finally some luck that was directed towards me! went into the dealer 3 days ago to pay on the acount and just happened to ask if they had any trade-ins coming. well sure enough they had a 2000 toro 253 with a "blown motor". the dealer only wanted 700 for the machine so i tell him i'd be back in the morning. picked up the mower the next day and take it to the mechanic, (don't use the dealer's shop when you can get an ex-employee of the dealer to do labor for half rate) we start devling into the motor deeper and its not blown, its a bad coil, its hitting on one cyclinder. my mechanic goes to get a new head gasket and tells them all about the motr that isn't blown. went back to the dealer today to get a new coil and new fluids for the mower and he sarcastically/ jokingly says "don't think you're getting your 10% discount anymore". sorry to ramble but i just neede to celebrate some good luck finally.