ZTR - Vert. or Hort. Shaft Engine?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rcav8er, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. rcav8er

    rcav8er LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hello again, I promise this will be my last question on the ZTR issue of which mower to buy. I looked at the Ex-Mark Lazer-Z 60" today , WOW! Great looking piece of equipment. You guy's were on the money this mower is awsome. Only one question, I wasn't too impressed with the Hortizontal shaft design on the engine. Is there an issue with belt wear on the clutch or is the vertical shaft installation better?
    Thanks for all your suggestions!:blob3:
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Got a 25 hp Kohler w horiz. shaft on my Toro, Z-Master. I think it allows the engine to be situated in such a way for better cooling and maintenance. The Exmark is an awesome machine. If you're just going to be mowing once a week you'll never and your grandchildren will never buy another mower. Just my opinion.

    What kind of R/C do you fly? Where do you fly? I have some buddies in Raleigh. Keith Horton and Anthony Weincek that both fly jets among other things. Nice guy's, do you know them?

  3. rcav8er

    rcav8er LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Hi Scott, I got into RC about 30 years ago and I guess I've flown just about everything except the jets. My latest has been giant scale aerobatics, mostly 30% scale models. I haven't had the chance to meet the guy's you mentioned, but I have flown at the some events in the Raleigh and Burlington area.
    Recently most of my flying has been put on the back burner due to trying to getting this business up and running.

    Thanks, Bryan
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Vertical shaft will give you more HP to the blades than a horizontal shaft of the same HP. The horiz. shaft engines have to use the "mule drive" type pully arraingement to get the belts headed to the front of the machine. This type of belt drive robs HP from the engine. I have not found belt wear to be a problem, but it seems like belts would last longer if they don't have to make so many turns.
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I'm going to look at the same mower tomorrow. I asked this question on one of the forums a while ago and didn't get much response. Dealers of other equipment say it don't matter. I only had one dealer bring up a good point against a horizontal shaft. It can be a real pain to take the shroud off to clean up in there once and a while.

    I just sort of lost track of my thoughts about this over time and I'm glad someone brought it up. I just kind of assumed the horizontal mounting must be a little better for some reason and that's why Exmark does it on the Z's but not the HP's. I dunno.

    I will really check out the design closely tomorrow. I can remember that some of the units I looked at had shaft drive out to the hydro pump and others did not.


    Who knows what's better? Somebody else add something here PLEASE
  6. Darb

    Darb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    I hope not!!! I've not read any stupid questions that you have posted... and you are asking questions I would like to know the answers to.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Envy Lawn Service wrote:

    I just kind of assumed the horizontal mounting must be a little better for some reason and that's why Exmark does it on the Z's but not the HP's.

    Exmark uses horizontal shaft engines so they can offer a wider variety of engines for the Lazer Z. Some of the diesel and liquid cooled engines only come in a horizontal shaft arrangement. These "special" engines are not available on the HP so they can use the more efficient and mainstream verticle shaft engines.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    this is just my experience,but ive never had my mule drive belt slip as verticals use to.hadnt thot about this until this post. no proof, but i suspect the mule drive has better grip.
  9. rcav8er

    rcav8er LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Thanks for the replies guy's. Thanks DARB for your encouragement. My concern was as several of you have mentioned is the change in direction required for the hort. shaft engine system. I guess Ex-Mark must know what they are doing, as everyone has stated there reliability is great.
    Thanks again for your input, it really helps to get the information from the guy's who are using the equipment not just selling it!

  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, after looking at both configurations I really don't know which way is best. It seems to be more of a trade off than anything. I asked lots of questions about it and got some good details.

    It seems to me that the horizontal design is easier to service for the most part. It has a shaft coming out to run the hydros. That area around the shaft and cooling fan is protected by a rubber flap. This looks like it would keep out any stuff larger than just general dust.

    The vertical looks like it would be easier to remove the shroud for cleaning of the cylinder fins. The blower housing is right on top, nothing in the way and no shaft there to deal with either. It also looks like it would be easier on belts, and put more power to the blades. RATHER ANY OF THIS IS FACT I DON'T KNOW. But you don't have a choice with the 60" deck.

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