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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

I'm in the market for a new Garden Tractor including Legacy, XL or Prestige from the Simplicity line and am wondering if I should move up to 4wd vs 2WD?

Last winter was brutal here in South Dakota and could have used this to also clear deep snow away from the foundation of our house with concerns of spring flooding.

I'd be using this with ground engagement attachments, tilling, mowing and maybe making a little money on the side using the tractor

Thank you
 

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If I was going to buy a new tractor. Either a prestige or legacy 4wd. 4wd would be great in snow or even heavy tilling when the ground is tough as a rock. Looking at the newer models. Basically if you are going to run a loader on the front I can see getting a legacy or even the need for a pto. Otherwise tilling and blowing snow a prestige will do that just as good, but belt driven. Engine wise, legacy and prestige have pretty much same engine options. A lot of both came with a 27HP. One thing you might want to check out as well if you plan on mowing is size of deck. Legacy I know can come with a 60" deck. Prestige 54" bigger? I have no idea if that is a option or not for prestige. Either choice would be a good one.

I have the 2wd older legacy. And I been sitting here last 2 years figuring out what it would all take to convert it to a 4wd. It can be done but going to cost a lot. Better off just getting one with 4wd in it from the factory.
 

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The only thing that I didn't like about the 4wd Prestige when we tested it was the ground speed was slow. If your planning on cutting a lot of grass with it, it will take longer. Otherwise for snow throwing and traction without chains it was great. The Legacy XL 4wd is excellent and the ground speed is good for both mowing and blowing.

In order to convert a 2wd Legcy to 4 you would need a different transmission and the front drive axle because you need the drive shaft from the rear to drive the front axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So basically 4wd would mean there would be less chance of me tearing up a lawn blowing snow away from a foundation? More traction less spinning?

Good to know about the slower speed of mowing with a 4wd Prestige.

The turning radious is obviously larger on the 4wd

Does having a belt drive tiller for example have drawbacks on the Prestige vs the Legacy XL? Will the tiller for example be easier to attach to the Legacy vs Prestige?

There are trade-offs I know and just weighing the costs yet it's just nice to be able to be prepared after last winter and have options on a what I consider long term investment.
 

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Yes, With 2wd and chains. I have dug holes in the yard from spinning out. Not so much anymore with my new 6 inch wide tires. But turfs yup. Couple times had to pull myself out with the pickup. Spring I have to fill the holes and reseed the yard in those areas. Pain in the butt.

Belt driven vs pto. Anwser is no. Because the pto is belt driven with two short belts in tandem. I can tell you that my little prestige is same ground speed as legacy. Also the prestige blows snow further then my legacy. I think the reason is belt is easier to turn and the pto looses some power with the extra mechanics it has to turn. Sort of like a car with 300hp engine, but at the wheels only 115 horsepower. Where belt it's pretty much a direct connection.

Either tractor will be good. Both have their ups and downs. Right now my legacy is having issues with pto bearings that keep breaking. There is 2 bearings that hold the main driveshaft inside the front axle. They are 60 bucks each. Broke one mowing this summer. And one last year blowing snow.

drawback on a belt driven tractors, if the belt gets wet it will slip a little til it drys out. Which you can back off or slow down a bit til it drys out. Usually takes 6-10 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This website/forum is just an incredible resource for information and I really appreciate the responses!

So the speed difference is not that much in mowing with the Prestige with full-time 4wd vs part-time 4wd on the Legacy or a 2wd?

What is the fuel consumption like on the full-time 4wd Prestige?

It just sounds alot better having the security of 4wd and being able to lessen the chance of tearing up a yard blowing snow.

A reply from the Craftsman forum said that he actually prefers a single stage over a 2 stage blower

Justy are you using kevlar belts on your Prestige as referenced by another posting?
 

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One thing to remember even though Simplicity may not have updated their website is that the new Prestige comes with a 30hp Briggs now rather than Koehler. I assume this is step one in phasing out Koehler in both the Prestige and Legacy. Haven't looked lately in the cost difference between the Legacy and Prestige.
 

