Mower recommendtion needed

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by t4t3r, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. t4t3r

    t4t3r LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    New member and new homeowner as well...

    I'm looking for a mower for my yard which is a little less than half acre but includes a pretty steep hill (20-25 degrees maybe) in the back. I've done a good bit of research on WB mowers and the oil starvation issue that may be caused by this hill worries me. Are the Kaw engines with pressurized lubrication my only option for non-commercial mowers? I see everyone here mention that they use their 21/22 WB's for slopes, but I assume they are using commercial machines. What do you reccomend?
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  2. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I was in the same boat as you. I burned out a Briggs "Intek" engine on a 21" WB, most likely from the long slope on one side of my house. Fortunately it was a cheap/easy rebuild...but regardless it did happen.

    Even with engines that have pressurized lubrication the manufacturer will specify the greatest slope and running duration the engine will tolerate -- so don't think that this type of engine is "failsafe" on very steep hills.

    Anyway, I ended up buying a used Toro Proline 32" with a Kohler 'command' engine (12.5HP, spin on oil filter). Since the mower is very maneuverable and I never cut when the grass is wet I cheat a little and diagonally mow that hill to keep the plane of the engine more toward level.
  3. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I have similar hills and, in fact, mine are a little steeper, so I wouldn't use my ZTR on them. Too dangerous, in my opinion. I had the same concern as you do for the engine of a walk-behind mower I wanted to buy for those hills. My resolution was that I ended up getting a BOP Quick 36 Samurai with a Kawasaki engine. Had if for more than a year now, and there has been no evidence of oil starvation while using it on the hills. But I've read on this and other sites pertaining to lawn equipment that some who got the same mower as mine but with the B&S engine did have severe smoking problems on hills. Haven't read anything that indicates those B&S engines seized, however. I strongly recommend the Samurai, by the way.
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    Yes, I recommend the Quick 36" Samurai Dually ... no way you can go wrong with that machine !!

    Interesting ... I haven't heard that !!
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    After mowing something like 5 thousand lawns, you can ask my two seized engines how I learned this:

    What I do to prevent engine seizure is I run Full synthetic oil in ALL of my engines.
    And it costs, I believe it's $7 a quart.
    But I can run that on one oil change for the season and it's a whole lot cheaper than a new engine.
    You still need to check the oil, because...

    The first engine I seized in my first year ran regular oil.
    The second engine that seized on me was one that gave me trouble for many years,
    I was so tired of it that I wouldn't even check the oil in it anymore...
    This 2-quart capacity engine had less than a pint of very black synthetic oil left in it when it did seize,
    if it was that much, lets just say very little came out.
    So synthetic-ran engines can and do seize, but they don't seize nowhere near as easy.

    Oh, you can definitely run them on most any incline you can think of, I can almost guarantee it will NOT seize.
    Check the oil now, every single use.

    By the way...
    Wal-mart sells a store brand synthetic by the 5-quart bottle for just under $20.
    Shelf life on oil is about 5 years, you'd be looking at some savings there.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009

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