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Can I do this with a Toro 21" ????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    OK... I've been threatening to try this for a long time.
    I've just never tackled it and thought I would this winter.

    So I have two 21"ers ready for my winter monster garage project.

    What I want to do I think is remove the 2 cycle suzuki off the Toro proline.
    I want to put it and maybe the bars on a deep dome pusher deck.

    I "think" the bolt pattern will match up to the engine it will be replacing and best I can tell everything will clear. But the BIG KICKER is that the Toro is a BBC model . The idea was just to have it non-BBC pusher. I love the BBC feature, there's just no place for it.

    Is this even a possibility to do?
    Can I put some sort of blade adapter on the bottom of the engine or something?
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Why would you want to?
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, I was sorta hoping no one would ask that so I wouldn't have to "go there" with this thread... so that maybe I could find out what I'd like to know before getting into another cat-fight over the Toro's.

    But I may as well just say so and get it over with.
    Truth is, I'm just not much of a fan of the Toro's.

    I mean I love the little 2 cycle Suzuki engines and I love the BBC.
    And the mower bags pretty well.

    But I hate the drives on these things, and the height adjusters, and the fact it can't come close to mulching like a $200 mower can. The trans is never say die and everything. But the want to lock up out at the wheels after engagement. In other words, when you get to the end of a pass they don't want to freewheel to turn around. Not unless your horse@ss around with it or totally release the handle (which trips the BBC). Instead the wheels want to lock up and slide. I get tired of lifting the rear to turn, and other general wrestling. And it's too heavy to push around where the drive is pretty useless.

    I use a 21 RARELY now, else I'd have something else.... which I would kill in a short period of time. For me, I need the 2 cycle engines. So I was thinking of putting that engine on another deck or maybe fabricating one. What I have in mind now is a 'donor' deep dome deck from a light pusher.... which mulches pretty good. (another dead 4 stroke on it right now)
  4. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    your issues with turning may have to do with the adjustment of the drive belt tensioner. As to your question, yes, I think you can. It will take monkeying around a bit. I have actually done the reverse. The key issue will be the BBC.
  5. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    I agree. It's the belt tension. There is a round thing (adjuster) right at the back of the mower on the left where the drive cable goes into . Rotating that clockwise or counter will tighten/loosen. Try that before you frankenscag something.
    I love toro 21" and have the bbc w/suzuki you do. The height adjustment can be a pain b/c they are too tight or loose.

    What I would like to do is take off the smoky suzuki(great but old) and put on a new 4 cycle honda or kawi. Is that doable or worth it?
  6. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    OOOOOOOPS! posted in wrong spot!

    I just got my 26" back from the dealer and they put on abut 450$ worth of parts (not incl labor), all under warranty. At least exmark paid for it and didn't hassle us! Good for them.

    I have one of the first 26".

    What did they fix? There were at least 4 update kits I think!

    Among other things-
    1. drive cable update kit (snapped)
    2. tranny updat kit (new tranny)
    3. height adjuster update kit (i had it rigged w/ bungees)
    4. gas tank parts kit
    5. new handle bar (was cracked, but I didn't even know)

    So , basically except the deck, wheels, and engine it's all new!

    I would say that there is enough power in the engine, I've cut thick northest spring growth w/ no probs.

    There are pros and cons to the mower:
    Pro- more productive than 21" and fits in gates samller than 36"
    Pro- less pollution from 4 cycle engine
    Pro- bags well and catcher holds a good amount of grass and empties easy

    Con- quite heavy for a trim mower, makes the 21" toro seem light!
    con- more trailer space than reg 21"
    Biggest CON- too many things broke because of bad design, the only saving grace was that I was able to macgyver solutions to keep the mower going until winter when I took it in for an overhaul.
    con- bad reputation will make it hard to sell

    I'm going to give it a whirl again this spring, if it functions well I'll keep it, otherwise it's goodbye and hello new toro 21"

    In theory it's a good idea to have 26" instead of 21", but in reality the mower is heavy and had a lot of problems. I will say booo to exmark for putting out an inferior product without proper testing, but hooray to them at the same time for making it right by fixing it (at a cost to them of probably $800).

    If they fix all the bugs, make it lighter, and make it mulch I'd reccommend one. Until then, stick to 21".

    Bottom line on exmark is that I'm neutral. Mistakes on product, but they have done the right thing to try to fix it.
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I'll tell ya... over the years I've far beyond "through the wringer" with what was our only Toro dealer within like 100 miles... until not to long ago when we got another new dealer.

    Anyways, I never like them from day one of the very first one I ever bought. And I'd have to sit down and think about an hour to figure out what year that was. But I still have that machine and it is OLD. It's always done this and I finally gave up on it after returning it to the dealer over and over. I assumed it was just the nature of the beast and I would have to live with it.

    The crappy part was, there was no other choice for me in the way of a 2 cycle commercial bagger. So whaddaya do? Buy a mulching/discharge mower of some other type and not use the Toro's unless they are needed.

    All the Toro's I've used either did this from the start or started soon after.

    I understand what you guys are talking about on the drive tension. See at one point I thought it was just my machines... and I ran across a steal on a used one from a homeowner. So I snatched it up. I brought it home and used it around the house a little. SAME THING.

    Before coming here to Lawnsite, I never really knew how to do anything to these machines. But when I asked, I was told the same thing about the drives and how to adjust them. Of course I was ecstatic and ran right out to do the adjustments on them.

    Unfortunately that does not fix the problem. But I can now see where it would in some cases. Just not with mine. You can adjust them until they will not pull themselves without some help... and they still hang up.

    I'm no expert on these, but I think the issue is out at the wheels. I don't think that part out there releases like it should. After all the people I've talked to on Lawnsite about the Toro's.... I think that either I'm lucky in lemons, or this was ultimately caused by some initial adjustment the dealer didn't do at setup.... which causes some sort of damage. I say that because I know all the mowers came from the same dealership, and no out of the ordinary abuse was done to them to 'create' a problem.

    In other words, they are not getting dropped off trucks/trailers/curbs or anything like that to cause shock damage, etc. It's just something they do... and once in a while they'll even work like they are supposed to at random.

    Anyways, even if I could get the drive fixed, I still wouldn't have what I'm shooting for... which is a mower that can mulch too. I'm told mine struggle at mulching because of the BBC and all the deck space and power that takes up.

    So I figured I'd just try putting the Suzuki on a deep pusher deck.
    The engine is fine and I don't kill the 2 cycles like I do the 4 cycles.
    I don't have the issue of oil starvation with them.


    So anyways, what will I be looking at once I pull the Suzuki?
    Putting a blade adapter on the bottom?
  8. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    You must not have much experience with Toro 21" w/bbc all you have to to is just lower the handle a little and it will disengage the drive with out shutting down the blades its easy to do and they also mulch pretty good compared to other mowers. I have been using Toro's 21" w/bbc for over 15yrs and have never had a problem like your describing, I really think this is a user issue and not the mower. I hope you have good luck with your new design and that it works for you better.
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I wish I had time to play like this during the winter
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    ...and I've owned Toro 21's longer than you have been in business.
    (this is my second tour of duty)

    What I'm saying is, yes you can let off the handle and the mower will stop before you release it far enough to disengage the BBC. What I'm saying is the machine acts like you have brakes on the rear when the machine stops.

    You can't pull the machine backwards or turn it.
    Not without sliding the wheels or lifting them off the ground.

    Anyways, I knew this thread would take this turn instead of getting me good information.

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