My neighbor has a 8hp electric start troy bilt chipper that she is asking $400. Not sure of build year (older). Everything seems to work o.k. Should I buy or put the $400 towards a new chipper? Thanks Fred
Check with a dealer, parts may not be available. You will need knives and flails eventually.
The dealer won't have parts but ebay does. These old Troy Bilt Tomahawks are the best bang for the buck period.
I will say that I would not pay 400.00 for one of the early ones that doesn't have the new style clutch engagement lever. The old style had the engagement lever up on the handle and was a poor design. I updated that old design to the new design back in the day but I'm not sure the conversion parts are easy to find now.
Ebay has all the common part needs covered though as far as the wear items such as belts, flails, and chipping blades.
Be aware that Troy Built no longer exists, other than the name which I think was bought by MTD. I had a Tomahawk chipper/shredder that I eventually got rid of because of the tendency towards bearing failure and the price of replacement sealed bearings. If the bearings on both ends of the main shaft are good, then $400.00 for the unit sounds about right. I made my own flails and bought after market chipper blades for about 1/3 the price of buying them through Garden Way who were the Canadian importer. They are made by LUND, the hammer knives, or flails, I made from leaf spring out of a Japanese truck. Something to be aware of also is the need to balance the four sets of hammer knives when rotating them. It only takes a few grams of weight more on one rod than the other to cause big vibration problems. I now own a Mighty Mac but, had Troy Built still been in business, I may have considered a new one of theirs.
The flails for the Troy Bilt Tomahawk are still available on ebay and the vendors are buying them from Briggs & Statton. I have seen new main drum bearings sold on ebay too and bought spares in case I ever need them. All the wear items are available so if you can find a good machine for a good price you can't go wrong.
I see many people looking for belts, bearings, etc. Think about it: why would a manufacturer require an oddball part (unless their design engineering left them no other choice), rather than use off-the-shelf standardized parts? You can start your inquiry at Applied Industrial Technologies (Applied.com). They have all sorts of bearings, belts, etc. This applies to many garden machines. Here in Bellingham, WA, we we are lucky to have an AT retail store, and they have quite a bit in stock. But even if you live in the boondocks (machinery-wise), you can search them online.