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  #21  
Old 05-02-2014, 11:34 PM
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groundskeeperllc groundskeeperllc is offline
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I've been using Grasshoppers for 8 years now and my first one was a 227 61" and I will say that that 27 horse horizontal engine is not enough horsepower for that 61" deck in thick stuff. I was always complaing about it, I did get 3500 hours out of it before replacing engine and then selling the mower. My next one was the 329B 61" and it has lots more power but would still bog in thick stuff. From what I've learned and read is that the horizontal engines will last longer than verticals but you lose 15%-20% of your engine to deck power because of the longer belt and the turn in the belt behind the engine. I've used other vertical shaft mowers with similar comparisons and the verticals shaft engines just flat out deliver more power to the decks. I just bought a new 325D 61" this spring and already have a 100+ hours on it and can say this is not so with the Diesel engines, this mower is amazing!!! I will not be buying Grasshoppers with gas engines any more... Diesel only! Plus I'm getting about .9 gal an hour versus 1.8-2 gal an hour with the big block gas engines. As far as blades go on Grasshoppers I've tried them all and can say in thick grass the Contours will work best but will leave a lot of large clippings to deal with. I now have found the perfect blades for Grasshoppers- Oregon G6 gator blades, they will take some extra hp to move them but are the best cut And leave the least amount of clippings. Hope that helps!
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2014, 12:04 AM
JCLawn and more's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundskeeperllc View Post
I've been using Grasshoppers for 8 years now and my first one was a 227 61" and I will say that that 27 horse horizontal engine is not enough horsepower for that 61" deck in thick stuff. I was always complaing about it, I did get 3500 hours out of it before replacing engine and then selling the mower. My next one was the 329B 61" and it has lots more power but would still bog in thick stuff. From what I've learned and read is that the horizontal engines will last longer than verticals but you lose 15%-20% of your engine to deck power because of the longer belt and the turn in the belt behind the engine. I've used other vertical shaft mowers with similar comparisons and the verticals shaft engines just flat out deliver more power to the decks. I just bought a new 325D 61" this spring and already have a 100+ hours on it and can say this is not so with the Diesel engines, this mower is amazing!!! I will not be buying Grasshoppers with gas engines any more... Diesel only! Plus I'm getting about .9 gal an hour versus 1.8-2 gal an hour with the big block gas engines. As far as blades go on Grasshoppers I've tried them all and can say in thick grass the Contours will work best but will leave a lot of large clippings to deal with. I now have found the perfect blades for Grasshoppers- Oregon G6 gator blades, they will take some extra hp to move them but are the best cut And leave the least amount of clippings. Hope that helps!
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His garden tractor worked the same way belt wise. I can see power loss in that, but baffling I think makes more of a difference. I have a kubota 326 and power is never an issue. Just did 10 acres with it and they never mowed it all last year. So it was 2-3ft high and I was clipping along at 4-7 mph. My old grasshopper with a 21hp diesel can only go 1-3 mph in that stuff but it was chew up coming out instead of looking like cut hay like my kubota.
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  #23  
Old 05-03-2014, 06:48 AM
mnicholsjr mnicholsjr is offline
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wow good info! thanks about the G6 blades! I will upgrade once the factory get dull. Thing is I am only a home owner and I put maybe 40 hrs per year on this machine. This thing will probably last me a life time! I did find some things wrong with the hopper after digging into my manual. There was no pitch on the deck at all. I put 1/4" pitch on the deck and boy what a pain it was to loosen those factory nuts on the adjusters. Also not sure how big of a deal this is but the tension spring on the main drive belt was only 5" in length when it should have been 5.75". I fixed both issues and all other belts were perfect to the manual specs.

So the deal with the horizonal engine is that it has a longer belt? My X540 had a vertical kawi 23hp. The dealer did tell me that the mule belt snaps every 100 hrs or so on the 227! The guy at the dealer is pretty stupid tho he told me to not look at the deck pitch and also to turn the machine off at full throttle (loud backfire that almost destroyed my hearing)

Last edited by mnicholsjr; 05-03-2014 at 06:54 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-03-2014, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mnicholsjr View Post
wow good info! thanks about the G6 blades! I will upgrade once the factory get dull. Thing is I am only a home owner and I put maybe 40 hrs per year on this machine. This thing will probably last me a life time! I did find some things wrong with the hopper after digging into my manual. There was no pitch on the deck at all. I put 1/4" pitch on the deck and boy what a pain it was to loosen those factory nuts on the adjusters. Also not sure how big of a deal this is but the tension spring on the main drive belt was only 5" in length when it should have been 5.75". I fixed both issues and all other belts were perfect to the manual specs.

