Need new mower advice

Messages
59
Location
Central, IL
I currently own a 7 year old Troy-Bilt rear drive push mower that the transmission has gone out for the second time. The first time was under warranty. I have not had it officially looked at but from some research online and talking to a local OPE repair shop they are familiar with the issue and estimated approximately $200-$250 to fix it. Even though the motor runs great I can’t justify spending that on a 7 year old mower when I could put it towards a new one. I will try to sell it as is so someone can get use out of the motor. Not sure what to ask for it but the motor runs great and has had synthic oil in it since new every year. So, I would like to get a mower without self-propelled but the wife enjoys having the self-propelled so will probally get another. I am looking at this Honda http://powerequipment.honda.com/lawn-mowers/models/hrr216vka Can anyone here verify if the transmissions in these are different or better than those that can be found in the MTD line of mowers from the box store? The OPE guy (different store) told me they were different and better, but when I looked underneath it looked identical to the system on my Troy Bilt. Looks like on the reviews they have had some problems too so I am not thinking that just because it is a Honda they are problem free. I am not opposed to other brands either, some body mentioned Husqvarna is good? Snappers? Just thought that the Honda would be good because the Troy Bilt had a Honda motor on it and that has been problem free and starts easy on the first pull. Looking at no more than $400. Thanks for your input.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
I would not have more confidence in the Honda's transmission than the Troy-Bilt's transmission, and the Husqvarna uses not one, but TWO, of the consumer-grade transmissions, and I'd likely skip that one as well. Though I suppose you could assume that each one splits the load, increasing their life span. I would highly encourage you to consider a premium used mower. They are much better built than the residential-grade mowers. If you want new, check out the Ariens line at Home Depot (at least they show on the website). And don't overlook your local Toro or other small equipment dealership. They may surprise you with a good deal on something, either new or slightly used.
 
Messages
1,048
Location
SE Wisconsin
Get the HRR216VKA, and don't look back. I owned one before I moved to Wisconsin - sold it to a friend, wish I hadn't. My (now ex-)wife liked it so much, she ended up mowing more often than I did ; ) The Honda engine is great - but that is not the only great feature. The twin blade sytem is superb.
 
Messages
501
Location
not Sweden
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
....and the Husqvarna uses not one, but TWO, of the consumer-grade transmissions, and I'd likely skip that one as well. Though I suppose you could assume that each one splits the load, increasing their life span.
Check it out in action on steep hills by satisfied end users:
 
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
I LOVE my Toro Recycler mower with the Personal Pace. Best self-propelled system I've ever had, and so far not a hitch or glitch. Frankly it looks like there's hardly anything TO go wrong, since it just uses a fibrous V-belt that slips a little to regulate speed. No clutch or gear selection at all inside the little "transmission." Not what you might call super elegant engineering, but it works! When the belt wears out (hardly worn after 5 years), you just gotta remember to replace it with the correct type because a standard V-belt would be "grabby" and wouldn't vary the speed smoothly. Toros are available with either Briggs (190cc flathead or OHV) or Honda (all OHV) power. I prefer Briggs because Honda vertical shaft mowers seem a lot louder to me, but either way they're very good engines and good mowers.
 
Messages
1,509
Location
gulf coast FL.U.S.
Husky is very good ,the new awd thing might be a gimmick ,but in FL with all the grass i've mowed, my husky is 15 years old and still going perfectly with only yearly carb cleaning (spray it out) and one drive belt adjustment ever. The Honda engine is great, lots of abuse commercial /residential everything. Toro would be a second choice based on price.
 
Messages
1,761
Location
PA
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
I LOVE my Toro Recycler mower with the Personal Pace. Best self-propelled system I've ever had, and so far not a hitch or glitch. Frankly it looks like there's hardly anything TO go wrong, since it just uses a fibrous V-belt that slips a little to regulate speed. No clutch or gear selection at all inside the little "transmission." Not what you might call super elegant engineering, but it works! When the belt wears out (hardly worn after 5 years), you just gotta remember to replace it with the correct type because a standard V-belt would be "grabby" and wouldn't vary the speed smoothly. Toros are available with either Briggs (190cc flathead or OHV) or Honda (all OHV) power. I prefer Briggs because Honda vertical shaft mowers seem a lot louder to me, but either way they're very good engines and good mowers.
My mother in laws Personal pace is still on the original belt, close to 10 years now I think. However a lot of the newer Toro's use the Kohler engine and from my experience with The XT-6 on a Husqvarna mower I'll never buy a Kohler equipped Walk behind mower again.
 
