Is a craftsman good for the long haul?


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Is a craftsman good for the long haul?

Joel Haskell I'm thinking of buying a new craftsman GT3000 garden tractor with a fender shift hydro and a 23HP Kohler pro motor. I've heard that the lawn tractors are junk but the garden tractors are good. Please save the advice about buying an older JD or cadet I don't like their dash or foot pedal hydro drives.
Ed Joel,

I can't comment on the newer Craftsman Garden Tractors, but I can tell you that I've been using an older GT Twin 18HP for nearly 10 years. I cut about 5 acres every 7-10 days during the summer. And, it's a tough 5 acres too with some serious grades, some rough terrain, sometimes high overgrowth, and so on. I also have rocks that I hit periodically.

I am religious about changing the oil and keeping the air filter clean and keeping the machine properly lubed. I've become an expert at changing mandrels and belts and sharpening blades. I've only had to change the brakes once and had to replace a head bolt once. I've put on a couple of sets of tires and the back tires have fluid in them. I've also replaced a few batteries.

I work my machine fairly hard, but never overrun the engine. Sometimes I think about buying a new one, go look at them, check the prices and come home with new plugs for another year. I've thought about rebuilding the engine and keeping the machine. I don't care if it isn't pretty, I want it to do the job.

So, all in all, I've had good luck with my machine. Hope this helps.

John Ballman We only have about 60hrs on our 23 hp GT3000. I believe it will be a good mower. We cut about 3 acres. The machine is reasonably quiet, and rides well on a rough lawn. We upgraded to the 48" deck with four gage wheels and a nose roller. My only complaint is that the "simple" oil drain valve is too close to the frame for easy access. We are also still running a 13 yr old 18 HP Craftsman mower, and a 16 yr old Honda self propelled mower.
richard c. livingston I have put about thirty hours on our gt 3000, manual transmission.
It is a very well built tractor. I retrofitted the three point hitch from an early seventies sears garden tractor onto our gt 3000, and I can tell you that the tractor is a superb performer. I have had to add water to the rear tires for extra traction using the rear grader blade, and I am now building an electrically assisted dozer blade fo it.
Very satisfied with the tractor and for the money, I think it is a good value.
If I had six thousand dollars to spend, I would buy a kubota deisel, or perhaps a wheelhorse (the throwback model they still make is exactly the same type of machine they used to make in the sixties. Full frame, gear transmission, built like a tank.)
But for $2200.00 (on sale), the craftsman does it all and I have found it very easy to work on, so it wins the race for me.
Good luck!

Kam Joel,

I bought the same mower as your looking at. I've had it for about 3 years with no problems. In fact, I mow approximately 7 acres 2 times a week with it (about 8 hours each time). Other than regular maintenance and a new set of blades, I've had no problems.

Gerard I bought the GT5000 54 inch cut craftsman hydro this spring, my first home owner machine after 20 years a professional landscaper, for the money, I would have to say that it is a decent machine, that said, I am not impressed, sure its a 22 horsepower motor, and 54 inch deck, Ive had 52inch 18 horse scag walk behinds that could out perform it in quality of cut, rate of cut, clippings dispersal, and overall durability, Im sure that this mower will hold up fine for residental use, and manages to tow my log splitter and small trailer around the yard.be careful with leaves and twigs, the blade spindles do not appear to be all that strong, but obviously easially and cheaply replaced. replacing the origional blades with a disc/flail blade setup worked wonders for quality of cut, and clipping dispersal
will I buy another residential riding mower? doubtful, I will probably go overkill, and get a walker ghs, if my needs were more tractor oriented, I would buy a true tractor with diesel engine and 3 pt hitch

Phil Kara I have had a sears craftsman GT3000 for 4 years now . I have 7 acres of grass to cut and the mower has 356hrs. on it. The first season the starter motor died, which was repaired under warranty 8 weeks later????? How useful is that? Borrowed a friends mower to cut my grass. Every season since then it has been a belt and/or pulley needing replacement. As I sit writing this comment I have 3 pulleys and a belt on order and the unit is unusable. The clutch is nearly gone and to replace it is $562.00 Canadian. The Kevlar belts are $95.00 each and the pulleys average $45.00 each. the permalube bearings in their pulleys are not! The bearings have either siezed or worn down and can't be replacd or lubed. The motor is fine but the 48" mowing deck is trash. I was advised by an engineer that the reason for this ongoing trouble is the tension designed into the deck belts. The beat is killing the pulleys, belt and clutch. The heat build up is why you need Kevlar in the belts. two of the pulleys fell appart from metal fatigue due to heat stress. Worst purchase I have made in years. My brother has a 30 year old wheel horse LT1100 , 38" deck that cuts 2 acres and is still going.
Phil Kara I have had a sears craftsman GT3000 for 4 years now . I have 7 acres of grass to cut and the mower has 356hrs. on it. The first season the starter motor died, which was repaired under warranty 8 weeks later????? How useful is that? Borrowed a friends mower to cut my grass. Every season since then it has been a belt and/or pulley needing replacement. As I sit writing this comment I have 3 pulleys and a belt on order and the unit is unusable. The clutch is nearly gone and to replace it is $562.00 Canadian. The Kevlar belts are $95.00 each and the pulleys average $45.00 each. The permalube bearings in their pulleys are not! The bearings have either siezed or worn down and can't be replacd or lubed. The motor is fine but the 48" mowing deck is trash. I was advised by an engineer that the reason for this ongoing trouble is the tension designed into the deck belts. The heat is killing the pulleys, belt and clutch. The heat build up is why you need Kevlar in the belts. two of the pulleys fell appart from metal fatigue due to heat stress. Worst purchase I have made in years. My brother has a 30 year old wheel horse LT1100 , 38" deck that cuts 2 acres and is still going.
Chuck Feinauer I am looking for an operating manual for a Sears
snowblower attachment.The model # is 842.240561

