Tips On Buying Used

Not long ago I had the pleasure of meeting a young man about 15 years old. He and his family were dining in the same restaurant as my wife and I. Dad first approached me because he noticed the Walker Mowers logo on my shirt. His son was close behind. They began asking me questions and showing me pictures of the 1984 Model MS they had recently purchased.


It looked its age, but you could certainly sense their enthusiasm of owning their first Walker Mower. We talked a bit more and parted with a promise that I would come by and look at his recent purchase and give him some operational and maintenance advice.

That conversation got me to thinking about all of the used Walker Mowers that are still out there. With over 140,000 Walker Mowers being built in the last 36 years, there are certainly a lot of them with life left. In a given week, it’s not uncommon for our technical service department to receive calls from current and potential customers asking what they should look for when inspecting a used Walker they are interested in.

used-mower.jpgThis got me to thinking about a list of items that I would look at if I were in the market for a used Walker Mower. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but would make up the main items for a good first inspection. After checking these initial items, if you feel that a more detailed inspection is in order, check with your nearest Walker Dealer. They will be able to provide a more comprehensive inspection of engines as well as other major components. It may cost you a few dollars, but it will be worth it.

Engine. The first thing to check would be the engine. Are the fins clear of debris? Is the valley between the cylinders on V-twin engines clear, allowing air to pass unrestricted? Is the oil clean and at the proper level, and does it smell burnt or like gasoline, which would both be red flags? Is the air cleaner assembly intact and sealed? When the filters are removed, does it show signs of dirt passing into the intake?

Transmission. Next inspect the transmissions for signs of leaks, which would show as dirt mixed with oil around input and control shafts. Are the cooling fins clean and clear of packed dirt or anything that would prevent complete airflow across the unit and effect its ability to cool properly? Typically, oil-soaked dirt is a sign of low oil in the transmission, so this should be checked as well. Make sure the cooling fans are not missing or broken.

Drives. Next on the list would be the final drives. Based on the age and model, this would be either a chain drive or a cast iron gear reduction drive. With a chain drive, the obvious inspection points would be the chain and sprocket, rust, end-to-end play in the links, and sharp teeth on the sprocket are signs of wear. With the sealed gear box, look for oil leaks and axle bearing play. Check oil level and quality of the oil.

Check the PTO and deck gear boxes for oil leaks and level. Next, look the chassis over for cracks near the PTO mount and the side bars where the gear axles are mounted.

If the unit is grass-handling, inspect the deck chute for cracks and holes, the blower for excessive wear, and the body chute. Does the PowerFil work properly and the door seal adequately? Finally, do a quick check of pulleys and belts for possible wear and belt glazing caused by slipping.

This inspection takes little time and requires little work on your part. It will give you a good idea of the condition and maintenance practices of the current owner. If at that point you are comfortable with your findings, it would still be a good idea to have a Walker Dealer inspect it because a second opinion never hurts.

The dealer can also look at the warranty history and check for any advisory, service or recall bulletins that may pertain to the mower. Also ask the dealer to use the serial number to verify the date of manufacture and to make sure the machine is not listed as stolen in the Walker database.

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