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I need a mower to cut an acre and go down the lane to get mail. It is steep and I run about 225. Is a 14 HP MTD yard machine going to get it done or am I way off?
 

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It really depends on how fast you want to go. The basic 14 hp MTD models will do what you need, if you don't mind taking a while, especially mowing. The bigger the mower deck, the bigger the motor you'll need. The bigger the motor and mower deck, the faster you'll go mowing. Its that simple. About 75% of lawn mowers these days are made by MTD, including cub cadet, so the quality tends to be good even for the low end machines.
 

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I need a mower to cut an acre and go down the lane to get mail. It is steep and I run about 225. Is a 14 HP MTD yard machine going to get it done or am I way off?
That will be fine. Just don't expect to go very fast uphill. You can go down to a 12hp engine with a 42" deck (the most common deck size). As far as quality goes MTD does make most of the mowers on the market. However they also have a tendency to use the most oddball designs. The old yard machines use a complicated deck lift system that integrates engagement and height into one lever. Just about every MTD mower that isn't hydrostatic uses the Vari Drive system which is comprised of 2 belts that will need to be replaced occasionally, and it can be a PITA to do that. The engine is usually surrounded by bodywork, and only the top of the hood opens, which makes servicing a pain. I actually just traded a yard machines for a Bolens (Both are made by MTD). If your buying used check the deck for rust, especially in the center. Look at the belts, most people run them till they break. Check the engine for proper oil level. If it's overfull smell it (your checking for gas).The front bodywork rests on the plastic grill which likes to crack at the mounts so keep an eye out for that.

If you ever have any MTD specific questions feel free to pop in here:
http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=279082
I've fixed plenty of MTD mowers and know all their little quirks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, will take that advice. Not too worried about speed, I'd prefer slow due to terrain. I just want to be able to make it up the hill. I will take some notes with me tomorrow, thanks. guess I can't go wrong if it works for 250.
 

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Those little bastards have some crazy gearing. I've had the tires spinning going uphill but never seen 'em stop turning until I made 'em.
Going up the hill shouldn't be an issue as long as you can get traction. :beer

We've got two little Craftsman mowers...
One old 12 HP, double blade we bought off an old guy that took decent care of it.
I use that one to mow about 2 acres of weedy fields. I have to go at it kinda slow and double overlap to get good clearance but it works well for the job and that's saying a lot with all the dust that gets kicked up and the rocks and mole hills.

Last year we picked up a newer Craftsman rider, double blade with the bagger for the actual yard (LOVE THE BAGGER!!!). Not too sure on the details... been awhile and I don't use that one much, just maintain it for her. Got a good deal off of craigslist from a widower who's old man was a military mechanic, so it's been taken care of about as good as you could ask and had very low hours. They told me he'd only used it once but that was BS. Probably only 1 season though.


Anyway... love having them both around for the different jobs. Can still get lots of parts and info for the old or new ones. Good support and strong running, reliable little machines.
 

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I did all for the Nookie
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I like the cut the 38" decks do over the 42" decks. We use a couple mtd's of various flavors and a craftsman 42" hydrostat to cut 2.5 acres. The vari drive system phun spoke of will pull well i drag a 44" trail mower behind it and it will pull it okay, but you can over work it doing what i do for 45 minutes at a time the hydro pulls with far less up keep. I mow every 2 weeks which can be a challenge from time to time depending on rainfall. I try to buy my mowers for $100 since i leave them unattended 60 miles away if they walk off I won't be out to much.
 

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i give up on the throwaway models and got me an old 180 John Deere, 17HP with 3 blade 46" cut. It is a little beast. Paid $550 for it and put another $175 in it for other things. Had a Craftsman 18Hp/42 cut before that. It lasted about 7 years.
The MTD will do the job you are looking at. Happy Mowing.

OBTW...here is a link on who makes what...
http://todaysmower.com/2014-lawn-yard-garden-tractor-manufacturers/
 

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i give up on the throwaway models and got me an old 180 John Deere, 17HP with 3 blade 46" cut. It is a little beast. Paid $550 for it and put another $175 in it for other things. Had a Craftsman 18Hp/42 cut before that. It lasted about 7 years.
The MTD will do the job you are looking at. Happy Mowing.