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Cost difference between the two. Would be worth checking out. As for fuel consumption. Both legacy and prestige are not Full-time 4wd. You have either a button or a lever to engage 4wd, like a pickup. As for using fuel. If the tractor is in 2wd for like mowing lawn. It will have about same fuel mileage as a regular 2wd tractor. They are geared down enough that moving that extra axle is negotiable. You wouldn't notice the difference.

Both the prestige and legacy are considered garden tractors. Prestige is the light garden tractor. Legacy is like the bulldozer of the group designed for some heavy duty stuff like a front end loader or a rear backhoe. It basically is everything. Prestige doesn't have a loader or backhoe option that I know of. But as for blowing snow, tilling, and mowing. Pretty much equal in that area. Both tractors come with about same horsepower. Difference is the legacy is horizontal shaft engine and prestige is a vertical shaft engine.

Legacy comes with a couple options for engines. Air cooled, Liquid cooled, and diesel the power house.

Prestige far as I know are all aired cooled, they also have a oil cooler which is similar to a radiator only that it cools the oil vs water/antifreeze.

If you have a heated garage liquid cooled is good. If not air cooled might be better option. As for these engines I have not seen personal proof that the liquid cooled engine lasts longer then the air cooled. My legacy original Kawasaki Liquid cooled 20hp engine went out at 630 hours. My prestige air cooled kohler 23 hp engine went bad at 764 hours. Both could have been rebuilt. But decided try something different.

As for blowers it's somewhat preference I think. I like single stage the best. Eats snow fast, cleaner job. Dual stage is good for deep snow. Or wet snow. Cost wise the single stage is cheaper. Single stage also has less parts. It has 2 bearings, auger, motorcycle chain, and a shoot.
Dual stage has more parts 3 bearings, 2 half augers, worm gears, propeller, and a shoot. (if a rock gets into the auger usually the shear pin breaks, if not the worm gear is ripped out needs to be repaired. Without that, the auger doesn't spin)

When comes to MN snow storms. Even with the snow deeper then the blower. I just plow through it with the single stage. But, mostly what I usually do if there is a big snow storm of like 2 feet of snow in a day. Is blow the driveway out twice. My drive way is gravel and a 1/4 mile long. Because the single stage auger spins 3600 rpms, I can blow snow at a pretty fast clip.

Here's a video to show you the difference between single stage and a dual stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1e4H1-oEkI or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isfTqSzOrrg&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL98C7EDC8EE7CDB9A
 

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Justy37

surprised to hear that you had bad luck with both engines.
I have had quite a few Kohler Command engines and apart from the the usual blown head gasket I have not had any really big issues with them.

I currently have 3 Legacys sitting - all with Kohler Command engines.
The hours are 495, 680 and 998 on them.
The 23 hp with 680 is running the smoothest but otherwise the 25 hp with 998 hours on it currently is still running very strong. I have not touched that one (it did have 800 hours on it when I bought it used).

The biggest problems I have had is with the 20 hp unit with 495 hours. That one blew the head gasket and it was leaking from the closure plate. Both items could be fixed at relatively low cost (at least when you do it yourself).

Anyway they all have 2WD which seems sufficient for most purposes. The diff lock helps with traction.
But I have had situation working with the FEL in muddy soil and using the snow blower where I have gotten somewhat stuck and wished for 4WD. So if I had the money and I was buying today I would recommend to go for 4WD. You will likely get the extra cost back if you plan on selling again when the tractor is used.
 

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Justy, the Prestige is four-wheel drive all the time unless they changed it for this year and the turning radius is larger. I have a lot of trees and thats why I didn't buy one. When I bought my 2008 the dealer offered me a heck of a deal on one but I decided against it for the full time and the turning radius. Always use chains and 160 lbs on the back of the tractor for blowing so it works okay.
 

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You used the words "Investment" in my mind it = 4wd. The resale will be much higher and you will enjoy the extra traction that it brings to the table.

I run a single stage thrower and feel that its a great way to go. Although I have never had a two stage. One thing I really like about a single stage is that it eats driveway stone for breakfast, lunch and dinner and seem to also like dog toys, kid toys and just about any other object under the snow.

