Ariens Lawn Tractor

I'm thinking of getting this lawn tractor just for mowing:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-42-in-17-5-HP-6-Speed-Riding-Lawn-Mower-960160027/203013179?quantity=1
It has mainly good reviews; anyone have recent experience with this make? I had one about 40 years ago and don't remember having any major problems with it.
Paul
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On 3/10/2014 3:00 PM, Pavel314 wrote:

problems with it.
About my same time frame...I'd look at whose engine it has as the primary decider...perhaps tranny a little after that. I'm always somewhat leery of the box store models, though; have you checked whether it is or isn't a cheaper version of the real thing (like the short-lived "Sabre" line of JD of a few years ago)?
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On Monday, March 10, 2014 4:27:03 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

It has a B&S engine, manual transmission. I checked one out at the local HD this evening and it had a Husqvarna sticker on it.
Paul
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On 3/10/2014 9:03 PM, Pavel314 wrote: ...

But is it the same model as the main line or a cheap knock-off branded specifically for HD?
And, _which_ B&S engine?
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On Monday, March 10, 2014 10:24:25 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

*Powered by a dependable 17.5 HP Briggs and Stratton single cylinder overhead valve engine with easy to service air filter *6-speed gear drive transmission lets you set your own pace while mowing, works great on hilly terrains
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On 3/11/2014 7:22 AM, Pavel314 wrote: ...

...
But, the ? is which _specific_ model? B&S makes several levels; if it were me I'd look at the actual engine model plate and look up the specific engine model.
The manual tranny is probably ok for reliability. If you have any fairly steep grades it will be _a_good_thing_ (tm).
I'd also look at the Ariens models on their site and see if it is actually the same version just for makin' sure. One key comparison is weight--what's the deck metal gauge, for example?
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On 3/11/2014 12:12 PM, dpb wrote:

I hadn't looked for a while--B&S has 10 different series engines in that HP class -- is it the top (HIGHLY UNLIKELY) or the bottom-feeder? Several are Craftsman-exclusives, one or two Husky, the rest generic.
One thing I note even in the ad verbiage is they mention easy air filter but don't mention whether it has an oil filter or not--I'd definitely be wanting one high-up enough on the food chain that it does. It _probably_ does, but I'd definitely want to know for certain and then I'd see what I can find about customer satisfaction on the specific model before I bit the bullet.
Not saying it's _not_ a good product, just do due diligence first.
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On 3/11/2014 1:24 PM, dpb wrote: ...

Since the wind's blowing 40 mph today I'm not trying to fight it so for lack of anything else more entertaining to do--
I forgot you mentioned single-cylinder so that cuts the list down by three...but I notice at the Ariens site that it appears all their lawn tractors sold thru their distributorships are Kohler, _not_ B&S...and there's still a pretty wide range in the available B&S it looks like from which they could have chosen.
<http://www.ariens.com/en-us/riding-mowers/lawn-tractor I also noticed at the HD site they do also have one of the Kohler models--it's $350 more, roughly. That may tell you something.
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On 3/11/2014 4:13 PM, dpb wrote: ...

OH, but it's 19 instead of 17.5 hp -- I found one distributor that is listing the Ariens 17/42 Kohler for $1295, but didn't have the 19/42 in inventory. That was a place outside Dallas; no idea where you are but I might be looking for distributor locally as well as the BORG.
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About 10 years ago I bought a JD from the local dealer. Turned out it was the same as one sold by the local Lowes store. The transmission (transaxel) went out after about 8 years. It had started giving trouble after 6 years. Found out later that JD used a low end transaxel for that modle. So even buying from the dealer does not mean a quality mower.
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On 3/11/2014 9:35 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

That would have been the Sabre series...they weren't exclusive to BORG as were also sold by the JD suburban dealerships who dealt in a lot of residential volume. They were a short-lived bad experiment, unfortunately as they did cut too much to hit the cost point. While not exclusive to the BORGS, the "real" JD was exclusive to the JD dealerships, but also unfortunately for the casual buyer they didn't differentiate them as much as should have--if one looked _very_ carefully, one would realize that while they were green and yellow, it wasn't actually JD green but a lighter shade. While we're virtually all green here on the farm and can't complain on that end, they did lose a fair amount of credibility on that side with them.
Sorry you happened to be one of the ones burned...
Unfortunately, the OP here seems too casual in not actually looking at the model stamped on the B&S engine and looking it up instead of just reading the ad copy.
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I don't know the series,but it was called the L-120. They made a series of numbers starting at 100 and I think it went to 130. After the transmission started acting up I did some research and found it was only good for about 300 hours. I don't recall how many hours mine had on it. If the ground was very flat, it would still mow, but if there were any hills at all it would not pull the hill but about one time and the transmission would get hot and slip.
I gave it to my son and he has a very small (less than 1/2 acre) flat yard and he mowed with it last year without any problems. Guess he gets done before it has a chance to heat up.
For some reason the gear ring on the flywheel broke. I was going to replace that ring, but their parts book listed it as a bolt on gear,but mine had rivits holding it on. The dealer could not tell what the replacement would be, so I decided to get the whole flywheel. The new one had the rivits in it also.
Not sure if I did any beter, but I bought one of the Huskivarnim Fast Tractors. It is suspose to go a lot faster than most other home use mowers. It does go a lot faster than the JD did when I first bought the JD. The way some of my yard is, I can not run it full speed anyway.
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On 3/11/2014 12:55 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote: ...

Well, actually, that surprises me a little--the L series was the replacement for the Sabre line and I had thought they were pretty decent. The hydro tranny's are always a bad idea if one has any significant slope, though.
I found a tradein w/ only 5 hr on it at the local JD last summer--the guy decided he wanted a 48" or 54" deck instead of the 42" so brought it back after his first use and traded up. It's the mid-range ZTR and so far after the first year I'm quite pleased...would have never popped for the $$ but the markdown was too good to pass up. Had been using a 40-yo JD rear-engine L92 that still was functional but always slow and very poor turning radius, etc., even compared to a later model rider. But, mechanically it was still solid and will serve the fella' that bought it probably at least another 10 yr if not longer as long as he maintains it.
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