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View Full Version : Couple of Questions about My Recently Purchased Grasshopper 223 - 52" Cut


knarfoh
11-10-2011, 09:02 PM
I just purchased a 2008 Grasshopper 223 - 52" cut ZT. It only has 48 hours and is immaculate in every way except one which I will mention below.

The seller (2nd owner) did not have the owner's manual. Are the manuals available online and if so can you give me the link?

The guy I bought this off of was trying to do a buddy of his a favor last year and bought the mower off him before it ended up as part of his divorce proceeding. He got it for a steal and in return was willing to part with it this year after realizing he really didn't need it. He wants to buy a boat and he figured it was the more valuable of the 2 mowers he has and he thought selling it made the most sense (money wise) and his older mower worked fine. I live in Ohio and the mowing season is really behind us but I picked it up for $4,000 which seemed very reasonable.

Because of the quick change of ownership between the previous 2 owners, I am afraid that any scheduled maintenance was overlooked. Without the manual, I am not sure what should be done with a mower with less then 50 hours on it.

Any advice from seasoned owners on what I should be doing?

Lastly, the only issue was the previous owner ran one of the rear tires up against a tree limb lying on the ground and it put a gash in the tire rubber. He says the tire holds air fine but I was wondering if I should be concerned with a rear tire with a gash in the rubber on the sidewall?

Thanks for any advice anyone can give me. Or pointers?

Oops.. one last question. It is dark now and I took a flashlight trying to find the manufacturer's nameplate with model number, serial number and year. I did find a metal plate with the serial number and model number, but it does not mention model year. Is the year somewhere on the mower? Will the serial number tell me the model year? Not that I disbelieve the previous owner (seriously - this thing hardly looks used at all), but I was wondering if the model year appears somewhere on the mower?

knarfoh
11-10-2011, 10:03 PM
Found location for ordering manuals. Kinda old fashioned that they do not offer PDF copies of their manuals. Still need help with my other questions.

bob
11-10-2011, 11:00 PM
What is the serial number? This number will tell what year the mower was made. There are some owners manuals on ebay. Also your dealer should be able to get one for you.

StihlMechanic
11-11-2011, 12:09 AM
2nd digit of serial number is year, so an 8 is 2008. I would replace the tire with the gash if its bad, you would be wasting time trying to repair it. At the hours you have, the only maintenance is engine break in oil change at 8 hours, then oil changes every 50, service manual states changing oil filter every other oil change but I would do both every 50 hours. Some will argue this, but some dont have the hours on their engines either. If you want to exceed 2000 hrs of life, do as I stated. I take it your a homeowner so you may never make it to even 1000 hours. Grease everything every 25-50 hours.

knarfoh
11-11-2011, 06:28 AM
2nd digit of serial number is year, so an 8 is 2008. I would replace the tire with the gash if its bad, you would be wasting time trying to repair it. At the hours you have, the only maintenance is engine break in oil change at 8 hours, then oil changes every 50, service manual states changing oil filter every other oil change but I would do both every 50 hours. Some will argue this, but some dont have the hours on their engines either. If you want to exceed 2000 hrs of life, do as I stated. I take it your a homeowner so you may never make it to even 1000 hours. Grease everything every 25-50 hours.
The second digit is a 7 so guess you are telling me I really have a 2007 not a 2008.

I would be mad except this thing still looks like it came off the showroom floor and the hours are so few. Yes, I am a homeowner with around 2 acres to mow. I have had my previous zero turn for 8 years and I have around 350 hours so you are probably right that I might not exceed 1000 hours anytime soon.

The guy I bought it from bought it from a friend who was apparently trying to shield an asset from his divorce proceeding by cashing it out before it became a subject in the divorce proceeding settlement. After he bought it (as a favor to a friend) he realized he really didn't need it himself so he sold it to me after he used it this year. He would rather use the money towards a boat I guess.

I will give the seller the benefit of the doubt. As far as I can tell, there are no markings on the mower that tell you the year. So unless you understand how to read the serial number, you might not really know.

This link will let me order the manual http://www.grasshoppermower.com/support_manual.php so I need the manual to even know where the grease points all are on this mower.

As a homeowner, my practice is the change out the oil in fall (I live in Ohio and we are pretty much done with mowing for the year). That should keep me pretty close to your 50 hour recommendation.

