How long before your CHEAP lawn tractor fell apart.

stanleyjohnJune 16, 2007

Ok!!According to some lawn tractor owners my LA100 and other tractors in that price range are ticking off to self destruct in a few years.I would like to hear from others out there who have a cheap!! lawn tractor (say under 2k) and how it holding up in lifespan plus running and staying together.For me $1600 is alot to spend on a tractor.The LA100 plus the bagger cost me almost that much.Some say i can buy better used which is true (do that route)but like others its nice once in a while to have brand new.I have a friend who bought a cheap Rally at a Kmart 10 years ago and it still runs well with all the original parts on it.

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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

My cheap 6 speed Sears lawn tractor completely stripped the transmission after 4 or 5 years and maybe 150 hours on it, by which time the tractor was worthless anyway. By then the steering was also pretty shot. I gave it to a landscaper in return for mowing my yard for free one time while I was waiting for my new Kubota to arrive. The guy was able to salvage the 15 HP Kohler Command engine off it which I think is all he was interested in and the only thing of any value on it. I think I paid $1,200 for it about 11 years ago.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:18AM
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My brother's Noma 4-wheel steer is 17 years old and going strong without any major failures. The secret is to keep up with the minor repairs that are needed along the way. Regular maintenance and oil and filter changes. Replace things that need replacing instead of letting it run down. The "expensive" mowers will break and run down the same way if not maintained.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Had a 16 hp Kohler engine hydrostat trans Sears tractor for 9 years ... died in action last spring ... well, sort of ... made a pop, engine stopped, and a puff of smoke came out the of the grill. Talked to a few service places, and based on the description, all came up with the same possible verdict and cost estimate ... picked one to come pick it up and check it out.

Given the age, I figured a new tractor was on the horizon, and decided not to put any money in it... plus I needed a tractor and the places around were saying 3 weeks or so to get to it.

Right on schedule, about 3 weeks later (and after driving my new JD X300 for the same amount of time), the place that picked it up called and said the engine was OK and they could fix it for about $225 (including pick up and delivery)!

So I probably could have got a few more years out of it. Two guys in my neighborhood have the same model ... both a year older and both still running. Guy next door has a simular but older Sears ... 14 years ... still runs well. None of these guys do much by way of maintenance ... just old, plug and filters.

No reason your 100 series won't last as long.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:29AM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

Running hours is a better indicator of longevity than years. This assumes that you store your tractor inside.

You should get about 500 hours out of a light duty tractor. Repairs will eventually become cost prohibitive when consider the value of the tractor. If you only put 25 hours per year on your tractor (25 mows at one hour per mow), it should last 20 years or so provided that you maintain it.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:44AM
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1500+ hours on both my 25 year old Wheelshore and John Deere with very minor repairs.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:04AM
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15 yr , 520 hr , 12.5hp , $920 Craftsman.

Deck shot due to my stupid constant washing.

Still kept the tractor due to the fact that everything still works great.......same original spark plug.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:25AM
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Running hours is probably the best way to reference anything . . . . but I've never seen a 'cheap tractor' with an hourmeter. I had to add one to a $2500 Craftsman I bought 12 or 15 years ago. The steering was essentially gone by 100 hours, and even though I rebuilt it several times and it was still 'usable' up to the point where I scrapped the wholoe thing at about 500 hours, the steering on most cheap tractors leaves lots to be desired - It's poor when they are new and rapidly gets worse

I also went to a Kubota as a replacement - I got tired of buying and repairing JUNK!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:29AM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

Well since we are going to talk about good tractors too...

5 years and close to 600 hours on my Kubota BX2200 no repairs whatsoever just change the oil and filter every 200 hours like it says in the book, changed the fuel filter at 300 hours there are two of them, hydraulic fluid and axle oil every 300 hours. Air filter. Burns no oil, none, the dipstick is at the full mark when I change the oil. Still keeping an eye on when it will someday be time to change the mower belt.

I use it 12 months of the year and mow 2 acres with it during the growing season and plow snow in the winter.

To put it in perspective the Sears tractor did not last as long as one oil change on the Kubota.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 2:01PM
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I just junked a 1978 Murray 36" that had nothing more than TLC and a few new seats as the old ones cracked. I got it from my popinlaws next door neighbor who bought it new, and garage stored it its entire life. I did the same, changed the oil twice a season and the air filter every season. Had I not overtourqued a motor mounting bolt and cracked the bottom pan, after replacing the bottom seal, it would still be kicking today I am certain. A replacement motor was $800 and I could not justify that in the face of buying another 4-5 year old used mower for $250.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 2:15PM
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I have an AYP lawn tractor with a 14.5 Briggs twin /42in mower purchased new in June 2000 for $1000. Aside from maintenance, blades and one mower belt, the only things I've had to do are replace the steering drag link and remove the troublesome blade brakes. It sees approx 30-40 hours each year. I would've bought something better if I could, but I'm not complaining. I has served well.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 3:08PM
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davidld(central KY)

My early 80s Sears Craftsman LT-10 Briggs 10 hp vari-drive served me for about 23 years, and with some repairs is running strong for a friend now. If the L-110 from late '04 doesn't do as well for me, Deere will have to Change their slogan to "Sears Runs as Well as a Deere"!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:06PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

I agree with Don that steering is often the first thing to go on an inexpensive tractor. They usually have thin stamped steel steering sectors rather than machined gears. Many people live with the sloppy steering but eventually it slips. The mower spindles and idler pulleys are often the next things to go.

Many people get 1,200 to 1,500 hours from a premium gasoline tractor. At that point the steering will be getting loose and the engine and/or hydro may need rebuilding.

You pay about 2 to 3 times the price of an inexpensive tractor for a premium tractor but the premium tractor will last about 2 to 3 times as long.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:22PM
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Of course David didn't say he only puts 12 hours a year on his machines mowing his postage stamp sized lawn . Years of service aren't nearly as important as hours of running time . From merely reading this forum seeing posts regarding deck leveling , belt eating decks , and steering gears wearing out on cheap machines -ask someone owning a Simplicity or mid grade Deere about these problems and they'll say HUH ! There's always a lemon or two in the bunch , but most times you get what you pay for !

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Hmmmm! seems that if you have a LT with a real small yard and all you was going to do was mow!buying a real cheap LT is the smart way to go!unless you have money to burn.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:41PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"if you have a LT with a real small yard and all you was going to do was mow!buying a real cheap LT is the smart way to go!

The target market for the inexpensive LTs are the folks that have a bit too much lawn for a push mower or have a small lawn but want to ride.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 4:56PM
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The $3000 and up tractors break down also,i have read about problems with them on this site.It may not be as much and you may not here about them as much breakin down because people who can afford to buy one are more likely to just get it fixed and not ask for advise here

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 5:01PM
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DING DING DING, we have a winner ALEX!

If I could dump $3k into a lawn mower, I probably would not have to worry about these annoying little problems that crop up with sub $1000 CHEAP LT's. Then again if I could afford a $3k lawn mower, I'd probably also drive an expensive car or have a boat.

Some simply cannot afford to go spend more than $1500 on a mower. Some of us take it as a luxury that we bought and maintain a used mower for Under $300 that cuts our 3+ acres just fine. It is of little inconvenience that we come to places like this to get advice on how to keep them running for another season, and more of an inconvenience that class warfare comes into play cause we don't go buy a new $4500 zero turn John Deere every 3 years. ;-)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 5:43PM
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My previous statement may not of came out right.I apoligize if i offended anyone that was not my intention. All i meant to say was someone who goes out and spends lots of $$ on a top of the line tractor is more likely to not worry about fixing it himself and gets it serviced at the dealer.People including me who buy the less expensive ones are more likely to try and fix it themselfs unless its under warrenty

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 5:59PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

This thread has taken a nasty turn! I paid $669 for my used 1995 Wheel Horse. It now has over 1,000 hours on it. I do the maintenance myself. Here's a picture taken last November.

Even though it has a lot of hours, I'll put it up against anything you can buy new for three times the price.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I don't know I have NEVER worn anything out.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 7:35PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

I bet you've worn out oil!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 7:48PM
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Nope, It just got dirty!!!! Hee. Hee..

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 7:58PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

If you didn't clean it and reuse it, the oil was worn out! 8^)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Deerslayer what model WH? One fine looking machine!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:54PM
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I said it in a different thread and got beat up, but I will say it again: one can expect a "cheap" tractor to be good for about 400hrs, and a high-end quality machine to be good for 2000hrs. This means reasonable use and maintenance. I am not making these numbers up, they have been given to me by someone in the industry that is associated with product test. However, they are rough approximations so don't hold me to the minute.

400hrs is actually a lot of time for a home owner who mows for 1hr a week. Assume 40 mowings/year to make the math easy, that means the tractor will last 10 years.

