Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

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tony5412
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Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:49 am

I have an old Power King tractor from the 70s. The engine recently went out and is not rebuildable. I am debating whether to repower this tractor (everything but the engine is good on it) or just buy a new zero turn mower. I use it mainly for mowing but is kinda nice to have something with extra power to pull out bushes and that sort of thing.

Here are my options:

1) Put a brand new engine in it. Since they no longer sell the original engine, it will require custom work by the repair shop to ensure that it fits right. Prices range from approx $1300 for a 16 hp Briggs/Stratton or a 19hp Kohler...or $2300 for a 23hp Briggs/Stratton. Again it will need custom work. There is a 3 year warranty however.

2) Put a rebuilt engine in it. A shop in another state rebuilds engines and then sells them. I can get one for $800 or so. This should not require much of any custom work in order for it to fit. I believe there is a one year warranty. My local shop is not too keen on installing used engines but the company claims they are as good as new.

3) Sell what's left of the tractor to my local repair shop for $400 (which seems low to me) and put the money down on a brand new zero turn. The local stores sell zero turns with a 52 inch deck for approx $3000. I won't be able to pull anything with it, but that's a rare occurance anyway, as the tractor was used for mostly mowing.

I will say that I like #2 but am concerned about who is at fault if it doesn't work as it should. The engine people could blame the repair man and vice versa. That is my main concern with that.

Any suggestions?

Carl53
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Carl53 » Tue May 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Mostly for just mowing, go with the new ZT or hire a service to mow if you only see yourself living there a few years. You will find that a zero turn will knock significant time off your mowing/trimming. I almost never have any trimming to do with a ZT and not enough to fire up the gas powered string trimmer in a couple of years.

mortfree
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by mortfree » Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm

zero turns have attachments/hitches for pulling things...

I just moved to a home where for the first time ever, push mowing wasn't going to work even though the yard is under an acre.

I got the Ariens IkonX 42.

sounds like trying to revive the old mower will still leave you with a feeling that it might fail again soon (?)

ETA: based on a later comment, there goes my excitement about the Ariens model I have. :oops:
Last edited by mortfree on Tue May 15, 2018 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lthenderson
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Having been raised on a farm, I'm kind of partial to option two of getting a rebuilt engine and fixing up the tractor. They are awfully handy to have around.

Beach
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Beach » Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm

$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan

iamlucky13
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 15, 2018 3:31 pm

If towing is potentially a need, why not one of the nicer yard tractors or an entry level garden tractor? You should be able to find agricultural tires for it if you need more traction.

I get the maneuverability and visibility advantages of zero turn mowers compared to tractors, but obviously a tractor is a form factor you're happy with so far. I doubt an entry level garden tractor would be as stoutly built as your Power King, but it still sounds like a better fit for your uses than a budget zero turn.

Speaking of older tractors like the Power Kings being well built: getting the rebuilt engine for the Power King sounds like a pretty decent option, too, depending on the install cost. Your concern is certainly valid about warranty responsibility, but it sounds like the worst case is you've still got a lot of cash left over to fix what comes up before you even reach the cost of installing a new engine, much less buying a new mower.

bubbadog
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by bubbadog » Tue May 15, 2018 4:40 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
I agree but some of these brands have also started to make cheaper machines at a lower price. A true commercial quality Exmark or equivalent with a 52 inch deck is closer to $8,000 new.

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mrc
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by mrc » Tue May 15, 2018 4:52 pm

I have a tow hitch plate mounted on my eXmark ZT. I can pull a core aerator, drop/broadcast spreader, etc. with it. No stumps though: Pulling too much risks damage to the hydrophilic drive. With a mulching kit (chute block and mulching blades) the mower cuts very well. I'd never go back to a belly mower on a tractor for cut quality and maneuverability.

Don't buy from a big box store, because it may be difficult to find parts and obtain repair for those models. I would think a decent ZT would start at $5K now days.

If you really like the tractor, and it's functional as you say it is, fixing is cheaper than purchasing a new ZT. You could check for used ZTs from a larger equipment dealer. Lots of folks trade up.

