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Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: Win] #5206263 09/06/19 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Win
I bought a new, slightly smaller Ariens zero turn last year, and it's the second biggest POS I've ever owned, second only to a Honda car I had in college. The Honda was really, really, bad, otherwise this POS would be in first place.

I use mine to mow my commercial property, and EVERY time I take it out of state to mow one of my outer properties, it tosses the drive belt. Every time. It's impossible to replace in the field. On my local property, it's better - it only fails half the time.

The only positive thing is that the local dealer is a few hundred yards from my warehouse of junk. So that's sort of convenient. Edit : in fact, it's in the shop right now, and has been for at least the last three weeks. If you trailer it, be sure to have a strong come along with you. You'll likely need it.

Hope yours works better for you, than mine does for me.


If it is going through that many belts something is seriously wrong with it. I'd check all pulleys, their alignment, belt guards, and bearings.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (156k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (56k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5206340 09/06/19 01:16 PM
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Super nice looking machine!

Kawasaki engines are great, but the engine is only part of the picture. To me, the drive system, cutting deck and overall machine are more important than the engine. Sorry if I missed it, but I'm assuming this has the HydroGear ZT3400 drives like they pretty much all do these days. There's commercial duty drives right up to the ZT5400 now. They're nice. I had one of the first machines back in 2009-10 with ZT2800 series drives being used. It was a Cub Z-Force with a fab'd 44" deck.

Last edited by JTK; 09/06/19 01:17 PM.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
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Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: tony1679] #5206600 09/06/19 06:39 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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Originally Posted by tony1679
I cannot preach highly enough about Kawasaki small engines. My (2016..? Hustler Raptor 52") zero-turn has the 23HP FR691V (same owner's manual as yours).


My toro has the fr651v, but the odd thing is, it and the 691v seem to be the same engine. The specs are the same, and if i remember, the part numbers for replacement carbs, and valves were the same part number.

same bore and stroke, even the same weight, the only difference is the stated horsepower.

I think they are identical except for the engine cover.


https://www.engine-specs.net/kawasaki/fr651v.html


https://www.engine-specs.net/kawasaki/fr691v.html

Last edited by spasm3; 09/06/19 06:40 PM.

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Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: passgas55] #5210271 09/11/19 02:44 PM
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I bought a Gravely ZT HD 52 with 23 HP Kawi last year. It replaced a Simplicity Citation XT. The Gravely mows the pants off the Simplicity, and it came leveled. Really like it, and that causes me to mow real often. Ariens leans more towards the residential market, and is very good product as well.This is my third Kawi engine, and the first two were trouble-free, but this one would often give a puff of oil when starting it after it sat a while (hot or cold). I put Mobil 1 15w50 in it, and zero smoke or oil odor. I would buy another Gravely for sure.


Many are the afflictions of a righteous man

2019 Nissan Murano S
2018 Gravely ZT HD 52
2016 Kawasaki 650 Versys LT
2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv 2 ltr
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: jeepman3071] #5216338 09/18/19 03:32 PM
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Win Offline
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Originally Posted by jeepman3071
Originally Posted by Win
I bought a new, slightly smaller Ariens zero turn last year, and it's the second biggest POS I've ever owned, second only to a Honda car I had in college. The Honda was really, really, bad, otherwise this POS would be in first place.

I use mine to mow my commercial property, and EVERY time I take it out of state to mow one of my outer properties, it tosses the drive belt. Every time. It's impossible to replace in the field. On my local property, it's better - it only fails half the time.

The only positive thing is that the local dealer is a few hundred yards from my warehouse of junk. So that's sort of convenient. Edit : in fact, it's in the shop right now, and has been for at least the last three weeks. If you trailer it, be sure to have a strong come along with you. You'll likely need it.

Hope yours works better for you, than mine does for me.


If it is going through that many belts something is seriously wrong with it. I'd check all pulleys, their alignment, belt guards, and bearings.


So, I got it back from the dealer yesterday, and they said .... wait for it .... they couldn't duplicate the problem, and couldn't find anything wrong with it.

So I drove it down to my warehouse of junk, and it did successfully knock out a couple of acres of tall stuff.

Which means it will fail the next time I mow anything.

Hopefully OP's is working like a champ for him.


09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
09 Solstice 2.4 I4 Fram 5/30
08 G8 3.6 V6 ST Syn 5/30
04 Xj8 4.2 V8 Hav 5/40
99 S-10 2.2 I4 RECOVERED
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Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: Win] #5216896 09/19/19 08:30 AM
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JTK Online Content
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Win, are we talking the belt that drives the transaxles, the belt that drives the deck or the belt that drives the blades?

