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Old 08-05-2020, 08:56 AM   #1
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Default Riding Mower recommendations

After 15+ years of hard use and countless repairs, ts time to replace my well used Craftsman mower.

Any opinions on riding mowers, currently looking a John Deere vs a Husqvarna both are 42" and just under $2K.

Thanks

GH
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:02 AM   #2
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I think it would depend on the motor and the level of machine. Are either from a landscape dealer or are both big box store versions? B&S or Honda motors?

I'd also look closely at the height of the deck at full lift. A friend of mine has a Husqvarna, and the deck bangs on my landscape trailer when loading whereas my '07 Craftsman doesn't have an issue.

Other than that, do both have the hydrostatic transmission? I like the idea, but I'd have to research longevity/maintenance.

Let us know what you end up doing!

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Old 08-05-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
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Default Snapper

I have the classic rear engine riding mower. Bought in 1980 and still going strong! I have the thatcher attachment, mulching blade, cover as well as the oversize bagger. I would look into the Snapper brand.
The original motor was a 4 cycle. After tackling a hill a piston seize because the oil did not pick up on the slope. Shop replace the motor with a 2 cycle and it is still going strong after 40 years!
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:39 AM   #4
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Just bought one for my 2 daughters for their yards in Hampton. They live around a corner from each other and this was my house warming gift. They shared a push mower between them.
I came upon the Craftsman T210 at Lowe’s which had very good reviews.
Nice machine with hydro and 42” cut.
I brought it to them last week and showed my oldest daughter how to use it and check the maintenance items on a regular basis. The younger daughter has a little 8-10 week old baby so she didn’t have time to learn. My older daughter will teach her the ropes when appropriate.
What sold me on this mower was the outdoor power guy at Lowe’s that took me
out to the back of the store to show it to me in the crate.
He said he couldn’t keep them in stock as they would sell right out. Said he had sold over 25 of these units just this season. When I went back the next day to pick it up he had one outside in front. They rolled mine out and we loaded it up. I brought it home to go over everything before giving it to my girls. Everything was fine except the tire pressures...very high and well over the recommended pressure. I adjusted those and that was it! I went to Lowe’s yesterday for some other things and they were sold out again!
By the way, this model is called the “T210 tight turn” as it has a unique steering system that allows for (what they call) a 6” turning radius. Anyway, it can turn much tighter than the standard rider. Good luck...I
Have never gone wrong buying a craftsman product...always have good service.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:56 AM   #5
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Check out the Small Engine Barn in Plymouth, close to Rt 93-Exit 26, no website but google it for photos. Either new or used machines.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by XCR-700 View Post
After 15+ years of hard use and countless repairs, ts time to replace my well used Craftsman mower.

Any opinions on riding mowers, currently looking a John Deere vs a Husqvarna both are 42" and just under $2K.

Thanks

GH
Which JD rider model, w/42", comes in under 2K?
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:47 AM   #7
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I have a John Deere and I love it. It's my second one but this one has the power steering and what a difference it makes!
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:04 PM   #8
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I have two John Deereís, one came from Depot the other from a power equipment dealer. Both burn oil. Not impressed at all.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:11 PM   #9
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Depends on the price point. And where purchased.

Many brand name mowers are rebadged MTD. Really have to do your homework. MTD makes a lot of junk.

Then the debate as to quality of big box same brand mowers vs local brand dealers. Off to a great debate.

Many of the small engines are made in China now. Some China ones can be dependable and easy start. Some are China junk.

The Craftsman name has been sold.

Find a reputable local dealer that has it's own service department.

Get one that allows easy to change/sharpen blades.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:26 PM   #10
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Which JD rider model, w/42", comes in under 2K?
E100, 110, 120, 130 are all 42" and under $2K
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:39 PM   #11
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Depends on the price point. And where purchased.

Many brand name mowers are rebadged MTD. Really have to do your homework. MTD makes a lot of junk.

Then the debate as to quality of big box same brand mowers vs local brand dealers. Off to a great debate.

Many of the small engines are made in China now. Some China ones can be dependable and easy start. Some are China junk.

