Basic Ztr Maint. questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bladeheart, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. bladeheart

    bladeheart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I own a 2004 model Snapper 61" it has a 25hp Kawasaki gas engine. It has 140 hrs on it now. So here are a few questions, I am sure they are basic, but I am trying to figure out what to do that might improve performance, hours of useful life etc.

    1. It has a canister air cleaner on it, the stock filter is a Fleetguard, however, I went to the local auto parts store and they happen to have a wix filter but they dont have the inner filter. Is the wix filter a better filter or no?

    2. Has anyone used a better plug than the ones that it comes with, such as a bosh +4?

    3. I would like to change the hydro pump oil, and add synthetic instead of standard 20w 50. Good or bad idea?

    4. I bought the extended warranty which supposedly if I use their oil (opti oil) the will replace or fix the engine. I am not holding my breath. I wonder if i could run synthetic and they wont know. or screw the warranty mainly because I dont trust them or my dealer to provide me with help getting it fixed.

    thanks for the help in adavance

  2. riches139

    riches139 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Go to
    Buy six filters, get shipping free. They have the inner filters. They sell wix only.

    Can't hurt to try a higher grade plug. Make sure it is an exact cross.

    Personally I would stick with a good grade oil. Not sure, but might cause overpressure in system.

    If you paid for extended warranty, why not use it? Opti oil is good stuff in my opinion.
  3. themowingguy

    themowingguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    i bought the 52 inch version like your mower and i hope you like yours as much as i do mine.i took the extra warranty i figured it was worth whatever the oil cost extra for 4 years coverage on the motor.
  4. bladeheart

    bladeheart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I am quite happy with the snapper, however, I have had a problem with the machine going straight, and the speed of the machine in reverse. My dealer tried to fix the speed in reverse (it was insanely slow) he did get the machine to speed up a bit, although I now have a machine that is not as fast in forward and the dang thing will not go in a straight line with the sticks centered. I am about to give up on my dealer (AGAIN) and try to figure it out myself. Anyone delt with this issue?

  5. themowingguy

    themowingguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    check your owners manual it will tell you how to adjust the plates where your sticks are to adjust them.i think they are right in front of the sticks and have two bolts that you loosen and tighten to adjust them.if your dealer is like mine he talks a good game but does not know his butt from a hole in the ground...found out too little to late ,oh well my fault.
  6. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    just picked up the 52" Fastback last Thursday. I am totally impressed with this machine! I just mowed an account this evening, it started raining cats & dogs on me but I kept going and the Snapper kept slinging clippings like nobody's business.

    Try another dealer, hope you can get it taken care of, good luck.

  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Use what the manufacturer recommends, especially if you paid for an extended warranty.
  8. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304


    If you have constant steering drift to the side with the sticks equally advanced, it probably is NOT caused by adjustment of the hydro sticks or the control rods.

    The first thing to check is that the hydro pumps are actualy in neutral when the sticks are out in the neutral notch. You do this by jacking up the rear so that both drive tires are off the floor an inch or two. Start the engine, and release the parking brake. With the sticks still in their neutral notches - will either rear tire creep forward or reverse ? If so, then adjust the length of the control rod till the tires stand still in neutral. That is usually all that these adjustments can control - but it is very important, because , both controls must be exactly centered on neutral , in order that they work in exact parallel with each other.

    Next, if the sticks have any adjustment for tilt angle in them, make sure they are exactly at equal angles. Put both sticks out in neutral, then carefully pull them out of the notches and swing them in over your lap. Do the tips or butts of the hand grips almost touch and are they straight across from each other? If not, adjust one to be straight with the other.

    Is there any adjustable stop at the forward full travel of the sticks? If so, adjust this so that the hydro pump is pulled open full bore just as the stick hits this adjustable limit. Make them equal for both sticks. Some machines have these - many do not.

    Now, if you have your system exactly centered on neutral on both sides, and stick angles and stops exactly the same on each side the machine is set to go straight if both sticks are advanced equally.

    If it still is crabbing off to one side, check out the air pressure in your tires. It is probably very low on the side that the machine steers to. Get the correct tire pressure from your owners manual, and set them very precisely equal on each side. Do this for all four tires. It will affect cut quality also, because this is what your mowing deck is guaged from.

    If after all this you still feel the same problem, then look for the bypass bleeders on your hydro pumps. These are a brass 5/8 in cap nut that are used to release the hydro pressure in your system so that the machine can be put in neutral and towed or pushed if the engine won't start. If these bypass valves aren't snuged down with about 10 ft lbs. of torque, then they can leak internally and the pump they are loose on is much less efficient than the other one that is tight. This will make your Z steer like crap, and it will affect it equally in foreward or reverse.

    Since you neglected to say what model your Snapper is - I have assumed that it is a pro type [not a homeowner model] and that it has separate pumps and wheel motors. If so this info should have some application for you, and when you get it figured out and adjusted right, why don't you visit your dealer and show him how to set up a hydro correctly ?
  9. Top Notch

    Top Notch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Fleetgard filters are some of the best.

    Cummins owns Fleetgard. I buy all of my filters through the local Cummnis house. My diesel truck is a Cummins and my ZTR has a canister filter like you're describing.
  10. bladeheart

    bladeheart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    First off, thank you to everyone that has posted with some helpful suggestions. Sam, It is a pro model snapper. I will print off your directions and attempt to figure this out on Sunday, from what you say, I think that there might be several things wrong with the hydros. The bleed off cap might be loose, the steering is really out of adjustment, however I do check the psi. in the tire's daily. I have to just a couple of lbs off and the thing is almost unmanageable. Thank you all again. I have lurked on this site for years. I wish I would have posted years ago!
    -- Ryan

    p.s my dealer is talks like he knows what is going on, although he can't fix anything right. He makes me so mad I could scream. I want to buy a leaf/bagger for the fall and he won't even get a price back to me. The phone rings and he will talk on it for 20 minutes while I have to wait. This is not a good thing since he is open when the sun is shining. I will stop this rant now. :(

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