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Discussion Starter #1
Problem, 2 acres of a 5 acre lot to mow and maintain in a nice appearance. Yard area is fairly wide open but the moles are a problem with rutting of the yard. My prior lawn tractor a Sears 917.270771 had a press steel axle and filmsy deck support brackets and I was always fixing something that went wrong usually weekly. I figured I under bought for the intended use that I have.
Solution, a John Deere was something I was looking at for the durablity. In Feb. 2003 I decided that enough was enough and I finally went to my John Deere dealer to start the process with a limit of $2500.00. I test sat the LT150 and was unimpressed due to the limited amout of leg room (I'm 6'6" tall) The dealer then took me over to a LX series tractor but they were well over my budget and I do not fiance when I started to leave thats when the salesman showed me the L-120. I sat on it and adjusted the seat all the way back and I had plenty of room. He had me start the tractor and pointed me in the direction of his test strip of grass and I started to use it and he literally had to pry me off of it. I was impressed by the smoothness of the Briggs and Stratton 20 HP engine and the large 48" deck. The turn radius of 18" in either direction was a nice feature as it allows me to go around my raised flower beds without having to swing wide and redo areas missed.
So I purchased a L-120 and haven't look back I can say after 75 hours of hard use on my somewhat rough yard that these tractors are built well for an lawn tractor and it has taken all the use without any major problems. The only things that went wrong was the hood had a broken rib nut and a spindle bolt was sheared on delivery but they had the new parts installed and back to me within 2 days.
 

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Originally posted by Michael
Problem, 2 acres of a 5 acre lot to mow and maintain in a nice appearance. Yard area is fairly wide open but the moles are a problem with rutting of the yard. My prior lawn tractor a Sears 917.270771 had a press steel axle and filmsy deck support brackets and I was always fixing something that went wrong usually weekly. I figured I under bought for the intended use that I have.
Solution, a John Deere was something I was looking at for the durablity. In Feb. 2003 I decided that enough was enough and I finally went to my John Deere dealer to start the process with a limit of $2500.00. I test sat the LT150 and was unimpressed due to the limited amout of leg room (I'm 6'6" tall) The dealer then took me over to a LX series tractor but they were well over my budget and I do not fiance when I started to leave thats when the salesman showed me the L-120. I sat on it and adjusted the seat all the way back and I had plenty of room. He had me start the tractor and pointed me in the direction of his test strip of grass and I started to use it and he literally had to pry me off of it. I was impressed by the smoothness of the Briggs and Stratton 20 HP engine and the large 48" deck. The turn radius of 18" in either direction was a nice feature as it allows me to go around my raised flower beds without having to swing wide and redo areas missed.
So I purchased a L-120 and haven't look back I can say after 75 hours of hard use on my somewhat rough yard that these tractors are built well for an lawn tractor and it has taken all the use without any major problems. The only things that went wrong was the hood had a broken rib nut and a spindle bolt was sheared on delivery but they had the new parts installed and back to me within 2 days.
Michael,
Lots of good information, but let's add to it. Please include more detail on your review. Provide details on the equipment such as specifications, price, pros/cons etc and anything else that might be inportant. For a template, look at Argee's recent post and my post on the "Cubcadet Trimmer" --- Again, I like your report - you just need to add a few more components! Thanks for contributing to this new review board.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OPps I forgot the Specifications and the pro and cons of my selection of the L-120 so let me add those things to this 2nd post.

Specifications are for the L-120
This tractor is equiped with a 20 HP Briggs and Strattion Intek engine V-twin.
The tractor is is equiped with a 2.1 Gallon gas tank.
The tractor is equiped with a 48 inch mower deck with the Edge cutting system trade marked with a electric PTO and 4 anti srcap wheels on each corner of the deck.
The L-120 is equiped with larger tires 16" in the front and 22" on the rear
The L-120 has a Hydrostatic transmission with foot control.
The Lseries has a 48.9 wheelbase and 18" turning radius.
The frame is fully welded and the front axle is a cast iron front axle.
The L-120 and L-130 can tow up to 750 pounds.

Now the pro and cons of ownership with this tractor.
I have learned some thing s after the 75 hours of use and I have 4 minor points which are not major but some improvements with the tractor
1. Put a larger gas tank on it as the Vtwin does suck the gas and place the fuel filler on the left rear fender then under the seat you almost always drip and or spill gas with the filler under the seat as it is placed now.
2. Replace the antiscrap wheels with a no tools required anti-scrap wheel which would pivot to the side to allow for easier removal of the deck when you require maintenance. A 48 inch 3 bladed deck is heavy no matter what you do. The deck is easy to remove but I feel this a easy and relatively cheap answer to the deck removal and reinstallion. I'm thinking of making my own wheels this winter as a winter weekend projest.
3. Make the front bumper as a standard eqipment as a plastic hood has a target painted on it as far I am concerned for instant damage with the first tree it sees. Just ask any wife.
4. John Deere needs to improve the owners manuels as they are all out of order on the instructions on assembly of the equipment and operation and etc. Really the manuels suck. But the products are good and strong.

The pros are I am really surprised how strong, powerful and rigid the frame actually is in the fact that I can actually mow my septic mound with the L-120, this the first tractor I have ever own which really could do it. My Marray garden tractor would get stuck and spin its wheels on the mound hopelessy, The Craftsman would look at it and start and about a third of the mound would get cut and the tractor would not do the rest because of frame flex so bad that I would end up using a gas weed wacker for the top two thirds. I have cut down the time to mow the rest of the yard by about a hour used to take me about 3 and half hours on the Craftsman and with the L-120 with a 48 inch deck it takes just slightly over 2 and half hours. I have the front bumper installed, the sun canopy (a gift from my son) and the grass bagger. The bumper I feel is always needed, the canopy is a nice touch but not really worth it doesn't hardly do anything maybe keep snow off you the winter. The bagger works excellent but I do not bag when the grass is wet so I do not know how well it bags wet. The l;arger tires really make a difference on a rough and rutted yard in gliding over the uneven gound and it is really appreciated.

