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post #1 of 4 Old 08-18-2019, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Simplicity Sunstar Hydro 20 basic hydro info

I acquired a Simplicity Sunstar Hydro20 for next to nothing. It's all there and it works great but it may have years of not being loved.

Someone put several computer pancake fans in the grill - assuming these were not a factory option, it says a lot about how it was maintained.

There is a small hydro leak on the steering actuator.

I can't figure out how to check the fluid level. I just have a cap on the left rear of the engine, but it looks like it should have a dipstick.

The deck is shot and it has 1300 hours so my plan is to just use it for a while to see if it proves itself before i jump in to serious rework. I'm not going to go looking for trouble.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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Re: Simplicity Sunstar Hydro 20 basic hydro info

Check the hydro fluid level by looking at clear tube on right rear of transaxle. Should be 1" of fluid showing with engine off and tractor parked level. Should be reddish in color or it might need to be changed (Type F, 5-6 qts.).

Those fans might not be needed, but they can't hurt (assuming they are blowing out, not in). You say the deck is shot. You mean there are too many big holes that can't be patched?

Having 1300 hours should not be alarming; those machines are good for many more hours than that. Which engine, M20 or CH20?

You can get a owners manual and other info on the Simplicity site: https://www.simplicitymfg.com/na/en_...t/manuals.html
Gerald
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-18-2019, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Simplicity Sunstar Hydro 20 basic hydro info

Thanks.

The fans might be OK but that sort of fix for a cooling problem suggests someone is either a genius at re-engineering or a complete idiot who addressed a cooling problem by blowing on it.

The deck has some big holes in it but there is plenty of material to weld to an i can get welding done pretty cheap.

I'll get through this season (late october where i live) and go through it over the winter.

Engine is CH20 (CH20S)

Found the hydro check - nothing in the tube, thanks
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-18-2019, 01:18 PM
G-1
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Re: Simplicity Sunstar Hydro 20 basic hydro info

Well, at least in the case of the M20 engine, I can understand why someone might be concerned with the heat issue; they run VERY hot. I have 2 of these that I mow with. I also have a Sunstar with a CH20, but don't use it very often (just 'tilling and snow work) and have not noticed how hot it runs. Anyway, my drill is to "wash" the machines after mowing with compressed air. I think that helps with the heat issue by keeping the engine and cooling system (shroud around the hydro cooler and the engine fins) cleaner. Related to this, I found that using a multi-viscosity dino oil like 10W30 was resulting in oil break down. Consequently, very early on in my Sunstar experience I started using only HD30 oil in my M20 engines. Synthetic oils may not break down, but I still use HD30 in my M20's. I do use synthetic in my CH20, but heat has not been an issue with that machine.

Those decks are made of pretty good metal. As long as you have something to weld to, you should be OK. Even though it's a pain to R/R the decks, I try to clean under them when I know there is a big buildup of wet grass. Sitting with wet grass under there is what causes them to rust badly. I did lose one deck because of this back when I just did not have time to keep it cleaned out.

One thing to keep in mind regarding the deck bearings is that they are normally sealed. This means that using the zerks on the arbors (some don't even have zerks) will likely not put grease into the bearings. Before I figured this out, I was having bearings go bad within 2-3 years. Now, I disassemble the arbors and pack the bearings and they never go bad. Last time I checked, after 5 years the bearings still had plenty of grease.

One other wear item on the decks is the rollers. Not much you can do to preserve them. The drive shaft and gear unit are trouble free as long as they have lube.

The only weak point on the CH20 that I know about is the valve train. The push rods have been known to bend.
Gerald
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