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T888
08-04-2011, 08:59 PM
Hi, I am looking to buy another zero turn and have seen that just about every brand has a propane offer for one of their mowers.

What are some of the pros and cons of propane and how do they stack up against diesel and gas engines

Also are they cheap to run?

Thanks for ahead of time for your input

cimkill
08-09-2011, 08:24 PM
I only have about 20 hours on mine so far. I have a Ferris IS3100zp I like it cuts great and tons of power it can lift front tires off ground if you arent careful thats power. The two tanks give me about 6 hours max so far but it is a new machine and i heard that will improve after it hits 50 hours. If you get one buy extra tank to get you through the day thats my oppinion. I do cut super thick grass bi weekly in Central America that could be why im using up the propane so fast. The grass here grows about twice as fast as florida in the summer to give you an idea. I have a hustler also thats gas, but will convert it to propane too. Hope this helps.

cimkill
09-13-2011, 07:48 PM
I now have over 35hours on my ferris IS3100zp we worked this saturday all day did about 7 hours on each machine. the gas hustler went through 13.3 gallons of gas which is;$159.60 down here the Ferris used 1 1/2 tanks of propane which is; $45.00. I am sold propane all the way. The fuel economy has improved drastically now whith higher hours. Oh yeah forgot to mention the hustler which is 27hp did cut through the higher thicker stuff faster than the 32hp propane mower, but the stuff we cut down here you would never face in the U.S. so you will be fine. The ferris is faster than the gas in lower more normal cutting conditions.

atlantistom
09-14-2011, 12:36 AM
I have two hours on my 3100ZP and consumed 2.5 gallons per hour. I'm glad to hear your efficiency has improved. I'm hoping to get to 1.6 GPH.
Have you noticed any increase in HP as the motor has broken in?
I removed the small metal baffle under the deck by the discharge chute and noticed less bogging of the engine in thick bahia. I'm going to remove the stripe kit next as it does no good that I can see. I'm happy with the machine so far.

cimkill
09-17-2011, 11:04 PM
I have two hours on my 3100ZP and consumed 2.5 gallons per hour. I'm glad to hear your efficiency has improved. I'm hoping to get to 1.6 GPH.
Have you noticed any increase in HP as the motor has broken in?
I removed the small metal baffle under the deck by the discharge chute and noticed less bogging of the engine in thick bahia. I'm going to remove the stripe kit next as it does no good that I can see. I'm happy with the machine so far.

Got yours from Lou also? I am getting about 1.4 GPH now. I am using a 40% propane 60% butane mix. Thats all they have down here. I have not removed the baffles or striper yet. I will take your advice thanks. yeah fuel economy improved drastically in last 20 hours now its got 45 hours on it and does alot of work. I have not noticed any increase in power so far. I was going to call commercial lawn and ask about power. My blade belt might not be tight enough. Will remove baffles and see. Thanks.

atlantistom
09-18-2011, 10:36 AM
Yeah I got mine from Lou. I'ts comforting to know the fuel economy will get better. Where I get my tanks filled, they measure 30# and up by the gallon instead of weight. They stop filling the tank when it reaches just under 5 gallons. A 20# cylinder holds 4.5 gallons, so I don't know if they're underfilling.
I thought they would hold at least 6 gallons ea. I pull from both tanks simultaneously and find this causes them to sweat less than pulling fom just one. There's only one baffle to remove under the deck. It's the 4" piece at the rear of the discharge. When I removed it, the grass went from discharging mostly at the rear to a more even spread through the entire opening. Not sure why the engineers added this baffle, unless it helps with bagging. Removing the Stripe Kit has stopped the pulling up of stringy weeds and the cut now looks prettier.
You will definitely want to replace your current mixing valve with the one Lou is sending you. He did mine in the shop before I took delivery. When you replace it, let me know if your fuel economy drops.

cimkill
09-18-2011, 12:45 PM
Cool I thought you probably got yours from Lou. I wanted to let you know that when my tanks are completely empty and all pressure is released through the bleeder, each tank will take 7.2 gallons; so 14.4 total. That runs me; $57.60 BZ which is $28.80 U.S. They do have the scales here but they dont use it when filling my tanks just charge me per gallon. Ok the mixing valve is the part thats supposed to boost the H.P. Right? My mower doesnt seem to have the power it should when cutting in thick grass kind of stops cutting. I will take off the discharge baffle, but am getting a bagger for the unit, so maybe will ask them if thats what its for thanks. Does it cut significantly cleaner with the striper off? Sorry for all the questions just am on my own down here. Thanks for any and all input. Oh sorry one more I only pull from one tank thats what the manual said. Should I pull from both? Thanks again.

atlantistom
09-19-2011, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the info on the tanks.
I initially pulled only from one tank, but found that it sweated quite a bit, which attracts dirt like a magnet! When I opened the second valve, both tanks sweat, but not as bad. Maybe the manual suggests running off one tank so when you run out of fuel, you can simply open the other valve and not be stranded. When you ask Ferris about the baffle, maybe mention that. I can't forsee any harm in pulling from both tanks.
I know I was bogging in the thick grass prior to removing the baffle.
As for the mixing valve/box, I have no before/after scenario since it was replaced before I purchased the machine. Lou claims it produces more HP.
I think the striper is harmless if you don't have rocks or stringy weeds/grasses. I found it will pull on anything not growing vertical.
Hope this helps. I'm very curious to see what your GPH is once you swap the mixing valve/box.

