View Full Version : Questions about older Toro WB

02-29-2004, 12:04 AM
Bought an older (guessing at least 5 years old) Toro Proline 32" today (won't bring it home until monday, so I don't know the exact model #). Anyhow it is belt driven. For identification purposes, the style is not exactly like the new ones today, but pretty similar. The main difference is that the front casters are not pneumatic (hopefully that will give some of you a cue as to whattype of info I'm looking for). I don't know much about Toro mowers, but I think it is a T-bar (where you push forward on the side of the control that you want to move forward, etc.).

Approx. what year would you say it is?
Does it sound like the T-bar I've heard about here (seems easy enuff to operate)?
How nice of a cut will it give? Since it is a "Proline" Toro, I'd assume the blade tip speed would be comparable to today's commercial mowers, right? Surely it will be better than any homeowner mower, at least. Also, it has a mulch kit, which I run on all my mowers too, so that is a plus.

Anyhow, what can you guys (especially you Toro operators) tell me about things to be careful of (maintenance tips, operation, etc.). I will contact Toro on Monday to get an owner's manual. BTW, it has a 12.5 Kohler.

Seems to run good. Will definately get a new blade, new belts, and a tune-up. Maybe even some fresh paint. Got a good deal on it and am just trying to replace the dreadful 21". Hopefully I can get a few seasons out of it at least. I have a new ZTR which is my bread and butter, so this will be for small residential / backup / trim mower.

Thanks in advance!

Fareway Lawncare
02-29-2004, 12:25 AM
Is this the single blade floating deck Recycler 32" or the or twin blade fixed 32"?

I have run both extensively & prefer the twin blade.

02-29-2004, 12:33 AM
Mine is about 8 years old. It was a primary mower for the people i bought it from for about a year and a back yard mower sincethen for me. It should do a good job for you, definatly better than any homewoner stuff. One hint, there is a bolt that goes under the mower right in back of the engine. It is for a idler pulley for the drive belt. The best way to adjust it is to tighten the bolt so its kind of tight, and take a socket extention or something like it, and a hammer, and pound the bolt to get it to move. Then tighten the bolt all the way, this will get the drive belt as tight as possible. You will definatly notice a difference if it was loose. They are pretty good mowers, mine has been beaten and abused for a long time, and it still works good.

02-29-2004, 12:41 AM
Fareway, it is a single blade (and I think the deck is fixed). Also, why do you prefer the twin blade?

Lawnman, thanks for the head's up, I'll take a look at that first thing. Also, you siad yours is about 8 years old. . .does it fit the description of mine (non-pneumatic front casters, appears kind of lengthy from front to back too, although this may be an illusion of the narrow deck)


02-29-2004, 12:56 AM
Single blade???.......32 inch??? Does this mean one spindle with a 32 inch blade???? Or are you saying doubles aren't being used, and it has 2 16 inch single blades??

02-29-2004, 01:03 AM

02-29-2004, 01:09 AM
Lawns and Mower, it is a 32", single blade Toro Proline.

Topher, I take it that you like yours?

Fareway Lawncare
02-29-2004, 01:41 AM
Are you sure it's a fixed deck?

02-29-2004, 01:43 AM
No, I'm not sure that it has a fixed deck. But I do know it is belt driven.

BTW, Anybody have an idea of the approximate year? Thanks again.

02-29-2004, 12:40 PM
Also, the deck is more of a round shape (not squared off).

Fareway Lawncare
02-29-2004, 01:57 PM
If it looks like this than it's a floater. Toro has been making this unit w/out major change for many years.


02-29-2004, 02:59 PM
Fareway, That's it!!! It must be a floater. What year is that one? How much have they changed? Have you been happy with it? Thanks again.

02-29-2004, 03:56 PM
Fareway, it that a "T-Bar"?

Fareway Lawncare
02-29-2004, 07:02 PM
Yes.. T-Bar.

I believe that unit has had the 13hp Kohler option only since at least 2001. If it's a 12.5hp Kaw or 10.5hp Briggs it May be earlier than 2000. You can check w/Toro w/serial #.

I prefered the twin blade fixed 32", better cut, but that is also a solid mower & Toro Tough. They did & probably still do have a 32" Gator or Atomic blade avail. for that unit which makes it a good leaf grinder.

02-29-2004, 07:11 PM
Cool, thanks. I think I'll try that Gator blade you mentioned since I'll be mulching with it. Also, it has the 12.5 Kohler. When I looked on Toro's website, I didn't see any WB that looks like it. I gather from your statement that it may be at least a 2001 model. . .?How recently did they discontinue this style or is it still available? Thanks again.