The Craftsman name has been sold.

Find a reputable local dealer that has it's own service department.

Get one that allows easy to change/sharpen blades.
Yes thats what I have found. Its a shame as even MTD used to make a decent product, but so many of the under $2K machines have become so flimsy they really look like they are ready to fall apart on the trip home,,,

None of them impresses me, not even the John Deere or Husqvarna, but they at least look better then most of the others.

My current mower was the least expensive Craftsman they made, and while I have gotten 15+ years out of it, I have had to do multiple repairs every year for the late 10 years,,,

Hence my wanting something new, and maybe, maybe just built a tad bit better. But in truth I'm not seeing it, they just newer and fancier.

Oh, and I am not, NOT willing to spend $4K for a mower. My lot is only 3/4 acre and only half of that is grass,,,
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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Oh, and I am not, NOT willing to spend $4K for a mower. My lot is only 3/4 acre and only half of that is grass,,,
John Deere, for example, makes two types of riding mowers. Residential and commercial. Commercial being much better but way more expensive.

My first snow blower was a Cub Cadet made by MTD. Bought new. Every nut, bolt, and washer - rusted the very first year. As years went by had to take machine to authorized dealer in Batrlett, NH to be fixed. After 10 years sold it on Craigslist. Then purchased an Ariens snow blower. After 10 years with that one every nut, bolt, and washer looked brand new.

Troy-bilt used to be a great brand until MTD bought the brand. Now just another MTD.

Ariens lawn tractors are made by Husqvarna - last I checked.

So there is the difference between MTD and other brands.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:29 AM   #13
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I have a 1992 craftsman 42" lawn tractor with the Kohler engine and is still going strong. The Kohler option was an extra $100. Worth every penny. Over the years I have replaced the deck, added tubes to all 4 tires, replaced the steering linkage bushings, replaced the starter solenoid, and an engine coil. I think not too bad for a 28 year old consumer tractor.

The Kohler engine has an oil pump and filter and still runs great. The only problem I had was that the gas cutoff solenoid on the carburetor stopped working, so I added a manual shutoff.

I wonder how much better the commercial grade tractors are.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:02 AM   #14
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And, for my quarter acre on a slope with about five different flat sections, I have a $128 Hyper Tough from Walmart, 20" wide, push lawn mower that is supposedly made by Husqvarna.

Runs like the Volvo 242 of small lawnmowers, except is made by Husqvarna back home in Malmo, Sweden by retired Volvo pensioners who wanted a part time job at the Husqvarna factory just for something to do when not drink'n that Baltika Beer........ ya ya!

...... what the heck ...... every morning that you wake up without a sore throat and with no phlegm building in the lungs, is a good morning.
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Old 08-06-2020, 07:16 AM   #15
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Forgot to mention the Craftsman T210 I bought has an 18hp Kohler engine with spin-on filter. Plenty of power!
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:18 AM   #16
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I had a Deere LA135, which I really liked. Had it for 10 years and it worked well for me. It was like $1800.
I sold it for $1300 with snowblower and bought a Deere x370 42Ē. Power steering, power deck lift. Itís pretty awesome. The power steering makes a HUGE difference. Itís outside your price range at $3800, but itís a big upgrade from the E series tractors.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:58 AM   #17
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Default Yes- to power steering!

I just traded in a 14 yo X320 w/snowblower to Ossipee (Now known as Ag and Turf). I felt bad about getting just $1200, considering the unit only had 1200hrs. on it- it was a work-horse- well maintained- but it was time.

I wonder if they've done anything about making the seat covering stronger/ better!?!

Bought an X380 from them (don't trust the box store version). $5,600- they picked up the trade and delivered the new at no cost. It has a button allowing the mower to continue as you back-up rather than keep engaging the mower.

Be my guess an employee saw my trade and said, "That's mine!"

