Kaw FH500V Oil Leak

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Steve Dearmore, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Hello everyone. I have been searching the web for info and manuals. I have found a lot of good info here on this site so I decided to join to learn from some veterans in the business and equipment. I break any rules or regs please delete my post mods.

    My son is exploring more lawn cutting options this next summer as he has two neighbors (elderly) he helps out and he wants to explore more yards for summer funds. Well a 21" mower isnt going to be efficient on time so I bought a used 03 Exmark TT 48" with a 17HP Kawasaki FH500V.

    Previous owner did state oil leak around governor seal which I wasnt too worried about. He stated cylinders have good compression and it did not run smooth before changing ignition coils and has been good since then. It starts up on one pull, runs smooth all RPM ranges. No noticeable smoking from exhaust.

    Doesnt seem to leak during operation but seems to be noticeable after running motor it starts to leak. I was thinking pressure while running doesnt allow to leak but after running and oil is thinner and loss of internal pressure it helps push out the weak areas of the gasket

    Only issue I want explore is that the oil I see is oil around the governor seal shaft, but see oil around the base of the left side of the engine. Near were the oil fill tube and block meet. I see some oil Collecting from the exhaust bolt to muffler right in front of the left side cylinder head.

    I have a strong feeling it is the Crankcase gasket. If so I am in search of a manual on how to replace it. I can only find instructions for a kohler crankcase gasket replacement.

    This post may be premature as I will testing the compression for myself tonight and get some pictures but felt any info helps and I feel a lot of people have experienced this engine and its symptoms already.

    Thank you in advance
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,802

    Before you jump into that pull the dipstick tube and replace the oring. Might stop the majority of leaking.
    sjessen likes this.
  3. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    The oil is forming more on the front side near the head. There is less oil near the drain tube than the front side. I have an accumulation of oil hanging from the bolt holds the exhaust to the left side head. I have one more cut to do next week then I will be diving into this adventure. I am mechanically incline and have plenty of automotive knowledge but small engine is new to me so I wanted to ask question before starting
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,802

    Wash it real good after that last cut so you tell exactly where its coming from.
  5. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    So I sprayed it down with carb cleaner wiped away a lot of oil and started her up.

    No oil leaks when running.

    After shut down I can see oil flowing from behind the throttle bracket. I don't see much evidence on the upper half of the engine and can't see exactly the origin with bracket in place. It is very close around the head location but can't rule that out either.

    Seems I will have to remove part to zero in on exact location but seems more like crank seal unless there is some more parts in that area I need to inspect
  6. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,996

    there's a couple plates up there with gaskets i believe. had one leaking up behind carb, kind of on top of head i believe.
  7. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    cool thanks for the info. Looking at diagram now. I also noticed the air filter seems to have more oil on it than I think it should have. Not the prefilter but the actual paper baffle filter. Not sure how that would get oil on it.
  8. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,686

    hort101 likes this.
  9. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    well compression test came up with 50 on the right and slightly less on the left. Im using a cheap gauge but.... that seems lower than spec of 57psi

    Thank you BigFish i was looking for the big book of goodness info.
  10. Steve Dearmore

    Steve Dearmore LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I think i will tear down this winter and replace the crankcase seal, main seal, piston rings, and relap my valves. All in all that should secure me for another 10 years of service on this motor providing i dont screw this up. I am mechanically incline and have worked on cars for some time now so a small engine breakdown like this shouldnt be too much for me. Good bonding time with son this way
    Eric502 likes this.

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