Exmark Lazer 52" Hopping/Jerking forward

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by bluemonster, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. bluemonster

    bluemonster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Looking at picking up a used 2001 Exmark Lazer 52" off a friend who upgraded. The machine seems to run smooth but has 1800 hours and I can't be sure of it lifetime maintenance.
    The one real problem that bothers me is a distince jerking or hopping motion when the levers are pressed forward.
    I am very familiar with Exmark and already own a same era 48" Lazer. I know the dampeners on this 52" are completely shot, but think that dampeners really only have a smoothing effect on initial "acceleration". This machine seems to continue the hopping for several seconds especially if you really gun it hard with the levers fully forward. You can feather the levers carefully forward and the jerking is either slight or sometimes not present at all.
    I have searched these threads thoroughly, and see many reasons such as dampeners, air intrusion...
    I am wondering if this extended jerking may be a sign of failing wheel motors, and if there may be additional diagnostics to isolate, confirm or eliminate the wheel motors as the culprit.
    What it boils down to is if is just the dampeners it is a good deal if the motors are shot I will take a pass on it. Any help appreciated, Thanks.
  2. ricky86

    ricky86 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,139

    Fix the known problem first. Very difficult for it not to jerk if the dampeners are shot.
    Air will show in the oil. Make sure the arms, on pumps are tight. Make sure the hubs aren't loose
    on the wheel motors. Those 3 (dampeners, arms and hubs) items, have to be checked first before any hydro diagnosis can be done.
  3. bluemonster

    bluemonster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the advice. I am looking at this unit to buy, so replacing parts first is not really an option. I will, however, check the three things you mention as an easy fix, but may have to take a gamble.
    When you talk about the wheel hubs, I have never seen them apart so what is it should look for? Do I need to jack the tire up and see if there is play rotating back and forth? If so what does this indicate?
  4. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Just be aware that these things do have a certain lifespan. 1800 could be nearing it for major hydraulic components, even if you do figure this out. I think if you can, find one with lower hours and pay more. You still get a nice discount vs new. You could be looking at repairs in the next season or two totalling more than that machine is currently worth. I'd save this type of units for those who can fix them themselves and use canibalized or used parts.
  5. ricky86

    ricky86 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,139

    Let him move it. Watch the center of the rear wheels. The nut and wheel should move together. Any play, forward or back, leave it for some one else. The problem is most likely only the dampeners. Best advice I would give is never buy from a friend

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