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Old 04-08-2013, 11:05 PM   post #1 of 16
MowJoe
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Default Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

I mowed a yard today with my gt235 and this is the first yard I have mowed since putting on a 54C deck. Yard was tough, thick, and a bit high. I would expect it to bog down the mower some but not to the point where it almost kills it. At times it felt like it was stalling out the deck. Is a 54 too much for the 18 hp Vanguard to handle or do I have other problems?


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Old 04-09-2013, 01:09 AM   post #2 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

There are other variables - blade sharpness, wet grass, etc. I don't think a 54" deck is too much for an 18 hp Vanguard. A lot of people have 18 hp tractors with 54" decks. But 54" decks are as big as they get unless you go to the 400 series.


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Old 04-09-2013, 08:07 AM   post #3 of 16
MichaelTJD60
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Is the Vanguard the original motor? Supposedly theyre really good motors, I'd be surprised if thats an issue. Of course, I'm pretty sure HP is measured differently today than it was 10 or 20 years ago. My 26 HP with 54" deck always stalled in pretty thick grass but that was because the valves were out of adjustment. Have you adjusted your valves? And the factors that Todd_D mentioned can also affect the cut too.

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Old 04-09-2013, 08:36 AM   post #4 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

My dad has a GT235 with the 18hp and 54 inch deck. He bought it brand new and is on its 13th mowing season. A real tuff and lasting mower for sure.

But the 18hp engine is a little underpowered for the 54' on heavy duty. For adverage yard mowing it does just fine, but its not going to " bush hog " knee high grass well...especially with the deck set really low. We always mow on 3 inches or 3 1/4. On the other hand I've never had it stall on me but really thick and tall grass will certainly work the 18horse hard. But it has been a great little engine and mower. 13 years and going strong.

Make sure the blades are sharp and maybe mow a little higher...3 inches works well for dads. Might run some premium non ethanol gasoline too and see if it helps. Of course I realize that can be tuff to find. Fortunately my small Kentucky town has a non ethanol pump for small engines and equipment. Will it help....I guess that's debatable
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:50 AM   post #5 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

The Vanguard is an excellent engine but the torque peak is 30 ft lbs @2600 rpm, the torque curve is fairly flat from 2200-2800 rpm then falls off dramatically the 3500-3600 rpm cutting speed, so if it starts to stall it won't recover as well as a bigger engine with the same h.P. rating. The Vanguard only has 35 cu. in. to work with so torque output is limited and moved in the rpm band as compared to say a 48 cu in. 18 H.P. Onan. So the V has more peak power but the O will put torque where you need it better in the real world.
I'm not putting down the newer engines, I have a B&S 26 h.p. V-twin, but at work that requires a heavy load on the engine the old Onan works better.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:42 AM   post #6 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Also make sure the deck is adjusted properly with the back of the deck a little higher than the front.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:23 AM   post #7 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Make sure it's running on both cylinders.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:51 PM   post #8 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Are the deck and engine the original ones designed for that tractor? If this was a "cobble together" job, then perhaps the pulleys aren't the correct ratio to deliver the correct blade speed at the normal operating rpm of the engine.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:18 PM   post #9 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

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Originally Posted by toppop52 View Post
The Vanguard is an excellent engine but the torque peak is 30 ft lbs @2600 rpm, the torque curve is fairly flat from 2200-2800 rpm then falls off dramatically the 3500-3600 rpm cutting speed, so if it starts to stall it won't recover as well as a bigger engine with the same h.P. rating. The Vanguard only has 35 cu. in. to work with so torque output is limited and moved in the rpm band as compared to say a 48 cu in. 18 H.P. Onan. So the V has more peak power but the O will put torque where you need it better in the real world.
I'm not putting down the newer engines, I have a B&S 26 h.p. V-twin, but at work that requires a heavy load on the engine the old Onan works better.
Agreed. Thats what I meant when I said they don't measure HP the sane way they used to. My uncle's 318 with 46" deck and LX770 Linamar mows foot tall weeds in the nursery every week without a problem. My 210 with 1-cyl Kohler and 39" deck mows foot tall weeds without a problem. My 5-year-old LA150 v-twin may run faster, but it doesn't put out as much torque at max RPMS. And i ALWAYS mow with the deck all the way up (perhaps it wasn't set up right at the factory?)

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:49 PM   post #10 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Quote:
Thats what I meant when I said they don't measure HP the sane way they used to.
So the way they measure horsepower these days is insane?

Sorry... I couldn't help myself.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:01 PM   post #11 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

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Originally Posted by Nouveau Redneck View Post
So the way they measure horsepower these days is insane?

Sorry... I couldn't help myself.
I secretly meant to say that I'm pretty sure a 26 HP Briggs v-twin is weaker than an 18 HP Onan opposed twin...
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:26 PM   post #12 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

Original motor. Blades are new. Deck is the 54c that would have came on it new. Mower has 221 hours on it. I'm thinking I may have a carb issue that's causing it. I noticed today that when I started it and ran the throttle all the way up it stuttered a bit before it caught up. Under a load it would do the same and cause a stall correct?


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Old 04-10-2013, 01:56 AM   post #13 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

You don't have a mulching kit on the deck by chance do you? Any dense wet grass, thick/ high grass or tall weeds don't do well with a mulch kit on the deck. All of our small mowers on the golf course I work part time at have the 18hp Vanguards and they are pretty darn strong motors. Just curious, good luck to you!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:17 AM   post #14 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

No mulch kit. Dry grass and mowed on 2.5.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:19 AM   post #15 of 16
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Default Re: Gt235 with vanguard and 54" deck stalls in thick grass

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Originally Posted by MowJoe View Post
Original motor. Blades are new. Deck is the 54c that would have came on it new. Mower has 221 hours on it. I'm thinking I may have a carb issue that's causing it. I noticed today that when I started it and ran the throttle all the way up it stuttered a bit before it caught up. Under a load it would do the same and cause a stall correct?


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Depends. Does it only do that from a cold start?? I never start mine and let it go straight to full throttle. I let it warm up a few minuets first. If it stutters a lot when you go wide open on a warm engine it very well could be running rich and would cause stalling under a load. Notice any black smoke before it stalls? Is a sighn of too much fuel being fed to the engine. Of course it's natural to puff a little black smoke after choking it to start when cold, but not when it's warmed up. If it blows some black smoke when you open the throttle when it's warm and it stutters then it could be rich....essentially like running with the choke on. It will kill the power. Give the carb a good inspection and look for any wetness or find a freind to help you out. Good luck and feel free to ask all the questions you want.
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