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  1. #21
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    I have two Honda Harmony 1011 riding mowers for my two acre place. One is a 1993 model that's got a standard shift and has been mowing with me for more than 20 years with little more than regular maintenance. (oil, grease, belts, air filters, sharpening, etc.).

    The other one is a 2001 model that had a hydrostatic transmission. It was fine until January when I tried to run it. The hydrostatic transmission broke and wouldn't move the mower. I got a used standard transaxle on eBay and converted and it's running again.

    If you purchase a new riding mower, chances are 99% that it will have a hydrostatic transaxle. They are fine when new, but if they break, you are looking at some big money. Prices on replacement hydrostatic transmissions start at $1,000 and go up, depending on the brand.

    Honda no longer makes riding mowers but even if they did, I'd look for something bigger. If I were going to buy one, I'd get the biggest, most heavy duty unit that I could afford, probably a zero turn commercial type. The units sold at places like Lowes and Home Depot will not last. There are hundreds of posts on the Internet about dissatisfied buyers of these units.

    It's wise to spend a lot more and get something that will last for a long time. You should also check prices and availability on replacement parts before making a decision.

  2. #22
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    i have two snapper rear engine riders. one from 1980 with a briggs flat-top engine , one from 1994 with a briggs
    Intek overhead valve engine . the intek had lots of problems, especially oil getting into the intake when mowing
    steep hills ... fouling the motor . it failed after about 6 years , and since it had an aluminum bore, wouldn't be
    practical to repair . the flat -top engine w/ cast iron sleeve is still going strong .

    the snapper comet is very well engineered , has a very simple rubber-disk drive system (the replacement disk costs
    about $9.00) and has used virtually the same common parts for about 50 years .
    if you get one just make sure to get one with a cast iron bore . the 32" blade model would be my choice .

    my dad had a sears/murray/toro rear engine rider. it had a tecumseh cast iron engine . the tecumseh was a very
    solid engine, but the rest of the mower was the biggest POS i've ever seen . You could really tell it was made
    by a company that makes cheap k-mart bicycles and child's wagons. all the bushings were cheap plastic which crumbled ,
    the pot-metal steering gear failed twice, the gearbox was garbage , and the brakes barely stopped the thing(which
    were part of the crummy gearbox).

    it handled like a rowboat , steering play was 1/2 turn , it was slow to stop,
    it was dangerous!

    good luck

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidMetal View Post
    All you guys make me sorta jealous. My yard is the size of a (small) postage stamp, and 10 minutes with a push mower just about does it.

    LM
    Depending on where you are at in Cali your postage stamp lot probably costs more than 10 acres in the woods here.

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  5. #24
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    I moved out of town six years ago onto 1 3/4 acres. Bought a Cub Cadet with the Kawasaki engine (I think they are all Kohler engines now). It has worked fine so far. But almost all of my neighbors have purchased zero turn mowers. I used one once and it was fast...once I got used to the controls. As long as my Cub keeps working I'll use it but the next one should be a zero turn.

  6. #25
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    If you have hills or ditches or whatever some zero turns suck. at least all the ones I've tried sucked on uneven ground.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with a Troy Built? I found one on CL that has a broken steering gear which doesn't sound too hard to fix and the price is right for me.
    Troybuilt is another MTD brand, another big box cheapie.There are only a few companies making most of the brands. Here is a link to who makes what.

    217 Who Makes What? – All Zero-Turn, Lawn And Garden Tractor Manufacturers
    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with a Troy Built? I found one on CL that has a broken steering gear which doesn't sound too hard to fix and the price is right for me.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    about two acres in grass and everything else I cut with a bush hog.
    If the bush hog is decent kit, how hard would it be to add a mower option to it?

    Or.. advancing age meself, and not yet having succeeded in training the damned grass to Just STAY TF cut, have decided it will never learn, so I must do..

    Artistic stoneworks, borders, mulch, shrubs and creeping ground cover that look right decent, but that don' NEED no damned cutting are in this year's plan, along with some Chinese vegetables and French/Italian kitchen herbs. One or two year 'project' for my small patch. Doesn't have to all be done same-year for your larger one, either.

    Gave up on the fruit trees and cut 'em down. B****y young squirrels too dumb to wait for ripe fruit taste the green fruit one bite after another, toss it away, on to the next 'til there's a bare tree.

    Can't fit a grass airstrip or a golf-course into a mere two acres anyway, let alone my paltry sub 1/4 acre, and it takes - IIRC NINE acres for 12-month needs per head of grass-fed livestock. Gots to be wintered-over. Or eaten. No joke. Eaten.

    So where's the loss if you no longer have the full 2 acres in grass?

