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Bolens Ride-a-Matic


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#16 gunstuff1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 07:36 PM

The Bolens ride-a-matic was the first garden tractor I ever bought and has always been a big part of my collecting career probably why I have around 30 of them to answer your question they actual started manufacture in 1955. Some 50 units were manufactured that year it's unclear exactly how the ID tag was marked on any of those units that exact tractor with only one slight modification starting in 1957 was actually made from 1955-1958. In 1957 Bolens introduced the super ride-a-matic which was equipped with a larger 6.6hp Kohler engine. You stated that it had a tiller attachment if your referring to the rotary tiller rear tine that would only work on a 1959-1962 ride-a-matic If the tractor has original paint still it would be a metallic green with the seat and wheels painted a light yellow those would be either 1959 or 1960. Starting in 1961 Bolens started painting their equipment a metallic gold and white so both the 1961 and 1962 would be painted that color again this is original colors it's quite often that you find them painted all different color combinations from previous ownership Pricing depends a lot on condition that's usually the biggest factor best advice don't let your emotions get the best of you I have feel into that trap before but if the tractor is decent shape and its something you feel comfortable with then make the guy a decent offer the worse he can so is no and you can go from there If you get the tractor and need any parts let me know I have boxes upon boxes of ride-a-matic parts
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#17 WrenchinOnIt ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 07:46 PM

Oliver 2-44 CERTAINLY & thoroughly scripted out in detail a format that any new-to-hobby and/or member could use , I would think he asked the right questions to the right people ( there is an outstanding amount of knowledge , information and experience here ) but....... pricing something out strikes a nerve, so be it. GTTalk encourages all to join when viewing site as a guest, so I agree ,good for you Hank G. for at least giving him some idea. As I view many of the posts ( as far back as it will allow) funny how members opinions have changed. I'm a rookie on this forum, but a long time Bolens collector and as all of us are, proud of my collection, no doubt overpaying for some things ( I am sure by others standards) but I agree with Ed ( Husky) if I want it and can afford it I'm buying it.

A collectors viewpoint should (IMO) center around the enjoyment it brings and the abilities it brings out in ones self as they turn the wrenches. HOORAH for buying low, being able to repair, refurbish, and restore as one chooses and( if needed )turn it over for a profit and move on and tackle your next one. A view that states everything should be worth pennies on the dollar can only mean ( again IMO) that there is a skewed ratio on " what's it worth" , supply and demand drives all markets , if you can't afford it someone else can and will. So.......... prices up good for seller , prices down good for collector , I hope some that so diehard low ball everthing , if they are the latter better hope they don't have to become the former !!!!

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, January 24, 2015 - 07:10 AM.

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#18 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 09:07 PM

Thanks for any guidance. I want to be offer the owner affair price, but not be taken for way more than it's worth. if I buy it, I will keep it and make it a show tractor or ride it in parades, etc.

 

Welcome to the forum.  I am glad you joined up... we're a nice group of folks on here (all excepting me according to some :smilewink:) but pricing is something that is very hard to do without seeing the tractor in person.  Also, we are afraid of people reading this thread in a year and deciding that since Ben said that a Ride-A-Matic is worth five grand, theirs is extra special and should really sell for eight. 

 

I don't know Ride-A-Matics (actually never owned one or even driven one) but I think all of us agree that a Ride-A-Matic has value.  But don't let yourself get burned.  You don't see them everyday, but don't spend $1500 on a rust bucket.  Buyers remorse is a sad thing when you can't get your cash back out of the machine later!. 

 

Giving a value to something we can't see is very hard, so guys, why don't we give our friend some ideas of what areas he should check on the machine for potential problems and then he can better know if he is looking at a real live diamond in the rough or just the rough.

 

As a tractor guy, I will personally share a few areas not specific to a Ride-A-Matic that I would be careful of.  A badly corroded fuel tank will eventually make you either line it with money to stop it up or buy a new one.  Which may or may not be cheap.  Tires are a big expense on any tractor.  Factor in at least $150 for a cheap set or double it if you really want to go all the way.  Spin the engine by hand and see how it feels.  If it seems to have low compression, you might get lucky and find a simple valve sticking.  Or you may strike out and find that you need to rebore it and rebuild it.  Whenever I feel low compression, I know a tear down is in order, and I try to factor in that cost (parts for the older motors will easily top $150 in a hurry to rebuild it plus your labor). 

 

Remember, any problem you find like that will need to be corrected, and that will run up the cost of the machine even after you buy it.  Use things like that as leverage in negotiating the deal, and it will pay you back literally later on!

 

Ben W.


