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  #11  
Old 09-19-2013, 08:53 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrodog View Post
Ok, let me give it to you like this....in the most dramatic difference I know. Xp Bad boy Outlaw fx850 Kawasaki is $9100 with the grammer seat. 35hp Cat diesel bad boy is $12999 with the seat standard. The first gets 1.8 gallons an hour average, and the latter lets say .8 average. You mow average of 700 hours a year on that machine. at $3.50 a gallon that's $2450 a year. What if you had a fleet of 4 machines? That's $10000 a year. $3899 difference up front.
If you look at a 460 gravely versus the Kubota diesel model $3110 difference with fleet discounts... idk to me if you keep the machine 2 years, its paying for itself and will command a bigger trade in....
I am on your side as far as the diesel issue, but you don't have the numbers right in bold. Using your number of $3899, a fleet of four machines that are diesel would be $15596 extra up front. That's a lot of extra to try to equalize.

Regardless of that-

Diesel here is a lot more than $3.50 even for off road diesel. Closer to $3.80 for off road if you have access to it.

1.8 gph x 700= 1260 gallons per year for gas. x $3.50= $4410 per year for gas.

.8 gph x 700= 560 gallons per year for diesel. x $3.80= $2128 per year for diesel.



4410- 2128= $2282 saved per year in fuel costs. If you keep the machine for 3 years you'll spend an extra $1300 each year for the up front cost over the gas model. $2282- $1300= $982 per year in fuel savings with the diesel, and that is before figuring the added cost for fuel in the tow rig, maintanence etc. Add in higher maintenance costs for the diesel, added weight to pull with the tow vehicle (which does add up over a year, especially with more than one on the trailer), and it's about a wash. Since many guys trade every two to three years, they have barely broken even at trade in time, so why bother? I'm just telling you what many, many guys have posted repeatedly here on LS about why they don't bother with diesel.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:19 PM
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sdk1968 sdk1968 is offline
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as a guy who just did an engine swap on a Z mower... & ive done several swaps on Gravely's over the years....

its all about the size engine you need.

if your doing anything smaller motor 24hp or less its just about impossible to beat the Honda motor's for price/power/availability..

BUT if your going bigger? you might as well go Kawasaki and get the 35hp...

i grew up on Kohler & Onan engines, but the days of them being the best thing out there are long gone.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:22 PM
MBDiagMan MBDiagMan is offline
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Originally Posted by retrodog View Post
Honestly Larry, the Kohler commands are fine minus the "kohler tick" they have where you hear the valves distinctly (if it was a kawa or briggs I would simply adjust the valves to smooth out) until you have to much oil in the reservoir. That is the pickiest motor for too much oil in the market. I have seen many failures due to older people that cant see the dip stick good. We had a lot of 19hp kai kawa issues up until the latest motors after 09. Briggs els and single cylinders were the most seen in our shop, and surprisingly the few Hondas that went out on ztrs from here in town have all came back with little issues that turned expensive fast...
I have seen some fr Kawasaki's overheat for nothing and melt internal components within 15 hours or so. Couple of kawa fx with rods sticking out the side. I have had some 23hp vanguard issues, but so far knock on wood haven't touched a 36 or 32hp yet...
To be honest they are all good motors, and all have issues. Make sure your dealer is certified with that motor company before you ever buy a mower from them. You would be surprised, last survey that was done said over 70% of dealers are not certified to warranty all the products they sell.
You get the Cyclonic Briggs, FS Kawasaki, or the Kohler Command and up you are getting a motor that has an expected lifespan on paper over 2000 hours, most are 3000. You step up to the Vanguard or FX Kawasaki and you are simply getting applications built for tougher situations. You go diesel and you will never touch a gas machine again..... I cant believe that most of you guys don't have diesels. Weight is an issue for some, but they make 1500lb diesel units now. To have over half the fuel consumption, half the issues, and more than 3 times the lifecycle I just cant believe it...... I have had diesel guys buy gas units over the years cause they see so many and end up taking huge losses for calling them useless due to their fuel bills. Most of the diesels out there get under a gallon an hour, we are seeing some with .7...
Thanks for a great response. This is sharing of experience that is valuable to all of us. Wish we could sticky this thread. I will be buying again in a few years and will want this kind of information.

