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Recommendations on Riding Mower for My Daughter

riding mower sears cub bolens ariens craftsman murray deere

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#16 Sammoore13bolens1053 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 12:15 PM

Cheap Reliable mower would be an 90s to mid 2000s MTD made mower with the 2 blade 38-42" deck, CVT transaxle and OHV briggs vanguard. Kohler command equipped if you can find 1. 
 
Be prepared to put a head gasket in a OHV briggs powered one and some tubes in the tires but other than that they are a very reliable cheap mower.
 
Those Aluminum cased single speed CVT trans-axles last 2-3x longer than the hydros or that era. 
 
Stay away from the Troy Bilts, Husqvarna and Noma mowers and anything with a Hydro transaxle. They are prone to several steering problems, Junk Kohler Courage engines and weak hydro transaxles and weak frames that can crack and a whole slew of problems with the decks. 
 
Something like this one. But I wouldn't pay a dime over $250 for this particular one just because it looks like it was kept outside. It says it has a new carburetor so I suspect that it will need a head gasket. Those 2 things go hand in hand on an OHV briggs.
 
https://boise.craigs...6589873057.html
 
This one isn't bad but priced a little high. 12.5hp briggs flathead CVT transaxle 38" deck with bagger and new tires, battery, blades and starter. Looks pretty clean.
https://boise.craigs...6593583557.html
 
Another one with flathead briggs and a bagger. And priced to high.
https://boise.craigs...6592686443.html
 
And another. This one is super clean. Not a horrible deal if it runs and operates the way it should.
https://spokane.crai...6587207611.html
 
Another clean example.
https://moseslake.cr...6596014829.html
 
The old Square hood craftsmans with the 5 speed are pretty reliable if you can find one that doesn't have a billion hours on it.


I’d say no to a lot of side discharge baggers, them mtd are incredibly easy to find in Northern Ireland, we must have about 20 of them in the gusinesss scrapyard! I’d say look for the ones with the i/c engines

#17 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 12:20 PM

Hey Smitty how's the knee treating you? 

 

  If it were me (you didn't say how big the yard is) I'd find her a used 12hp Wheel-Horse. I would without hesitation give one of them to anyone looking for a good solid mower. Very easy to maintain and about bullet proof. With the hydro you get hydraulic lift. They are easy on fuel and easier to steer. I have one in about this condition setting in the hangar that I only paid $200 for but is a manual tranny and lift. Need to get it running for the grandson. 

 

https://minneapolis....6597805149.html

 

00S0S_2EdtB9BC9n9_600x450.jpg


Edited by Cvans, May 24, 2018 - 12:23 PM.

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#18 jms180 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 12:27 PM

That’s a good Daddy for ya!
The new husband is probably not handy (just cause most kids nowadays aren’t)
Maybe I’m wrong


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

most young folks aren't my grandson is 20 and he knows how to use a smart phone

Edited by jms180, May 24, 2018 - 12:28 PM.

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#19 637Yeoman ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 01:34 PM

Get an old wonderboy



#20 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 03:19 PM

You don't say how large or smooth her lawn is.  If she's got a small lawn that is fairly smooth she might get a few years out of a big box lawn tractor.

 

If she can do that though, I'm not sure why budget is an issue.  I'd think she could get a decent older quality tractor for less $$ than a new box store one.



#21 637Yeoman ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 03:47 PM

You don't say how large or smooth her lawn is.  If she's got a small lawn that is fairly smooth she might get a few years out of a big box lawn tractor.

 

If she can do that though, I'm not sure why budget is an issue.  I'd think she could get a decent older quality tractor for less $$ than a new box store one.

And it would do a better job. 



#22 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 04:24 PM

Cheap Reliable mower would be an 90s to mid 2000s MTD made mower with the 2 blade 38-42" deck, CVT transaxle and OHV briggs vanguard. Kohler command equipped if you can find 1. 

 

Be prepared to put a head gasket in a OHV briggs powered one and some tubes in the tires but other than that they are a very reliable cheap mower.

 

Those Aluminum cased single speed CVT trans-axles last 2-3x longer than the hydros or that era. 

 

Stay away from the Troy Bilts, Husqvarna and Noma mowers and anything with a Hydro transaxle. They are prone to several steering problems, Junk Kohler Courage engines and weak hydro transaxles and weak frames that can crack and a whole slew of problems with the decks. 

 

Something like this one. But I wouldn't pay a dime over $250 for this particular one just because it looks like it was kept outside. It says it has a new carburetor so I suspect that it will need a head gasket. Those 2 things go hand in hand on an OHV briggs.

 

https://boise.craigs...6589873057.html

 

This one isn't bad but priced a little high. 12.5hp briggs flathead CVT transaxle 38" deck with bagger and new tires, battery, blades and starter. Looks pretty clean.

https://boise.craigs...6593583557.html

 

Another one with flathead briggs and a bagger. And priced to high.

https://boise.craigs...6592686443.html

 

And another. This one is super clean. Not a horrible deal if it runs and operates the way it should.

https://spokane.crai...6587207611.html

 

Another clean example.

https://moseslake.cr...6596014829.html

 

The old Square hood craftsmans with the 5 speed are pretty reliable if you can find one that doesn't have a billion hours on it.

I'm surprised you don't say the same thing for Wheel Horse.


