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Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? #4786007
06/13/18 03:05 PM
06/13/18 03:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
I found a Craftsman GT which appears to be from the late 90's (it's dark green in color, but with a rounded hood, not the square/box style) for sale nearby. It has a 22hp Kohler Pro V-twin, and 50" cutting deck. Transmission is a 6 speed, which I believe is a 3 speed with hi/low configuration in these mowers. I can't determine exact year until I go see it and look at the serial number. Has anyone used/owned one of these? how do they hold up? The guy told me on the phone that everything is 100%, but I've heard that plenty of times before and rarely is the case. Pictures look good. Being REALISTIC, what would you offer for a machine like this in good condition? I just don't have the time to wait for an absolute bargain, but I'm not going to overpay either.


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 182k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 250k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 129k Chevron Supreme 5w-20
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786012
06/13/18 03:10 PM
06/13/18 03:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,884
Florida, Cape Coral
Eddie Offline
Eddie  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9,884
Florida, Cape Coral
I bought a neighbors 2004 42 inch John Deere with a 20HP b&S engine for $500. It showed only 160 hours on it. Ed


CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786022
06/13/18 03:27 PM
06/13/18 03:27 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,385
Tri State Conservative
Zee09 Offline
Zee09  Offline
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,385
Tri State Conservative
$300 max
I'd pass unless you just got to have it.
I think they are pretty crummy. My parents had one just like it.
Good luck!


"If I walked on water, they'd say I couldn't swim."
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786023
06/13/18 03:29 PM
06/13/18 03:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,942
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,942
South Florida
Probably worth $500? or so.

They are pretty decent. Easy to keep running, parts available everywhere. If he maintained it, it could be a nice budget mower.

The way to tell if a mower is maintained is to look at the blades. If they are ground down to nothing, then the guy doesn't maintain it. If it has like new, good condition blades, then its likely well cared for. Just my experience.


17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786038
06/13/18 03:45 PM
06/13/18 03:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 73
Missouri
Oily_Thing Offline
Oily_Thing  Offline
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 73
Missouri
Check the deck, deck mounts, idler pulleys, deck height adjusters, and tractor steering. Engine and transmission are great. The rest of the mower mechanism is junky.


2013 Cadillac XTS4 3.6
2015 Dodge Durango Limited 3.6
2011 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager 1700
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: Oily_Thing] #4786076
06/13/18 04:39 PM
06/13/18 04:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,584
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,584
wv
look at the deck very carefully...not sure parts are easy to get for those 50" ones..

Whats it worth? $250 or less if its cherry.

If its a good deal make sure you mow with it for 15 mins or so and put it thru its paces. If he wont let u mow with it walk away.

Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786233
06/13/18 07:39 PM
06/13/18 07:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 48
ms
racinjason Offline
racinjason  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 48
ms
Those are very slow to turn around, also they dont turn right very good. Turns left reasonably well, not near as good as a later mower that has the step though design. Forward reverse switch is a pain imo.

Transmissions are pretty tough. I have seen input shaft problems with the though. Motor is fine, it will be 4x1-1/8 output shaft.

Im not a fan of them, but if cheap they will cut grass, last one I sold I think I got $450-$500

Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786273
06/13/18 08:49 PM
06/13/18 08:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
The one I looked at was a beast. I ended up buying it at a nice price-- which is hard to do in KY, mowers are the price of gold in the middle of cutting season. I don't know where you guys live, but offering $300 would not just get me a laugh in the face, but probably a kick in the [censored] on the way out. But I didn't pay much more than that. 50" cut, solid half-box (or rolled C-channel) frame, cast iron front axle, it's made to mow, everything was good. That's where the fun ended.

Now please laugh with me on this, not at me. I don't frequent BITOG often because of the bad attitude many people portray-- I planned on unloading it on a steep hillside by the road where I could use short ramps, as it was in the back of my pickup. In the midst of it, my annoying neighbor came over and suggested another spot. My mind was focused on keeping my young son out of the way of the truck while I moved it, and in the process of going up a slight hill, the mower rolled backward and fell out of the back of the truck. Never thought to close the tailgate, I was rushing everything because sun was going down, and my thought was the parking brake would hold it okay. Bad decision. The mower landed on its back end and did a sort of flip upside down, which I quickly turned it back over. Luckily I had the deck taken off (needed to fit it in my truck) and the only damage I was able the ascertain in the few minutes I had was bent sheetmetal on the front end (hood cover) and it caused the seat to slide forward (it's adjustable) to the max. It landed right on the fuel tank cap, but surprisingly the plastic tank held up well and everything looks good when I did a quick look around.