I wouldn't put a new "crate" motor in the old tractor. I would go with the rebuild.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

London
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by London » Tue May 15, 2018 4:53 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
Without knowing what type of use it will get or anything about the yard, this is poor advice. For someone with a half acre, a professional machine is overkill. I have a 46" ZTR that ran about $3k and have gone years without issues, even on a bigger lawn.

I don't remember who said it on the board, but I'll recap. If you ask bogleheads about cars or houses, the advice is to always buy the least you can get away with. Ask them about outdoor power equipment and too much is never enough.

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Watty
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Watty » Tue May 15, 2018 5:07 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:49 am
Here are my options:
I would add another option;

4) Buy a used tractor.
tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:49 am
I have an old Power King tractor from the 70s.
How old are you? If you are unlikely to be doing your own yard work with the lawn tractor 20 years from now some of the expensive options don't make a lot of sense.

It could be that a less expensive consumer grade lawnmower would make sense even if it only lasted ten years.

mike77308
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by mike77308 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:27 pm

Power King tractors can be a collectors item. There are many Power King specific forums out there. If yours is good condition (other than the engine) and is complete and original you may be able to get far more than $400 for it.

That being said, a zero turn mower can't be beat for cutting grass but it won't do other chores. I am on my 17th season with my Walker MC commercial level zero turn mower. It has been virtually trouble free the whole time and does an amazing job at it's intended purpose. It was expensive when I bought it but spread the cost out over it's years of dependable service it has been cheaper than a (most likely multiple) homeowner level mower(s).

PineBayGuy
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by PineBayGuy » Tue May 15, 2018 7:25 pm

A zero turn is just fun. Do it!

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:20 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
Interesting, those forbidden brands are exactly the brands that I was looking at. I figured I'd go to Lowes or Home Depot and find something decent for 3k. I guess they don't make mowers like they used to.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:23 pm

Carl53 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:44 pm
Mostly for just mowing, go with the new ZT or hire a service to mow if you only see yourself living there a few years. You will find that a zero turn will knock significant time off your mowing/trimming. I almost never have any trimming to do with a ZT and not enough to fire up the gas powered string trimmer in a couple of years.
I like the idea of saving time! It take an hour and a half which isn't too bad. Wouldn't mind cutting that in half!

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:25 pm

mortfree wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm
zero turns have attachments/hitches for pulling things...
That might work. I don't have to tow very much. Need to pull out a bush, but I suppose I can hire somone to do it if needed.
mortfree wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm
sounds like trying to revive the old mower will still leave you with a feeling that it might fail again soon (?)
Yes

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:46 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:31 pm
If towing is potentially a need, why not one of the nicer yard tractors or an entry level garden tractor? You should be able to find agricultural tires for it if you need more traction.
I get the maneuverability and visibility advantages of zero turn mowers compared to tractors, but obviously a tractor is a form factor you're happy with so far. I doubt an entry level garden tractor would be as stoutly built as your Power King, but it still sounds like a better fit for your uses than a budget zero turn.[/quote]

That is another option, although still leaning toward a ZTR if I buy a new one due to those reasons.
iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 3:31 pm
Speaking of older tractors like the Power Kings being well built: getting the rebuilt engine for the Power King sounds like a pretty decent option, too, depending on the install cost. Your concern is certainly valid about warranty responsibility, but it sounds like the worst case is you've still got a lot of cash left over to fix what comes up before you even reach the cost of installing a new engine, much less buying a new mower.
That is definitely the least expensive option if everything works out. Maybe I can give that a shot, and if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, cut my losses, sell it, and move on.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:50 pm

mrc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:52 pm
I have a tow hitch plate mounted on my eXmark ZT. I can pull a core aerator, drop/broadcast spreader, etc. with it. No stumps though: Pulling too much risks damage to the hydrophilic drive. With a mulching kit (chute block and mulching blades) the mower cuts very well. I'd never go back to a belly mower on a tractor for cut quality and maneuverability.

