Going from hydro walk behind to belt drive??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pj550v12, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    If you insist on not replacing the engine I'd find a good/great used hydro wb before ever buying a belt drive. I'd quit before using a belt drive. If you insist on a belt drive they're mostly everywhere used in good/great condition.
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  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    This spring I bought a new JD 36" WB belt. I like the mower. Have not used a hydro WB. Though the assisted reverse makes me wish that I could of afforded the hydro model.
  3. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,427

    I started with belts, and upgraded to a hydro about 10 yrs ago. I liked the new hydro, because I thought it made use a bit easier. A couple summers ago, a friend went away and I offered to mow his lawn for him. He has a Scag belt drive at his house, I could use rather than taking my hydro over. HOLY CRAP was that thing alot of work to use compared to a hydro, and I will never use one again.
  4. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,845

    Coming from an old belt drive, to a 2013 Belt Drive WB, to Hydro within one year. All I can say is good luck with the Belt Drive. You may not be using the belt drive, but is there a chance that you would have to work on it? If so, again, good luck. ;) I was told before I got a belt drive what problems to expect. Them same problems happen on the old belt drive, so I picked up a new belt drive being hard headed thinking the new machine would solve all the issues. All that landed me was more down time, more time on LS asking how to repair the belts and make adjustments, and more time spinning a wrench. It may not be much of a hassle for you if you won't be using the machine much. But the hydro's faster as you know. The faster your guys work, the more money you make. Not only that, the less you have to make adjustments, the more free time you have.

    As for the repair or new mower? Weight your options. New Hydro, Used Hydro, New Engine, Rebuild Engine. I chose the Rebuild route, I haven't never been scared of opening up engines, coming from a motocross and dirt bikes as a kid. Our Kawi had thousands of hours, and believe it or not, is rebuild able, cylinder walls looked good, and so forth. Total cost for a rebuild kid for one of the Kawi's rounds about to $300.00. You can put in $600.00 and come out with ALL new gaskets, ALL new seals, ALL new bushings, new crank, new cam, new rod, new valves, and probably more. Just weight your options.
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,378

    problem with a used hydro is, he already HAS a used hydro… really no sense in buying someone else's used hydro when he already has one.

    A new engine is really the cheapest and best option.

    He could buy someone else's used machine and get another 50 hours out of it and need a new engine again.
    He could buy someone else's used hydro and get another two years out of it,
    now way to really tell.
    What he does know is his current machine is fine, with a new engine that, if installed by a dealer will have a warranty.
    If something goes wrong with a hydro pump, or some leaks etc… fix it… no biggie, could easily happen on the new/used machine as well.

    Im my experience, not much goes wrong on a WB, they hydros don't work nearly as hard as a rider and they aren't nearly as expensive.

    could repower the machine, and put new hydro motors on and STILL be less than the cost of a new belt drive walk behind.
  6. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,380

    I gotta admit, I don't always agree with your opinions on different things :laugh:, but IMO you make a very good point in this situation. It's also a point that could easily be overlooked until it's too late.
  7. pj550v12

    pj550v12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    You and I think a lot alike. Ended up putting a new motor on the machine, changed hydro fluids and filter, new drive and deck belts, crossing my fingers I get another 8-10 out of the machine.
  8. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Big difference in an 8 year old machine and a like new 1-2 year old machine. If one knows what to look for, good/great machines are able to be found for a fraction of new.

    I'm always on the lookout to buy good/great equipment. Again, one just needs to know what to look for.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    I could never see going to a belt from a hydro. We picked up a used 36" belt just for gates for $700, it works perfect and save maybe 2 man hours per week from using a 21" and only gets brought along 1 day. leaves a better cut then a 21" mower and is has much less fatigue. Would a hydro be nice forthis? sure, but it barely get used.

    Now when we are going to replace some mowers this year, ones that get used daily, absolutely will we pay the extra money for a hydro. While we'll be replacing our WB's with standers, they would still be replaced with hydros wbs if that were the case. No way i would want my employees running a belt all day long, No way you could pay me to do that.

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