I am looking at purchasing a used John Deere F525. Has anyone had experience with these front-end mowers and is there anything I should look out for? It has a 48" deck and a single cylinder 17hp Kawasaki engine with ~350 hours.
I own (3rd hand, I got it with 1400 hours for $600 after a recent dealership service job -oil, belt, blades) a JD F525 with about 1600 hours on it. It has operated very well for me, but has recently started leaking oil. It still runs very well. The worst thing about the mower is that the transmission and engine are one unit and that it is very expensive to have rebuilt. I spoke to my dealer and he indicated it would probably be several hundred dollars to find and fix the leak as the engine/transmission would have to be pulled to find the leak. I just top it off before I cut each week and let it leak. Another thing, it has a top speed of about 5mph fwd and 2.5 mph rev. Okay for me, as my ground is a little rough and I couldn't travel much faster without being beat to death. I changed the spindle bearing this year for the first time (ever for two spindles). The bearings are sealed and cannot be greased, but that is pretty good life for sealed bearings.
The F525 had alot of electrical issues during it run in the JD line.
A friend of mine currently has this tractor. It is a '98 with 302 hrs on it(I went to look at it this weekend). He said he would sell it to me for $1,000 (friend discount, similar mowers hours and shape wise are selling for over $2,000 around here). He just bought an F935 so no longer needs this mower. I have put my LX178 in the paper for $1,000 so would break even and hopefully have a better mower. I really don't need the "tractor" capabilities since all I do is pull a small cart and the F525 has a rear hitch. Speaking of electrical issues, you have to push on the break pedal a few times to get it to start, there must be something loose on the safety switch or something. If I can get my LX sold I will probably go pick it up. Thanks for the replys.
I run a 525 mower they are a great little unit, nice option is the offset mower deck for mowing around trees cannot find another machie with this option, I have seen them advertised with up to 2500 hrs, I love my mchine the only part I do not like is the reverse pedel seems cheap
I have 2 525 mowers one with 800 hours and one with 1100 hours. Put about 1oo hours per year on each one. They work great, awsome to trim with, the deck is in front of you, so see exactly what you are mowing.. I have had no electric issues Actually I not much for problems at all, however my machines are serviced very regularly.. The engine and transmission is all one unit, ( they call this a "unitized unit" When change oil you are changing oil in both the transmision and the engine at the same time. I am not sure ( I work at a Deere Dealership) What this unitized unit would cost, but imagine it would be very expensive maybe around 2000 dollars