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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First of all I would like to thank those that regularly visit and contribute to this forum. It has become a welcomed addition to my nightly research (or over research). I have learned alot from other's comments, experience, and knowledge. Everyone is busy these days so I wanted to take a second to say thanks.

On to my question. I have about a .6 acre lot w/ walkout basement - roughly 12degrees on each side. My main purpose in getting a riding lawn mower is for speed. 2 kids in sports/activities and an hour commute each day leaves very little time to mow. I live in Iowa and the past few winters have been brutal. We just built a house 3 years ago and are finding out our design may not have been the greatest as we get some significant snow drifts in our driveway...which is only about 25' long. I have a seperate snow blower that I had planned on using and considered puting a blade on the tractor to push the wet, slushy, 1" stuff that accumulates....before we drive over it in our haste to get out and about and pack it all down. Since our house is relatively new...we have a lot of landscaping stuff that needs to get done. Right now - not many obstacles. We will be doing some retaining walls, deck, patio, trees, bushes, garden, etc...so I'll be hauling around a utility cart as well and need to muscle to haul it around.

That is my plan as of June 2009. Here are some options I have narrowed down. My local JD Dealership about 3 miles away has an '08 X324 with 75 hours on it and a 48" deck for $3500. Getting slightly out of my price range...but do-able. The all wheel steer is interesting to me, however not something that I need right now. With eventual landscaping projects - that may change, but with a small yard (.6 acre) - maybe not a necesity. There is an '07 X300 (85 hrs) with 42" deck, bagger, 46" snowblower, chains, and weights, and heavy duty spring for $3200.

I have looked all over and can not find anything that explains the difference between an '07 and '08 x300. Anyone here have some advice?

I've also tinkered with the idea of an LX series mower as well. I like the idea of the foot control vs. the lever control for the deck/attachments. There was an LX277 AWS 2000 model..estimated 350 hours with 42" mulching deck for $1600. No hour meeter and the lever control is sorta bothering me on this one...but it's half the cost of the others. I just missed out on an LX280 (2005 model) with 130 hours on it and AWS for $2400. Same place has a 2005 John Deere CE LX280 with 140 hours, mulch kit, Bar tires, 42" deck - $2300. Not sure what the "CE" means?

For storage purposes, I really can't go larger than a 42" deck. I would prefer to mulch than to bag. My thought was...if the x300 is sufficient for my needs...I may sell the bagger and the snowblower and get a blade, cart, and lawn sweeper. Then again - the X324 with the 4 year warranty, AWS, tranny/power is interesting as well. My max budget is $3500...so the X324 would not allow me any left over for attachments. They also have an X320 - 35 hours - for $3400. If there are other models or suggestions you guys have, I'm all ears.

'08 X324 - $3500 AWS 48"deck (75 hours)
'08 X320 - $3400 48" deck - may be able to get them to replace with 42"
'07 X300 - $3200 42" deck, bagger, & snowblower (85 hours)
'05 LX280 - $2300 mulch kit (140 hours)
'00 LX277 - $1600 AWS and steal utility trailer (300ish hours)

Sorry for such a long starting post. My intent is to make one purchase - and have it last 15-20 years. Appreciate your feedback - possitive and negative. Thansk again!
 

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My choice would be the LX280. Those were great little tractors. slkpk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice so far. I plan on going to look at the LX280 tomorrow. Maybe even this evening if I can get off work early enough. This same place has a 2007 X320 for $400 more ($2700). Is that something I should consider. 30% less hours than the LX280. Wasn't sure what I was gaining for $400 aside from a newer machine with less hours. I still don't understand the major differences between the '07 and '08 X series models. Thanks guys for you input!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay. This is sorta amusing to me. I email the dealer to see if inventory is in stock and asked him the same questions above...narrowing it to the LX280 and the '07 x320. He sugested the X320 "b/c it's newer". So far the 'real world' experts here are saying the LX280 b/c it's a nice mower. Are there specific differences that I should be aware of? So far I hear LX280 b/c it's a nice machine and X320 b/c it's newer. :eek:) Thanks again everyone!

By the way - he asked me what my budget was. Not sure if I'm to take that as a classic cars salesman approach (no offense anyone) to sales...or if he genuinley wants to try to deal with me on mower and attachments...
 

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This forum has a tendancy to embrace the past models b/c they were generally built more stoutly. However, if you dig a little you'll find the comparisons between today's models and yesteryears which should make your consideration easier.

The X320 up through X3(2,6)x are equivelant to the LX's of yesteryear. You have to decide for yourself if the older tried and true LX design is worth the hours over the newer 'still proving itself' X320.
 

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I will try to answer your questions with a system by system approach. Each lawn tractor has 5 major systems, they are in no particular order, Engine, Frame, Transmission, Deck, and Steering. Here we are comparing an 07, X320 to an 05, LX280.

Engine; They are both Kawasaki V-twins, advantage X320 (newer is better).

Tranny; Lx280=K62, X320=K58 The K58 replaces the K62 and actually has better torque specs. advantage X320.

Frame; The LX280 is on the same frame as the GT225/GT235, the X320 frame is the same as the X500 advantage = Draw, both are more than adequate.

Steering; Draw= both tractors have greasable front wheels on cast iron axles.

Deck; Draw = both tractors have similar decks. The new X series 42" deck on the 09s is the same as the LA series deck and not as good as the older 42C deck, but that will not apply to an X320.

Parts; The X320 is still in current production and one presumes that you should be able to get parts for the "Life" of the tractor, but John Deere recently stopped production of parts for tractors built before 1992, and many parts for these great old horses are no longer available. So what happens in 10 to 12 years when JD decides that any tractor built before 2006 they will no longer produce parts for? You may be glad at that time that you had the newer machine. Advantage X320.

This is my take on it, hope it helps. The X320 is a direct replacement for the LX280. Both are equally capable, newer is better.
steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you very much for the system by system approach. Quite helpful. I'm going to go look at both of them tomorrow. The LX280 has the bar tires. Aside from my dad's old JD tractor at the farm, what are the pros/cons of such a tire on a lawn tractor. I have a suburban .6 acre yard. All grass and relatively flat - minus the two hills on the side of house.
 

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The pros on the bar tires are plenty of traction. You mention hills on your lawn, these would handle it without spinning, such as turf tires will do if the grass is even a little bit damp. Cons as I've heard of would be they will tear up you lawn if you do go to spinning them any. I personally don't have a set on mine but wish I did, instead I run chains year round to handle the hills in my back yard :).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When you guys clean your machine's up - do you ever use car wax to shine it up? Wasn't sure how some people get there's looking so shiny.
 
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