Don't buy from a big box store, because it may be difficult to find parts and obtain repair for those models. I would think a decent ZT would start at $5K now days.
You're not the only one who stated that. Didn't realize that the 3k ones were such junk!
mrc wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 4:52 pm
If you really like the tractor, and it's functional as you say it is, fixing is cheaper than purchasing a new ZT. You could check for used ZTs from a larger equipment dealer. Lots of folks trade up.

I wouldn't put a new "crate" motor in the old tractor. I would go with the rebuild.
I was told that the new motors require some custom work. I would hate to get caught in the middle of some miscommunication between the repair man and engine company especially considering that I am not an expert when it comes to engines.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:29 am

Watty wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:07 pm
I would add another option;

4) Buy a used tractor.
Funny you mention that as there is a used Power King for sale in a nearby town for $1200. It is not quite a big as the one in the shop though. I will need to compare mower blade sizes
Watty wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:07 pm
How old are you? If you are unlikely to be doing your own yard work with the lawn tractor 20 years from now some of the expensive options don't make a lot of sense.

It could be that a less expensive consumer grade lawnmower would make sense even if it only lasted ten years.
It is probably more likely that I move before I am too old to do my own yard work. I have used regular riders in the past that lasted 20 years (with multiple owners). Figured a new ZTR would last that long as well but perhaps that is wishful thinking.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:31 am

mike77308 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:27 pm
Power King tractors can be a collectors item. There are many Power King specific forums out there. If yours is good condition (other than the engine) and is complete and original you may be able to get far more than $400 for it.
That is what I was thinking. $400 seems low!

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed May 16, 2018 10:50 am

Some people go overboard recommending and buying professional equipment. Professional equipment is designed to run forty hours a week or 24/7 or some similar standard. Most homeowners are doing a tiny fraction of that and new pro grade is way overkill and a waste of money for what is by commercial standards very light use.

Working on industrial equipment the flagship model was designed to be run hard. 24/7 operations of maximum loads for seven years. The economy line was designed for 40 hours a weak of not quite so hard work for seven years. Most plants that did less than that bought used. Some users had forty plus year old models that were used a few times a year. Cheaper than short term rentals if the real estate cost of the parking spot was low.

The occasional customer with more money than sense would buy new high end equipment with a custom paint job and use it a few tens of hours a year. The sales force would work to keep the engineers away from these customers, since it offended everything engineers stand for.

If a home owner wants "pro" equipment they should be looking at used equipment, probably towards the clapped out end of the used spectrum, it will still have plenty of useful life for their purposes.

bubbadog
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by bubbadog » Wed May 16, 2018 1:10 pm

If a home owner wants "pro" equipment they should be looking at used equipment, probably towards the clapped out end of the used spectrum, it will still have plenty of useful life for their purposes.
[/quote]

I would search the local craigslist for a clean lightly used commercial unit. I think this represents the sweet spot for value.

I purchased a zero turn Exmark/Kawasaki engine unit (3 years old) with 200 hours from a local homeowner. I paid $4,200 and a comparable new unit was around $7,500 plus tax.

iamlucky13
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu May 17, 2018 12:44 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:20 pm
Interesting, those forbidden brands are exactly the brands that I was looking at. I figured I'd go to Lowes or Home Depot and find something decent for 3k. I guess they don't make mowers like they used to.
Keep in mind, the original price of your Power King was probably (I'm guessing here) equivalent to over $5000 in today's dollars. We're talking about something in between a top end garden tractor and a sub-compact utility tractor, but with a simpler design (no hydrostatic transmission, pre-emissions regulations, minimal consideration for aesthetics and comfort, etc), so even my guess is probably conservative compared an equivalent build quality with all the features that are standard these days.

I'm sure the $3000 zero turns aren't junk, but it's almost certainly going to be designed for homeowners with an acre or two of smooth lawn and 10 year life expectancies, not 20+ years of field mowing, towing and snowplowing, or even tilling. With the extra complexity of the differential steering, I suppose a $3000 ZTR is probably going to be more equivalent to a $2000 lawn tractor.

