Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everyone, i have a friend of mine that has an early mule 1000. I found it sitting in his back yard and asked if hed be willing to part with it. he said he would for around 700 or 750 bucks. Anyway, i know absolutely nothing about these so im here to get the info i need and hopefully suggestions/input about these.

Anyway, what i do know is that he thought it was a 1991. Like i said, model number on dash sticker said AF450 and another series of numbers behind it read 56040-1243. Its a 2wd model with a differential locker and needs some minor engine work (wouldnt run/idle without running choke full time - top speed is greatly reduced from normal, goes approx 10 mph as is)

The engine sounded good minus the obvious misfire/hesitation from what id assume is gummed up carbs. The shifter lever is gone, but the linkage is there to select F, N, R. ive found a lever on ebay for like 30 bucks though, so no biggie. Everything seems to work as it should. Im not really sure what all to check or where everything is located that i need to check, i own a couple snowmobiles so im no stranger to small engines, just not used to small 4 strokes in kawasakis. It appears to have fairly new tires and appeared to drive good. It also has a Curtis branded hard cab with glass windows and doors, a big push guard bumper, a snow plow, 2000lb winch, cab is also heated. I cant remember what the mileage read on speedo or what the hour meter said, i want to say i thought it had over 5000 hours on it but i am def not sure on that, i do remember it sounded like a lot when i read it though.

Id also like some general info on these as far as what years they made the AF450s and what kind of accessories/options can be had for these.

Anyway, i cant really remember a whole lot more about it, ill try to post some pictures here if the site will allow me to. Sorry, none of the pictures show the plow mounted on it, plow looks fairly old and maybe not quite as wide as the Mule, but should do the trick.





















And heres just a few i snapped while i was looking at it on sat evening











Hopefully these pictures work and you guys can give me an idea on whether the 700 price tag is worth it for what im looking at or whether i should look elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
The actual model number for the Mule 1000 was KAF450-B1. To my knowledge they were made in 1988 and a few leftovers were sold in 89 and 90, but still 88 models.

The engine was loosely based on the EN450 (LTD 454) motorcycle. Parallel twin-which later became basically a Ninja 500 engine. So yes it's capable of making a lot of power.

A lot of the Mule 1000's parts are being discontinued and phased out, making some parts available only on the used market. I don't know which specific parts they are-kawasaki does not supply that information until you go to order it and then it shows "NLA" or "obsolete".

In the pics, you are missing the airbox. They will not run properly without it. It'll need the airbox and the hoses that connect the box to the air filter. That or re-jet the carbs and put open element filters on each carb, but they get dirty fast if done that way. Been there, done that.

The engine needs valve adjustments somewhat frequently, at least "frequently" in comparison to the newer engines. Intake valves tend to tighten up, exhausts tend to loosen. When the intakes tighten up, clearance between the valve tip and rocker arm goes away and soon the valve is held off of it's seat, which burns the face of the valve, the valve seat, and sooner or later loses compression and stops running on that cylinder.

They are a bit of a bear to work on, at least as far as engine work is concerned. As far as I'm concerned, the 1000's are becoming dinosaurs. There's a few good ones left but I'm going to guess 90% of them that are still around are junkyard bound at some point. With the cost of Kawasaki's parts (which will go up about another 4% after 1 Jan 2015), and the complexity of the Mule 1000's engine, if it runs...maintain it well. If not, think it over, get a list of needed parts and price it all before diving in. It could end up a situation where fixing things exceeds the cost of a newer model which is still fully supported by Kawasaki.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the 1000's because of the engine (they can be modded a little and will run quite good), but it doesn't have a lot of torque-at least compared to the 620cc V-twin's that still are in use today.

One of my first jobs when I went into the dealer was to install a cab and heater on 14 brand new Mule 1000's. First one took me a week. 2nd one a day, and about 3/4 of a day on each of the rest of them. Included assembly of the new Mule. One of them had a broken camshaft right from the factory, right out of the crate. Those were all purchased by the USAF (taxpayers), they used them up until 2006 when the last one was retired and sold for parts. They replaced them with Kubota's and a couple other Mules-all diesels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow man thanks for the reply. Was starting to wonder if anyone had any info on em anyway. Air box is on it now. I'd assume it was off during carb cleaning or something and they snapped a pic. Interesting info about valve adjustment. Wasn't aware of that. This one runs just not 100% we drove it around and the owner had to run choke to keep it running. I'm fairly mechanically inclined just not on these yet.

