Author Topic: Just because a riding mower costs more doesn't mean it is better  (Read 139 times)

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Offline 660magnum

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I had always owned the old style Bolens, and Cub Kadet 127 hydrostatic 42" tractors prior to MTD buying them.

I married a woman and she had a almost new Murray 40"/16hp Tecumseh 6 speed . I initially thought of it as a piece of junk but after using it, I sold my Bolens and Cub Kadet. The maintenance of the Murray was less frequent and the parts were cheaper. The Murray would cut higher grass than the two older tractors. After 10 years, the deck rusted out. And though I could have bought a new deck shell, I opted to buy a new Sears. Murray had gone out of business and so had Tecumseh.

The Sears was 42"/ 19hp Briggs single 6 speed. The sears has been very trouble free for 8 years but the other day the cable that controls the power to the deck broke. I ordered one on the Interweb and it is supposed to be here Wednesday.

So I got out my like new Sears (AYP, Husqvarna) 21" self propelled big wheel bagger push mower, Briggs 190cc. Left the bag in the barn. It was $20 at a garage sale but the jet in the carb was plugged and a couple covers were missing. I spent another $20 for the covers fixing it. It is a 2012 model. It does nice for a push mower. I have a nice MTD 21" big wheel bagger too but it is not self propelled. It was a yard sale mower also.

The neighbor across the highway saw me using the push mower and came over on his John Deere 130 consumer lawn tractor with a Briggs 22hp V-twin, 42" deck, & hydrostatic drive and the same size tires as my Craftsmasn. I didn't like it! Steered very hard compared to my Sears (AYP,Husqvarna) and took a big area to turn around. To reverse is awkward as you have to push a button on the dash behind the steering wheel and step on a different pedal. It is very slow in reverse. It clumped up the cuttings into a awful mess in the yard where my Sears had blown the cuttings out smooth.

I had to fix his Stihl FS-45 curved shaft whacker before I could use his mower. Get it started and adjust the needles.

Just because a mower costs more does not mean it is more convenient to use??? I like my cheap Sears much better though they've changed it a little since I bought mine. So mow a little with a strange mower before you buy it?
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Offline Cut4fun .

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Got 4 of them so know what you mean about things being different from mower to mower.  Have a mid 90's craftsman took on a trade, late 70's IH Cub, and 2 05-06 yard man 23hp same as a newer 25hp cub cadet my dad has and yard machine 17or19hp MTD's that were insurance replacements of 2 that was in old barn when it went down. 

The troy-bilt I had was the worst I have owned and it was when troy-bilt was still building them.  Glad the barn got that POS.
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Offline 660magnum

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I notice that some hydrostatic Husqvarna's and Craftsman's have that same idiotic push button on the dash and the little heel knob for snail slow reverse just like the John Deere 130 did?
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Offline Cut4fun .

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I only got 1 hydrostatic  and no buttons.

The other newer one has a reverse override button once you turn the key up and push button in one time, it is on for reverse the rest of the mowing, but it isnt hdro.
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Offline 660magnum

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My old hydros went just as fast and quick in reverse as they did forward. No gimmicks.

I had a couple rear engine Gravely's in the 70's and their hand clutch was half the speed to the rear as it was to forward. They were very nice. Probably the nicest lawn tractors I ever owned.

My Craftsman I bypassed all that EPA crap. It goes reverse without doing any back flips and you can raise up off the seat without the engine quitting.
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I was just out today using my Craftsman riding mower.   I got it for free and then it sat for about 6 years in my garage before I got it out to repair it.   That cable your talking about I had to replace also.   That cable on mine actually moves a pulley that engages the blades.  I had to run a guitar string through the idle jets on the carb and spray some cleaner through them to get it to idle right.    It is a 6 speed also with a neutral and reverse on the same lever and is quick and easy to hit reverse.
I think it is a great mower.
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Offline 660magnum

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That's what the cable does on mine also. The middle of the spring on the end of the cable had rubbed on a pulley or belt and was cut apart.

I had to drop the deck and pull it part way out to connect the cable. Nothing to it except this 70 year old man was just about done himself after getting down on the ground and back up several times and skinning the backs of my hands up. That is all heeled now.

I've mowed with that Craftsman 42" 6 spd manual mower four times since the repair and enjoy the mower more since I know how it compares with more expensive Craftsman, Husqvarna, Poulan, and John Deere 42" mowers.

My $450 variable speed - self propelled 21" Craftsman push mower that I paid $20 for was a joy to use also. Looks like a new one since I replaced the missing cover.

The MTD riding mower assembly factory is just down the highway from my house. At night I hear the fans on the roof and the air compressors.
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Offline 660magnum

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In 2013 I bought a new 21" MTD bagger type push mower (not self propelled). It was shipped directly to my house from the factory in Mississippi. I got it out of the box, put oil and gas in to  it and mowed around the barn a little and put it away. I had four mowers like this of different ages so it wasn't used again until this summer. It wouldn't start. It had varnish in the carb jet. Had to push the varnish out with a bristle from a wire brush. I gave it to my older son.

It has the 6.75 B&S engine like all the others I've had in the last 20 yrs. I say this about the B&S but there are more than a hundred variations of the B&S 6.75 engine. No two of mine have ever been exactly alike. The crankshaft diameters and lengths vary as well as having prime bulb carbs and choke type carbs. Some have variable speed carbs but most are full throttle "on" to off types. The covers are all different designs also.
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