Also, there is a filter for the hydraulics for the transmission. How often should that be changed. I think I saw somewhere around 1,000 hours, but was wondering if it should also be changed every so often regardless of hours?

I will need to find all the serial numbers it is asking for in order to buy the correct manual I guess.

Thanks for the quick response. Much appreciated.

In regards to the purchase price of $4,000. Did you have an opinion on that? Just wondering if I made a good deal. I think I did, but was just wondering what everyone else thought.

knarfoh
11-11-2011, 06:49 AM
What is the serial number? This number will tell what year the mower was made. There are some owners manuals on ebay. Also your dealer should be able to get one for you.
From another response, I see the second digit is the model year. This one starts out 5715*** so I guess I have a 2007 model not a 2008. I see I can order one from the manufacturer so I will gather up all the information I need to order the correct manual.

StihlMechanic
11-11-2011, 04:38 PM
Yes it is a 2007 but chances are he bought it in 2008 new and didnt know. They are the same anyways, no major changes to that model. Not to worry you but the 23 Kohler command had issues with the stator failing, and with as little hours as you have, I would bet it hasnt been repaired yet. The problem is with the charging system, these usually failed before 100 hours. Kohler went with a vendor back then that made a batch of bad stators. Bad news is it pretty labor intensive to replace because it is a horizontal engine, to replace it you must remove the engine to access the flywheel.

1000 hrs is correct for the hydro oil, its synthetic and last a long time, changing it more often is beneficial, but not necessary. If it were mine I would change it at the first 200-300 hours but then again I am anal about hydro service. You will need to get it from a grasshopper dealer only, dont substitute it with anything else. As far as maintenance, just keep it stored in a shed or garage, run the fuel out before storing it this winter, I dont recommend fuel stabilizers, seen too many negative effects from it in the carb and fuel system. That machine is relatively low maintenance compared to older toro Z500's and Z400's, scags and other mowers of the same class. I would own one without question, its a good mower. Just get a grease gun, keep the air filter clean and your golden. Unless you clog the airfilter and see black smoke, dont worry about plugs. Focus on the engine oil, thats important in a kohler command of all engines IMO. I recommend you switch to Mobil one 10-30 at 50 or 100 hours. Seen these engines make it to 4000 hours using this oil. Then again you may never break 1000, so its up to you.

$4000 is a good square deal. A dealer would of retailed that for maybe 5-6k.

bob
11-11-2011, 08:37 PM
This might also help, http://www.the-mower-shop-inc.com/223-227_2007.aspx

knarfoh
11-12-2011, 08:50 AM
This might also help, http://www.the-mower-shop-inc.com/223-227_2007.aspx
Excellent information. Thanks !!

I have my web browser bookmarks organized so that I group all related bookmarks under one subject. I have already started a FOLDER and have begun placing all 2007 Grasshopper 223 links in it and I just added this one. Thanks again !!

knarfoh
11-12-2011, 09:29 AM
Yes it is a 2007 but chances are he bought it in 2008 new and didnt know.I informed the seller of my findings and he apologized. Since he bought it second-hand (without the manual which is why I am in the process of buying one) he relied on the previous seller (remember him? The guy trying to convert assets to cash before the BIG DIVORCE!). He did say he took it into a dealer for service when he first got it and said he was surprised they did not point out the discrepancy in the model year since he told them it was a 2008.

Not to worry you but the 23 Kohler command had issues with the stator failing, and with as little hours as you have, I would bet it hasnt been repaired yetWas there a recall on all affected engines (like they do for cars sometimes) and is it possible for me to get it fixed under the recall? Or was this just covered under warranty if the problem actually occurred? Or since the seller told me he had this thing serviced at the dealer at least once - would they have repaired it automatically? I remember once taking my car into a dealership and they did a recall repair while I was there that I didn't know needed to be done. It was listed on the repair order when I picked up the car and they explained what they had done.

Yes it is a 2007 but chances are he bought it in 2008 new and didnt know.I thought that too which is why I wasn't mad. Same thing happens when you buy boats and motorcycles in the spring. You have to ask what model year is this? They all could be leftovers from the previous year.

