Used Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Advise


Old 04-22-06, 01:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Used Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Advise

This is a great web site! I've been lurking and reading for awhile and have found lots of useful information. Here's my first post. I'm close to buying a 2000 Simplicity Zero Turn mower with 44" deck and 16 HP Kohler Command. There doesn't seem to be much info out there about zero turns and life expectancy or durability etc. I've borrowed the mower several times, it's been well taken care of, the guy loves to cut grass and just wants a new mower. Any opinions or knowledge about how these things hold up or what repairs to expect under residential use? This one has a hydro trans that suppossed to be considered heavy duty. If I can get 10 yrs. with minimal repairs I thinks it's a good deal and 50% faster than my old craftsman.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-24-06, 02:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Hello WoodgreenFarmer,

Welcome to DIY.

I haven't seen many of those around my area, so I don't have a lot of experience with them. The Kohler command engine should last, and the tranny probably will with proper care. 10 years with no major problems is a possibility, but maybe not realistic to ask of ANY mower, much less a used one. Depending on usage and care, it may easily last you that long or longer.

Keep it clean, out of the weather, serviced, and fix the little problems before they turn into big problems and you'll increase your odds. On the Kohler, the main cause I've seen for engine failure is a worn throttle shaft in the carburetor. It wears through, breaks off, and somehow manages to get past the intake valve into the cylinder. Then it takes it's toll on the piston and head. Check the throttle shaft for looseness once in a while. That's saying something for the kohlers though....they hold together long enough to wear the throttle shaft in half, lol!
Old 04-24-06, 02:57 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,224
These units are Ferris mowers with Simplicity colors (they were green in the early days). Since Ferris has been owned by Simplicity since about 1999, these are exactly a Ferris. No differences but color. We are still working on the original Ferris' in my shop and they're holding up very well. You should expect them to last 20-years plus. Keep everything clean especially the two hydro units and the engines' cooling fins to prevent each from overheating. Perform regular oil changes to the engine as well as periodic maintenence (filters, plugs, fuel treatment in the off-season, etc.) along with addressing any strange noise when it appears and this will be the best mower you can possibly have.
Old 04-24-06, 08:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2

Puey61 and Cheese,
Thank you very much for the information, it was exactly what I was looking for to help with my decision. It also reinforced what I've learned the hard way that keeping a machine clean especially the engine keeps it cooler and extends the life. Getting about 10 more years was really just a target and it sounds like with good care and and servicing that could be possible. Although I hope to avoid it, I'd rather replace a major component along the way on a quality machine than buy another disposable mower. Now I just need to get the seller to part with it.

Thanks again. I'll be back!

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