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View Full Version : need opinions and info on woods/grasshopper mowers


hondarancher4435
02-07-2011, 10:41 AM
looking at a few used mowers mainly for like a backup right now. i kinda like the older woods mower's their supposed to be identical to the grasshopper's. i was just wondering what kind of experiences you guys have had with these mowers.

the one i'm looking at is a woods 5200 with a kohler 20hp v-twin it needs a new pto clutch but is in otherwise good shape.

i had my eye on a woods 6215 with the kubota 3cyl but it sold

Sammy
02-07-2011, 12:28 PM
They are good machines.

Mowingman
02-07-2011, 12:31 PM
Woods mowers werwe built bty Grasshopper until the mid 90's. Approx 1995 or 96 I think.
Since then, they have been made by many different manufacturers. So, after the split with Grasshopper, it takes some serious research to figure out who built any given Woods machine.

hondarancher4435
02-07-2011, 05:32 PM
yes the machine i am looking at is before the split same as a grasshopper just wondering how these mowers do. here's a few questions ive been thinking about

1. do all of the woods/grasshopper front mounts have the pivoting deck so it floats up and down hills

2. how are the kohler engines like the one in the mower im looking at

3. seems silly but haven't seen anything on the headlights how do they work for working at night or loading it up in the dark.

Mowingman
02-07-2011, 07:46 PM
Those were/are very solid machines. however, keep in mind that the Gemini hydro drive systems used on those machines is not rebuildable, is obsolete, and is VERY expensive to replace. Should something happen to the hydro system, you are looking at about $1200 each side to replace them. This is just for the hydro drive unit, not labor.
Having said that, they can easily run for 3000 hours, if properly serviced.
Answers
1. Yes, all have the pivoting deck
2. Good solid engines, except for the old 16HP Kohler that was a disaster. Grasshopper even began making a kit, to make it fairly easy to convert from the 16HP Kohler turd, to a Briggs and Stratton engine that was very reliable.
3. Headlights work great. Probably the best factory option headlights in the industry when it was made. They work great for nightime mowing.

yes the machine i am looking at is before the split same as a grasshopper just wondering how these mowers do. here's a few questions ive been thinking about

1. do all of the woods/grasshopper front mounts have the pivoting deck so it floats up and down hills

2. how are the kohler engines like the one in the mower im looking at

3. seems silly but haven't seen anything on the headlights how do they work for working at night or loading it up in the dark.

hondarancher4435
02-07-2011, 09:12 PM
Those were/are very solid machines. however, keep in mind that the Gemini hydro drive systems used on those machines is not rebuildable, is obsolete, and is VERY expensive to replace. Should something happen to the hydro system, you are looking at about $1200 each side to replace them. This is just for the hydro drive unit, not labor.
Having said that, they can easily run for 3000 hours, if properly serviced.
Answers
1. Yes, all have the pivoting deck
2. Good solid engines, except for the old 16HP Kohler that was a disaster. Grasshopper even began making a kit, to make it fairly easy to convert from the 16HP Kohler turd, to a Briggs and Stratton engine that was very reliable.
3. Headlights work great. Probably the best factory option headlights in the industry when it was made. They work great for nightime mowing.

thank you very much for the info you seem very knowledgeable on these mowers.

i'm hoping to pick the woods 5200 up this week for dirt cheap i'm going to get it early and give it a good going over before it's time to mow.

Mowingman
02-07-2011, 09:15 PM
Good deal. You can really take your time and check it out, and, service where necessary.
I think you will like it.

RozarLawnCare
02-07-2011, 09:31 PM
I have a Woods 6215 that is a 2000 model. When did they stop using the Gemini transmissions? I got to mow with this mower a couple of months last year and I cannot wait to mow some grass.

hondarancher4435
02-07-2011, 09:43 PM
I have a Woods 6215 that is a 2000 model. When did they stop using the Gemini transmissions? I got to mow with this mower a couple of months last year and I cannot wait to mow some grass.

man your making me jealous there was a 6215 for $700 on my local craigslist the other day. i emailed the guy but within hours it was sold i was kinda mad about that deal.