$4000 is a good square deal. A dealer would of retailed that for maybe 5-6k.I researched this pretty good in my area by checking local prices; Craigslist (which is how I found this one); EBAY; etc. Of all the ones I looked at (I am retired and was willing to take the time to be careful in my selection) I wrangled the best deal on this one by at least $700 (with nothing else being comparable in condition and hours). Buying a mower in the fall is the best time (just like those looking for a motorcycle or boat) because in Ohio you are basically selling during a buyer's market and the buyer has the advantage. Regardless, it is reassuring to get an opinion from an expert.

Last comment. Because you must order the manual from Grasshopper, I needed to use their website to contact them with my model information, etc. so they could advise me of the costs, etc. They responded to me quickly and were very helpful. So good to know they are responsive.

knarfoh
11-12-2011, 09:48 AM
I dont recommend fuel stabilizers, seen too many negative effects from it in the carb and fuel system.OOPS ! I have already winterized and I added a fuel stabilizer as suggested by Kohler's own website http://www.kohlerengines.com/maintenance/faqs.htm#. I have done both in the past with other gas engines -- added stabilizer to the fuel and stored that way. I have also done what you have suggested, i.e. running the fuel out. When I ran the fuel completely out, I have also used fogging oil to coat cylinders and carburetor (on my boat, edger, push mower, etc). I don't recall any problems with either method, but my experience is limited to a few household gas engine applications. My new Grasshopper is now sitting in the back of the garage with no plans for me to further operate it until spring mowing season begins.

StihlMechanic
11-19-2011, 09:12 PM
Sorry I havent responded to this thread.

OK, first off, good call fogging the engine. Not too necessary, but I like your attention to maintenance.

As far as the stator, No, there wont be a recall because unlike cars, the equipment is under different laws and standards set by OPEI. If it were safety related, yes, but failure, No. It would be up to the dealership if it came in for other reasons to address this issue. From experience, warranty is a pain to deal with, so unless the stator failed, they will not replace it. Now there is the slim chance that the dealer was hungry and was savy to this issue and replaced it, but unlikely. I would bet money the stator is original. Will it fail? More than likely. Will a Kohler or GH dealer replace it free of charge if it fails? More than likely not. Now there are ways to annoy the MFG to get what you want under warr, but less likely if you are not the original owner. I am sorry to say this, but true. If it fails, you will know by the obvious, a battery that will not stay charged. Tell you what, if it happens, PM me, and if you're up to it, I will guide you though the repair.

As far as the fuel stabilizer, no biggy, either run it out of fuel or start it for 15 min. once a month in the off season. The stabilizer does its dirty work from sitting in the fuel system. Honestly, stabilizers are scams. I would much rather rebuild a carb with gummy fuel than gummy fuel with stabilizer.

Here is some good news, mowers are far less high maintenance than boats. Sounds like you know a thing or two about the headaches of boat ownership so relax with the GH. Your mower is just lucky you change the oil. Most LCO's wont even do this much. You are ahead of the bunch.

knarfoh
11-26-2011, 08:17 PM
OK, first off, good call fogging the engine. Not too necessary, but I like your attention to maintenance.Thanks for the compliment.

As far as the stator, No, there wont be a recall because unlike cars, the equipment is under different laws and standards set by OPEI.Sucks when they know there is a defect likely to cause a problem to a long-term owner like me.

If it were safety related, yes, but failure, No. Perhaps I can tell them it caused me to loose a finger. Many companies have settled a small claim to avoid a bodily-injury claim that caused permanent damage. Just kidding !!

Tell you what, if it happens, PM me, and if you're up to it, I will guide you though the repair.Thanks !! You are on my list.

As far as the fuel stabilizer, no biggy, either run it out of fuel or start it for 15 min. once a month in the off season.Running the fuel out is my preferred method. I think I got in the habit of filling the fuel tank and adding stabilizer when they recommended that years ago for motorcycles with metal fuel tanks. Fuel inside the metal gas tank actually was recommended to avoid rusting and scaling that would then get into the fuel line, etc. A filled tank wouldn't rust from the inside when filled. An empty tank builds up condensation that would rot the tank from the inside out. Not a problem with plastic fuel tanks now days I guess.

Here is some good news, mowers are far less high maintenance than boats. Sounds like you know a thing or two about the headaches of boat ownership so relax with the GH. Yes !! My boat is a 1984 which runs great. Unfortunately, it had a longer life then the engine manufacturer (Chrysler Force Outboard). Any major problem and you can't get the parts any longer.