Craftsman GT5000 Reliability?

   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #1  

Blue Mule

Gold Member
Jan 11, 2021
Central Kentucky
New Holland Workmaster 40
Looking for a nice used riding mower for my grandfather. I found a Craftsman GT5000 online not far away for $600 and the pictures look good. Owner says all it needs is a battery, otherwise runs and mows great. Can you guys offer any info on these models? I've never had a Craftsman "garden tractor" series. Are they pretty solid? Need it to last just a few years probably. I have no idea how old this mower for sale is, or how many hours are on it.
   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #2  
Quick search shows it was made from 2003-2006 and could use one of 3 engines 1 Kohler and 2 Briggs also could have a hydrogear hydrostat or Peerless hydrostat, or peerless gear. the peerless has no parts availability and is non repairable or serviceable. The Kohler 25 hp could be subject to head gasket failure.
   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #3  
They were reasonably stout tractors, built by AYP > Husqvarna. They don't handle like butter, but for 600$ if it runs up good, steers decent and you aren't dealing with deck rot- I'd consider it.
   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #4  
The AYP built Craftsman GT tractors are decent tractors for the money. And are fairly tough. Wear parts are available, some of the proprietary parts can be a bit harder to find.

The Briggs engines have a mixed reputation. The Kohlers are decent, tho they can have head gasket issues if they are the big engine (725cc). The smaller version is tough engine. Kohler engines do shed magnets on the alternators. You can fix them or get a replacement flywheel

i have 3 Craftsman GT’s. My wife likes them. 2 with HydroGear transaxles, 1 with a Peerless 6 speed.
   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #5  
I've got one. Be sure to lube the front wheel "bearings" on a regular basis or they'll wear out. They are actually bushings not bearings. I replaced mine with bearings off eBay. Mine has the standard transmission with a Dana Spicer rear end. One seal started leaking. There is no way to check fluid level and no way to replace the seals which are not available anyhow. There is a fill port and it takes regular gear oil. I drilled a hole just below the point where the halves separate and installed a hydraulic jack plug to have a reference maximum fill point. Other than the minor stuff it's been a good unit.
   / Craftsman GT5000 Reliability? #6  
I owned a gt5000 years ago with a 53in deck. It was gear drive and possibly the slowest mowing tractor I have ever owned. The blade tip speed was really slow causing you to have low ground speed. Gear drive sucks for mowing unless it's a open field. The carb is also terrible to get to on these Vtwin kohler engines.

I bought a 46in hydro drive husqvarna 2yrs later and cut my mowing time down by 1/3.

I now own a 48in ZTR and cut my mowing time from 3hrs to 1hr.