Mowingman
02-07-2011, 09:49 PM
I do not know when Woods stopped using the Gemini transmissions. I assume you know what the Gemini trans. is/ looks like???
Grasshopper worked with Eaton, who built the Gemini trans., to make improvements over the years. Grasshopper used the Gemini in various versions, until just a year or two ago. The newer versions of the Gemini were beefier and longer lasting that the older versions. However, none of the Gemini Trans. were really rebuildable, except by the Grasshopper factory, or by an Eaton repair shop. Even then, you could not get a warranty on a rebuilt unit.
The "T" series of transmissions that Grasshopper designed, replaced the last of the Gemini transmissions.
Again, I am not familiar with how long Woods stayed with the Gemini.

hondarancher4435
02-08-2011, 03:59 PM
2 more questions

1. how long are these mowers about. trying to figure out if i can fit 2 on my 16 foot trailer without flipping the deck up

2. what kind of tires do most like to run on a front mount? i see alot with ag's or bar tires which would be great for hills and ditches but do they not tear up normal turf?

Mowingman
02-08-2011, 07:57 PM
most of those mowers are sold with bar tread tires. The work better on hills than turf tires. Yes, you can tear up the grass easier with the bar treads. However, with practice, you can learn to do NO damage to the lawn with those bar treads. Just a matter of technique and operator skill.
Approximate overall length will be around 108".

hondarancher4435
02-08-2011, 10:07 PM
most of those mowers are sold with bar tread tires. The work better on hills than turf tires. Yes, you can tear up the grass easier with the bar treads. However, with practice, you can learn to do NO damage to the lawn with those bar treads. Just a matter of technique and operator skill.
Approximate overall length will be around 108".

thanks again for the info man. looks like i will go with bar treads for the hill climbing ability or possibly a set atv tires that aren't to agressive. as far as the length you said about 9feet and i want to fit 2 on my 16foot trailer so it looks like one of their decks will end up getting folded every time in which case i may throw an actuator on it for a power deck lift or i may try to park them on at a little bit of an angle.

Mowingman
02-08-2011, 10:20 PM
The decks do not fold on those old machines. You can take them off, but you can not fold them up. now, some of the Grasshopper machines had a feature that lifted the front of the deck up about 2' off the ground to clear curbs etc. I am not sure if this was available on the machines Grasshopper built for Woods. Grasshopper did not introduce a fold-up deck until about 2000, or possibly as late as 2003. I can not remember the exact year. The first version was better than nothing, but not all that easy to fold. The newer version is super easy to fold up, and can also be equiped with the optional Powerfold mechanism.

hondarancher4435
02-08-2011, 10:31 PM
do those decks still float though in such a way that when you hit a hill it will fold and ride up the hill rather than lifting the middle of the machine or the drive tires off the ground. it seems if it didn't you wouldn't make it up any hill

Mowingman
02-08-2011, 10:37 PM
They do have an attachment mechanism that allows them to float up and down and somewhat side to side. They also have a traction bar that is spring-loaded that goes from the back of the deck, to a point right in behind the drive wheels. This transfers a lot of the mower weight directly to the drive tires. That is why the Grasshopper front deck machines can climb hills pretty good.

hondarancher4435
02-09-2011, 10:45 AM
so you can lift the deck up and tie it up or use an actuator to lift it up for servicing.in other words you don't have to lift the whole mower to the underside of the deck

ECO Landscaping
02-09-2011, 11:28 AM
You can back both units on the trailer. Lower the first deck then put a 2"x4" piece of wood down in front of it and back the rear wheels of the other woods/grasshopper on top of the deck. If you want cut out a piece of ply wood as a ramp and cover on the deck.
I put 2 grasshoppers w/61" decks and a 48" hydr On a 18' trailer
There great mowers. Just use the Grasshopper Hydro filters and there oil. Yes its a lot but in the long run you'll save
Posted via Mobile Device

Mowingman
02-09-2011, 12:15 PM
It does not go up very high overall, but I guess some extra room under the deck is better than nothing. You would probably need someone to help you do this though, as the switch that raises the deck, is spring loaded. It only holds the deck up while you have the switch engaged, and as soon as you let pressure off of the switch, the deck goes back down. The switch is normally mounted on one of the steering levers so you can raise the deck as you are traveling up over a curb, or some other low object.

so you can lift the deck up and tie it up or use an actuator to lift it up for servicing.in other words you don't have to lift the whole mower to the underside of the deck

wrgrounds
02-09-2011, 01:02 PM
Not sure if I will help clear things up or not but it seems like everyone is talking about different decks and lifts here.

