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Please recommend a mower! #5348237 02/12/20 03:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
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dvancleve Offline OP
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Howdy folks.

I have had the same Toro lawn mower my entire adult life. I think it was purchased in 1989, my dad gave it to me in the early 90s when my wife and I got our first house. It has always started within two pulls unless flooded or run out of gas or something, and I think all I’ve ever done to it is replace the spark plug one time, clean the carb one time, and sharpen the blade. It has an a cast aluminum deck, a Tecumseh engine, a clutch blade brake, and no self-propulsion. It has been an oil burner for a while, I haven’t bothered changing the oil in years since I’m constantly topping it off. Just in the last six months, it makes a thumping sound when it starts that speeds up and then goes away. The blade isn’t loose or anything like that, so I think it’s on the way to croaking.

If I could get another brand new one exactly like it, I would. Based on this mower, I’m pretty loyal to Toro. but I have no idea if current Toros are any good or really are related to this old one at all. Are they good? Are they Chinese? Is there something else I should be considering? The 2 things I (think) I want are a Honda engine, unless it isn’t better, and a clutch blade brake. I suspect I cannot avoid self-propulsion, but I would be happy to not have it. Looking again, I don’t think Toro makes a push mower with a Honda motor and clutch blade brake. That’s a bummer. Also, what’s the deal with these Briggs & Stratton engines that claim to never need oil changes? That seems like crazy talk…

Thanks, Doug


1962 & 1968 VW sunroof Bugs
2007 Subaru OBXT Ltd. 5MT, ~75K mi
2013 Chevy Volt, ~130K mi
2013 VW Beetle 2.0 gas turbo convertible, ~36K mi
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348245 02/12/20 03:27 PM
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Hmmm. Unless you want another mower. But since it has an aluminum deck, why not throw on another engine? Maybe one of those Harbor Freight PREDITOR gas engines w/coupon. Or something even le$$ expen$ive like a garage sale mower.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
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Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348247 02/12/20 03:29 PM
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DuckRyder Offline
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Hi Doug.

We have a Toro and a Honda. The Toro is used at a family members house it has personal pace and a briggs engine.

I don’t like the personal pace, but other than that it is a perfectly acceptable mower.

The Honda is a better mower in every way except cost.

So my recommendation is HRX217HZA or HYA


Robert
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line
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Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348266 02/12/20 03:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
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krismoriah72 Offline
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Since yours isnt dead..just sick.. drop it off at a small engine shop and get an estimate to get it fixed.. Run it another 30 years.

Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348267 02/12/20 03:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
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Silverado12 Offline
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The Toro Super Recycler has a better drive setup (metal gears that don't wear out) than the regular Recycler and the newest ones can be had with a Briggs and Stratton engine. They have an aluminum deck and I really like the drive system. Worth the extra money.

Super Recycler


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: DuckRyder] #5348269 02/12/20 03:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 500
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TmanP Offline
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Originally Posted by DuckRyder
Hi Doug.

We have a Toro and a Honda. The Toro is used at a family members house it has personal pace and a briggs engine.

I don’t like the personal pace, but other than that it is a perfectly acceptable mower.

The Honda is a better mower in every way except cost.

So my recommendation is HRX217HZA or HYA


We have a HRX217HYA that's probably 7ish years old. It's been nearly flawless, and is an excellent mower. Unfortunately, they are about $800.
It mulches quite well and always starts reliably. It's a great machine! I'd recommend one if it's in budget.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 60,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 50,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 200,000 mi
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348272 02/12/20 03:44 PM
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cdlamb Offline
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I purchased a Husqvarna self propelled mower 8 years ago.

I got one with the Honda motor. It has always started easily after being put away for winter storage.

I did have issues with the wheel bearings failing and cutting the drive shaft off for the self propelled wheels, but was able to remove the transmission system, & re-weld the broken shaft & re-assemble.

The self propelled mower is a bit of a hassle when you need to pull it backwards, as it feels like it sometimes doesn't want to release occasionally.

I always try to burn premium fuel, & use fuel stabilizer in my small engines, to avoid carburetor gumming issues

Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348273 02/12/20 03:44 PM
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My 10 year old Honda has been flawless. I change its oil every spring and it doesn’t burn a drop of oil all year. I also use ethanol free gas and empty the tank every fall and run the mower until it dies. Starts on first pull, always. Only ‘repair’ has been to replace the drive tires once.


1993 Porsche 964, 2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, 2018 Toyota Tundra and a few others
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348274 02/12/20 03:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
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ZebRuaj Offline
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You can get both the 22" Toro Recycler and 21" Toro Super Recycler with the blade brake. Not sure if they have a Honda motor + blade brake trim level. Don't hurt to look at Toro.com

I favor the Super Recycler. It has the aluminum deck like your old one. Personal Pace isn't everyone's cup of tea. I haven't had any problems with it.

Re: no oil change needed B&S motors, it's marketing. They still tell you to check and top off the oil as needed. Seeing how many of the mowers I've found and flipped are probably on their original oil, topping it off as you go is probably more than adequate ... but not for use BITOGers.


