Great Dane Chariot or Chariot Jr.

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by smmtns, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. smmtns

    smmtns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I am considering purchasing a 52in. Great Dane Chariot or Chariot JR. The Chariot has a 25 Koh. and is 4 inches longer than the JR. which has a 23 Kaw. It will be used for rental property maintance, appox. 3.5 - 4 acres. What's your opinion on these mowers??
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    I had a Chariot for years, never gave me a problem...very good machine.
  3. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I like the Chariot with a 60" deck for 3-4 acres get the larger deck

    The larger machine will ride better.
  4. smmtns

    smmtns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I noticed the Chariots with a 25 Kohler have the engine turned 90 degs. which puts one cylinder behind the seat. Does anyone know of problems with the cylinder behind the set running to hot?
  5. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Looked at the newest machines have

    engine in the middle. Older ones had engine sidemounted Ed
  6. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I've got Chariot, 25 hp Kohler 60" deck. Have bought 6 Exmarks since I bought the Dane, if that will give you an idea of how I like it. (don't). In 2 and 1/2 years I've had to replace all of the steering linkage because the pivot points were so sloppy you couldn't control the machine, 2 seats, both of the rear arms that attach the deck to the frame ($178), the lift arm has broken twice, had the top of the engine rebuilt and jus today had to pull the muffler off of it because the insides have broke loose and blocked the exhaust ports and stopped the engine. 2nd time for same problem. I haven't looked at new ones, but having to adujust belt tension with a Jbolt instead of springs is ridiculous. I took off the J bolts and used springs from the hardware store and cobbled together a tensioner that works just fine.
  7. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I recently replaced my 60" 25HP Kohler powered Chariot with a Exmark Lazer EPS 60". The Great Dane has been good, it has around 900 hours on it and all that has gone wrong was one of the bars that goes to the back of the deck broke. My Exmark came to me new with two bent blade pulleys, that should have never made it out of the factory. I must say that Exmark and my dealer (Manning Tractor and Equipment, in Sevierville) really stepped up to the plate on that problem also. As far as repairs go I guess the 4 year old Great Dane is ahead of the 2002 Exmark.
    Great Dane=Good mower
    Exmark= Excellent mower
    I really like the way the EPS rides, it has the suspension seat. I also like the fuel effeciency of the fuel injection. The hydraulics are also much smoother.
    By the way where are you located in Tennessee?
  8. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I've had 2 Chariots since they first came on the market. Well, actually I bought one and liked it well enough that I bought the other one the following spring. The first one broke the arms that hold the deck in place, but when I talked to my dealer, the rep was actually there at the time that I went in. He said that they had redesigned that arm and he replaced it for free. A little while later (like 3 weeks) the other one broke and they made good on it as well.

    Next, the frame developed a couple of stress cracks in a critical area. Just like the locating arms for the deck, the Great Dane folks had already discovered the problem and had come up with the cure, which was a custom gusset. The dealer welded it in for me at no cost.

    When I got the 2nd Dane, a few months later, the new machine reflected the upgrades and I've never had a lick of problems with either machine since......except for that blasted Kohler engine.

    Yes the Kohler engine is turned 90 degrees around and one cylinder is tucked up close to the seat and airflow is reduced. It's also really hard to keep it clean enough. Kohler engines are not much good beyond 400 hours with this arraingment as that one cylinder runs hot enough to constantly offer head problems regardless of whether or not you can keep everything clean enough. However, you can get both the Chariot and the Chariot Jr. with the Kawasaki engine, and it's not turned around. Each cylinder gets the required amount of airflow. I think Dixie Chopper should get some kind of award for including their oil coolers and the Amsoil bypass filter and the synthetic oil. Also, Choppers come with Donelson air filters. Right now one of my Danes is down having the engine rebuilt at 530 hours. I plan on adding Dixie style upgrades to see if I can get a better service life out of these engines in spite of that cylinder problem. I have been running Amsoil synthetic in my engines for years. When one of my engines let go right before the warranty ran out, the Kohler rep jumped on the fact that I was running synthetic when they had never recommended it. But I told him that he needed to prove that the problem was oil related or shut up. He shut up because the problem was in fact, related to the cylinder being up under the seat. However, I beleive that if I run an auxilary cooler combined with synthetic oil, AND I keep it clean the way I've been doing, I might be surprised at how well they do.

    I originally bought the Great Danes for 2 reasons. Before them, I had been running Scags and being designed by the same person, the 2 machines had a lot of commonalities. So it felt familiar. Secondly, I really liked the control sticks in the middle instead of the kind that you have to pull over after sitting down. I can go for hours of mowing while resting my arms on my knees and, to me, it's a very comfortable machine. That's just me though.

    As far as the controls being too loose, I've never had that problem with either one. In my opinion, if you went with the Kawasaki engine, you'd have a very fine machine that will give many years of good service.
  9. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    That's what I thought.:rolleyes: My Dane had 500+ with the Kohler and zero problems. My Hustler with the Kawasaki has been in twice and is running like **** again...90 hours.:angry:
  10. smmtns

    smmtns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Where have you purchased after market belts and blades? Also, how do they hold up compared to OEM parts? The hydro filter appears to be just an oil filter. According to Great Dane it is a 25 micron filter which I think is average for an oil filter. What are your experiences?
    Thanks in advance.......

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