OBTW...here is a link on who makes what...
http://todaysmower.com/2014-lawn-yard-garden-tractor-manufacturers/
OLD? That's about 20 years newer than my Cub 125 and and at least 10 years newer than my Cub 1450.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i leave them unattended 60 miles away if they walk off I won't be out to much.
What's the address :toothless

Yeah it is a 38 inch deck and bottom line I need a mower so unless it is smoking or smelling burnt, I can't imagine not getting it. Going to look at it in a couple hours. Thanks for the replies.
 

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I did all for the Nookie
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5150 van halen dr.
Effyouville. IN:toothless
 

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What's the address :toothless

Yeah it is a 38 inch deck and bottom line I need a mower so unless it is smoking or smelling burnt, I can't imagine not getting it. Going to look at it in a couple hours. Thanks for the replies.
Well? Pics? lemme guess, it's black. Or red.
 

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I did all for the Nookie
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It could be green or yellow.
 

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It was red, and a mess, I walked. The engine was replaced and it was ratty and loose and rusty, dead battery and dead belts. I should have known because someone backed out before me, so that's that. There are a couple other ones available for about the same price, I just have to travel a bit.
 

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It was red, and a mess, I walked. The engine was replaced and it was ratty and loose and rusty, dead battery and dead belts. I should have known because someone backed out before me, so that's that. There are a couple other ones available for about the same price, I just have to travel a bit.
I CALLED IT! :haha


Good call. You run into that alot with mowers. People run the shit out of them and cobble them back together then ditch them when they get tired of it. Nothing is more annoying than a lousy engine swap. Ive seen em more than I can remember. I've done my fair share of engine swaps but you can't even tell once I'm done.

Keep looking. Remember the main thing to look at is the deck, engine, and transmission. In that order. Anything else can be repaired relatively easily and cheaply.

Are you looking specifically at MTDs or any mower that will do the Job?
BTW, avoid hydrostatics. They're more convenient but they just simply don't hold up to more than light duty yard mowing.

Funny I just bought a John Deere L120 For 60$ a little while ago. 42"+ deck, V-twin Hydrostatic. Sounds like a hell of a deal except its a bigger basket case than what you just looked at.
 

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Tell them I'll give'm $75. See if i can do payments.

I've had good luck with sears hydros. Maybe i just got lucky.
 

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OLD? That's about 20 years newer than my Cub 125 and and at least 10 years newer than my Cub 1450.
it is a 1989 model I believe. what model is your Cubs. I hear good things about the older ones (same as JD). I got to pick up another JD in Oklahoma, bought it off my BIL, it is a JD 316. I just could not pass up a John 316 :)
 

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Tell them I'll give'm $75. See if i can do payments.

I've had good luck with sears hydros. Maybe i just got lucky.
Shit I'd offer $50.

The older hydros were built a little better but the new ones are just junk. They either are non serviceable or have to be removed to change the fluid. Plus they don't have proper filters.Because of this wear inside them occurs exponentially (like running without a filter and never changing the oil in your car). When I put a hydro mower through the "torture test" I have to take it easy. I had a hydro that was fine most of the day, then later on it got slower and slower. The Fluid that came out of that thing was grey. For heavy use nothing beats a proper manual. 1500+ hours of hard use on my 6 speed manual and it never even flinches. If I hitch up the trailer with too much weight it wont stall, it just spins both tires on dry pavement.
 

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it is a 1989 model I believe. what model is your Cubs. I hear good things about the older ones (same as JD). I got to pick up another JD in Oklahoma, bought it off my BIL, it is a JD 316. I just could not pass up a John 316 :)
The 316 is a horse for a garden tractor. My 125 is a 1967 model, the 1450 is a 1978 model. The hydrostats they used in them are extremely tough - I've seen several run almost dry with people still creeping along not knowing they should add some hytran. Buy them and refill with hytran and a new filter and they run just fine - you'd think they'd be smoked with that kind of abuse.


The single cylinder Kohler engines used in those years of Cub Cadets and the John Deere 314 are also extremely tough and very cheap to rebuild. The 316 has an Onan engine - enourmously expensive to rebuild (seriously I think a rebuild kit for a small block 350 is cheaper).
 

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I bought a John Deer L120 last year for about $600 and I like that mower. It is a bigger heavy duty mower, seems to have plenty of power and is pretty comfortable and easy to use. I had a smaller yard machine before and seems like I was working on it more than I was mowing.
 
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