Grasshopper front mount decks are in a sense a u shape bar dropped over a bolt on the tractor with a pin put in place to keep it from coming back off. so, yes they do pivot independently from the tractor.

Pre 2002 (and I think all the woods mowers) Grasshopper made a 95 series deck that you could manually lift up (until it hit the tractor. (about 18")) and service the underside. I used an old car jack.

Approx. 2002 Grasshopper came out with a 98 series deck that you pulled the pto shaft back and flipped a couple of levers and you can manually lift the deck up to 90° for service storage or transport.

Approx. 2007 Grasshopper came out with the current 33 series decks witch you can buy an actuator for that you can electrically lift the deck up about 45° for service.

There is also as an option on some models of a hydraulic deck lift as they call it. where, as someone posted, the switch is on the handle bar. This really does nothing more than lift the deck a few inches to get over curbs or to provide a little more weight on the front wheels if you need it for a moment. It is an up only, as soon as you let go of the switch it goes back down. I have them on my machines because that is how I raise and lower the Aevator and snowblower.

As far as the tires go, by looks, its seems as though the bar treads would dig in more and have better traction. I found this to be exactly the opposite. I have one machine set up with bar treads and one with turf tires depending on the slope of the property I am mowing. As it was explained to me, was that the turf tires actually have more tire surface area on the ground than the bars of the bar tread. I find the turf tires to tear easier but also have more traction on the hills.

Long winded I know but maybe it will explain some of the differences.

Mowingman
02-09-2011, 01:24 PM
Explained nice and clearly. However, as a former Grasshopper dealer, I would like to add, that the mid 90's, (or so)' decks are not considered to be, or designed to be fold up decks. Yes, you can lift them manually for some distance, but they were not considered to be foldable.
Another point. The tilt up feature that lifts the front to jump curbs, was an option. A LOT of the older machines, probably most, do not have this option on them. The factory manual says it only raises the front of the deck 13". So, my earlier post about this was wrong.

hondarancher4435
02-09-2011, 03:05 PM
Not sure if I will help clear things up or not but it seems like everyone is talking about different decks and lifts here.

Grasshopper front mount decks are in a sense a u shape bar dropped over a bolt on the tractor with a pin put in place to keep it from coming back off. so, yes they do pivot independently from the tractor.

Pre 2002 (and I think all the woods mowers) Grasshopper made a 95 series deck that you could manually lift up (until it hit the tractor. (about 18")) and service the underside. I used an old car jack.

Approx. 2002 Grasshopper came out with a 98 series deck that you pulled the pto shaft back and flipped a couple of levers and you can manually lift the deck up to 90° for service storage or transport.

Approx. 2007 Grasshopper came out with the current 33 series decks witch you can buy an actuator for that you can electrically lift the deck up about 45° for service.

There is also as an option on some models of a hydraulic deck lift as they call it. where, as someone posted, the switch is on the handle bar. This really does nothing more than lift the deck a few inches to get over curbs or to provide a little more weight on the front wheels if you need it for a moment. It is an up only, as soon as you let go of the switch it goes back down. I have them on my machines because that is how I raise and lower the Aevator and snowblower.

As far as the tires go, by looks, its seems as though the bar treads would dig in more and have better traction. I found this to be exactly the opposite. I have one machine set up with bar treads and one with turf tires depending on the slope of the property I am mowing. As it was explained to me, was that the turf tires actually have more tire surface area on the ground than the bars of the bar tread. I find the turf tires to tear easier but also have more traction on the hills.

Long winded I know but maybe it will explain some of the differences.

thanks you did clear it up for me. my main concern was just that it will pivot when approaching a hill or going over the top of one so you don't get a horrible cut or have the drive tires coming off the ground.