The wife has two little dogs with short legs so I have to throw a path around the house or they will poop on the porch! yuck! So I run my blower on the yard to give the little guys some pooping room, To much information?:thSick:
 

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Here is my take on this question. If you have traction issues, a four wheel drive tractor will always be better in slippery conditions. Having those front wheels deliver power is a massive advantage over a rear drive only tractor. I spent my first 27 years of my life on a dairy farm with 4 wheel drive equipment and have a 4x4 diesel Simplicity and it's been my experience that the 4x4 equipment always could move further in mud and snow.

I think if you are considering a 4WD Prestige and a Legacy XL, the only Legacy I would suggest is either the water cooled Kawasaki or the diesel. While the air cooled Kohler powered Legacy is a very good tractor, I don't think the price premium over the 4WD Prestige is worth it. The additional torque output of the Kawasaki or diesel units really is quite noticeable and worth the increase in price over the 4WD Prestige. Again, this is not to say the Kohler powered Legacy is a bad tractor, it's that the 4WD Prestige is such a good tractor.

I went from a 2WD drive Briggs Vangard powered Conquest (same frame size as a Prestige) to a 2WD Legacy with the air cooled Kohler. That was just not worth the money spent on upgrading, so I traded in the 2WD Legacy on a diesel Legacy. Now, that move (going from the Conquest to the Diesel Legacy) was a huge step up and justified the money I had to spend to get there.

Shaft drive of the Legacy line up is a very large advantage as compared to the belt drive of the Prestige if you want to blow a large driveway clear of snow or do tilling duties.

Once you get away from 2WD for cutting lawn, the 4WD tractors are just naturally a bit more "clumsy" for lawn cutting duties. As I mentioned, I have a 4x4 Legacy for cutting lawn and I notice my cut times have slightly increased (over when I had the Conquest) since the bigger tractor just takes slightly more time to manuever around objects and to make the turns to stripe the lawn. However, I think the increased torque, longer wheel base and increased frame weight of the Legacy allows for a slightly faster ground speed than the smaller sized tractors when mowing.

You don't need tire chains on the 4WD models for blowing snow and that may be an advantage to someone that has a pristine driveway.

The larger frame Legacy tractor seems more stable to me on rough lawns or surfaces due to the larger frame and larger tire sizes.
 

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I did not know prestige was all-wheel drive. Interesting they would make it that way. Someday I'm getting a 4x4 something. Just alot better in snow.

Alan Lloys, the 20hp kawai started going through gaskets and leaking anti-freeze everywhere. Replaced the gasket 3 times which is the entire front crankcase cover. I think the engine or case warped and wouldn't seal right. A new gasket set would last maybe 3 months and had to replace it again. Tried shaving the cover and help it get nice and flush again. But lasted a short time. Think only option is finding a new cover for it.
{old kawai engine gasket replacement}


The kohler 23hp was a good engine. But started burning oil bad. I still have the engine and someday rebuild it. Might use it on the woodsplitter.

As for belts dakotag, I buy mine from napa usually. No issues with them. Although probably don't last as long as the simplicity belts. I have alot of trees when comes to mowing. Along the grove there's always sticks. Somehow they manage to get on top on the mower deck and cut up my belts. So I usually keep a extra on hand.

My neighbor has a newer legacy. The hookups are totally different then mine including the driveshaft. His is a 4wd mine 2wd. One thing I noticed is his transmission has no low/high. Mine does which is nice for heavy pulling or very deep snow that you want to creep along. Funny they removed that feature from newer legacys. Think my little engine would out pull his 27hp lol.
 

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Being in South Dakota, definitely 4WD. Keep in mind that the Legacy XL gives the option of 2 or 4 simply by engaging a lever. It also has a foot control for differential. Cutting grass in 4WD will definitely tear up the lawn when turning but unless you're cutting on an incline or something, you don't need the 4WD engagement. Personally, if I have a choice, I'd err on the side of flexibility.

Even though I'm in New Joisey, I couldn't have handled the 3 ft storms we had last year without 4WD.

Just my .02
 

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Justy37

surprised to hear that you had bad luck with both engines.
I have had quite a few Kohler Command engines and apart from the the usual blown head gasket I have not had any really big issues with them.

I currently have 3 Legacys sitting - all with Kohler Command engines.
The hours are 495, 680 and 998 on them.
The 23 hp with 680 is running the smoothest but otherwise the 25 hp with 998 hours on it currently is still running very strong. I have not touched that one (it did have 800 hours on it when I bought it used).

