Hot Rod Zero Turns? Anyone Customizing?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Eric D, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Can I increase the speed of my zero?

    I understand that a lot of folks look for reliability and do what they have to in maintenance to keep their zeros working. I’m the type of person that sometimes, doesn’t know to leave well-enough alone. I have a Toro Z-Master with a 60" TURBO FORCE deck, and a 25Hp Kawasaki. It is rated at 10 mph. I can’t help but wonder if I were to change the pulley ratio for the pumps to up their rpm, could I increase speed to say something closer to 15 mph? I know that there are kits for the eXmarks to increase ground speed, but I have no idea what is included in this kit.

    Anyone doing some “Tim Alan, the tool man” mods on their zeros?:weightlifter:


    Eric D
  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    hey tim sounds like fun
  3. zero

    zero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    You hit the nail on the head Eric, its all about pulley diameter. By changing pulley diameter you increase or decrease the rpm of the pump thereby increasing or decreasing the pressure of the hydraulic fluid sent to the drives. Caution must be taken, max hydraulic line and case pressures shouldn't be exceeded (pump $ drive) or a violent release of high pressure fluid and or shrapnel could occur at groin and leg level.
  4. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    By modifying the original purchase, does this effect your warranty at all?
  5. zero

    zero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Yes, I would think it would effect the warranty. If you change one part of a "system" it changes the operational parameters of the entire system. I would say it depends on your dealer, he may not want to honor any part of the warranty due to the excessive speed that the mower was not designed for. or he may think its cool
  6. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    I can see your point about warranty issues. My unit is a 2004 model and is out of warranty, so this isn't a concern for me. I know that there is a kit that eXmark has for some of their units to boost the speed from 10 to 15 miles per hour. I could be wrong, but depending on what is in the eXmark kit, it would make me think the hydraulics system can handle it.

    A lot of areas I’m cutting have long flat areas that increasing speed could greatly reduce my cutting times.

    I am also curious in knowing if others would be interest in souping up their zeros if they had a reliable source for hardware to do it. Looking around at other industries, like cars, trucks, quads, motorcycles, and the like, you can find sources for equipment to make them better and to allow one to customize them. I haven’t seen this in the zero turn arena. There maybe good reasons why not.

    Would there be an interest if you could add port fuel injection on your older carburetor unit? What if there was a better PTO clutch system you could change to would there be an interest in this?

    I know for a lot of folks they just use their equipment as a tool, nothing more, but for some people like myself, I take a lot of pride in the equipment I choose and like to keep everything in tip-top shape. I also like to add or change things to my liking.

    I like customizing, even my truck, I like special wheels and tires, I like adding and changing things on the engine. I guess I like the option to do the same with my zero turn.

    Eric D
  7. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I'd be interested.
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    Let us know how many hours it take you to blow the unit up....
  9. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Posts: 213

    Unless you are mowing a football field, I wouldn't mow at 15 mph. I think the higher speed mowers are meant for those who are driving across parking lots to get from one section of the yard to another. But I can understand some extremely flat, long strips of grass that could possibly be mowed at that speed, but I wouldn't go modifying my mower (I'm no mechanic) but I'd keep that in mind when buying my next mower - one that has "more power!" (compliments of Tim "the tool man" Taylor, Home Improvement)
  10. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    I believe you are right about the high speed being for transport more then cutting. One question I have, at what speed does the cut quality become unacceptable? If I’m getting a good cut at 10 mph now, will it really degrade going to 11 or 12 mph? I understand that there are other variables like moisture and grass height. But under dry conditions would the higher speed cut be good enough?

    Thanks for your input,

    Eric D

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