One last point is I do not have a need for the snow thrower so I do not have one but from others you can learn about it abilities from them. Everyone must remember that the L-series lawn tractors are a lawn tractor and not a garden tractor so basically they are to mow grass.:tellyou:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am hard night I forgot prices for the tractor and options I have.
L-120 $2199.00
front bumper $39.99
sun canopy $89.00
gas bagger $299.00
Sorry I simply forgot after I posted I realized I forgot.:hand:
 

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Michael,
Good review and good points on the pros and cons. I especially think the point on the frame not flexing is a good one. Shows how strong the frame is. My old AYP LT would flex alot in the ditch line I mowed and also in other rough areas I had. My JD 110, 214 and 112L don't have this problem. The larger tires on your L120 would give it a better ride than the ones on my 112L.

Glad you enjoy your L120. Let us know how the rotating gage wheels turn out if you fabricate them.
 

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Originally posted by treed
Michael,
Good review and good points on the pros and cons. I especially think the point on the frame not flexing is a good one. Shows how strong the frame is. My old AYP LT would flex alot in the ditch line I mowed and also in other rough areas I had. My JD 110, 214 and 112L don't have this problem. The larger tires on your L120 would give it a better ride than the ones on my 112L.

Glad you enjoy your L120. Let us know how the rotating gage wheels turn out if you fabricate them.
I have a question for you guys. Wasn't this the same model that some people think is too weak and started all of "the ole L wars"? Can someone honestly (as I am not a JD guy nor understand all of models) explain what the problem some JD'ers have the L-series? Isn't this the same unit referred to as "the puny tractor only able to do puny work" --- ??? This is an honest request for info --- not a jab or a flame. I really just want to know the truth. Is it because it is actually relatively affordable and that makes some people upset? (honestly I thought all JD models were MUCH HIGHER priced than what I paid for my new GT5000)

So educate me.
Andy
 

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Yes, the L-series was a point of debate on the other forum for whatever reason. Basically, I like the concept the "L" represents, and I think, that the concept is what has some Deere purist, and for some reason, Deere haters, pointing fingers at it. I see where the L has it's place in the market, it's to compete against the MTDs, the Murrays, and the AYP's. IMHO, it's still a step below the LT, and that statement will also cause contention among some people. Would I buy the L? Maybe, though I think I would move up to the LT for my own reasons, that may or may not be important to L buyers, like Michael here. The L, I believe, doesn't deserve the negative feedback, because the negative feedback it's been getting is mostly from people who don't own one. This same debate was probably started when Deere introduce the STX in the late 80's.
 

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Attached is a spreadsheet that I did awhile ago. Below is some more information that I have found out due to dealer inquiry or inspection. For instance, the spreadsheet has the discussion on the frame thickness per a Dealer quote, I contacted JD and got the response that the frame thickness is the same on all three lines.

L, LT and LX - same frame thickness
L bushing, LT & LX bearings
L plastic hood, LT, LX metal
L plastic washer in a couple of places (OMG)
L single hanger bracket in front on mower deck

[122K image being downloaded below]

<img src=http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tisenberg/Comps.jpg>
 

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Frame thickness might be the same, but what is the configuration: i.e. channel, rail? Then take in consideration on the spacing of the crossmembers and it's construction. The frame on the LX may have the same thickness as L and the LT, but it weighs more because of it's construction and configuration. Frame thickness doesn't necessary tell the whole story. A rail frame will be stronger than a channel frame when the material thickness is the same. In reality, the LX has the same frame as the Gt, except for the rear hitch plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think that the L-series is being accepted for what it is, a lower cost JD. 2 of my neighbors are or were in the market for a new lawn tractors. One neighbor has a STX38 which is nearing the end of its line and the other has a 16 year old Kohler power Craftsman which is also nearing the end of the line.
The neighbor with the STX38 went out and bought a new L-110 after he saw mine and I let him ride my L-120 and try it out on my yard. The next morning he was out to the dealer to buy a new tractor. He is really happy with the results that he got and he said it speeds him up enough he can go golfing later.
The other neighbor got the same treatment from me and decided to wait until this winter to get his new tractor but he informed me he is going for the L-130.
I think alot of the fact that JD introduced this tractor after producing the Scott-Sabre line and finding out that green and yellow would sell better and people would buy the green and yellow more so then the old colors.
 

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They do look like nice machines. Tisenberg did a nice job of posting the specs. I compiled the same information when I was looking for a new lt/gt and decided on the C-man GT5000. It has not disapointed yet.

The GT series are really nice machines, but for the money, can't beat the Craftsman in my opinion.
:whine:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey tisenberg you got a really nice speadsheet on the comparsions except under weight the L-130 ia 519 pounds with a 46 inch deck, The weight is correct but the width of the deck is actually 48". Adamr88 I have heard that next years model is unchanged, I would not expect much in change in this class of machine from one year to the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got cha:lmao:
 

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I loved my L120. BUt at 223 hours the transaxle is slipping. A Search tells me nearly all of them fail between 200-300 hours. Replacement is $900,00 for another 200 hour one. I leave the rest up to you.
 

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