Ferris IS 1500Z Pro's & Con's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TJS, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. 026TB4U

    026TB4U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Well, I have to chime in again since I just spent a lot of time on my mower this weekend. I will admit that changing the oil absolutely sucked. I tried to use a piece of notched pvc pipe (only thing I had) to divert the oil to the hole and since it wasn't pitched in that direction, a lot of the oil got under the engine and all over my belts.

    Someone mentioned a tube in a previous post. Mine didn't come with a tube, just a plastic drain plug with an o-ring on it. Was it supposed to come with a tube?

    Does anyone know if a drain valve cab be put on these engines? I've seen them for cars so that all you have to do is turn a valve to get the oil flowing. A tube could then be attached to the valve and it could be routed to a drain pan out of the hole. Anybody know where to get one or what thread they take?

    I also removed the deck to install a mulch kit and put a new set of blades on. That was hard due to the weight of the deck, but I found no engineering flaws there. Very straightforward and not bad for my first time. The mulch kit didn't get installed because I was missing the hardware kit. Not sure if I lost it or it was never shipped. I failed to check it when I received it.

    Mowingman saying the Gravely rides better than the 1500Z is crazy but I would expect that from a gravely dealer. I rode the comparable Gravely (I think the 148Z) and it wasn't even close. The ferris rides much better. As far as non-greased moving parts, check the manual. Aside from the shocks (which don't require lubing), there aren't many moving parts that are not greaseable. I also looked at the black pads also mentioned previously and don't see the concern there. If they do wear, which mine show absolutely no sign of doing, they are screwed in and easily replaceable.

    We have been having a lot of rain for the past two weeks so I had to mow wet bahia that was easily 12" tall. It took a couple of passes to mulch it up really fine since I didn't have the mulch kit installed, but it really performed well.

    As a new 1500Z owner (and a new ztr owner), that is my personal unbiased experience on this mower.
  2. mow4fun

    mow4fun LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I have a simplicity Citation and just used it so far about 4 times and I am thrilled with it from cut to ease of operation. I think it is a well built and solid machine and I definitly like it more than the Toro 4400 that I tested. I used to have a Simplicity tractor and I think the cut if very close to my old tractor if not the same when it comes to striping and quality. As to maintenance, I have to say that I don't do it and I let my dealer take care of that and I never heard him complain. :)
  3. 026TB4U

    026TB4U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

  4. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    I know this is an old thread, but reading through it and being a 2005 1500 52/25 owner with many hours on it i have to say all the ferris complainers here were way out of touch. Problems changing the oil? Get a $30 vac system and you suck it out without spilling a drop. A mechanic? Yea right.
  5. cps

    cps LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    I have the 21hp 1500z and it came with an oil tube on the side for easy drainage. I don't know if mine is longer then others but it sure helps. Check with your local dealer if yours didn't come with one.
  6. MarkStang

    MarkStang LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1

    I have the IS 1500Z 48 and can say it is the most reliable machine I have ever owned. The Kees with Kawasaki was second.

    As far as the drain tube goes...just move it to the plug on the other side and move the plug to where the tube was...simple. Hard to work on? Well ya don't have to work on it. Once a year or so for oil. Once in a great while for Hydraulic oil. Belts, yeah , no fun. Again how often. A mower that is built for the convenience of maintenance make it no better or worse unless you do it for a living. Knocking it for that fact alone is not relevant unless you need the speed like pit stops.
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Just replaced my first hydro pump after 7 years of commercial mowing with the 1500. I had it out and reinstalled and running in less then 2 hours. It couldnt have been any easier. I really dont get all the complaing about difficulty to work on. The 1500 is one of my favorite machines i have ever run.
  8. hammmerhead

    hammmerhead LawnSite Senior Member
    from ozarks
    Messages: 264

    If these things didnt have suspension they would be tough to sell IMO. Thin 10 gauge decks, small pumps and hydros, 5-6 gallon gas capacity. These are homeowner mowers at best. Commercial mowers from three or four well known manu's offer a much better rig, minus the shocks and two of them would be priced almost identical.
  9. underPSI

    underPSI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    I've had mine since for 4 years. I must say it's been a great trouble-free machine. However, I am sick of the deck. Crabgrass is a real burden right now regardless of the time of day I'm cutting it. So much moisture is in it and the deck on this machine will clog within 10 minutes of cutting anything with the slightest bit of moisture. I might just replace the deck on it with the new design since the machine has been so good to me.
  10. crownpointlandscaping

    crownpointlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    We have a couple of Ferris is1500 52"/25hp they are great on our residential accounts that aren't manicured lawns we use the bobcats and walkers for those. The Ferris are super reliable. We change our oil every 100 hours takes 15min. Changing the belts takes a little longer because the plate is bolted down and not on a hinge. Blade changes are as easy as most machines (the walkers decks flip up so a bit easier there). The durability of the Ferris are undeniable we always get 2,000 hrs on ours before we dump them.

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