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Monday, May 19th, 2008

My Lawnmower!

I don't like to leave my grass neglected. I take pride in my lawnmower, even though it may not look like it.

When I was a kid my dad talked about one brand of mowers more highly than all others. We always had a Craftsman or an MTD or some cookie-cutter riding lawn mower. If we ever saw a neighbor mowing with a Dixon ZTR though, it was pointed out. "Look at how easily that turns." "Watch it spin around." So it was that I believed, "When I grow up I'm going to get a Dixon ZTR."

About four years ago my friend, the small engine mechanic, had an old mower that he had come across. I don't know for sure, but from what we've found online, this model is a 1983 or 1984 Dixon ZTR 304. I had to get it. I used it "as is" for the first season, modified it to run on E-85 for two years, and put a new engine on it last season.

The original engine had worked well for 25 years, but this is a great machine. I had the original 10 HP engine replaced with a 17 HP Industrial/Commercial engine and bought a new set of rear tires. This mower can and will do wheelies, especially if someone who isn't used to it gets behind the levers.

It also does some sweet donuts in the driveway. This year my mechanic friend helped me to get the cone drive replaced. This is basically the transmission on a ZTR. If you're a mechanic this is really quite something to see. A belt, driven off the engine turns two cones made out of a brake pad like material and the levers lift or drop two horizontal metal cups onto those cones.

This mower drives like new and for me is one of the most comfortable and precise mowers I've ever used. It may look like crap, but it does quite a job.
Half an acre done in less than half an hour with extra time for pictures.

...and time for more spinning!



Tags:  Mower
22 Comments
lgrant
I have a friend, Dick, in MN who should be here to talk mowers. He loves to find a great deal and fix it up and talk about it for years. For some reason, when his wife and I had to use them--they wouldn't start worth crap. But, he could come out and yank that string and they'd work just fine for him. :) Sounds like a sweet ride!!
LGrant   Monday, May 19, 2008
George
Very chic! Kinda looks like something out of a Mad Max film.
LimeyGeorge   Monday, May 19, 2008
daveheinzel
Dude that's so rad. It takes me about 45 minutes to do my lawn, but that's using a plain ol' push mower (the kind where the wheels don't turn on their own). I need you to hook me up with a similar mower. Just think of it - the Day-Heinzel Lawn Care & Computer Company. We'll mow your lawn and fix your darn computer at the same time. It's a genius idea, I know.
Dave Heinzel   Monday, May 19, 2008
lgrant
I'm starting to think I know where those crop circles come from in the alien movies.
LGrant   Monday, May 19, 2008
Leslie
It's not much to look at, that's for sure, but it is clearly loved by it's owner.
Leslie   Monday, May 19, 2008
k8day
I hated to mow the lawn as a kid, but I beg Joe to let me mow the lawn now. I love using that lawnmower.
K8Day   Monday, May 19, 2008
stevenheinzel
I like your mower, Joe. Some things are way better when you work on them yourself and get them into the shape you want. Great job and nice pictures. Dave - plain ol' push mower - hah, the one I used growing up didn't have a motor!!
stheinz   Monday, May 19, 2008
gotshoo
That's a sweet looking mower!
shoo   Monday, May 19, 2008
_DELETED_Minch
It might take a bit longer but you could totally drive that to work and to all your schools. It has to get great gas mileage.
Minch   Monday, May 19, 2008
girlcarew
I know it's all about the mower, but I am more awed by the amount of grass you have. I think you'd have to be a multi-millionaire to have that much yard out here. I guess there are a few things I miss about the midwest.
girlcarew   Monday, May 19, 2008
nikideaton
Nice mower. You totally could have done the Humzoo logo in your yard.
niki   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
betsyradish
That mower is truly a work of art.
Betsy   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Joe
I may splurge for a paint job later this season or next season. I'm totally undecided though. I don't know if the character will be lost. I'd like it to look like it did originally and I'd like to protect it from the elements, but as it is I've never worried about it being stolen.
Joe   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Ames
I'll paint it for you! We could do a nice glossy clear coat so you don't lose any character. But may I also suggest flames down the side. And the mower needs a name so we can emblazon that on the back. I can see it now!
Ames   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
JimTheLimey
I would totally paint flames on it.... expect it to be done when you get home some day...
JimTheLimey   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Joe
The mower was named "Corn-Burner" back when it ran on E-85. A flaming corn cob would be awesome.
Joe   Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I just purchased a DIXON 304 model very much like yours 1993 model they used more plastic. At an auction price $200 how wrong can i go i cant wait to try it out
Dave Rush   Saturday, April 18, 2009
Joe
That's a deal, Dave. I'm bringing mine back out tomorrow. Hope you enjoy yours.
Joe   Saturday, April 18, 2009
Looks exactly Like My Dixon Model 304 made in 1990. You can pinpoint the age of yours here http://www.dixon-ztr.com/files/Dixon/doc/service/Serial...
Chris   Monday, March 28, 2011
i have a 304 model i bought for 150 bucks. ran great, cut great. need to replace cone drive. want to know if it can be done with out total disassembly.
jackie   Thursday, October 11, 2012
Joe
Sure. The cone drive assembly comes out from under the seat as a single unit.
Joe   Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I have a mower just like that one and I love it
Randy   Wednesday, July 3, 2019
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