I'm looking for someone who knows their RJ's, and hoping they might be able to tell me what model and year RJ I have. I thought it was an RJ-58, but after viewing the one listed for sale by retrj6, now I'm not so sure. I'm a John Deere collector, so this Wheel Horse is out of my realm of experience.
To give a little history, I bought the tractor a couple of years ago for $25.00. The seller called me telling me he had an old John Deere garden tractor with clam shell fenders, and would like to sell it. So, I made the trip over to his place, only to find out that it is a Wheel Horse painted with John Deere green and yellow paint. I explained to the seller that it's not a John Deere, as it has Wheel Horse across the front of the grille, and that I'm really not interested in it. He asked if I would take it off of his hands, as he doesn't want it sitting around any longer. It was stored high up on a metal shelf in his warehouse, and hasn't been run for years. When he told me $25.00, I figured I'll buy it for my son, Ryan James, as he'll appreciate having a tractor with his initials.
After getting it home, the first thing I did was contact a guy I met at a local tractor show who collected these old tractors, and explained to him what I had. I remember him asking me all kinds of questions about the front axle, the transmission, the hood/grille assembly, and the lifting parts. I basically gave him yes and no answers to each of his questions, and he told me it was a standard RJ-58, and if I wanted to sell it, he'd give me $200.00 for it, site unseen. I told him I wanted to keep it for now, and the guy's attitude seemed to get a little irritated, and appeared as though he didn't want to talk to me anymore. I thought it was a little odd for a guy to want to buy a tractor for $200.00 without seeing it first, but oh well. Especially for a standard tractor like he claimed it to be.
Anyway, back to the tractor. After viewing the RJ-58 tractor that is listed for sale, I took notice that my RJ doesn't have the arched, ratchet type lifting assembly. Mine is either all the way down or all the way up. There isn't any in-between settings. Everything else though, appears to be the same. I have the same muffler shield, the same transmission belt guard, the same solid piece hood/grille design, the straight front axle, the fenders and toolbox, the mower deck, and the same K-90 4hp Kohler motor. I was told the serial number decal would be mounted to the frame, just behind the hood flange on the left side of the tractor, and after checking, I found nothing. Again, the tractor was painted green and yellow. The tractor has since been completely taken apart, shortly after I brought it home that day, but I'm looking to restore it next Spring, so I want to be sure what I have before I get started.
Can anybody out there help me in determining the model and year of this tractor? If you need more information, just ask away. I think I remember enough about the tractor to answer you, and if not, I'll go out in the garage to find out.