Mowingman
02-09-2011, 03:34 PM
Yes, it does that quite nicely, to give a great looking cut.


thanks you did clear it up for me. my main concern was just that it will pivot when approaching a hill or going over the top of one so you don't get a horrible cut or have the drive tires coming off the ground.

hondarancher4435
02-09-2011, 05:37 PM
i'm really hoping to pick the mower up tomorrow or friday. a guy owes me a large payment for snow removal i'm supposed to be getting tomorrow but we will se if that comes through. if i get this mower and it's a good one i already have my eye on a few other woods. i want to have one for me and one for my worker to run.

hondarancher4435
02-12-2011, 10:01 PM
well i was supposed to pick up a 5200 friday for $300 but the guy called me right before i left and said it just sold. gotta love people

so i found another 5200 in VA 3 hours away from me and i didn't want to drive that far but i bit the bullet and made the drive today. got a 5200 with the dual rear wheels and a 52in deck it has a brand new kohler installed a year ago with less than 100hrs on it that runs beautifully. hydros are very strong it has bar treads on it and it spun the crap out of them with ease even on pavement. also has a brand new pto clutch but it doesn't work i think it's just a wiring issue. rear castors are off the rims but i can get them reseated tomorrow front castors are shot need replaced if anyone has some even used let me know.

got big plans for it gonna fully restore it down to every logo. took a good look at it and made mental notes of all that will need done. in the end i want it too look and run brand new.

btw i picked her up for $600 it needs work but the motor along cost $1200 a year ago.:cool2:

Mowingman
02-12-2011, 10:09 PM
Sounds like a bargain. you should definitly service the hydros by changing the filters and oil. The PTO problem could be the plug connector where the harness plugs to the PTO clutch. Sometimes the contacts in the plug get corroded. another place to check, is the PTO switch on the control panel. These can fail pretty often.
Nice deal there, good luck with it.

hondarancher4435
02-12-2011, 10:13 PM
Sounds like a bargain. you should definitly service the hydros by changing the filters and oil. The PTO problem could be the plug connector where the harness plugs to the PTO clutch. Sometimes the contacts in the plug get corroded. another place to check, is the PTO switch on the control panel. These can fail pretty often.
Nice deal there, good luck with it.

anyway to test them or just replace it

Mowingman
02-13-2011, 01:45 PM
There is an easy way to test the PTO electrical system, but you have to have a copy of the Grasshopper electrical diognosis book that is supplied to dealers. If you have a nearby Grasshopper dealer, maybe if you talk real nice to them, or buy them some donuts, they will let you look at their shop copy.
First, if it has the plug-in pigtail right down by the clutch, unhook it, and clean the contacts with some emery cloth. Hook it back up and see if it works.
Beyond that, it could be one of several other problems, but usually is the PTO switch.

hondarancher4435
02-13-2011, 03:43 PM
There is an easy way to test the PTO electrical system, but you have to have a copy of the Grasshopper electrical diognosis book that is supplied to dealers. If you have a nearby Grasshopper dealer, maybe if you talk real nice to them, or buy them some donuts, they will let you look at their shop copy.
First, if it has the plug-in pigtail right down by the clutch, unhook it, and clean the contacts with some emery cloth. Hook it back up and see if it works.
Beyond that, it could be one of several other problems, but usually is the PTO switch.


i do have a wiring diagram for it so il take a look at it and see if i can figure something out.

now one more question. i am wanting to service the hydro's fluid and filter change. now my question is what are my best filter option's i see it has exmark filters on it now should i get 2 more of them because their probably cheaper or go for the oem filters and can i use a grasshopper filter rather than a woods.

are there any replacements for this magic $15 a quart grasshopper oil or should i just bite the bullet.

sorry for all the questions man but you really know your stuff with the woods/grasshopper products and i really appriciate you helping me out.

Mowingman
02-13-2011, 04:17 PM
go with OEM filters. you do not want to cut corners on those hydro ststems, as they are super expensive to replace.
I assume you have the Genini transmissions on that machine. you can use any DTE 18M hydraulic oil, or you can also go with DTE 26 hydraulic oil. No problems with either one, as they will meet the Grasshopper/Eaton specs for the Gemini transmissions. That is something you might have to go to an oil distributor to find, or maybe Tractor Supply would have it.

hondarancher4435
02-16-2011, 09:25 PM
well so far ive replaced the rear tires, cleaned it up a little and done some diagnosing. found out today pto clutch is good i ran a jumper wire to it and it engaged so i think it's the switch and also the headlight switch is bad.

