Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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View Poll Results: Should I try a Remote Control Mower kit
Looks good, YES get that Remote Controlled Kit 2 25.00%
Looks good, YES get this other kit 0 0%
NO, dont even try it 2 25.00%
Buy something new for $5000+ done right 3 37.50%
I have another idea, see comments 1 12.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 29 Old 11-05-2019, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

So I have this 20 year old husqvarna R322, which they called a Rider 16 back in 2001. The 16 stands for the under powered 16HP engine that wont take my 200Lbs up much of a slope at all. These older one's are only 2wd, and even with new bar tires installed, there's just no power in this thing once I sit on it. When I hop off and press on the gas with my hand, it does seem to move along quite well. It does have a hydrostatic transmission, which should work out well via remote. The area I have in mind for mowing is about an acre, 20-25 degree slope, see pics. So for safety, I rather not ride and mow there. Even if I did, the underpowered 16HP engine cant even get me there. I do have a walk behind DR power mower, but my bad knees and arthritis no longer allow me to use that.

So for all those reasons, this particular mower seems to me would make a good candidate for a conversion. I would be fine spending $1000 or so to convert it to Remote Controlled. I think it will do very well, once Im not on it.

I found this Remote Control kit for mowers for about $900

Id be much more comfortable installing from a kit, on a rider that I own, than buying something new, or piecing something together from scratch, I really wouldn't know where to start there. What do you think? Anyone done something similar? I did search these forums first for Remote Controlled, and not a whole lot of chit chat around this topic. Should I try it? Anyone else own one of these off the shelf kits?
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post #2 of 29 Old 11-05-2019, 05:54 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Why do you think the mower is under powered?
Is the engine worn out? Is the hydro trans bad? Wrong adjustment?

A 16 hp hydro should be able to take you anyplace you should go (when operating right).

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post #3 of 29 Old 11-05-2019, 06:21 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Yep, I agree with Dan, something else must be happening if it's not moving you around correctly. And if you don't fix that it won't be long until the money you put into a RC kit would be wasted too. I would make sure it is working properly before investing more money into it.

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post #4 of 29 Old 11-05-2019, 06:38 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

I'm not sure I'd be putting much into a 20 year old machine that probably needs a transmission. For that same one acre and $1,000 price range, I might look into something like this:



Not sure how they do on slopes though.

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post #5 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

It just feels underpowered to me. I do get a "stalling, bogging down sound" when I move it to full throttle, so I do agree, some adjustments should be looked into first. What do you think? Too rich, adjust the carb? The tranny feels good, the engine sounds good, just not enough power to move around slopes. My craftsman GT3000 23 HP Kohler Pro V-Twin also has trouble moving around up there (with chains). Not as bad as this single cylinder 15HP. My terrain of sandy slope really needs a lot of traction and power to move. I will check the carb adjustments thou, thank you.

Obscured_by_Clouds, thanks for that, I did look at the top of the line HUSQVARNA AUTOMOWER at $3,499.99MSRP, even that one will have a tough time on this sandy sloped weedside. If I were to buy a remote controlled mower, it would likely be this one at $7500 https://www.remotemowers.com/ztr-60

That's why I thought I could get away with converting my husqvarna Rider 16 for about $1000 for an add on kit.
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post #6 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 07:57 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

I think you need a lot of extra weight to navigate slopes. So take your body off and replace that weight with something else and you're going to be back where you started... No power...
And that stationary weight isn't going to be able to shift itself around to help with traction.

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post #7 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 08:23 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Get GTO View Post
I think you need a lot of extra weight to navigate slopes. So take your body off and replace that weight with something else and you're going to be back where you started... No power...
And that stationary weight isn't going to be able to shift itself around to help with traction.
I agree. Assuming that rider is rear wheel drive, the weight of the deck hanging off the front is counterweighted by the body on the seat. I can easily pick up the back end of my R322TX with nobody in the seat.

Fix the engine (sounds like a lean condition) and an oil change on the hydro to see what improvements you see before sinking money on a remote control.

