Need advice on replacing GT for mowing

exmarJuly 5, 2014

Hi Folks,

AM lookinig at upgrading my GT5000, 26HP, 50" deck, 6 speed manual trans.

I want something sturdy as my four acre lawn is hilly, side hill and up and down mowing.

Was just at Lowe's and looked at a JD, 25HP, JD engine (?), 54" deck, hydro. I looked underneath and didn't see a drain plulg for the tranny. ( :-( ) It was $2999. Also looked at Husqvarna and Troybilt while there, no trans drain plug. Maybe they have them, but wasn't obvious kneeling behinid the tractors.

Like to keep cost under $3500-$4,000. Will keep the GT for "heavy hauling" as it has the manual trans, Ag tires, wheel weights, the dozer blade fits it, etc.

BEFORE the "go to the JD dealer" chorus starts, the JD dealer in this area is the absoloutely most expensive place to buy anything. e.g. My brother bought a 20 HP, hydro, lawn tractor there about 5 years ago, it was $4200. After signing paperwork and paying for it, he asked when it would be delivered? "Oh you want it delivered? That'll be another $100." We took one of the trailers there and got it. Yes, there are other dealers, but they're two hours away.

Have heard a lot of good things about Kubota, and have a big dealership nearby, know nothing about their Lt/GT line or price points.

Any advice appreciated.


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While the dealer will be the point of service for any wartanty work, don't compare dealer vs big box. You should compare the absolute model number against absolute model number. (The is not the marketing model but the numbers on the frame.)

Making the comparison this way the prices difference may surprise you, and the dealer may actually be cheaper.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 8:52PM
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You should be able to buy a new JD x300 series for that much money, Or you could look for a good used JD 425 or 455, The 425 is gas while the 455 is diesel.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Are you looking at a hydro unit? JD puts the K46 in their x300/304, and you have to step up to a x320/324 to get a better trans, which I think is the K58, or something like that. I hate to say it, but think you will have to go with Husqvarna/Craftsman/Ariens clones to get something like a K66 in your price range. Maybe Simplicity (Briggs&Stratton/Massey Ferguson) offers something in your price range. From what I know of JD, their good tractors start with the x500 series, which are in the $7-8k range, IIRC.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 8:31PM
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I should have mentioned the JD 445 also, The 400 series has a better transmission then the new JD X500 series, Which I think is over priced for what you get.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 7:59PM
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Update: Local Kubota delaer doesn't have LT/GT just the big stuff.

Looked at Sears and liked their GT, 25HP, 54" cut, etc. Figured it was a Husqvarna and went to the local dealer, $500 more for what "seemed" to be an identical unit. also interesting was the bagger at Sears was $349, at Husqvarna, $860, didn't even ask about the mulch kit.

While at Husqvarna, asked if the tractor had a drain plug for the trans for oil changes? After some "heming and hawing," was finally told, it doesn't have one, but you can change the oil. "Just have to take out the trans and let it drain for three or four days." OK, that's typical in modern times I guess. Just disappoionted that for $3800 you can't change the oil without major disassembly.

Looking further, discovered that the Sears "hometown" stores or whatever they're called, has an additional line of LT/GT's called the "PRO" series. Looked at one online and it had a 26HP Kawasaki, and similar to the other Craftsman I was looking at. Local store has one in stock, currently on sale for $2659. AND Sears still has the deal that if you open a Sears Charge you get 5% off whatever you buy that day. Over the years I've bought a lot of stuff from them using that, open the charge, get the "deal," pay it off when the first bill comes in.

Getting a headache, shouldn't be this hard to spend $4K to buy something that's reliable to cut grass?


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Update: The kubota dealer called back and said he could get a LT/GT, "around $5500, however, he recomends the diesel 4WD for $12,500.

Found a Snapper dealer, equivalent to Sears would be around $4500, bagger would be another $$850. That's with a Briggs engine.

Looking like Sears, 26HP, 54" deck, hydro, Kawaskai engine, "out the door" with bagger $3014 and if I take out the card, can subtract 5%.

I think this exercise has taught me that there's the big box stores, then Sears, then the "name brand" dealers. If you want to spend $5K plus to cut grass, go to the dealers. Guess I'm too cheap.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Correction: Not Kawasaki, Kohler engine, 26HP.

Bought it, has a Hydro Gear trans with filter and fluid can be changed.

Went with Craftsman for price, parts available "everywhere," and you can work on them.

Interesting sidebar, trans oil and filter to be changed at 40 hours and 400 thereafter. Sears wanted $45 for the filter, Amazon about the same, HydroGear has a parts site and it was $13.89 each,, shipping $12.50 for two of them. So I got two including shipping for less than the cost of one which didn't include shipping?

Went to the OEM as I wanted to make sure I was getting a "good" trans filter and not some "aftermarket approved equivalent." Yet, it was a third of the cost? Life is getting screwier.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:21PM
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