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Kawasaki 29 DFI....POS????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ScagGrassGuy1978, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. ScagGrassGuy1978

    ScagGrassGuy1978 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Hey guys I am somewhat new to the site here. I belonged years ago. Have'nt been here in a good 6 years.
    Anyways I have a 2004 Scag 61" Turf Tiger with the 29 Kawasaki DFI. This machine has been maintained perfectly. Stored inside, mowed in bad weather once in a while, but the machine is pristine for 1200 hours. My employee ran it last Friday and it died. We went to start it, no engine light, and the fuel pump didnt prime. It just cranked with no start. Brought to dealer it ends up being a computer. They said corroded pins in ECM, and bad wiring harness.
    No big deal until I get the bill for 756.00. The computer alone was $544. I was so stinking mad I went nuts. As stated this should not have any corrosion at all. I called Kawasaki and asked how could you charge 500 for a computer the size of a pack of Orbit gum.
    They had no reason. I called the supervisor (on vacation until tommorrow) and left him a nice message saying I am pissed. etc

    Is this a common issue with these motors? Everyone I talk to says computers fuel pumps etc are an issue. I need to know so when this guy calls me back I can talk turkey.
    Please help me out
    PS I bought a Kohler 31hp 61" Scag Velocity to get away from the DFI
  2. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    I have a 29 dfi with around 150 hrs on it. I know of 4 other 29 dfi kaws around here that other lawncare companies use. The hours I couldn't tell you but one is a solo operator like myself and the other 3 are bigger companies with employees. I haven't heard of any problems with these motors what so ever. I would think that if I had employees and got 1200 hours before something tore up it would be a blessing. Especially on a 4 year old mower. The money you have saved on fuel compared to a carb. engine alone is worth it. I don't know if the wiring harnesses have changed in the last four so I can't tell you what to tell them. I hope I don't have any issues until 1200 hours or after. I only put around 175 -200 hrs a year on a mower so if I can go 6 years or so without any problems I will be golden. If you can post a pic of the bad computer and wiring harness. I would be intersted to see if there have been any changes. Good luck to you. :usflag:
  3. juspayme

    juspayme LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    dude things will break, boo whoo.
  4. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    The DFi/EFI is a very expensive fuel management system that works great, until you get the repair BILL. Our Dealer has been preaching this to me for 2 seasons if you need the extra power go diesel or carb gasoline. Fluid Film might have been able to stop the corrosion while in storage. I spray all equipment wiring harness connectors down with FF
  5. ScagGrassGuy1978

    ScagGrassGuy1978 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Boo hoo, is not the correct description Juspayme.
    An ECM/TCM/BCM for a car truck etc, is half that cost and is 20 times more complicated, and control/checks hundred of thousands of parameters a second.
    Ive had/ have Kohlers with 2500 hours on them that I never sunk a dime besides PM into them. Granted they are simple carb run, But my machine has been maintained. Its not running in salt water.
    Its not right to charge that much for that. I can buy and right now are typing on a laptop that was less than 544 bucks, Its not right.
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    The 29 DFI Kaw has been fairly trouble free from the large Scag dealers I have talked to, some that sell hundreds of units. I know that doesn't help you but they seem to have a good track record over all. The early Kohlers had a lot of problems but they seemed to have worked them out. The 31 Kohler you speak of is an EFI machine, so what advantage do you think it will have over the Kaw DFI system? I really don't know the main difference in the two systems but I have not heard of many problems in the last couple of years. I guess the question is why do you think the Kohler will be better?

    Oh yea, we haven't had many reviews of the 31 Kohler. How does the Kohler and Kawasaki compare as far as power is concerned?
  7. ziggyor

    ziggyor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have two tigers and the 29 DFI gives me the biggest problems. I have 1300 hrs on it replace 2 computers and a harness for the problem you describe. Just washing the machine causes corrosion of the pins and i had intermittent starting until I replaced the harness.

    Dealer is correct with the fix. Your problem should be with KW for not using corrosion resistant connectors.

    Yup I lived your pain X2.

  8. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Both Scag dealers around here were really pushing the 29DFI Kawasaki when we bought.

    We wanted simple AC power and got the Kohler 27 AC. They both told us we were making a HUGE mistake. And they told us that it would use 2.2gph too! Liars!!! Our Scag TT 27 Kohler AC uses 1.4gph! Not one problem so far. As far as we can tell, their margins must be better using the Kawasaki engines.

    I equate DFI electronics in mowing to new furnaces with electronics. Tell me how many of your neighbors have had the HVAC guys back out to fix an electronic board(s) since they dropped a new furnace into their home? I'll bet alot of you know someone that has had this issue.

    For whatever reason, I don't think commercial mower mfr's and furnace mfr's have perfected the electronics with the damp environments furnaces and mowers are subjected to.
  9. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Messages: 1,625

    how bad is the humidity there? Has the machine ever been power washed?
  10. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Messages: 1,625

    I don't know what ECMs you've been buying but all the ones I've seen were near $1000 from the dealer.

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