However, those 400 hrs are assuming mowing or other light duty work, push it hard and you will find its life to be MUCH shorter. That is a big advantage of many high-end machines, they are built for ground engaging work and can handle heavy work without wearing out prematurely.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:56PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

RC, it's a 312-8 Wheel Horse.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:23PM
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Nice ride. Glad I don't need a snowplow here in TN.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:10AM
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thanks Deerslayer, I'm going to keep an eye out for one.

I agree the average home owner get minimum life out of their Lawn equipment. But, with a little preventive maintenance (fixing little things before the become big things and routine maintenance)you can reincarnate some machines for decades. Most homeowners don't have a clue something is wrong until they pull the rope or stick the key in and it don't start or if it does it don't move or mow. then, they figure out something is wrong. The key IMO to longevity is checking fluids and listening and knowing when something is not right.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:21AM
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davidld(central KY)

FWIW I fixed all sorts of things on My Craftsman over the years. But through it all the Briggs always has run strong, and I never got stumped to the point where it had to be repaired by Sears.

The L-110, as nice as it is, intimidates me to the point where I may call Deere if I need a main drive belt or similar replaced. But to Deere's credit, it has run perfectly for nearly 3 years now.

My lawn is not postage stamp sided--it's 1/3 acre with 110 ft of frontage. Here in Lexington those who live on postage-stamp sized lots have lots 80 ft deep with 45 feet of frontage.

Back in ND, Most people have either an $899 Yard Machine by MTD or one of their clones sold under a house prand name. Sears and Deere tractors are less common. Farmers Union oil has a place in practially every town of any size--there is one in the town I live in there up on many summer weeks pop 169. Turns out the FU sold or still an MTD Yard Machine under the CENEX label so they can and do fix all the MTD tractors in the territory, tho mine was bought at the local hardware store. Plus the FU oil is set up to charge maybe $20 plus parts if a repair takes less than an hour, drastically different from in an urban area, where you pay $75 to get anyone to even look at anything.
So you have all these MTD tractors, some ancient, some new, mowing everything up there. My 83 y/o aunt has one with the Cenex label dating from maybe 1990 she regularly overwinters outside in -40 degree weather then complains if the motorcycle style battery they use doesn't take right off in the spring. But the funny part is that it keeps on running. Actually when it stops on her she calls the Farmers Union two blocks away and they stop down and get her going again if its not running--if its running she just drives it up to the station to get whatever needs fixing fixed.

Western Rural ND is MTD country for this reason. The FU guys have seen practically anything that can go wrong with these tractors so they fix them quickly and have ready access to all the parts.

I've taken to just driving my MTD tractor up to the FU oil to get oil changed. I think they charged me about $7 last time including the oil, and I let them worry about getting rid of the waste oil.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:10AM
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My family brought a 42" 14HP Craftsmen with a Kohler engine and hydrostatic transmission in 1992 for about $1,200. 9 years later in 2001 the mowing deck mount broke and we had it welded, in 2002 the Hydrostatic transmission started dieing, in 2003 the Kohler engine died due to a crack in the head. So later that year my dad spent around 3,000 on a JD LT160 at are local dealer.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 12:02PM
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I got a 12HP Dynamark used in the Mid 90s. Cut about 1/2 acre. Hauled rocks up to 1/2 ton with it, flipped it over and it kept running upside-down. Tough little I/C engine. Cut was acceptable even though it was a light gage frame and deck. Maybe because my yard was pretty level and smooth. Used the bagger. No complaints except the hood would move a little going down the curb due to frame flex. Gave it to my dad in 2004. He keeps it outside year-round (exposed but under a roof) and cuts 3/4 acre. Saw it a few days ago and it is still going strong.
It has been properly maintained despite the hard use and abuse. I bought it used for $500. It was probably $750 new at K-Mart.

I know it's a POS and disposable, but IT doesn't. It still keeps running well into the latter half of its second decade of use and abuse. Only 400 hours my eye.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 12:53PM
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justin, there were two things wrong with that craftman. It was a hydro and it had a kolher. otherwise, it would still be running. Smile all you hydro and kolher fans.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:13PM
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tuckermaclain, sounds like you got a melon!

(A lemon but sorta the other way around)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 10:12PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

my 2004 model L130 has 309 hours on it as of 8 o'clock last night. i have had to replace all 3 spindles due to a chunk of concrete, the blades a few times, and most recently the steering gears. the motor and tranny are strong, although i need to pull the non-serviceable tranny and service it with a fresh dose of oil(at 300 hours i am sure it is rather burnt).

if i can only expect 500 hours out of it, then by mid summer next year it will die. if it died today, i would feel comfortable that i got my monies worth out of it, as i have made enough money off it by cutting grass for work to pay for it and another just like it if i wanted.

my next mower will be a higher end machine, but at the time i bought it i was not as informed as i am now. and i honestly thought all it was going to be used for was to cut 2 acres ever week or so. now it cuts between 6 and 10 acres a week. i even had a sleeve hitch on it for a while, but removed that and put it on a craftsman GT that i paid 300.00 for, sinc ethe GT was designed for ground engaging work and the L130 was not.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 10:47AM
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Sears model 917.255551, 12.5 kohler, sunstrand hydro, electric PTO. Bought new in 1991, $1288. I mow 1 acre at my house and approx 3/4 acre at a neighbor. So far over the belts, blades, mandrels, battery and steering shaft. Always stored in the shed. Still runs strong, but i'm in the market for a new one. Question is which one to buy?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:16AM
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I bought an MTD new that lasted about 7 years.
All kinds of things loosened up & fell off during that time, I either fixed them or paid to have them fixed.
Finally traded it in on an old Craftsman with VariDrive.
It was great until the transaxle blew out. I don't think it liked my hilly yard much. The B&S motor is still very strong & the deck is great - just can't get it to move.

Then I bought the new Craftsman YS4500 LE about 15 months ago. It's a sweet ride.
I keep it indoors all the time when it's not in use, I'll keep up all the maintenance and see just how long it lasts.
It's still just like brand new every time I climb aboard.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:25PM
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I hope all these antidotes help stanleyjohn finally feel confident with his purchase. I am glad I don't need a support group for my mower. Unfortunately, no number of stories about someone else's tractor will make his run any longer than it would otherwise. I don't think it is an apples to apples comparison to compare low end tractors built 10-30 years ago with one bought last week. If you did your homework and bought the tractor you believe is needed for your purposes, just be happy with it and don't listen to what others think about it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 2:21PM
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Deerslayer's Wheel Horse is too new! I have owned a 1976 C-120 (same as the 312 but mine was an hydro) and now own a 1969 Charger 12 (direct ancestor of the C-120 Auto) and an 854.

The C-120 I got for barter. It needed a ring job, but other than adding about 1/4 qt oil per gas filling it ran fine. One spindle had obviously been rebuilt and one spindle was bad when I got it. I bought the parts I needed from small parts or stock drive and rebuilt the spindle since they were all standard parts. I think I had to replace one idler. I got it in 1991 when it was 15 year old. I put close to 200 hours on it mostly cutting rough fields and gave it away when I had to move to the city. I hope it has been kept alive!

The Charger 12 is something of a work in progress. It burned a lot of oil when I got it last summer $160!) and also had a minor knock. I knew the knock would get worse. It did run and mow when I got it. I had to replace the belts (rotted)and rebuild the carb. Blew the engine (rod) on Easter plowing heavy snow. I have purchased another 1969 engine that is supposed to have no knock and does not burn much oil for $66! I was happy to find a 69 because this was an interesting engine. Electronic ignition in 1969! And the first year with an alternator and starter vs starter-generator. With just a *little* luck (and regular maintenance) I expect I'll get a long life out of the replacement engine. While it is in pasture I am replacing the dashboard (those locking push-pull throttles) wear out so I wanted the lever style. I am also adding a hour meter, amp meter, and volt meter. I have had to replace on tire, and will eventually buy a pair of ags for the rear. Steering needs a shim washer and should tighten up fine, that may wait till next summer. I am also adding a front hitch and making some modifications to the mower (adding an additional anti scalp roller). Wheel horse made major improvements to the decks around 1973. This is the biggest area where the 1969 is not as good as my old 1976.

The 854 I just got. Runs nicely, no knocks and burns no oil. This is not the original engine, though the engine is pre 1969 since it has a starter generator. Work on it has been mostly cosmetic. I put a front hitch on it this weekend and also added the option lift cable for the rear (will be adding this to the Charger too). Transmission occasionally jams in first. I made a new pivot pin and we'll see if that solves the problem (old one was very worn). Brake band bolt has almost worn through the hole int he brake bind, so that will need to be replaced in the next year (parts are available new and used) and I have just ordered a new shifter boot.

I have almost completed modifying a little trip bucket designed for a Cub Cadet to work with the new front hitch, so that will be handy. Hour meter is waiting to be installed (modern digital type, the tractor will outlast it, I am sure) and I have a rear hitch on order so I can put the plow on it. Next winter the Charger will have the snow blower ($40 on ebay) and the 854 will have the snow plow.

