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Found a Kubota G5200 diesel riding mower for $1500. 48" deck. Can't see anything wrong with it. Doesn't seem to leak anything. Runs well. Plenty of power. Seems to have been maintained reasonably well. About 750 hours on it. Steering a little loose, but not much.

But my problem is that I cut a little of the guy's grass -- well it was a patch of weeds -- and it didn't seem to cut it evenly. Lots of stuff still sticking up. Tried slowing down, but still not that great. Plenty of power though -- didn't seem to even notice that the grass/weeds was there -- even in dense underbrush. The blades were pretty dull though. But, I'm pretty sure my 10 year old Murray riding mower would have given a much better cut, even in those weeds, even with dull blades. What's up with that?

Other than that, it seems like a reasonable deal.

The mowing deck is in good shape and it has 3 blades. Very SHORT blades. Like 10" long or so. I wonder if the blades just don't spin fast enough because they are so short. Throttle was about 85% -- no tach. Sounded like about 2600-2700 RPMs. Owner says that it cuts great, that it was just tough weeds.

Think this is a reasonable deal? Any ideas why it didn't cut very well?
 

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based on these prices: http://www.tractorhouse.com/list/list.aspx?ETID=1&Manu=KUBOTA&MDLGrp=G5200 it looks like a good deal.

If the deck is setup right w/sharp blades it will give a very nice cut. Those blades could be more worn out than you 1st thought or bent.
Even tho it's a giesel, it's always best to run near WOT when mowing. You get the best blade tip speed and these diesels are designed to run that way.
Good luck.
Dave
 

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Dave is correct, always mow with the throttle setting at full open.
I have noticed with mine that the correct length of blades is very critical on these decks as there is very little over lap. Also the blades need to be kept sharp. I have noticed on mine that when the blades are new the deck cuts like a laser but as they get dull the cut down grades in a hurry. Also if your deck still has the top safety covers on, I would remove them and check to make sure the top of the deck is not rusted out. Grass gets under these covers and if wet or the deck is washed this grass can not dry out and the deck deteriorates in a hurry. The stamping of these decks was very poor originally with thin and thick metal the result.
As far as the tractor goes if the steering is tight and has been maintained, it should be good for many years as 700 hours is nothing for one of these tractors. One of mine has over 2000 and uses no oil yet. Great machines.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As far as the tractor goes if the steering is tight and has been maintained, it should be good for many years as 700 hours is nothing for one of these tractors.
The steering is not all that bad. You can move the steering wheel maybe 3 or 4 inches before the wheels start to move. Might not have noticed it if I hadn't been looking for it.

Keeping blades sharp and mowing at full throttle makes sense. Gotta keep the tip speed up on those short little blades. I have 5 acres and we bushhog most of it (until we get some goats anyway) and use the mower for the ~1.5 acres around the house and to clean up other places around the edges. I have found that pasture tends to beat my little Murray rider pretty hard. But it's been a trooper over the past 10 years (14 HP Briggs I/C).

Can the G5200 be used for pulling? Like pulling a trailer around the property? I know it wasn't really designed for it, but it seemed to have crazy amounts of oomph on the hydro pedal -- very easy to go too fast. Think it could move around my 5x8 trailer with firewood in it?
 

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You should have no problems pulling a small trailer. Generally speaking the rear tires on the tractor will break loose before you will hurt the tractor. DON'T be tempted to put a loader on one of these. You will not be satisfied with the results and your likely to damage the tractor while using it like that. This comes from first hand experience.
If you keep the radiator and it's screen clean and cooling will not be a problem. Air filters can be had at NAPA and need to be kept clean. They are great machines (I own 3) and would not hesitate to purchase another if the price is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You should have no problems pulling a small trailer. Generally speaking the rear tires on the tractor will break loose before you will hurt the tractor. DON'T be tempted to put a loader on one of these. You will not be satisfied with the results and your likely to damage the tractor while using it like that. This comes from first hand experience.
Yup. I read about your loader experiences. I have a little Yanmar 1610D with a loader, so I won't be tempted. But loaders ARE exquisite.
 

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If the blades truly are 10" then that's your problem. That's only covering 30" of the 48" cut. Blades for a 48" deck should be around 17".
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
OH YEAH!

Got it home last night. Ended up getting it for $1300. 746 hours on working meter.

Sharpened the blades. Mowed at full throttle. This morning we went through tall wet grass as fast as the mower would go and it left an absolutely smooth cut (Fescue and weeds, not dense Bermuda). No way my 14.2 HP 42" gas Murray would do that.

