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I've almost had it with exmark

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by mowing king, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. mowing king

    mowing king LawnSite Member
    from ct
    Posts: 85

    WE have 12 exmarks, 3 walkbehinds and 9 lazers.

    Here's my complaints.

    1. we only get about 300 hrs out of the clutches

    2. these are the hardest starting cold machines.takes 45 mintues to get 3-4 machines started when its below 30.

    3. Most shops don't really know how to fix these machines.

    we buy at least 2 machines a year, but iam going to start looking at different machines.these lazers just cost to much in BS time.
    the production and quality of cut are great if you can start them and get the blades to engage.

    What can exmark do do help with these problems. And please don't tell me Iam the only one in the country with these problems.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Mowing King,

    Thanks for the post.

    Clutches have been an ongoing area of improvement for several years. Most of the early clutches would fail in short order but the current rendition is pretty solid and we get very few complaints. There are some things that can improve the life of the clutch that your operators can do. First tell them to let the machines warm up so they can engage the clutches at 1/2 throttle rather than at full throttle. More importantly they should be disengaging the clutch at idle. Both of these can dramatically increase the life of the clutch. Your crews may be doing this already, if not you may want to explain the proper manner to engage and disengage the blades. The clutch not only has the task of transferring all the power from the engine to the blades to make them spin but even more importantly it has the task of bringing all three of those spinning blades to an abrupt stop. This is a tremendous load if not done properly and will certainly decrease the life of the clutch.

    Most of these engines will rarely be ran in temperatures that low for any length of time but it should be taking less than 45 minutes. These units really should be taken to a qualified technician for trouble shooting. If your spending that much time cranking on the starters, even among 4 units I doubt the starters are going to take much more. If your using the carburated, Kohler powered Lazers for snow removal you may want to invest in Kohlers "cold weather" kit. I doubt it will help with starting but it will help keep them running once they've fired.

    Send me an e-mail at terry.eckert@exmark.com with the name of your local dealer and some of the technical issues they've been struggling with. It could be something we can cover in one of our training seminars.


  3. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740


    I dont understand your statement about these engines not running in temps that low for any length of time? Im up in Michigan, and generally we start to have temps that low in Oct. We typically work into late December when temps can be much lower than 30 for a daily high. If possible we work full days, and ive never had a problem with a Lazer starting in the cold. I can go out in the middle of winter, and usually my machines will start. Im really happy with my exmarks.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I only have one lazer but it has 1000 hours and the clutch is still ok. And I don't even baby it by engaging at 1/2 throttle like I should.

    Here in the south I can't imagine the use for an Exmark when it's 30 degrees out, since the grass isn't growing then and here the leaves are mostly gone. Mine starts right up at that temp, though. The battery getting cold is the only thing that makes the start a little weak.
  5. unclepaul

    unclepaul LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Have 97 98 01 lazers all have problems with engagement. Ive had one replaced and problem started again. Other than that they have been great,going on 2000 hrs on 97. I run these mowers hard all season. My buddies run other makes and what a nightmare with repairs.
  6. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    you sure you don't have some water in your local fuel supply? i've never heard of one being that hard to start (remember, not just exmark uses kawi and kohler). also, what's so hard to work on? ever tried to take a walker apart or work on one (i have, it's not fun). hopefully things will be better for you in '03 and it'll warm up.
  7. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    Perhaps he is refering to pull-start machines being hard to start? My 12.5 36 metro is impossible to start when its below about 35, and takes 15-20 pulls between 35-40. 40-50 Still hard but not terrible, and above 50 is fine. This is a well maintained machine, but the oil simply turns to mud when its so cold. No fault of exmark, maybe a fault of Kawi but I doubt theres anything to do other than store it in heat during the late fall.
  8. unclepaul

    unclepaul LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    I had a 48 in metro with 14hp kohler temp was never a factor, pull start also! But my lazors are all fussy even the efi when the temp goes below 50 degrees. In the middle of the winter forget it without a full charge. I can live it.:)
  9. proscaper

    proscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    I live in a pretty cold state also and I have found that using synthetic oil helps allot because it doesn't get real thick like regular motor oil. It's more expensive but it also doesn't need to be changed as often because it doesn't break down as fast.

  10. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Hey guys,

    On of our guys in the lab reminded me of a couple of things. All are good points. He also mentioned the even the best fuel can be an issue at different periods during the year.

    Fuel actually has more than one blend. In many regions there will be a summer and a winter blend. What the fuel companies are trying to adjust is the volatility of the fuel or the fuels ability to go from liquid to vapor. Gasoline as a liquid does not burn. It must go from liquid form to vapor form before it will ignite. PLEASE DON'T TRY TO PROVE THIS AT HOME. Just trust me on this one. Anyway the higher the ambient temperature the more easily fuel goes from liquid to vapor and the colder the ambient temperature the more difficult it is for the fuel to vaporize.

    Technically they make the fuel more volatile for winter use and less volatile for summer use.

    This can cause a few different issues. In the fall if your supplier still has the summer blend in the bulk storage tanks you should see more difficult starting as the temperature begins to drop. In the spring you'll need to be extra careful around fuel and fuel vapor. If you spill winter blended fuel on a warm day it is much more likely to go to vapor and thus be much more likely to be ignited accidentally.

    All that being said if youÂ’re having difficulty starting your machines in colder temperatures you really should get them checked out or at least change out the spark plugs. Some engines can be more sensitive to temperature than others. A good example is the old 14 hp single we used on walk behinds for several years. It was a great engine if the temperature during the day dropped below 50 degrees you couldn't get one started to save your life. Simply changing the spark plug would usually solve the problem. A lot of guys would put a new plug in right away for spring and replace it again the first time during the fall that they had trouble starting it.



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