And that kind of mid-level residential mower is fine for a lot of owners.
Last edited by iamlucky13 on Thu May 17, 2018 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NoblesvilleIN
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by NoblesvilleIN » Thu May 17, 2018 1:17 pm

My experience is that my ZTR drive tires (turf) would spin uselessly if I tried to pull out brush. My tires spin sometimes when I am trying to mow the ditch out by the road (going up and down for safety). That said, the ZTR (Exmark 52") greatly reduced mowing time (5 hours with garden tractor is now about 3 hours with ZTR) and is a major benefit. There is a rear plate that I can hitch my 50 gallon sprayer to and it seems to tow ok. If you have much land, you might want to consider getting a used mid-sized utility tractor with a 3-point hitch and a front loader for chores and a ZTR for mowing. I use the tractor for brush and similar chores, if that would fit your budget. That combination (ZTR and mid-sized utility tractor) has been a real time saver for our small farm. Neighbor takes care of the row crops with his equipment, so I don't have true farm implements.

Beach
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Beach » Thu May 17, 2018 4:01 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:20 pm
Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
Interesting, those forbidden brands are exactly the brands that I was looking at. I figured I'd go to Lowes or Home Depot and find something decent for 3k. I guess they don't make mowers like they used to.
Somebody else quoted getting used equipment or purchase the bottom model from the brands I recommended....This is also great advice. I purchased a Bob-Cat CRZ for my 2 acre property. This is the cheapest model Bob-Cat sells and it still set me back alot but after doing the research, the components they use vs some of the stuff in Home Depot or Lowes makes it totally worth it. It tows my 40gallon sprayer, pulls my aerator and have done a yard reno using a heavy disc harrow with no issues. No, it won't be dragging around heavy stuff not on wheels but I've got a 4x4 truck if that's required. I've put 60 hours on it with zero issues. Good luck!

meebers
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by meebers » Thu May 17, 2018 4:16 pm

Have you been to mytractorforum.com ? I subscribe to their newsletter (free) and enjoy the many stories from users of tractors. Many take pride in keeping really old equipment going. I have a JD L110 that I use for lawn cutting, hauling mulch etc, it is 15+ years old, normal maintenance only so far. :D

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:19 am

Thanks all for the replies. I am going to explore the idea of repowering this tractor as that seems to be the most economical solution. My repair man said he did not want to install a used engine but will see if he is willing to install a restored engine. I just hope there are not any problems because the repair man and engine shop could end up pointing the finger at each other.

According to the engine shop, the engine should match the ones that was in it previously. Should I get an estimate from the repair shop, in writing, ahead of time? When I first took it in, he gave me a ballpark figure on an engine and his hourly rate, but said he could not determine how many hours it would take because it would depend on the engine. The refurbished engine SHOULD be an exact fit, however.

bradpevans
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by bradpevans » Fri May 18, 2018 9:26 am

tony5412 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:19 am
Thanks all for the replies. I am going to explore the idea of repowering this tractor as that seems to be the most economical solution. My repair man said he did not want to install a used engine but will see if he is willing to install a restored engine. I just hope there are not any problems because the repair man and engine shop could end up pointing the finger at each other.

According to the engine shop, the engine should match the ones that was in it previously. Should I get an estimate from the repair shop, in writing, ahead of time? When I first took it in, he gave me a ballpark figure on an engine and his hourly rate, but said he could not determine how many hours it would take because it would depend on the engine. The refurbished engine SHOULD be an exact fit, however.
One thing i learned (and i wished someone had told me years ago), is that the ZTR mowers simply go FASTER.
Yes, they "make-up" time while turning around or circling trees, the VAST majority of time savings is simply speed.

They do spin more easily and can "grind" your lawn if you turn around too aggressively

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Fri May 18, 2018 10:38 am

bradpevans wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:26 am
tony5412 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:19 am
Thanks all for the replies. I am going to explore the idea of repowering this tractor as that seems to be the most economical solution. My repair man said he did not want to install a used engine but will see if he is willing to install a restored engine. I just hope there are not any problems because the repair man and engine shop could end up pointing the finger at each other.

