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View Full Version : Exmark 48" w/21HP Kaw or 52" w/20HP Kohler


jkr1
02-25-2003, 01:59 PM
If I can get the 52" w/20HP Kohler for just a couple hundred more, is it worth it for the following reasons:

1) resale value (if ever need to sell)
2) faster speed (9.5 vs. 8.1 for 48" 21HP Kawa)
3) easier maintenance - the 52" unit has the quick-drain oil chg system spout. the 48" just has a plug that looks tough to get to and would make a mess.

I really don't need the 52" deck since this is just for my own home, but I would get a faster unit that is easier to change the oil. Plus, I assume resale would be better/easier.

Just not sure if the 20HP Kohler is enough HP for this size deck. I thought I read the Kohlers don't have enough torque like the Kawasaki's do. Any recommendations?

rodfather
02-25-2003, 02:03 PM
Go for the 52" if the $$$ isn't a big issue. 20hp is fine for that size deck (plenty of hp). I've even seen old Scags with a 20hp Kohler on a 72" WB if you can believe it.

scott's turf
02-25-2003, 02:04 PM
If you are just using this for your home make sure that you know exactly what you want because this will most likely be the last mower you will need to buy. I have the 52HP with the 23kaw and I love it. How much more would that option be for you?

mag360
02-25-2003, 02:10 PM
I agree with rodfather--20hp is fine, kohler makes a good engine, 52in is sellable if you chose to do so, ease of maintenance is a priority even for homeowner use. Good luck with whatever you choose.

brucec32
02-25-2003, 04:25 PM
I just bought a 48" 21 Kawi unit but haven't had any grass growing to mow with it yet!

As for your questions...


1. Resale? Well, the word was that the full size units resale better. But I just sold my 18hp 48" lazer hp on ebay and got $3500. It had 1053 hours and was in great shape. But the original price I paid for it was only $6250 w/ tax 4 1/2 years ago. That's pretty good resale. I wouldn't worry about the hp reselling. The kawi might be preferred by many buyers, too.

2. The 21 Kawi HP/deck and HP/weight ratios are better on the Kawi. But get this, the Kawi has 39.4 lb ft of torque! The Kohler a mere 32.6 That's a 21% difference. I bet real world, the HP mows faster in heavy grass than the 52" because of the torque advantage pushing smaller blades. I rarely mowed at top speed anyway, unless grass was thin and ground was flat. Even 8.1 mph or so is a pretty wild ride.

3. Nope, just unscrew and put a pan under it, it should barely clear the engine deck. But how often is a homeowner changing his oil anyway? Don't buy a mower for something you do once a year. Buy it for how it performs the 30 times a year you're using it.

4. I believe the 48" has slightly more deck overhang on the trim side, vs. the 52", which could be a plus, also.

The full size Lazer should be more than adequate for home use, but if the hp is cheaper and does a slightly better job, why not get it? I can attest that the 48" cut quality is amazing for a deck this size.

turfman59
02-25-2003, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by brucec32






4. I believe the 48" has slightly more deck overhang on the trim side, vs. the 52", which could be a plus, also.

this size. The 48 inch deck does not have more deck over hang than the 52 " deck. If we are talking about the tri-vantage deck the 52 has 3.5" of over hang on the trim side.. FYI

65hoss
02-25-2003, 11:27 PM
The 52" HP has a good bit more overhang. By the way, the 52"HP has more overhang than the full size 52".

CO.d 502nd
02-25-2003, 11:33 PM
Ive used a 48 and it has little or no overhang on the trim side.More overhang and more ground speed id go with the 52 kohler

Mark P
02-26-2003, 01:23 AM
Id go with the 52-Kohler20hp, I run a 17kaw on a 52 walkbehind but it runs around 7.5mph when im cutting, not all the time but if its flat its wide open.....Kohler makes a good motor.....Marks Mowing Service

brucec32
02-26-2003, 05:40 AM
I was referring to the 52" ultracut deck on the full size lazer. I'm not sure, I had just heard comments to that effect here. But I've always considered the amount of overhang to be not that important to me on ztrs anyway, as long as there is enough. I can trim just about anywhere I need to with my mower, though more overhang certainly is easier.

And once again, for those who never have to cut warm season turf like Bermuda....you may not realize that more overhang is a double edged sword. It will not handle undulations, especially concave surfaces, as well as mower decks with little or no overhang. It's simple geometry. The flex deck design helps avoid this problem. Your overhanging deck, unfortunately, doesn't hinge at the edge.

My dealer salesman confirmed that yesterday when we were talking. He says guys buy 60" units and come back complaining that they butcher some Bermuda lawns. Antiscalp rollers help, but the deck still drops some and the cut still suffers.

65hoss
02-26-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by brucec32
And once again, for those who never have to cut warm season turf like Bermuda....you may not realize that more overhang is a double edged sword. It will not handle undulations, especially concave surfaces, as well as mower decks with little or no overhang. It's simple geometry. The flex deck design helps avoid this problem. Your overhanging deck, unfortunately, doesn't hinge at the edge.

My dealer salesman confirmed that yesterday when we were talking. He says guys buy 60" units and come back complaining that they butcher some Bermuda lawns. Antiscalp rollers help, but the deck still drops some and the cut still suffers.

That is true. But I will add, most people do not know how to set the anti-scalp wheels correctly and that causes a lot of it. Yes it is real noticable on bermuda. I get paid to make that stuff grow and then paid to cut it. But I still hate bermuda.

jkr1
02-26-2003, 12:18 PM
Did your dealer bump up the rpms on either the Kaw or Kohler to 3800 instead of the factory set 3600? In doing so, shouldn't that increase the ground speed from 8.1 to something closer to 9mph? Also, this should increase the blade tip speed, right? Just asked my dealer about this and he said the 21HP Kaw comes at 3400-3600 rpm and that they usually bump it up to 3800rpm and this is still within spec and covered under warranty. Is this true?

65hoss
02-26-2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by jkr1
Did your dealer bump up the rpms on either the Kaw or Kohler to 3800 instead of the factory set 3600? In doing so, shouldn't that increase the ground speed from 8.1 to something closer to 9mph? Also, this should increase the blade tip speed, right? Just asked my dealer about this and he said the 21HP Kaw comes at 3400-3600 rpm and that they usually bump it up to 3800rpm and this is still within spec and covered under warranty. Is this true?
This year they are coming from the factory bumped up. 3750 rpm's.

jkr1
02-26-2003, 12:55 PM
OK - My dealer must be mis-informed then. He said they manually bump them up to 3800. If they do come at 3750, shouldn't the ground speed be more than 8.1?

jkr1
02-26-2003, 12:57 PM
I checked the website for kohler and kawasaki. Both still show 3600 rpms...

jkr1
02-26-2003, 03:49 PM
65Hoss, Did your dealer actually use a gauge to verify the rpms were at 3750?

65hoss
02-27-2003, 01:50 PM
no, exmark told me that.

brucec32
03-01-2003, 06:51 PM
I used my new vibrating tach to check my brand new Lazer Z hp....not that precise, but definitely a little higher than 3600...3750 sounds about right.

Strawbridge Lawn
03-01-2003, 07:16 PM
If you are going with the 52 I recommend the 23HP. There are times when mulching thicker grass fescue and Bermuda I wished there was a 25..