Long story short, I put the deck back on and started mowing as a quick test and nothing seems out of the ordinary. There is a deck support on the rear that is bent about 90 degrees, such that I can't put the bar on it. But it's a removable support that I can take to work and bend back with a torch before I start mowing with it, and with luck all will be fine. I'll keep you folks updated on how it does, hopefully it's no worse for the wear. I'm sure I'm not the only person to do such a dumb move; mistakes happen, you can only learn from them.


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 182k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 250k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 129k Chevron Supreme 5w-20
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786355
06/14/18 01:28 AM
06/14/18 01:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,937
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,937
Buffalo, NY
My BIL had the exact Craftsman garden tractor. I forget the model #, GT6000 maybe?

Anyway, that between the knees shift, dual range trans is a tough one and the last of it's kind for a Sears machine.

These are tough machines, but like said, have huge turning radiuses and are not all that comfortable behind the wheel. Not a lot of room. I forget if my BILs had a 48 or 50" deck, but the cut quality was not great with it.

If you want a tough machine, go for it. I'd get behind the wheel and do a little mowing with it first if you can though, just to see if you're OK with the fit/feel.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786390
06/14/18 04:10 AM
06/14/18 04:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,784
N.Ohio
Lubener Offline
Lubener  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,784
N.Ohio
The green GT's hold up well. One weakness I have noticed is the steering get very sloppy from poor design.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786765
06/14/18 02:17 PM
06/14/18 02:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,933
Canada
boraticus Offline
boraticus  Offline
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,933
Canada
If it doesn't have solid cast front axles, I'd look very closely at the steering. A neighbor had a similar machine and the welded box front axle mounts cracked on in requiring re-welding. Afterward, it was armstrong steering all the way.

Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4786857
06/14/18 04:26 PM
06/14/18 04:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
This one has fairly sloppy steering. It'll have to get me through this summer and I'll look into repairing it. It does have the cast iron front axle, according to the serial number this is a 2000 model. I did a complete maintenance workover on it (filters, greased zerks, oil/filter change, etc.) and it appears ready to go to work. I've got my fingers crossed, my grass grows fast and I need a good mower!


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 182k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 250k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 129k Chevron Supreme 5w-20
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4787712
06/15/18 06:18 PM
06/15/18 06:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,937
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,937
Buffalo, NY
Wow! The roll-over thing! For what ever reason, I didn't see your post about that when I posted above. I know I've always feared that with various OPE and ATVs when pickup truck loading/unloading over the years and prefer the hill method for that reason like you say..

Glad no one got hurt, including the mower! Hope it works well for you.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: JTK] #4787861
06/15/18 09:49 PM
06/15/18 09:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,450
Flaherty, KY
Originally Posted By: JTK
Wow! The roll-over thing! For what ever reason, I didn't see your post about that when I posted above. I know I've always feared that with various OPE and ATVs when pickup truck loading/unloading over the years and prefer the hill method for that reason like you say..

Glad no one got hurt, including the mower! Hope it works well for you.


Mower works well so far, the hood is shifted a bit sideways where it hinges, but it seems no worse for the wear. It finished an acre of lawn just fine. I'm surprised, my F-250 sits pretty high, and the mower did a slam dunk right on its [censored] end and flopped over right on the steering wheel. Nothing broke, not even the plastic fuel neck/gas cap that sticks off the back. I got lucky. Guys at work sure got a laugh when I told the story, but one guy fessed up that the same thing happened to him with an expensive ATV.

I have to say, you're pretty much spot on with your comments-- it's cramped in the middle, I'm 6'2 and I have to do a dance to get on the thing. Once I'm on there, it's plenty comfortable. The middle shifter is great, I really like the transmission. The 5-6 gear spacing though is HUGE. 5th gear is okay for mowing, sometimes you want a bit more, but when you get into 6th it's the equivalent of the starship Enterprise going to warp 9-- clearly it's just for getting one place to another quickly. The turning radius is HUGE but only when turning to the left. I'm okay with that since the chute is on the right, I only cut close corners while turning right where I can watch the end of the deck and not have the chute in the way to knock over stuff. Solid mower, I'm happy. Cut quality is above average for a 50" IMO. Cuts my mowing time significantly versus the 38" I had before.


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 182k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 250k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 129k Chevron Supreme 5w-20

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