Takes me 4hrs. to mow- another 4 to string trim. Don't do both in the same week!!!
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:51 AM   #18
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I had a Deere LA135, which I really liked. Had it for 10 years and it worked well for me. It was like $1800.
I sold it for $1300 with snowblower and bought a Deere x370 42Ē. Power steering, power deck lift. Itís pretty awesome. The power steering makes a HUGE difference. Itís outside your price range at $3800, but itís a big upgrade from the E series tractors.

That's what I have the X370 and I love it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:21 PM   #19
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I bought a Deere X300 in 2008(I think). Cost $5,000 with snow blower, chains and weights. Fantastic mower and the snowblower threw snow about 50 feet.
I figure I have saved $ since I was paying approx. $3,000 just for having the lawn mowed. Now I only mow as there is a guy who plows when we are in CA. Also cleans gutters.He doesn't charge. We just send a check. I asked him to send a bill and he replied that you people over there just sent me money.
Love the Deere, only a few hundred hours. Yes, a better seat would be good, as mine now has several craacks in the cover.

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Old 08-06-2020, 03:23 PM   #20
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Default Zero turn

I've had lawn tractors all my life, but two years ago I bought a Deere zero turn model (residential Z235) and would never go back to a tractor. The amount of control these mowers give you is unbelievable. I can actually make the mower deck go completely 360 around a rock with control down to less than a half inch. And, they can back up without shutting down the mower deck. There are other brands for less money, but a ZT mower is much more fun than a tractor.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:25 PM   #21
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I've had lawn tractors all my life, but two years ago I bought a Deere zero turn model (residential Z235) and would never go back to a tractor. The amount of control these mowers give you is unbelievable. I can actually make the mower deck go completely 360 around a rock with control down to less than a half inch. And, they can back up without shutting down the mower deck. There are other brands for less money, but a ZT mower is much more fun than a tractor.
As an ex professional lawn mower guy, I agree wholeheartedly! The control with a zero turn is very precise...of course when you spend nearly $13K on a mower, it had better be good! Mine was an Exmark Lazer Z HP and it was a pleasure to mow with! I would buy another if I ever decide to forego my Kubota BX but for now the Kubota will make do.
I would add that the little Craftsman I bought my daughters does go in reverse with the blades running...just have to turn the ignition key to a designated position and away you go!

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Old 08-07-2020, 06:38 AM   #22
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Default Craftsman brand.

Interesting read regarding the brand after Sears sold the name.

https://mowersboy.com/where-are-craf...n-mowers-made/

Before Sears sold the name, I was told Husqvarna made the mowers.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:44 AM   #23
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I hope this isn't changing the subject too much but I heard Briggs and Stratton filed bankruptcy.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:38 AM   #24
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I hope this isn't changing the subject too much but I heard Briggs and Stratton filed bankruptcy.
https://www.equipmentworld.com/brigg...les-agreement/

I'm still sad Tecumseh engines are no more.

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Old 08-07-2020, 07:50 AM   #25
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https://www.equipmentworld.com/brigg...les-agreement/

I'm still sad Tecumseh engines are no more.

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You can still find some of them on line CHEAP! I just bought a 10 HP Tecumseh as a backup for a log splitter I have for $100.00. It was brand new in crate. Came with everything except gas tank. Still plenty of parts available online as well!

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Old 08-07-2020, 07:54 AM   #26
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You can still find some of them on line CHEAP! I just bought a 10 HP Tecumseh as a backup for a log splitter I have for $100.00. It was brand new in crate. Came with everything except gas tank. Still plenty of parts available online as well!

Dan
My two brothers and father all bought '07 Craftsman snowblowers that all used the Tecumseh engine and, besides being loud as all get-out, they just won't quit. Oil change at the end of the season, prime in fall, crank 'er up!

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Old 08-07-2020, 08:02 AM   #27
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My two brothers and father all bought '07 Craftsman snowblowers that all used the Tecumseh engine and, besides being loud as all get-out, they just won't quit. Oil change at the end of the season, prime in fall, crank 'er up!

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I agree! Loud as hell but bulletproof!

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Old 08-07-2020, 08:25 AM   #28
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My two brothers and father all bought '07 Craftsman snowblowers that all used the Tecumseh engine and, besides being loud as all get-out, they just won't quit. Oil change at the end of the season, prime in fall, crank 'er up!

