Seeking wisdom on broken mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by vettenuts, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. vettenuts

    vettenuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Hi all, new to forum.

    I have a 1976 Ariens Hydrostatic Garden Tractor with a 42" mowing deck. Very heavy machine and has worked well for years. The mowing deck just broke, but may be fixable. I am guessing it will be $400-$500 to fix it. I have looked at a new deck which is $1,200. For that price I can also et a gang mower.

    My fear is that with such an old tractor, I will buy a new mowing deck and the tractor will die so I get stuck with a $1,200 Ariens mowing deck I can't use anywhere else. However, the gang mower can be used with any other tractor, but they are kind of a pain. My only other option is a new machine, possibly a zero turn machine.

    I am trying to decide between a new Ariens mowing deck, a gang mower that I can pull with my Ariens tractor, or just replace the whole shooting match with a new machine.

    Any thoughts, comments or guidance?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. rbig

    rbig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Your $500 should be on the high end. Could come in for less.

    Those decks normally aren't that bad to repair. I recently bought 7 new sheave pulleys and also 3 bearing sets for my 60" deck. While it was torn down, I had the shell sand blasted and primed. Then I painted it. One I got it back together, I touched up the paint where there were a few gator marks.

    Depending on your deck width, some of the v belts for the spindle drive aren't inexpensive.

    The main problem with decks is simply handling the things. If you have two people, it isn't that bad. For one guy, you have to be innovative.
  3. vettenuts

    vettenuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I based my $500 on a couple of things. The deck itself needs to have a steel plate made that can be welded in where the gearbox attaches. The plate needs to be machined with the center hole for the vertical shaft and the six attachment holes around it. I am also unsure at this point if the gearbox was damaged because my daughter cut quite a bit of grass before we discoved the problem. She told me the rollers were noisy, but when I went to see I found the gearbox moving around. Guess I am figuring the gearbox may be ruined as well.
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Here's my thoughts..............
    a 1976 ariens?
    Unless the fix is cheap on the deck I personally wouldn't bother.
    Gang mowers?
    Not unless you like spending your saturdays maintaining them.
    If it were me I'd buy a new mower, even if you fix the old one how long will it last?
    I don't know how much grass you're cutting either.................
  5. vettenuts

    vettenuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks, that is the conclusion I have been slowly coming to myself. I love this Ariens, it is a powerful tank. So I may keep it and the dozer blade for moving dirt or snow, and pick up a dedicated ZTR for the grass.
  6. JWR

    JWR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Your Ariens is just a Gravely in disguise. That means it can always be repaired if you have the funds for the parts and labor. I'm sure the Gravely decks for their equivalent model will fit. Find a LARGE Gravely dealer and go browse his used machine and trade in lot. You may well find a deck that fits or another old machine mechanically the same as yours. One to run and the other for parts is often a good idea. I would think the deck you have can be rebuilt (depending on what you mean by "broken." ) Your tractor can always be rebuilt. It really does come down to money -- unless you love old Gravelys or have some sort of emotional attachment to it. If you can afford it, of course you are better off getting something newer if not brand new. The factors the others mentioned are right -- How much ground do you mow? Is it steep or rough or smooth? Do you have other related needs such as snow blowing in the winter, landscape work to do, garden to work up each spring? etc. There are some great little machines out there both new and used but it depends on what you really need/want to do and your pocketbook just like most things we do !

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