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My new gravely 260z

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yardboyltd, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    Got my new 260z today. Real nice. I've only been on it for 3 hours, and I love it. The hydraulic deck lift is not only the slickest thing I've seen, but it's very usefull.

    I just got done cutting a block of aprtments with lots of raised sidewalks, hills, stumps,etc... About every 1 minute I cross a sidewalk, just bump the lever, cross, and bump it down, no effort, just a flick of the switch basically. Also some place where the terrain is uneven, and I knew I'd scalp I'd just bump the deck up and down real quick over it, worked great. Also when backing up hills wet hills, some z's have a hard time when the back scalp wheels kind of dig in, again, just bump the deck up and back down... So to some it up, if you haven't guessed, this is one of the greatest features...

    The cut is great, I like the mower's cosmetic and structural looks, great price. I had demoed several, and I liked the hustler's, but I saved my self some money and got just as good as mower I thnk.

    I hope to get another one next year perhaps
  2. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Bought my first one 3 years ago when they first came out (1999), a 60" Kohler. Then a 72" in 2000, Kohler, then another 60" in 2001, Kawasaki. Love the hydraulic deck lift. It's a no-brainer and I can't understand why all mowers don't have it. You already have a hydro drive on most ZTR's, so why not have a hose and toggle for the deck.

    Love my 260's. Just be careful don't back the PTO clutch into something. It is lower than the bumper. And as it gets older the deck needs to be adjusted to maintain level of left vs. right. (after about 500 hours the deck gets "looser"

  3. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    Quick question: My dealer instrucked me when activating the PTO, to pull it up, back down and back up, not quickly, but still fluid. My question is this is why? The guy was really genuine, but I'm curious to the longterm affect of this on the clutch..., perhaps this is suppose to prolong the life, but it seems the opposite. Thanks.

    Also, which do you prefer, Kawasaki or Kohler, I got the Kohler 25hp. Also what do you think of the 72? Have you ran doubles any with the Kohler? Thoughts and tips to get the most out of it. Thanks
  4. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    I think I can answer all of your questions:

    The Kawasaki is strong as sh*t but it uses more fuel if you keep it turned up. If you get the Kawi, all you really need with the 60" is about half-throttle if you have sharp blades. I only ever run my Kawasaki full speed if I'm in thick grass with steep hills.

    What the dealer is talking about for your PTO is to bring it above idle, then engage your blades, the set the power at the level you will use to cut. Just like driving a stick car, when you start you bring it above idle, let the clutch out, then give more gas after the clutch is locked in.

    The clutch on the 260Z is made by Warner Electric, same as used on many ZTR's and walk behinds. It will last longer if you are gentle. I ALSO RECOMMED SLOWING DOWN THROTTLE BEFORE DISENGAGING. This will preserve the "brake" feature of the clutch which is designed to stop the blades, and it can save your life if you fall off by slowing the blades before your flesh does.

    Sure you can slam the blades on at full throttle, but it is hard on the clutch and belts.

    The 72" is a good machine for big yards. On big, flat yards it is WAY faster than a 60". But, it can slow you down on small yards and does scalp more and it is rather obnoxious on uneven ground. I tend to leave the 72 at home 3 days a week.

    If you get a 72 do not get a Kohler on it. I have one and it is only OK if the blades are razor sharp. Get a Kawi or wait until the diesel is available. (may already be offered).

  5. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    While way stronger, I have had carb problems with my Kawasaki and have had valve and starter trouble with other kawasaki enginces.

    Have never had trouble at all with a Kohler and I own 4 kohlers, combine hours over 3000.

  6. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    Thanks for the info. I had been leaning towards the kawasaki. It was only 200 more, and knew it was a more powerful engine. I then logged on to lawnsite and did some searching and discovered the problems with the kawasaki, and the great success of the 25 Kohlers since their debugging.

    I discovered yet another great feature today: supsension seat. This thing is great. I still need to get it dialed in just right, but I played with it abit mowing a mile long narrow strips surround a driveway in a rural estate. Very bumpy, wooded area, with some nice grass. My old z would have racked my brains going half speed. I was mowing 6" high grass at 3.25" at nearly full speed. It felt great. I love this mower. This also gave a chance to see some of it's stripes. They were pretty descent, but I think I can get a better defined stripe with a kit or play with the deck or blades a little.

    Also, those tungsten carbide blades are great...
  7. Eng Mwr Guy

    Eng Mwr Guy Gravely Manufacturer
    Messages: 249

    The PTO will last longer the lower the engine RPM when engaging and disengaging.

    Glad to hear you like your mower.

    Gravely / Ariens Guy
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I've heard nothing but good about these mowers, and I've witnessed first hand the cut they put down. For the money, pound for pound, pennie for pennie, you can hardly go wrong woth this unit. I almost bought one myself before considering the Exmark. It was a tough decision considering the cost factor. (Of course, I love the Gravely name anyway, which was a factor in it.)

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