SO yes, look around and find yourself a horse, a Wheel Horse, of Course.

Have fun.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 3:55PM
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Metal!I do feel better now and your right with what will happen will happen.Ill just do the best i can do takeing care of my LA100 and hope for the best.Lots of great comments here!Thanks to All.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:12PM
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I bought a used Murray 42614x92a probably close to 5 years ago for $300. Its got a dual cylinder, 14 HP briggs and stratton mower. My wife hit a stump with it a week ago and the deck broke, right around 1 of the spindles. I'm taking it to the local hardware store tomorrow to have them weld it back. Other than that it runs perfectly. I change the oil each year and check the filter. I'll have to replace the filter now because I intentionally tipped it over to see under the deck when my wife hit the stump. Filter is soaked with what i assume is gas and oil. I already changed the oil, just need a new filter. I hate to get rid of the thing because I feel the engine is a friggin' powerhouse that still has a lot of life left in it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:05PM
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bygdaddy(IL USA)

Sounds like the first "liar" does not have a chance!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 1:56PM
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bygdaddy, LOL! But my story is real...

I have had my LA120 since waay back, like the first half of June. It has been troublefree, I haven't changed oil, nothing, and it's still on it's original tank of gas! The paint still looks like new, and all the stickers are still on it. For the past week or so I have sat on it in my garage almost every day and made 'VROOM VROOOOM' noises with my mouth, and it was so smooth and quiet, apart from this annoying sound.

Well, the seat is maybe getting a little bit of 'butt-print' on it I think. This is terrible! I bought it from HD but might return it to Lowe's or Target or Sears or even the local dealer as they are closer, but will wait till this mowing season is over as I have a severe case of inertia as well as a large case of budliteis and I can't leave the house except to mow the grass.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 3:36PM
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This is one of those threads that convince me to spend as little as possible and replace it frequently.

eg $1k tractor throw it away every five years and replace with another $1k tractor

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Okay- Here we go
my uncle purchased a craftsman in 1998, And I helped him do most of the service.

Around 30 hrs, the blade clutch went out.
Around 35 hrs, the Deck Mandrels wore out (prolly because of crappy maintenance on his part)
Shortly after the mower belt had to be replaced (could be related)
Around 50 Hrs, The transmission became hard to shift
Shortly after, it would not go above 5th at all.
Around 65 hrs, some mice built a nest in the flywheel, and my uncle ran it, overheating the engine. After allowing it to cool, it became hard to start, smoked, and burnt oil worse than a campfire would (around 1qt per 2-3 mowings).
At 100 hrs, the ignition system quit. At this point, we decided to replace the stock engine with another engine, smaller (10hp) from another tractor.
That brought a whole load of problems, first was the charging system at approx 105 hrs, we replaced it. Next came the carb at 115 hrs, it gummed up spontaneously for some odd reason. We rebuilt it.
at about 150 hrs, various things happened. The first was the transmission pulley broke, that also destroyed the belt.
155 hrs, Reverse began to make weird noises.
155 hrs, 20 min, reverse quit.
170 hrs, deck pulleys got in bad shape, thus the vastly underpowered engine would die (If not @ WOT) upon engagement.
180 hrs, something in the steering bent (or broke) causing there to be a significant dead space in the steering. Rather than fix it, my uncle decided after so many hours and years of use, to upgrade. He bought a new DGT6000, which has been reliable so far (approx 50 hrs.) He is taking better care of this one :)

This may seem like a lot, but if you look, many of these things have been caused by a stupid move on our/his part. And, it still works OK. So, if you take care of it, it'll last you a while, if you don't, well, you'll be in our situation.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:07PM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

Bought my Montgomery Wards MTD tractor ($900) with bagger ($250) attachment new on Father's Day in 1987. 12HP Tecumseh, 38" deck for mowing my 1/2 acre. I figure about 50hrs per year due to mowing somewhat slow with the grass collection and dumping/spreading of the grass about 3 times per mowing. I have replaced the 2 belts a couple times, the two deck spindles a couple times, the left rear tire (from an incident with the gate hinge), a couple batteries, and the motor because it was tired, leaking oil and not running well (new motor about $550 delivered with electric and pull start features).

The steering is getting loose but still works good enough, the battery went dead a couple years ago so I just pull start it now (ha!), and the throttle/choke cable is siezed so I just push the throttle at the carb with a screwdriver! The seat foam is exposed in one small area, but the red paint finish and decals are still almost like new as I have occasionally waxed it and always store it in the shed. And I always wash off the sheetmetal and deck underside after each mowing.

But, it's time. I take delivery of a new JD EZTrak 425 with powerflo bagger tomorrow! WOOHOO!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:15PM
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akachrisinmass - Or you could buy a 3k machine and follow the maintenance instructions in the manual and keep it for 20 years saving 1k over buying a cheapie 1k machine and buying new every 5 years . Granted you could make up that difference by selling that wore out POS for a few hundred every 5 years , but doing it the other way will give you a smoother running , more comfortable , quieter machine which will need much less in repairs . And aren't the easiest repairs the ones that never need to be done ?

Still I have a lot of admiration for those who buy the cheapest machine and take care of it to last a long time . A guy at work has a Yard King (?) Murray made clone bought at a now defunct discount department store which wears out the steering gears every three years like clockwork costing him 70 bucks a pop mowing his 1 acre lawn . He's a major cheapskate who complains about having to buy the whole assembly instead of just the gear that wears out . I keep telling him you get what you pay for and you didn't pay much to begin with !

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 4:24PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"Or you could buy a 3k machine and follow the maintenance instructions in the manual and keep it for 20 years"

Or you can buy a used premium GT for under $1,000 and it will last 20+ years.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:12PM
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Yeah , but those are usually sold before you even see the ad in the paper !

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:17PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"Yeah , but those are usually sold before you even see the ad in the paper !"

Not so, you can find them on eBay and craigslist quite often. You may need to shop for a few months but they are available. The best deals are local and unadvertized. Let people know that you are looking for a used JD, Cub, WH, etc. and they'll come to you.

The Wheel Horse 418 with 504 hours, 48" deck, hydro drive, hydro deck lift, snow blade, and wheel weights sold for $700 shortly after I posted the link in this thread.

I bought this one for $669 on eBay last July.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:53PM
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Ain't that the truth. Had a nice GT bought while I was en-route to fork over the cash. If I hadn't stopped to brag to the neighbor, I would have had it.......

My 78 Murray that finally bit the bucket last season was still excellence personified. It had original steering gear and all. Just exceptionally well taken care of. Even a $5k tractor will die in 3-4 years without good maintenance. I cut 3+ acres of hilly terrain, so I know I am on the abusive end of cheap tractors, but you do get what you pay for, but you also get back, what you put into it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 5:54PM
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It also depends on where you live . For example , I've been looking for a certain type of dual purpose motorcycle within reasonable driving distance (200 miles one way) and have had no luck here in NW NJ . But I see plenty of examples in Texas and the mid west for very reasonable prices . Six fifty additional for shipping , no thanks ! Anyways with lawn tractors most first time buyers seem to want brand new and aren't very mechanically inclined to deal with problems of an older used machine judging by the many posts here and that's what I based my original post on .

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 6:30PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"It also depends on where you live"

I agree that a deal may not be available in your town over the short term. I purchased my Wheel Horse from a farmer near South Bend, Indiana...about 125 miles from my place. I shopped for about one month.

I recently sold a tractor to a fellow in Rockford, Illinois in one day using is about 50 miles away.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 8:01PM
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It must be nice in the midwest with not having the competition of a highly populated area to contend with . I know craigslist and have lost out on good deals the very day they were listed . Three years ago I drove my truck about 120 miles to get a Honda lawn tractor for $900 only to find that the machine was sold to someone who e-mailed with a higher offer than was asked when I was en route . The guy gave me 30 bucks for gas , but it was no consolation . Another time I drove 50 miles to look at a motorcycle that was listed only a day on cycletrader only to see some guy who drove 140 miles loading it onto the back of his truck when I got there - total dishonesty on the owner's part to not say another guy was coming that day , but what can you do ? So when a good deal appears anywhere around the northeast , you'd better see it right away and get there yesterday !

