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Opinion sought - Craftsman 54" (Kohler 26HP Courage) Login/Join 
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I am hoping some may own this or a similar model, and can give me the skinny:

917.280080 (YT4500)

We have about an acre. My 22-year old MTD is already junked, so I want to get something decent (mid-grade) since we're on a budget.

I found a 4-year old model with 100 hours on it. $700


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Posts: 7133 | Location: Michiana | Registered: March 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fire begets Fire
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I had one - no issues - great product and when new at $2600 was half the price of an "equal" JD.

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Posts: 26756 | Location: dughouse | Registered: February 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Striker in waiting
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Can't comment on the mower, but that engine is solid. I'm doing annual maintenance on the 25CH that powers my Turf Tiger tomorrow so I can mow on Saturday. Woohoo!


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Posts: 16170 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kohler makes good engines. Unfortunately the remainder of the parts on that tractor/mower are Craftsman.

My experience with Craftsman mowers is that ordering and receiving the correct spare parts from Sears is painful and that term is charitable.

Also, please consider that Sears appears to be fading from the retail scene. They are reported to have sold the Craftsman brand. I don't have much hope that will improve the spare parts supply for older equipment.
Posts: 747 | Location: Vermont | Registered: February 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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NOT a fan of the Craftsman mowers. Fine if You like to tinker and have a small yard.

My neighbor buys them and I used to help him with belts and other issues REGULARLY. As I have gotten older and don't care to skin up my knuckles on those rotten belts, I have stopped answering his calls. Saw the other day he has a new KUBOTA.

Parts an issue as well. We got the wrong belt twice. Sears swore it was the correct one. It was too short. Nope. Not a fan of craftsman mowers.
Posts: 7074 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My father-in-law used to get them all the time from the scrap yard. Most of them needed rear ends but the motors were strong. Take a look into Case/Ingersoll. Built like tanks and will last a lifetime. Check craigslist as they can be had for around the same price. You can check out for any questions you might have.
Posts: 3613 | Location: PA | Registered: November 15, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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I have that exact machine and we have used it to maintain 5 acres since 2011. It has been used hard, but parts are not really a problem and maintenance is fairly easy. Craftsman doesn't really make anything, so the parts are available through a local mower store. Just go in with the model number and their computer will tell them what parts will fit the mower.

I now have a bit of an oil leak around one of the gaskets for the OHV, but it's not too bad and should be relatively easy to replace anyway.

I also need new rear tires at this point, but that's to be expected after 6 years in the Florida sun.

I don't know if that is a good price or not, but the mower looks pretty clean. It should have an hour meter right near the steering wheel that will give you an idea of how much time is on the engine.

Not exact mine you, because if someone forgot to turn off the key, the meter keeps running even if the engine has stopped due to the seat safety, etc.

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Posts: 12448 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Happily Retired
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That Courage line of Kohler engines seems pretty reliable. I have a smaller one in a log splitter and it runs decent enough.

.....never marry a woman who is mean to your waitress.
Posts: 4885 | Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO. | Registered: September 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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