Assuming we're talking about the belt to the deck, If the tensioners and sheaves are all where they should be and in good shape, are you cutting with the deck mashed down onto the ground? That can put a drastic angle on the belt and all deck jostling while mowing can cause the belt to jump off. Pay attention to the deck. It should hang from the machine, with the gauge wheels only contacting on occasional rough/high spots. Commercial duty machines tend to be the ones designed to allow the deck to actually ride on the ground.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5217744 09/20/19 08:18 AM
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Win Offline
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I usually cut at 4 to 4.5 inches.

It's the transaxle belt - worst case scenario for belt throwing; it's dead right there and time to get out the come along and winch it on the trailer.

It doesn't matter if it is working hard, or hardly working - it's tossed it when mowing, and when getting ready to drive it on the trailer.

I haven't worked on it at all, other than to determine that transaxle belt cannot be practically replaced out in the field with the mower on the ground.

Practically, it's my problem, since the machine is not fit for its intended purpose and causes me a lot of commercial inconvenience, but I have an extended warranty on it so it will be several years before they can blow me off for good.

I'm getting ready to overhaul the old JD and use it for my out of state property. it was dependable.


09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
09 Solstice 2.4 I4 Fram 5/30
08 G8 3.6 V6 ST Syn 5/30
04 Xj8 4.2 V8 Hav 5/40
99 S-10 2.2 I4 RECOVERED
94 Xj12 6.0 V12
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: Win] #5217761 09/20/19 08:33 AM
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jeepman3071 Offline
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Originally Posted by Win
I usually cut at 4 to 4.5 inches.

It's the transaxle belt - worst case scenario for belt throwing; it's dead right there and time to get out the come along and winch it on the trailer.

It doesn't matter if it is working hard, or hardly working - it's tossed it when mowing, and when getting ready to drive it on the trailer.

I haven't worked on it at all, other than to determine that transaxle belt cannot be practically replaced out in the field with the mower on the ground.

Practically, it's my problem, since the machine is not fit for its intended purpose and causes me a lot of commercial inconvenience, but I have an extended warranty on it so it will be several years before they can blow me off for good.

I'm getting ready to overhaul the old JD and use it for my out of state property. it was dependable.



Is there another dealer you can take it to? Seems like they are not running it enough to duplicate the problem. I'm sure they are just starting it inside a shop and driving it around for 5 minutes saying it is fine. I had a customer with a tractor that would only throw the drive belt on a hill. No dealer could find the problem. First hill I drove it on and sure enough the belt comes off. It ended up having a crack in the frame allowing the transmission to flex enough and the belt would get misaligned and come off.


1998 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L/5MT (156k) - PHM 10w30, Wix 51085
2009 BMW 328i N51 (56k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5217776 09/20/19 08:57 AM
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Win Offline
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There was, in the next town over, but they went out of business. This dealer is more convenient, anyway, because it is just a block from my warehouse of junk.

Last time they had it, they used it enough to run the gas tank almost completely dry. I took it in with at least half a tank, and it had enough gas left to drive a block and mow about thirty feet.

Fortunately there is a gas station next to my warehouse of junk, and I had an empty milk jug.


09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
09 Solstice 2.4 I4 Fram 5/30
08 G8 3.6 V6 ST Syn 5/30
04 Xj8 4.2 V8 Hav 5/40
99 S-10 2.2 I4 RECOVERED
94 Xj12 6.0 V12
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5217790 09/20/19 09:07 AM
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JTK Online Content
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That is an unusual one given the transaxle drive belt spins any time the engine is running and angles and tension shouldn't change on them. Like jeepman suggested, I wonder if there is some flexing or movement happening on the machine.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: Bought my first zero turn today... [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5218050 09/20/19 01:44 PM
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Win Offline
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I suppose the next time I have it at the warehouse of junk, I can put it in my shop and jack it up - maybe I will see something.

I haven't done that, because the whole point of a new mower was to reduce the burden on my time, freeing me from having to work on a mower. I'm going to get a new deck for the JD and new tires, and put it back in service.

I use this (these) mowers on empty, undeveloped, commercial acreage, tracts are a couple of three acres - flat, graded and leveled, and there is no need to mow it closer than 4 inches, so it should not be real hard work for a mower. Worst case scenario is that by the time I get around to the outliers the vegetation is tall. That shouldn't affect the drive belt as far as I can see.

I used to pay enough to have these properties commercially mowed, that I can just throw one of these prosumer things away every second or third year, and still be ahead. I expected to get four or five out of this thing.


09 Torrent 3.6 V6 M1 0/30
09 Solstice 2.4 I4 Fram 5/30
08 G8 3.6 V6 ST Syn 5/30
04 Xj8 4.2 V8 Hav 5/40
99 S-10 2.2 I4 RECOVERED
94 Xj12 6.0 V12
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