Kawasaki FR651V Problems: Troubleshooting and Tips

Reliability and performance are at the top of the priority list whenever Kawasaki is designing any engine. The Kawasaki FR651V engine is therefore no exception to this norm. The engine was engineered to operate very smoothly and efficiently while producing commercial grade power. Thanks to the remarkable performance and reliability the, Kawasaki FR651V engine is the engine of choice for most professionals such as landscapers, commercial dealers, and lawn enthusiasts. Despite however the remarkable performance of the engine, it is not perfect and can develop problems, these will be discussed down below in this article.

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What Is The Kawasaki FR651V?

The Kawasaki FR651V is a remarkable engine offering from Kawasaki Engines. The engine can produce 21.5Hp (16.0 KW) at 3,600 RPM and 39.3 ft-Ibs (53.2Nm) of torque at 2,200 RPM from a 726cc 90 V-twin, 4 cycle vertical shaft engine. Special features include a pressurized lubrication system, electronic spark ignition and an automatic compression release. An internally vented carburetor with a fuel shut-off solenoid is used in the engine for greater efficiency and performance.

Kawasaki FR651V Problems

The Kawasaki FR651V engine is usually sold in good working condition. Problems however may develop when using the Kawasaki FR651V engine. Most of these problems however can be avoided by properly maintaining the engine. Discussed here in this article are some of the most frequently encountered problems.

1. Low Sparking

Spark loss is caused by something preventing the coil voltage to leap the electrode gap at the end of the spark plug. Causes for the spark failing to jump this gap include,

  • A worn or damaged spark plug.
  • Defective plug wires or rich carburetor mixture.
  • A fractured distributor cover, or cracked engine seal.

Troubleshooting Low Sparking Problem

When one notices that the Kawasaki FR651V engine has a problem of low sparking, the following can be done to try and address the problem,

  • Replacing the spark plug when the electrode is worn, thin or coated with combustion deposits. Also ensure the spark plug electrode is not moist and if so, it may need to be replaced.
  • Replacing the defective plug wires and correcting the fuel-to-air ratio from the carburetor.
  • Replacing the fractured distributor cover or engine seal.

2. Low Compression

Compression in the Kawasaki FR651V engine is the pressure that builds up inside the piston chamber when the fuel and air mixture is compressed and ignited by the spark from the spark plug. The resulting explosion therefore pushing outward on the piston which then turns the crankshaft. Compression loss is therefore a decrease in this compression pressure, it is caused by,

  • Worn valves, pistons or piston seals and rings.
  • Bent or broken push rod and damaged valve lifters.
  • Loose sparkplug or cylinder head bolts.

Troubleshooting Low Compression Problem

When the Kawasaki FR651V engine develops the low compression problem, it can be addressed by,

  • Testing and then replacing the worn piston or piston seals and rings.
  • Repairing or replacing the bent or broken push rod and valve lifters.
  • Tightening the spark plug and cylinder head bolts with a ratchet set to ensure they are not loose.

3. Engine Overheating

Overheating is highly undesirable in the Kawasaki FR651V engine as it can lead equipment burnouts and wear and tear hence significantly reducing the life span of the Kawasaki FR651V engine. Reasons for overheating include,

  • Too much ethanol in the gasoline used, this is indicated by thinned electrodes.
  • Spark plug having moisture or oily deposits due to damaged piston rings, these normally interfere with the combustion process.
  • Clogging in the fuel delivery system.

Troubleshooting Engine Overheating

To solve the problem of the Kawasaki FR651V engine overheating, the following can be done,

  • Using high quality gasoline which is suitable for the engine.
  • Ensuring that the gasoline used in the engine isn’t contaminated with water. One should also inspect and replace worn piston rings.
  • Removing all clogs in the fuel delivery system.

4. Faulty Charging System

The battery is a very crucial component of the Kawasaki FR651V engine as it allows one to start the engine. The battery then draws power from the engine via the charging system to recharge when the engine is operating. Any fault in the charging system is therefore detrimental. Reasons for a faulty charging system include,

  • A defective battery.
  • Loose battery cables and dirty or rusted connections.
  • Leaving the ignition key in the on position.

Troubleshooting Faulty Charging System

Problems with the battery charging system can be addressed by,

  • Replacing the defective battery with a new one.
  • Tightening loose cable connections and replacing rusted cables to restore proper electrical contacts.
  • Making sure the ignition key is left in the off position so that power is not drawn from the battery.

5. Engine Malfunction

The Kawasaki FR651V engine may malfunction or behave in an unusual manner, such as having a sharp drop in the power output and this is normally caused by,

  • Faulty starter coil.
  • A leak in the Upper Crankshaft seal leading to coolant leaking into areas where it should not be present.
  • Blocked fuel lines.

Troubleshooting Engine Malfunction

When the engine starts behaving in an odd manner, the problem can be addressed by,

  • Replacing the faulty starter coil.
  • Replacing any damaged seals to prevent fluid leakages in the engine.
  • Regularly inspecting and removing all debris blocking the fuel lines. The fuel lines may also need to be replaced when found to be defective.

How To Avoid Kawasaki FR651V Problems?

The Kawasaki FR651V engine is a great engine that performs very well. Regular servicing and maintenance are however of much importance if one is to maintain the Kawasaki FR651V engine in good shape. The use of recommended and compatible parts, and not overloading the engine will help reduce the chances of breakdown and ensure the engine lasts a long time.

How Many Hours Will a Kawasaki Engine Last?

A Kawasaki engine such as the Kawasaki FR651V can last from 1000 to 3000 hours in commercial applications, however the life span can vary depending on several factors such as its model, maintenance schedule, workload, and usage patterns.

What Is a Kawasaki FR Engine?

The Kawasaki FR Series engines such as the Kawasaki FR651V are compact, 90-degree, V-Twin engines that produce an ideal amount of torque and power. For example, 21.5HP for the Kawasaki FR651V.


In conclusion the Kawasaki FR651V engine is a remarkable engine that was designed to cater to the needs of most residential applications such as mowing the lawn or landscaping. The engine is very reliable and performs well. Regular maintenance and proper usage are however of paramount importance if one is to keep the engine in a good working condition.