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luckyrxc
05-22-2010, 11:14 PM
Hi Friends,

I appreciate all the great information I've gained from this site. First post but I've been lurking and reading a lot here lately. I am looking to buy a ZTR for my yard and will be replacing a 12 year old disposable Poulan Pro with a 17hp B and S and a 42" deck. I'm on just over 1/2 acre and periodically mow neighbors yards as well as mine.

I've been looking at the Hustler Sport, 42" deck, 17.5 B and S, with the mulch kit. Also the Toro Timecutter Z4235 with the Kawi twin, 42" deck, with mulch kit. My reading here has suggested that I look at the Bad Boy products and i found the MZ 42" on their website for the same money as the Hustler Sport. Though it has a larger B and S engine.

My Poulan Pro engine has been fine, but everything else is beginning to fall off of it. This leads me to think I should consider the BB or the Hustler over the Timecutter for the fabricated decks. Other components look more durable than the Toro as well. But the Toro is about $400-500 less money than the BB and Hustler.

Several posters on this site have shown concern for the B and S engines. Should I be fearful of them?
One suggestion from this site is to buy the Hustler Sport and upgrade to the Honda Vtwin for $400 more but that will push me out of my hoped-for price range at close to $4,000 after sales tax and mulch kit.

Any suggestions would be most welcome!j
Many thanks,
Lucky

MS_SURVEYOR
05-23-2010, 12:11 AM
Lucky I'm a Bad Boy fan. I don't know anything about the MZ series. I looked at the Sport pretty hard last year. I really wanted the Fast Track. I'm not a really large man, but the Sport seemed small to me. Never seen one mowing. That's not bad thou. I looked at the Toro for my mother in law. I look at them every time I past through Home Depot. Been seeing several mowing as of late. Seems like they do a good job. The people mowing have smiles. They get very good reviews. Yea they have a stamped deck. But they do have a very good engine. As far as Briggs goes. They seem to be good for about 500 hours. The week point seems to be the air filter system. I don't know? I do believe the Kawi twin and Honda Vtwin are better engines. So you have 1/2 acre of grass to mow. On any mower listed you're looking at about a 1/2 hour of mowing. Oh it could take you some what longer. Say it takes you an hour. That's 500 + mows. That's a lot of mows. I'm not sure how easy a Hustler or Toro would be to service. But I can tell you right now Bad Boys are easy to service. And over built for many years of service. The best thing to do is go look at all the mowers. Sit in the seat. Look at the engine. Look at the tires and wheels for size. Look at the transmissions and controls. Look at the mowing deck, the pulleys, the belts, the blades, the thickness of the deck. Look hard. Go back again and look again. Then ask for a ride. Just take your time, because these things cost lots of money. After you go look, and ride, and you have more questions, come on back. If you buy one! Take some pictures and show us. I love new mower pictures.

:drinkup:

luckyrxc
05-23-2010, 12:55 AM
Thanks for your help Surveyor. I enjoyed your write up on your Bad Boy purchase process. It was both enjoyable and helpful.
I did drive the Toro around the parking lot. I did not drive it on grass or mow with it. It drove smoothly and was a pleasure to drive. Looking at the Hustler compared to the Toro, the Hustler looks to be built a lot more stoutly.
I did note that the seating position on the Hustler seems to be lower, so my legs would be stretched out straighter; potentially less comfortable than the Toro, but also could provide a lower center of gravity for the side hill that I have to mow.
I found that I I do have BB dealer nearby so I will go visit them in the next couple of days.
I concur that 500 mows is a lot and the B and S should last quite awhile. If I had a larger yard the twin engine would be an easier decision.
In the base configuration the BB comes with the 21 hp and the Hustler has the 17.5. I'm sure the Sport is well powered but the extra bit on the BB might help the longevity.

Cheers.
Lucky

Sport42
05-24-2010, 10:38 AM
More horsepower is always a safe and better way to go. But I can tell you that the B&S 17.5 on the Sport has plenty of power. I mulch, have a slight slope, and weigh 225 lbs. and have never had an issue.

WREBELMACHINE
05-24-2010, 07:13 PM
If you are looking at the hustler you might go and look at the big dog which is the red hustler.

luckyrxc
05-24-2010, 10:47 PM
Hi Gang,

Good suggestions, thank you.

I found the Big Dog equivalent to the Sport but the dealer did not know very much about it nor were they very excited about trying to sell it to me.

I test drove the Sport around the parking lot and really liked it. I think it drove better and seemed more solid than the Time Cutters. I certainly liked it better than the Time Cutter. I can get a 42", 17.5 hp Sport for under 3K out the door with mulch kit and mulch blades.

I also can get a Exmark Quest, 48", 22 hp for $3800, plus mulch kit and mulch blades. This seems a great deal but is beyond the money I want to spend and I really don't need the 48" deck. Also, the machine is significantly heavier than the Sport which I am guessing is not going to help me on my one hill.

I think the Bad Boy option is out as the local dealer does not have an MZ in stock. They would charge me full retail for it plus full price for shipping. They are the only dealer nearby, whereas there are a half dozen Hustler dealers within 100 miles.

