I purchased a very nice commercial zero-turn lawn mower that functioned perfectly -- until we moved cross country. I had to put the mower in storage for a couple of years since we were building a new house, and I did not have any grass to mow. I covered it with a tarp, believing it would protect the mower.
When I went to start it after a couple years, I found a mouse had made a nest in the mower motor and ate the spark plug wire. I removed the motor’s air filter and flywheel cover to get better access to the nest and high tension wires. When looking at the motor, I noticed there was rust in the carburetor choke butterfly.
When the motor was sitting, rain had filled the carburetor. The engine was a Kawasaki horizontal twin 23HP motor with a down draft two barrel carburetor. The intake manifold ran from the OHV engine heads, 180 degrees down to another 180 degree bend up to the bottom of the carburetor. The intake manifold and most of the carburetor was filled with rain water. Up to this point, I can take all the blame as I should not have left it in the rain under a tarp.
When I attempted to rebuild the carburetor, I found that it cost about $200 to $300 for parts. I looked for a new carburetor, and the price I was quoted was almost half the cost of a new engine. I decided to have a local mechanic who specialized in small motors fix my carburetor so I could get it started. More than a year passed before the mechanic gave me a very clean carburetor body and a bunch of parts.
He had tried to get the correct parts from the factory many times, but finally gave up out of frustration. It seems it takes one to two months to get the parts, which are not returnable. Researching the endless model numbers of this engine, it appears the same engine is used for the 18 HP to the 25 HP engine with just different precast throttle stops. It does not, however, take the same parts in different engine carburetor runs.
Now I have an $8,000 mower, sitting as a lawn ornament until I can remove the engine, and measure the shaft which comes in two diameters and several lengths. Then I need to order a new engine -- manufactured by a different company, of course -- that will allow me to get replacement parts.
This entry was submitted by Kent Ellefson and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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