Threw the rod through the side of the block in my riding mower - time for a new one

Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
5,161
Location
Kansas
Deck is pretty far gone. Also, the HF predator is $900, though Amazon has a 19HP briggs for $750. I'm open to throwing a replacement engine on it, but it better be a newer design because the 19 I have has many, many complaints about head gasket failure between 50 and 200 hours.

Just a couple of years ago, I managed to pick up the Harbor Freight 22-horse vertical engine for $549. It replaced a Kohler Courage engine. Don't believe the name :LOL:, because all you need to do is a little internet surfing to see the reputation on the Kohler. I now agree with you on avoiding that HF engine, as they have priced themself out of the market and their warranty is a joke. Here's another vote for dumping your current mower and getting something better.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2006
Messages
1,341
Location
Southern Ontario
Might wanna look into a used commercial grade zero turn with at least an 11 gauge welded deck. Mine is 7 gauge and I’m pretty sure I could drop it out of a plane and not even dent it.

The main thing is to keep the deck scraped free of build up. That’s what traps moisture and rusts them out. Some zero turns now have a feature that lifts the deck up vertical so you can scrape it quick and not have to roll around on the ground.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
13,594
Location
Indiana
How about tossing a HF Predictor engine on it? Maybe the deck is too far gone?

I have a 15 maybe 20 year old Husqvarna 46" riding mower. I bought is used for $500. I keep up on the engine oil, etc but am not out there cleaning the deck every time I use it. I did remove the deck and pressure wash it and painted it with pickup truck bedliner paint. Still rolling along. Only had to replace the gas tank as it got a hole and the steering shaft, and starter.

Ariens makes decent mowers that are not super expensive.

As always avoid any MTD manufactured OPE.

In my opinion a kid who cannot reach the pedals is not old enough to drive the mower. Its a dangerous machine, not a riding toy.
I started driving at the age of 4. Helped my dad mow a lot.

The garden tractor (Kubota G1800) has a seat safety switch that I was too light for so I was had to mow with the big tractor. Dad had a Kubota B1750 at the time.) Couldn’t reach the peddles, but both were hydrostatic and had cruise controls. When I was heavy enough for the seat switch, I was still too short for the pedals. The idea was to not need reverse.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
6,738
Location
Connecticut
I would use this as an excuse to upgrade to a garden tractor, with a heavier duty drivetrain and deck, or a zero turn if you think that would be better. You can find heavier duty gently used machines for the price of a cheap box store new one.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
11,276
Location
Jupiter, Florida
I switched to more expensive Kawasaki powered things after a number of failures. The bargain of a low price is nearly always offset by a short lifespan and constant repairs. Florida is tough on small engines and any aspect of substandard design will result in problems. Remember that oil temperature is (at times) inversely related to engine life. My garden tractor is a Deere GT235 with a Kawasaki 18HP V-Twin. It's been running strong for the last 18 years, no engine faults or spindle failures. I did wear out a steering link, 2 seats, and a "hood" and many sets of belts/blades. Other than that, no failures, breakdowns or problems. I don't expect any either. Still runs wonderfully and I absolutely torture this thing!

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Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Messages
140
Location
Wisconsin
I would buy an. Old simplicity tractor. They can easily run 40 years with oil changes.. i own two sunstars. But the verticle engines are cheaper tractors to buy. Conquest or prestige would be good for you. Check them out used. The box store stuff is junk.
 
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