Hi, I'm new here guys !
Here is the deal, hoping you guys can shed a little light on the subject. I own a lawn tractor now, a 2006 Cub Cadet LT1000. I really need something with more tranny, the rest of the machine is fine, has features I like and dislike but really the tranny isn't much of a unit. Last year at a dealer they had a left over Husquvaran GT with locking diff and fabricated deck for what I thought to be a good price. But here is what I want to know.
What locking tranny is the good one that Husquvarna uses. I have snow plowing and or blowing in mind and dragging a 300 or 400 lb roller around in the summer on level ground. Other than that, my driveway is a bit uphill and I have some rough terrain around but relatively level. I do go to my sons house and dethatch and do their first cutting of the season there. His lot is basically a hill. My Cadet is going to blow a tranny if I do all this with that even though it's just once per year or so ( other than snow, we get what we get with that). It already doesn't have the full speed it once had IMO.
And in the end, is a Husquvarna good at all for these duties ? I like that dealer because there are deck options there and I don't need a huge deck but it should be rugged. On the other hand, I don't want to end up with something like the JD X300 that has a weak tranny or another Lawn Tractor.
Hello tractorhead, welcome to GTT. You have found the best forum on the internet for old garden tractors. The most experience with no bs. High enthusiasm and no ego trips. A caring community and no flame wars or name-calling, everyone seems to get along and just wants to talk about old tractors and keep them running and working.
Having said that if you look at the husqvarna subforum there is only one page here on GTT. I think that is probably because Husky is a relatively new brand, ie 90s-up, and is now part of Sears, AYP, or some other huge conglomerate, with overseas parts, etc. Now I wouldn't ordinarily recommend another tractor forum than GTT but for your questions there are 52 pages of Husqvarna discussion over at another forum that is kind of like the Wal-Mart of tractor forums. Easy enough to find if you look on google. I am sure they will be able to answer your questions about locking differentials and which new Husky to pursue. You may need to filter through some bs over there but some people like it.
I've been the head vehicle ( mostly truck) mechanic for a major softdrink facility for 43 years. I've been working on new and old junk all my life. So that's the history of me mechanically. I also drag raced in the 70's, built u0p my own engines, weld etc. However, headed towards retirement now, I want one good tractor rugged enough to do what I want done. Turn the key it starts up. I don't really care if the Cub stays or goes, it can stay and cut the grass is fine or not but it is turn key already.
I can pick up a late 70's Sears GT, I believe 14 is the designation and I think it's a single cyclinder Techumsa. $500 with a plow. The question becomes to myself, do I want to rebuild a tractor ? It's been garaged, it runs but rough and also has no muffler so that isn't helping matters any with mixture ( no muffler as in rotted off at the threads). It's old, I'm sure the fuel system is balking at todays gas and probably the engine as well. Also, do I want a vibrating old one lunger ? The answer to all the above ? Mildly interested but at least I know it's rugged.
The unanswered question in my own mind, is the tranny in the new Husquvarna GT's any good ?
Again, you'll find a lot more owners of new Huskies at the "other" forum.
As for the late 70's Sears with Tecumseh, you'll find a lot of people who like them. $500 for one that runs rough is too much, $50 is more like it imo. Tech motors are getting hard to find parts for. If you can find a late 80's Craftsman 2, 18hp Briggs twin with the dual range 6 speed, that is generally a bulletproof transmission. They have snowblowers, plows, 44" decks, and use a lot of gas but run strong. I bought one for $450 with blower and deck, all in great shape, and got a lot of service out of it before downsizing to an older 12hp tractor "one lunger" for $250 that actually runs smoother and uses less fuel with plenty of power, but that's another story.
As for which machine to buy it really comes down to how the individual tractor was used and cared for. Being a mechanic for 43 years you probably don't want to have to work on your own garden tractor every weekend. Also like many of us here it sounds like you are getting older and may prefer electric or hydraulic lift over manual, if not now then maybe someday soon. Sears tractors are generally manual lift. Also as the knees get older many prefer a hydro trans, which were quite rugged in some older machines but maybe not so much in the new ones.
It also comes down to what is available near you, also in parts machines. If you want to buy something from a dealer and get dealer service, that is a big can of worms with what they now call "garden tractors," which are more like yesterday's "lawn tractors" in terms of ruggedness. Nowadays a "sub compact utility tractor" is what is available new that does the work of the old "garden tractors," and they cost a lot of money. It may seem like semantics but it is more like marketing hype and cutting corners that is the unfortunate new business model.
Ultimately I hope you find the right tractor for your needs and finances. Hope to see you around GTT with a tractor that the members here know a lot about but that depends on what you find... good luck