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View Full Version : The 100,000 Mile mark for ZTR's


brookline
01-18-2011, 09:35 PM
I am looking to add a used ZTR as well as a new one. I am wondering what the breaking point is on ZTR's as in the amount of hours on them when you would be leery of buying or think about replacing it with a newer one. I will be working them in a full route. I would just like to know the general expectancy before major repairs are eminent.

nolanjim
01-18-2011, 09:44 PM
As in major you mean the engine and hydraulics then for commercial ztrs 2000 hours if well taken care of. Some even longer. It's usually first few hundred hours when something major does happen.
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brookline
01-18-2011, 09:51 PM
Yes you are correct. I did mean the engine as in rebuild or replace and the same with the hydrualics. So you suggest I look for something with much less than 2000 hours.... I saw a Scag turf tiger for $2900 with 1875Hrs on it. The price has me seriously thinking about it. I just want to at least make it through the summer without a major rebuild on my hands. Wish I could afford 2 new ones but I just have to make due.

mowerbrad
01-18-2011, 09:53 PM
I'm going to disagree with the previous poster a little bit...

2000 hours seems to be an average life span for commercial ztr's. A helpful rule (while not always true) is just to multiply the horse power of the engine by 100 to get the hours you will see out of it. So if you have a 25hp engine, you could get 2500 hours out of the engine. That's not always true, but it may give you a ball park figure. However, the lifespan of an engine will depend greatly on the maintenance you provided, good maintenance will mean a longer life.

Buying used equipment with over 1000 hours is always a gamble, thats about the time when hydro pumps, spindles, etc., could be going out.

Things aren't going to break when the engine is new, like the previous poster said. Usually the first few hundred hours is trouble free. Its once you get 1000+ hours on the mower when things break. As far as an engine goes, 2000 hours is a good number, but don't be surprised if an engine fails at 1500 hours or 3000 hours.

SouthSide Cutter
01-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Got one with close to 1000hrs. Always kept inside. Keep it blown off. Grease every time out. Change the scalp rollers and bolts every year. Change the oil every 50hrs. Hydro fluid each year. Its a 07 and in excellent shape. Probably will go 2000hrs with no problems. I have seen a 08 and would not buy it because it was junk with 1350hrs. Depends on how they are treated, serviced and who runs them. Then it also depends on what brand it is. Was at one dealer and he was sending a lot of wheel mtrs off. And they were off one brand.
Jack them up check the front brgs, take the belts off and check the spindles. Look them over close if used. Some dealers tell you to trade at 700hrs and don't go over 1000 to get the most money out of them. I don't agree with that on my equipment.

alexschultz1
01-18-2011, 10:41 PM
i lost my hydros at 300 hours, the engine is starting to go at 500 hours, and i used to take very bad care of it. One of my life experiences that comes with youth. If i took care of the mower it could be in much better condition than it is in right now. your best luck with a used mower is to take it to a mower repair man and have him inspect it before you buy it. if the guy your buying it from doesnt want to go than you should instantly have red flags.

lifetree
01-18-2011, 10:55 PM
... 2000 hours seems to be an average life span for commercial ztr's. ... Buying used equipment with over 1000 hours is always a gamble, thats about the time when hydro pumps, spindles, etc., could be going out. ... Usually the first few hundred hours is trouble free. Its once you get 1000+ hours on the mower when things break. As far as an engine goes, 2000 hours is a good number, but don't be surprised if an engine fails at 1500 hours or 3000 hours.

Generally speaking, I agree with mowerbrad ... his advice is pretty much on target !!

integrityman
01-18-2011, 11:40 PM
I'm going to disagree with the previous poster a little bit...

2000 hours seems to be an average life span for commercial ztr's. A helpful rule (while not always true) is just to multiply the horse power of the engine by 100 to get the hours you will see out of it. So if you have a 25hp engine, you could get 2500 hours out of the engine. That's not always true, but it may give you a ball park figure. However, the lifespan of an engine will depend greatly on the maintenance you provided, good maintenance will mean a longer life.

Buying used equipment with over 1000 hours is always a gamble, thats about the time when hydro pumps, spindles, etc., could be going out.

Things aren't going to break when the engine is new, like the previous poster said. Usually the first few hundred hours is trouble free. Its once you get 1000+ hours on the mower when things break. As far as an engine goes, 2000 hours is a good number, but don't be surprised if an engine fails at 1500 hours or 3000 hours.

True Brad-

Except with diesels. I tend to think you can get a few more hours with them as opposed to a gas engine.

Richard Martin
01-19-2011, 07:30 AM
I've seen that if the mowers have the maintenance done at at least the intervals specified in the manual and the mower hasn't been beat too badly, that you can expect at least 3,000 hours. 4,000 hours seems to be the upper limit before the mower starts falling apart and needs a good amount of money to replace items like the pullies, springs, hydro hoses and control assemblies, safeties, caster bearings, deck support bushings etc.

As you've read in this thread, the engines and hydro systems tend to be tempermental and are subject to failure at almost any time after they roll off of the showroom floor.

nolanjim
01-19-2011, 07:57 AM
Yes, I've still had more major failures early during warranty period than later. In late I mean 1000-3000 hours, anything after is kind of expected. Imo.
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HenryB
01-19-2011, 12:55 PM
I'm going to disagree with the previous poster a little bit...

