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Josiah deshong

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Josiah deshong

Hi everybody I currently have a few powermaxes for toys but I mow with a jd lx188 17hp liquid cooled Kawasaki that’s on its way to the junkyard I was wondering if anybody had an opinion they might want to express on what they feel is the best simplicity tractor to mow grass with, it would have to at least have a 48” deck and power flow bagger option I am not a fan of any of the newer styles so they would have to b an older model any info or advise from some of u guys that have owned several diff models and had the pros and cons of your favorite most comfortable model made for grass cutting and leaf cleanup and always easy to work on I  currently mow about an acre and a half with lots of big trees spread throughout but mostly flat ground any insight will b respected greatly thanks  or should I rebuild the John deer haha

Edited by Josiah deshong

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Chris727

I don't think the power-flows came about until the early 1990's. Prior to that the vacuum units would attach to the rear and be powered either by a belt from the PTO or they had their own engine. I have a 1999-2000 Landlord DLX that I mow with. It mows better than my B-Series and Sovereign series tractors. Its not super heavy duty but it works and has one of the better modern transmissions in it, the K71.  I have wanted to upgrade to a prestige but can't justify it.

 IMG_5556.jpg.6531ce907cc9df56afb56e99367c7a92.jpg

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Talntedmrgreen

A Sovereign is a great choice if the newer ‘look’ is prohibitive for you.  Personally, I think the DLX or a deal on a Prestige with a 54” deck is the way to go for a dedicated mower...or...one of the countless deals on an early Legacy to get you up to a 60”.  Any of these can be outfitted with a deck driven vac unit.  

A compromise would be a Sunstar.  Older look, larger deck options, and if you shop around, you can get one with differential lock and power steering.  These have become much cheaper in recent years also.  I think they feel much more primitive and wont give the Cadillac ride  and foot control hydro of the later models. 

Finding second hand turbo vac/powerflow options to add to Simplicity 48, 50, 54 & 60 inch decks is possible.  I have pulled together and used each if these.  I feel the 54” deck works best and gives the nicest cut.  It also reacts much better to my uneven and hilly lawn than the heavier 60”.  The 48” is a close second but I felt that deck too narrow for comfortable use on a Sunstar or Legacy.  On a Sovereign its great, but then you lack differential lock, which I have found ti be a necessity on my lawn. The 50” is also fantastic, and seems easiest to find turbo vac units for (cheaper). 

Go with a triple bagger or wide body cart if you can!

CFE8F481-123A-4258-BFE0-A21CB18B5800.jpeg

E8C53825-C816-4B6D-97A0-A9820F730C48.jpeg

DE1039C2-5A50-4FFB-A933-FB105AFECB93.jpeg

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SmilinSam

I've mowed with them all, and without a second thought, a Prestige with 54" deck is king for mowing the yarddOd

Easiest to get on and off and by far most comfortable operator platform

 

I now have 2 that pretty much just mow grass

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Josiah deshong

Dang I really hate the red “ones” I kinda figured though I was hoping for a different answer. The 917 in the pic above is that a modified power flow I’m assuming the cart is a mod I’d like to have one of those or a sovereign before they got ugly what’s the top of the line in the 917 series or sovereigns in those years. And the old ugly Sunstar (they r growing on me )is powerflow/baggers options from the factory. I think if I’d have to choose a prestige I’d probably rebuild my John deer I just know what I’ve put it through for the last 6 years and it’s not pleasant in the fall u would think my legs didn’t work cause if the tires go over it the powerflow eats it I don’t care if it’s a kids ball I have 50  trees all probably a hundred year old trees it’s like raking the forest

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PhanDad
2 hours ago, Josiah deshong said:

The 917 in the pic above is that a modified power flow I’m assuming the cart is a mod I’d like to have one of those or a sovereign before they got ugly what’s the top of the line in the 917 series or sovereigns in those years. 

The wide body cart system (cart & turbo) was an option for the SunStars starting in the late 80's and then in the early '90s for the Sovereign when the Sovereign turbo blower was available (dates based on publish dates for operating instructions).  At the Simplicity manual site use mfg#1691526 to see the system.  

As to "top of the line" tractors, I'd say the AC917 shown above and the Sovereign 17GTH-L were the latest produced with that frame/hood setup.  they were powered by the flat Kohler KT17's.  Here's a pic of my 17GTH-L (re-powered with a Briggs) with the cart/turbo setup:

Turbo_02.jpg.eb9d79100420bfb224a698ab99fbc722.jpg

04Leaves_006.jpg.28c7dae3562b39a8f131e11f3ea35011.jpg

The next and last Sovereign version, the "Sovereign 18" had a slightly different frame/hood setup, some say not as strong:

3.thumb.jpg.fe7bfd39b10b27572f5ec80bca39048d.jpg

These versions were powered by the Kohler "V" twins: first the Command CH18 and then the Triad TH18.

 

Edited by PhanDad

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Gary

I've got a completely rebuilt 917H, with a brand new Kohler M18.  It has a rebuilt 48" deck, and I run the PTO driven bagging system.  Others swear by the Turbo attachment, but I've never had a reason to complain on the PTO Vac.

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Talntedmrgreen

Gary, I agree, the rear vacs do work great. I have had the Simplicity built vac and the PECO.  The turbo is a different beast though.  It will stand the grass straight up!  Anything wet or difficult for my PECO to pick up, the turbo makes vanish. Its really something.  For grass only, the turbo collects 3X as much as my PECO would  

The benefits of the rear vacs over the turbo, are much lower cost and the ability to use a roving nozzle and hose for cleanup in and around the bushes.  I wish I had that.  

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Gerg

My favorite riding mower (not garden tractor) was a 1964 Simplicity 606 Wonder Boy. It was a well designed tough little mower, one thing I really liked about it was the ability to lift the front of the tractor allowing the mower deck to stand upright for cleaning. I think the deck was 32", it had 3 small blades and did a great job of mowing.

 

Greg

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steve-wis

I am with Gerg, although I have a Yeoman 627 tractor.  That 32 inch deck just gives a wonderful look to the lawn.  I had the same deck on my stick-steer Wonderboy and it was also great for mowing.  For a small yard, the only thing better would be my Yeoman with a hydro.

 

Steve

Edited by steve-wis

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Josiah deshong

I think I’m gonna rebuild the deers motor for now Since it is still viable I have seen a powermax for sale with a peco sort of unit attached to it from the rear pto I think it was a John deer attachment though I’ve almost got my 4040 ready to mow grass for this summer I’m gonna wait and see how I like mowing with it before making a rash decision and possibly looking into it being used for leaf cleanup but I’m gonna keep looking for a 900 series Alice to replace my John deer maybe even the diesels version. Has anybody seen this powermax for sale with the John deer bagger system on it they wanted like 6500 for it

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Talntedmrgreen
3 hours ago, Josiah deshong said:

The 917 in the pic above is that a modified power flow I’m assuming the cart is a mod I’d like to have one of those or a sovereign before they got ugly

 

The 917 is setup with OEM parts.  The late Sovereigns had this setup offered for them.  Bolts right onto the earlier machines. 

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