Got it off the trailer last night and had no steering! Steering wheel just spun round and round and would lift up about 12" or so like it was gonna come out. They boys and I lit into it in a flurry of wrenches and sockets. I was fussing with the getting the pin out of the HST pedal and before I knew it they had the seat off and were lifting the fiberglass deck off. Turns out that the washer and cotter pin on the bottom of the steering shaft wasn't there and the shaft came up and out of the hole it goes in (got a steering system diagram from Messicks). I think the trailer bouncing up and down knocked it out -- was a long drive home. We removed the big gear that moves the Pittman arm and re-positioned the steering shaft and now all is well. Went back together as easy as it came apart. Squirted it with some white lithium grease. Need to get a washer and pin and figure out how to lubricate that bearing down there.

Two outer blades came off easy, but couldn't get the middle one off -- didn't have a wrench that big and didn't want to bugger it up with channel locks (sprayed some PB Blaster on it -- it's not backwards threaded is it?). So we sharpened it in place with an angle grinder. Did a nice job, but of course you can't make sure that it's balanced that way. We have a 2 ton chain hoist (designed to hold static loads) attached to a large double 2x12 beam on the barn and we just hoist up the front of the mowers to get at the blades. Works well and is pretty safe.

Got a small little city lawn to cut today. I'm sure it will make short work of it.

Think I'm gonna get the discharge deflector (for safety) and fix the headlights -- our schedule is so crazy, we often mow at or after dusk.

We like it a lot so far. Thing has so much power, it's like using a dump truck to move your furniture.

I'm sure I will have lots of question. There seem to be some very experienced G5200 owners here. I appreciate the site!
 

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As I recall all 3 nuts come off the same direction. A 1/2 impact gun is very helpful for this job. A $35.00 impact would do nicely.
The bushing at the bottom of the steering shaft has no grease fitting and is suppose to be self lubricating. Oil and grease will collect dirt and other abrasives that will cause premature wear. A dry lubricant like graphite would probably be acceptable. When your steering starts getting sloppy this is the culprit. I make my own bushing and bore them slightly off center so they can be rotated to take up slack in the steering gears and then loctite them in place. Remove the cotter key and four bolts and the plate and gear with the bushing comes out.
Remember to clean the radiator screen after each mowing. Excessive heating is probably the number one cause of cylinder head problems on these little diesels.
Sounds like you got yourself a fine machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
[See attached steering diagram -- don't know how to put it in message text.]

Remove the cotter key and four bolts and the plate and gear with the bushing comes out.
On mine, the whole shaft slid up vertically and the bushing was stuck on the shaft. I just slid the end of the shaft it back in its hole. Just needed to get it functional again.

Does the bushing fit into a hole (can't remember). Had to tap the shaft a bit from the top to get it to go down far enough to engage the sector gear properly. Perhaps my bushing is rusted to the shaft and is turning in its hole. Seems to me that the shaft is supposed to turn in the bushing and the bushing is supposed to remain stationary. Will look at it again this weekend when I get the cotter pin.


Remember to clean the radiator screen after each mowing. Excessive heating is probably the number one cause of cylinder head problems on these little diesels.
What do you use for radiator/coolant system flush? Do you just flush with water or do you use a chemical flush? Seems like that's an important thing to do at this stage, with winter coming on, and given that I don't know the last time it was done. Think the manual says do it yearly.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Almost sounds to me like your bushing is frozen to the shaft. Normally the bushing is a press fit into the plate. I guess it is not a big deal as long as your steering is jumping cogs. The problem is that now that the bushing has spun you will have to use something like Loctite to keep it seated.

What I was referring to as far as the radiator goes is that there is a removable screen on the drivers side of the radiator. When you open the hood and lift the cover over the battery, look down between the battery and the top of the radiator. There is a screen in there that can be lifted out and cleaned. I use an air compressor and blow the screen out after each mowing.
Flushing the cooling system is probably a good idea too but some of the products are pretty corrosive. I would stick with a brand name and follow the instructions exactly.
I believe the owners manual says not to use an antifreeze concentration of more than 50%.
 

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What I was referring to as far as the radiator goes is that there is a removable screen on the drivers side of the radiator.
Yes. Saw that. Cleaned it already. Wasn't dirty. Even after mowing. Will probably flush radiator just to be sure. Need to do this on my tractor and generator also.

OH. Speaking of radiators... Is the radiator supposed to be bolted down? I can move it around with my hand. Only seems connected at the bottom. Don't really see any place for it to screw to the sides of the sheet metal body. It's just sort of standing there -- perhaps so you can get the battery out? If I mess with it while the engine is running, the fan hits the shroud. Not good. Old diesel things rattle enough as it is. Seems like it would rattle less if the radiator were a bit more secure. May post some pics or a video link.

Thanks!
 

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I took one out not long ago. Come on memory! As I recall it just sets in two rubber grommets at the bottom. There is a washer and a hair pin clip down there to keep it from lifting out. My mind is a blank about the top. Sorry. If I remember in the morning I will look before I leave.
 
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