New Motor or New Mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ky-lawn-guy, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. ky-lawn-guy

    ky-lawn-guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I have a 48'' Exmark TTHP with a 17 Kaw. The mower is on its fourth year and i have averaged about 50-65 weekly accounts (12-18K sq feet) with this it over the life of the mower. The engine is starting to wear out and loose a little power and becoming a pain with oil leaks and wiring problems, etc. Other than the engine the rest of the mower is working flawlessly (hydo, deck, etc...). I was just wondering if it would be better to replace the engine(doing labor myself hopefully) or would it be better to just replace the mower with one exactly like it because i have loved the mower. If i go with replacing the engine about how much will it cost(17 Kaw) ??
  2. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    For ME It'd be an easy choice; As long as the rest of the machine was A-OK, I'd be a swappin'.. It quite easy if you are at least mechanically inclined. While you're at it, I'd upgrade to a more powerful engine..

    Either way, It would hinge on whether the rest of the machine was sound.

    But an engine is a LOT cheaper than a new machine..
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I would replace the engine if your happy with the mower. I would guess $700-$1000 for an engine. Try or or e-bay.
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    put a new engine on. with a walkbehind, it's a snap. a total novice could do the whole job in three hours max. I know, because I did.

    it's amazing what you can do when you have to (or are just ignorant of what you are actually doing), but I took a chance on a lazer hp 48" that had a "bad" engine. I took the old one out, and put a new one in. it took me about three hours, but I did it. it started me down a path that said, "just go for it" because it will probably turn out ok, if you take your time, and don't make any silly mistakes.

    now, I am attempting to rebuild that bad engine that was on the exmark, if I get it running, it's going on the quick 36. the cylinders look to be in pretty good shape, I am going to hone them, and all new rings, polish the valves, and inspect everything.

    this is coming from a person who 3 months ago, would cringe at the thought of rebuilding an engine. if I were you, I would DO IT. I would buy a 20-23hp kawasaki or kohler, and stick it on there. good luck.

    PS- the small engine warehouse is a great place to get a new engine. make sure you match the shaft orentation and shaft size. as long as the length of the shaft is within 3/4" of the original one, you should be fine. also check the sump bolts to make sure that the bolting pattern is the same. I don't know about kawasaki engines, but kohler uses the same bolt pattern for all their V-twins in the 18-27hp range. I would E-mail or call the small engine ware house and get information from them, tell them the model that you have, and what hp you want. if you don't want to go through all that, you could just buy a exact replacment and not have any hassle, but when your putting a new engine on, you've got a chance to really upgrade the engine.
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    ENGINE based on what you said and while I was at it I'd go up to a 19HP KAW
  6. ky-lawn-guy

    ky-lawn-guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Thanks for the input, The rest of the mower is in great shape due to routine maintance. I think that i will take the advise and upgrade to a 19 Kaw! I also have a Exmark 36 metro HP that is also probably due for an upgrade but i will probably wait till the off season and see how the other engine swap goes.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Kawasaki small block V-twins are from 13 to 17 horsepower. They share the same bolt up patterns among themselves. If you go larger than 17 hp you are looking at drilling new bolt up holes, different muffler arrangements, different cables, different wiring and possible problems with shaft sizes.
  8. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I just did this myself. Engine swaps on mowers are really easy. I bought an engine from, converted it to a recoil start and put it on my machine.

    I didn't have a manual for my mower, so I took digital pictures of how the belts were routed off the main pulley. Boy, did that come in handly when it came time to put everything back together.
  9. gwwilson

    gwwilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    purchase a new one
    then, you depricate using section 179...........
    if, you paid $3999 for you'll get it back from uncle sammyyyyyy

    :cool2: :blob3: :cool2: :blob3:
    ~~~~~~~~~~ payup payup payup
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    I swapped a Kohler off my Exmark Viking a couple of years ago -- no problems, EXCEPT getting the pulley off the engine. I don't know your layout, but the hole in the traction deck is too small for the pulley. The pulley (actually, two pulleys, one for hydro drive, one for deck drive) had to come off the engine before taking it off. Others who have done the job on your model can comment. But, you may wish to invest in a gear/pulley puller before starting the project. Mine did not have any anti-seize when initially installed at the factory and it was a bear to get off.

    Others have comments about getting the pulley off?

    One more point -- a friend of mine replaced the engine on his w/b. He wasn't careful in checking the set screws after a few hours of service and the pulley worked loose. He didn't know it, and the pulley/key/setscrew damaged the engine shaft. He managed to salvage the new engine, but not without some hassle. In other words, check the set screws a couple of times after you put the new engine into service.

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