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Need tips for checking used mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sikagrass, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Cant find the thread (old post) using the search function but somebody had some tips for checking out used mowers. I have a chance to buy two 32" exmark belt drives for 1200 total .
    Guy is selling all his stuff and getting out. He says they run fine. What are some things I should check out to see if this is a good deal for me? Thanks for any replies.
  2. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    will he allow you to test run the equipment, or is he directly shipping?
  3. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I would be running the mowers for sure.Its one of those craigs list deals, I wouldnt even have to buy both.He sent pictures but they were from too far away to see detail.He isnt too far from me to take a look,not expecting new for that price (600)each.

    DOLMARatOS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173


    Make sure the engine runs and sounds good. Check filters, run your finger inside the carburetor and filter parts looking for dirt. This will tell you if the filter has failed or if the unit was serviced properly. Run the unit and check the oil, it should stay clean looking for a few hours but a good test is 10-15 minutes.

    Check the belts, check to make sure all functions work properly such as PTO and safety features. Shake the spindles, they should feel tight without noticeable movement. Everything should look like it has been well greased.
  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,263

    Would he let you take them to a dealer and have them checked out?
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Engines are relatively cheap and can take a few minutes to actually check out properly so I would just say that if it runs decent and "feels" like it has good compression then you're okay there.

    Don't ever check over a mower that was just greased. The grease can and will make loose bearings tight until the grease has a chance to work in a bit. If the machine was just greased you should run it around for 10 to 15 minutes with the blades on before you check any bearings. In fact you should probably do that just so you can get a feel for the machine.

    If it's a gear drive mower check the shafts that come out of the side of the tranny for play, it can have a little but not much. Crawl under the back of the mower and check the input shaft, a little play is allowed.

    Lift the back of the mower up and check the rear wheel bearings. Little to no play. Remove the blade belt and lift the front of the mower up. Check the wheel bearings, castor bushing and spindle bearings.

    Look at the idler pullies. Most idler pullies have play in them when they are brand new but they should not have a whole lot of movement. Look at the pullies in the grooves. Are they all grooved out and feel rough. They should be smooth.

    Look at the welded points on the deck and frame. There should be no cracks anywhere. If you find a weld that has fresh paint on it someone is trying to hide a crack. Check where the engine bolts to the frame. Are the bolt holes rounded out? Look at the blade spindles where they attach to the deck. Are there any cracks on the spindles or the deck?

    Just use your best judgement and always remember that hour meters mean nothing. They can be easily, oh too easily, disconnected so the hours don't run up.

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