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post #8 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 10:29 AM
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I think it’s a great idea, I have thought to try something similar. It looks like his kit is for ZTR type mowers; so the controls will be different for yours. I would contact [email protected] see if his controls work with your tractor. I doubt he making much profit, and his experience is well worth whatever money he’s making. Might be worth buying a ZTR.

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post #9 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 12:03 PM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Considering we're not allowed to tell you how to disable a safety switch (forum rule #5), I think remote control advice is out of the question. Mods correct me if I am wrong.
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Thanks guys! Truly appreciate the input. I do have an email into John and have asked him directly about the kits compatibility. I will definitely work on the power issue before anything. To robhay2, the purpose of my thread is not intended to discuss "how to disable a safety switch".
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post #11 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 07:44 PM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DL-North View Post
Why do you think the mower is under powered?
Is the engine worn out? Is the hydro trans bad? Wrong adjustment?

A 16 hp hydro should be able to take you anyplace you should go (when operating right).
Very reasonable questions. The later model R322 weighs 571 lb and has two hydros. It would not be out of line to assume that your earlier model could be a few pounds lighter with only one hydro. My 2250 lb GT has no problem negotiating 20-25 slopes with a 16 hp engine.

Based on that singular piece of data, a 200 lb operator, or the lack thereof, should have no obvious effect on your tractor's performance if the engine and transmission are functioning correctly.

If you want to try the remote operation kit, accept and describe it as your preference. Don't blame the need for it on poor engine or transmission performance. Both will still be in evidence after the installation.

The hydro in your tractor will only accept 5-6 hp input. If a 16 hp engine is bogging, it's not because of the hydro. It's either out of tune, the load on the mower blades is high, or the engine is worn. If the tractor slows on the slopes while the engine revs stay the same, that is a fault of the hydro.

If you are looking for a project, get the remote control kit, otherwise, spend the money on bringing your equipment back up to square one specs, or replace the 20 year old machine with something new that has the capability to deal with the slopes for another 20 years or more.

In this particular instance, a remote control is a band-aid being used to hide an existing problem that is only going to get worse, not better.

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Last edited by TUDOR; 11-06-2019 at 07:59 PM.
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post #12 of 29 Old 11-07-2019, 10:22 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

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Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
Thanks guys! Truly appreciate the input. I do have an email into John and have asked him directly about the kits compatibility. I will definitely work on the power issue before anything. To robhay2, the purpose of my thread is not intended to discuss "how to disable a safety switch".
You are going to have to disable ALL the safety switches to do this. In any event I'll cast my vote and leave it at that.
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post #13 of 29 Old 11-07-2019, 11:03 AM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

The machine in the pictures is not what I would use, but it looks more than adequate for the job...and those tires are super (is that 4WD?)....but at that age, and it looks like it has been well maintained...it should have some life left in it.....but I don't think there is so much that it would warrant a $900 investment...also....I always come across something on my lawn that I have to stop and move to avoid running over like a hose, or something that could damage the blades...that you would not notice while operating from a distance.....I would sell it and get a nice garden tractor that has plenty of power and that you would be comfortable sitting on and operating...and being new, you could expect it to be trouble free, providing you keep up with proper care and PM
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post #14 of 29 Old 11-07-2019, 01:11 PM
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Re: Should I try a Remote Controlled riding mower conversion?

Check carb and valve adjustments. Sounds like a very weak engine as the mower should handle all that, and you, as it was designed.

Just an opinion here: Remote control sounds like it will be more work than it could possibly be worth. I'd invest in a new, or newer machine that you can enjoy using. Unless you are just tired of cutting, in that case........maybe a lawn service?

Hope you can work this out whatever you decide to do. Good luck.

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post #15 of 29 Old 11-08-2019, 09:56 AM
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Making a remote control lawnmower sounds like a fun project. And who doesn’t want fun. I would do it for that aspect alone.

I would get a deck, mount an engine directly and add two independent wheel drives to propel and steer; which is basically a ZTR.

I think your tractor is too nice to mod, but that’s up to you.

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