Exploding Engine

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coyotekid, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    My Kubota diesel in the 928 Grasshopper I'm running is about to explode. It's had all sorts of cooling problems, but I got an oil analysis back today, and it's ingesting extreme amounts of antifreeze and has really high wear rates.

    It's only a matter of time before it self-destructs. Has anybody replaced a small Kubota diesel? What should I plan on price wise?

    I'm figuring that it's going to be in $4000 range by the time it's installed.
  2. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    If it needs that much I'd probably send the unit to auction and buy a new one before dumping that much money into what I am assuming is an older unit that has seen better days. Sorry this doesn't address the question but just a thought.
  3. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Unfortunately, that's not the case...

    The machine is in excellent shape with only 235 hours on it. We bought the unit used at the end of last season with only 125 hours on it. It was in like-new condition, or so we thought. Someone must have overheated it severely along the way and warped the head so that it can't seal and coolant enters the crankcase. We got screwed!
  4. ToroLandscaper

    ToroLandscaper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Does it have a warranty??
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Well can the head be replaced?
    Maybe a machine shop can re-machine the old head and block and with labor and all, maybe half the price of a new diesel...
    Just a thought...
  6. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    That little engine is very popular. I would check online to replacement engines and see what you could pick up. They use them some in marine applications, check the model number and see what you can find. Unfortunately they are still pretty expensive.
  7. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Coyote, I've rebuilt a few Kubota's before for employer's That I previously worked for. I remember one of them cost in the neighborhood of $2800 to rebuild, but my stupid boss didn't listen, and bought parts from the wrong place ( Bobcat dealer ), Also, that engine had a bad crank ( someone rented the Bobcat, got drunk, and laid it on it's side, starving the bearing of oil ), which added considerably to the cost.

    I agree that it sounds like the seller saw you coming, but the situation can be rectified. Do some homework, and find a less expensive source for parts, also, if all is really wrong is a warped/ cracked head, just that can be replaced or fixed for considerably less than $4K..

    Find a COMPETENT, TRUSTWORTHY machine shop, to inspect the engine once you've pulled it, and do some price shopping on your own, and I'm sure you can get it dialed in for less than two grand, I know I could...

    Also, don't overlook buying a different form of equip[ment at an auction or something that has the engine you need, and swap it in. Just don't overlook all of your options..It ain't the end of the world.

    If the price of a new/rebuilt/swapped engine doesn't exceed 70% of the value of a new mower.. You'll still be ahead, as a new 928 is at least $10k...

    God bless you and good luck.
  8. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    The problem with antifreeze in your oil is that it eats the lower bearings quickly. I would bet that your cylinder walls still measure new, thus removing the need for an overhaul. In the oil test the metallic matter they probably found is from the bearings.

    Regardless of the cause, the entire engine will have to be taken apart, measured, inspected and repaired since you ran it with antifreeze in the oil.

    Sometimes there are defects in the engine, hence the need for warranties. Could be as simple as the headbolts were not torqued down properly, maybe the engine was dropped in shipping, who knows?

    If you still have to use it like it is, make sure you change the oil in it daily and run straight water in it, no antifreeze. You might have to add water throughout the day but you won't have to worry about ethylene glycol eating your engine.
  9. lawnmon

    lawnmon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I would send your oil analysis to Terry Dyson in Greenville, TX. He can tell you what is wrong with your motor. He can be reached at http://0041517.netsolhost.com/ or dysonanalysis@netzero.com

    He's the best and can likely tell you what your problem is, where the wear is, and what steps need to be taken.

    Good luck,

  10. coyotekid

    coyotekid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I already had this report interpreted by Terry, and he agreed that the engine has a warped head or gasket that's causing the problem. The previous owner/operators must have severely overheated it at some point in it's short life.

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