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#23 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 04:25 PM

Was thinking the cheap MTD CVT drive mower would be a good choice because they are easy to operate (select a speed, put it in forward and let the pedal out)  and you can get 20-25 years out of them if they are kept out of the weather and regularly maintained.

 

Change oil, Spark plug, fuel filter every year.

(for OHV briggs install new head gasket, adjust valves every 4-5 years and install a new float needle every 4-5 years) 

New battery when needed. New drive belts every 8-10 years, (yes they last that long or longer) new blades every 8-10 years Or when needed, new deck belt every 4-5 years and replace or rebuild the spindles when they need it.

 

Replace steering gear when needed but the MTD made ones usually hold up very well.   

 

 

Wheel Horse are good mowers, easy to maintain and run forever but the decks are known for rusting out and 2 pedals 1 for clutch and 1 for brake takes some getting used to. I had a very nice 1996 Wheel Horse 312-8. I liked it alot but needed the money and sold it. I ended up getting a Hydro Cub Cadet 1440 garden tractor for mowing. Easy to steer and very strong and smooth hydro transaxle.


Edited by EricFromPa, May 24, 2018 - 04:37 PM.

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#24 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2018 - 06:55 PM

Go buy her a nice new one. Otherwise you'll be over there wrenching on it all the time!

The s240 sport deere is 2499. It's a nice unit. Although it has a Briggs and a k46. But would be perfect for an acre or less of non hilly yard. The x350 is 3199 and is a bit heavier yet.

The cub offerings aren't bad for lawn tractors.

But if you want to buy an older one...you can never go wrong with a 70s cub. Any model is a good one. I am partial to the 128. Pretty bullet proof. The old kohlers run forever. The transaxle is bullet proof. Not much that can go wrong.

Edited by toomanytoys84, May 24, 2018 - 07:48 PM.


#25 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted May 25, 2018 - 05:36 AM

Hey Smitty how's the knee treating you? 

 

  If it were me (you didn't say how big the yard is) I'd find her a used 12hp Wheel-Horse. I would without hesitation give one of them to anyone looking for a good solid mower. Very easy to maintain and about bullet proof. With the hydro you get hydraulic lift. They are easy on fuel and easier to steer. I have one in about this condition setting in the hangar that I only paid $200 for but is a manual tranny and lift. Need to get it running for the grandson. 

 

https://minneapolis....6597805149.html

 

00S0S_2EdtB9BC9n9_600x450.jpg

 

 

I can 2nd that recommendation of a WH...I have a C-120 that has never let me down. Around here you pay twice as much for WH stuff then Sears but your right there is not much stuff to go wrong. 

 

20151015_175528.jpg


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#26 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted May 25, 2018 - 05:45 AM

Go buy her a nice new one. Otherwise you'll be over there wrenching on it all the time!

The s240 sport deere is 2499. It's a nice unit. Although it has a Briggs and a k46. But would be perfect for an acre or less of non hilly yard. The x350 is 3199 and is a bit heavier yet.

The cub offerings aren't bad for lawn tractors.

But if you want to buy an older one...you can never go wrong with a 70s cub. Any model is a good one. I am partial to the 128. Pretty bullet proof. The old kohlers run forever. The transaxle is bullet proof. Not much that can go wrong.

 

How about steering issues and diveshafts?  I just sold a cub and some N.O.S. parts I had for it and people went nuts over the NLA stuff. I sold the steering and got 3 more request for steering box so I know there has to be an issue with the steering.



#27 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted May 25, 2018 - 06:45 AM

Never had an issue on all the ones we've bought. Even donor and parts tractors. Only thing I've replaced is heim joints on the tie rods.

If people are nuts about steering boxes I have 2 128 rollers, a 169 roller, and a 109 roller in the back yard. Maybe I can make some money

#28 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted May 25, 2018 - 11:15 AM

I can 2nd that recommendation of a WH...I have a C-120 that has never let me down. Around here you pay twice as much for WH stuff then Sears but your right there is not much stuff to go wrong. 

 

attachicon.gif20151015_175528.jpg

I don't know why . . . WH can make a simple and rock solid frame out of angle iron and most of the others tries to make some weird shaped mess out of sheet metal stamping that have all kinds of fatigue points.


Edited by LilysDad, May 25, 2018 - 11:15 AM.

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#29 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted May 25, 2018 - 01:16 PM

 WH can make a simple and rock solid frame out of angle iron and most of the others tries to make some weird shaped mess out of sheet metal stamping that have all kinds of fatigue points.

 

:iagree:  Keep it simple and strong. 

If there is one thing that could have been improved it was keying the rear hubs to the axle with just one key. They could have used a more strength there.


Edited by Cvans, May 25, 2018 - 01:19 PM.


#30 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2018 - 03:07 PM

Whats her budget?  A decent older IH built cub cadet from the late 1960's with a decent mower deck is around $300-$500 with many in the lower part of that range.  I try to stick to a 7-12hp engine range as the 14 and 16's like thier gas, guess I am just frugal minded.  We picked up a nice Original Cub Cadet for $350 that just needed the two idler pulleys where the mule drive belt bends up to the front of the motor replaced,  Everything else works fine.  All the deals that used to be on Craigslist locally are mostly now on Facebook marketplace.   I wouldn't buy any of the new MTD Cubs unless it was brand spanking new with a warrenty.  And those are much more expensive, well over $1000 bucks.       Mike the Aspie 







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