Messages
2,874
Location
pa
if the budget fits get a honda HRX with hydrostatic drive, self propeller rear bagger, its fantastic, or for less $$ home depot has the typical rear drive honda, still works good and never clogs because of its design, the standard double blades cut great!!! i treat mine to Amsoil 4 stroke engine oil as well
 
Messages
863
Location
ME
Toro personal pace mowers also use the junk transmission. The gears are made from plastic (nylon...whatever). Mine went out after 3 years of gentle use. I took it apart, the teeth were rounded off. Bought a trannie from fleeceBay for $72, but "Gosh" only knows what a OPE shop would charge. $400? Forget about it. Double that and get a commercial.
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
Why spend $400.00 for a mower that might last less than ten years? Buy an inexpensive push mower and enjoy years of trouble-free use. We have around 20,000 square feet of grass. Everyone else who lives her has a tractor or a ZTR. I still have the Tecumseh powered MTD I bought in 1994 for $180.00, although I mostly used the smaller MTD I bought on clerance from Target for $70.00 in 1997 until I retired it to the curb last summer. Tell your wife that a push mower gives her a nice workout and be sure to comment on how toned she looks after a couple of push mower cuttings. This will work and you won't be entirely lying.
 
Messages
1,761
Location
PA
Originally Posted By: Nayov
Toro personal pace mowers also use the junk transmission. The gears are made from plastic (nylon...whatever). Mine went out after 3 years of gentle use. I took it apart, the teeth were rounded off. Bought a trannie from fleeceBay for $72, but "Gosh" only knows what a OPE shop would charge. $400? Forget about it. Double that and get a commercial.
I never heard of that before. shrug
 

exploreco

Thread starter
Messages
59
Location
Central, IL
Thank you for all of the good replies! I have looked at the Toro Pace setter and it looked nice. The salesman said it had a Toro engine on it made by Toro. He said that Toro had just recently started making their own engines again. They had another Pace setter that had a Honda motor on it too. The mower looked pretty solid though. I have thought about trying to fix it myself too or just removing the old transmission out of the old one and just using this one as a push mower. I think that might be possible but need to look at it. Would still be heavier than a lighter weight push mower but it can still be used. I appreaciate all of the suggestions and will give them all a look. I really am leaning towards the idea of just going to the straight push mower route as this yard does not have near the hill as our last house did, which is why we bought the self propelled last time anyways.
 
Messages
863
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: 123Saab
Originally Posted By: Nayov
Toro personal pace mowers also use the junk transmission. The gears are made from plastic (nylon...whatever). Mine went out after 3 years of gentle use. I took it apart, the teeth were rounded off. Bought a trannie from fleeceBay for $72, but "Gosh" only knows what a OPE shop would charge. $400? Forget about it. Double that and get a commercial.
I never heard of that before. shrug
The vendor i bought if from sells a million of those transmissions, so it's not uncommon. Still irks me that it failed in only 3 years.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
My standard advice is buy a used Lawn-Boy with a staggered wheel deck. Even with self propel, they're lighter than many push mowers and the Lawn-Boy transmissions are all metal. It's okay if you don't like 2-strokes; they made 4-stroke models as well. OP, here is one such mower: http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4562686634.html It has the bagger and mulch and side discharge plates. It has a pressure-lubed Tecumseh engine that should run just about forever. And the quality of the deck and hardware is better than what you'll find on a box store mower. And it's less than $200. That's actually a pretty square deal.
 
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist!! Op. I've bought about 100 lawn mowers in the past 3 years off of Craigslist for resale. 95% of them are in good working order with lots of life left in them. What you want is an ALUMINUM deck Toro Super Recycler. This is a premium mower, originally sold for $550-$650. Has heavy duty components, heavy duty transmission with steel gears. They are 25 year mowers, seriously. And you can find them all day long on Craigslist for $50-$200 depending on condition.
 

exploreco

Thread starter
Messages
59
Location
Central, IL
I will browes Craigslist tonight. I am not opposed to a good used one either. The Lawnboy is sold already and the only Lawnboys I can find that are new appear to be sold at Home Depot??
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: exploreco
The Lawnboy is sold already and the only Lawnboys I can find that are new appear to be sold at Home Depot??
That was quick. It really was a good deal. Lawn-Boys can be tough to find because people spell them all sorts of ways. The correct way "Lawn-Boy", or "Lawnboy" or "Lawn Boy". Some leads for you: http://decatur.craigslist.org/grd/4563949558.html This is an aluminum deck with the Duraforce, a very strong 2-cycle. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4562131599.html Also an aluminum deck with the older "F" 2-cycle engine. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4539002875.html Another one like above. http://mattoon.craigslist.org/grd/4550078929.html Here's a good 4-cycle one that apparently needs a new self propel cable. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4560590446.html Here's a clean model 10323, a Duraforce 2-cycle with a steel deck. http://stlouis.craigslist.org/grd/4522118199.html Another nice 4-cycle model, push only. http://peoria.craigslist.org/grd/4519407424.html Another 4-cycle, self-propelled. I own a commercial duty Honda, with the heavy aluminum deck, 3-speed gear transmission with shaft drive, full ball bearing wheels, etc. I still enjoy to use the Lawn-Boys more. A Lawn-Boy is light, it's maneuverable, it has great balance, and it has a quality feel to it. I get operator fatigue with big heavy mowers just due to wrestling them around (even with self propulsion). More weight is more weight to turn, more weight to push, more weight to keep on a straight line, etc. I drive the Lawn-Boys with one hand, and a glass of tea in the other. They're just too easy to use.
 
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