~I fix stuff.
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348306 02/12/20 04:15 PM
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meep Offline
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I've had 2 honda mowers. both were good, but I'll nit-pick. One was a single-speed self-prop and the other had this paddle-grip sort of control that varied the self-prop speed. Ergonomically, the single speed start-stop bar won hands-down. The vari-speed twist grip required me to hold my hands/wrists/thumb in a manner that just didn't fit right, aggravated with a 1.5hr mow. Now, I was also dealing with a wrist injury which made me more aware of this than perhaps most folks would notice, but if you're trying to narrow things down, whether it's Toro, Honda, or someone else, that little feature bugged me.

I'm a big fan of honda engines, be it GX or GC. GC does fine in a mower.


2018 F150
2015 crv (wifey!)
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: krismoriah72] #5348309 02/12/20 04:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
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RyanY Offline
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Originally Posted by krismoriah72
Since yours isnt dead..just sick.. drop it off at a small engine shop and get an estimate to get it fixed.. Run it another 30 years.


^this
Given that you haven't actually drained the oil recently, it is possible that you have gunk or other deposits that can be cleaned easily. As krismoriah said, a repair shop may be able to nurse it back to health. Another option is to try adding some kerosene to the oil reservoir and running it for about 15 min to clean out any gunk that may be there, then replace the oil. Years ago this procedure eliminated a clunk in my previous B&S engine.


2007 Cadillac CTS 3.6L >129k miles; mix of PUP/Magnatec 5W-30 + ACDelco PF2129G

2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L >106k miles; STP (Amalie) 0W20 + ACDelco PF2057
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: meep] #5348315 02/12/20 04:23 PM
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Posts: 1,251
Duffyjr Offline
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Originally Posted by meep
I've had 2 honda mowers. both were good, but I'll nit-pick. One was a single-speed self-prop and the other had this paddle-grip sort of control that varied the self-prop speed. Ergonomically, the single speed start-stop bar won hands-down. The vari-speed twist grip required me to hold my hands/wrists/thumb in a manner that just didn't fit right, aggravated with a 1.5hr mow. Now, I was also dealing with a wrist injury which made me more aware of this than perhaps most folks would notice, but if you're trying to narrow things down, whether it's Toro, Honda, or someone else, that little feature bugged me.

I'm a big fan of honda engines, be it GX or GC. GC does fine in a mower.

I have to agree with the thumb lever, just didn't feel right when I test drove one but that was when I was coming from a Snapper with the flip lever on the right hand side.

I ended up with a Recycler and eventually a Super Recycler with the Toro TXP, great mowers for the price.


89 GMC Sierra Advanced 5w30/51036 Wix
08 Lucerne CX Advanced 5w30/1040 Gold
18 Toro Super Recycler T5 10w30
Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: RyanY] #5348319 02/12/20 04:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,285
sloinker Online Shocked
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Originally Posted by RyanY
Originally Posted by krismoriah72
Since yours isnt dead..just sick.. drop it off at a small engine shop and get an estimate to get it fixed.. Run it another 30 years.


^this
Given that you haven't actually drained the oil recently, it is possible that you have gunk or other deposits that can be cleaned easily. As krismoriah said, a repair shop may be able to nurse it back to health. Another option is to try adding some kerosene to the oil reservoir and running it for about 15 min to clean out any gunk that may be there, then replace the oil. Years ago this procedure eliminated a clunk in my previous B&S engine.


I haven't seen an actual small engine repair shop in years. Nice to hear there are some still around. I have had the same Honda mower for 15 years. Worked well all this time but wasn't exactly inexpensive to buy, even way back.


'16 Tiguan TSI Vaico 5W40
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Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: dvancleve] #5348323 02/12/20 04:31 PM
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LotI Offline
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If I recall Toro owns Briggs, so guess what motor you get?

I’ve had a basic Honda for 6 years now and just change plugs & filter & oil and fill it up. My neighbor had his Toro drive die last year and bought an HRX for the same reason you wanted. He’s retired so it will be his last mower. My recommendation and CR led him to that.


03 Honda Interceptor
11 Kawasaki KLR 650
12 Ford E450 Cutaway
19 Buick Regal TourX
Retired:
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17 Mazda6 GT
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Re: Please recommend a mower! [Re: LotI] #5348330 02/12/20 04:37 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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Originally Posted by LotI
If I recall Toro owns Briggs, so guess what motor you get?

I’ve had a basic Honda for 6 years now and just change plugs & filter & oil and fill it up. My neighbor had his Toro drive die last year and bought an HRX for the same reason you wanted. He’s retired so it will be his last mower. My recommendation and CR led him to that.



WRONG. Briggs & Stratton owns several mower brands, but Toro doesn't own them or vice versa. I own a Ferris stand on mower which is a company B&S owns, but my Ferris has a Kawasaki engine and you can still buy a new Ferris with a Kaw engine.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


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