2000 hours seems to be an average life span for commercial ztr's. A helpful rule (while not always true) is just to multiply the horse power of the engine by 100 to get the hours you will see out of it. So if you have a 25hp engine, you could get 2500 hours out of the engine. That's not always true, but it may give you a ball park figure. However, the lifespan of an engine will depend greatly on the maintenance you provided, good maintenance will mean a longer life.

Buying used equipment with over 1000 hours is always a gamble, thats about the time when hydro pumps, spindles, etc., could be going out.

Things aren't going to break when the engine is new, like the previous poster said. Usually the first few hundred hours is trouble free. Its once you get 1000+ hours on the mower when things break. As far as an engine goes, 2000 hours is a good number, but don't be surprised if an engine fails at 1500 hours or 3000 hours.

Horsepower has nothing to do with longevity. I'd love to know who started this urban legend. Kawy 12.5's lasted forever amazingly long times. Their 14 hp's were a distant second. Their 25's good engines but about a 2000hr engine. Their bigblocksare about a 1000hrs or less.
Does a Toyota 22R 4 banger not last as as long as an 8 cylinder gas hog.
Sorry but that theory about HP X 100 is competely false.

dtc0207
01-19-2011, 01:23 PM
Horsepower has nothing to do with longevity. I'd love to know who started this urban legend. Kawy 12.5's lasted forever amazingly long times. Their 14 hp's were a distant second. Their 25's good engines but about a 2000hr engine. Their bigblocksare about a 1000hrs or less.
Does a Toyota 22R 4 banger not last as as long as an 8 cylinder gas hog.
Sorry but that theory about HP X 100 is competely false.

I would have to agree that means a 3.5hp briggs would last only 3.5 hours and I know they last longer then that the rule of thumb I have always been told a regular commercial grade gas 2500 hr a diesel around 3500hr. If you think about it how long before a hole in deck, electrical wire problems, drive problems the manufautres know this so they want to make sure the engine doesnt out live the machine This is why I hate used equipment you might as well play the lottery and buy a new machine

StihlMechanic
01-19-2011, 01:51 PM
With a gas engine, the general rule is 1000 hour could be considered the 100,000 mile mark. If it were maintained, just like a car, there isn't anything to worry about. But just like a car, if it were beat to death, at 100,000 miles it could be junk. I have seen Kohlers go 2500-3000 hours with Mobil one oil. I have seen FH series Kawasakis go close to 3500 hrs. The new FX kawi rarely makes it to 1000 hrs before it blows up. Kubota gas and diesels are by far the best. I have seen 8000 hrs on a diesel and over 6000 hrs on a gas Kubota.

Heres what to remember to get the most out of your machine:
Change the engine oil AND filter every 50 hours
Keep fresh fuel in the fuel tank, old fuel may still allow it to run but can stick a valve.
Do not mow at less than full throttle, keeps the engine cooler.
Do not drive a ztr with the engine less than full throttle, keep the pumps cooler.
Change the hydro fluid as often as you can afford to, before the service intervals.

Just my 2 cents

Dogbonz
01-19-2011, 02:12 PM
ONE (of many) reasons Kubota's engines last so long, is there assembly procedures. They will clean EVERY part after it comes off the line, Before Assembly. Every nut, bolt, rod, bearing, block, piston, ect. cast or steel part, gets a through wash to remove ALL casting and manufacturing dirt, grit, slag, ect. Before it goes to the assembly room. That way at first start up, there is NO little metal slag running around that engine.
The 5hr break in rule, is to remove all of this excess metal crap from most engines as the oil washes the inside of the engine. With Kubota, there IS no crap to start with.

mowerbrad
01-19-2011, 11:09 PM
Horsepower has nothing to do with longevity. I'd love to know who started this urban legend. Kawy 12.5's lasted forever amazingly long times. Their 14 hp's were a distant second. Their 25's good engines but about a 2000hr engine. Their bigblocksare about a 1000hrs or less.
Does a Toyota 22R 4 banger not last as as long as an 8 cylinder gas hog.
Sorry but that theory about HP X 100 is competely false.

I knew something like this was going to come up, shouldn't have even stated it. I never said that horsepower is directly related to engine life, just that coincidentally the x100 rule works for most ztr engines. Obviously it isn't going to apply to all engines, but for the size engines that are on commercial ztr's it tends to get you in the ball park for what the life will be on that particular engine.

Honestly, most ztr's have engines between 21hp and 30hp, of course there are some with larger or smaller engines, liquid cooled, diesel, EFI, DFI, air cooled. But for the vast majority of air cooled engines on ztr's, the x100 rule gives you a fairly accurate number.

That "urban legend" isn't for every engine, I've heard multiple people use the x100 thing. I guess it would be very specific to average sized, air cooled engines mounted on ztr's.

Disregard me ever saying that because it has just opened a whole new "can of worms" that I didn't want to get into.

True Brad-

Except with diesels. I tend to think you can get a few more hours with them as opposed to a gas engine.

Very true, diesels are a whole different animal though compared to gas engines. You can put tons more hours on a diesel usually. I was just speaking in regards to gasoline engines.