cimkill
09-19-2011, 09:12 PM
Thank's for your info on the baffles and the tanks. I have tons of rocks and stringy weeds and grasses so it will probably help. I hope the mixer works to increase hp cause right now my 6 year old hustler with a 27hp engine is wooping the ferris in thick grass. The reason I will still probably get another one is the propane is so much cheaper than gas down here. Yeah my tanks get real dirty from sweating tommorow i will have time to call ferris and ask about tanks, baffle, and mixer then will let you know what they tell me. Thanks again!

cimkill
09-20-2011, 01:44 PM
O.K I talked to Ferris they said that they should have something that prevents you from pulling from both tanks that it should sputter, and shut down. Dunnoh? Obviously your not having that problem, but they said you shouldnt. The baffles on the discharge he said are good in some grasses and not so good in others, so like you will take them off along with striping kit. They are not for bagger attatchement. The mixer the guy said should not increase hp but might increase RPM. He said that propane engines dont give you as much power as gas, so that might be my problem, but will wait till I have done everything I can to get more power.

atlantistom
09-21-2011, 11:43 PM
Interesting...
The 895cc Vanguard is about 31 HP. When running on Propane, the HP drops to around 30. I almost purchased the 32 HP gasoline for this reason, but only have a small area where the bahia is so thick that I have to slow down a bit to prevent bogging. I was sold on the propane due to the lack of fuel related problems.
As far as pulling from both tanks, I don't see anything in the lines that prevent this and I haven't had any issues in doing so. I'll give it a closer look tomorrow.

cimkill
09-25-2011, 12:42 PM
Darn , I could have met up with you the country is small. I bought a Ferris IS3100zp it comes set up with propane. I have not done anything else to it except remove the rear discharge baffle, Thanks Atlantistom. It works alot better with that out. Have not removed striper but will do. Aside from the Ferris I have an 05 Hustler Z 60" gas with a new 27 kohler engine that has maybe 70hours on it. I would love to convert that to propane also, as long as i would not loose my blade tip speed. I have 2 FS250's, 1 Husqvarna 143R, stihl blower, and edger. I think im the only commercial lawn buis in the country. LOL

groverandson
09-28-2011, 01:43 PM
if u like ur mower ck and see if a bobcat predator pro lp is available in your area and demo one comes with a 30 hp generac that is actully 30 hp generac is the only engine manufacturer that rates there engines true hp every other kawi kohler brigs are all about 10 - 30 percent less than stated due 2 the fact there tested with no muffler no air filter

Jungle J
09-28-2011, 04:44 PM
Use fuel calculator at www.gogreenmetrolawn.com to check out the savings for your specific use. The horse power should not vary much with propane conversion but if it is a vapor delivery system then the hesitation you have with gasoline to flash in the carborator is gone as propane is a vapor and burns instanly. This does help with thicker grass situations and can give the feel of more horse power because of the instant ignition. The only cons we have come across in the US is propane availibility and knowledge of doing the proper conversions. Metro Lawn addresses both of these issues and delivers both.

cimkill
09-30-2011, 09:18 PM
if u like ur mower ck and see if a bobcat predator pro lp is available in your area and demo one comes with a 30 hp generac that is actully 30 hp generac is the only engine manufacturer that rates there engines true hp every other kawi kohler brigs are all about 10 - 30 percent less than stated due 2 the fact there tested with no muffler no air filter

Thanks for the advice, but I live in Belize Central America there are no commercial mower dealers here when i need equipment I have to fly up to florida buy my stuff and pay a heck of a lot of money for shipping and duty when it arrives down here:dizzy:. I am dealer loyal. I purchase my stuff from commercial lawn care in kissimmee florida. They work with me being down here give me advice cover parts under warranty, help me trouble shoot over the phone. You just cant beat their service! I buy whatever they have, and they dont carry bobcat. Great info on the generac, I did not know that. Thanks again.

atlantistom
10-05-2011, 11:38 PM
Commercial lawn has a small selection of Bobcats. No Propane models. Lou might be able to order one for you.
I checked the manifold hose assembly that connects the two tanks and don't see anything that prevents pulling from both tanks. In fact, if you pull from both tanks, they both get cold, indicating gas is flowing equally from both. I'm going to err to the side of caution and go back to only pulling from one tank.
I've tried to get the local hardware store to fill the tanks to 7 Gal. but they'll only fill them to 5 Gal. Very frustrating!

atlantistom
10-06-2011, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the info.
The closest Heritage propane on the list is in Orlando, which is 30 Min. away.
The local hardware store is about 10 min. Heritage does fill my Home 120 tank about once a year. I've been with them for seven years now. Good company.

