1. Ask the Expert: Fertilization Strategies for Success: Dec. 12, 2017
    Learn how to do more with less when it comes to your fertilization services. Join the live Ask the Expert event hosted by Koch Turf & Ornamental: Dec. 12, 12-2 p.m. ET in the Fertilizer Application forum .

Valve and push rod problem on Kawasaki FH541V 17 hp. With pictures!

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by olde_blue, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. olde_blue

    olde_blue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    My 17 hp Kia Kawasaki (FH541V) with 700 hours started making a clicking sound, so I took off the valve covers to adjust the valve lash.

    The push rod for one of the exhaust valves was bent, and some carbon was deposited around the valve lifters (see pictures). I bent the push rod back straight (I can't afford to have the mower down right now--my backup mower is broken, waiting on a part) and put it back together until I can get a new push rod and head gasket (so I can pull the head). It runs fine for the moment. . .

    Does the carbon deposit under the valve cover mean I have a bad valve guide? Something else? What do I need to replace? Should I just replace the whole head? Or wait until I can pull the head and examine closer?

    Thanks in advance for any help you all can offer.


  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Looks like a possible worn valve guide, But you need to do a tear-down inspection to make sure. These guides are non-replaceable therefore a new head would be needed @ around $150.00.....

    Putting a new valve stem seal on may ? help for a shorrrt time.

    Good Luck
  3. tedfrk

    tedfrk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    you have to ask yourself what bent the rod in the first place?are the valves adjusted correctly?
  4. viper00085

    viper00085 LawnSite Member
    from NC/VA
    Messages: 237

    usually on these kawasaki's, when you see the push rod bent or off with the oil burned into the head, its a good indicator of an overheat. when the head around the exh guide overheats, the guide moves up and out of the head and does not allow the valve to open its full distance, but the cam is still pushing so the push rod bends or breaks. look in between the coils of the spring and see if it looks like the guide is up alot higher than the intake, or try to manually push the valve open and see if it opens the same depth as the intake. more than likely you may find your culprit isthe guide moved, unfort you have to replace the head.
  5. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,152

  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    The question here would be, do you feel like possibly replacing a whole engine?
    The next question is, how good are you at replacing cylinder heads?
    Then comes the question of cost, head vs. whole engine.
    Let's just assume the labor to be about the same.

    And what if replacing the head doesn't fix it?
    It is unfortunate, with only 700 hours that engine has a lot left in it.

    I can't tell you what to do, but more than likely if this were one of my 15hp Kohlers
    (sorry don't have 17hp kawas) I would get a new pushrod, clean up that gunk around
    the valve real good, put it all back together and keep on getting it.
    Hopefully it doesn't act up again, now if it does then I'd likely consider replacing the head.
    But it could ruin the engine in that process, and I can also get a new 15hp Kohler for around $6-700.

    So idk, idk...
  7. kawasaki1

    kawasaki1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    oh yeah that's an overheat. you'll probably need a new head if the guide came loose. it wouldn't hurt to change your oil more often either.
  8. Pudweiser

    Pudweiser LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Kaw verticle crank V-Twins are notorious for the breather plate to seep oil . If leaking , it will cause overheating problems and pull the exhaust guides . Oily debis will clog up cooling fins thus causing overheating . I have found this problem on dozens of these engines . The cure --- Pull fan shroud , flywheel and sometimes coils (electric starts have ring gear) . 2 bolts under flywheel are usually loose . Remove plate , clean and seal with a thin coat of gasket sealant . It is a MUST to use Lock-Tite on the bolt threads or they will loosen again . I do this on brand new engines . Prevents lots of grief down the road . Now to the heads ........ the exhaust guides usually have pulled loose if overheated . 2 ways to fix this . Replace heads or Replace guides with over-size guides . I use .002 OS 6mm guides . Auto machine shop can do this . I can do it at my shop . Remove old guide , clean well , freeze new guide and heat up the head . While cold press it in place ( Got to be quick ) . Be sure enough guide is sticking out far enough for the stem seal to seat . Either replace valves or lap them in . Rarely do I have to replace valves . Clean , Clean Clean . They are ready to be reinstalled . This process works . If engine over-heated badly you may have cooked the rings . 2 ways to fix that ... Over haul or replace engine . Overhaul will cost around $500.00 parts and labor ( at least that's what it works out for me ) . Take the time to pull the shrouds and wash the cooling fins out . 3 or 4 times a season . This will save your engines . Kaws are great engines if kept clean . Good luck !!!!!!!!!!

Share This Page