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Old Garden Tractor Vs New Garden Tractor

john deere

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#1 MuttonPower OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 02:30 PM

It seems there are less and less new garden tractors being sold these days but plenty of old ones out there. Are the Deere models form the 80's and 90's a living up to their expectation or are new garden tractors just too much money? If you do buy new is it worth trading the old one in or keeping it?


What do y'all think?

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#2 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  


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Posted May 10, 2014 - 02:52 PM

How often do you need a new gt?! Most of us private users only need one or two all your lifetime - many of us have more than one while we are collecting this machines or for fun or...


When you've bought a gt in the former years, it was as expensive as a new one today.


And what's the worth of a machine? It's the money, that someone will pay for it.

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 03:13 PM

Were mostly about using the old machines, but there's nothing wrong with having a new one if you can afford one I have seen them in the 2,000 range ouch welcome aboard enjoy the site

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#4 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 03:14 PM

I play with the older GTs because they were built to last and cost alot less. I am fortunate that I can repair them myself. I am not impressed with the quality of the new stuff. I'd rather have $500 and 100 hours invested in one of my old GTs than a new one.


You need to look at what you want, what you need to do, and what you can do yourself. Its a great hobby with alot of nice people here. Look around here for awhile before you form your opinion. Good Luck, Rick

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#5 Kentucky OFFLINE  

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 03:18 PM

I have a hard time paying for a new GT because well they are still a garden tractor.That and I like old equipment.Many are close to $6K and several can run you north of $10K..Thats big money. Just to be honest, if I pay $10K for a tractor it will have 50 HP at the PTO and pull a mighty big hog and several 16's..Thats used of course but you can get a really nice FIL equipped farm tractor for what you would pay for a JD X700 series..

 I love GT's. They are handy as all get out but Ill save the big money for big equipment.

Edited by Kentucky, May 10, 2014 - 03:21 PM.

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Posted May 10, 2014 - 03:36 PM

There are still some nice true garden tractors out there but as you say they cost a bunch.
if you can do your own mechanical work the older model will serve you well for much less.
For the guy who does not do his own work, the new machines are a wiser buy.
Nothing wrong with either approch.

From my point of view if I were buying a new machine to use on my 9 acres, it would be a Cut or Scut thy in my opinion are todays Super Gt.s and there is little difference in price for equally equipped Super GTs and a SCUT.
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#7 MuttonPower OFFLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2014 - 08:29 AM

Thanks for the insite guys. There seems to be a lot of people with a passion for this equipment and just like most things...they don't make them like they used to.

#8 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2014 - 08:31 AM

If you compare prices with inflation from what things cost in the 60's / 70's to todays models, the prices are just about the same.

With the state of the economy a lot of Lawn and Garden dealers I talk with all say people are starting to buy used instead of new. The quality of the Garden tractors  made back then are much better than what we have today and a lot of people don't have $10,000 to shell out all at once. I think at this time more people are going for spending a few hundred here and there just fixing up that old machine.


All I can say is I'm glad the last generation shelled out the big bucks for these machines because we wouldn't have any to use today!

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#9 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  


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Posted May 12, 2014 - 10:58 PM

My biggest problem with the newer GTs is that most of them have computers in them.  Troubleshooting them usually means hooking up another specialized computer to the onboard computer.

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#10 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 13, 2014 - 06:10 AM

People appreciate the quality of the 60's-90's garden tractors, and the prices are starting to reflect it.

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#11 js5020 OFFLINE  



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Posted May 15, 2014 - 08:31 PM

Im likely the odd man out but anymore I prefer new, Im tired of the hunt for machines/attachments that aren't totally spent.  The X300R is the best machine I have ever owned for lawn mowing hands down.  Most of my other equip is 30yrs old now and its getting time to upgrade, an X5/X7/ or series 1 is in the near future and all of the old with the possible exception of a Gravely walkbehind is going to get relocated.

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#12 A.C.T. OFFLINE  


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Posted June 06, 2014 - 11:44 PM

I enjoy GT's that are new and old. Each has its purpose and can be enjoyed for many years. I mow the yard with a 40 year old John Deere as well as my fairly new X540. I just like seat time!