Why do they show the kaf450 b-1 as a model all the way to 97? There's one for sale here with same model number as listed as a 97.

I'm not really looking for something fast. It's got a plow on it now I plan to use for plowing snow and for using it as a work horse around my yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Whoever is advertising a '97 Mule 1000 doesn't know what they have. Sometimes those are the best to buy from. I started in this business in 1992, first week was doing a 1000 for the USAF. At the time it was still new/leftover non-current model that they were clearing out of the warehouses since they couldn't sell them against the Mule 2000/2010/2020, which was bigger, had more ground clearance, more power, and was 4wd (2010). The old 1000 was a dinosaur at that point. The 2010 set the precedence, and much of the newest 4000 series Mules still use the 2000 series basic components. Frame and steering, among other things, are still loosely based on that old dog. It works, why change it right?

Like I said, there were a "few" warehouse units that were cleared out, but they were all still 1988 models. Very similar to the Yamaha Terrapro (which I thought was cool)...they were only made in 1988, but many were sold up into the mid 1990's as brand new leftovers. A good customer of ours bought one brand new in 1994. I delivered it to him. To this day he still calls it a 1994 model, but it's not...it's an 88...the only year they were made. Even the VIN shows it to be an 88. Look at the 10th digit of the VIN. 88 models were a "J" at the 10th character. 89's were a "K". To my knowledge, all of the Mule 1000's were a "J", but I havent' seen a ton of them and it's been many years since I've looked closely at a VIN on one of them. Most that I see are either already in junkyards or should be. I had one at the house last year this time for minor repairs. He called me again 2 months ago saying the starter had a problem, so I looked up a starter limiter assembly-NLA/Obsolete. I don't know if that's his problem but it sure sounds like it. Could also be the starter clutch, but it sounds more like the limiter failing based on what he tells me. It may be time to retire it. It's got over 50,000 miles on it so he's got his money's worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah ok. Also where is the vin located on that. Handiest place would be what I'm looking for. I went and took some more pics of it tonight. I'll try and load them for ya.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Wow man thanks for the reply. Was starting to wonder if anyone had any info on em anyway. Air box is on it now. I'd assume it was off during carb cleaning or something and they snapped a pic. Interesting info about valve adjustment. Wasn't aware of that. This one runs just not 100% we drove it around and the owner had to run choke to keep it running. I'm fairly mechanically inclined just not on these yet.

Why do they show the kaf450 b-1 as a model all the way to 97? There's one for sale here with same model number as listed as a 97.

I'm not really looking for something fast. It's got a plow on it now I plan to use for plowing snow and for using it as a work horse around my yard.
hey everyone, i have a friend of mine that has an early mule 1000. I found it sitting in his back yard and asked if hed be willing to part with it. he said he would for around 700 or 750 bucks. Anyway, i know absolutely nothing about these so im here to get the info i need and hopefully suggestions/input about these.

Anyway, what i do know is that he thought it was a 1991. Like i said, model number on dash sticker said AF450 and another series of numbers behind it read 56040-1243. Its a 2wd model with a differential locker and needs some minor engine work (wouldnt run/idle without running choke full time - top speed is greatly reduced from normal, goes approx 10 mph as is)

The engine sounded good minus the obvious misfire/hesitation from what id assume is gummed up carbs. The shifter lever is gone, but the linkage is there to select F, N, R. ive found a lever on ebay for like 30 bucks though, so no biggie. Everything seems to work as it should. Im not really sure what all to check or where everything is located that i need to check, i own a couple snowmobiles so im no stranger to small engines, just not used to small 4 strokes in kawasakis. It appears to have fairly new tires and appeared to drive good. It also has a Curtis branded hard cab with glass windows and doors, a big push guard bumper, a snow plow, 2000lb winch, cab is also heated. I cant remember what the mileage read on speedo or what the hour meter said, i want to say i thought it had over 5000 hours on it but i am def not sure on that, i do remember it sounded like a lot when i read it though.

Id also like some general info on these as far as what years they made the AF450s and what kind of accessories/options can be had for these.

Anyway, i cant really remember a whole lot more about it, ill try to post some pictures here if the site will allow me to. Sorry, none of the pictures show the plow mounted on it, plow looks fairly old and maybe not quite as wide as the Mule, but should do the trick.





















And heres just a few i snapped while i was looking at it on sat evening











Hopefully these pictures work and you guys can give me an idea on whether the 700 price tag is worth it for what im looking at or whether i should look elsewhere.
hi I’m looking for parts for my Kawasaki Mule 1000, do you still have access to some ?
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top