Don't buy a Sears GT 5000 Garden Tractor

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Don't buy a Sears GT 5000 Garden Tractor

Tom Kad I thought I was getting a good deal when I bought a Sears GT 5000 Tractor in the fall. It is a hydrostatic, 25 horse, 54" cut. Once I used it the following spring and found out what a poor excuse for a mower it is it was too late to return it. These are just a few of the issues I have with this sorry excuse for a machine. I tried not to vent to much, but my irritation with this piece of junk kept building while I was typing. I used to enjoy yard work, now mowing the lawn just reminds me of what a bad deal I got.

1) Poor quality of cut. - Virtually no lift from the blades. The front tires mat the grass down and the blades miss the matted grass. Iíve tried different cutting heights, grass length, lawn moisture content, rate of speed, etc. to no avail. Cutting it shorter than I want it helps some, but not much. Within hours of finishing the yard all the strips of unmowed grass are standing up. I donít think the sails on the blades are aggressive enough. My last tractor (Wards PowerKraft 18.5 hp, 46Ē hydrostatic) mowed this same yard just fine.
2) Poor driver protection. Ė My soil is very sandy; the amount of sand that hits the driver is incredible. If the discharge chute lifts even an inch you are looking at the blades and being hit by sand. Its like being on the beach in a hurricane. I cut a piece of inner tube and attached it to the trailing edge of the discharge guard. I shouldnít have to do this for a brand new tractor. Didnít anyone at Electrolux test it?
3) No ground clearance. - The deck in the full up transport position has no ground clearance (3.5Ē), any minor terrain irregularity digs the deck in the dirt. It hangs up on everything; it canít be loaded on a trailer since it binds up with the ramps. My last garden tractor used this trailer just fine. My Wardís tractors highest cutting positon was higher than the transport position of the Sears tractor.
4) No reverse speed Ė The book claims 2.1 MPH in reverse, mine is half that. I donít see any adjustment to correct the problem. I used to mow in reverse often when obsticles dictated it, now itís to aggravating to do it.
5) Engine backfire Ė The unbelievably loud backfire when shutting the engine off at an idle. The control panel says Ė Throttle down to idle. Turn the key off. The book says Ė turn the key off at ĺ throttle to prevent the backfire. What cost reduction did Electrolux take to dump this carburetor on the consumer? I have never heard of anyone else's product that you have to do this for. Would this be OK on your Ford or Chevy? Who at Electrolux decided this was all right? I shouldnít have to make allowances for their top of the line machine.
6) Open differential - A tractor this heavy and with this much power and in this price range should have either a limited slip differential or lockable differential. It is constantly spinning out on one wheel and getting stuck if you want it to do anything that needs any traction at all.

Rob Sorry to hear that you've had a bad time with your GT5000. Since a lot of folks here like the GT then perhaps we can give some helpful ideas. I know for a fact that the 25hp/54" cut model was totally new for 2004 so it is possible that the blades are set for mulching instead of being high lift as this years blades are. I will also check to see if the deflector has changed any for this year. I too have noticed that the decks don't go up very high at all. I'll check on that too. This tractor is slow in reverse. As for the backfire when you go to shut it off throttle up as you turn the key off. This seems to do away with the backfire for some reason. As for traction, because of your soil you might look into getting some wheel weights or even getting cheveron tires to maintain traction. I hope this helps a little. Rob
Rob According to the parts diagram for the tractor 917.27610 the tractor did indeed come with mulching blades as standard. Thats most likely the problem as they provide very little lift. High lift blades can be picked up for $19.99/pc and should make a big difference.
paul reznicek I'm sorry to hear that Tom. I bought my GT 5000 about a year & a half ago and have had very good service from it. Yours has the 25 Kohler right? I got mine with the 22 B & S, 50" deck and the manual trans. I don't have a backfiring problem with the Briggs, but I have heard a few Kohlers give a good shot when you bring them off high throttle.

I believe the manual trans is more suited for what you use a garden tractor for. The hydro is best mainly for mowing. Where do you have the deck wheels set?. They should just hover above the grass. If they're set to roll firmly on the ground then that could be part of the problem by not allowing the deck to hang at the proper height for good vacuume and lift. I'll agree with you that the deck is not very high in the transport setting, however you can adjust it to get a little more height out of it. This isn't really a problem for me since I remove my deck after I mow because I use the tractor for other ground engaging and towing chores around my property. This also allows me to clean it out and make sure its ready for the next mowing. The deck is simply an attachment to use when needed.

As far as the wheel spin goes, these tractors really dont have enough weight for some of the chores they're capable of doing. A set of wheel weights will help in improving traction.

Again, I hate to hear that your unhappy. Some of what you mention makes me wonder how well your tractor was set up where you bought it to begin with.

thingy Well,I got a sears with 25 h.p. kohler,,,,it blowed the head gasket at less than 150 hrs,,,so,,got it fixed for about 300 dollars,,that was about 250 hrs ago,,,havn't had any trouble since,,,doen't back fire,,cuts good as long as you keep deck clean and blades sharp,,,so for the money,,very happy,,,,maybe the new ones are getting cheaper,,or whatever..... THINGY
Tom Kadlub Thanks for all the input. I will check on the possibility that the blades are a mulch type of blade. A little extra lift might be enough to help. I only use this garden tractor as a mower. I have a front wheel assist hydrostatic diesel Mitsubishi with a loader so no need to ever take the deck off or use the Sears mower as anything but a mower. I also pull a tag-a-long Swisher mower behind and to the side of it so I am cutting about an 8' swath. No problems with the Swisher. The Sears tractor is in serious need of a limited slip or locking diff. It spins out on one side or the other too easily. I'm 6'-5" and 250 pounds so even with my weight slid to the side with no traction if that doesn't help I can get off, hold the seat down so the engine doesn't quit and push it out. I shouldn't have to do this with this machine. Does anyone have an email address for the Electolux?. The only thing I find are references to toasters, vacuums, etc. nothing about garden tractors. Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll follow up on them.
Coke in MN For the traction problem , use wheel weight.Put a tube in tire and fill with antifreeze mixture and water. Or use Washer fluid (alcohol base)in tubes in rear tires.
Electrolux doesn't answer e-mail complaints. Lousy customer service !!!!! As they make several brands , try looking them up under another name, Huskavarna, Weed Eater, or some of the other ...

