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It looks like YS is last years model (when Sears decided to call everything a Series instead of a Tractor)

It is not a bad idea to get an older model, I doubt that 2009 has a heavier duty Hydro Tranny even though they say it's "premium".
I think Sears intends higher model numbers to mean slightly better constructed, but sometimes the differences are are a few "gimmicky" accessories. It does look like the 4500 has 20" rear wheels which is nicer, but the engines may be better on the YT's... (I think some Sears lawn tractors with smaller wheels have shorter cutting heights because the larger wheels allow the deck to be raised higher) See if you can sit on a YS and YT in store and see if either fits you better.
 

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It looks like YS is last years model (when Sears decided to call everything a Series instead of a Tractor)

It is not a bad idea to get an older model, I doubt that 2009 has a heavier duty Hydro Tranny even though they say it's "premium".
I think Sears intends higher model numbers to mean slightly better constructed, but sometimes the differences are are a few "gimmicky" accessories. It does look like the 4500 has 20" rear wheels which is nicer, but the engines may be better on the YT's... (I think some Sears lawn tractors with smaller wheels have shorter cutting heights because the larger wheels allow the deck to be raised higher) See if you can sit on a YS and YT in store and see if either fits you better.
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I was asking some of the same qestions last month. I did not know my YS4500 had 18 inch tires and not the 20 inch. My problem is tat I can ony use the top 3 mowing stopps. The bottom 3 do nothing. When I am in 4 It is so far down I scalp everthing. Other than that it is fantastic. I use it all the time for mowing and pulling a cart. I have other tractors for heavy work. If you find a great deal on the YS4500 go for it. They are around 1299 for the manual version if you look close you will find it. You will pay 100 more for an auto tran. It depends on the deck size you want. They can get very expensive. I would move up to a GT5000 or better for the same money as the top of the line YT or YS 4500 series. So many models but only a few inches gained on the deck. I am looking for a set of 20 inch wheels that will fit my YS4500 and that should fix all my problems. I have small areas to mow and a 42 inch deck is fine for my needs around the house and shop. I use my JD for the barn yard and along the raod.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok, to add to this, what is the precision cut plus Item# 07128832000 Model# 28832, looks pretty comparable. Great price for 54"
 

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Biggest difference between that and the YT4500 (with 45" deck) seems to be the color and a Briggs Intek engine vs Kohler Courage. (not sure if that is enough alone to merit a $200 MSRP difference or if sany other corners were cut)
Personally I'm of the opinion that the Kohler is a better engine (I'm soured against the Intek because of the air filter issue several years ago that tanked many of them, but that design issue has since been corrected, and I think we could go back and forth all day over which one is better).

Also a 54" deck is much larger which can be both good (fewer cutting passes, better/smaller trimming radius) and bad. Does the 54 fit into shed doors.fence gates/fit between landscaping areas? (With the shute down you may be taking up 64+".. Also that 54 becomes wings that can get the tractor hung up on raised areas (I really have to watch out while circling a few of my trees that have raised grass around them) And some complain of a 54 scalping some hills or uneven grass..
 

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I had an '06 YS4500 with the B/S 24HP Intek and 42" deck. I liked the 42" deck because it was very manueverable around my yard but I would have been happy with a 46" or 48" as well. The 24HP had more than enough power for cutting long grass and mulching leaves in the fall.

It had the larger 20" rear tires which was nice but the deck was so close to the tires (about 1" clearance) that you could not use any other tire but a turf tire. I had thought about putting Ag's on it for better traction but it would never have worked. That might be the reason they went to an 18" tire instead of continuing to use the 20" tire.

It was a great tractor for the 3 years I owned it and always gave a good cut. I used it for pulling a weighted aerator, 17 cu. ft. loaded cart, dethatcher, lawn sweeper, etc... which may have been a bit more than its intended design. That and the small hills in my yard began to take its toll on the K46 tranny after a while. I'd suggest the GT series if you plan on using it like I used mine - more robust and a better tranny.
 
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