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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

Mower recommendations anyone?

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05-19-2017 07:16:00

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This message is a reply to an archived post by UncleCarl on October 01, 2016 at 18:45:47.
The original subject was "Mower recommendations anyone?".

Probably going to get an assortment of opinions and responses on this one. My opinion will be to stay away from the entry level discount machines. Much on these machines is cheap and light duty. My preference for my situation is a lawn and garden tractor of the higher end and heavy duty type. They tend to be built to handle harsher conditions. Mine has a liquid cooled gasoline powered engine, power steering, full function hydraulics, and is built for heavy duty usage. I purchased it used about 8 or 9 years ago. I have had very few issues with it, with only one requiring me to have a full service dealership perform service on the engine. The components and the overall design of the machine itself takes quite a beating on my property, as the ground conditions are far from smooth and level. This is my preference. I think you can find the brands of Cub Cadet (probably older models), John Deere, and Kubota will probably be the most common makes of machines offering the higher end, heavier duty tractor style machines. If you get into the zero turn models, you will find mid mount and front mount decks. I do not own or use any of these, but I believe Hustler, Grasshopper, Kubota, and John Deere probably are going to be your more common brands making the heavier duty machines. Look for those machines offering engines with full pressure lubrication and replaceable engine oil filters, which I think is most prevalent today, but I remember the time when the full pressure lubrication was just making its debut in lawn and garden equipment just 30 years ago. The liquid cooled Kawasaki in my current tractor has been a great engine offering long service intervals and the oil remains relatively clean and brown at service intervals of up to 100 hours. The drivetrain on my machine is well built, too.

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07-17-2017 10:03:41

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to 2002sliverado, 05-19-2017 07:16:00  
Cub Cadet was a quality brand of equipment before MTD bought them out

and MTD, to their credit, continued that great quality for about 5 years.

But that has been 20+ years.

Bolens, Troy-bilt, Yardman, Yard-power, White Outdoor, are all formerly quality brand names that were not able to compete with the cheap mowers made by Murray, AMF, Roper, and MTD.

So all of those brands went out of business. So then the names Bolens, Troy-bilt, Yardman, Yard-power, White Outdoor, and of course Cub Cadet were purchased by MTD. MTD is now putting those names on their cheaply made equipment.

The public is being deceived into thinking they are buying quality merchandise just because of the name.

You can read more of this on Wikipedia

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05-20-2017 19:09:25

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to 2002sliverado, 05-19-2017 07:16:00  
All I can say is the Vtech engines will not run well. They stumble now and then or cough. Put hi-test in them and they run perfectly. The plus are NGK PLUG number BPR6ES. The engines five horse or less use BPR5ES. These are the standard copper core plugs. Have them cross to NGK or DENSO iridium plugs. Cost more but every engine that has them just pops off as you turn the key. The hi-test standards are higher than plane old regular. Seams to be more stable too. All of my small engines and 2 cycle stuff are much happier. You want to see real gas check out 104 octane AV Gas. Talk about a magic elixir.

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05-21-2017 06:33:51

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to jeffcat, 05-20-2017 19:09:25  
Thanks for taking the time to share those comments and info on part numbers.

Next time I gas up I may just fill her up at the hi-test pump and see what happens. I just restocked my Champion 12yc something or others but when gone, will see what the NGKs have to offer. Thing about the Champions is they are easy ww stocks them. I've used NGKs in other equipment, 2 stroke OB engines for an application, and got good service. On iridium, I don't change plugs that often so I'll pass on that.

On better storage results with hi-test, things like chain saws, weed eaters, and my mobile welder engine, which get seldom usage, if that's just another step in carb problem prevention, would be well worth the effort; I already take full advantage of "snake oils" which work for me. Nobody handy stocks non-ethanol gas so I'm stuck with that. The welder has a fuel shut-off which I really like, allowing me to run the carb dry after use.

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05-21-2017 11:46:03

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to Texasmark1, 05-21-2017 06:33:51  
The iridium plugs are life time. 100,ooo miles plus. Have them in my Ford expedition too. Three times 5he price but they work great for me. Always use a dab of copper neversiez on plugs.

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05-22-2017 04:56:33

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to jeffcat, 05-21-2017 11:46:03  
OT but related. My current truck is a 2011 Silerado because it was the nearest dealer when I went shopping for a new truck. I had an increasing diameter circle for shopping in my quest and would stop when I found what suited me....1st stop cinched the pursuit. Plugs are Iridium and rated in OM at 100k replacement interval.

Prior to that I had several Dodge Rams. All, including the Hemis (which ran 2 plugs per cyl.) used Champion. Change interval was 30k. With today's engine designs, plugs are not what they used to be to change, especially for the "do it yourselfer". Really chapped me that Dodge did what they did when they could have done what GM did.

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05-19-2017 17:54:08

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to 2002sliverado, 05-19-2017 07:16:00  
I just bought a Ferris IS700Z. BS 26 Vanguard twin with Industrial Service double stage air cleaner, 61" wide, deluxe seat, full 52" plastic/metal framed canopy, golf cart traction tires, extra seat springs. 3 or 4 year warranty, I forget. I feel like a king on his throne. It will last me the rest of my life. The Vanguard is a real power house and good on fuel like the other BS twins I have (22, 20, and 18 hp).

I got tired of my back hurting every time I wanted to mow. Now it doesn't. In what I will save in medical bills, not counting the lack of pain, it easily will pay me back for the purchase and then some. Mows a flawless pasture....looks like my lawn and no tractor ruts and holidays.

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05-20-2017 00:47:39

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to Texasmark1, 05-19-2017 17:54:08  
I also love those Briggs twin engines! Keep them clean, change the oil, and I installed NGK iridium plugs in mine. Those engines just love those plugs. One other thing, I run all of my engines on Hi-Test gas. They are just happier. No hunting or rough running. Zip.

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05-20-2017 10:56:31

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to jeffcat, 05-20-2017 00:47:39  
Don't have a plug problem, but what iridium plug do you run, just in case? On high test vs low test, I just wonder how long it sits in the dealer's tanks before it's sold. You can look at the low test button on the pumps and it's well worn out, the mid somewhat used, not much, and the high test shiny and new! Next thing is high test is made for high compression anti knocking. BS engines aren't. But may be I'll try some anyway. I know some of my other small engines, recommend 89 min mid grade.....2 stroke chain saws come to mind....Stihl OM I think is where I read it.


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05-20-2017 11:01:20

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 Re: Mower recommendations anyone? in reply to Texasmark1, 05-20-2017 10:56:31  
Just had a thought. The high test additive package may be what your engines like. I think I read somewhere where it's more comprehensive than the minimums used in the 87.

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