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 8:57PM
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1987 john deere 160 with 12.5 HP Kawasaki. No repairs, just the regular maint. 1 set of belts, 1 plug, two sets of tires in 20 years. Mows 1.25 acres and the kids rode around on it for many years for fun. Just sold for 400 bucks and got the X300.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 2:30AM
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I have a 1983 MTD Lawn Flight Tractor that is still in great shape. I cut 5 (five) acres with it and pull a 100# drag to groom my drive and parking area, about 1200 sq. ft. of SB2 rock. The muffler and the drive belts and mower blades and one spindle have been changed. I know most of you will not beleve this, but it is true. I have just up graded to a Huskiee form Tractor Supply Co., a 20 horse with hydro, to be able to pull a box blade to do landscape work on my yard. I think how you use and maintain you tractor art the key to long life.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:41PM
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I have a 2002 Scotts 2048. Only complaint is that I push mow and weed eat while my wife rides the Scotts. Oh I do get to change the oil and sharpen the blades. Had to replace one spindle so far and a battery. But it just sits in the snow here.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:55PM
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lildeere(z7 TN)

My 26 year old AYP-Roper (although retired in 2005) Still provides grunt work today with a de-thatcher and an occasional mowing of a neighbors yard...A great machine for the $699 I paid for it back in 1981 when Howards Discount was going out of business!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:29AM
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Adjusted for inflation that would be like paying $1,650 for a tractor today. Wonder how many tractors at that price point today will still be mowing in 26 years? That tractor looks like you just drove it off the lot!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 9:49AM
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You'd think he'd bang into something in the 26 years he drove it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:09PM
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Looks like the seat covering may be coming loose on the top edge (could just be my eyes). Piece of junk! You'd think the seat would last more than a measly 26 years! Really underscores how critical it is to seek out quality before plunking down some coinage. :^)LOL.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 12:32PM
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Just gave my brother a '95 model Craftsman LT with 15-horse Kohler after I purchased a Scag Freedom Z zero-turn. Kohler still runs like the day I bought it, which has to be some 1,200 hours ago. Took about four hours to cut my 2.5 acres with it. Replaced steering gears and plenty of spindles, belts and pulleys during that time. Brother says it's a much better tractor than the MTD POS he bought two years ago that he can't keep running. BTW, it now takes me an hour and 45 minutes to cut my grass with the Scag. I love it!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:19PM
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I bought a YT12A WheelHorse at a yard sale about 6-7 years ago for the outrageious price of about $25.00.(cheap enough)No model /serial #'s on it..It came to me with an 11 HP B/S magnetron and elec starter engine instead of a 12 HP.A 5/16" bolt was missing from a sheave that kept tension on the drive belt to the hydro..No big deal.Still does everything it is supposed to do every week.I treat it to the Mobil1 10-30 oil I drain out of my motorcycle's engines.Of coufse I filtr the oil through a paint filter cone.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:22PM
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curtludwig(New England)

Hmm, my 11hp Montgomery Ward was a cheap tractor, its from the '70s and still works great. I do need to figure out whats wrong with the brakes though... I got it for free.
My parents bought a cheap Craftsman 10hp in around '87 which lasted until around 10 years of being thrashed by yours truely. That thing was part lawnmower and part gokart to me. At the time I thought it was junk but in retrospect it was a trooper.
Dad's replaced the Craftsman with a Husky that also lasted 10 years but he left that outside. It got replaced because the mowing deck rusted out twice. Put the motor into:
The MTD Statesman that threw a rod through the engine after only 4 years... That was a $999 mower and not worth it, lasted long enough for the store we bought it from to close. The Briggs from the Husky is in it now and seems fine. Thats a time tested motor so it should be fine...

Of course I mow with a Cub Cadet 70 thats 43 years old but it wasn't a cheap mower in its day...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 4:22PM
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akachrisinmass said,
"eg $1k tractor throw it away every five years and replace with another $1k tractor."

You got to be in the garbage business, right? Drive it right in
the landfill and dump away, hahaha. Waste management, like the
Sopranos. I'm kidding.

But your philosophy assumes unlimited amounts of steel, tires, paint etc. are always going to be your entitlement.

One good tractor will easily last 20 years. Your way requires 4 times the materials and energy and clogs the world with useless junk.

I think the only resource you are considering is money... but over time you are not coming out ahead that way. And you
are using a clunky cheap tractor when you could have the very best for the same total price.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:16AM
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I bet he is not "throwing" the tractors away. He is probably selling them cheap and one of us are taking them and bringing them back to life. If it weren't for his type, people like myself wouldn't have a tractor (I personally will probably never own a brand new tractor).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 10:42AM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

Sure, you can buy a series of cheap junkers and replace them every few years, instead of investing in one good tractor. But for all that time you still owned a piece of junk.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 8:25AM
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I have to agree with those that say 400-500 hours is the typical life of the cheap tractors. That's about what I saw from my previous mower, an L-12 White before it became too costly to continue repairing. And the last couple of years of use were constant fixing of "small" things to the tune of $150 or more per year.

Sure you can keep fixing them for a few hundred $ each year. Maybe less. But you're still dumping $ into cheap tractor that isn't worth even what you spent on it if you ever decide to sell it.

And does anyone really want to spend an hour fixing something for every few hours mowing? I know I don't...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 1:27PM
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Once again regular repair is needed. I see all kinds of tractors in a year. LOOK for how solid is the deck. The engine is 99% ready to go. Take time to search out what you want and you shall find it. I could tell you to buy this but I don't know whaat you do with it. So read the posts but make sure its what you want and need.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 1:45PM
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curtludwig(New England)

What do you expect when you sell them?
This is something I'll never understand. If I buy something like a lawnmower why would I ever sell it? If it still does what I need it for, like mow the lawn, then I keep it until it can't do that anymore. When it can't its time for the recycler.
When you sell something that isn't used up somebody else is making money off your desire for the newest thing.

By the way you don't ever want to buy a used car from me, I feel the same way about cars. Run 'em into the ground and get another, let somebody else pay that big depreciation.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 4:04PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

I purchased my WH 312-8 from a young farmer who mowed about 3 flat acres. He decided that a ZTR would be better for his place and sold his high hour but well maintained WH to me.

There are other valid reasons to sell in addition to the tractor being worn out. Another that comes to mind is when people move and need either larger or smaller equipment for their new place.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 5:26PM
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lildeere(z7 TN)

Hey Mownie...yes the seat cover appears loose but it is actually a cushy velour seat cover I had done at the 20 year mark. That and 2 deck bearings along with a re-usable fuel filter, 1 starter motor, and a Hurst Shifter(knob) are the only extra cost I put into this mower. It has been very reliable. I spent $3K for its replacement. But it was like stepping into a Lexus from a Chevette....Mowers have come a long way in 26 years....Time will tell if they are built to last as long....although I have spent 52.00 in the first 3 years on the new JD....I feel it is a much better machine and am looking forward to it lasting just as long.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:47AM
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How long before your CHEAP lawn tractor fell apart. Posted by stanleyjohn (My Page)

Which tractors are we talking about here?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 4:05PM
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lb-stanleyjohn bought an LA series JD recently and has started many of these threads to help ease his mind about the longevity of his purchase. Some of the threads are:

Do you think that buying a low cost tractor means its junk?
How long before your CHEAP lawn tractor fell apart.
JD LA100 jerks alittle moving foward
The LA100 Transmission
Newer Lawn Tractors vs Old Lawn Tractors
My JD LA100 died today! real bummer

What he really wants is a little moral support from his peers to tell him he didn't make a bad decision purchasing a box store JD.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 4:41PM
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With some of the negetivity around here on lower end tractors i guess i wanted to see how else other felt too.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 4:59PM
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My 1987 MTD 12 HP/38 inch c/w rear bagger has been happily chomping grass for over 1200 hours. It must get bored going around the same 2 acres every 5 or 6 days from May through October. In Canada thats the limit of our mowing. In 20 years I have only replaced the battery 2 or 3 times. The rest is all original and in good condition. The motor is starting to make some noise and it burns some oil.
My neighbor also bought the identical machine in 87 and it packed it in 4 years ago. Replaced it with a JD LA140 (nice rig). His MTD was costing $200-$300 the last few years + 1 motor. Steering is shot also mostly due to his rough lawn. Gotta know when to hold em and know when to fold em.
Maintenance is the key along with a little TLC. A smooth lawn also helps both machine and rider. How many can mow at 3-4 mph and have the cup stay in the cup holder?
Hope the new tractors last as long!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:42PM
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My grandfather bought this mower way before I was born... I want to say it was a Mongomery Ward mower. It was Spartan, to say the least. It was an 8hp pull-start Briggs, had an orange frame with a white fiberglass hood that kind of made it resemble a tractor. The 30 or so inch deck was bolted to the frame and served as the footrest. I do not think you had the option to adjust the cut height without shimming the deck. The blades always turned whether the PTO handle was engaged or not, because all it did was add tension to the belt which otherwise freewheeled fast enough to lop off a toe. I'm pretty sure when you pushed the "gas" all that did was tighten the drive belt and make you go. It had a 3 speed transmission--I think-- with an automotive-style shifter between your legs. The final gear reduction was a chain connecting the little sprocket on the transmission to the big sprocket on the rear axle. He used that to cut his 1/2 acre grass for most of the 60s and 70s, then parked it for some reason for a few years. It was then that my brother and I used it like a push toy, rolling it down the sloped driveway of the church next door. It was small enough that a 6 and 8 year old could push it up hill, and apparently there was nothing wrong with a 6 and 8 year old playing with a dysfunctional riding lawn mower 25 years ago (with no helmets). At one point we filled the gas tank with chestnuts, pretending to take on gas at a "pit stop." He bought a Noma RER in the mid 80s and gave my Dad the old mower. The chestnuts were a b!tch to get out. That was the first time I got yelled at for something I did a year or two beforehand. The Noma died after 5 seasons, reason unknown. My dad used the hand-me-down for about two years then gave it to his neighbor after buying a shiny new MTD 10hp gear drive lawn tractor. The MTD's transmission blew up in the third season after dragging a spike aerator around the yard. The old mower changed hands yet again and I wouldn't be surprised if it's still chugging along. I've never seen one like it since then, not even online.

