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Just bought a slightly used Ferris IS 1500Z, how did I do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WOODSHED, Jul 9, 2008.


    WOODSHED LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 57

    Hello everybody. I've been lurking around here for the last few weeks and have been researching for a new residential lawnmower purchase. I am replacing a John Deere LX176 14 horse, 38 in. deck mower that has served me well but was just too slow. I mow just over an acre and it is mostly flat with a couple hills and some trees. I found a Ferris IS 1500Z with the 21 horse Kawasaki and 48 in deck on craigslist and went and bought it last night. The original owner bought it for $5885.00 back in April of '05. It has 37.4 hours on it and came with an extra set of blades and all original paperwork. The machine is very near mint with very little signs of use. I paid $3800 for it and felt that was a steal. It should serve me very well for a long, long time. What do I need to know about servicing this machine? How often should the hydros be serviced, what about the Kawasaki engine, dual stage air filter? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.



  2. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    I'd buy it practically new...
  3. Snydermf

    Snydermf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Thats a heck of a deal! I would have bought it in a heartbeat, I have the same mower. The air filter should be serviced by tapping out the junk every 25-50 hours. I replace the outer filter on mine probably about every 100 hours and the inner filter probably about every 200 hours. The hydros shouldn't need any servicing until about 500 hours when the oil and filter should be changed. Other than keeping the engine oil changed (25-50 hours) and the air filter, there is very little maintenance needed on these mowers. Enjoy!
  4. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 754

    did you not get a manual? if not get one from your dealer or on line it has all you need to know in it
  5. scott Cadwallader

    scott Cadwallader LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I have found that the deck cuts better if I clean it out after I mow. tall, wet grass tend to clump and build up

    WOODSHED LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 57

    I received an owners manual but it is very vague in respect to what weight and brand of oils and filters. I am going with NAPA Gold filter and NAPA Premium SAE30 oil, have had great luck with that combo int he past. What weight of oil for the hydros? 20W50? Does it really need to be synthetic? Thanks.

  7. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    does it look like it only has 38 hours on it because I have heard of a lot of hour meters going bad.

    I bought one with 15 hours on the meter but they had replaced the hour meter once already when it had 15 hours on the first.

    WOODSHED LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 57

    It looks like he mowed with it twice, then put it away and it got covered with dust. It sat in his garage for over a year unused. The hour meter still works, it's the digital kind, not the analog one that goes bad. I tracks time accurately and the machine is spotless minus some trim edge wear. Still had original oil filter on it and no rust on muffler. It did die and wouldn't restart yesterday, fuel pump diaphram is junk, probably from sitting idle for so long. Quick and easy $25 repair and I'm back up and running. Love this thing. Makes the Toro Titan Z I demoed feel like a toy. This thing would chew up that Toro and spit it back out. Everything is heavy duty on a Ferris and the suspension rides like a dream. The quality of cut is on par with my father-in-laws Exmark Lazer Z with 31 horse Vanguard, sharp blades and a clean deck and no problems at all wth the quality of cut. I'm a happy camper.

  9. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Messages: 2,331

    i own the exact same machine you do, 21hp 48" deck. and as was said before you have to watch out when mowing heavy wet grass, the discharge opening is not large enough to accomodate all that grass and it tends to clump. but other than that i love my machine, very well built.

    the digital hour meters do have a tendency to go bad on these machines. my dealer had replaced a bunch of them and he kept telling me to watch out on mine and bring it in to replace it as soon as it goes bad, but mine still works and its over 300 hours now.

    i wouldnt use anything other than high lifts on this machine, you'll need as much discharge as you can get. ive found that using gators anytime other than summer and dry fall is asking for trouble as they pulverize the grass and it builds up like a paste under the deck
  10. Guzman Properties

    Guzman Properties LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Great buy, good luck with it!!!

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