    Meanwhile, back at your "ranch" a Dixie Chopper zero-turn 'Stryker' stand-up claims 3.5 acres to the hour, their 'Classic' 6.5 acres to the hour, so could become but a 15 to 40-minute task:

    Dixie Chopper - Wikipedia

    Classic | Dixie Chopper
    Stryker | Dixie Chopper[/QUOTE]

    Only John Deere still worth having all burn Diesel anyway, not gasoline.

  9. #28
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    I have a Walker 20hp zero turn. Takes me about 1 1/4 hour to mow 1.5 acres minus buildings. Walker made in Denver USA if that matters. Hydro static drives full warranted for 5 years. Not the cheapest bu I like it.

    Bob
    WB8NQW

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    Or goats? they're working for us in Norfolk UK goats in cromer - Google Search

    And No kidding around - goats to be used as part of scrubland control scheme - Norfolk News | Eastern Daily Press

    And ya gotta admit those Bagot Goats pack some handsome horns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with a Troy Built? I found one on CL that has a broken steering gear which doesn't sound too hard to fix and the price is right for me.
    They were good 30-40 years ago. Not on my list these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Or goats? they're working for us in Norfolk UK goats in cromer - Google Search

    And No kidding around - goats to be used as part of scrubland control scheme - Norfolk News | Eastern Daily Press

    And ya gotta admit those Bagot Goats pack some handsome horns.
    Horns, Hell. Roast goat - Argentine style - can be delicious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dualkit View Post
    depending on where you are at in cali your postage stamp lot probably costs more than 10 acres in the woods here.
    $2m

    lm

  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cg285 View Post
    i assume your "bush hog" is a rotary cutter? so you have a tractor. why not pull a finish mower?
    Yes, I saw this in person at the warehouse, the sidewinder trimmer I think would
    enable you to finish/finish mow with it.
    http://www.woodmaxx.com/product_p/fmx-60hs.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Yes, I saw this in person at the warehouse, the sidewinder trimmer I think would
    enable you to finish/finish mow with it.
    http://www.woodmaxx.com/product_p/fmx-60hs.htm
    hey Doug, .what about your magic brush hog could that be a mower with the right cutters

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    hey Doug, .what about your magic brush hog could that be a mower with the right cutters
    Seems the 'downside' is HE has to run the Brush-hog, however equipped, whist SHE will mow the grass, if separately equipped.

    I vote for shrubs, nubs, flowers, ground cover & stone. Generally gardeny type s**t. Women seem to prefer those to grass anyway.

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    Hey crossthread, like others have said, buy a good zeroturn and you will soon have a bushhog for sale. I went thru all of this on my 2 acres. Had a Ford 8N and a woods grass mower and a couple of snappers rear engined mowers. Would spend much time mowing. I bought a 30 year old Snapper zero turn to fix up and resell. After I used it a few times, no way I going to sell it. Try a zero and you will never go back. Dixie chopper is a good one, especially a diesel. Good luck.

    JH

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    Here's a post I made earlier under the thread "OT John Deere Riding Mower Hood". If you don't need a brand new machine check out the JD 445's and 455's. The newer 455's are 22 hp fuel injected gas. The 455's were 3 cylinder diesels.

    I've had a 445 with all wheel steering over 17 years and have only had to do normal maintenance. The all wheel steering makes mowing between trees and along gardens extremely easy. The only downside is that JD won't sell you a loader for it. They feel with the 4 wheel steering it isn't a stable enough platform.

    As for there being a difference between machines sold by JD dealers and big box stores, it's like night and day. At one time JD made the "Sabre" line of tractors to be sold at the big box stores. They were poor at best. All unitized and barely strong enough to carry a mower and an operator. They tried to get the dealers to do warranty work on them. There was such a rebellion JD dropped the line rather than fight with the dealers. If all you want is a green paint job buy from a big box store. If you want a quality machine that will last for years see a JD dealer.

    Here's the previous post:

    If you're willing to spend the money the JD's can be kept alive almost indefinitely. In 1999 I was looking for a replacement garden tractor. The 1983 Bolens I had was still in excellent condition, but there weren't any dealers around for normal maintenance parts. I thought it had a standard Tecumseh 14 hp single cylinder engine, but found out the hard way Bolens had their own proprietary model.

    The final straw that made me start looking for a replacement was when the ignition coil failed. It turned out to be one of the proprietary items. It took over 2 months to find one and it cost nearly $175.00.

    Not wanting to get into the same position again I did a massive amount of research. I made a spread sheet and lined out over a dozen different brands of tractors. I almost left out JD thinking they were overpriced. However after going through all the details the JD started looking better and better. Many tractors had lower initial selling prices, but when they were equally equipped the JD's were almost equally priced.

