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View Full Version : Which 21" Lawn Boy (or other brand) for Hills


smooth cut
02-26-2006, 12:02 PM
I have a small part-time lawn business. I have a big Skag, plus an old 21" 2 cycle self-propelled Lawn Boy trim mower that I love. The LB finally wore out. I'm really partial to Lawn Boys, so if possible I want get another. New 2 cycle mowers, as I'm sure most now, are hard to come by. I managed to find a dealer with a new 10550 (aluminum deck) 2 cycle self-propelled. It's not the commercial model, but my old one wasn't either and it lasted for years.
I talked to several seasoned lawn mower mechanics about the 10550. I was told to steer clear of any 2 cycle Lawn Boy made in their last couple of production years. They said the EPA requirements resulted in LB using carb jets that were way too small and clogged regularly, along with some overheating problems. One mechanic/dealer said the last 2 cycles Lawn Boy made were absolute junk. He didn't mention any acceptable modifications. He suggested I move to the new style self-propelled 4 cycle Lawn Boy model 10695 (steel deck) with the Honda GCV 160 engine. I have a couple of accounts with small hills-say 20 degree inclines. I was told the Honda 4 cycle engine had a capable enough lubrication system that these hills wouldn't pose a problem. I'm not as sure, which is why I kept my old 2 cycle going as long as possible.
Has anyone tried either the 10550 or the 10695, or another Honda GCV 160 equipped SP mower with moderate hills? Were the last 2 cycle Lawn Boy engines made as bad as these mechanics are telling me? Is there any other 21" SP trim mower I should be considering? I love Lawn Boys, but perhaps I need to consider others as well. I'd appreciate any input on this. Thanks.

mowergal
02-26-2006, 12:15 PM
I would stick with the Honda engine on the Lawn boys better than the Tec. engine. Honda will hold up and the rep told me that it can do hills better because it has a belt inside the engine to take oil to the top of it not like the sling in the tec.

Envy Lawn Service
02-26-2006, 01:09 PM
Well, here is my dollar and 2 cents on this....

First, you really ought to pick up a slope meter and check the steeper places you mow for actual degrees. Then reference the engine MFG in order to find out what is the maximum degree of incline the engine can be continously operated on.

The most I have ever seen on a 4 cycle is 25 degrees. You can also trust me when I say that these 4 cycles will not last being operated on the steeper stuff. They starve for oil and eventually go down.

Now, being that you love the Lawnboy's you may want to seek out an out of the way dealer or two in search of that left-over late model brand new Lawnboy. With enough checking you can probably locate what you are looking for. (thinking of doing the same to replace my 2 cycle Toro)

If not, I think you should get a Honda or Kawasaki powered 21" mower.

As for this particular Honda engine you are asking about... the 'belt' is an INTERNAL timing belt. Can't say if that is good or bad. The lubrication is forced splash. Others have full pressure lube with a filter.

I'm not sure what I'd do. Can't say because I'm not sure what I will do eventually. To be honest, I'm strongly thinking about getting whatever I like, 4 cycle or not, and if it happens to be 4 cycle.... running quality lean 2 cycle mix gas in it for protection when the engine oil ain't getting there. Either Opti-2 like I run in everything, or amsoil synthetic 100:1.

I believe it will work, quality oil and clean mix being the key to any chance at success... Sure maybe eventually something will plug up, gum up, or maybe it will go through more plugs. But I still thing it will live a longer life for me than it would ordinarily.

mowergal
02-26-2006, 01:23 PM
Contact Fluegel Equipment 573-584-3456 ( hwy 50 west of Jefferson City) he is located in CenterTown Missouri. Last fall he had 2 OEM commercial lawn boys still in box, these are TRUE LAWN BOYS built before Toro brought Lawn boy out. There have the big orange gas tank and the orange metal wheels. Ask for keith

Envy Lawn Service
02-26-2006, 01:29 PM
Contact Fluegel Equipment 573-584-3456 ( hwy 50 west of Jefferson City) he is located in CenterTown Missouri. Last fall he had 2 OEM commercial lawn boys still in box, these are TRUE LAWN BOYS built before Toro brought Lawn boy out. There have the big orange gas tank and the orange metal wheels. Ask for keith

See... there you go...

extoro
02-26-2006, 01:33 PM
I think mowergal meant OMC. They were they original Lawn-Boy builders - heck of a lawnmower - light weight, lots of power.

specialtylc
02-26-2006, 03:39 PM
I have been running the Honda HR216s for years on slopes that you cant hardly walk on. Never had a engine failure. The Honda HRC is one of the best for using on hills because it drives both rear tires, unlike most of the other brands.