So the deal with the horizonal engine is that it has a longer belt? My X540 had a vertical kawi 23hp. The dealer did tell me that the mule belt snaps every 100 hrs or so on the 227! The guy at the dealer is pretty stupid tho he told me to not look at the deck pitch and also to turn the machine off at full throttle (loud backfire that almost destroyed my hearing)
Horizontal engines have to make a bend in the belt to go from horizoltal to vertical and that looses power.

Which that backfire brings up a thought I had. Valves on these motors need to be adjusted every so often. When they get out of speck they start harder and you loose power. Puppypaws on here had a new hustler super z and his valves were off from factory and it almost makes me wonder.....
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  #25  
Old 05-03-2014, 08:48 AM
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Mowingman Mowingman is online now
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Engine backfire is normal on those Kohler engines at shutdown. Shutdown at half or full throttle to stop the backfire issue. It has to do with carb adjustments from the factory, to meet EPA requirements.
Your mule belt should not need replaced at 100hrs. Whoever told you that is just plain stupid. I don't care if it was a dealer. If a dealer told you that, he should not be a dealer. You can easily get 500hrs + on that belt life.
Leave the mower alone and just run it hard. It needs about 100 hours to get everything broken in, loosened up, and running at top effeciency.
I agree that the engine you have can be a little underpowered in tough mowing conditions, with a 61" deck. However, nobody should expect to mow at top speed in ANY type of mowing conditions. I rarely have ever seen ground that was smooth enough to mow at max machine speed and get a nice smooth cut. Use some common sense, listen to the engine sounds, and slow down a little when conditions are tough.
I have owned dozens of Grasshoppers when I had my mowing operations. Later, I was a Grasshopper dealer. This is a great machine that will last you a lifetime.
Use the highlift blades if side discharging, and use the medium lift blades when mulching. No need for messing around with other types of blades.
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2014, 09:27 AM
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Thought it was a kawi. Kholer you never need to adjust valves from what I understand. Posted via Mobile Device
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  #27  
Old 05-03-2014, 12:35 PM
mnicholsjr mnicholsjr is offline
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Its a kholer, the kawi was on my X540... The backfire issue I figured out at 2 hrs in just let the machine idle for a minute at half throttle then shut off. I have heard about the 100 hr break in issue. How prevalent is this in overall power? I never go top speed and I average about 4 -5mph. My issue was that I have to slow to a crawl otherwise the tractor would stall in thick stuff. I wonder if the drive belt tension being slightly under spec and no pitch to the deck could have been making the mower run harder.. I fixed both of those issues and will report back in as soon as my yard dries up so I can mow!
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  #28  
Old 05-03-2014, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnicholsjr View Post
Its a kholer, the kawi was on my X540... The backfire issue I figured out at 2 hrs in just let the machine idle for a minute at half throttle then shut off. I have heard about the 100 hr break in issue. How prevalent is this in overall power? I never go top speed and I average about 4 -5mph. My issue was that I have to slow to a crawl otherwise the tractor would stall in thick stuff. I wonder if the drive belt tension being slightly under spec and no pitch to the deck could have been making the mower run harder.. I fixed both of those issues and will report back in as soon as my yard dries up so I can mow!
Here is a relevant question... what height are you cutting at?
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  #29  
Old 05-03-2014, 02:22 PM
mnicholsjr mnicholsjr is offline
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good question, I have it set at 2 and 1/4 inches.
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  #30  
Old 05-03-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mnicholsjr View Post
good question, I have it set at 2 and 1/4 inches.
2 inches for the win!!!!!! raise it to 3 or higher. Most of us mow at 3.5 or more. At 2 1/4 not only are you mowing the current tall grass but you are mowing all the grass from the last time as well.
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