Sabotaged? Kawasaki FH680V

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
First full blown week into the season and i get a mower back into the shop with what seems to be a locked up engine. Engine has 20hrs, oil looks good on stick, clean, no leaks... getting ready to file a warranty with Kawasaki....
next day another mower with a year old engine roughly 800hrs, same problem..this time the oil level is good, oil is old but looks normal, just thin and black...

This clicked on a light bulb somewhere in my blackhole of a brain, something doesnt add up. I decided to pop off a valve cover on the "new" engine and there it was. Something was in the oil that has made it clump up and stick to everything. that lead to the entire fleet stopping their work, comming back to the shop, and me changing oil and checking each machine for the same valve cover inspection for the clumping. Not one of the other 100 or so machines had the issue.

This ruled out any issue with our "bulk" oil. Still we had our oil company come take a sample from both tanks, also got our on test kit and sent it out to a 3rd party company in TX with a sample of the "new" oil in the new motor. It also ruled out any production issues with the "new" engine (maybe that antirust spray or something) since they were 2 different year engines.

Now to what is in the oil? will take up to 3 weeks to get the analysis back from our outside testing. This is what i can say about the oil after breaking down the engine.
1. looks normal on the dipstick
2. clumpy deposits on the bottom of the "oilpan"
3. engine internals look fine, no evidence of overheating.
4. aluminum parts are cleaner than other metals
5. Cylinder sleeves have a sticky film, valves will not move, crankshaft is covered in a sticky film.
6. no funny smells, tastes
7. took a slim sample on a pience of white paper, set it out for a day, next day the oil was absorbed into the paper leaving a paste.
8. no milkyness to the oil seen when cataminated with water.


so what can this be? i'm thinking some type of powder? You guys have been arround and im sure someone has seen this before. baking soda or flower maybe? perhaps some kind of herbicide or pest control. the VP says it looks like sugar, but i dont know what oily burnt sugar tastes like lol. This stuff, while mixed with the oil has become very very sticky. The older engine i have just taken apart and i beleave there is no actuall damage. Thats if i can get the Pistons, Valves, and Tappets out without destroying them. The engine is pretty much "glued" together
 
OP
RickyDL77

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
Ok if this is Sugar of some sort in the oil, what will disolve the clumps and film that has the engine glued tight? Soaking some of the smaller parts overnight in some diesel fuel to see if that will conquer it.
 

THEGOLDPRO

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
CONNECTICUT
Dang man, sounds like it could be sugar, Did you guys fire anyone recently?
 

piston slapper

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Tampa Fl
Were both the engines operated by the same crew?
Sugar is water soluble..however..when burnt it becomes hard as varnish..
At least it is an isolated problem...it shouldn't be to hard to work backwards to the source. Who knows....might be a disgruntled LP gas salesman.....
Posted via Mobile Device
 
OP
RickyDL77

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
Were both the engines operated by the same crew?
Sugar is water soluble..however..when burnt it becomes hard as varnish..
At least it is an isolated problem...it shouldn't be to hard to work backwards to the source. Who knows....might be a disgruntled LP gas salesman.....
Posted via Mobile Device


lol have not even had time to try the LP yet.
 
OP
RickyDL77

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
They dont keep track of who has what machine half the time, they are so short on machines right now that whoever needs one just picks up whatever is in the shop already fixed...pretty much first come first serve.
 

piston slapper

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Tampa Fl
They dont keep track of who has what machine half the time, they are so short on machines right now that whoever needs one just picks up whatever is in the shop already fixed...pretty much first come first serve.
It was that way at the landscaper I went to work for....WAS...
I numbered and colored every piece of eqpt, and assigned them to the crews.
They didnt like it too much...They I bought each crew a grease gun that was sprayed the same color as all their eqpt....Not happy at all now...
No more trading handhelds to upgrade their eqpt, and no more excuses for bearings and decks not getting greased..
There's a new sheriff in town....

I realize your operation is a world larger than 50 employees...organization is everything...
 
OP
RickyDL77

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
they all are assigned to crews with a crew and job #... they just dont care, they need something they just take it out the shop (whatever is fixed). This incedent has prompted the owner to get involved now. He is not a happy camper... he beleaves that it is one of the year round employees that did it. They get demoted during the season as the migrant H2A and H2B workers (some been comming to the company for 10+ years) come back and take their normal positions (about 15 of the 32 total crews have migrant workers as a crew leader, actually having americans working under them..) kinda screwed up.
 

piston slapper

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Tampa Fl
Almost forgot the best part.....All assigned eqpt, including the grease gun are accounted for before they get their checks on friday....
 
OP
RickyDL77

RickyDL77

LawnSite Senior Member
They need something like that, all they have are a bunch of spoiled migrant workers, and lazy foremans. The laborers are great, they just have no respect for their employer or his equipment. the owner does not want to worry about it so he tells the reg managers to deal with it...it never gets done, and then i have to hear about it all summer long. this place does great work/landscaping....but internally is just one big cluster****
 

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