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Riding Lawn Mower Advice

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by EJL923, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    no but I have had engine failures due to high oil consumption. Guess what is a MAJOR cause of high oil consumption? A failed or poorly installed air filter allowing sand/dirt
    into the engine and prematurely wearing the rings. You sir, failed to see the point. I am not talking about Murray riding mowers. $2000 doesn't constitution anything budget IMO.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You should have checked the oil more often. Another cause for excessive oil consumption is somebody running the engine low on oil. Nobody to blame but yourself for ruining an engine that way.

    I must have missed your point, which is? The MTD class of riding mowers are more like 1000$ so I'm not sure what you're talking about.
  3. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    running the engine low on oil and excessive consumption are inevitable, if you don't service the air filter. My uncle has been a small engine mechanic for 35 years, so I have some experience.
    The ones that have run low on oil ie: excessive consumption issues were for customers.

    MTD $1000 lawn 'tractors' are throwaways, along with an LT1000 AYP (Crapsman), Murray, Huskee and any other budget brand. MTD makes Troy-bilt, Cub Cadet, White Outdoor...

    My point was they don't design the engine components (ie: filters) or the mowing deck to be serviced or to give a long life at that price. At $2000, it's a bit better. Spend $4000 on a Toro commercial and you'll see the difference

    AYP = all Yinyang parts
    MTD = money throw down (the drain)
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    My uncle's brother's son thinks maybe a screw is loose.

    Don't you think small engines have come a long way in 35 years? It's getting pretty hard to find an engine without overhead valves these days and oil consumption is nearly zero under normal conditions. We're drifting from the point though. The poster is obviously considering price and is choosing a riding mower. Probably a modern one and odds are that he will end up with an engine from an engine maker like Briggs, Kohler, Kawi, or even Honda. All of these engines are just fine, relatively close to each other in quality for a given application. Everything is "yinyang" these days.

    I worry more about the deck quality. The rust, the impact resistance, the spindle life, etc. The engines will not be the weak link.

    If you want to spent big bucks then you can certainly buy a machine with better components including engines and air filters. I own the 30HP diesel tractor pictured to the left. My cheap mower is 19.5 HP. There is a lot more than twice the metal in the 30HP diesel engine.
  5. jeffoc

    jeffoc Member

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    In 2000 I bought a '94 JD Lx188 with a 48 inch deck. Over the past 10 years I have beat the heck out of the thing not just mowing but using it to pull.The 17 hp Kawasaki is still going strong. But the bolt on the crankshaft that holds the pto in place keeps backing out.
    Over the weekend I went to the JD dealer here in town to buy a new one. He didn't have any used that I liked so I went to Lowes, They have a deal right now, any JD's and you get a free yard cart and they have free shipping. I bought a D130, 22hp Briggs w/ a 42" deck. Not built as tough as my '94 but I seem to like it.
  6. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    perhaps they are one in the same for you, no?
  7. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I have a HD cheapo MTD mower i purchased back in 94, it was a 38" cut with a 14.5hp briggs and it ran for 15 years and needed no repair except a deck belt every couple years. It was 850 bucks and i used it to cut down a hay field one day that was 3ft tall so i could hunt on it and while it took sometime to do it did it and did it well.. Its all in how you take care of it not so much the brand

    I now have a cub cadet SLT1554 with a 27hp and it is the most comfortable mower i have ever had and it has cruise... 54" very heavy duty deck and it detaches in 25 seconds... Great mower but a bit slow...
  8. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Going on my fourth year with a JD LA 120 and have had very good luck. 42 inch deck, runs fine, lots of power, and plows my driveway with no trouble.

    Bought it from JD and not the box store.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    On our previous Craftsman with a B&S motor I had a carburetor failure due to not keep up with the air filter maintenance. It gets dry and dusty here late in the season and that bears watching. I can't remember the exact part that wore, the shop did the work, but I think it was a the throttle plate pivots which stated letting air leak in or something like that. They said it was grit that acted like an abrasive that caused the problem. Anyhow, now I am very good about keeping the air filter and prefilter clean. And I change the oil on a regular basis as well as now having an engine with an oil filter.

    Deck quality is definitely an issue. Our first riding mower was a used Craftsman 14 hp. It was good for a couple years, then it started going though belts frequently. The next year the stock belt wouldn't work and I had to get a different length one. Long story short, when I pulled the deck the belt engaging pulley plate had broken a weld. I was surprised at how wimpy it was. We welded in back with some gussets for strength and it was fine after that, but now I pull the deck on a mower when looking to buy and inspect it's construction.
  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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  11. jlove1974

    jlove1974 Member

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    I find it funny that some of you would spend $900 on a chainsaw to use part-time, but won't pony up the money to buy a quality mower. It's comical

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