You have a perspective that most of us on here just don't have.
Larry
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2013, 12:22 PM
InjuinRed InjuinRed is offline
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OK so after reading all this I think I've talked myself into the Kawasaki engine which I was leaning towards anyway. From the sound of it the FS or FX are both commercial engines ans would do great but the FX is just a bit better for some reason? Looks like they are the same specs otherwise so would I see a noticeable difference between the two?
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2013, 12:29 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Originally Posted by InjuinRed View Post
OK so after reading all this I think I've talked myself into the Kawasaki engine which I was leaning towards anyway. From the sound of it the FS or FX are both commercial engines ans would do great but the FX is just a bit better for some reason? Looks like they are the same specs otherwise so would I see a noticeable difference between the two?
The FX has a true commercial duty Donaldson air filtration system with the dual element cannister filters.
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2013, 01:47 PM
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retrodog retrodog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InjuinRed View Post
OK so after reading all this I think I've talked myself into the Kawasaki engine which I was leaning towards anyway. From the sound of it the FS or FX are both commercial engines ans would do great but the FX is just a bit better for some reason? Looks like they are the same specs otherwise so would I see a noticeable difference between the two?
Only problem, that will put the hopper out the mix on choices as hopper chose to not offer Kawasaki due to the number of issues they had over the other choices....

to mbdiagman, I get my hand slapped a lot for some of the things I say on here, but this should be about both negative and positive experiences also. Just cause Im a dealer for some of these guys doesn't mean I cant voice opinion and tell of experiences I have in the shop and field...

On the fuel consumtion issue, diesel has only 2 extra quarts of oil normally, and the air filters are a little higher sometimes, but the maintenance on diesel for a mower is very close to the same or less. A gallon an hour of use is huge to me. any way you look at it $3.50 an hour, or $3.20 an hour for every hour spent on the lawn mower adds up not to mention coils, carb issues, etc that gas has. I rebuilt a Kubota diesel this week, and mg brian which is the Kubota distributor told me they sell an average of 6 heads a year as a distributor...that is crazy. You wouldnt want to know how many heads and builds we have done to gas motors just out of our shop this year....
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13 BB XP 31hp Kawasaki 61", 13' 36hp 61 xp
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13 GH 725D Rear Discharge 61" 13' 430D 72"
07 Bad Boy Lightning 52 inch with 26hp LC Kawasaki (just hit 3000 hours and going strong after rolling down the road and totaling out at 22 hours!)
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Last edited by retrodog; 09-20-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2013, 12:13 AM
Choppin Choppin is offline
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Retro, are diesels fixing to be discontinued on mower because of emissions? I took a plant tour at Bad Boy and that's what we was told.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2013, 02:48 AM
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retrodog retrodog is offline
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Originally Posted by Choppin View Post
Retro, are diesels fixing to be discontinued on mower because of emissions? I took a plant tour at Bad Boy and that's what we was told.
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It is still up in the air. Any diesel over 25hp will need a $2000 emissions add on to comply to be manufactured. I believe the 28hp can be rebadged without problem. I was gonna buy 10 or 20 before this all happened, but looks like I might not get the chance. Out of 140 35 motor that came in I got 2...
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:32 PM
doublesharp doublesharp is offline
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I had a 2010 G-hopper 226V with the Brigs Professional 724cc engine. I thought the machine was poorly designed. Why build a nearly solid cage around the muffler? Melted the coating off my throttle cable when the muffler heat shield mini welds gave way. Probably got so hot it melted the tiny 4 point tack weld. Engine leaked oil big time and when it got hot the rpms would go erratic over revving and then dropping revs til it nearly died. Some kind of governor problem I guess. I was fed up and took the $3000 trade in offer and bought a Predator Pro. I'm sure Grasshopper makes a reliable mower but you can't prove it by me.

My 226V deck threw belts regularly and shredded 3 or 4 in 150 hours. The owners manual says engage pto at reduced rpms. Grasshopper service tech acted like I was an idiot when I told them I engaged pto at half throttle. Said on the 226 the throttle needed to be at least 3/4 or you'd throw the belt. OK....then put that in your owners manual. I'm going to post a couple pictures of my old 226 and the Rube Goldberg muffler heat shield repair I designed. Bobcat gives my 5 year 500 hour warranty. Big Dog/Hustler gives 3 year 240 hour warranty. Grasshopper gives 12 month unlimited hour warranty and then you are on your own.





BobCat gives plenty of breathing room

Big Dog gives plenty of breathing room
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