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Yup, my last snowblower was a Craftsman 9 X 29 with the Tecumseh engine, and it was LOUD, but that engine never missed a beat. The muffler would glow cherry red but it always started on the second pull and never disappointed.

The chassis was a different story, like my Craftsman mower, always some small thing that stopped me dead, but never the engine.

Between the Craftsman snowthrower and the mower, I have spent countless hours replacing cables, pins, bearings, etc. Never any serious expense, just annoying constant little things failing.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:43 AM   #29
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Yup, my last snowblower was a Craftsman 9 X 29 with the Tecumseh engine, and it was LOUD, but that engine never missed a beat. The muffler would glow cherry red but it always started on the second pull and never disappointed.

The chassis was a different story, like my Craftsman mower, always some small thing that stopped me dead, but never the engine.

Between the Craftsman snowthrower and the mower, I have spent countless hours replacing cables, pins, bearings, etc. Never any serious expense, just annoying constant little things failing.
In 13 years with a Craftsman tractor and snowblower, I've replaced exactly ONE shear pin and two or three sets of mower blades. That's it. Synthetic oil change at the end of the season, gas with Sta-bil, a quick cleaning of the air filter, and a turn of the key/pull of the string.

In fact, it's probably bad that I've not changed a single plug, fuel filter, belt, etc. I've not even had to adjust the deck or glide thingies on the blower!

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Old 08-07-2020, 09:50 AM   #30
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WOW, thats impressive. I must have gotten the problem models,,,

On my Craftsman 1000 series mower, I've replace the blade engagement cable 5 times and then pin on the blade engagement level broke once requiring replacement of that whole control. I've replace the spindle bearings once AND the whole spindle assemblies once. Rebuild the brakes once, and replaced the carb once. And while it generally mows throw anything I need it to, it never leaves an nice even finish without straggler blades of grass or strips of grass (failure to cut all the grass between the blades) regardless of the blades I buy. I've replaced the front tires twice and rears once. ETC, Etc, etc,,,

But it starts every time and except for the occasional cable failure, usually get the job done.

The snow thrower was a different story, the motor was flawless but for one carb replacement. And it generally gave better service than the mower, but it was not without its occasional drive failures. Replaced the friction wheel several times, broke the chain once, belts gave really poor service. But it was a brute for throwing snow, that motor would just kick in and blast the heaviest snow we got.

I replaced the snowthrower with a Honda 928, and honestly have no idea why I spent that much money. Could have bought 2+ Craftsman units for that price, and yet it is so well built is will probably outlast me! Not so much as a hiccup out of the Honda so far, its clearly best in class!

Not quite willing to go that route again (buying the most expensive model available) but I am willing to buy better than my Craftsman 1000 mower hoping it will hold up a bit better.

And in truth my biggest concern about another Craftsman is that its no longer owned by Sears, and while I had problems with my Craftsman equipment, I could always count on Sears to get me replacement parts that fit right and worked. And at the moment I dont have a good sense of that level of service to the Craftsman brand going forward.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:34 PM   #31
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My two brothers and father all bought '07 Craftsman snowblowers that all used the Tecumseh engine and, besides being loud as all get-out, they just won't quit. Oil change at the end of the season, prime in fall, crank 'er up!

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The Tecumsah old snow king... no air cleaner still?
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:37 PM   #32
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WOW, thats impressive. I must have gotten the problem models,,,

On my Craftsman 1000 series mower, I've replace the blade engagement cable 5 times and then pin on the blade engagement level broke once requiring replacement of that whole control. I've replace the spindle bearings once AND the whole spindle assemblies once. Rebuild the brakes once, and replaced the carb once. And while it generally mows throw anything I need it to, it never leaves an nice even finish without straggler blades of grass or strips of grass (failure to cut all the grass between the blades) regardless of the blades I buy. I've replaced the front tires twice and rears once. ETC, Etc, etc,,,

But it starts every time and except for the occasional cable failure, usually get the job done.