02-29-2004, 10:03 PM
Not sure what model year it is. I do vaguely recall non-pneumatic front wheels "phenolic?" in their catalog years ago as an option I believe.

I have used Toros since '93 and never had problems with clumping except with a 37" recycler that otherwise cut great. I wouldn't worry too much about blade speed on what will be a back yard/small area mower usually used at low drive speeds.

I'm guessing it's the single blade 32", but if it has two blades that's great because you have the fixed deck Exmark style model like I do. Great cut, great mulching, no complaints. I have heard the 32" single blade will scalp (because of the long blade) like Sitting Bull on low cut Bermuda, but I have only used that design a few times myself many years ago and liked the cut it gave. Bagging is inefficient with the single blade deck design, but you're mulching, so that solves that problem.

As far as things to warn you about....the transmission spline couplers are prone to stripping out at the output shaft, especially if you use a velke and put a load on it a lot, so if you notice slipping, find the problem and fix it immediately rather than waiting for it to strip out completely. Newer models use stouter 9 spline couplers instead of 32 spline. I've found that replacing the couplers (cheap ) solves the problem . T bar steering is great, but it will take a while to figure out how to best adjust it so that it works well while also retaining the parking brake function. Rule of thumb is to adjust the forward drive spacing first, then the braking, and finally fine tune it. You might check Toro.com for a owners manual. I know Exmark, their other company, has online manuals.

I will warn you that in my experience at multiple dealers, parts are sometimes slow to arrive. My local toro dealers were not dedicated commercial so they're a little flakey. So I would stock a spare of anything that wears out often to avoid downtime. I would look aftermarket for belts if you're looking for value. Toro likes their double V drive belts a lot and charge accordingly for them. Oh wait, the 32" probably uses a single V belt. Electric clutches will sometimes go out. Nothing you can do to prevent it though. Finally, check ebay for replacement parts. Sometimes someone will be parting out a mower and you can find a bargain on a big ticket item like a clutch. And check aftermarket on transmissions too, I'm sure dealers want a lot more than the $200 they cost elsewhere for the identical part number.

If the tires are worn it's a good investment to spend $30-$50 on a small tire changer and buy the tires yourself rather than drag it to the dealer. Pays for itself quickly. Some can even change trailer tires.

I would keep the stock paint unless you're sure you are keeping it and will never want to sell it. To me at least, a painted mower is a warning sign of previous rust and wanting to make a really old mower look new. But if you're sure you like it, a fresh coat would look sharp. Just know that preparation is half the battle, and poor prep equals peeling paint. A good wintertime task, though.

I have two myself, and they're hard to beat for belt drive, but as I get older I've decided I need to pamper my body and get something hydro, even though I don't use it much.

Fareway Lawncare
02-29-2004, 11:34 PM
P.ecker, it's still avail..

The pic doesn't match the mower model...which is not unusual for Toro's site.

Are you sure it's a 12.5 Kohler & not a Kaw?


02-29-2004, 11:39 PM
Good info Bruce. Thank you.

02-29-2004, 11:55 PM
I have a 32 inch single blade Proline, it has a 12.5 Kohler. I would guess and say it about a 1995-96 model. It has been very dependable with very few problems. It mulches much better than it side discharges. MY only complaint is that I had to replace the front wheel\tires and they were fairly expensive from Toro. I don't use it as much as did since I bought my Walker but it still get through a few gates that the Walker won't fit through.

03-01-2004, 04:18 PM

03-01-2004, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I ran it today. Am in the process of going over the whole mower and making it operate like it should and dependable. Looks like a winner so far. Can't wait for it to dry up so I can practice with it!

03-02-2004, 08:42 PM
Fareway Lawncare,

Help! First of all, I must've missed your post about Toro's website. Yes is indeed a Kohler 12.5.

I need a favor it you can help. In a minute I am going to attempt to upload a photo of the make-shift oil drain spout on my unit. I say it is make-shift because it looks like plumbing pipe somebody used to get the job done. The drain spout it the one that carries oil from the engine oil drain hole, away from the engine and routes it to the rear of the mower through a hole in the rear plate, so that oil can be caught in an oil pan.

Anyhow, I was hoping you could snap a pic of yours (Toro Proline 32) so I can see what the "real" oil drain pipe is supposed to look like.

