find the source of the leak and just fix that. He did put dye in the oil and said he thought it was the pan gasket. It didn't take me long to rule that out but it did take me a while to figure out how to trace it to the upper crank seal. I'm mechanically inclined but don't have a lot of experience with small engine work.

Just got Sunday delivery from Amazon so I'm installing the new crank seal right now.
Keep us posted
 

sjessen

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Knoxville, Tn
Wow 2000 hours. That's good to know. The mechanic at my Scag dealer said maybe 1000. Quoted me $2200 to $2300 for a new Kohler installed.

$900 sounded high to me too. I also thought a total resealing of the engine didn't make much sense rather than to do what it takes to find the source of the leak and just fix that. He did put dye in the oil and said he thought it was the pan gasket. It didn't take me long to rule that out but it did take me a while to figure out how to trace it to the upper crank seal. I'm mechanically inclined but don't have a lot of experience with small engine work.

Just got Sunday delivery from Amazon so I'm installing the new crank seal right now.
Keep it alive until winter and go through the engine then.
 
OP
roger1

roger1

LawnSite Member
Location
San Angelo, TX
With 480 hrs that engine has got way more left in him for that.
Keep it alive until winter and go through the engine then.
It's back together and running at full speed right now. I figure maybe the thing for me to do is run it for a while, let it cool off and pull back down to inspect. Doesn't really take that long once you've been through that iteration a few times already.

Since it runs like a top, I don't think there's a reason to go through the engine this winter if this seal takes care of my leak. I'm willing to deal leaks one at a time if they come up down the road.
 

hal

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Georgia
You might be getting too much pressure in the engine, there is a valve reed, I believe on top that may need to be looked at????? (maybe)
 

Valk

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
KS
Sounds like you may have gotten this sorted? Hope so.

Fwiw:
Kawasaki sells that FH engine still, but only a few/yr are allowed since they are considered a dirty engine per the EPA. Best time to buy is in January due to the new fiscal year. Should be under $1500 and a simpler install than a Kohler conversion (I would think). Call Jackssmallengines.com for info and have the model # handy = which is two letters followed by two numbers found on the engine placard.
Good luck!
 
OP
roger1

roger1

LawnSite Member
Location
San Angelo, TX
Alright, I've run it for 45 minutes now at full speed and shut down. Mowed part of our 2 acre yard even though it didn't need it yet. No sign of a leak and I think I would have seen it run down the side of the engine by now. The oil leak path ran down the block between the cooling fins just to the rear of the oil filter. I even put a cotton swap up as far as I could and get no oil. I think I've got the leak fixed! I also don't think after running it that long that it's necessary to remove the flywheel again to inspect. Pretty confident at this point. (And happy.)

Took awhile. It actually went to the shop twice for this. First time they said they couldn't get it to leak and they brought it back no charge. Since it still leaked, they came and got it again and that's when they told me the $900 total re-seal or new engine story. Again, they brought it back with no charge. Then it took me a good while to chase it down. I kept thinking it was the oil filter or the oil drain valve right below. It took removing the flywheel with a thorough cleaning in that area before I could run it again and then follow the trail to the seal.

You might be getting too much pressure in the engine, there is a valve reed, I believe on top that may need to be looked at????? (maybe)
I had already thought of that possibility and would have researched that next. However, you think it would have pushed oil out in the lower seal too. No leak down there. Don't have to do that now it looks like.
 
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