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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Western NY & Northwestern PA
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    Kioti CK25

    Default So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    For residential use, probably <50 hours per year. Not a lot wrong I hope, because I just bought one!

    Same excellent FR Kawasaki engine as lots of other upscale residential and 'estate' mowers, plus some entry level commercial types.

    Same exact Hydro Gear ZT-2800 IZT transmissions with replaceable filters as everyone's next up the scale residential series, including the Cub Z Force line.

    Yeah, I know the stamped one piece frame isn't as durable as a welded box channel frame, but is it sturdy enough for its intended use?

    Ditto for the stamped vs fabbed decks. But for 1 owner/user for mowing 2 acres or so (the same 2 acres, every week, unlike what someone mowing commercially can expect), I'm going to guess it'll last just fine. The deck on my Deere GT 245 is stamped, and nobody bad mouths those tractors (also with a very nice Kawasaki 22 hp motor).

    The seat is pretty comfortable based on my limited time in it. I can't imagine it'll be too unbearable with my butt in it only maybe 3 hours a week.

    Seems to me a very nice compromise between the sealed transmissions of the other RZT mowers and the extra $$ to get into the next step up Z Force or similar.

    It is a little weird that Cub makes no mention of the ZT-2800 filters or serviceability in either their sales literature or even owner's manual. Doesn't mention them at all, actually, except for checking the expansion tank fluid level. And I can't seem to find a Cub part number for those filters when I do a parts look-up for that model! Marketing, I guess?

    Anyway, opinions and experiences and warnings are welcome. Thanks. -WSJ

  2. #2
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    West Falls, NY
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    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    You did good. I tend to recommend away from units with the non-serviceable drives, but like you say, the RZT54 has the better serviceable drives. Just keep that deck adjusted so it doesn't ride the ground and you'll get many years of service out of it. I jack the front of my Z-Force up with a floor jack after each mowing to scrape the underside of the deck, then blow the whole thing off with a leaf blower.

    In regards to the transmission oil filters, just google something along the lines of "hydro-gear filters". The same (tiny) HydroGear filter is used on the majority of their units. It's an HG-52214 For example, Amazon has them for $8.88/ea. These are something that don't need to be changed often. I don't plan on changing them on my year-old Z-Force for another year or two.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Apr 2006
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    105
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    Western NY & Northwestern PA
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    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    Yes, I did download a Hydro Gear ZT-2800 service & repair manual and checked into the filters outside the Cub netwoork. I figure I'll run it this summer and then change the oil and filters out per advice from others here.

    I did answer at least one of my own questions this evening though. I couldn't stand not mowing after finishing picking up downed limbs, d@#@ the thundershowers and wet grass and puddles. I'm not sure how much I like the safety pto cut off when both levers are pulled back into the reverse position and wonder if the Z Force line does that too?

    Might that be somewhat adjustable? I wouldn't mind if the pto cut off at a higher speed in backwards mode but I'd like to go at least slowly backwards with the blades spinning.

    I'm a dedicated deck cleaner myself, although I confess I don't scrape it every time. And I use compressed air to de-grass everything, especially anything associated with engine or transaxle cooling. With the sloppy wet grass around here even when it's not raining, I think the deck wash feature might actually be useful.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    Quote Originally Posted by WSJ View Post
    ..I figure I'll run it this summer and then change the oil and filters out per advice from others here.

    .... I'm not sure how much I like the safety pto cut off when both levers are pulled back into the reverse position and wonder if the Z Force line does that too?
    Not sure where you got that advice, but changing the oil & filters on the ZT2800's is not necessary the first year, unless you're going to put a good 50-100hrs on it in that time.

    Yes, my Z-Force also had the annoying reverse cut-off. I 'fixed' that very easily w/out deleting or voiding anything. It's not worth the wear and tear on the very expensive PTO clutch to have it cut off/on/off/on a hundred times with every mow.

    I would also advise against the deck wash feature because it makes more of a mess than it cures, but that's to each his own. I've owned two Cubs with this feature now and had the same results with both.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Kioti CK25

    Thumbs up Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    ". . . had the annoying reverse cut-off. I 'fixed' that very easily . . ."

    Cool. I will investigate. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    West Falls, NY
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    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    Check your private messages when you get a chance.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    After 4 hours now the other thing I've found less than ideal is the hand lever for deck height adjustment. It works like it's supposed to but a foot actuated lift is absolutely a better way to go. A comsprise I can live with for the $$ but a real distinction between the RZT line and up-the-line models (Cub or otherwise). -WSJ

  8. #8
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    West Falls, NY
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    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    The foot pedal height adjuster isn't so great either. I don't know if you've read any of my posts on that. You can choose any one of the dozen or so height adjustment pin holes, but you've still only got about an inch and a half (if that) of total travel. With the rear deck, full-width roller left in the factory position, it's even less up/down travel. Rolling over high spots can also result in the deck locking itself in the fully upright position. Super annoying to discover this after you've mowed a dozen rows.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Apr 2006
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    105
    Location
    Western NY & Northwestern PA
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    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    Haven't yet experienced any bouncing into lowest or highest settings but will pay attention! My Deere GT has a nice spring assist foot actuated deck lift with a 1/4" adjustment knob independent of the lift. Works nicely.

    Best of all of course is a hydraulic deck lift. I had an old Allis Chalmers 917 (Simplicity) years ago with hydro dirve and hydraulic deck lift. Neat old mower, until lack of oil caused the KT-17 Kohler to throw a rod through the cylinder. Darned thing started and ran on the remaining cylinder! Sold it to a collector and moved on . . . .

  10. #10
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: So what's wrong with an RZT54 KW?

    You probably won't have this issue with the RZT because of the lift mechanism being different and there's no striping roller on the deck.

    Oh yes! Electric or hydraulic lift is nice. Our JD 110 had electric lift. It sure was nice with the snowblower.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

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