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Thinking about buying a used mower, but it was left out over winter? Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mkjellinger, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. mkjellinger

    mkjellinger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    So I found a decent deal on a '04 48" exmark turf tracer hp in my area. No hour counter, but he estimates 300 hours. The tires are about half worn making me think more like 600+ hours. It started right up w/ the electric start. Blades sounded good. He's looking for $2500, but when I went to look at it it was in this guy's garage. It appeared to recently have been covered with snow (snow still sitting on top of the deck), the deck and blades were rusty too.
    There was also snow/ice sprayed around the garage like he engaged the blades before I showed. So, it may very well have sat in a pile of snow, completely exposed to the elements. I'm thinking about taking a pass on it, but haven't been able to find any concrete info on what an exmark acts like after being left out over winter.
    Anyway, my question is: is this worth the $2500 and what will have to be put into it to make it 100% seeing as it was probably left outdoors in a MN winter?

    Been a big fan of the site for a long time, finally setup account! There's more experience and expertice here than anywhere else I've found on the internet, thanks for all the help in advance!
  2. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    i'll sell you a brand new everride warrior with a 54" for $6300

    WREBELMACHINE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    I probably would not worry too much about it. Most cutters in this area all leave there stuff out on the trailers all through the year!
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    All of the truely important parts are sealed against moisture. Little stuff you may have problems with would more than likely be associated with the electrical system. Stuff like the blade clutch, safety switches and electrical connections.
  5. davink

    davink LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 73

    is there a good dealer / service in your area - talk to them, get an idea of their hourly labor - is it worth the cost of having them overhaul it for you - his asking price does not seem bad. Maybe it is worth it. This kind of seems like it is one of those "have to go with your gut" kind of things...
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    For a 3-4 y.o. hydro floating deck that's likely as good of a deal as you're going to find this time of year... Normally I'd say ~2000-2500 but the demand for these machines is high and sellers know it. What you might do is walk up there with 24 x 100 dollar bills, nice crisp ones, flash that in the man's face and ask if he'll take 2400 for it.

    (Then if he says no dig around your pockets and find all those 20's and 10's and 5's you put in there to make an extra 100 out of) :laugh:

    I think they run well over 4,000 brand new, likely close to 5...
    A Toro gear drive float deck is 4g+, hydro's are more, not sure on Exmark but they're not much cheaper.

    It just needs some TLC, wash it and clean it up good (compressed air would be better than water, but if you have no air then warm water and soap), grease it up, change the oil and filter, new inline fuel filter, spark plug, air filter and wrap, fill the tank with premium 93 octane, sharpen the blades and don't worry about the rust that stuff wears off.

    And you should get an easy 8-10 years out of it, I'm still running my 1997 model, might need a new engine one of those years.
  7. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    The tires are worn out? Thats closer to 1300 or more hours than 300 then.
  8. Military Lawns

    Military Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 321

    For that price you could purchase a brand new W/B. I would not touch that at ALL for that price!

  9. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 939

    Next visit grab each spindle check for any wobble then look the deck over real well especially around the spindles for rust and dents. Stop by unannounced and see how it starts . Look for smoke color at start up. Check the oil, if it looks clean then hopefully the guy took care of the motor. How are the hydros do they pull even over a long distance or does it track to one side ? The tire wear is what spooks a few of us . No way those tires should have hardly any wear at 600 hours. If you're set on buying it start at 2k, remember he wants money not the mower !
  10. heybruck34

    heybruck34 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 300

    I won't even talk to someone about equipment they have "test-run" before I got there. I want to be able to put my hand flat on the muffler for a couple seconds if I'm going to think about buying it. Most things will start right up once they're warm; starting up cold is a different issue entirely.

    I agree with Atlantic Lawn- put the deck on a block or two and grab the blade and spindle to check for bearing slop. Also some other good tips for you.

    Finally- call or visit some other dealers to see what they want for similar units. That will tell you what kind of deal you are getting.

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