RonAyersMotorsports
05-25-2010, 02:35 PM
If you are looking at the hustler you might go and look at the big dog which is the red hustler.
Misinformed statement.

This is only a true statement when looking at the Sport models. In larger machines they are many and very significant differences. Other wise they wouldn't have produced them as a different name and Color.:hammerhead: However the Biggest Big Dawg is only 46" in an equivalent mower to the Sport. Hustler offers the Sport in five models. A 42 and 48" available with a Briggs or Honda V-Twin as well as a 54" with a 26Hp Extended Life Series V-Twin Briggs. The Briggs engines have proven to be strong, reliable engines and our best sellers in the Sport series. Alot more mower for the money vs any other residential Zero Turn. Not to mention better warranty. The BB only has a 1 year parts and labor warranty. The Hustler has a 2 year parts and labor and even a 3 year parts warranty. EVEN A 90 day commercial warranty. We've sold well over 40 Sport models. Get a Sport and you'll never look back.

Sport42
05-25-2010, 03:05 PM
Well, we are talking about the Sport, and the Big Dogs are basically identical to the Sports.

It's not like Hustler is the first to produce the same product with a different name and color.

bigjoedo
05-25-2010, 04:20 PM
I have the Hustler Sport also with the 17.5HP B&S plenty of power an quick for a residential ZTR. The Frame and deck are commercial duty the engine and Hydrostats are consumer duty. You can upgrade the Sport to a Honda engine, but they still have the EZT hydrostats.

nmurph
05-25-2010, 11:37 PM
EZT hydros are fine for HO use. i have an '05 MFT and the only problem i have had are worn spindles.

luckyrxc
05-26-2010, 12:46 AM
I think there will be a little yellow machine in my garage soon.

MS_SURVEYOR
05-26-2010, 08:08 AM
I think there will be a little yellow machine in my garage soon.


That'll Work!

:cool2:

dtc0207
05-26-2010, 10:09 PM
I would the the little extra and get the Exmark you will notice the cut is better best advice I can give is demo them at your house if the dealer wont let you find another dealer

luckyrxc
05-26-2010, 11:04 PM
I don't doubt your comments for a moment on the Exmark but it is out of my price range. I know it is a really good deal but it's still another grand and a stretch for the lawn mowing budget.

luckyrxc
05-30-2010, 12:37 AM
Thanks gang for all your help in my narrowing my decision. I picked up the little yellow tractor today and it is outstanding. (42" Sport, 17.5 Briggs, mulch kit, mulch blades). It made mince meat of my yard and my neighbors yard in half the time that it took me last week on my Poulan Pro...and this was my first time on a ZTR. For the first time I wish I had a larger yard.

I have one functionality issue. When both control arms are all the way forward the tractor curves to the right. I verified the tire pressures are the same on both fronts and both rears. To make the tractor track straight, I need to have the right lever all the way forward and the left lever slightly short of all the way forward.
Is there an adjustment that I need to make to have the left and right pull at the same speed?

Thanks!

Lucky

MS_SURVEYOR
05-30-2010, 01:01 AM
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=189917&stc=1&d=1275193970

Good Looking Crew! :clapping:

:cool2:

Steering control lever adjustment
The steering control levers can be adjusted for operator
comfort. By loosening the cap screws that attaches the upper
control lever to the lower lever (Fig. 4-5), the upper control
lever can be pivoted to fit the operatorís personal preference.
The steering control levers can also be adjusted up and down.
Remove the cap screws and slide the upper control lever up or
down and align the holes in it with the holes in lower lever. Reinstall
the cap screws and tighten.
The steering control levers should be adjusted so that they
align with each other when in the neutral position.

page 4-5 of the Sport Manual!



http://www.hustlerturf.com/images/product_manuals/601396.pdf

luckyrxc
05-30-2010, 01:17 AM
Good Looking Crew! :clapping:

:cool2:

Steering control lever adjustment
The steering control levers can be adjusted for operator
comfort. By loosening the cap screws that attaches the upper
control lever to the lower lever (Fig. 4-5), the upper control
lever can be pivoted to fit the operator’s personal preference.
The steering control levers can also be adjusted up and down.
Remove the cap screws and slide the upper control lever up or
down and align the holes in it with the holes in lower lever. Reinstall
the cap screws and tighten.
The steering control levers should be adjusted so that they
align with each other when in the neutral position.

page 4-5 of the Sport Manual!



http://www.hustlerturf.com/images/product_manuals/601396.pdf[/QUOTE]


Thanks for the help Ms Surveyer. Let me clarify here. I did make those adjustment which changes the height and angle of the levers for operator comfort. However, the issue is that when both control levers are in the forward position, the tractor does not track straight, rather it wants to track to the right. I don't see this as an upper control arm adjustment, but rather something 'upstream' of the lower control arms.

The troubleshooting section of the manual says to adjust the steering linkage but I did not see directions on how to do this in the manual.

Thanks!

