The Kawasaki engine is well known for its durability and longevity. These Japanese engines came in both single cylinder and V-Twin engines. When the engine starts running poorly or will not start, there are three areas that need troubleshooting: fuel, spark, and compression. Having a knowledge of engine theory is key in properly troubleshooting any engine. This procedure calls for some tools and will take over an hour to complete.
Park the lawn mower on level ground. Set the parking brake.
Remove the two wing nuts on the air filter cover. Its located directly above the carburetor, beside the engine block. Remove air filter and inspect. If dirty, clean or replace. Leave the air filter out, this will expose the top of the carburetor. At the bottom of the carburetor is a bowl with a small screw protruding out.
Turn the screw out allowing the fuel to drain. Inspect the fuel that's draing for water and sediment. If sediment or water is found, remove the nut from the bottom of the carburetor, and the bowl will slide out. Clean the inside of the bowl out with carburetor cleaner and reinstall the bowl. Turn over the engine, if the engine will not start, move to the next step.
Spray carburetor cleaner into the carburetor. Turn the engine over. If the engine starts then dies, replace the carburetor. The carburetor is attached to the engine by two long bolts, and fastened by nuts on the end. Remove the nuts with a 10 mm wrench. Once it clears the bolts, twist the carburetor and slide off the throttle linkage.
Install the new carburetor, slide on the throttle linkage, slide the carburetor onto the bolts. Tighten down the two nuts and reinstall the air filter and cover. If the engine doesn't start move to the next section.
Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug located at the front of the engine. Plug the spark tester into the spark plug wire, and clip the other end of the tester to the end of the spark plug. Turn over the engine. If there's spark, replace the spark plug using the socket. If there's no spark move to the next step.
Replace the ignition coil. Remove the screws from the flywheel cover located on top of the engine with a phillips head screwdriver. Remove the bolts from around the engine shroud with a 10 mm wrench. Removing the shroud will expose the ignition coil. It's located beside the flywheel. With a screwdriver remove the ground wire on the bottom right hand side of the coil.
Remove the two bolts that hold the coil against the engine block. Install the new coil. Plug in the ground wire and hand tighten the two bolts that hold down the coil. Check your service manual for the gap setting between the flywheel and the coil. Once the gap is set, tighten the coil bolts. If there is spark and the engine will not start move to the next section.
Remove the spark plug from the front of the engine using a socket.
Screw in the compression tester into the spark plug hole. Turn engine over for three to five seconds.
Check the readings from the compression test. Compression varies from model to model, check your service manual for proper operating range. If the engine compression is below operating range, move to the next step.
Remove the valve cover from the front of the engine, it's located beside the spark plugs using a 10 mm wrench. Remove the push rods by pressing down on the rocker arm, the rocker arm has a spring underneath it.
Inspect the rods for damage, if they are bent or broken replace. Insert the new push rod, press down on the rocker arm until the push rod slides in. If there is still low compression, there is internal engine damage. If this is the case, repair can exceed the cost of replacement.