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#4786007 - 06/13/18 04:05 PM Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions?
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1282
Loc: 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.
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1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Maxlife 15w-40 HDEO [for sale]
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#4786012 - 06/13/18 04:10 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9578
Loc: 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
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#4786022 - 06/13/18 04:27 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Zee09 Offline


Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 317
Loc: 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!
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#4786023 - 06/13/18 04:29 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5628
Loc: 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.
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#4786038 - 06/13/18 04:45 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Oily_Thing Offline


Registered: 03/16/18
Posts: 34
Loc: 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.
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#4786076 - 06/13/18 05:39 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: Oily_Thing]
krismoriah72 Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1519
Loc: 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.

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#4786233 - 06/13/18 08:39 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
racinjason Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 14
Loc: 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

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#4786273 - 06/13/18 09:49 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1282
Loc: 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.
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1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Maxlife 15w-40 HDEO [for sale]
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96 Maxima GLE 248k Castrol Edge 5w-50
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

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#4786355 - 06/14/18 02:28 AM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10592
Loc: 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.
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#4786390 - 06/14/18 05:10 AM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2577
Loc: N.Ohio
The green GT's hold up well. One weakness I have noticed is the steering get very sloppy from poor design.
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#4786765 - 06/14/18 03:17 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
boraticus Offline


Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 2909
Loc: 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.

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#4786857 - 06/14/18 05:26 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1282
Loc: 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- Maxlife 15w-40 HDEO [for sale]
04 Odyssey EX 180k PUP 5w-40
96 Maxima GLE 248k Castrol Edge 5w-50
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

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#4787712 - 06/15/18 07:18 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: 92saturnsl2]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10592
Loc: 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.
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#4787861 - 06/15/18 10:49 PM Re: Craftsman GT (late 90's) riding mower - opinions? [Re: JTK]
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1282
Loc: 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- Maxlife 15w-40 HDEO [for sale]
04 Odyssey EX 180k PUP 5w-40
96 Maxima GLE 248k Castrol Edge 5w-50
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

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