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I have a scag sw4814ka that has a kawasaki fc420v-ds09 engine that wont hold compression. I want to replace it because the frame and deck are still in great shape. I am not to mechanically sound but I can do enough to get by. Is there an engine that I can just replace it with or has anyone repowered one of these scags? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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My Bunton BG52-14KAW came with a Kawasaki FC420V that one of the POs burned up. It was re-powered with a Kohler 14hp that the guy I bought it from burned up.

https://www.kawasaki-engines.eu/en/support/technical-information/technical-downloads/?f_series=FC&f_model=FC420V

You can get splash lube motors with recoil start in the 15-18hp range for $500 ish.

I installed an electric start Briggs & Stratton 33S877-0019-G1 Intek Professional Series 19 HP 540cc commercial mower engine. It's $558.99 from Northern Tool. The Pro model has full pressure lube with a spin on filter just like the Kawasaki so it should hang together longer than the splash lube motors that aren't that much cheaper. Assuming I keep up with the air filters and engine oil maintenance.
 

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The important specs you need are the shaft diameter, length, and keyway dimensions.
Obviously the physical size of the motor will need to fit where the Kawi was mounted and the exhaust will have to be compatible with the space as well. Look at all of those factors.

If the mounting bolt pattern doesn't match the one Scag drilled for the Kawasaki it can be marked on the power unit deck and drilled. My Bunton had two bolt patterns already drilled. The Briggs I bought fit one of them. The power unit deck on these old commercial machines is just carbon steel. Steel drills easily with Cobalt drill bits if you centre punch, use oil, and don't try to hog through with the 3/8" bit first. Start around 1/8" then step up to 3/16" then drill a 32nd larger than you need... 13/32" hole for the 3/8" mounting bolts so the threads don't catch and drag on the holes.
 

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You also want to make sure the engine's alternator provides enough power to run the PTO (about 6A I think is common?).
 
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