Walk behind My new Gravely XD3 self-propelled

WriteAway

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
21
Infrequent new poster on here, but I hope this is of some interest to Gravely owners/fans:

Just getting around to proudly showing off my first new mower in almost 20 years - a 2013 Gravely XD3 self-propelled with a 175cc Subaru engine. I think I made a solid, long term purchase with the XD3. Purchased in late April, this mower does not feature a blade clutch, nor is it electric start. After almost two months of use, I can tell of the good and bad points of this mower, and there are darn few bad so far!

The Subaru EA175V engine is very nice! It starts well with two pulls when cold, runs smoothly and has lots of power for long, wet grass. I run pure premium unleaded gasoline with Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer, and it is well-muffled for the neighborhood. A handy fuel shutoff is a nice feature that I use every time on the Subaru.

The engine is not perfect, however. After less than 2 hours runtime on the clock, it is difficult to restart when hot. The motor feels like it has seized up on the compression stroke, and not being very muscular, I pull for a long time before it starts again. I attribute that to the emissions carb. I should have sprung the extra for the blade clutch.:frown: And despite having a broad "comfort-style" grip on the engine run lever, my hands cramp quickly keeping the engine going. I really should have sprung for the blade clutch.:frown:

The XD3 has several nice features, including an adjustable handle, one-hand height adjustment, an easy-grip drive lever and everything needed to convert from rear bagger to mulcher to side discharge. I've been using just the side discharge setup, so I can only vouch that it works well, with some plugging in tall, wet grass. It has a 14 gauge steel deck, so that should give me a long lifetime of use.

Negative points: Rear wheel drive is tough for me to wrangle around the many yard obstructions I deal with. It's my fault, (not the mower's) for not getting a front driver. Coming from a push mower, this thing is a rocket! I have to feather the drive lever to get down to a comfortable walking speed. The quick hose attachment eases deck cleanup, although they recommend waiting 1/2 hour after mowing to run the hose, requiring a difficult hot/warm engine restart.

I paid list price for my Gravely, but since I ran my last Murray for nearly 20 years, I am not complaining. My dealer here in central New York (near Syracuse) is yet to be tested, but he did provide free delivery, which I appreciate.
 

Attachments

WriteAway

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
21
Update 10/26/13:

My XD3 has run well all summer, but it still takes too many pulls to restart a hot motor, so I avoid doing that whenever possible. I use premium unleaded gasoline with zero ethanol, staying clear of the New York State-mandated 10% ethanol junk. Sta-Bil in my fuel can every fill-up keeps the gas good. The 175 cc Subaru engine works harder in taller grass with the mulch plug in place, but has not stalled on me yet. I do regret not getting the more expensive electric start model with the 190 cc Subaru, but this machine is more than adequate for my easy suburban lawn.

With the stock blade on, and the mulch plug in place, this is a great mulcher. Large and small leaves get ground up into fine particles, and only occasionally does it leave a visible pile to quickly rake away. Clippings do accumulate on the deck, however.

So far, I am still quite happy with my XD3!
 

briggs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Threads
17
Messages
720
if it has an auto choke u have to let it cool down before u start it again
 

wdrdoctor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Threads
29
Messages
100
How are you liking your XD3 ? I'm considering buying one,but not 100% sure yet.
 

WriteAway

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
21
How are you liking your XD3 ? I'm considering buying one,but not 100% sure yet.
So far, it's been great. Wish I had bought the electric start model, but otherwise it has met my expectations, aside from the hot starting issue. The engine has just under 10 hrs operating time on it, so it's probably not even broken in yet. Lots of power for tall grass in side discharge mode. Ground speed is just a bit fast at full drive, but can be easily modulated to my slow walking speed.

Mulching leaves last fall was easy and thorough, with clippings disappearing into the lawn almost completely. Uneven sections do let clippings shoot out from under the deck at times.

After one somewhat limited season of use, I'd buy another, except with electric start.
 

WriteAway

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
21
Biggest disappointment so far is how quickly the side discharge chute clogs up in moderately tall grass. It then needs manual clearing of the grass, as lifting the deck does not clear the clog. Also, the motor shuts down each time, requiring a PITN series of pulls to restart.
 

WriteAway

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Threads
3
Messages
21
Update: July 2015

My XD3 mower is still running well. I have gotten better at finding TDC and starting the Subaru engine, typically on my first pull. Side chute still clogs too easily, and I had my first minor mechanical issue: The spring holding the side discharge chute and cover disconnected, requiring a reattachment that I still have not gotten quite right. It holds securely, so I will wait until my next service to have it looked at and fixed properly.
 

JonCr

Forum Newbie
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Threads
0
Messages
2
I just bought the Ariens version of this mower. It is replacing a 20 year old snapper that served me well, but the motor died on it, so I decided to move on to something new. You can get the Subaru engine on the Ariens now. I got one with the Subaru engine and the blade brake clutch. I haven't had a chance to mow with it yet, but I look forward to trying it out.
 
Top