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#4446682 - 07/01/17 01:16 PM Zero Turn Motor Break In
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
On a zero turn mower engine from say 23-37hp on average do you think it takes 50 hours to seat the rings like some companies say. I have no issue with that, but I wonder if its so?
50 hours of mowing ain't no piece of cake. it can be a very harsh environment indeed.

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#4446695 - 07/01/17 01:35 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5751
Loc: Illinois
Sounds high to me. 50 hrs is about a full year's mowing for me.
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#4446770 - 07/01/17 02:46 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11018
Loc: Idaho
How else would you break in a lawn mower 'cept to mow the lawn ???
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#4446787 - 07/01/17 03:00 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: CT8]
UncleDave Online   content


Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 1646
Loc: Ca.
Originally Posted By: CT8
How else would you break in a lawn mower 'cept to mow the lawn ???


Pretty much.

I can't imagine doing anything else, nor did grandad, dad, or I. The machining and ring quality today is pretty good

I'd guess it'd be broken in in half the time or less.

I'd give it an oil and filter change after its first full yard, then at the end of the season, and maintain by hours going forward.

One thing I always do is keep an eye on valve lash at the first 50 hours, in my experience most of the stuff you get today moves a bit right away then sets a while.

The japanese engines typically have 2-3X the lash interval of everyone else but the baby cats.

UD
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#4446846 - 07/01/17 04:13 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 4298
Loc: Kansas
I would guess that the break in is less than that, probably a lot less.
However, if you happen to get an engine that uses oil for a long time, it's their excuse to tell you just to wait it out for at least 50 hours so they can dodge some warranty work.

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#4446866 - 07/01/17 04:37 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: CT8]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: CT8
How else would you break in a lawn mower 'cept to mow the lawn ???


You asked it not me. Had nothing to do with that. Fifty hours was mentioned for break in before going to a SS or FS oil. Please clarify "break in"

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#4446868 - 07/01/17 04:38 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: Kruse]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
Originally Posted By: Kruse
I would guess that the break in is less than that, probably a lot less.
However, if you happen to get an engine that uses oil for a long time, it's their excuse to tell you just to wait it out for at least 50 hours so they can dodge some warranty work.


I think your right!!!!

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#4446896 - 07/01/17 05:32 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9578
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Since B&S twin cyl 20HP suggest the first oil change at 5-10 hours, I'm guessing that the engine is 90% broke-in. At 3400 rpm that is a fair amount of piston travel in 5 hours. Ed
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#4446922 - 07/01/17 06:11 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
50 hours is probably a fail-safe value given to account for all types of duty cycles and loads.

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#4447015 - 07/01/17 08:51 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 7705
Loc: Texas
I just got a new Bad Boy Zero turn with a Kohler V-twin and the factory fill is a break in oil of a "light viscosity" I was told when I purchased it. It has 5 hours on it and I am going to change to at 10 hours to be safe. The Kohler manual nor Badboy mower mentions anything about an early oil change requirement, however.

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#4447303 - 07/02/17 10:20 AM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
loneryder Offline


Registered: 04/19/14
Posts: 489
Loc: WV
My new Ferris with the B&S Commercial turf 27hp now has 11 hrs on it. The first time I cut with it for about an hr. it used a slight amount of oil. From then until 10 hrs. it didn't use any. I changed the oil/filter @ 10hrs for my own peace of mind since the manuals say every 100 hrs. It was new out of the crate.
I would say the rings seat in the first couple hrs. of use. Other break in in the first 10. Dealer said not to use syn until 25hrs.

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#4447340 - 07/02/17 10:55 AM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
spasm3 Online   content


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8665
Loc: North Carolina
I think i ran my zero turn an hour, then changed it. Changed it again at 5 hours. Kawasaki FR651V


Edited by spasm3 (07/02/17 10:56 AM)
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#4447360 - 07/02/17 11:27 AM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: loneryder]
locomaster1969 Offline


Registered: 12/14/15
Posts: 38
Loc: Kansas
In my experience most 4 cycle air cooled ope engines completely break in within the first 5 hours of use. Most of the break in is within the first hour of use. The rings set and the rod bearings conform to the crank surface. There will be plenty of glitter in the oil filter by this point. I'am a firm believer in running that new engine at full throttle and working it like you intend to. Run the mower deck and cut plenty of thick grass during the break in period. The point is to keep the engine running at max power with the deck pulling all the power from the engine that it can. This will set the piston rings. Don't let it idle much during break in. I find that engines broke in this way usually do not have problems with oil consumption or burning oil down the road. Change the oil and filter after 5 to 8 hours and refill with the oil of your choice. I prefer 15/40 diesel oil for dino and Mobil 1 5/30 or 10/40 if I want to run syn. Keep the air filter clean and that is the recipe for a long engine life.
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#4447857 - 07/02/17 09:59 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9578
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
The 20HP B&S twin Intek engines in my JD states to "Run the engine at full throttle while mowing to keep the engine from over heating" In addition; JD states that the tractor hood must be in place to assure proper engine cooling. Just for new comer information. Ed
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#4447887 - 07/02/17 10:33 PM Re: Zero Turn Motor Break In [Re: AirgunSavant]
mattwithcats Offline


Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 1662
Loc: Virginia
I would change at 5 hours, then 25, then every 50
You have no idea what's inside the engine,
casting sand, metal flakes, dirt, etc...

Shell Rotella T5 in 10W-30 is my favorite small engine oil,
tough, but not expensive...
paired with a Fram (or equivalent) 3614 or 3600 (if there is room) filter..

I can get STP blue from AutoZone for $3.99...
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