According to the engine shop, the engine should match the ones that was in it previously. Should I get an estimate from the repair shop, in writing, ahead of time? When I first took it in, he gave me a ballpark figure on an engine and his hourly rate, but said he could not determine how many hours it would take because it would depend on the engine. The refurbished engine SHOULD be an exact fit, however.
One thing i learned (and i wished someone had told me years ago), is that the ZTR mowers simply go FASTER.
Yes, they "make-up" time while turning around or circling trees, the VAST majority of time savings is simply speed.

They do spin more easily and can "grind" your lawn if you turn around too aggressively
That is what I hear. Zero turns can cut mowing time in half vs a standard riding mower. The tractor does speed it up a bit but probably not as much as a zero turn.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Wed May 23, 2018 9:55 am

I have decided to do the rebuild. Found a place that refurbs engines and my local shop said they would put it in. They were in contact with each other to verify the size, fit, etc.

A couple questions:

Should I ask for a written estimate from the repair shop?

The engine people say that there is a warranty. I believe it is a one year warranty. Should I have them put it in writing and send it to me before purchasing?

Should I have the engine people send me the engine and I deliver it to the shop....or have it delivered directly to the shop? I don't see any reason why the latter shouldn't be done but if anyone sees any issue with that, please let me know.

Just want to make sure everything goes smooth and there are no issues.

investingdad
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by investingdad » Wed May 23, 2018 12:04 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
I spent $1000 twelve years ago for a TroyBilt. I just spent $1300 for a Husqvarna this year.

At this rate, I'm looking at 6k over 50 years.

At half an acre, I think the lower cost replacements every decade are the better bet.

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Ged
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by Ged » Wed May 23, 2018 12:36 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:50 pm
I was told that the new motors require some custom work. I would hate to get caught in the middle of some miscommunication between the repair man and engine company especially considering that I am not an expert when it comes to engines.
Have you talked to the engine company about this concern? Maybe they have recommendations for an installer that will result in a comprehensive warranty.

tony5412
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Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Wed May 23, 2018 5:51 pm

Ged wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:36 pm
tony5412 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:50 pm
I was told that the new motors require some custom work. I would hate to get caught in the middle of some miscommunication between the repair man and engine company especially considering that I am not an expert when it comes to engines.
Have you talked to the engine company about this concern? Maybe they have recommendations for an installer that will result in a comprehensive warranty.
The main issue with that is the engine company is out of state. They offer a 90 day warranty on the part.

keinodoggy
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by keinodoggy » Wed May 23, 2018 6:17 pm

Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
Your comment about brands like Cub Cadet amuse me. My 1991 Cub 1330 and my 2006 Cub Z-Force 50 have been totally trouble free. Bought them both new and have never had them in for repairs of any kind other than regular wear such as belts, greasing and oil changes.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Debating whether to rebuild tractor or buy a new zero turn

Post by tony5412 » Wed May 23, 2018 11:20 pm

keinodoggy wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 6:17 pm
Beach wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:53 pm
$3K for a 52" ZTR does not sound like a quality mower (no offense).

If you want a good mower, you need to go with a commercial brand with a fabricated deck and a high quality engine like Kawasaki.

Some brands to investigate:

Bob-Cat
Bad-Boy
Scag
Kubota
Dixie Chopper
Exmark
Ferris
Gravely

Look to spend closer to $5K+ for a higher quality built machine that won't ever give you any problems. Stay away from brands like Husquvarna, Ariens, John Deere (HD or Lowes Models), Craftsman, Toro, Swisher, Cub Cadet, Spartan
Your comment about brands like Cub Cadet amuse me. My 1991 Cub 1330 and my 2006 Cub Z-Force 50 have been totally trouble free. Bought them both new and have never had them in for repairs of any kind other than regular wear such as belts, greasing and oil changes.

Funny you mention Cub Cadet. Almost bought a CC Zero Turn a few years back but instead opted for the tractor at 1 grand vs 3 grand. If I repower it, it won't be all that far from 3 grand total.

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