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LMichaels

Something I am pondering

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LMichaels

So as many of you know I recently bought this Simplicity Sovereign unit that had the original engine switched over to the Kohler Command 20 and while I really like this machine have been a little disillusioned because it really is too big and cumbersome handling for my wooded 1/2 acre. So I have been pondering something smaller, lighter and easier to maneuver (more like my old B10 was). So I stumbled into this I am going to look at today  https://rockford.craigslist.org/for/d/honda-lawn-tractor-h4514/6679844252.html

I know this is a Simplicity Forum but there is much knowledge here so I thought maybe someone could chime in pros/cons. Search as I might online I could not find any real negatives on this machine. It uses an inline water cooled 2 cyl OHC engine. Shaft drive trans and mower. Reminds me a lot of the Kubota I walked away from.

I have never laid eyes on one so wondering if any of you have input. I also figure if I can get close to my investment back on the Sovereign it might be a good trade off.

All I ask is don't hate on me for considering a Honda LOL

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Kenh

While I know nothing about this particular tractor, Honda as a general rule has a good reputation.  I would go take a look at it, drive it around and try it out.  It is an interesting unit with the watercooled engine.  

 

Ken

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fishnwiz

I have run and still run a honda at my rental garage, The engines are bulletproof and the tractor has alot of nice features. I would not be afraid to recommend a honda but price seems a little on the high side IMO.  Built 1990 to 1998 so 20 PLUS years old.  The tractor looks to be clean but if it was me I would want it at 500 range. but thats just me.  

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LMichaels

Thank you for all the input. I didn't realize they were that old. I wonder about parts......................though I would guess the engine still has some commonality, blades proly are common to other Honda 42" decks.

I know for a wonderful cut there is nothing like a Simplicity/Allis. but wonderful cut aside the thing is just too much of a beast for my wife and daughter. I rely on them especially coming into fall because of my COPD issues and breathing difficulty when doing yard work with the machine. If they can't handle the machine it's makes it hard. This Honda seems to kind of fit the bill as a decent compromise since I don't need a real heavy ground breaking capable machine any more. Just a lawn mower and leaf chopper

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spi

I had one a little older than that a few years ago. I thought the engine was great. Ran smooth, started easy and sounded pretty cool. Not so sure about the rest of the mower, the little I had to do to it for the year I used it didn't impress me much. Wish I'd just pulled the engine and put it in my 3410.

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LMichaels

Well I did go check it out. It runs like a little swiss watch. Engine purrs just as quiet as can be, seems to have a lit of power though I did notice when the mower engages the governor is slow to react and the engine slows down quite a bit before catching up to the load. Deck cuts very smooth, hydro is very easy to work with. Quiet and engagement is smooth and controlled. Unlike the Simplicity the control lever is very easy to move also. Steering "effort" is about the same as the Simple but handling is MUCH quicker to respond. All in all a very nice machine. Obviously very well cared for also. You can tell it is stored indoors, it's kept clean (not just a hurried up power wash) overall just very nice.

I do love the big guy though so it's gonna be tough for me. We'll see what wife says once she actually puts her fanny in the seat tomorrow afternoon

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LMichaels

Thanks. I'll report back how it goes. Had wife try the Sovereign again on for size yesterday. She again was bothered by how cumbersome it feels compared to the old B10. But a couple other things she noted that are deal killers for her on the Sov. Kind of out of left field. She REALLY hated the PTO lever as to how difficult for her it is to move to engage. I don't notice it but being a small woman she does. Also the big hydro lever. Way too hard for her to move when she needed to. Here too anything I can do to free these things up to make them easier to operate? In case the Honda is not the one and I keep the Sov. I would like to make it as easy to use as possible. I know some things I can do nothing about just a function of size. But if I can get those 2 levers to operate more smoothly and easily it would go a long way. Though watching her try to climb into the driver seat is kinda fun LOL

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Bill725

You can remove both levers from the frame, clean and lube with grease with moly. Also lube the linkage pivots under the seat. You are lucky to get your wife to climb onto a tractor. Tell her it will steer easier if she wears a bikini.

  • Haha 4

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LMichaels
1 hour ago, Bill725 said:

You can remove both levers from the frame, clean and lube with grease with moly. Also lube the linkage pivots under the seat. You are lucky to get your wife to climb onto a tractor. Tell her it will steer easier if she wears a bikini.

I think she's getting a little old for that LOL. I'll have to try the removal of the levers. That Honda the levers operated with the touch of a finger. and that machine is quite a bit older too. Though I don't think the Sov was ever engineered to be "easy" while the Honda was engineered to be very user friendly. But I'll give things a try

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kwt

I had a very big hand in restoring my b-in-laws Allis 110. Having only operated a Sovereign and related tractors, I was amazed @ how nimble it seemed. I assumed it would be pretty much like one of my 3112V's. It wasn't.

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LMichaels

Well long story short. We worked out a deal last night for the Honda. Wife drove it around and just fell head over heals for it. Has a nice wide flat floor, very easy to mount/dismount, very smooth and quiet (liquid cooled engine that is rubber mounted), controls (hydro and PTO) operate with fingertip ease, very nimble and easy to steer and very easy to start. For me I was put much more at ease because the mower deck was like new and actually is only 5 years old because the guy had gotten a deal on a larger (42") deck to replace the 36" deck brand new 5 years ago. So the deck is almost like it just came out of the box and I understand the deck (especially the smaller 36 and 38" ones) seem to be the only weak point of this machine. He even has the full shop manual for it and is going to deliver it for me to my door. So yeah I think at $800 I am giving slightly more than a "great" deal but considering I am getting delivery, a shop manual, spare mower deck belt, and a garden cart I don't think it's too bad a deal. The machine has obviously been well cared for and kept in very nice condition. So now I just need to sell the big Simplicity.

I think next spring though I may just go ahead and pull the motor and replace the timing belt on the machine though as it's the only maintenance item that has not been done.

 

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LMichaels

Yeah. I called on another one in WI that was $500 but it had been sold. The guy said her ran into something with the mower deck and busted it all up. SO he listed the thing for $500. He said people were falling all over themselves to buy it because of the engine. Said the buyer could not get the $$$ out of his pocket fast enough and I'll tell ya what. That machine was BEAT to within an inch of it's life looking at the photos compared to the one I got. Only think "wrong" with it is a little "dinged" area on the front grill looks like it got tapped in the garage by the owner previous to the guy I got it from. For what could be up to a 28 yo machine (I honestly didn't check the s/n as I don't care) it's in remarkable condition. Just got in from cutting grass with the Sovereign and I thin kI will miss that big brute. :D

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