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B80 For Mowing?


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#1 dustnrust OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 04:59 PM

I suddenly find the need to have to cut about 2 acres of rough grass, its part of a land usage agreement I made. At the present time I've got nothing to cut grass with other than a push mower. I need something with a big deck that's cheap and can cut grass. its not manicured lawn, just green weeds out front and around the buildings.

 

I looked at a late 70's Wheel Horse B80 with a newer 12hp Kohler installed and what appears to be a newer deck, but its been sitting since 2010 and at the very least will need a battery. The guy wants $500 for it but its complete and the motor and deck appear near new.

The machine overall is OK, not great but functional. Paint is fair, tires are good and it looks like it was in regular service before the guy decided to hire a lawn service for health reasons, (He's 83).

Its been stored indoors since new and pretty much dealer serviced. He has receipts from 2009 from the new motor from a dealer for the motor and install for $940 and another for a 48" deck from 1999 for $565.

 

What do these normally sell for? WH isn't common here these days and there's not much to compare to. Most that I see for sale are much newer or total basket cases.

Its more than I intended to spend but I figure maybe it might be good for more than just mowing the grass?

 

 

 



#2 Marty'70 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 06:05 PM

IMO that should do you fine and at what sounds like a heck of a deal.



#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 06:09 PM

Have you examined it closely for things like compression in the engine, leaking of the transaxle, and the ability to turn the deck spindles? Check the oil and the dip stick. If the dip stick is pitted or discolored it means that it sat along time in old oil. Old oil is slightly acidic. If everything looks good you may have a good deal on your hands. I would check the engine for its model number. I have an A80 and its 8hp. The 8hp is good on a regular lawn but bogs down on heavy stuff. Good Luck, Rick



#4 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 06:58 PM

Have you examined it closely for things like compression in the engine, leaking of the transaxle, and the ability to turn the deck spindles? Check the oil and the dip stick. If the dip stick is pitted or discolored it means that it sat along time in old oil. Old oil is slightly acidic. If everything looks good you may have a good deal on your hands. I would check the engine for its model number. I have an A80 and its 8hp. The 8hp is good on a regular lawn but bogs down on heavy stuff. Good Luck, Rick

His post says, "I looked at a late 70's Wheel Horse B80 with a newer 12hp Kohler"


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#5 Tankman OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 07:21 PM

Sounds like it'll work for you but, I would be cautious. I don't know if a "B" is meant to maintain 2-acres of rough grass/weed although after the 1st mow. Mow frequently and enjoy the ride.

 

I myself would look 'round a bit thinking a 300 or 400 series, 12 hp Kohler with a 48" deck. :thumbs:


Edited by Tankman, May 22, 2013 - 07:22 PM.


#6 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 07:24 PM

Love my B80's for driving, haven't got the mower going yet. They ARE just little mowers at 36", unless he went bigger to 42" like the 100 series has. The engine should be plenty strong enough. Wheels are pretty good size, but really a bigger tractor for rough cutting might be in order if it is Real rough. If just long grass, after a few mows should go better. I would mow couple times with deck all the way up high for starters and maybe keep it higher than a lawn would normally need.


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#7 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 07:45 PM

I have an Electro12 w/ a 12 hp engine and a 48" deck. It mows just fine, unless you let the grass and weeds get away from you. Then you need to mow twice. A B mows just as well as a C. The only difference is cosmetics; acigarette lighter and headlights and such.

 

The only thing that concerns me is some of the B80s had a shorter wheel base. Longer than the short models, shorter than the long ones. I am wondering how well the 48" deck fits on it. Do any of the tires rub?



#8 JimD OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 08:18 PM

I mowed the grass this evening with my B80, all 2 acres of it, with the original 8hp Kohler and a 36 inch deck. It handles it just fine. If the one you are looking at has a 12 hp Kohler and a 48 inch deck, it's a no brainer. If it's in good working order for 500 bucks buy it and use it for the next 40 or so years. Sometimes I wonder if people even finish reading a post before they start blathering on about something they know nothing about.


