Z / Bac-Vac combo problems Long

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by gardengnome, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. gardengnome

    gardengnome LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    I bought a Z about two years ago, before the remote air filter was standard, and added a BacVac shortly after. I am currently at a crossroads, either I will switch brands or I need an acceptable solution.
    As far as the BacVac itself, from day one I've had a gap at the top of the clamshell which allows vast quantities of dust and dirt to blow forward into the operator's neck, I believe this to be the result of a bent hinge, but can't seem to remove the hinge to straighten it. I'm looking into a gasket that would seal this gap from the outside.
    The side walls of the clam shell are caving. the factory rep suggested that this was the result of driving with the bagger open. Needless to say that is bunk! With tha latch down the hooks are pulling against the pins and pushing the sides in. I tried reinforcing the sides with 1/2" angle, but it doesn't work. Any suggestions?
    I believe the entire unit has too many small parts (e.g. the system holding the bagger on consists of eight different (loose) parts). I have changed this to two pins with two clips which are all attache d to the bagger so I won't have to worry about losing them. I'd like to get rid of the idler pulley, chain and spring on the blower unit, use a shorter belt and tension it by latching the blower into place. Can this be done?
    I'm looking at attaching "T-handles" on the hose clamps unless Hustler has since come out with a quick connect??
    I am very concerned about the entire mounting bracket, it is my contention that the bracket causes heat build up in the engine area and should be redesigned/modified by cutting holes / slits in it. I am at a loss about how much material can be removed without losing structural integrity.
    Since I've put the bagger on I've had the following problems with the mower (hustler does not seem to want to accept I may have a valid issue).
    Shortly after installing the vac, my airfilter clogged, a new filter only lasted five hours! Poor airflow with the vac attached!? Thanks to the dealer Hustler agreed to pay for the remote air filter which by then was standard on the new units.
    The right wheel drive started lagging. The dealer confirmed the unit was sluggish and not performing to spec. they contributed it to the unit sucking false air. Just in case I paid for a transmission fluid change (the mower was less then a year old and had less then 250hrs on it). I turned the elbow horizontal on the outflow so that any air or foaming would not just go to the right wheel. the outcome of that was that I needed a trans cooler Hustler paid for the cooler, I paid for labor. Now I've been down for two weeks, the engine is skipping and the electrode on the rear plug is being bent by something. Hustler tells me i need to de-carb the engine (The first one in fifteen years, ?????), a minimum of $300.
    Don't get me wrong, I like my Z, but from my a-technical point of view, the bac vac caused heat build up, which in turn caused transmission problems and possible engine damage. Did I just get a bad apple or am I going to get the same problems if I upgrade (and transfer my vac) to a super Z or Super mini.
    I've been looking at the wright stander, the Toro, the tiger cub or replacing this one with a Hustler. Any thoughts??
     
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    I have forwarded this message to our customer service department for further investigation.

    Pj
     
  3. gardengnome

    gardengnome LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    PJ,
    I appreciate that. I had a lenghty discussion with the dealer this am. The rear cylinder had major carbon build up, he's cleaning it up and installing new valves as well as BP4 plugs.
    We discussed the heat problem at length. Although he will not outright agree with my assertion, he is definitely leaning in that direction. I should add that my unit is one of the first to be made available for the Z (he says), The mounting bracket has a cut out with a sleeve which lines up with the exhaust (sort of). The inside of the mounting bracket is covered in soot so the exhaust is not all going out the sleeve. We're (well, he is) going to knock the sleeve out and install the extension which you currently sport. I'll probably give him the go ahead to cut a series of holes in the bracket to aid in air flow/heat dissipation.
     
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    Thanks for speaking up about your problems. You and I have the same problems, that means there are others.Maybe if more Hustler owners with problems started speaking up, something would get changed for the furture.

    Gene
     
  5. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    I've got a Super Z with almost 900 hours on it now and with several hundred hours of dirty dusty leaf cleanup on it. It was one of the first without the standard remote air filter too. We don't feel we abuse the machine, but it does the work we bought it for. It is not an owner run machine, but rather it is at the mercy of my employees at least 75% of the time. I've never had a significant issue with the Bac Vac. We have replace the belt that drives the spindle once...it got pinched when removing the blower assembly from the deck...our fault. We had the belt in stock and we were back in business (What commercial operator doesn't stock all standard wear items anyway). We've never experienced the machine blowing debris on our necks...not ever. Our pivot pins and latches are fine. Everything works great. We've compared it to a Walker for leaf cleanup which is supposed to be the cats meow, and it blew it away. I cant imagine who thinks they work good for that. The Hustler blew it away, no competition whatsoever. I've never had a heat build up related to the Bac Vac or it's mount. In fact the first summer we never took the mount off. Never a heat issue related to that. If you're having a problem with heat, I'd start checking things like fuel delivery, air cleaners, fuel filters, plugs, cooling fins on engine. I've never had a heat issue related to the Vac or any of it's components. If you're going to throw your unit out for scrap, let me know. I'll come take it off your hands. Hustler has got the best Vac for a midmount hands down. We wouldn't offer leaf cleanup without it...and we're dead serious about large scale leaf cleanups. We could basically run the Super Z 24/7 on leaf cleanups in the fall. It has never let us down or stranded with a rake. My .02 worth. I'd let the guys at Hustler have a chance with your machine. They have never let me down and their customer service is some of the best in the business. I hate seeing a good product get bashed on a public forum and for people to think all the Vac's out there are junk from just one users comments. There is a balance.
     
  6. gardengnome

    gardengnome LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    JLC
    In talking to the dealer I learned he has only sold about a handfull of vacs. the only other which is used commercially is also on a super. Peraps the bigger pumps and motors make a difference
     
  7. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    Consider your self lucky if you are not having any problems with your Super Z. Is it a 52" or 60"deck?

    I couldn't even mow all day with the standard air filter in dry conditions. Hard to belive you can do cleanups with out the engin choking out.

    Good Luck to you and your machine.

    Gene
     

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