Craftsman lawnmower opinions?

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Jake H. wrote:

My Honda is the smoothest running mower I have ever owned. Mine is a Honda mower (with a Honda Engine of course) and it is very quiet and has less vibration than any other mower I've ever used. It is very possible that the motor is not the source of the vibration. An unbalanced blade will vibrate like hell. Take your blades off and sharpen and balance them or take them to a mower service place that can do it for you.
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wrote:

The first time I took it back to Sears for the excessive vibration problem, they supposedly replaced the blade. That made it even worse.
It's unclear to me if they really did anything the second time I took it back. The repair order says that they *balanced* the blade. The vibration remained unchanged.
Most folks are speculating that the real problem is a bent or otherwise defective crankshaft, or possibly a bearing problem, but I suppose it is possible that their blade balancing efforts were faulty.
I am planning to take it back to a different Sears store this weekend.
Jake
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It does sound like it could be a bent crank. It doesn't take much. I bought my Mother a 5 horse mower ( don't remember the brand) and operated it at just a medium speed. I hit a small something that didn't damage the blade at all but it was sufficient to bend the crank.
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Jake H. Wrote:

I second a bent crank, All you need to do is remove the spark plug an have somebody put the handle on the ground and pull the rope while yo watch the blade bolt for any wobble
-- restrorob
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On Sat, 26 Nov 2005 02:29:33 +0000, restrorob

Yeah, good point. I should try that approach before taking it back again. I tried judging by the blade height itself (i.e., distance up to the housing) over all 360 degrees turned manually, but I couldn't really tell. It wasn't much different than my other (LawnBoy) lawn mower, which doesn't vibrate at all.
Jake
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Joe Canuck wrote:

I would look at mowers for long term use in this order:
all honda (fairly expensive, but worth it) John Deere Cheaper model with a honda engine.
Going any cheaper might give you grief later, but most people have not used a good mower to know how much better they are new not to mention 5 years later.
You get what you pay for.
Kirb
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On 16 Nov 2005 07:24:38 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I am now looking at a John Deere rider mower, but it is an awful lot of money for me. I hear what you are saying about Honda engines... everyone says they are so good... but so far my experience with this Sears Craftsman mower with a Honda 5.5 has been absolutely horrible. Say what you will, but I never had a Briggs vibrate or give me blisters on my hands like this Honda does!
Maybe a Honda mower with a Honda engine would be better, but I'd have to be convinced by a meaningful "test drive" if you know what I mean. No more buying without trying... I don't care what the salesman says.
Jake
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Jake H. wrote:

I've got a used JD LT155 (NOT the box store JD's) and am very happy with it. Hydro, 38" deck, 15hp, bagger, mulch kit. The repo auction had it for $1200 and was well worth it. It's about 3-4 years old.
I'd think about looking for a semi-used JD that is well kept and you can save a few $$.
Kirb
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On 16 Nov 2005 20:40:58 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Sounds like you did really well. I do need to better understand this whole business of good vs. bad... new vs. old... consumer vs. commercial... model variations, etc. before buying anything from JD in the way of a lawn/yard/garden tractor. I've done some on-line research (including studying their website), but I'm still not where I feel confident enough to make an intelligent purchase. The bottom line is that I've got to get my money's worth next time around. I can't go on throwing away money on junk forever.
Jake
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