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#9 LYON222 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 08:43 PM

sounds like deal to me. ive cut grass the height of hay with a 10hp massey and it cut fine as long as i went slow enough. :thumbs:



#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted May 22, 2013 - 09:15 PM

His post says, "I looked at a late 70's Wheel Horse B80 with a newer 12hp Kohler"

I was questioning if it really is a 12 hp. A K181 has a 1" pto and  the 12 hp Kohlers that I have are 1 1/8" ptos. It wouldn't be the first time that someone has played a switcheroo. Good Luck, Rick



#11 dustnrust OFFLINE  

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Posted May 23, 2013 - 01:09 AM

The seller says the motor came from a C141? There's a sticker on the fan shroud that reads K321.
He said he sent the tractor and used motor to a dealer to be rebuilt and assembled. There are receipts for a huge list of parts and labor for the motor job, then another set of receipts or invoices for the deck replacement. The deck is wider than the wheels, its too wide to go in a pickup bed with the deck on. He said its a 48" cut and I highly doubt by how wide the thing is overall that its any less.

 

He's got the old motor, its an 8hp Kohler, still painted WH red with the clutch or pulleys all still attached. He said it runs fine but he had the motor replaced after upgrading to the bigger deck. The deck still looks pretty new with near perfect paint.
 

I'm not sure why I keep hearing that the B80 was a small machine? Its as big as any other garden tractor made back then. This one has 23x8.5-12 rear tires and 16x6.50-8 front tires. The way I see it, anything like this has got to be a far cry better than going to Home Depot or Lowed and dumping $800 -$1000 on a lump of sheet metal that'll end up in the scrap heap in a year or two. ( I tried a newer Sears at home a few years ago, got 4 months out of it before the deck got noisy and the trans locked up.)

 

This one is for cutting a field behind a shop and warehouse I'll be renting, its not a lawn, just a field with grass. The guy who was cutting it was using a Dixie Chopper but part of my getting the deal on rent was that I'll deal with keeping that all cut. The way I see it is that cutting that two or three times a month is well worth the grand I saved on rent per month.

It don't have to be pretty, it just needs to be kept down and cut. The ground is fairly smooth but the grass is mostly clover, crabgrass, and weeds. At one point it was used to keep horses. I'll probably just cut it down to near nothing twice a month, after all its not a matter of trying to keep it looking good, just a matter of keeping it within compliance with the local zoning laws.

When I say rough, I don't mean rough ground, its just that the area is littered with acorns, pine cones, twigs and other debris from the surrounding trees. Mowing there sounds like your running over rocks. I suppose the deck and blades will take a beating.

There's about 50 or so trees all around but with grass in between. The owner wants it kept from turning back into a wooded lot and I agree that keeping it down will help keep critters away from the building. The two adjacent lots actually come as part of the deal, I can do with them what I please just so they are kept clean and not left to grow out of control.  I even thought about plowing up one area and planting something worthwhile there. I'd certainly rather maintain a field of growing food than just weeds.

What it amounts to is several one acre lots between and behind the main buildings and warehouse.

 

My biggest concerns with the thing are how an older machine will deal with modern ethanol fuel and basic issues like all the tin belt guards on it. Its missing the knob that adjusts the deck belt, there's a pin through the shaft and the guy has a socket with a slot cut in it to turn that shaft.
The belts are newer, the steering has some play but most of it appears to be in the tie rods.
It don't have headlights, but I can add a pair pretty easy. It does fire up and run with a jump start and some carb cleaner shot into the air filter. I didn't try to run it on the fuel in the tank.

Its got 8 speeds, it appears to have some sort of dual range transaxle.

Sheet metal wise its perfect with no dents, just scratches and paint fade. Its faded to an orange/red color.

I plan to call the guy tomorrow to try and make a deal.



#12 LilysDad OFFLINE  

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Posted May 23, 2013 - 07:14 AM

My B80 is a 1975 and it has a 4 spd. It's wheel base is 2.5 inches shorter that a C series. In '76 the B80 went to an 8 spd and a longer wb.

 

If your engine is a K321 then it is a 14hp. If it is freshly rebuilt than I would say the tractor is worth the $500 for sure. (Everything else being up to par) The knob on the mule drive is no biggy. People run into stuff and break them.

 

Sounds like a great deal!!! Keep us posted.



#13 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted May 24, 2013 - 04:49 AM

I had a newer 48" deck on a B100 a while back and the front tires rubbed when turning a bit.

I ended up swapping the front rims out for a pair with a different offset from another brand machine.

The tractor handled the deck just fine otherwise.

Sold the whole thing for $850 on CL last year in fair original condition.

It took 30 lookers before I found a buyer with cash but that one paid my asking price.






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