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Lawn Tractor

Post in 'The Gear' started by HittinSteel, May 28, 2013.

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  1. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Any opinions on the what to look for in the used market?

    Something small 42" cut and 17-18 hp. I can get a craftsman (kohler) for about $400 in real nice shape.

    It has a geared transmission which looks like a pain. I've never really spent much time on one of these things, but they seem akward and difficult to turn in tight spots.​
    I'm WAY to cheap to get a zero turn.​

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I personally would stay away from craftsman. Look for an older wheelhorse, or simplicity. These older machines will need work but they are servicable and repairable. The craftsmans generally are throw aways.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Older Cub hydro units with Kohler engines have a pretty good rep around here.
  4. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    I have a 72 or 73 JD110 with 10hp kohler and the newer style replacement deck, mows great -built like a tank and will still be mowing 20 year from now if i do the routine maintenance
    try that with a new cheap one..

    i would say on the quality older stuff you dont need as much hp, they use to rate them different back then anyways
  5. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps my brother got lucky, but he's had a Craftsman for about 25 years.
    Still running and everything.!!!
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A 25 year old Craftsman, is not the Craftsman of today.
  7. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I thought of that Jags. Most things made today aren't the same as older stuff.
    Sis-in-law got an old Simplicity that needs a little tlc, but built like a tank. Can't wait to get it running.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have three simplicity (allis chalmers) GT. Two hydro units and a gear drive. The newest is 1976. All run and work like the mad little tractors they were designed to be. The gear drive is 1964. Used it this past weekend for hauling duty.
  9. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Simplicity , you can get parts & they mow the best,not bad to work on.
    got 2 deere a wheel horse,simplicity & cub

    Mowing with a 25 yr old Simplicity puts the others to shame, even my JD diesel
  10. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have a couple IH Cub Cadet 149s. One is from 1972 and the other from 1973. I bought one for $260 and the other for $550. Each took a little tinkering, but will likely last another 40 years with some proper care. A hydro machine would definitely be easier for mowing.
    #1+#2 2013-5-18.JPG
  11. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Some nice looking older cubs and simplicitys in my area.
  12. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Been using a '75 JD110 w/ 10HP Kohler at parents acreage for mowing,hauling & skidding smaller/medium logs for years.It was 10 yrs old when they bought it,it'll most likely still be running when I retire in 7-8 yrs.Built like a tank is an understatement.

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  13. Captain Hornet

    Captain Hornet Member

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    I have a Craftsman DYT4000 yard tractor. It is a good mower and does a beautiful job on the lawn, but it is a maintance hog. The mower deck has a design defect that allows the spindels to break their aluminum castings at a built in fracture point. I have replaced spindels 16 times so far in the 6 years I have owned it. It has a nuteral safety system that has been very trouble some. The tires would absolutely not hold air untill I installed tubes in them. The 18 hp Briggs & Stratton engine has been bullet proof and the only thing good about this tractor. This tractor just can not stay out of the shop and if I had it to do over again you can bet that it wouldn't be a junk Craftsman. David
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Craftsman mower (newer) do have a bad spindle/jack shaft design. When I had my Craftsman, I went through around 1-2 every year to every other year.

    Stick with an older cub, many around us. Also, if your gonna be turning a lot? Then stay away from geared. A 3 point turn for every straight line is a PITA!! Hydro is very nice for 3 point turns and making straight lines. Unless you are just gonna do circles?? I'm a line kind of guy. And once you go Zero Turn? You never go back :cool:

    That said. My dad has a Yard Man that has a 24 HP Kohler and Hydro stat drive. Cuts like a dream. He gave a Case of beer for it. There are decent tractors for cheap around us. Just gotta find em
    mikefrommaine and TreePointer like this.
  15. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Might consider...hear me out...finding a ZTR with a blown engine on the cheap and repowering it.
    TreePointer likes this.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have an 18hp Craftsman Kohler going on it's seventh season. It has been a very good unit. 12 ga deck. My next door neighbor's Simplicity has been in the shop a couple times while we just keep cutting along.

    If this unit is in great shape and oil changes have been regular, it's a good deal.
  17. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    If its only going to be used for cutting grass, and you have a lot of grass, by all means look for a ZTR. If you need a tractor for all kinds of other tasks, than maybe not.
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The problem with a ZTR with a blown engine is that the condition of the pumps and/or wheel motors is an expensive unknown. Very expensive.

    The best deal in the used market is the old 100 series from Deere. 165, 175, and the 185 are hydro machines that run indestructible Kawasaki engines and mow very well too. They can be had for under $500 in running condition and a bit more buys one in good cosmetic shape as well.
    HittinSteel likes this.
  19. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    exactly... the mid to late 80's craftsman II garden tractor 16/18hp is amazing. i can't comment on the kohler models, but i've seen the briggs models hold up to a lot of abuse. which model craftsman are you looking at? the older tractors (lawn and garden) manual transmissions hold up a lot better to any kind of work, outside of mowing, a lot better than the tufftorq t40 and k46 that seem to be in 90% of lawn and garden tractors these days. even the john deere x300 (or real entry level john deere, as people say) has a light duty k46 in it.
  20. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Good advice Dex..... let me know if you see anything interesting while browsing Craigslist.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Not all K46's are created equal. The K46 in my LT180 and LT150 are not the same (and neither is the one in the X300) as the K46 Deere stuck under the L100 series. And even that K46 is/was better than the T-Series transmissions that are under the present day D100 series units.

    The K46 benefits greatly from conversion to synthetic oil from whatever the OEM filled it with. Tuff Torq actually recommends 5w50 synthetic and I will be experimenting with some AMSOIL 20W50 in 2 K46's that have some considerable time on them. The K46 is only available in Lawn Tractors as far as I know, so if you aren't trying to use Garden Tractor type attachments with a K46 equipped machine, it should last a good long time. The K46 gets a bad rap from folks who paid little attention to anything other than the color of the paint and the price tag of the machine they were buying.

    BTW, my LT180 blows snow and tows a loaded cart fairly regular-like and no issues with 300+ hours on the clock so far.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    A friend just bought a 210 and 212 JD (212 with the snow plow set-up) Both look very good. 900.00......
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Deal! Indestructible transmissions in those, and an engine built tougher than most car engines. >>
    smokinj likes this.
  24. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I just sold an old Cub 123 (mid-1960's vintage) with 48" mower, 42" snow blower, and 42" plow. Lots of new parts (lights, NOS seat, ignition, etc.). It fetched $770.

    Was a fun machine, and dirt simple to repair, but not up to the tasks I was putting it to.
  25. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Member

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    Another vote for the old iron from me. Bought my 1972 JD 110 last year with a 39" deck, snowblower, and tire chains for $450. Picked up the plow and tiller for $85 for the pair. Been very happy with it.

    Attached Files:

    smokinj likes this.
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