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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default ZTR50 Cub - 23 HP Kawaskai BLOWS UP

    Had this mower since 2007. 391 hours. Ran fine - never a problem. Running it in back yard at 3/4 power, pine tree branch hit key and shut it down. Looked down, saw it, fired it back up - knocking like crazy and super loud. Thought it was the muffler or something. Something wrong.....drove to garage checked plugs and everything - looked fine. Still making a racket - RPMS's racing up and down, no throttle input, then finally smoking and blowing oil. Kawasaki motor - dealer says it's toast. Never had a 4-stroke blow up in all my (many) years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Phelps, WI
    Posts
    9,930

    Default

    Might want to try RT 17 Service corner of 17 and 45. Ask for Chris he can revive any mower even will weld weak points for many additional years of service. Don’t mess around with front lady waste of time talk to Chris. They are a Husky dealer but fix everything. Ok now if buying new we now have Tractor Supply by Pick and Save in Eagle River. I looked at their tractors and snowblowers and best bang for the buck compared to HD and Menards in Rhinelander. Tractor Supply products look like good alternatives to dealers and big box especially for summer home users that don’t need high priced lawn mowers and snow blowers. Chris revived both my snowblower and tractor and fixes weren’t cheap both are running great but pretty sure next time it will be new from TS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    Yeah thanks WD....this isn't for my place in ER. I use this mower on 2 acre lot in southern WI. I actually DID buy it from Tractor Supply in Mukwonago way back when. They don't service anything, but use a local repair shop.
    We know a guy that has a small engine repair business, and even he said the labor to pull that motor apart and remount it is a lot of hours, not to mention what they find when they tear it apart. Might not be salvagable, it sounds that bad.
    Amazing the thing never burned any oil, and ran perfect. Just out of nowhere - BOOM! I'm going to buy a John Deere - back to a tractor. I'll need some utility trailer pulling when we move up north in a couple years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Waterford,Wi
    Posts
    603

    Default

    Cirrus_Driver. Just a few questions, when you say no throttle response and runs up and down, does it seem to get stuck on one rpm then all of a sudden its over reving? Could be the governor cup has a groove worn in it, as far as making noise, when you caught the key switch and it restarted it is possible a backfire may have occurred and rocker popped off the push rod and valve. I have some of my commercial customers with 5000 hours on Kawasaki engines and in my opinion is one of the best made engines in my industry. my shop is in SE Wisconsin if you would like I could look at it and give you my honest opinion on what is going on there. If all this occurred after the key switch was knocked off I would be surprised if something major, but stranger things have happened.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrus_Driver View Post
    Yeah thanks WD....this isn't for my place in ER. I use this mower on 2 acre lot in southern WI. I actually DID buy it from Tractor Supply in Mukwonago way back when. They don't service anything, but use a local repair shop.
    We know a guy that has a small engine repair business, and even he said the labor to pull that motor apart and remount it is a lot of hours, not to mention what they find when they tear it apart. Might not be salvagable, it sounds that bad.
    Amazing the thing never burned any oil, and ran perfect. Just out of nowhere - BOOM! I'm going to buy a John Deere - back to a tractor. I'll need some utility trailer pulling when we move up north in a couple years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by euphoric1 View Post
    Cirrus_Driver. Just a few questions, when you say no throttle response and runs up and down, does it seem to get stuck on one rpm then all of a sudden its over reving? Could be the governor cup has a groove worn in it, as far as making noise, when you caught the key switch and it restarted it is possible a backfire may have occurred and rocker popped off the push rod and valve. I have some of my commercial customers with 5000 hours on Kawasaki engines and in my opinion is one of the best made engines in my industry. my shop is in SE Wisconsin if you would like I could look at it and give you my honest opinion on what is going on there. If all this occurred after the key switch was knocked off I would be surprised if something major, but stranger things have happened.
    Good question....it starting running RPM's UP/DOWN indiscrimantly without even touching the throttle - just sitting. Reving up. They said some throttle linkage was broken - but I don't see how that would relate to it blowing up.
    It's knocking pretty bad, and burning oil, as well as blowing oil out the exhaust. Even I have to believe it's something major. I could have it delivered to you since I'm on the hook for a charge already, but I don't want it back if its toast.

