Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

- - - - -

Reproduction Parts - Your Thoughts?

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,730 Thanks
  • 2,603 posts

Posted February 25, 2013 - 10:11 PM

Recently I was on ebay, and just searching around for various John Deere parts, and I just can't believe the amount of reproduction parts being made. Stuff that should be fun trying to find, is now being reproduced in quantites that make them not so rare anymore. Let's take a John Deere integral hitch set up for instance. You had to search for possibly years to find one, and when you did come across one, you had to pay anywhere between $100-$200 for the complete set up. Well, now I see they are being reproduced, almost identically, and selling for the same price range as an original. At first when I heard hard to find items were going to be reproduced, I didn't think the idea would be so bad, but now, I think it will really hurt the value of the oringinal pieces. These people are reproducing these items so good, that you can't hardly tell the difference between the repoduction part from the original. 


So I ask you, how do you guys feel about reproduction parts? I only have original parts on my tractors, and haven't brought myself to the point of buying reproduction parts. Is this wrong? Am I getting too anal about this? I figure if I'm going to spend the money in buying a certain hard to find part, I might as well spend a couple extra dollars to get the original, right? Do you feel your tractor's value goes down if it has hard to detect reproduction parts on it? Are you willing to skip the fine details just to finish a project? Are you the type of person that would try and pass off a reproduction part as an original, or would you be honest enough to let your buyer know that he isn't getting a completely original tractor?


When I first started collecting tractors back in 1989, I found great joy in searching for and finding something rare. I never would have imagined that I would have the collection that I have today, and believe me, it took a lot of hard searching, bidding, and sometimes, a lot of disappointments. However, they are all original, or have original parts put back on them that were missing. It was fun and well worth the patience. But when I look at the inventory of reproduction parts and pieces available today, I just can't help but feel like I've been robbed. The value of my collection just doesn't seem to have the same zest that it once had.


I'm not knocking down the guys out there that are reproducing parts, so please don't get hard feelings or send me a personal message. I'm just wondering who will make the final decision of knowing when enough is enough, and realize that you are hurting the value of the rare parts. You can't keep reproducing the hard to find parts, because it's really taking the joy out of us serious collector trying to find them!

  • MAV, Alc, backwoods and 2 others have said thanks

#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


    Squeaky Wheel

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1792
  • 4,717 Thanks
  • 7,423 posts
  • Location: West Virginia

Posted February 25, 2013 - 10:21 PM

Well Troy. I like the idea of reproduction parts to the extent of... if it is a special bolt that is a wearing part. Or for instance, on a Springfield I would not care to use reproduction fiberglass parts. It isn't so much about the originals as it is preserving the tractor. The difference is if you have a rare tractor and it takes you years to find even one good piece of fiberglass to reproduce because of all the damage over the years. It is most fun to find the original parts though, especially if they are steel. If a part doesn't exist and it is made by the owner than that adds to the tractor's history. Sometimes even having the original isn't as fun as making a suitable replacement... yourself... from scratch. I would not ever pass off any reproduction parts as new, just isn't right.

  • Alc, johndeereelfman and larryd have said thanks

#3 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,730 Thanks
  • 2,603 posts

Posted February 25, 2013 - 10:44 PM


I understand what you're saying, and frankly I don't disagree with you. Making a special hard to find part of your own is rather an enjoyable fullfillment. Or after searching for many years, and having to settle on buying a reproducting part just to finish a restoration, I get that as well. I just think, that if guys who are reproducing these hard to find parts, just limit the quantity that they make then call it quits. Some of these guys are reproducing some "rare" parts, and they are producing them in quantities that are pretty much making them available anytime you need them. So now, just how "rare" are these parts anymore? This is what is getting me all fired up! :mad2:


For us guys that have a lot of original parts laying around, hoping to make some good money off of, are now seeing people settling for reproduction parts, just because they look identical and are a little cheaper. Are we as collectors going to settle for reproduction parts taking the value away from our original parts that we have been holding onto for years?

  • Alc, boyscout862 and larryd have said thanks

#4 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 9454
  • 1,368 Thanks
  • 1,811 posts
  • Location: Boston,Massachusetts

Posted February 25, 2013 - 11:04 PM

Like other stuff, 'it takes all kinds...' Full disclosure to a buyer is the way it 'should be', they can choose from there. The repro option works fine for some but will never be just right for others. When you've got your pride and integrity in what you do, follow your heart. IMO

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, sacsr and 2 others have said thanks

#5 Moosetales OFFLINE  


    Always learning something!

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8172
  • 1,089 Thanks
  • 1,284 posts
  • Location: Winthrop, ME

Posted February 25, 2013 - 11:05 PM



(Before I weigh in....how was Daytona? You did go to Daytona, right or was it a different race you posted about getting an invite to?)


