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Kawasaki #1 Cyclinder guide problems.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Richabrad9, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    OK Guys, I'm new here so bear with me. I have been fixing small engines for many years and this one takes the cake!! I worked this summer for a lawn care business as a general help for the crew and repair person. He uses two 48 inch cut Ferris walk behinds. When I started one was already down,, It had the exhaust valve guide on the #1 cylinder slipped and bent the push rods so the head had to be replaced. Engine was clean and the fins were not obstructed. Well, within 3 or 4 months the other Ferris did the exact same thing.. I am now waiting on a head for it as well. Like another member I read Kawasaki states it is Operator error and will have no part in it. The guy on the phone questioned my ability and pretty much was rude. If you know the Ferris,, the #1 cylinder has the muffler and the cross section of the exhaust pipe inches away but the #2 is clean and free. Kawasaki is at fault for the design of the muffler or Ferris for the design of the mower, I don't care. Anyone else having this problem?? PS one has around 1500 hours the other has around 2800 hours and valve adjustment was good. I tried to eliminate anything they could tell me. What can be done to help the new heads survive?
  2. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    I'm a Kawasaki dealer, and have had this happen at least a dozen times in the last two years. Kawasaki says it's the operator letting the head get to hot. The hours have been from 400 to 1500 when this has happened. Some were packed with grass, some clean. I don't even replace the head antmore. Just air up the cylinder, pop off the spring, pound the seat back in, tack it with 2 quic welds, or stake with a punch, new seal (if required), and install the spring. Have'nt had one come back yet. usually out of warranty when this happens. But Kawasaki has no problems!!!
  3. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks for the info,, On the weld are you using a tig?? I am not a welder so I will have someone do this for me. As far as I am concerned, I will not recomend a Kawasaki to anyone. We also have a Great Dane 52" Super Sufer with a 20hp Kohler and the only thing I've done to it was a gasket change on the carb. I has over 2500 hours on it. Its sad that even dealers are getting told the same excuse. If the engine is clean it should not overheat. Briggs may not be the best compared to most but at least its cheap and easy to find parts make up for it. Thanks again.
  4. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,024

    All the ones I have seen this happen to have been the operators faults....usually fins packed and clogged beyond belief.

    I just tore into one and found the guide just slightly dropped out. The other head was just as badly packed so I pulled it off just to check it out....good thing I did. That one was worse. The guide was moving in the head. The seal was gone because it had just been floating around going up/down with the valve. I took the guide out by hand.

    If it is the muffler causing it on that machine then it would technically be Ferris's fault. I know at least on the older dual drives it was their own pipe and muffler. I would have to look at the newer style one we have here...since they have turned the engines around on them...not sure what they are using now. Although Kawasaki mufflers end up in the same position so I doubt that is causing the issues.
  5. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    We've had a dozen or so of those this year too. Most were clogged with very little air flow. But we did have one that was clean as a whistle. We pound them back up and stake them, put on new seals good to go... the one thing with the kawi is... they last about 1,000 hrs with little or no problems and then they are very cheap to replace or rebuild.
  6. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I' ve seen that the engines are now facing the cylinders outward. I like that better. Like I said, both of ours were not spotless but not clogged. I do understand that if there is no airflow then they will overheat. None the less the damage is done and will be repaired, but I will surely not use or recommend Kawasaki if for any other reason then the people working there are just plain rude to the consumers buying and using there products on a daily basis. But the good thing is I have had no leaks from either of them like a lot of the other post had stated. Yes the engines are solid and powerful but I am a customer service type of guy. I like to treat people the same as I want to be. Thanks again for all your help.
  7. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,024

    You guys that are pushing them back into position...how do you get them to the right depth and hold them there? Like the one I just had the thing was sliding free in the head. Unless you know the exact position they are supposed to be in kinda tough to put them back and hold them there.

    We are talking guides here...NOT valve seats.
  8. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    On one of the Ferris's, it was like yours, the guide was free and just beating around in the head, that is why I had to replace it on that one. The one that is down right now is still a little tight but with use it is still slipping. As far as setting it back to the right position, I looked at the other side and measued it as the new head I recieved for the other one was the same on both sides. The head is 139 dollars at Jthomas onless you guys no anywear else that is cheaper. One of the main problems I have here is there is no local dealer that stock simple parts need on a regular basis. I have to order everything.
  9. mowerknower

    mowerknower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    You are really going to bad mouth Kawasaki for having a valve issue at 1500 hours and 2800 hours. Sure it sucks but it sounds like you got some pretty good hours out of those machines before a fairly major breakdown.
  10. Richabrad9

    Richabrad9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    For the most part, I agree, Good engine but I have personally owned and seen many other brands come in with many more hours on them then that. The main problem I believe is the placement of the muffler and or engine. But the guy didn't even want to consider that claim. I strongly believe that if it were in a better position that the engines would last twice as long. But I will bad mouth Kawasaki because of there poor customer service and treatment. You seriously want me to buy another Kawasaki when even in the thread above the dealer has had trouble with them too. Its the operators fault and that's it. I take really good care of all my equipment. I have a 24 year old 3.5 briggs that still runs and no major problems in its life. Not that that means anything but think of the hours that cheap non commercial engine has. But enough babbling, CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE KEY.

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