MS_SURVEYOR
05-30-2010, 01:31 AM
service@hustlerturf.com

luckyrxc
05-30-2010, 01:35 AM
:-)
Now your talking. I believe you are on the right track. I'll ping them on Tuesday.

Thanks! Have a great long weekend and I hope your travels away from home are short.

MS_SURVEYOR
05-30-2010, 01:52 AM
ZT Series
Hydrostatic Transaxles
Features & Benefits of the ZT Series Hydrostatic Transaxle

http://www.hydro-gear.com/LawnGard/Consumer/RideOn/ZTSeries.aspx

MS_SURVEYOR
05-30-2010, 03:00 AM
I like this one even better. Start at page 8 of trouble shooting, not tracking straight, Return To Neutral Setting ........................... 13

http://www.encoreequipment.com/servicebook/05DealerTips/10%20Parker%20Wheel%20Motors/transaxles/FCBLN-52441-zt-2800_P5.pdf

T.M. LAWNS
05-30-2010, 04:06 AM
Thanks MS SURVEYOR, I have been looking for a ZT2800 service manual. Now I know how to change the oil. :waving:

MS_SURVEYOR
05-30-2010, 11:49 AM
Can you say

Fluid Change Procedure............................. 11

luckyrxc
05-31-2010, 02:12 AM
Thanks Ms_Surveyor!

I'm still going to ping the dealer and/or Hustler on Tuesday. I believe I have the ezt hydros and cannot imagine I need to be in there.
One of the troubleshooting issues listed is possible sticking brake. I'll check that tomorrow. This is possible as the unit sat a long time.

I mowed again today and I can't believe how easy and fast that tractor is to drive compared to my old unit which I also drove today.

nmurph
05-31-2010, 03:50 AM
the adjustment procedure should be in your owners manual, but if you are not too far from your dealer, you might want to have them do it. it should be tracking straight, from the dealer.
nice pic......that one will be cherished in years to come. one day the mower will look used and dated, and the boys will be grown!!!!

RonAyersMotorsports
06-13-2010, 12:32 AM
Congrats on your purchase. Sorry to hear the unit wasn't delivered with handles and linkages already adjusted. We make sure every machine tracks correctly before leaving the store. Your dealer will be more than happy to help I'm sure. After all it is his responsibility in pre-delivery setup.

luckyrxc
06-13-2010, 12:39 AM
Hi RonAyersMotorsports,

Thanks for your reply. This machine has been outstanding, now with about 4 hours on it. I really do need to get the tracking sorted. My dealer has been willing to help, but unfortunately they are a two hour drive from here. My manual does not appear to address the issue and I assume the adjustment is addressed in a service manual which I do not have.
At lower speeds the unit tracks fine but with both control arms forward all the way the unit will turn to the right. In order for the machine to track straight the left control arm must me back about an inch from the full forward position.
Any idea of the process to correct this issue?
Note that before the last mowing I pulled the factory sharp blades (which are dull) and sharpened them. Goodness, that makes a difference!

Thanks again for all the help!

Lucky.

MS_SURVEYOR
06-13-2010, 02:27 AM
Hi RonAyersMotorsports,

Thanks for your reply. This machine has been outstanding, now with about 4 hours on it. I really do need to get the tracking sorted. My dealer has been willing to help, but unfortunately they are a two hour drive from here. My manual does not appear to address the issue and I assume the adjustment is addressed in a service manual which I do not have.
At lower speeds the unit tracks fine but with both control arms forward all the way the unit will turn to the right. In order for the machine to track straight the left control arm must me back about an inch from the full forward position.
Any idea of the process to correct this issue?
Note that before the last mowing I pulled the factory sharp blades (which are dull) and sharpened them. Goodness, that makes a difference!

Thanks again for all the help!

Lucky.

http://www.hydro-gear.com/LawnGard/Consumer/RideOn/ZTSeries.aspx

luckyrxc
06-13-2010, 01:44 PM
Hi MS Surveyor,

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing here. I see the specs but no link to a manual or instructions. Am I missing something?

Darryl G
06-13-2010, 02:24 PM
Usually there is a tracking adjustment on ZTRs. Just a knob to turn. Not sure where yours would be located though.

Congratulations. I see you have 2 little boys there. Please do me a favor and don't go giving rides to them on it. They shouldn't be anywhere near that thing when it's operating. I see this all the time and it's a really bad idea. About a month ago I saw a homeowner out on a similar unit to yours with his little kid sitting on top of the deck. It was all I could do to not stop and give him a lecture.

Anyway, happy cutting!

MS_SURVEYOR
06-13-2010, 04:58 PM
Hi MS Surveyor,

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing here. I see the specs but no link to a manual or instructions. Am I missing something?

You're right! :hammerhead:

It's this one!

http://www.encoreequipment.com/servicebook/05DealerTips/10%20Parker%20Wheel%20Motors/transaxles/FCBLN-52441-zt-2800_P5.pdf

:rolleyes:

luckyrxc
06-13-2010, 06:15 PM
I'm in agreement with you. Operator only.

Thanks for the tip.

Lucky