    The final test was to see how long each brand was supported. For each brand I picked a model that was 12 years old and contacted dealers for engine and mower parts. More than half of the brands no longer had listings for the parts I inquired about, and nearly all the rest had superseded part numbers at least twice. I found JD was the only manufacturer that still offered parts for the original garden tractors they built in 1966.

    After several months of research I finally made a decision. Low and behold I purchased a JD445 with all wheel steering, full hydraulics, 3 point hitch, and front & rear PTO. I still have the tractor today, and am happy to report It's only needed normal maintenance.

    As a side note my brother decided to go with one of the less expensive brands. On the first tractor the cost of repairs was nearly the same as the initial investment. When it finally died he purchased another brand. He's had this one about 5 years and it already needs some expensive repairs.

  20. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by projectnut View Post
    Here's a post I made earlier under the thread "OT John Deere Riding Mower Hood". If you don't need a brand new machine check out the JD 445's and 455's. The newer 455's are 22 hp fuel injected gas. The 455's were 3 cylinder diesels.

    I've had a 445 with all wheel steering over 17 years and have only had to do normal maintenance. The all wheel steering makes mowing between trees and along gardens extremely easy. The only downside is that JD won't sell you a loader for it. They feel with the 4 wheel steering it isn't a stable enough platform.

    As for there being a difference between machines sold by JD dealers and big box stores, it's like night and day. At one time JD made the "Sabre" line of tractors to be sold at the big box stores. They were poor at best. All unitized and barely strong enough to carry a mower and an operator. They tried to get the dealers to do warranty work on them. There was such a rebellion JD dropped the line rather than fight with the dealers. If all you want is a green paint job buy from a big box store. If you want a quality machine that will last for years see a JD dealer.

    Here's the previous post:

    If you're willing to spend the money the JD's can be kept alive almost indefinitely. In 1999 I was looking for a replacement garden tractor. The 1983 Bolens I had was still in excellent condition, but there weren't any dealers around for normal maintenance parts. I thought it had a standard Tecumseh 14 hp single cylinder engine, but found out the hard way Bolens had their own proprietary model.

    The final straw that made me start looking for a replacement was when the ignition coil failed. It turned out to be one of the proprietary items. It took over 2 months to find one and it cost nearly $175.00.

    Not wanting to get into the same position again I did a massive amount of research. I made a spread sheet and lined out over a dozen different brands of tractors. I almost left out JD thinking they were overpriced. However after going through all the details the JD started looking better and better. Many tractors had lower initial selling prices, but when they were equally equipped the JD's were almost equally priced.

    The final test was to see how long each brand was supported. For each brand I picked a model that was 12 years old and contacted dealers for engine and mower parts. More than half of the brands no longer had listings for the parts I inquired about, and nearly all the rest had superseded part numbers at least twice. I found JD was the only manufacturer that still offered parts for the original garden tractors they built in 1966.

    After several months of research I finally made a decision. Low and behold I purchased a JD445 with all wheel steering, full hydraulics, 3 point hitch, and front & rear PTO. I still have the tractor today, and am happy to report It's only needed normal maintenance.

    As a side note my brother decided to go with one of the less expensive brands. On the first tractor the cost of repairs was nearly the same as the initial investment. When it finally died he purchased another brand. He's had this one about 5 years and it already needs some expensive repairs.
    A 1930's (I think it was) "Gravely", served three generations of the family across the road.

    Wrong tool for THIS job, but the buggers were borderline immortal at what they DID do.

    An Uncle with a dairy farm put up silage with a big 'ole side-flywheel two-cylinder JD Diesel.

    Claimed they weren't even properly broken-in until old enough to vote.

  21. #39
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    If you have a Kubota dealer near you I'd see what they have. Dad has had several, first a F2800 front deck 28 hp 4wd diesel with a 60 inch deck that did 6 years with the county mowing parks. We had to do some creative welding on deck brackets.... not work out, just collided to death.... ran it 4-5 years mowing about 4 acres total house, shop, and farm, then bought a used F2880. My brother has a zero turn kubots... not sure of the model, but a 60 inch deck zero turn hydro will mow some grass. Easy on fuel, rugged, and reliable.

    I'd put them against any john deere you can afford....

  22. #40
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    I have a MTD Troy-Bilt, and it is indeed crappy. Its also virtually identical to a dozen other mowers with different paint jobs. Makes getting parts pretty easy at least. Up at my friend's place, I have a 1969 Cub Cadet 125 that I need to go pick up and do some work on. Its a hydrostat and basically workable, just needs a fair bit of TLC. That will replace the MTD.


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