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#13 cherokee140 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2014 - 09:46 AM

I agree the machines seem inexpensive but most people look at them using todays dollars.  I remember my Father in Law telling me when he bought his Sears SS 16 (I still have that machine and want to fix it up) that he made payments on that machine.  It was a very expensive unit back in the day.


Now if you are asking if todays Sears tractors will be around 40 years from now.....I don't think so.  Sure one here and there, but for the most part things are built as disposable.  Replace and not repair is our motto today as a culture. 


Poster JS5020 has hit the nail on the head for me anyway.


I have old tractors laying around that just don't run.  JD318, Sears SS16, Ford YT-16.  Why have they sat?  I have been working on classic cars, but now as I get older and with medical issues, I can't wrench on the cars like I once did.  I got the little Ford tractor and it brought back the memories as to why I liked the older cars in the first place.  Now I just want my cars to be easy to drive and get me there in comfort.  I bet that the lawn tractors will be the same, I will just want them to work and not want to tinker with them.  But I have a new Kubota BX25D with a 60" mower deck and I am sure that is going to see me to the end of my days....and hopefully will live on to my kids days....just like the SS16 has lived on from my FIL to my day.

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#14 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted July 19, 2014 - 11:04 PM

The older ones made honest horse power, my 9hp cast iron block B&S in my 1964 Landlord will run circles around some of the 23+hp lawn tractors that 2-5 grand will get you, and I can do way more, like turn my garden with a 10" moldboard plow, run  a 36" wide rototiller or same width snow thrower. This new stuff, you pull the engine just a few rpm off 3600 and the torque goes way down.  Carbs are sealed, non adjustable and set very lean to meet goverment emission standards. If your able or can find one already refreshed/restored. One is much better off with an older garden tractor, of any brand that you may like, be it JD, IH Cub Cadet, Simplicity/Allis Chalmers ect.  With ebay and the net, even obsolete parts are usualy not more than a click or wanted post away.  The trick is to buy the most complete tractor you can, options like rear lift hitch/3 point, factory lights ect can add up very fast or be priced higher than the whole tractor cost when they do show up for sale.  Like a 3 point hitch for the Simplicity Sunstar tractor.  Some brands are cheaper to outfit than others, Simplicity/Allis Chalmers and Wheelhorse have been cheaper IMHO to find attachments and parts for.  And you really cannot beat the cut qualitly out of a good running Simplicity with the ground following mower deck.   Cheers Mike

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#15 Ranger2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2014 - 07:08 AM

It seems there are less and less new garden tractors being sold these days but plenty of old ones out there. Are the Deere models form the 80's and 90's a living up to their expectation or are new garden tractors just too much money? If you do buy new is it worth trading the old one in or keeping it?


What do y'all think?

Hi There MuttonPower. You may have seen the thread that I started about building me a tractor from scratch and if you have, you might be interested to know that you might have changed my mind.

I just saw the ad you have attached to this post and was wondering where you live at. For what you are asking for some of the ones you have listed, all I could get around here would pretty much be junk. I forget now even what make it was but the last one that you listed says it has a six speed gear transmission. Does it have a transmission and a separate read end or is it actually a transaxle?

I am wondering how well it would fare if I removed the mower deck and then swapped the drive pulleys so that it would be geared about half of what it is now and put larger tractor lugged tires on it. I mean as far as the transmission and rear end holding up to the stress.

By gearing it different, I mean let's just say it now has a 4" drive pulley on the engine that drives a 8" pulley. I would go with something more like a 3" drive pulley and a 12" driven pulley. That would in effect change the ratio to the wheels exactly 2:1, but then the larger tires would take some of that back away from it, which would leave it with about a 1.5:1 ratio, which in essence would allow the 15 H. P. machine to do the work of a 22.5 H. P. machine, albeit at about 2/3 the speed.

I have no idea if you are following me here because I don't think I even understand what the hell I just said myself.

What it boils down to is that I want a small tractor that will last and that is why I wanted to build one with an automobile rear end and transmission to start with, but you have me wondering now.

Does the rear end in this machine have a top or front pinion gear, or shaft, or whatever the case may be?

Thanks for the time.





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