For those of you who think you can't find a good used mower because the good deals sell as soon as someone reads the morning paper, you need to learn to use eBay. EBay gives everyone a fair shake, with a full week to decide if it's what you want, and bid what you want. It's been around for what, 8 years? But it's still so unfamiliar to so many people. I think in the future it will continue to catch on and everything sold will go for its retail value, due to reaching the maximum number of buyers, but for now, I think it still favors the buyer. There are a lot of people out there looking for a good lawn machine, but I think very few of them are comfortable with the thought of exchanging money over the Internet with complete strangers, trust of whom is based solely on this thing called feedback. After the MTD died, my dad bought a RER Snapper which mowed his 1/2 acre just fine. But now he bought a few acres in the Poconos and needs something a bit bigger. I just won an eBay auction for a JD 265 in great shape with a 48" deck, a 42" snow thrower and a 46" blade for my dad to use on his new property, for $1,525. We just solved his grass cutting, snow removal and landscaping needs for less than the cost of a bottom-of-the-line LA100, which can do nothing more than mow a groomed lawn (very gingerly). And you know this well-maintained residential use 265 with Reading the eBay ad descriptions is also a great way to learn about the features and options on old mowers that manufacturers no longer care to publish specs on.

Kubotabx2200, you're so right. I bought a used JD GT series not only because I wanted it to last, but because I wanted to enjoy maintaining my lawn with a premium piece of equipment. With my previous POS unworthy of mention it was a chore. With the JD, it's like meditation.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:44AM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

Marineguy, Great Post! Good deals can be found. It just takes a little effort.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:38PM
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lildeere, sorry I missed your post on July 14. You know, of course, that I was being facetious about the seat. I ran the photo through my photoshop software to pull out some detail from the shadows, I think you will like the result. Where in Tn. are you? I'm in Hendersonville (37075).

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:03PM
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marineguy, you are a good son.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:23PM
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I thought when I bought my Cub Cadet SLT-1554 at year end in 2005 that it would give me many years of good service. I was really proud of my new Cub Cadet. It was always garaged in a climent controlled building, maintained by the book. It had 104 hours on the day it self destructed. You can see pictures on my new website. To date my research has found several others that have experienced the same events.
* Running perfect
* Abrubtly engine stops (like it ran out of gas)
* Vapor like coming from under hood
* Engine bursts into flames

If you have or know someone this has happened to, please email me information.

We beleive this to be a serious safety issue. Cub Cadet has been notified, yet refused to come and investigate. Their response is they are not responsible for fires. My insurance company hired a independent engineer (qualified for fire causes) that determined it to be a manufacturing defect. Cub still has refused to aknowledge any problem or desire to investigate.

So the answer is 104 hours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cub Cadet Dies Early Death

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 10:48PM
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lildeere(z7 TN)

mownie...I'm over here in Upper East TN.37601 I have a relative in the engineering dept. in Hendersonville... I like it there ...Hope you have had some resent rain there...We have had some really dry weather here! ...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:42PM
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lildeere, yeah, I see the seat cover now. Good job! I know a couple of engineers in Public Works Dept. down at city hall (I'm sure other depts. have some engineers too) so I could possibly have met your "kin folk", but anonymity is good. We have had practically "no rain" all season (except for a few "thermal T-showers", 1 or 2 minutes and gone). I have cracks in the yard 3/4" wide that you can hear Chinese speech from. :^)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:46AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

well, this weekend the front axle broke on my L130. took out the left drag arm as well. at least i had a GT on hand to hook to it and use as a tow truck to get it back across the yard and to my shop.

last year the bushing went out on the right front wheel, this year i guess the axle decided to go.

i have replaced all 3 mandrels, 1 of them twice. this was all due to my error, usually hitting something i could not see in grass too tall to be cutting anyway.

i have replaced the deck belt 4 times now, but i have over 300 hours on the machine so that is only 1 more time than normal and it was caused by my wife running over a limb and it getting jammed in and shredding the belt.

i cannot count the number of blades i have been thru. even without hitting anything they only last a month or 2 at most with me. of course, i also mow close to 10 acres with a machine designed for a max of 2.5 acres. it spends many hours riding on a trailer to get to the places i cut, the closest of which is about 35 miles away.

all in all, i am happy that a "low end" machine has lasted me thru all it has been put thru.

oh yeah, i forgot to mention that last year i put a sleeve hitch on it and used it as a garden tractor for a couple months.

i can honestly say that i feel that if i treated this machine the way the average homeowner with a suburban lot would, this would be a 15+ year machine. in my case it probably won't make it past next year. if it does it will be retired from cutting and become mainly a spray tractor.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 6:27PM
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I am thinking of buying a Craftsman
dls 3500 20HP. My lawn area is approximately 4000 square feet but pushing is getting a bit burdensom. Thanks for all your input in advance

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:51PM
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Did your insurance co. (I assume homeowners) replace the Cub for you? If not what was the reason you were given and the name of the Insurance Co.? The name of the Insurance Co. would be most helpful when requoting my homeowners policy (I have 3 or 4 companys quote every 3 yrs) - just keeps all honest, I have done this for the past 20 to 25 yrs at a recommendation of an insurance agency. It has worked well for me.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 7:45AM
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Working on my son-in-laws Murray 12 hp riding mower,model #38608x92c - manufacturing date 2971.Has a 38" cut with dual cutting blades.Has the industrial/commercial engine.I have not tried starting the engine yet as I am charging the battery.The problem described to me was he believes the engine has froze up.I have tried turning the bottom pulley by hand but only can make it move an inch or so back and forth.Checked the oil stick after wiping it clean and show about a half inch of oil.Any suggestions or instructions on diagnosing the problem.Please bear in mind I'm a very amatuer small engine repairman.Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:39AM
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cowboy_bill_watts(SW MO)

20+ year old lawnchief push mower from Lowe's

3.5 HP tecumseh engine. never changed teh oil, never changed the spark plug, never changed the air filter, never sharpened teh blade.

starts second pull every time

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:06PM
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mich5187, welcome to the forum. I suggest you begin a new thread and title it something like, "Murray 12HP rider engine seized" or something close to that. The thread you dropped into is an old thread on a different subject and so might not attract the attention you need here. As a preliminary suggestion on your problem, you need to at least remove the spark plug from the engine and empty any oil or water out (if you can) and then fill the cylinder (through the spark plug hole) with some kerosene, diesel fuel, mineral spirits, auto trans fluid, Marvel Mystery Oil or any other type of thin oil or solvent (except don't use any highly flammable stuff like gasoline or lacquer thinner). DO NOT put the plug back in. Now, let it sit for a day or 2 and then see if the engine will turn, leave spark plug out until you get the engine freed up (if you can get it to turn).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:30PM
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lildeere, that is a beautiful mower. No doubt that is had been taken care of. My Craftsman just turned 13 years old and the most expensive part replaced on it has been the belts. I guess I put about 40 hrs a year here in S. GA so it has done me well. List of parts changed...belts, blades, air filter, fuel filter, oil filter, battery (twice), and breather tube. I am looking for a new seat since the one I have is starting to crack.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:09AM
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Hi i am a new user from the uk and i have a 1984 westwood t1100 used for towing trailers and starts easily every day even in the depth of winter (when even the big tractor wont start) it looks a bit tatty and is no where near as good as your tractors but can any one give me more info on this tracter please

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Callume my suggestion wood be for you to contact westwood directly Since you will not find many of us yanks who have heard or even seen a westwood tractor. Though I have seen several when I go to vist my relatives in Scotland and have used there Westwood as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: westwood

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:14AM
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I have an '05 JD L100 that I work pretty hard. Mow 1 1/2 acres at least once a week may-october, haul stuff around the property and plow the driveway all winter (on average of once a week). The only issue besides preventative maintainance so far is a valve adjustment.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:11AM
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bckskin2(5 Il)

