Four wheels but a bit off topic

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Usually I do pretty good on the mechanical stuff, but I've hit a problem I'm not sure how to handle.
It is time for a new lawn tractor. The current one is a Montgomery Wards
tractor, so you know how old this thing has to be. I inherited it with the house. It is an 18 hp 42 inch so that is probably about what I will replace it with.
The problem is what kind. Craftsman has 32 flavors of every model it seems. Home Depot isn't much better with the cheap brand and the John Deere, about 6 or 7 to choose from. Then there is Lowe's with their half dozen.
anyone have any thoughts?
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Hi Tom,
I have purchased John Deere a number times over the years. As I would trade one in, the dealer reconditioned it and sold it again. One of them was on its third life. Today with a smaller yard, I have a John Deere walk behind. All of them have been high quality and did an excellent job.
Bill
1975 and 2002 coupes

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wrote:

===============Tom ...I have to agree with your knowledge on Corvette mechanicals...
But I can tell you that the John Deere and Cub Cadet tractors that are sold by The Borg and Lowes are NOT the same as those sold by John Deer or International dealers... different models different specs...
I used an International Cub for over 25 years before I had to replace it due to rotted tires and rusted mower deck about 6-7 years ago and the price to replace it with a new Cub was not that much more then replacing all 4 original tires and buying a new deck...
What I am saying is forget about the Borg and Lowes...and Crapsman ...find a farm machinery dealer in your area... or reasonably close... and deal with them....
Heck my original 1960's model Cub Cadet even had disc brakes, deck was held on by 2 quick release pins.. and the thing was still running fine when I needed to do something about the rusted deck.. I have no doubt that my new Cub will last as long as the original.. parts are available at the dealer, and more importantly so is Knowledge, mechanics at farm dealer are not quite like the mechanics at the Chevy dealer... lol...
Hope this helps you make up your mind... the 4 brands I would be looking at are
John Deere International Gravely Simplicity
Bob G 64 72 76 79 & 95 Corvettes ....Internation Cub, 42 in deck, full hydrostatic drive...saftey seat and reverse mandated options disabled....but it does lack a cup holder nothing is perfect...
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Bob is right.
Also, the John Deere models sold at Home Depot are the "economy" models. See a John Deere dealer.

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I respectfully disagree with Bill and Bob on this issue Tom. I suggest going to the Sears or any other lower end tractor. My reasoning is parts availability. I bought a new higher end Husqavarna Tractor with rear bagger in1996....13 hp with 42 inch cut and now wish I hadn't. BTW I only mow about an acre of grass. I paid about a grand more than I would have paid at Sears and trying to find replacement mower blades is a complete pain in the ass. The people that sold me the tractor no longer sell Husqavarna so I was sent to the city to get blades... I found a dealer but they had to order the blades which are twice the price of a generic Sears tractor blade. Now if I had have bought a sears I would find generic blades at any reputable hardware store. Just my .02 cents worth....Jim
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================I am sure not going to argue with you.... But I did NOT include Husqavanrna in the 4 leading brands that I would look at...I suggested Farm machinery dealers because most will be selling and servicing their product lines until the world is all ashhalt covered strip malls.... Heck my dealer "delivered" chains to me at work so I could plow the snow IF I got home from work... and he did not charge me a penny ...just said stop in and pay after the roads are clear...
Sorry BUT my neighbor has over the years borrowed my Tractor so many times because his Craftsman had Craped out again...I lost count 20 years ago...
In the 30+ years I have lived next to him I am on my second tractor he is on at least his 8th or 9th Craftsman...
Just curious what is so special about the blades on your tractor...? I would have a couple of spare sets ordered for me and in stock in my garage all the time .... Hope you do not need a "serious" part...
Bob G.
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Bob,
I dunno what is "special " about this darned tractor, but know that I have to have blades that fit a die that consists of about 4-5 star pattern... It is totally wierd and have these 'High lift blades".....Well it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. And when my Father in-law was alive I used his cheap lawn tractor (sears or the like) and found it better at lifting leaves and grass in the bagger... The tractor will be going up for sale this summer and I will be buying a cheapie......warmest regards...jim.....(BTW...1977 Vette that is now leaking oil from this past weekend.....damn!)
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If you can get ahold of last months Popular Mechanics there was a comparison on lawn tractors. They had several, with the pros and cons... I'll see if I can find the issue at home.
Tom in Missouri wrote:

--
Ric Seyler
Online Racing: RicSeyler
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wrote:

I bought a YardMan from Lowes,21hp 46inch blades It was fairly cheap in price as well as Quality. The Year after they had Troy built and I wish I had that option at that time. . I went from a crafstman to the Yardman, The yardman was much better than the crafstman . I am still using the yardman but I did havew major problems with two other products they sold, a tiller that was so strong the blades would rip off if a small to medium size rock got hung up. There was no breakaway and the motor being so powerful would just tear the blades off. so it saw many weilding shops, the other yardman was the large walkaround leave vacume,yellow and green sold by home depot at the time. It did a great job for two years picking up all the leaves but the third year the mulching blates that ran on a pin snapprd off showering me with pieces of melal some 1 half to three Quarters of a pound. This machine let go without warning and it was like being in a war zone for about four minutes. Bad engineering It's late I can't think well enough to spell so just be careful of the yardman products.
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They mow a heck of a lot of grass here at the University. I've been looking at the mowers the last few days, and they all say Toro on the them. FWIW.
AJM '93 Ruby coupe, 6 sp
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Oh no, I just can't pass this up. Don't they just keep it short by the coed's grazing?
Don't miss out on the zero turn, cut my mowing from 3 hours to an hour and 15 minutes, 50 inch 20 year old Cadet to a 52 inch Grasshopper that uses less gas.
This thread is best viewed at JLA trash site.
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Thanks everyone for the input. Lot more interest in mowing grass than I thought. :-) I always tried to avoid it if possible. It gives me a lot of food for thought.
Now I am noticing a lot have automatic transmission. My old one has a 7 speed and seemed to be fine with that, especially with running slow in some areas. Is the automatic really worthwhile?
Ric, I'll have to run out and see if I can find that issue in the library.

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Tom.... Honestly I have NO use for an a automatic in a Corvette...(although one of mine is an automatic) ...but when it comes to lawn tractors Full Hydrostatic is the only way to go in my opinion... preferably one that does not require you to even use your feet....
Bob G.
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A friend of mine has a Snapper riding mower that must have been used by Moses. Still going strong. If you don't necessarily need a tractor type mower Snapper might be the winner.

some
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Yeah OT, but as an ex-military guy I recognize the threat posed to national security by a ragged lawn. That said, I venture to my daughter's a couple of weeks each summer and am "allowed" to play with the "shed toys." New mower is a 54"-deck Deere. Four-acre lawn with three dozen trees, several vegetable & flower beds and a long drainage ditch with roll-over potential. Even though the safety interlocks are a pain, the automatic is a big plus to help change speed in tight spots and work under low hanging tree limbs. Probably not important if you have long staight runs and can make wide turns.
Looked across the green at neighbor's new acquisition. Nice maneuverable rig with castering rear wheels. Color was dull red--had a nice sun awning--don't recall the brand--moved out like it had well over 35 HP -- impressive, looked like a nice ride -- guy has a Ferrari in the garage.
Paul H.
Tom in Missouri wrote:

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All under $1600
#1 Murray 425640x5 4 wheel steering
#2 Poulan Pro PK185H42ST Kohler Engine
#3 Husqvarna LTH18542 Controls very good
#4 Yard-Man X614G Hydrostat Drive by foot pedal
#5 Troy Built Super Bronco vibration free
#6 White Outdoor L100 Underseat gas tank
#7 Craftsman 27364 Cutting Height easy to set
There were many other pros and cons listed also.
--
Ric Seyler



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Thanks for all the help. I am amazed at the replies, mainly since this off topic question seems to be generating much more conversation than Corvettes lately. :-)
Naturally, the tractor knows I am getting ready to replace it. Performed like a champ today. Too bad the wife wouldn't take the same cue. :-)
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Tom, I inherited a MW tractor when I bought my house 20 years ago. When I replaced it, I went Craftsman (twice). Boy do I miss that old MW. If you get a new one, keep the old one around a while. My old MW would cut through just about anything. Good luck on replacing your MW.
--
Charlie
!993 Corvette Convertible
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Hi again, If you haven't seen them before there are lawnmower races sponsored by STA-BIL gasoline additive. You can go to their web site and check out the season schedule. When televised they are a hoot to watch and you might even pick up a performance tip or two that could reduce your grass cutting time considerably.

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'The problem is what kind. Craftsman has 32 flavors of every model it seems. Home Depot isn't much better with the cheap brand and the John Deere, about 6 or 7 to choose from. Then there is Lowe's with their half dozen. anyone have any thoughts?
REPLY: I bought a Troy Built brand house generator recently...a good size one. I was very very impressed with its design, engineering, and quality. If they make their Lawn Tractors anything like thier Generators, youd be pleased with it. Lowes has them. My dad has a 42" John Deere lawn tractor ; has had a couple of problems with it, plus, you pay tons of money for the nameplate -- unimpressed with John Deere at least on this size Lawn Tractor.
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