The snow thrower was a different story, the motor was flawless but for one carb replacement. And it generally gave better service than the mower, but it was not without its occasional drive failures. Replaced the friction wheel several times, broke the chain once, belts gave really poor service. But it was a brute for throwing snow, that motor would just kick in and blast the heaviest snow we got.

I replaced the snowthrower with a Honda 928, and honestly have no idea why I spent that much money. Could have bought 2+ Craftsman units for that price, and yet it is so well built is will probably outlast me! Not so much as a hiccup out of the Honda so far, its clearly best in class!

Not quite willing to go that route again (buying the most expensive model available) but I am willing to buy better than my Craftsman 1000 mower hoping it will hold up a bit better.

And in truth my biggest concern about another Craftsman is that its no longer owned by Sears, and while I had problems with my Craftsman equipment, I could always count on Sears to get me replacement parts that fit right and worked. And at the moment I dont have a good sense of that level of service to the Craftsman brand going forward.
Itís one of those things... upfront cost on your Honda is high but should give you piece of mind when you go hit the start button!
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:58 PM   #33
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The Tecumsah old snow king... no air cleaner still?
This is gonna sound horrible, but...is there an air cleaner on my machine?!

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Old 08-07-2020, 06:11 PM   #34
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This is gonna sound horrible, but...is there an air cleaner on my machine?!

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For year Tecumseh didnít use them on the snowblowers, just put a vented metal cover over the carb. Solid logic given the lack of dirt dust that time of year.

There is one on your mower though- you should clean it at least yearly. I can help if needed.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:27 PM   #35
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For year Tecumseh didnít use them on the snowblowers, just put a vented metal cover over the carb. Solid logic given the lack of dirt dust that time of year.

There is one on your mower though- you should clean it at least yearly. I can help if needed.
I've cleaned the one in my tractor at least once a year (I sometimes have a dusty yard), but I don't think my snowblower has one...!!!

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Old 08-07-2020, 06:38 PM   #36
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No air cleaner on a Tecumseh snowblower, at best a vented sheet metal guard to keep a "gulp" of
snow out. Almost all snowblowers do not have a traditional air cleaner.

Link to reasons why snowblowers do not have air filters.

https://bestsnowblower.reviews/snow-...s-air-filters/

Last edited by Top-Water; 08-07-2020 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:57 PM   #37
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I'm not nearly as technical as my mechanic brothers are or father was, but I'd like to think I'm "with it" enough to clean air filters, so it would've been a blow to my confidence if I'd missed the snowblower one for 13 years!

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Old 08-07-2020, 07:14 PM   #38
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I have had a 42" Cub cadet for 5 years with 0.0 problems bought at home cheapo
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:47 PM   #39
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I bought a Husqvarna YTA24V48 24-HP lawn tractor at Lowes around 6-7 years ago and am pretty happy with it. Never had a problem with it (yet). B&S V-twin engine. Hydrostatic trans. I have a 1 acre lot. I mulch a lot of leaves in the fall so it get's a good workout. I believe Husky builds their own tractors in the states. I bought it on sale for around $1650 in the fall. No issues so far. It's on paar with the Deere tractors available at Lowes for a little less money. I think all the big box store tractors use the same engine and transmissions so check things like the construction of mower deck and front axle.
The professional grade Deere stuff is nice but pricey.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:29 AM   #40
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We bought a 36Ē Hustler from Belmont Hardware 18 months ago and love it! Zero turn, easy operation, customer service from Steve is the best!


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Old 08-29-2020, 09:07 AM   #41
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Looks to be very expensive, but does a super job mowing the grass especially on the steep side slopes going up to the road or mountain golf.

With eight big wide tires, two tires each, on all four corners and a low center of gravity the www.ventrac.com goes good on the steeps.

Is way too expensive for a home owner. Is used on a wealthy golf course or by a rich town's highway dept ..... able to spend the big money for doing a sharp job on mowing their green grass.

www.oescoinc.com in Conway, NH has the Ventrac if you want to look at a golf course quality, lawn mower.
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