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Thread: Kawasaki Mule Question

  1. #1

    Kawasaki Mule Question


    A Kawasaki Mule I use has started to get noisy at the front end while in four wheel drive. Do any of you knowledgeable chaps know anything about Mules?

    I notice that under the seat the driveshaft runs through a pillow block and this seems to have a lot of play. I'm not sure how much if any play is normal. Could this bearing be the source of the chattering? As it's under the seat it's difficult to see it while you're on the move!

    Thanks folks.

  2. #2
    Easy Frax, just use the other one....

    .....Don't tell me that you only have one Mule?! I thought that it was standard practice when buying Mules to buy two so that, for the first two years you have a fair chance that one might be working whilst the other is at the dealers workshop, after that you simply start to canabilise one in order to try and keep the other going! After another year or so you go back to the bank, borrow twice as much as you did the first time then buy a JD Gator. Or maybe i'm just bitter and twisted!

    Sorry mate, can't add anything constructive but at least I got that off my chest. JC

  3. #3
    Possibly a u-j on the shaft that goes to the front diff,there should be no movemet on it. Ive just done mine on my JD Gator and the variable clutch more expence. Have to agree with JC the gator is a bit better than the mule and easyer to work on.

  4. #4
    i would imagine it could be a harvey splicer, there's quite a few on the mules, i'm not sure if there maintence free or not; if not they really should be greased (if no grease nipples it should be maintanece free, althou i had a new quad once they never put the nipples in was about 6 months later i started getting some right occasional clanking noises and a bit of play in it. prety knackered all the crap off the day in the ports where the nipples should have been) There will prob be 1 either end off any drive/prop shafts between gearboxs or wheels. From wot farmers have told me they are fairly hard to keep going, like jc says use ur spare one.

    Verminator how do u get on with the gator, is it not true that if u go throu a burn or water deeper than the drive belt it has a bad habit off slipping until it dries off, so can be bad getting out off steep burn bottoms

  5. #5
    I run a mule on a small farm and it has been trouble free for 5 years. It makes a horrible noise when it comes out of four wheel drive which I am told well be sorted with a grease gun and half an hours work. Am interested to hear the comments about other makes though, as I was thinking about getting a new one.
    Last edited by howa243; 28-04-2010 at 13:09.

  6. #6
    To be fair, my experience with Mules is a few years out of date. I believe that they have had to up their game quite a bit with the influx of other similar things in the market place.

    Howa, If you are serious about getting a new vehicle then I would definitely have a few out on demo. JD have a new Gator out called the UPX, I haven't tested it but it is supposed to be better than the HPX which I have. I have had no problems with the HPX in two and a half years but, if i'm honest, I don't use it too hard. Gators are clearly the market leaders for build quality but they are also the most expensive. One plus point is that, as long as you use genuine JD parts and oil, you can do all your own servicing and still maintain the warrantee. Some brands, Honda quads for example, require dealer servicing and, unsuprisingly, the dealers charge like a wounded buffalo for this. Another plus point is the retained value after five years or so.

    Countryboy, the drive belt does slip if it gets really wet but i've never been stuck because of this, but, like I said above, I don't really go anywhere to get it stuck.


  7. #7
    Countrryboy, as JC has mentioned the drive belt does slip a bit when u go throu a burn but when u get out the other side just wait a couple of seconds and it pulls away,I am much the same i dont abuse it and try to avoid deepish water, Ive just put a new vari clutch and belt on mine and what a diffrence pulls a lot better now and a lot quieter.We had the new 820D on demo and that is impressive, just couldnt justify the 5k to change it at the mo when thers nothing wrong with mine

  8. #8
    i hpoe this is of some use to you .if you go & them to OEM parts and put in model & year you will get a full brake
    of parts down to the last nut & bolt & it is printable ,so you will have all parts numbers so odering is much easer and you will the right parts for your model.

  9. #9
    I am an agricultural engineer and do a fair bit of work on mules. If there is any play in the bearing you describe it will need replacing I have replaced them in the past. The real weak point on the front end(and back end!) is the wheel bearings. Just jack it up and give the wheels a wobble . A symptom of shagged bearings is poor breaking as well as noise. I've got one in the workshop now that has been doing alot of wading in the woods and all four corners are knackered.
    Mules are great when all is working but are expensive to mend unfortunately they are just a but lightweight. And drum brakes why?

  10. #10
    Thanks for your replies - it's rather confirming my fears. It just ain't up to what I ask it to do (extremely rocky 2.5 mile track, very steep [clean underwear job], heavy loads. Oh dear, time to think again.

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