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I've owned a few capstan models in the past and if they are adjusted properly and have good tires/rollers the drive can be pretty decent. I currently own a '73 8229C top belt-drive model and haven't had any issues with belt slipping/breaking so far. I think most issues occurred on early style models produced from 1968-72. The gear-drive models have better power output on the drive but I'm not a big fan of the extra seals and gaskets involved. That being said, give me a push model all day long. There's really no need for self-propelled when you have a lightweight aluminum or mag deck plus the 2 cycle engine.
 
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