Kawi fh500v swap/rebuild


LawnSite Member
I took the engine off of my walk behind this past month due to excessive oil consumption (.75qts every 20hrs) and overall poor performance. I just stripped the whole engine down to pieces and discovered some very serious carbon buildup on the heads and pistons. The cylinders themselves don't appear to be scored, but some ridging is noticeable at the top of each cylinder.

I'm torn right now between dropping off the block and heads at a machine shop for cleaning and inspection, or ordering an assembled short block. How do I know if my heads are reusable? The same goes for the push rods, and any other moving part. I'm looking for a cost effective/painless solution.

Has anyone ever used an assembled crate engine, and reused the old intake/exhuast and carb??

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks boys



LawnSite Member
charlotte, nc
I just had a new Kohler put on my 16 year old WB. While I could have done it, I did the last one....this is 3rd engine, I let my dealer do it and it saved alot of headaches ( I went from a Kawi that was spitting oil from the block ).

Since my WB is so old, I wanted a fresh look at pumps, wheel motors, spindles ( changed out with them rotated for easier access to grease fittings ) etc.

I work out of a shop shared with a Harley Davidson mechanic that does custom metal fab. He has been a golf course mechanic so we could have done it all. It was money well spent by going to my dealer. I love the " Goose " like a brother, but he's human and nobody knows everything.

You are supposed to get second opinions in medical matters....

Anyway, we are about this:


LOL, I was a first year judge and don't eat chili unless my wife makes it.


LawnSite Member
New York
i wouldent put old parts on a new short block. if you have the skill to take the motor apart and figure out where the oils going and put it back together your probably better off doing that, from a money standpoint.

if money isnt an issue and you want to spend 1200+ dollars just get a new engine and be done with it.


LawnSite Member
I think I've decided to buy a whole new engine. Does anyone have any experience using an FH500v from another mower company? I found one that came off of a John Deere. Looks exactly the same as mine but is electric start. Do I need to match serial numbers with my current engine?

As far as a brand new engine is concerned, can someone reccomend an online dealer that you've had good luck with? Are warranties for these crate engines the standard? I found this engine for sale on the Farmers Echange online store for about $1200.00.

Thanks for the input. It's all been greatly appreciated.



LawnSite Gold Member
First Kawasaki does not offer shortblocks so thats not really an option.

Second, do not use a John Deere engine. There will be no warranty on it. Kawasaki has no involvement with the warranty on any Kawasaki engine for any JD product.