smooth cut
02-26-2006, 03:55 PM
This afternoon I went by the lots with hills and measured the angle of the slopes. They average 20-22 degrees. From feedback so far it sounds like a mower with the Honda HRC engine, or the commercial Lawn Boy (if still available) may be the way to go instead of the LB 10550. I'll do a search on the commercial Lawn Boy Mowergal mentioned as well as the Honda mowers too. Keep the ideas coming everyone. This thread is very helpful.

robertsturf
02-26-2006, 04:00 PM
I use a John Deere with a pressure lubricated Kawasaki engine. I has not failed me for the last 3 years. Granted I only use it occasionaly but it stays lubed and starts on the first pull every time.

ITL
02-26-2006, 09:21 PM
SmoothCut

IIRC the 21 inch Toro Commercial with the 6/6.5 HP Kawasaki engine can be used on 40 percent grade (20 degrees) continuous per the engine owner manual. The Kawasaki engine has full pressure lubrication with an oil filter. We have 3 Toro commercials and one residential model(2 with 2 cycle Suzukies, 1 residential with 4 cycle Suzuki, and the newest 2004 model with the 4 cycle Kawasaki) all with 3 speed rear wheel drive. They all handle landscaping hills,ditches, and one small back yard almost to steep to walk but to large to line trim. No engine issues and the rear wheel drive keeps pulling. We only use one now that we use the stander for the small residentials.

Wayne

Trukfr8
02-27-2006, 08:28 AM
Hey there, I have been serching for a commercial Lawnboy as well. I can only find the commercial LB with a Briggs and Stratton motor. Looks like LB does not make a commercial with a Honda engine. Does anyone know if the Briggs is a good engine for this mower. Lawnboy does make a mower with the Honda, but it is not a commercial mower, and does not have the side discharge. I like the side side discharge feature.
Check it out here..www.lawnboy.com/productinfo/mowers/commercial/index.html

Envy Lawn Service
02-27-2006, 07:10 PM
SmoothCut

IIRC the 21 inch Toro Commercial with the 6/6.5 HP Kawasaki engine can be used on 40 percent grade (20 degrees) continuous per the engine owner manual. The Kawasaki engine has full pressure lubrication with an oil filter. We have 3 Toro commercials and one residential model(2 with 2 cycle Suzukies, 1 residential with 4 cycle Suzuki, and the newest 2004 model with the 4 cycle Kawasaki) all with 3 speed rear wheel drive. They all handle landscaping hills,ditches, and one small back yard almost to steep to walk but to large to line trim. No engine issues and the rear wheel drive keeps pulling. We only use one now that we use the stander for the small residentials.

Wayne

That's good infor to know on the Kawasaki. If and when I pick up a new 21" if it has to be 4 cycle, that is likely the way I will go. I may buy a piece of junk first just to use as a test dummy to see if my idea will work.

My rider engine is rated up to 25 degrees continous, and I push it beyond that. So I really have zero use for a push/walk mower that can't go steeper you know?

So I'm thinking synthetic 10w30 in the crankcase and amsoil or Opti-2 100:1 or 50:1 in the fuel.

lawnboy dan
02-27-2006, 07:43 PM
the last lawn boy 2cycs were good engines but suffered from too lean carb jetting. this is eaisly fixed by drilling out the jets. lots of my lawnboy buddies have done this with great results.

smooth cut
02-28-2006, 12:42 AM
Lawnboy Dan,
The modification you mentioned makes sense. If the jetting is too lean, the engine could run hot from lack of lubrication, plus it would perform poorly. Where could I learn more about how to drill out the jets?

Envy Lawn Service
02-28-2006, 01:23 AM
Yup, that's what's wrong with 90% of today's troubled 2 strokes.
Running too lean and/or having too much exhaust restriction (cat converters).

It's a shame really. Burns them up, galds the cylinder walls, ect.
The EPA has much more important things to worry about in my opinion.

lawnboy dan
02-28-2006, 08:19 PM
http.//forms2.gardenweb.com/forms/mower look for threds with surging lawnboys or rejetting

smooth cut
03-02-2006, 03:02 PM
Mowergal
I spoke with Keith about his commercial SP Lawn Boys. He has one left. It's a one speed 8461 with the knurled drive that contacts a rear smooth tire. This wasn't what I was looking for, but thanks for the lead anyway. A 22260 or 22261 would be great. I hear their engines don't surge like the residential versions.
smooth cut

lawnboy dan
03-02-2006, 07:02 PM
they have the exact same carb as all the other lawnboys and can surge too. sab but true