i was driving it around and experienced a weird slipping/bogging of the right drive. it was like if you jammed the left stick forward it would spin the tire but if you jammed the right stick it would start to spin than bog down before picking power up again. i beleive it's the right belt slipping as i smelled belts and i put some belt conditioner on it and the problem seemed to go away.

so tomorrow i will be trying one of the local dealers for the switches, belts and hydro oil and filters.

bob
02-16-2011, 09:34 PM
you can use any DTE 18M hydraulic oil, or you can also go with DTE 26 hydraulic oil. No problems with either one, as they will meet the Grasshopper/Eaton specs for the Gemini transmissions. That is something you might have to go to an oil distributor to find, or maybe Tractor Supply would have it.

I've used the Mobil DTE 26 oil. Grainger carries it.

hondarancher4435
02-17-2011, 04:19 PM
found a dealer today ordered a headlight switch from them. was going to order pto switch also but they wanted 25 for it and i can get one off ebay for 12 bucks.

did alittle more diagnosing of my slipping bogging problem today and found the culprit. the tensions spring for the right drive belt ,spring is all bound up and rusty and is not putting tension on the belt so luckily that's only gonna take a 7 dollar spring to fix instead of a 500 hydro.

gonna put a full day of work into it saturday. sandblasting, painting, wiring see what i can do to it. il post some pics up after i get that stuff done.

Mowingman
02-17-2011, 07:31 PM
Make sure you get the CORRECT PTO switch. There are dozens that look alike, but they all are wired differently inside the switch.

hondarancher4435
02-17-2011, 07:52 PM
Make sure you get the CORRECT PTO switch. There are dozens that look alike, but they all are wired differently inside the switch.

thanks for the tip i was just going to get one with the same looking contacts guess il pay the 24 dollar premium at my dealer

Mowingman
02-17-2011, 07:56 PM
Yes, that is the safe thing to do.

hondarancher4435
02-27-2011, 10:55 PM
i have now replaced the headlight switch painted the whole power unit still working on the deck. replaced lots of bearings and greased everything, and put those tension springs on the drive belt which solved the right hydro issue i was having. the deck will be done this week then i just have to do a quick engine tune up plugs, filters oil and change the hydro oil and she'll be ready to cut some grass.

wvaughn7
02-27-2011, 11:26 PM
Joining in a little late, but can't wait to see how this turns out as I also like to get the so called "crappy" stuff, then put all the guys I know to shame because I paid 1/10th what they did and mine looks and performs just as well. It seems you really know what you are doing here.

hondarancher4435
02-28-2011, 10:01 AM
thanks ive done metal and paint work so that's not new to me. however ive bought tons of old crap and said i would fix it up. well most of those projects i used until the broke so bad it wasn't cost effective to fix and sold them for dirt cheap. so this time i am finally doing it right and hope this mower will last which it should with the new motor and everything. it should be all complete by the end of the week and il get some pics up.

i'm looking at a jacobsen turfcat with a kubota 15hp diesel that i might pick up at the end of the week for $200 if so i will be fixing that up also and will be trying to pick up some large estates or feilds i will use that for.

hondarancher4435
04-04-2011, 09:48 PM
here it is finished for the most part still need some small parts like front casters( i actually have the tires but wheels are impossible to find) also a pto switch then i have to change all fluids and filters. still got about 2 weeks til cutting time so il be cutting it close but it will be ready

crash_41382
04-04-2011, 10:48 PM
wow, looks good

Mowingman
04-05-2011, 06:29 AM
Looks great. Did you try a Grasshopper dealer for the front wheels?

hondarancher4435
04-05-2011, 08:15 AM
yea i actually have the tires and tubes for the front casters ordered them off ebay. the wheels got lost in the mail and i'm fighting for my money back. next step since the season will be starting very shortly is to just go to grasshopper and pay i think the $80 they want for each tire/wheel assembaly

Get Some...
04-05-2011, 08:37 AM
Nice....................good luck with it.

Sammy
04-05-2011, 11:41 AM
Buy Grasshopper parts as much as you can that fit correctly.
I priced out the front forks for a Woods 6160.
Almost $80 for each from Woods.
Only about $45 for each from Grasshopper.