We bought our 20 HP MTD Yardman in '97 mowed 10 acres, badly over grown, pulled logs, dragged a harrow,pushed tons of snow, etc untill 2001 then we got a TO 30 to handle the rougher chores. In 2004 it would only runn for a few minutes. We gave it to a man who put a new carb, fuel line, and gas cap. He gave it to his daughter to push snow. I think it's still run.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 9:35AM
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My Dad bought me a AYP-Sears Kohler 15.5HP Hydrostatic in 1992.
In 1993 The deck started showing signs of rust, even though I kept in clean in a Garage/shed. In 1993 I got a new deck from sears, I had it professionally painted & baked in a Bodyshop for $100.
In 2007 My Hydrostatic tranny began to slip going uphill; my mechanic purged the air & replaced the 20w-50w 80 oz gear fluid & it ran another 2 years. 2009 I now have to cut 3acres of grass weekly bought a Exmark ZTR to handle the grass cutting. Keeping the Sears Hydro to pull the implements, yes the Kohler is still running STRONG. Amazing how they last when you keep doing the maintenance regularly & keep them clean & covered when not in use.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:39PM
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"Amazing how they last when you keep doing the maintenance regularly & keep them clean & covered when not in use."
Hear, Hear! and right you are, but with a bit of caveat.
Clean them yes.......but never allow water to get into and remain in the "nooks and crannies".....Always get the machine good and dry before putting it away.
COVER THEM UP, good lawd child!! Don't cover them up with plastic sheet, poly film, or anything that is "waterproof". If you use a waterproof "throw" to cover something, without proper ventilation, you are just encouraging condensation ("sweating") under the tarp or poly film. Without ventilation, it might as well be in a steam bath. Covering a machine (that is stored inside a dry building) with a cloth bed sheet of similar "breathe-able" material (to keep dust off) is good. Trapping moisture under an impermeable material is not good.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I have a 1986 John Deere 165 that has been handed down to me. My Grandpa got sick soon after buying it new so it really did not get used much in the 19 years or so it was there. just maybe 3 times a year. My uncle then got it and he didnt really use it much either. It is lucky if it has 300 hours on it if that. Other than the hood being scratched up it is just like new. The deck is like brand new and nothing other than the belt has ever been replaced on it.

I got a 2007 Craftsman LT1000 when we bought our house as part of the deal. 18 horse Briggs and Stratton, 6 speed transmission. I tell you all after being used to the Hydro the 6 speed was hard for me to get used to. I also dont think it is made as well as the John Deere. But it will likely last a while. My lot is about an acre more or less flat. Smooth. I have no doubt it will last 10 years or so. I dont do a lot of fixing but both get oil changes religously and both have oil filters which really helps. I accept the fact with this Craftsman that it is not made the same as the John Deere. I dont work either one very hard. Lawn cutting and occassional trailer pulling which isnt much.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 2:05AM
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About a 10 year old Toro 32 XL small yard tractor that has been doing a little less than a half acre of flat yard. Every year I change the oil, filters and plug. (Just found out I may have been changing the air filter every year when not necesary..Oh well.) I clean the deck w/a putty knife and spray Pam or lube on there and remove and sharpen the blades. It is stored in a shed. I have changed the battery once. Last year it needed idler arm / pulley surgey which I had the dealer do and changed the belts too. It has held up well. I do not think Toro makes this quality anymore though. However my prior was a Sear rear engine rider that lasted at least 10 years and was a bit more abused. yes, the paint started to get old and rusty on the Sears...that has not yet happened on my Toro. We painted the Sears with Green Rustoleum and it held up nicely. My sone and I were sad whne 'Green Thunders' engine popped one day and I saw a hole in its side! I'd hope what ever you buy would last 10 years with some TLC.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:35AM
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bobinbaltimore(Maryland - 7)

I had a 1999 Craftsman 17hp (I forget the model number)that, aside from a broken fly wheel (probably my fault) one year in and an ignition switch that would drain the battery, was going strong at ~7 years when we gave it to a family friend...who is still using it without problems. We "upgraded" to a Home Depot version John Deere L120 in early 2006 due to moving to a home with a larger lawn (almost 2 acres) and a steep grade in the back. It did well for about two years, but the transmission started to slip. It was then that I learned the difference between a Lowes/HD John Deere and a real one from the dealer. GardenWeb was a great source of info on those problems, BTW. Rather than pay $600 - 700 to replace a tranny on a $2K tractor, we truly upgraded to a JD x520 - liquid cooled, rock-solid tranny with 54" cut. This upgrade was also necessitated by our move (hopefully the last one) to a 3+ acre property with lots of terrain and agricultural surprises. The X520 has been great for the 18 months/100 hours I've had and used it. It's a good workhorse for mowing, dethatching, aerating, cart-pulling, and spreading over some pretty darn rough terrain. I'm thinking about getting a Johnny Bucket Jr. (seems better than the JD-offered tractor shovel) as well, but haven't taken the plunge yet. Back to the topic at hand: For a relatively tame property, I would definitely buy a "cheap" Craftsman again, but I would skip the big box store version of the John Deere unless it's zero grade, you weigh less than 200 lbs, and it's smooth as glass. And even then...wait for a sale.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:45AM
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I have a 1976 Sears surban garden tractor 33 years old and still going replaced drive belt once starter once rebuilt carb twice rebuilt fuel pump twice and performed normal pm I have had since new the thing is a tank even has the original tires. They don't build them like this any more

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 7:30AM
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Wow, 100 posts!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 9:26AM
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Here's post number 101, My sears 1973 ST10, which I sold in 2002 to a person that lives approx 6 miles for me, left it set outside summer and winter, must have finally died. He is not using it this year, still sitting where he parked last fall, lasted me 29 yrs and him 7 yrs. (grand total of 36 yrs).
I hope my 2002 Craftsman DLT2000 last's half that long, I may be looking at the bottom side of the grass then. If not, I hope to be watching someone else mow.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 7:42AM
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I had a 20 yr old Craftsman with 18hp Briggs. The starter gear went three times (nylon).The rear wheels were frozen on to the axle. The tires were leaking air. Had to fill them every week. Mower belt never changed. I cannot say it was problem free--the engine would not start w/o some cranking. Occasionally heavy smoke would come out of the exhaust. Checked ebay, and the value was not even 100 bucks and that was in very good condition. So finally, I called the waste company and they brought a truck with a lift gate and they took it away. Cost $50 to properly dispose of a tractor BTW. I canot really comlain about Craftman or SEARS. The thing just kept going.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:59AM
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Should have put it on Craigslist for free and saved the $50. I am sure someone would have come to pick it up.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 4:38PM
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"Should have put it on Craigslist for free and saved the $50. I am sure someone would have come to pick it up."

Yeah - somebody would have seen it on CL and scooped it up in a minute. The word "free" is like chumming the water for sharks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Wonder how many posts if thread title was changed to EXPENSIVE...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 7:22PM
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Well we have a 15 yr old case ingersoll with 10821(my grandpa used it almost as a car hence the hours) hours on it just checked and its still goin strong and pops wheelies alotby accident i kind of inhereted it also dad just bought me a craftsman yt3000 great tractor

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 3:27PM
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I have had good luck with my cheap mowers,as have gotten at least 8 years use out of each one cutting a big yard with pasture type grass. (have all been TSC brand) I use one that is now 16 or so years strictly as a tractor pulling a trailer. It has a B&S 14 hp Ind engine with 6 speeds,always starts quick and never add oil between changes. Have moved 2 loads of sand with it over the years. Has been very dependable as only had to replace a few spindles and belts. It looks bad as the brakes are gone and have ran into the fence a time or two and broke off the plastic part of the hood,so hood is held on by bungie cords. and have screwed a small bucket on the hood to hold my drink. Has the original tires and front end is still tight.(they did make them better 16 years ago)I do live in the country,so am not worried about appearances. When I can get at least 8 years of service from a cheap mower,I consider getting my moneys worth and am ready for a new one. The 16 year old one probably cost 7or 8 hundred back then and the one I am replacing now only $1000. (the 16 year one was a Murrey) I do service them and do all the work on them myself.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:04PM
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Had a 12.5 HP Sears 38" which ran 15 years before quitting. Starting my 4th year with a Deere LA102, now with 60 hours.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I bought a troybilt ,had it 3 years and the transmission went out,never will buy again. I bought an old simplicity 2 wheeled tractor with 5 attachments for 80 dollars. It is all original except for a tune up and 50 years old and it runs like new.I guess they just don't build them like they use to.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:31PM
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How do you balance a 2 wheeled tractor?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:42AM
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***"How do you balance a 2 wheeled tractor?"***
Is that a serious question?