I'm on the fence about this topic. I wouldn't call myself a collector as much as I would classify myself as a fan of vintage tractors. Every tractor in my heard must pull it's weight around my property or else it's just not practical for me to have them. I don't have the cash or the time to collect....wish I did.....but nonetheless I'm a fan of all makes and models. Regarding parts, I too enjoy the hunt and the "kill" when finding something that you've been looking a long time for. I think for my it all comes down to functionality and quality. I've purchased four vintage tractors thus far in my short GT life and all were made to last. If I'm going to buy a reproduction part it's gotta be as good a quality product as the original and fit nicely with the original parts. The way I look at it, over time the reproduction becomes an integral part of my tractor and it's the memories and work I'm able to perform that matter to me. Would I pass a reproduction off as an original? No way, I would however talk up the quality of the part(s) if it had served me well.


Great topic, thanks for posting.

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, sacsr and 2 others have said thanks

#6 IamSherwood OFFLINE  


    Elf guardian

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2066
  • 8,395 Thanks
  • 7,697 posts
  • Location: Northern Ontario

Posted February 26, 2013 - 01:07 AM

I haven't really given this a whole lot of thought yet, but my first

thought is that, maybe it's time to start using the term "numbers matching"

when describing a part or tractor.

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, sacsr and 2 others have said thanks

#7 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 6000
  • 451 Thanks
  • 522 posts
  • Location: North east Tenessee

Posted February 26, 2013 - 01:31 AM

I'm on both sides of this one......

I used to do car restorations. And in his day, my Dad used to work on antique cars for a few guys. Some had to have OEM parts. I remember having cars waiting for MONTHS while parts were tracked down, and brought in. It made the cost of restoration skyrocket at times.

Other guys were more into riding and using their cars, and were willing to use repro's as long as they looked "right". Because of metalurgy, markings, and paint/finish, you could USUALLY tell repos from "real" if you looked close and knew about the original parts....

Depends on which "type of person" you are.....

I DON'T think it is right to misrepresent repo parts as original though!

Personally, I don't have a problem using repro's on my stuff - but I don't have any "trailer queens" (not that there is anything wrong with that - just not me.... I use/break/scratch stuff up...)

If it allows everyday people to resurect "runners" and get involved in the hobby at a reasonable price, I'm ok with it. As long as eveyone realizes what they do and DONT have. There will always be collectors who are willing to take the extra time and effort to do the 90-100 point restores. But not everyone wants or needs that level of authenticity..

Also, sometimes the repro parts are BETTER built than OEM stuff. For example, early MG's(British cars) were made out of non-galvanized metal. Therefore, the unibody "frames" (the underbody sills) ALWAYS rusted out eventually. IF you welded in OEM sills for the repair, they would rust out again eventually. Repros were usually made out of galvanized metal though, and had a longer life in the car. Same thing with Lucas electrics in the cars - aftermarket modern design stuff was ALWAYS better than OEM for a reliable car...
  • Alc, johndeereelfman, boyscout862 and 1 other said thanks

#8 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 5032
  • 3,908 Thanks
  • 3,411 posts
  • Location: Gardner, Massachusetts!

Posted February 26, 2013 - 05:53 AM

Personally I don't mind ! It helps the average Joe out of a bind .
Basically its all about $$$ and greed! Of which I hate both!! I would rather barter and make a deal than pay some " hoarder big bucks for a rare part.
I for see JD loosing its $ appeal sooner now too. As they are scuttling them selves from the inside out by killing off all the mom and pop stores and their network of "Nos parts stores" in these mom and pop shops! Good luck getting anything other than filters for your old 318's and such ... the handwriting is on the walls..

Now for the restoring guys it can become a good thing, and possibly bad too . Good thing.. makes the market prices drop in most cases, bad thing, is counterfeit parts for their " museum restore" but those guys are rare com paired to us " users" that want function rather than authentication.
  • Alc, johndeereelfman, boyscout862 and 1 other said thanks

#9 Alc ONLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1094
  • 7,112 Thanks
  • 7,527 posts
  • Location: Bangor Pa

Posted February 26, 2013 - 06:23 AM

Troy  I  understand  you , I can relate  it to a street rod a friends fil  built about 15+  years ago . He built a beautiful  33 Ford   ( I bet you and him  would get along great lol )  the detail he went to on this car was fantastic . At the local cruise nights it really turned heads . He took it to York Pa to the street rod nationals  the first couple of years it was fun for him then towards the end you would walk down rows of cars and it would seem ever other car was a 33 Ford and half  painted red . It went from being special to just one of many .

  • johndeereelfman, boyscout862 and larryd have said thanks

#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8923
  • 13,430 Thanks
  • 9,379 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted February 26, 2013 - 07:00 AM

I see this topic having two levels. Honest vs popular and Purist vs user. Most of the people on this site are honest and have a conscience that is not the case for many sellers out there. Unfortunately we can't do anything about the dishonest people, after all there seems to be a majority of them incharge.