    Other than starting it....they didn't do anything but inspect it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Waterford,Wi
    Posts
    603

    Default

    the only way it would relate to blowing up is if rpm's exceeded over rev then things start to break. I had a Kawasaki fx engine once that over revved and a valve face broke off went through dome of piston and started huffing oil really bad. Just seems weird how this all occurred after key was bumped off and restarted. I would be more that willing to look at it for you, charge nothing for doing so. they should not be charging you if they are basing the prognosis based on assumption, hearing about places that do that drives me nuts! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help, I also have access to some very good replacement engine pricing if need be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrus_Driver View Post
    Good question....it starting running RPM's UP/DOWN indiscrimantly without even touching the throttle - just sitting. Reving up. They said some throttle linkage was broken - but I don't see how that would relate to it blowing up.
    It's knocking pretty bad, and burning oil, as well as blowing oil out the exhaust. Even I have to believe it's something major. I could have it delivered to you since I'm on the hook for a charge already, but I don't want it back if its toast.

    Other than starting it....they didn't do anything but inspect it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by euphoric1 View Post
    the only way it would relate to blowing up is if rpm's exceeded over rev then things start to break. I also have access to some very good replacement engine pricing if need be.
    Thanks - well I can assure you, it did NOT over rev, as they were quick to imply. (they asked me if I wore hearing protection) I am well aware of the effects of over-revving any motor, which is why I ran the damn thing at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle it's entire life.
    I thought it was highly unethical to charge 1/2 hr. labor for doing close to nothing, but I did agree to the $50 pickup/ delivery charge, as the wheel base wouldn't fit on my utility trailer. When I said they could keep it, and said shouldn't I pay $25 since it wasn't coming home, they said "no", it will be $30 then. Maybe PM me, and give me an idea of worst case scenario on engine replacement cost. They were at $2000 direct from Kawaskai + labor. Thx much.
    Last edited by Cirrus_Driver; 06-19-2019 at 04:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Out there
    Posts
    4,635

    Default

    flying off the sales floor at yur Mukwonago HD....


    Last edited by snobuilder; 06-19-2019 at 09:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UP
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by euphoric1 View Post
    the only way it would relate to blowing up is if rpm's exceeded over rev then things start to break. I had a Kawasaki fx engine once that over revved and a valve face broke off went through dome of piston and started huffing oil really bad. Just seems weird how this all occurred after key was bumped off and restarted. I would be more that willing to look at it for you, charge nothing for doing so. they should not be charging you if they are basing the prognosis based on assumption, hearing about places that do that drives me nuts! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help, I also have access to some very good replacement engine pricing if need be.
    yea it's amazing how some shops want to charge you !!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Waterford,Wi
    Posts
    603

    Default

    snowbuilder, you got the order of the machines mixed up, Toro should be on top of the list, of course I am a little partial to the brand
    Quote Originally Posted by snobuilder View Post
    flying off the sales floor at yur Mukwonago HD....



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hallock MN. 20 miles south of Canada - 10 miles east of ND.
    Posts
    2,094

    Default

    That isnt many hours for a Kaw motor. They are basically good and should last much longer than that. I have had Kaw motors in my Simplicitys for years. One thing to think of - They really run these things lean. They get really hot and weird things happen to the carb sometimes. I have had them backfire and rev all over and blow out black smoke. It acts like it is blown up. But it isn't. It is either flooded or fuel starved. It is really touchy when it gets hot. My small engine guy says this is normal for this set up. So I just live with it. I always make sure to let it idle and cool down some before I shut it off or it will backfire. If yours is similar and got accidentally shut off when hot it could be fuel related. For your sake I hope so because there is not a cheap fix if it is blown up. My Small engine guy has given up rebuilding things like this and just sells a new motor. If you have to get a new mower get something that is fuel injected. Just a thought. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    North
    Posts
    755

    Default

    Thanks for the comments Grub - I'm an "old dog" so to speak, I have a lot of experience with motors of all types, even though I'm not a mechanic or even inclined, I know when an engine is running right and when somethings wrong.
    This motor burned no oil whatsoever, started fine and performed well. When it started with the VERY LOUD knocking noise, then blowing heavy white/blue smoke and spitting oil out the exhaust, I knew what it meant.
    Something broke inside. Dealer basically had no desire to even consider cracking it open - went right to the new motor. I bought a John Deere last night but won't have it for 3 weeks, so if some Euphoric financial miracle happens between now and then I'll cancel it, but for now its history. Cost me $263/yr to own, which is still cheaper than a lawn service on my 2 acres, that's at least $75 - $100 per cut.

  13. #13

    Default

    Did you check to see if the branch bent or broke the governor

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