Here is a link that might be useful: A Question of Balance

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 11:44AM
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to make your cheap mower last longer do the following.
Remove cylinder head coverings and cylinder coverings and clean out cooling fin area. Grass clippings get compacted in these areas causing heat retention and loss of cooling.
Don't rinse off your tractor with water. Blow it clean with compressed air and wipe clean with damp rag. Use the proper weight oil for the temperature outside. Try to use gasoline with no ethanol or 10% the most. No methanol allowed according user manuals. Straight gasoline the best. Don't cut wet grass. Don't pull or push with your cheap tractor as the trans is the weak point. Grease the spindles and keep blades balanced and sharp. Your light cheap tractor with proper care can last a long time. Your engine probably only weighs 80 to 100 lbs. Your tires are 2 ply. Your belts start slipping and burning up if the tension is not correct. Don't cut tall grass. If you do set mower height high as possible and go slow. If you weigh over 200lbs go on a diet and lose weight as that is more weight the mower does not have to hall around. That big bear belly is hard on the cheap seat too. Get lean and cheap like your mower.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 12:10PM
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backman01(nc pa)

My cheap mower was Craftsman-GT5000-w/25 hp Kohler 48 inch deck bought in 04 for $2, has 260 hrs on tractor,it mows 3.5 acres every week i also plow snow with it.i replaced the mower drice belt,1 pulley on deck plus change oil ftl,this has been an excellent mower and i know it will last longer than 500hrs.very good tractor for the price. Rick in ncpa

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:44PM
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backman01(nc pa)

What are you talking about 500 hrs and the mower is junk??
who ever said that is nuts and doesnt know anything about
mowers ect,he must be one of those kubota dealers.Rick ncpa

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 9:01PM
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bckskin2(5 Il)

We had an MTD Yard man with a 20 horse Kohler that ran for 7 years. We mowed 10 acres , pushed snow pull a cart, pulled logs ETC. We gave it to a friends dad who rebuilt the Carb & is still pushing snow as far as I know. He was an aging stock car type and works on engines for fun!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Who cares! At the rate things are going, I'll probably fall apart before IT does.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Wow someone must be getting bored in Zone 9 !

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:23PM
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I hear you ewalk...loud and clear!!! Just messin around. Just finished pulling a Tecumseh Peerless MST 5 speed off of a Craftsman. It only has Reverse and Neutral. I am NOT a tranny guy, so I guess it is time to learn!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Was that cheap Craftsman DLT2000 purchased in April 2002 - The only repairs other than Mower Blades and Belts, was voltage regulator/rectifier(about $25) and starter Bendix(about $13).
A couple of weeks ago at 594 hours on meter and 11.5 yrs use, the engine went wild on RPM, indicating problem in the governor. Not wanting to tear the engine down myself took it to a local repair shop. Yep, the governor had blown apart, evidently the drive gear had seized on pressed in shaft - spun that shaft in the block, (bad block) Engine was 22HP Briggs. Now I have a 27HP Briggs installed in the tractor - probably not a great decision. (less than $1100 installed) Comparable new tractor was close to $2200. (this time of year had to find one)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:27PM
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I have just posted in another thread that my 13 year old 14.5 HP MTD (Orig cost $1600. Cdn) has frozen in gear. Except for replacing the blades, belts and a tire, oil and filters, I have really not done anything to this machine. It has run fine since I bought it new. I have plowed with it and cut my 1.25 acres every other week. It has some rust from the salt here but until this year, no real repairs at all! 3 days ago I found the unit will NOT go out of gear..I can't move it or start it. It is simply frozen in gear!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 6:10PM
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I'll start with what I read here on this site,
I bought a JD mower in 1975 it ran for 20 yrs,
I bought a Murray mower in 1985 it ran for 15 yrs,
I bought a Sears mower in 1995 it ran for 10yrs,
I bought a MTD mower in 2005 it ran for 5 yrs,
See the trend? How long will todays mowers last? 2 yrs?
Lack of maintenance is not why they die/have major repairs sooner today, because the same people cared for them no different 20yrs ago than today. Heres why, fact is there is just more junk today than then!

#1-They were not full of china parts & had a made in USA engine back then not made in china. Some were cast iron engines then made to rebuild & run for decades again like cars.
#2-They all had alot more metal/steel in them back then not just thin tin & aluminum & plastic. Some with Cast Iron frames! Cast Iron rearends!
#3-Every yr grease fittings,oil plugs,bolts,nuts,washers disappear. ITS SO WE CANT MAINTAIN THEM SO THEY WONT LAST! Must replace all or one piece at a time. Your choice however you wish to do it but you'll do it!
Im not so well off to just buy new mowers often either and would'nt anyway.
In 1990 I bought a used 20yr old rear engine snapper for 150.00 that ran fine and wouldnt die and when I moved to smaller yrd in 1995 I sold it for same price. No repairs but sooo slooow! Only oil changes/tune up/one tire.

In 1998 I moved again so I bought a 1984 Toro for 175.00. Its briggs finaly got tired, so I sold it in 2004 and bought a used very well maintained with records john deere for 500.00. Kawasaki engine ran beautifully!
But parts if needed were rediculous priced,It always cut like crap even as a mechanic I couldnt make it cut right,two JD shops couldnt either so after 2 seasons in 2006 I sold it! Good Riddence!
I then bought my first new mower, 2006 AYP Husqvarna/Craftsman 20HP hydro. Ran/cut like a dream for 7 yrs with only reg maintenance. Mowed about two acres and cut very nice every single time.
I learned about mowers by this time as Ive worked on all the neighbors,families & friends for yrs. So I sold mine before the problems associated with todays mowers got me like it has them "its not if, its when folks, such as steering as mentioned,briggs 20hp cylinder failure and the rearends failing even if you remove them a few times to change oil. What a joke that is! About all the rearends are "maintenance free" today even so called GT mowers meaning non servicable, you cant drain the gear/hydro oil to change it.

I decided instead of buying a new $2000 mower that wont last any longer than an older cared for used one and before selling my craftsman Id look hi/low for a cared for Wheel Horse. I got lucky & found a 1976 B-100 8-speed true Garden Tractor, its the long frame side shaft Kohler model witch is the same as the 1975 C-100 not the small vert engine B series. The man passed away that bought it new, about the only way to get a low hour wheel horse now days it seems but there out there. Owners dont like selling them and I know why.
The owner mowed about a 1/4 acre with it. Stored it in a heated walk in basement and he never ran tillers,plows or any of the 20+ other impliments a wheel horse can run.
It had 266hrs mowing time on it witch is nothing for these tractors and was very well cared for. Original seat still looks new.
The way its built and the way todays mowers are built is night & day. Our local mower shops ask 1000-1800.00 for them even with over 800hrs on them & over 30yrs old, they do sell too. I sold my craftsman for 650.00 and paid 600.00 for the wheel horse. More than a fair trade to me and would do it again. It cuts just as well as the craftsman too but its faster than it was.

I know these are hard to find in good shape and it was over 100 miles away from me but I also know it will be my last lawn/garden tractor I buy. I am going to buy a tiller for it this yr since we do gardening. Im 52yrs old and even if a rebuild comes along when Im 65yrs old I'll be more than happy to do it myself. Ive got the tools and the know how. Wheel horse parts are everywere in case your wondering. Very little changed through out all the decades they made them and Kohlers still making engine parts. Some had Onans witch are outstanding engines but are no longer made so parts are high & drying up fast.

Some Toro branded Wheel Horses have vert engines and they are regular lawnmowers not much better than todays. The better ones have Horizontal cast iron Kohlers/cast iron rearends & fr axle/iron frames. Sorry its so long folks but I hope someone learns sooner than I did. Look around while your cookie cutters still running.
Fair Warning: Remove your mowers rearend and change its oil asap! All oil companies state oil lasts 1 yr if you read any bottles label. Rearends are not sealed units they have breather tubes that allow air/contaminants/water inside + some mowers leak oil out and need re-filled so check your rears oil before it costs you several hundreds.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:14AM
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I abdicate :^)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:49AM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

So mownie, you:
Resign, retire, stand down, step down, bow out, renounce the throne;
demit, resign from, relinquish, renounce, give up, surrender, vacate, cede; disclaim? So which is it? :)

This post was edited by larso1 on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 19:50

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:49PM
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larso1(So. CO Zone 5)