If anyone has a manual and would make a copy and
send it to me, I'll pay you for your time and
expense./

Johnnie Hartley I bought a Gt 3000 new in 2000. Gas tank cracked in 2003, probably because the hitch banged it a couple of times. Replaced a spring on the deck 2 times because sweet gum balls get caught in the pulleys and give the springs fits. In 2006 the grass built up in the deck and caught fire. Had to replace the belts and later two deck pulley bearings because of the heat. I had to replace the clutch in 2004 because I left the switch on and it burnt up. Parts are high from sears. I do not buy anything from sears in the way of parts. Get them on e-bay.
This machine is used hard. It has an electric lift and pulls a plow and box scrape. It cuts three very large lots every year. Initially I did not like the 23hp Kohler because it backfired when you turned the machine off but it quit that after about 3 years.
I owned a Gt 18 when 18hp was the largest engine you could get on a craftsman. Had to give it up in a divorce and could not get it back. I had it for 7 years.
Craftsman is good but you cannot afford Sears parts if you are a poor white man. You must know however that these Garden tractors, even though they are toys, are just small pieces of equipment and equipment requires maintenance and repairs and they are not cheap. If you cannot keep a push mower running then you will not be able to keep a garden tractor running regardless of who's name is on it.
These tractors are made by AYP (American Yard Products) They are also called Poulan, Roper, Huskyvarna, and I believe MTD and Scotts. You might get a tractor that is a little bit better but you will have to pay a whole lot (mower) for it.


Rhonda Rodriguez Looking for a manual for a Craftsman model #917-255820 44" deck. Please contact me if you could get me a copy of this. Thank you.
rich wieand dose any one have a pic of the diagram to re-rout my primary belt on my gt3000 craftsman tractor? looks goofy to me please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
alex I have a gt 3000. Kholer 23HP engine. All was going well, I picked it up off of a gentleman for bout 2000$ including plow, chains extra belts, and blades. Unbeknownst to me, the man had the engine redone, new gaskets, but failed to mention the crank being redone, I blew the piston into about 20 pieces. if anyone has a mower that they are dissatisfied with, and the engine is in good condition, drop me a line. Willing to negotiate
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mark g I am looking for a diagram to route the belt on my gt 300 anyone help?
David Bean I have the manual shift gt3000. The first gt3000 I had I gave back to sears because a switch went out 4 times within the first year. The replacement gt3000 I have I had to replace the starter right after the 2 year mark. A year later I had to replace the electric clutch because of the sealed bearing going bad. I also have to replace a pulley or two each year because of the bearings going dry because I run my tractor for a couple hours at a time mowing. Even with all the maintence I will stick with my gt3000 becauce I get parts easy and cheaper at www.agrisupply.com. That 23 hp engine is strong enough to pull my 20 ft. pontoon boat around the yard to mow underneath. Try getting the 48 inch deck because part. Even with the problems I've had, she is still a keeper.
Tony Butz
Re: Is a craftsman good for the long haul?

I bought my GT3000 in 2001, it is a manaul 6 speed. I have not had any issues with the tractor itself but I go through alot of belts. so far this season I have replaced all the belts at least once. Normally I donot have to replace the drive train belt and it seems reasonable to me that this on needed replaced. I think it is the first time in 9 years. The lower mower deck belt usaually last 2 seasons. But the top m ower belt I have replaced 3 time already this season it seems to get shreaded, the cover falls off the belt splits open and the bands are exposed. It sucks I tell everyone that ask me about my mower. The tractor is a great running machine but the 48" mower deck sucks. This is the 2nd deck I have put on it. the curtrent one is an upgrade has the 4 wheels and front roller on it. I have 4 acres of hills and dips and going around trees, my mower that a whipping. I also have a 19.5 hp craftsman with a 42" deck and belts have lasted 2 yrs on it. I bought this mower in a box for 50 bucks and put another 50 to get it running has been a great mower, wife perfers to use it.

Gary Peters I have a 2003 GT 3000 with a 23hp Kohler Engine. Noticed lately when staring after it has been sitting for a week or so that the engine smokes for a minute or so and then does fine, starts and runs goog. Has anyone had this problem and maybe what causes it.

Thanks

dave when my grandfather died he left us a few things, one was a for tempo and my favorite thing was the 20 year old craftsman lawn tractor. we had it 6 years it was asmost 30 when it quit. it had a 16 hp vtwin we sold it for 50 dollars. the man who bought it fixed it and its still running that was 4 years or so ago so i think craftsman are quality.
Mike R Bought 6 speed manual version new in 2000 w/ 48' heavy duty deck. Cut 1 acres weekly - replaced drive & mower belts only once. Great cutter espec w/ 3 bin bagger -- vacuum is excellent. My gas tank also cracked & starter has a dead spot but always does start. Be careful -- tractor has high center of gravity -- I rolled mine over on a hill and was lucky not to get hurt.


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