 Some Purists do meticulous restorations for their trailer queens and some owners just fix them enough for using. I try for some of both. For the restoration I want original parts new or rebuilt. For my user tractors I just want it too work. As I saw with muscle cars and guns, the reproduction parts actually made the hobby more popular and then the competition for the most original developed. This made nos parts extremely valuable. In 85, I spent $300 for parts anticipating to restore my 55 Chevy 3600. Last I looked, they are worth 10 times that now. I still haven't gotten to do the restoration. I think that in the long run the aftermarket parts will be good for everyone involved in the hobby. Good Luck, Rick

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, Moosetales and 1 other said thanks

#11 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 15,273 Thanks
  • 18,230 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted February 26, 2013 - 07:30 AM

I have to say I agree with Troy.

I'm all for keeping things as close to factory as possible and using original parts if available.

I do have a  problem with people selling stuff they know is a knockoff and sell it as an "Original Part" and Do believe the seller is obligated to inform their customer that a part is a reproduction.


I am ok with aftermarket/ Reproduction "wear" parts such as Belts,blades bearings, Seals , brake/ clutch linings Filters ect. Things of that nature.

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, boyscout862 and 1 other said thanks

#12 larryd OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 15865
  • 724 Thanks
  • 1,058 posts
  • Location: bella vista ar

Posted February 26, 2013 - 07:33 AM

I see both sides of this issue . I f I was a collector or had bought a GT that I thought would be a nice project just to restore because of what was I would try to hold out for the original parts. But if I bought it to restore to use as i am my JD314 then either would be fine as long quality was there . But when price of repro meets the price of oem then of course oem would be my choice.



  • Alc, johndeereelfman and boyscout862 have said thanks

#13 pwombles OFFLINE  


    New Member

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 7101
  • 201 Thanks
  • 220 posts
  • Location: Ursa,IL

Posted February 26, 2013 - 07:52 AM

I personally think it is an honor to see people reproducing parts for these older machines. I believe in the long run that it will encourage more people to enter the hobby if they know parts are available for their machine. This will lead to more machines being restored or at least used for everyday use. Less for the scrap-yard! I hate to see reproduction parts passed off as original. I agree totally with the quality issues associated with repro parts. I usually try to use original parts, but i also use repro parts too. Whatever it takes to get them going!

  • Alc, IamSherwood, johndeereelfman and 1 other said thanks

#14 superaben OFFLINE  


    Con Man

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 11204
  • 7,670 Thanks
  • 5,677 posts
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA

Posted February 26, 2013 - 10:15 AM

I'm sort of on the fence.  A lot of my business is NOS OEM parts, as well as salvage parts.  Every time somebody reproduces a part, you are right, the value of my NOS inventory drops.


However, someday, those NOS parts will be all gone.  There's a limited supply to support the thousands of engines and tractors out there.  Someday, we'll run out, and then...?


I think the antique tractor world is a good example of what we are looking at long term in the small equipment world.  To put it bluntly, finding NOS parts is next to impossible now for 90% of "wear" pieces and major restoration needs.  If the reproduction people weren't producing parts, restorations would be high dollar part hunts.  I can still get unusual NOS pieces, but things like coils, manifolds, seats, sediment bowl filters, mufflers, etc, would be impossible to find.  However, the repro guys have remade duplicates of those parts: I can get them reasonably and complete my project.


The same thing will happen at some point in the garden tractor world.  Finding important pieces that are commonly needed will become impossible.  Think about Clinton air filters!  When was the last time you saw one cheap enough to "grab one for the shelf?" 


We will need those reproduction guys then.


And there will still be NOS parts for those of us that want them, but I feel better about using my tractor when I know that I won't break something "irreplacably rare!"


I just think long term: repro guys ensure the parts will be still be available long after the NOS parts are all gone.  And our tractors will still be running.


Just my one cent...I'm not worth two!


Ben W.

  • Alc, johndeereelfman, Moosetales and 3 others have said thanks

#15 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,730 Thanks
  • 2,603 posts

Posted February 26, 2013 - 10:01 PM



I think some of you are misunderstanding my meaning here. When I say reproduction parts, I'm not referring to internal or external engine parts, belts, hoses, tires, or decals. I'm talking about most of the accessory items such as weights, hubcaps, hitch pieces, belt shields or guards, etc. The stuff that isn't meant to be reproduced. These are the items that need to stay original and hard to find.


I realize there are a lot of members here that collect tractors to use, and if they don't work or pull their weight, then they are gone. I also know there are members here that collect, restore and show only. I fall into the second catagory. I'm all for new members joining in on the fun of collecting, and sharing time with their son or dad buying, working, and selling these old machines. I guess it just rubs me the wrong way, when you work hard and spend a lot of good money on original old accessories, to make your tractor as original and as rare as possible, and find out at a show, that there is a tractor just like yours, with reproduction parts on it, and the owner didn't spend near the amount of money or time finding these parts, like you did. Believe it or not, it's almost easier for a collector to start collecting now, then it did say 10 years ago. Might not find the tractors at low prices, but you can deffinately find reproduction accessories a lot easier, and not pay half the amount.


I'll stop here, and won't say anymore about this subject. I keep getting mad the more I go on about it, then I can't sleep. I just wanted to see if anybody else felt this way, or if I'm just the anal one crying over spilled milk. 

  • Alc and boyscout862 have said thanks