If you calculate the dollar's value over the period from 1975 to today, you'll find that $1.00 in 1975 is worth $4.50 today. That lawn tractor you bought back in 1975 was no doubt pretty pricey for the time and would translate to some major sticker shock today for most people. Especially after seeing all the posts on this forum from people wanting a good and reliable lawn tractor but only have a budget of $1,500. max. for it..... that's only about $350 in 1975. I suspect a JD lawn tractor cost a lot more even back then. It's no wonder that lawn/garden tractor mfrs. are having their lower end tractors built in the cheapest labor markets of the world, like China and Mexico. They're just responding to the public's low pricing requirements. You can still get a very well built and reliable lawn or garden tractor today, but as it was back then, you will have to pay the price.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Larso, pretty much relinquish the title, but all in good humor :^)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Over the years, there hasn't been a huge price increase on entry level to mid grade L & G equipment. There have been some trade offs, yes. Would I rather have a rider that is built heavier on one hand, but that handles awful, has a deck that is painful to remove or otherwise service- heck no.
Take a basic LX series Deere from 15 years ago. People paid $3000/ 3500 for a 172/ 176. What does an X300 cost today? One could argue that there have been advancements or detriments either way.
A D or L series Deere today is a great entry level tractor.
MTD is a hard comparison as there are just so many deck configurations. The average Joe or Jolene probably could have spent a grand on an entry level w/ a nice heavy deck with a heavy deck belt that could take some abuse in that field they want to mow. Today, they best choose carefully. Generally at least serviceability has gotten better.
The HOP riders made great improvements over the years. So good in fact that Sears took the entry level rider contract away. No accounting for taste.
I say take the good with the bad, be attentive, ask how to keep your rider clean and get your maintenance done on time.
I've also heard for years about that "price of green paint" referring to the price of Deere parts. I've seen some that make you wince for sure, but generally speaking pricing is in line. Toro pricing went through the roof on lots of parts. MTD makes real good money on their parts. They are such a strange mix really. Some things are reasonable yet, but the same part for the next rider is hugely more expensive. In general, the value of a rider is better than it ever was.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:52PM
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I see there are posts here from many years back. Obviously this is a pretty hot topic! Let me add my few cent's worth.

Several posters such as Deerslayer and Docspanky have expressed the points much better than I could. Garden Web policy doesn't allow brand name bashing, and of course I honor that. But let's face it, there's a Reason our beloved machines (such as those based on the MTD-600 chassis) can be had for a low cost: From my experience, these are basically 500-hour machines. They are made to be inexpensive to buy, and last the average homeowner somewhere between 5 to 10 years before major breakdowns and repairs. (However, from reading the posts here, obviously lots of these mowers didn't make it even to the 5-year point.)

But this isn't a bad thing. It's just marketing strategy! The target buyer for this level of machine is a homeowner who has from 1/4 to about 2 acres of reasonably well maintained yard. This level of machine lets Joe Homeowner get the job done with a $1500 big-box-store lawn tractor.

Consider some figures: Let's say Joe Homeowner uses his mower a couple of hours every Saturday, mowing his yard during a 26-week growing season. At this rate, he will put about 52 hours a year on his mower. There will be the normal yearly maintenance items-- things like air filters, oil filters (if equipped), fuel filters, belts, blades, battery, and maybe tires.

Then at this rate, in 10 years Joe will have about 520 hours on his mower, and the average big-box-store mower can (usually) make it to this time with with good maintenance and care. But beyond this point, it's going to start having reliability issues as the engine, chassis, and drivetrain parts start reaching their designed end-of-life. Now, with intense maintenance / repair, all this could be fixed of course and the machine could carry on indefinately. But by this point those repairs are gonna be nearly the cost of that new shiny model sitting there on the bix-box showroom. So, Joe Homeowner will probably just junk his old one and buy the new one, which perpetuates the success of this marketing strategy.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Craftsman Ytv16 older (1984?) Put Rockwell 90 drive shaft in. Brake had fallen apart b4. Not sure if that has n e thing 2do with. Tested ability to engage as I re-installed. Daylight 2mor, I can only look. I ned new diagram of brKes and a shoe! Not until it moves forward tho. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:04AM
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I need yo get it to Engage! It doesn't move. Brake? Or what

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:07AM
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lefeavers, you need to create a new thread to ask your question.
Dropping a question about a specific problem into a 7 year old thread that is discussing a different topic is not going to draw the right kind of attention to your problem.
A suitable title for your new thread would be something like "YTV/16 Craftsman will not move"
And you also need to post the real, technical model number for this machine if it can be found. That number is often located under the seat and is an 8 or 9 digit number string.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Screw that. Heck, he should patent that paint job and sell it to Toro for a special edition, I bet you couldn't keep them in stock at the depot! Capital C on Cool for that one....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:08AM
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"Or you could buy a 3k machine and follow the maintenance instructions in the manual and keep it for 20 years saving 1k over buying a cheapie 1k machine and buying new every 5 years"

Spending $3K today is actually a lot more money than spending $1K every 5 years for 20 years. Yes, $4K is more than $3K, but you're forgetting inflation, the time-value of money, interest rates, etc.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 10:47PM
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You are forgetting the PITA of having to put up with 4 tractors going through their "end-of-life". What is it worth to have a machine that works every time you go to use it?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 5:16AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

Ain't that the troof! I'm about to replace one or both of my nearing end of life beasts with a new JD. Tired of replacing starters, tires, rebuilding carbs, oil leaks, etc. At least for awhile I'll be free!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 3:21PM
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Ok 2007 question. It's 2014 and here's pic . 1986? YTV 16 . Two mowers

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:55PM
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Ok 2007 question. It's 2014 and here's pic . 1986? YTV 16 . Still workin. No exhaust, AND removal of sheet metalAround engine makes me want to mount it on a Air frame (FLY!!!)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:02AM
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Solution for not moving was simple, didn't realize topic then. Having Mo fun now APRIL 28 2014
OBAMA CHANGED PATENT LAWS. I invented LED Crystal , patent attorney ain't .. S_ _ _ ! Says I can't do..... also invented Gater grip (neighbor STOLE idea) patent attorney for individual WELCOME... lefeavers @ yahoo

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:11AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I am mowing 1.18 acres with an old 5212 Simplicity I got second hand. Does it count as CHEAP? Probably since it has no hours gauge it sounds like.

It has the deck that eats belts every other year. I used to stare at it or try to find what was broken then I just admitted it was easier to ebay two belts once and keep a second for when one breaks mid mow.

Besides that its ok. I've had to get the neighbor to help me weld on new tie rod ends. Probably need some carb work done since the idle has a surge but even though I have figured out how to defeat the seat safety, how often do I leave it idling?

Next thing I need is a fuel cap/gauge. Mine has lost the foggy plastic cover and wants to squirt gas at me if I turn too aggressively.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 12:15AM
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I bought a Craftsman Professional #917.28870 24hp 42" back in '09(I liked the all Black w/Yellow push bumper). I can't remember the price, I think it was under $2K. Its been trouble free since day one, it has almost 500 hrs on it. We have long summers here in Alaska & I use it to push snow all winter long. I don't take it easy on the machine, I use it all summer besides mowing. The only thing I wish this little lawn tractor had was a tad more weight to it, especially in the rear. I'm surprised its held together since the Craftsman brand no longer means quality products. I no longer purchase their battery powered drills ect.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:22PM
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I have 2 that are at least 10 years old both BS engines one 12.5 flat head weedeater 38 inch. other 17 hp troybilt bronco model 609 with 195 hours. The Weedeater 12.5 is an monster of a rider tough as nails. The Troybilt runs good just has issues with variable speed at times.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:22PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)

I have had a few Sears and Massey Ferguson mowers. I can see where the cheap ones scrimp on the build: steering bearings, suspension and sheet metal.

If you have a normal to medium sized lot and do regular maintenance they'll last 10 years or so. Rag them out maybe they will last years less.

It has been the transmissions, both hydro and not, that broke on me. (My neighbor and I drag a Cyclone Leaf Rake in the fall with my Sears LT so it takes a beating).

Everyone is right about the repairs, a $400-$500 trans into a 10 year old Sears $1200 tractor doesn't make much sense to most.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:05PM
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GW otta rename this thread " tractors bought by cheapskates"...
If you want a hefty garden tractor with ground engagement capabilities, buy and pay for such. If you want a light duty inexpensive rider just to cut grass, then buy that. But don't buy the cheapest thing on wheels and then whine about it not holding up for generations doing heavy duty work... sheesh.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Wow. Seven years of fun. The theory would be that if someone were to have bought a LT on the day this thread was started, that by this time- they would have shopped for a new one by now. Last I heard, 7 years is the average life expectancy on L&G equipment.
I'm not so sure that I buy the cheapskates belief here though, Not to butt heads w/ rcbe- everyone has different priorities, The dollar for some, goes only so far. Then I've worked on Murrays owned by millionaires and 7 series owned by those scraping to get by. I know a couple who buys 2 new LTs at a time rather than a heavy duty GT to mow their 4 + acres just so they can enjoy the time together. This time matching D Series. Ain't love grand....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:21AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I don't come this way often but you'd think that sometime since the last two administrations I would have known it!

Does my 1989ish Simplicity 5212 count as cheap? My realestate agent gave it to me back in '02 with a bad pulley in the deck. I've had to get a couple tie rod pieces welded back together and you should see the bolts I ran down this one lever to get it to hold in place. Besides that I have bought a battery and a belt for every finger I have for it.

Oh, and I put some LED lights on the top so I can mow after dark. Darned day schedule sucks for homeowners.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:13PM
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