Changing oil in Exmark Lazer HP 52 23

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fubba, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Fubba

    Fubba LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    I now have 50 hours on my machine. I changed the oil after the first five like the manual said. However, they say every 100 hours which I think is like cars. The manual says every 7500 miles because of the government trying to conserve oil. I guess I will change mine every 50. Should I do it sooner, or later? Also, can I now use synthetic oil? How do you change the oil in this particular model? I did it at 5 hours, but the oil drain plug is extremely hard to get to with a stupid allen wrench. Do any of you have any suggestions for making this easier? The dadgum ROPS is in the way. Just another excuse for taking it off I guess. I'm just afraid that as soon as I do, I'll flip it. Thanks for the help guys.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    i change every 40 -50 hrs depending on how dirty the oil is. i am not too fond of synthetics . had a car engine shoot craps with it. i always use valvoline sae 30
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I have an Exmark 23HP with about 550 hours since new. I have changed the oil AND filter every 40-45 hrs and have used synthetic since new. So far no problems. Now, I also have a brand new Scag w a 25hp Kaw and intend on running it to about 150hrs before switching to synthetic. I've been told this is a better way of breaking in the motor. My Exmark is still running strong and no real consumption either.

    When it comes right down to it...oil, filters and grease...are real cheap insurance.
  4. Fubba

    Fubba LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    Do I need to wait to use synthetic then? Or not at all? What about that crappy little drain plug?
  5. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I think if I were to do it all over again, I would wait until about 100hrs before I went the synthetic route. The idea is to let the engine break in normally and then give it an oil that will maintain it better and longer such as synthetic.

    As far as the engine drain plug, I've never had a any problems with mine...although I don't have the ROPS system on it either.
  6. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    If you are having a hard time reaching the allen hole, see if one of those allen wrenchs with the ball on the end will work better. Remember, don't over tighten it when you're done.
  7. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Personally I see no reason to use synthetics.

    The Mobil 1 website has a "myths about synthetic oil" section. It said one of the myths was that oil change intervals are extended with synthetics. Mobil 1 said this was absolutley false. They said you still had to follow the engine manufacturers recommended intervals. While the oil may not break down, the other engine systems still allow it to get contaminated with dirt, fuel and moisture. Now, that said, the Mobil 1 site no longer says this, since they started selling their "long life" synthetics a year or two ago. You are already paying a premium for the synthetics, so are you willing to pay more for the long life synthetics? Not me.

    My Kohler engines get a good quality 10W30, and filter at 40-50 hours. I happen to like Valvoline, but feel that any good name brand oil is perfectly fine. It is more important that you simply change the oil and filter, than the brand you use.

    Remember that Kohler recommends the use of 10W30 oil only. Other grades such as SAE 30 have caused lifter noise in the past. Nothing but 10W30 for mine.

    For filters I use the Kohler filter - dealer is nearby and they are reasonably priced. I have no problem with a good cross such as Wix.

    As for waiting 100 hrs or so to switch to synthetics "to allow a correct engine break in". Hmmm. The Corvette and many other performance cars come straight from the factory with Mobil 1 in the crankcase. Polaris ATVs come from the factory with 0W40 synthetic in the crankcase. I think the idea of waiting 100 hours is old school thinking. The Mobil 1 website talks about this.

    I have one use for synthetic oil, cold starting in the winter. The synthetic does not turn to honey like regular dyno oil does. My wife's diesel Jetta with 600K on it, that will barely crank over when it is below -20 outside, with 15W40 dyno oil. I switch to Mobil 1 synthetic for one oil change in the dead of winter. The diesel cranks amazingly well. The rest of the year the regular 15W40 goes back in the sump. The log splitter with its old 14hp cast iron Wisconsin engine is used in -20 or lower weather, so it get 10W30 synthetic for easy starting. The Polaris ATV gets 0W40 synthetic for easy starting.

    If you have an engine that leaks (as most do) or consumes oil, it will leak or consume more with synthetic oil - they say it is slipperier, thus slides past rings, seals, gaskets etc. In most cases with newer equipment, this is not a problem - just something to watch. The Jetta diesel is one amazing engine, but it leaks a bit here and there after 600K. With Dyno oil in place I never notice or smell the leaks - just see the minor evidence under the car. It consumes about 1/2 quart of oil between 5000 km oil changes. For that one winter oil change with synthetic it consumes about 4 times as much oil, and I can smell the leaking synthetic burn on the engine or exhaust. Believe me, it stinks when it burns.

    Some guys claim better gas milage with synthetic oil. Over 100,000 miles in a car, maybe this is useful - but does it offset the additional cost of the synthetic? In a small piece of mowing equipment, the fuel savings won't be significant enough to count.

    Some guys claim the engine runs cooler. Maybe a degree or two. The engine was designed to cool itself correctly with dyno oil. What will the extra degree or two do for you?

    Some guys claim the engine "feels more powerful" with synthetic oil. I think this is more justification for the extra cost of the oil, than true power. It would be insignificant at best.

    It amazes me that we read posts about finding a cheap $2 oil filter rather than using the expensive $6 ones from the dealer, yet "my equipment gets nothing but (more expensive) synthetic oil". Hmmm, go figure. Won't spend the money on the filter, but "heard that synthetic oil is better", so will gladly spend the money there. In fact, when using synthetic oil you should be using a better filter to filter out finer particulate matter so the synthetic can indeed extend the oil change interval.

    I run my cars and equipment until the bodies and other things fall off around the motors. I change the oil religiously with a good filter and name brand dyno oil, and I have never had oil related engine problems. At most, my car engines consume 1/2 quart between oil changes as they age. Jetta with 600K, Chevy wagon with 485K, Chevelle with 430K. Lots of high mileage stuff here that won't die, all using dyno oil.

    So no, I can't justify the use of synthetic oil in most cases. To me, it does nothing (other than the cold start advantages) for the extra money. It doesn't extend the life of my engines.

    Sorry can't help you on the drain plug. Don't have that particular engine. Is it a plug or a valve? If you can, switch the plug to a small valve like they use on the 28hp EFI engine Kohler. 10mm wrench to open the tap and drain the oil. The tap accepts a hose to route the oil down into your drain pan. Very simple once it is setup. I get the drain valves from Exmark or the local small engine shop. Sometimes I have to adapt the pipe size to make them fit.

    Don't forget to grease the unit regularly also. Grease is much cheaper than parts. Some points need greasing more often that others - pay close attention to this.

    Lastly - clean or replace the air filter regularly. Check it often. If you are sucking in dirt, or restricting airflow - bad. Ingested dirt will cause cylinder and valve wear very fast on the combustion side, and contaminate the oil causing wear on all moving parts inside the engine. Dirt is a huge killer of small engines.

    Change the oil, change the filter, grease - at regular intervals - and you will never have a problem. You will get tired of the equipment before the engines wear out, all without using synthetics.

    In the end it is your money and your choice. Can you justify it, or do you just want it because you were told it is good? What will it do for you that dyno oil won't?

  8. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    The 48 lazer drain plug is also hard to get to. I use a 10mm socket, then attach a 3/8 knuckle universal adapter, then a 2 inch extension, then the 3/8 ratchet. It is still a pain, but maybe this combo will work on yours as well.

    I have used the Kohler oil only, but change at 50 hours and never have to worry about it using any oil. Filter change each time also.

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