The biggest problems I have had is with the 20 hp unit with 495 hours. That one blew the head gasket and it was leaking from the closure plate. Both items could be fixed at relatively low cost (at least when you do it yourself).

Anyway they all have 2WD which seems sufficient for most purposes. The diff lock helps with traction.
But I have had situation working with the FEL in muddy soil and using the snow blower where I have gotten somewhat stuck and wished for 4WD. So if I had the money and I was buying today I would recommend to go for 4WD. You will likely get the extra cost back if you plan on selling again when the tractor is used.
I have to agree with you Alan, I've had and still do the Kohler command, one being the 27hp in my XL and the other being a 25hp in my Prestige, yes I had a head gasket go on the 25hp and from what Kohler told me they had come out with better head gaskets. I don't want to start like Fire fighter said,Ford vs Chevy, but unless I'm missing something here or there is a misprint on the torque specs on the Diesel vs the Kohler it really is not that much difference.
From what I read the diesel has 43.5 on their torque specs and the kohler has 42.3 on their specs. I have the 2 stage blower and it has never draged down the engine when going through deep snow like the blizzard we had here last year. Don't get me wrong I would not mind having the diesel at all, I think they are really nice and probably use less fuel, but I'm happy with what I've got.
 

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I read somewhere that the 23 horsepower kohler was better then the 25hp. I can't complain, the 23hp had plenty of power for everything including cutting deep wet grass. Good engine but think my valves or something are gone on it. I kept the engine because it was a good little powerhouse and needs to be torn apart and rebuilt. It's had it's abuse. Everything from wet snow to dusty dirt. There is a few hot days it worked hard when probably should been left in the garage. So it had some hard times. Including mowing for 8 hours almost non-stop except for filling the gas tank and a beer.
 

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I think there in one consideration being overlooked in a Prestige verses a Legacy and that is the mower deck. In my opinion the deeper 48" & 60" deck offered on the Legacy is superior to the shallower 46" & 54" decks that Simplicity offers. Based on that alone I would go for the Legacy and that is why I own one.
 

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Hey Guys! Dakota what you have here is the Cognescente of small Tractordum. You could not pay for all this great insight the gang has supplied.:howdy:

Like Jay I had a Conquest (same Frame as a prestige) 2WD 52 inch deck. Had a tiller, front blade, weights. Cut great. I upgraded to a Legacy XL with the LC Kawasaki, and 4WD.

All three engine choices are great on the legacy, preferences I guess. I like gas and the Liquid Cooled runs very quiet, the water jacket keeps the sounds more muffled. The XL as mentioned has the ability to switch on the go from 4WD to 2WD which I use a lot. The turning radius is a little better with the 2WD. But the 4WD will go across wet grass and not tear it up, besides mud snow duty etc.

Had the 4WD knee deep in a compost pile with the FEL on, you just can't get it stuck. Even when the manure hits the cooling fan, so to speak.

One big difference Prestige/Conquest Vs legacy is the ease of attachment hookups. To me the Legacy is much easier. All the hookups to the 3pt hitch are on the rear and very easy. The FEL is a walk on simple attachment.

Hooking the tiller and blade to the Conquest or prestige requires some underbelly maneuevering, sometimes not as a easy as one might think. I always put it on my Car lift to do it, still wasn't so easy. Now some of the gang who have done it so many times, or leave it set up for tiller or mow etc and they may find it easier, but it is not as easy as a 3PT, IMHO.

Also the fact that you can buy aftermarket 3PT attachments easy, they are almost universal, from Tractor supply or anywhere else make the legacy a nice fit if you just have one. A tiller for subcompacts as an example, or a box blade. It does not have to be a Simplicity Branded Attachment. All three point tractors are like that in the industry, just size; Category O,1,2,3 etc.

Personaly I think the best buy is the Kawasaki LC 4WD, price list is $2000 below diesel and you can beat that with negotiation. Nothing cuts like a Simplicity, it is the finest in mowing; that alone makes it above the competition for me.

Good luck and please Keep all that snow in Dakota, we like it warm down Here! :trink40::trink40:
 
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