cimkill
10-06-2011, 10:23 PM
Hello Atlantistom thanks for the info, but your suggestion about removing the baffle has had our production with the ferris go way up, so thankyou. I still havent got the mixer yet, my wife has it and is coming next week so will get it in then. I will let you know if fuel consumption goes down after. I hope not. I now have almost 70 hours on mine and I think its burning less now. Will let you know at the end of next week.

cimkill
11-09-2011, 06:54 PM
Well I put the mixer on the machine runs well. gph is almost the same change is miniscule. Machine is working well I think its the blades vs the hustler blades. Lift area is larger on the hustler. I just ordered some g6 gators i"ll let u know.

atlantistom
11-09-2011, 10:45 PM
Glad to hear your's is doing fine. My engine started losing power after only seven hours. It's now back at Lou's with the right head removed. There was a lot of gunk on top of the piston. It's possibly from the mixer not being right. My confidence is shaken and for the first time I'm feeling regret in going with this unit. My greatest fear, is that after the two year warranty expires, I'll have major engine trouble and will be out of pocket a lot of money. I'll keep you posted... My last engine was a Kawasaki 27 hp liquid cooled that after 2000 hours, only needed an oil pressure sensor and is still running strong today!

cimkill
11-10-2011, 08:47 AM
Wow! sorry to hear that. Yeah please keep me posted. I have 114.2 hours on mine right now, and it seems to be ok. Maybee mine hasnt been working at full power and thats why it bogs down, im not sure. I removed the baffle and that helped alot, its fast as long as the grass growth is less than 4 inches, which is rear down here. I will call Lou today and see what he thinks. Thanks Again. Oh I wouldnt be too worried if I were you being that you have them to take care of it there, and once they fix it you shouldnt have any problems I wouldnt think. They have always done great by me as far as resolving any problems, and im way down here. Again let me know thanks!

cimkill
11-10-2011, 01:46 PM
big block and are supposed to be built stricktly for propane from the factory. I need to know what spraying spud is. :confused: Thank you.

dallen
11-10-2011, 11:43 PM
I ran a pickup truck over 300,000 miles with virtually all of that on propane. Valves finally went out (LP burns hotter than gasoline) and we we tore in down, the internals had zero gunk on them - LP burns much cleaner too. Did lose some power compared to gasoline. Due to the maintenance issues alone, I think LP would be the way to go in any engine.

cimkill
11-11-2011, 10:14 AM
Terry Im not technical sorry. I just know that it has a mixer that i changed out on it. As far as i know this engine was made to run on propane it doesnt have an adaptor kit. I called briggs and the numbers are different on the engine than its gas counterpart. I wish i knew more. I dont know if you have time to look it up but its a Ferris IS 3100ZP. Thats the one Atlantistom and I have.

cimkill
11-11-2011, 10:17 AM
dallen, I know that when I did my oil change the propane unit had more hours on it than my gas powered unit and the oil that came out of the propane unit was much cleaner the oil from the gas unit was really thick and the oil change on that one was done early. Based on that observation it does burn way cleaner.

ed2hess
11-11-2011, 07:50 PM
dallen, I know that when I did my oil change the propane unit had more hours on it than my gas powered unit and the oil that came out of the propane unit was much cleaner the oil from the gas unit was really thick and the oil change on that one was done early. Based on that observation it does burn way cleaner.

My first oil change with propane had slude in it at 100 hours using synethic oil. I was surprised.

cimkill
11-11-2011, 10:19 PM
My first oil change with propane had slude in it at 100 hours using synethic oil. I was surprised.

Hello there ed2hess. I am no expert believe me. Just learned over the past year and a half how to do an oil change. I just noticed that between my gas unit and propane unit that the propane units oil was alot thinner and the gas units oil was sludgy(if thats a word). Down here we use Butane not propane. The only propane mix is: 40% propane 60% butane, I dont know if that has something to do with it. I would imagine that in the states with all the monitering that you would have a superior product to us down here, at least cleaner burning.

Propane Guru
11-18-2011, 09:36 AM
The brand of mowers is a personal preference, what are you looking for in a mower and price. Kawasaki engines have more options on propane engines than any engine company, they are EPA & CARB certified.

Propane Guru
11-18-2011, 09:40 AM
Your Ferris will have an EnviroGard LPG Carburetor, the engine was set up for propane.

cimkill
11-18-2011, 04:02 PM
thanks for the info. Propane guru.

atlantistom
11-27-2011, 08:12 PM
My Mixer, built by Enviroguard, had one of the venturis come unseated, causing one cylider to run terribly. this happened only eight hours in...
It sooted the top of the piston pretty badly. I only ran it for 20 minutes after I noticed the HP drop significantly. The left Venturi was still firmly seated while the right one fluttered around about 1/8". Is this venturi what you refer to as the Sprayring/Spud? I also read that the Vanguard 895 cc motor has hardened valves. Can you confirm this?

Propane Guru
12-02-2011, 10:10 AM
There are throttle plates and 2 venturi's, one for each cylinder. If one Venturi has come out in such a short time it either was stripped during installation or was loose and can be reinserted. They must be properly installed for your engine to run properly. If you have had this for such a short time, why not send it back for it has a one year warranty. Let me know how I can help.