New Spartan RZ HD owner: my initial thoughts

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Hammick, May 9, 2019.

  1. Hammick

    Hammick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I purchased an RZ HD 48" model three days ago and have mowed my lawn twice now. I really like this mower. You can only get a 48" deck on the RZ HD so that saved me from spending more on an RT HD which would be overkill for my 1/2 acre lawn. Even the RZ HD is overkill. It also prevented me from buying the base RZ for $3,999. I think the upgrades on the HD are worth the $1,100 extra.

    I was initially looking to upgrade from my JD LX277 AWS steer tractor with 48" deck and mulch kit. I was looking at the 500 series JD tractors and even used 700 select series tractors. Then I saw a picture of a Spartan and started thinking about zero turns. I've never been on a zero turn before. I only mow with my tractor and occasionally pull a lawn cart so a zero turn makes more sense.

    Well after tons of research and driving 160 miles each way I'm a proud new owner. I was initially sucked in by the looks but quickly discovered nobody offers what the RZ HD does for $5,100. That's a lot of money for a homeowner with 1/2 acre but I hate buying cheap stuff and hopefully it will last me a long time.

    I'll get some mowing pics up after my knee is better but I tested it out on my very wet fescue back yard to see how it would do in worst case conditions. Portions of the flat part of the yard had 1" of standing water. I wasn't removing more than an inch of grass but it cut is very nice and spit it out without clumping. The radials tracked down the grass in the flooded areas but didn't tear anything up. After a good rain all the mud washed away and it looks great. No way I could have mowed in these conditions with my LX277. I found that if I took my and kept the wheels moving I could even circle around trees without tearing things up in the wet.

    Everything on the RZ is easily accessible and it looks like it will be very simple to maintain. I have the model with the 24hp Kawasaki FR730v. I do all my own maintenance and it should be a breeze compared to my LX277.

    I only have one real complaint and that is the surface rust that is located at the welds on the frame and deck. I also had some bad rusting on the back right side deck pulley. Not sure if the drain hole was clogged as the other pulleys are rust free. I bought it from a farm supply store so all the machines sit outside and it's been very rainy in Missouri lately. My LX277 is sixteen years old and the welds aren't rusted.

    So I'm very happy with the performance of my RZ HD. Spartan does need to improve their powder coating process though. I don't really now anything about powder coating but I wouldn't expect the welds to rust the way they do. I'm not the only one. Somebody posted pics in the big thread that looked identical to my issue.

    My fix for this is a couple hours spent brushing the welds with rust converter. The stuff that turns rust black and can be painted over. Maybe Spartan will send me some touch up paint and a new pulley.

    Anyway I'll post some cut pics when I have a chance to take some before and after pics. A couple pics attached including the rusted pulley.

    IMG_0681.jpg IMG_0682.jpg IMG_0678.jpg IMG_0683.jpg IMG_0684.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  2. davedude

    davedude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have a spartan RZ with a 25 briggs, parker 10cc, tecs pac seat and radials. I have around 25 hr on the deck and the belt has come off twice when engaging (@3000+ rpm). I'm not happy about that! I know folks who've never had a belt come off ever. It is a bear to put back on too! it's everything I can do to relieve tension on the Idler, then my wife has to thread it onto the motor pulley!
    DB

    P.S. There are no rusty welds!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  3. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 625

    Have you checked your owners manual as to at what rpm you're supposed to start the blades at?
     
  4. davedude

    davedude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    3000 minimum. Thanks for the reply!
     
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  5. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 625

    Let me know if you figure out what it is because I'm interested now.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Hammick

    Hammick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Good to know. Sounds like my issue was caused by it sitting out in lots of rain. It will be garage kept from now on and not put away wet.

    And all these years I had no idea that blades shouldn't be engaged at full RPM. Spartan says between 3,000 and 3,200.
     
  7. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 625

    Some mowers recommend full throttle to turn on blades. It depends on the brand.
     
  8. davedude

    davedude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I would have gotten the motor Hammick has, had there been one in stock!
    I doubt that thing even boggs when you start the blades. Also I wouldn't worry to much about those welds, Hammick, as that grade of steel can have light rust for years and hardly even change.
    I think I'll keep the deck at about mid height (or wherever has the least deflection) for blade engagement to see if that will alleviate my problem.
    I need a longer lever to de tension my idler spring spring. It should NOT happen, as there is no mention of where your height should be set and I haven't heard of going on with other folks. BTW, I have taken it in for what I think is excessive vibration when the blades are running and was told everything is within spec. My neighbor(s) think it vibrates as well.
    DB
     
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  9. davedude

    davedude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm used to the vibration, and I haven't had a zt mower until now. I think my Kubota tiny tractor has faster blades and less vibration, but it's (spartan) not too durn bad.
    "Hammick", you have a great rig; your lawn work is almost done when you start that fine mower up!
     
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  10. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    Usually the low rpm blade engage is what causes them to flop off. Try full throttle and see if you atill have that issue.
     
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