Lawn tractor advice


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Old 04-23-23, 06:54 PM
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Lawn tractor advice

I'm looking at used riding mowers/lawn tractors, and came across a John Deere LA140 that sounds to be in good condition. However, it has a Briggs & Stratton engine, which concerns me. Apparently the lower end models aren't very good and are prone to issues, such as failing internal parts (e.g. compression mechanism). On the other hand, the higher end engines are supposedly about equivalent to the Kohler engines. This particular JD tractor has a 724cc B&S engine . Whats the best way to determine if it has a higher end engine in it? I had planned on asking for a model number. The B&S engines that have issues are found in the Craftsman DYT3000 for example.
 

Last edited by mossman; 04-23-23 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 04-23-23, 09:53 PM
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That should be a twin cylinder briggs and is not prone to the compression release problem. That's on the single cylinder engines. The LA140 is a decent mower. Check the deck spindles. Usually when they have slop, the whole assembly is worn out. The bearings are a little too small in them. The other problem area is steering sector and pinion gear and related bushings.
 
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Old 04-24-23, 06:09 AM
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Okay, thank you. Also, any thoughts on Troy-bilt vs Craftsman vs John Deere? Comparing older models (late 2000's) that are under $1000 used. Sounds like I'd want either the Koehler engine or the B&S twin cylinder, but not sure which brand is best. My instinct is John Deere, although I'm reading they have a lot of issues, one of which is belts needing frequent replacement.
 
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Old 04-24-23, 09:38 AM
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I'd steer wide around the troy bilts and craftsmans unless you are looking at a craftsman with a model number that starts with 917. If so, then that's a husquvarna and some of those were decent but some had plastic transmissions and those are junk to say the least. Some Deeres have plastic transmissions too, beware, no good. Some are bad before their 3rd oil change is due. Of your choices I'd go with deere. If you could find a used Deere x300 or other X series, you'd be way ahead of the others you're looking at.
 
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Old 04-24-23, 10:07 AM
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Oh wow. Plastic transmission?! Thanks for the heads up!
 
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Old 04-24-23, 01:04 PM
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The x300 are too pricey. $2,000+ for 15+ year old mowers. Plus, none within 250 miles of me. What would your second choice be? LA140 no good?
 
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Old 04-24-23, 06:32 PM
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Found an LX280 for $1500. Kawasaki engine. 366 hours, garage kept. Any good?

Also found an x300 with cracked hood for $1450 with 340 hours.

And an LX266 with 640 hours for $950. 16HP engine.

BTW, my yard is hilly (up to 45 degrees in one area but mostly 20 to 30 degree slopes), so HP and stability are important.
 

Last edited by mossman; 04-24-23 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 04-24-23, 08:44 PM
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The LX mowers were really good too. That 280 with low hours sounds great. John deere hoods break and are expensive to replace. All 3 of my 345s no longer have hoods at all. The LA140 is a decent homeowner mower but not half the LX or X series quality.
 
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Old 04-24-23, 08:59 PM
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I checked on a replacement hood for the x300 and they are upwards of $900 for OEM, but there's one for $275 for aftermarket. But if the LX280 is decent, I think I'll get that one.

Is there a snow plow attachment for this machine?

Most of the photos I've seen of similar tractors show a side discharge attachment, but I'd like to mulch the clippings. I'm assuming I can simply leave off the discharge attachment and replace the blades with mulching blades like you do with a push mower?
 

Last edited by mossman; 04-24-23 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 04-25-23, 06:38 AM
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How about a Club Cadet LTX1050, 22HP Kohler, 300 hours? They're asking only $500.
 
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Old 04-25-23, 04:45 PM
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Cub Cadet is a big no for me. Some models have been decent enough but if you want a reliable long lasting mower, I'd stick with the deeres you were last talking about. Different caliber altogether.

I can't help much with the snow stuff, no experience with any of that.
 

Last edited by cheese; 04-25-23 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 04-26-23, 05:36 AM
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I'd stick with the deeres
It's not the initial purchase price you should be focused on as long term durability is what drives the cost of operation.

I've always had JD products, never had any issues. My JD2210 that I bought used in 2007 (never spent a penny on anything but maintenance) is worth more today than 15 years ago.

Quality is cheap!
 
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Old 04-26-23, 11:04 AM
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Yeah, and it's not the brand name thing here, but the choices here include several low end models and makers and a couple that fit more into the commercial category. And troy bilt and stuff like that is just in a totally different category and can't compete with the LX line, never could. The LX line wasn't sold at lowes or home depot, it's not a consumer mower. SO it's going to be hard to find something that compares with that because the other makers just didn't build something that compares. You'd have to bring up Kubota or maybe simplicity and stuff like that to get back to talking apples to apples.
 
 

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