I may have to retry uploading this pic since it is my first time doing this. Otherwise, here it is. . .

03-02-2004, 08:48 PM
You can see the pipe there in the center of the screen. I discovered that it is very loose (so loose I don't see what is keeping oil in) when I went to loosen the drain plug today to change the oil. Like I said, it doesn't look to me like something that would leave a factory that way. I think somebody rigged it, but I dread finding out why. But I could be wrong. The problem is that the 90 degree elbow closest to the engine doesn't have enough room to turn so I can tighten it, so I will have to dismount the engine, lift it up, take out the pipe and go from there. Any advice? How much do ya'll think the correct part is going to cost? Why would somebody put that on there. . .surely it came new with a part to serve that purpose, or oil would get everwhere when you change it. Thanks in advance Fareway, and anyone else.

03-02-2004, 10:27 PM
dont be surprised, the engine is made without considering the mower it is going on and the mower companys make the mowers before they see the engines, it doesnt surprise me lol

03-02-2004, 10:32 PM
Thats not makeshift, its just like mine. Mine is a 95 or 96. You have to reach under the mower to loosed the nut right?

03-02-2004, 10:47 PM
That's right. You do have to reach under the mower to loosen the nut.

Grass cuttin' fool, I'm surprised!!

Lawnman, thank you for responding. I am shocked, but relieved.
However, this does present a problem. The part of the pipe that actually screws into the engine( the part hidden in the picture on the backside) is the one that is loose. How in the world can I tighten it? Will I have to dismount the engine to get a vise grip wrench on it? Any advice? It is so loose that you can wigle it back and forth withyour hand. And there is slack in it from side to side, to it may be about to fall out. Thanks again in advance.

Fareway Lawncare
03-03-2004, 12:10 AM
Hi Pec.ker, Toro has The Best Parts Look-up system on the web.

Pump in the info you know here. If it shows no matches take out any info that may be suspect. If still no matches fill just the first 2 fields, Engine Make & Size fields & Swath. Find the part # then order from J-Thomas. Simple as Pie.


03-03-2004, 12:15 AM
Thanks again Fareway.

03-04-2004, 10:03 PM
Update: all is well. Go it all put back together today and adjusted out. Ready for service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had to loosen the engine and tilt it over a bit to get the oil drain spout off and taken apart. I had to put the grinder to the part that goes into the engine to make clearance for it to run all the way in. Worked like a charm. Just finished adjusting out all the drive linkages to get it easy to control.
One question though: the rods that go from the control handle down to the tension mechanism are adjusted all the way out for the belts to engage properly. If they stretch ANY more, I don't have any more room to adjust out. Does this mean it is time for new belts or do I need to pull the pin and put it in the other hole in the linkage bracket? I will probably put on new belts pretty soon anyway, but is this how you can tell how worn they are? They are getting a little slick but work great still, for the time being anyway. Thanks again everyone. Your help is most appreciated.

03-04-2004, 10:23 PM
Sounds like the belts are streched. My advice to you is to run 2 V-belts on each side. I have been doing this for years, and it works great. they don't slip as much when they get wet, plus they are only $10 each.

03-04-2004, 10:41 PM
pec ker, I'm still challenged when it comes to posting a link to a thread, so heres what you do. Perform a search with "dual drive belts" as your keywords. Be sure to click on Search Titles Only under search options. I have a pic posted on that thread.

03-05-2004, 12:37 AM
Thank you Lawns and Mower. I'll certainly take a look.

03-29-2004, 07:25 PM
One of my drive belts kept popping of Saturday when I was backing it off the trailer. Any suggestions on how to correct.

03-29-2004, 07:31 PM
I don't know how to correct it but would like to know myself. Although, my reverse doesn't work. Sure would be nice.

03-30-2004, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by topher924
One of my drive belts kept popping of Saturday when I was backing it off the trailer. Any suggestions on how to correct. Do you unload it in Neutral, or in a gear? If I unload mine in Neutral, belts always pop off.

03-30-2004, 12:16 AM
No I put new belts on so I try using the reverse. I used to unload in neutral, but since the new belts are on I thught I would have more luck in reverse.

matthew horner
03-31-2004, 10:42 AM
I own a late 90's toro proline 52 inch. Where can i buy a mulch kit for this?

03-31-2004, 12:48 PM
I was told by a dealer to check at a local welding shop. They could custom make one.

matthew horner
03-31-2004, 02:02 PM
Yeah, that won't work with the shops around here!:confused: