Bought a Z-Force 44"..

   #1  

JTKub

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The bug got to me and I ordered one today! Well... I need one in all reality now (and I use that term loosely) since my 2544 is moving a few miles away. My FIL has been struggling big time with an old MTD Yardman GT for years on their very hilly/rough property and it's not easy on him. The 2544 will be perfect for him and he's always wanted one. I made him an offer he couldn't refuse for my 2544 and totally made his day. :trink39: I've been eying the fab'd deck Z-Forces for a cpl years now and hopefully made the right choice today. I'll have my trusty Case 220 as a yard mule and b/u GT. One thing's for sure, my two local Cub dealers didn't have much by way of 2K series or ZTRs in stock. Just one or two 2544's one 3K series, a few commercial ZTRs and a whole bunch of 1000 series stuff. They did have one new 2542 flipped up on it's end in a Cub display to show off it's drivetrain. Pretty cool. Anyway, the current Z-Force 44" sale price is $3799. They knocked off $100 with the "Cub Loyalty Coupon" I had + no setup or delivery fee. With tax, $4022.66. Thank you once again Mr. GE / Cub Cadet credit! 0%/12mo. I'll figure out how to pay the bugger off by next March. :fing20:

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Joel
 
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JTKub

JTKub

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Sure will Michael. Still waiting on the bugger! Called the dealership today and they are waiting from a shipment from the factory. A couple more days. The dealer claims even the factory inventory is low because of the early run on a bunch of models. I guess the mowing season started a few weeks early for most areas.

Joel
 
   #4  

micman32

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Ah, The old waiting game! Hopefully you will have a nice sunny day when she arrives! When my 2518 was delivered I made a couple of rounds just to try it out and then was rained out for 2 days!

Michael
 
   #5  

alsparl

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Joel, Don't get discouraged about having to wait as it will be worth it. I spent 5 years at a CNH dealership as the primary L&G salesman. When I was still selling snowblowers in the central US, other dealers down south were selling mowers and well into it. I think you will like the Z-Force 44 as it seems to keep becoming a better machine year after year, and by far was my favorite of all. Good luck.
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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I finally got it around 6pm yesterday. Wow is it awesome! I mowed for an hour and was like a bull in a China shop on the darn thing. Looks like a drunkard mowed the lawn. I've taken quick spins on stick-steer equipment and have used skid-steers, etc.. but it is definitely a different experience when you used only conventional riding mowers for most of your life. Had a couple pleasant surprises. One is it has a Courage Pro series engine as opposed to the regular Courage series as some of the specs say (a few of the specs are inconsistent between sources BTW). The 44 deck is a BEAST. 11 ga welded steel with a 7 ga top plate and 7ga bumper all the way around. It's got a nice nearly full width rear roller on the deck as well. Servicing looks pretty easy on it with a flexible Parker drain hose kit and easy access to the oil filter. The Hydrogear ZT-2800 transaxles are pleasingly smooth and quiet. If heard reports of the lighter ZT series being ridiculously loud. Not so with these. The engine purrs like a kitten at idle and max speed and is quiet with the massive muffler. However, with the deck engaged this baby is LOUD. Imagine sitting between the engines on an MD-80 on takeoff.. X10. You need earplugs with this beast! The å*µel seat is very supportive, and it's got 2 squishy rubber suspension bumpers that smooth it out further. I find the ride to be about the same as my Cub 2544 GT. I barely had time to sit on it and my FIL was over with the trailer to p/u the 2544! I'm gonna miss it! Brace yourself for lots-o-pics!

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   #7  

rcbe

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VERY nice, JT... Aw, a cuppla days & you'll be toolin thet thing around with only 2 fingertips on them strg arms - grinnin all the way.

Just remember to cut back on ground speed a bit when makin them curlie-cues around the flower beds and trees - don't wanna kick up turf clods with them power rears.

Keep 'er clean, but stay away from them garden hoses and power washers. A little compressed air or leafblower air will do nicely.

Best of all - ENJOY !
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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Thanks rc. Have any of you fellow Z-Force owners managed to disable the no mow in reverse feature by chance? For whatever reason there's no rev-tech option on this machine like there was on my 2544. On my Z-Force, if you pull BOTH bars back to do a full reverse, the PTO cuts out until you release at least one bar, then it cuts back in by itself w/out touching the PTO knob. I know it's just a matter of making it so a switch doesn't get met, I just haven't devised a plan of attack yet. One disadvantage with this purchase is the literature included with the machine sucks!! With my 2544 came full blown parts diagrams and a much more explicit ops and owners manual. MTD got pretty light with this in 2010, there's little useful info included with the machine.

Joel
 
   #9  

ss76

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It sure looks like I'm gonna miss my 2155. lol. 2155 for sale in Cleburne, Texas. $1000.00 OBO Z-Force here I come!:thumbsup:
 

savageactor7

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Good luck with your new mower...just say'en it looks a lot bigger than a 44" cut. I can't drive anything without a cup holder.
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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Good luck with your new mower...just say'en it looks a lot bigger than a 44" cut. I can't drive anything without a cup holder.

You're right. It almost seems like a 48" with a 44" sticker slapped on it, but is seems real similar width of cut wise to my 2544. It's got a big'ol cup holder too, the "fake" gas tank to the left is actually a storage pod. It's basically an open rectangular bin with a cup holder recess to the front.

Joel
 

micman32

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That's one sweet ride Joel! You'll have it figured out in no time!

Michael
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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You know it figures. It's rained every day since I got the darn thing. Quite a bit of rain too.

Joel
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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The rain let up and I was able to mow for the second time with the Z-Force yesterday. Aside from the excruciatingly loud roar from this fabricated steel 44" I also found out large lawn surface irregularities can cause the deck height adjuster to lock itself in the fully upright position. Any time the deck moves up/down, the foot pedal adjuster moves along with it. Not a good design IMO. I found somewhat of a work around by raising my cutting height a bit, it won't 'ride' as much. In regards to the roar from the deck, the noise seems to resonate through the steel of the machine. Earplugs aren't enough for me. I need some quality muffs for this sucker. My other problem is the tailpipe on the exhaust vibrated itself loose! The darn thing is only held onto the muffler by two small sheet metal screws. The screws won't hold anymore. Whadda MTD design :(. I'm not sure which way to attack this exhaust issue. There's no way I'm taking the whole machine back to the dealer for this. I may bring them the tailpipe, explain the situation and see what they'll do. I'll remove the muffler from the machine and have them weld the tailpipe back on if need be.

Joel
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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I stopped into the dealer today with my exhaust pipe in hand and explained the situation to them. They really didn't have any clue what to do. The woman behind the counter popped up the on-line parts diagram and looked for any service bulletins, but of course their aren't any. She suggested maybe they could weld it, but the owner quickly walked by and chimed in with "No.. we can't weld that... Don't have the right welder" (guy's a real Richard Cranium BTW). I suggested notching the pipe and clamping it onto the muffler. She nodded and walked back to talk to the mechanic and he agreed that's the best option. Thing is, I'd have to remove the muffler, take it in and leave it with them for a few days. Heck with that. I'll fix it myself as I normally do. Have I told you how much I really don't like dealerships? They had very little interest in making this right for me. This is a high volume, high sales place on top of that. I noticed the "Tank" series ZTR they had on the floor had the same exhaust system as my Z-Force and the tailpipe on the Tank flopped like a wet noodle just like mine. Unreal.
 

Alan L.

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Rather than weld a part that is supposed to be replaceable, it it were me I would make the dealer fix it even if they have to put a new engine on it to do it. Then they will suddenly find a solution.
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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I hear you Alan. If it were the off season, I'd consider that. I just can't be without the machine for 2 weeks for such a minor issue. I wound up taking my 4-1/2" angle grinder with an 1/8" cut-off wheel and cut a slit in the pipe, then clamped it onto the muffler with a stainless steel hose clamp. It clamped down nice and tight and looks good. 100% better than how it came. I've got about 5hrs on it so far. I'll do my first oil change after the next use.

Joel
 

EuropaChris

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Nice unit, Joel! I hope you get as good of service from it as your 2544. I'm amazed, though, at the "MTD-isms" that actually make it into production (your tailpipe). I'd look at that design and reject it immediately as completely deficient. Not to be prejudiced, but I'm sure MTD employs some "cut-rate" engineering staff who have probably never driven a lawnmower or worked on any sort of mechanical equipment. They just don't understand how stuff goes together or stays together when put into a complete system.

My neighbor almost (ALMOST!!!) sucked me in on his Ferris ZTR - a 1500 series I believe - not sure on the deck size but 48" seems right and Kawasaki engine. He bought it for a mowing job that fell through and now just uses it to mow his 1 acre yard. He was looking to sell it and get something cheaper. It's a beautiful unit and really smokes across his yard. But it sure is easy to tell when he's mowing because that thing really winds up. But I just like my "tractor" too much - it's not about getting done fast.

chris
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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..But I just like my "tractor" too much - it's not about getting done fast.

chris


I hear you Chris. The ground speed of a ZTR isn't a factor for me because of my property. I can go full bore in some areas, but it's only a few swipes. Although you can't tell by looking at it, the majority of my lawn is hard packed topsoil that is very bumpy, so I've got to go slow or it just beats up me and the machine. The seat and seat suspension is awesome on the Z-Force, as is the pivoting front axle, but it does ride rougher to a slight degree than the 2544 did. I've used lawn rollers, but need a SERIOUS roller or a lot of other work to smooth things out. I'm thinking of trying a plug aerator to loosen things up, then roll some time. The cool thing with the ZTR for me is the maneuverability and the fact you can mow any pattern or direction you want. They are simpler to work on as well. Easy access to everything. I dunno that I'd recommend one to anyone with rough country property though.

Joel
 
   #20  

billsranch

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Hi Joel, just wondering about the deck height control. You mention the foot pedal moves up/down with the terrain. With my CC 1864 tractor I am used to adjusting the deck height on the go, depending on the grass. Can the z-force deck height be changed on the go? If not can you see a work around for this?
Bill.
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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Bill, yes you sure can adjust the deck height on the fly by pressing the pedal with your foot. If you wanted to lock it in to that particular setting, it's a matter or removing and replacing a pin. You'd have to let go of the lap bars that being the case. I did find the cause of my excessive deck 'hop'. The rear striper/roller system on the deck was set way too low from the factory. Even at a 3.25" cut height, the roller would ride the ground. My terrain not being the smoothest threw that deck in constant motion which I HATED. Removing and replacing the rear roller brackets into the next (and only) hole up, almost completely eliminated this. The deck is built like a tank, but I wouldn't trust the deck suspension long-term by allowing the deck to ride the ground. Here's the rear roller in stock position (disregard the arrows and such).

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   #22  

billsranch

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Thanks Joel. Another question about the ride as you mention you have some bumpy terrain. I also have rough ground (3 to 4 acres), which seems to get worse as the summer goes on. Do you find the ride on z-force bumpier than you CC 2544 tractor? I read another post from "MooreSites" about lowering the tire pressure plus putting tubes in the front tires. Have you tried this or what is your thoughts?
Bill.
 
  
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JTKub

JTKub

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The ride is about the same between my 2544 and Z-Force. Both harsh over bumpy ground. You've got to go slow. Both the 2500's and a ZTR are short between the front & rear axle (distance wise) so that doesn't help matters. I definitely did have to air down the rear tires on the Z-Force. They were pumped up to 30psig when they should be around 8psig. You feel the bumps more in your feet/legs on the Z-Force than at your butt. I think that's due to the position of the seat and the fact the seat is really supportive and suspended well with the gel pucks. The deck banging around and locking itself in the upright position was unbearable on the Z-Force with the rear deck rollers set the way they were. Poorly thought out design there. If you want it to drag like a Simplicity deck, you need space under there for the deck to move and the appropriate deck suspension.. The deck hanger and all the hardware looks and feels very heavy-duty, it just doesn't offer enough travel over rough ground to have it ride the ground.

Joel
 
 
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