Coke in MN For the traction problem , use wheel weight.Put a tube in tire and fill with antifreeze mixture and water. Or use Washer fluid (alcohol base)in tubes in rear tires.
Electrolux doesn't answer e-mail complaints. Lousy customer service !!!!! As they make several brands , try looking them up under another name, Huskavarna, Weed Eater, or some of the other ...

russ1 The website is They are the manufacturer.
Dave The backfire problem is not caused from a faulty
carburetor, it is caused by the spark arrester that is now required on the muffler to keep from starting a fire. This changes the back pressure causing it to backfire when shut off at an idle.
The correct way to shut it off is at 3/4 throttle.

Tom Kadlub Thanks for the info on why it backfires. Let me restate the question. Why should it backfire at all. I shouldn't have to compensate for their design. If it is due to the spark arrester then what is different with the Sears tractor that millions of ATV's, off road motorcylces, chainsaws, other garden tractors, etc. all have spark arresters and they don't have this problem. You don't have to hold any of these at 3/4 throttle when you kill the engine. I am sure the problem is tied to a cost reduction that Electrolux decided that the consumer could live with. Thanks again.
Rik Harnden My GT5000 has caused several brush fires. I now carry an exstingeruiser with me when mowing. The taller dry weeds accumulate above the skid plate in the front of the unit, and are ignited by the engine exhaust. I attached a screen to slow down the accumulation of debris, but there is still some accumulation. I wrote Sears but they did not respond indicating that they don't care. I talked with our local store and they definetly did not care.
Jocko I've had good luck with mine, though I do notice the grass/tire problem when the grass is a bit wet. I have another question. I have the 50" deck and I know that the kid at Sears said that I could get a bagger for it. I went to buy one a month or so ago and was told that they never did have one for the 50 incher. I called Sears and verified. Has anyone heard if one of the other baggers will work? Is there some other way to deal with this e.g. mods, etc. Please advise. thanks much
Tammie GT5000 Junk, yes indeed.... Deck collects an enormous amount lf leaves and dirt. Smells like it is going to burn leaves if they acculate on the top of the deck. Deck is a bad ENGINEERING design. Blows a 30 amp fuse all the time. The blades are not engaging now. Something to do with wiring. Can't find a wiring diagram. The list goes on.....I would NOT recommend buying new or USED GT5000 lawn tracktors. Ours in about 3 years old....for the price, yeah we got ripped off big time....Good luck to you all, and do not try and sell the junk without telling the truth to your prospective buyers.
Mark If you are trying to save money by buying this you are making a big mistake. After 4 months Sears replaced the engine due to an oil leak and blown head gasket. The second engine blew the same head gasket (right side) and Sears refused to do anything because the second engine was "only under warranty for for 90 days because it was a replacement part.) The backfire issue caused the airfilter to catch on fire melting all the plastic and wiring. Part alone were $800 bucks. A rebuilt was $1100 all in. Hopefully it will run well enough to sell since the machine looks brand new.
ralph Good news boys, about the Sears GT 5000 garden tractor with the piece of junk Kohler CV730 S Pro 25 HP engine. I just recd a letter today from a settlement claims administrator in Minnesota. I also have one of these tractors that I bought as a backup if my John Deere is out of service very long. So far, I have only put between 50 and 75 hours on it since 2004. I was reading info about all the problems with it lately and was hesitant to drive it too much other than keep the battery charged and engine lubed. It still has the original battery that died over this last winter. I was going to Farm and Fleet this week for a new battery before I take it to a Kohler service center around here (Naperville, Illinois) to inquire about repairing it before it blew up on me. Today I recd the letter and it states that any warranty for repairs on the engine will be reextended until March 1 2012. Only reqirement is proof of me buying it, the purchase date and the original engine operating manual. Went to the store where I purchased it to obtain a proof of purchase with the date on it and I still had the manual. Only problem I can think of is the fact that it hasnt blown up yet so what is to be repaired ? I'm hoping that they will acknowledge the fact that most fail and they will either replace the engine or repair the problem before it pukes parts. I'm going to a nearby Kohler dealer tomorrow with the certificate and hopefully they will answwer my questions. Perfect timing. I was ready to take it soon for possible repair or alteration on my own dime. I hope this solves the problem with this tractor. Ive had it since 2004 and it still looks brand new. If I find out any more info about this whole thing I will post on here when I have something worthwhile. Later
J Chen I bought gt5000 last year , I think it is a great one.special for up the hill.only the problem is ,you can not find the blade at Sears!
Dan Recently I purchased a used Sears GT5000, it seems to run fine, although the original owner did not take very good care of it. My question is concerning a snow/gravel blade. Has anyone ever mounted and used a blade on this machine? Does it work well? Any problems or concerns? Thanks in advance for your input.

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