Does anybody make a decent 38 inch mower anymore ?

JanKoolMay 8, 2011

My 13-yr old Sabre 1438 just died with a completely seized-up engine - I stupidly allowed it to run out of oil.

Now I am looking for another 38 inch mower. Because of tight storage space, I can't really fit a mower with a wider deck, even with the chute removed.

There don't seem to be many 38 inch lawn tractors being made anymore. The smallest John Deere models are 42, and only Husqvarna lists one model (LTH18538)

Is that Husqvarna any good, what other choices do I have ?

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No LT will substaint poor pre-ventive maintenance as you have found out. Actually 13 years is above average IMO. You could get replacement engine for $4 or $5 hundred buck new or try classified for used one to get buy couple more years out of your old one. But you would have to have general skills to do this yourself and any eye for what would fit. No skills then New one would be in order. But, I would study up maintenance intervals this time so the same thing won't happen to the new one. As for deck sizes most are going to 42" two blade or 48" 3 blade which seems to be the most popular now.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 3:53PM
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You might look at Snapper. They are Rear Engine Riders, so can't do everything a conventional tractor can, but are well engineered and come 28", 30", and 33". I think Ariens also makes a RER.

MTD also makes 38" tractors under a couple of their trade names, such as Bolens, Yard Man and Yard Machines. I think MTD is a step down from the Sabre/Deere you previously had. Main advantage to MTD is that they are cheap ($900 - $1000).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:08PM
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I have a 38" Poulan I bought at auction. I don't know how old it is, but it's been a great little machine. I love it because it turns tighter than any other rider I've been on.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:27PM
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turnage(z7a TX)

The john deere X300 is available with several different decks, including a 38 inch.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 5:19AM
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Simplicity Regent.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Whatever you decide on, inquire about adding a "low oil level" shut down system.
You have proof of the need for that already.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 2:12PM
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Hey mownie, do you or anyone else know of an "aftermarket" low oil pressure switch I could add to my Briggs 26HP? I've toyed with the idea of adding one, even though I'm a fanatic about checking fluid levels before I start anything.

Oh, it's a 44P777 0016G1 080312YG

I suppose I could get an auto oil pressure switch but not sure if the PSI's involved are similar?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Aww, ya don't need any of that fancy stuff! Just be sure to pull the stick, wipe it, re-stick and pull it out again, to get the true reading, as the oil from last week will still be at the top of the splash level. If you don't do the double-stick thing--one day you will be out of oil, and then you will hear the fatal "BANG"! And you will be looking for another engine! BTDT!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:02PM
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A low oil pressure shutdown for magneto driven ignition systems can be added to engines that have pressure lubrication featuring an OEM "oil light switch".
In this arrangement, a "street tee" (one male thread nipple with two female thread ports) is fitted to the OEM oil switch port. Then, the OEM oil light switch and the new oil shut down switch both thread into the street tee.
The OEM Briggs switch is listed as having a "closing pressure" of around 4.5 PSI. This means that when the oil pressure drops to about 4.5 PSI, the switch closes and the OIL light on the dash lights up.
Using a second oil pressure switch of the same pressure specification (or even up to 6 PSI spec) and wiring it in as shown will result in it being necessary to operate and hold the spring loaded momentary OPEN switch in order to start the engine.
Once the engine is running and oil pressure opens the oil switches, the oil light goes out (separate circuit) and you can release your hold on the manual overrule switch.
The shutdown is now "armed" and a drop of oil pressure below the spec point will cause the switch to close, grounding the magneto and killing the engine (in the same way any of the other "kill switches" would stop the spark).

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Thanks for everyone's input, I'm off to the Husqvarna dealer tomorrow to look at their 38-inch model (LTH 18538). I have no experience with Husqvarna, but they seem to be a pretty decent brand, and the price ($1399) is just about in my range.

The Simplicity Regent looks interesting as well. I was not even aware of that brand until doopstr mentioned it. However, there is no Simplicity dealer near where I live and they are quite a bit higher in price.

Finally, I do appreciate the comments about preventative maintenance. I guess that dipstick is there for a reason ...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:32PM
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Mownie you rock! Ingenious!!!
Wish I woulda known to put that circuit on my vanguard.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 3:30PM
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My brother just sold a 1996 lx178 for 850 , 123 hrs on it. I should have bought it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 5:52PM
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Hey mownie, that's what I'm talking about. Do you know the part number for the pressure switch from briggs? Your desription confuses me a little, is the switch a "form c" or SPDT? Or are there two different part numbers? I'd want, and you've depicted a normally closed switch, held open by oil pressure, which upon loss of pressure would close grounding out the ignition killing the engine. The closed (no pressure) pressure switch would have to be interrupted (starting permissive) by the push button switch as shown.

NUTS! I'm talking like an engineer again-sorry folks. To restate, do you have a part number for a normally closed switch held open by oil pressure?



    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 7:26PM
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The switch is Single Pole, Single Throw (SPST).
Briggs part # 792028 is the exact part according to your 0016 type number.
But as I stated, any automotive oil pressure switch used in an "idiot light" application that opens on a pressure rise will work here.
You just have to match threads to your fittings and choose the pressure where you want the switch to close. The higher the closing pressure, the greater degree of protection you will have. But choose "too high pressure" rating for closing/opening and you might end up with "nuisance shut downs" if the pressure drops to that point in normal operation.
Briggs specs say the switch closes at 4.5 PSI. If you choose an aftermarket switch of say........10 PSI, you might not be able to run that engine at low idle RPM because 10 PSI at low idle is not out of the question even on a "good engine".

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:55PM
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