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#19 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 09:53 PM

I agree with what Bolens 1000 is saying,thats why I said do your research and look at more than just a couple prices,and Jerome that's exactly my point,why would anyone want to join a forum if when he's new to the hobby can't get any info to go by,glad HANKG had the guts to help inform someone,would you rather see someone get hosed by paying to much because they couldn't get the info needed to make a good decession

 

 

Rick I like to think were friends.  I understand your point on helping people that are new and I very much am into helping when I can. But I will and will always be not for prices be stated. Why? look at Cats post.   I have Never posted what I payed for my stuff why because some I got cheap and other stuff I payed out my butt for.   I Craigslist 8 states look at ebay every night And search autionzip So I like to think I know a little about what sells for...  I have tryed to offer price ranges but I get bashed by people who think they know more or people trying to make there buyers remorse feel less painful.    Maybe some of these over the top prices posted in the forums are from people who got taken by someone they trusted and think was a good guy but only was looking to get money. Maybe Its people looking to jump prices so they can get more out of there tractors.  Who really knows? I know I will not drop $500 on a rusty tube frame but I would if it a nice tractor with 3 attachments.    Maybe we just need to just agree to disagree buy how we like sell how we like and get back to liking the hobby............   


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#20 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 09:55 PM

Oliver 2-44 Welcome to GTtalk could you post photos of the tractor so we can help you more? 


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#21 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 11:19 PM

Oliver 2-44 CERTAINLY & thoroughly scripted out in detail a format that any new-to-hobby and/or member could use , I would think he asked the right questions to the right people ( there is an outstanding amount of knowledge , information and experience here ) but....... pricing something out strikes a nerve, so be it. GTTalk encourages all to join when viewing site as a guest, so I agree ,good for you Hank G. for at least giving him some idea. As I view many of the posts ( as far back as it will allow) funny how members opinions have changed. I'm a rookie on this forum, but a long time Bolens collector and as all of us are, proud of my collection, no doubt overpaying for some things ( I am sure by others standards) but I agree with Ed ( Husky) if I want it and can afford it I'm buying it. A collectors viewpoint should (IMO) center around the enjoyment it brings and the abilities it brings out in ones self as they turn the wrenches. HOORAH for buying low, being able to repair, refurbish, and restore as one chooses and( if needed )turn it over for a profit and move on and tackle your next one. A view that states everything should be worth pennies on the dollar can only mean ( again IMO) that there is a skewed ratio on " what's it worth" , supply and demand drives all markets , if you can't afford it someone else can and will. So.......... prices up good for seller , prices down good for collector , I hope some that so diehard low ball everthing , if they are the latter better hope they don't have to become the former !!!!

Damn son you are singing my song well said I agree 100percent !

#22 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 11:24 PM

Jerome if you read my post,just what I stated, do some research,don't go by just one or two prices,I do say this,if I was brand new to the hobby I should would like to get some help on some ball park prices on whats fair,sure wouldn't do me any good to join a forum and not get any help,I agree its hard to give prices without seeing something,but a general idea should would be some help,I do consider everyone here a friend,and yes we may disagree,but I think the idea of having a forum is to give ALL help when they ask,

Edited by blackjackjakexxix, January 23, 2015 - 11:27 PM.

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#23 Oliver 2-44 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 23, 2015 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for all the comments. I apologize if i misstep-ed asking about price. However, I am trying to do my homework, and this is one of several places I am trying to learn from. I especially appreciate any additional comments about things to look for on the missing or hard to repair area.  Ii realize my not knowing the exact year and model till I see it makes commenting difficult. 

 

Thanks again and may their always be grease under your fingernails. 


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#24 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2015 - 10:38 AM

Don't feel that you messed up,thats why you came here and joined,there's never a silly question,good luck on your finds,this has always been a touchy subject,don't hesitate to pm any of us if you need advise or our thoughts
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#25 WrenchinOnIt ONLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2015 - 12:25 PM

Rick I like to think were friends. I understand your point on helping people........... Maybe we just need to just agree to disagree buy how we like sell how we like and get back to liking the hobby............

Hey the golden rule of any lively debate "agree to disagree " and remain friendly, speaks volumes of one's character , good for you


Edited by WrenchinOnIt, January 24, 2015 - 12:26 PM.

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#26 Oliver 2-44 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2015 - 05:53 PM

Well after some delay I finally got to go look at my co-workers uncles Bolens ride a matic tractor. it is a 1962 model in very poor condition, yet he wanted $500 for the tractor, tiller and mower deck. Everything is rusted/seized and there is a lot of metal loss on the seat and rear axle brackets. The mower deck has several holes rusted in it. The tiller was probable in the best condition of it all, but not anything great.  It's a neat old tractor, but I had to pass it up for now (which has hard to do). I left my phone number if he changes his mind a lot on price.

 

Do any parts, from the earlier Ride-A-Matic models  fit on this 62 mode? To restore this one, lt seems like I would be looking for a lot of parts, actually a second  chassis with out an engine or transaxle would be helpful. While I'm fairly new to the garden tractor hobby I seem to have a soft spot for basket cases if you look at all the furniture I've redone!

Since the 1962 style was only used one year is it something rare that I should reconsider.? I have to admit I would like to have a late 50's or early 60's tractor, I'm just not set on any one brand yet!

 

1962 Bolens front.JPG

Attached File  1962 bolens left rear fender and rear lift.MOV   15.9MB   7 downloads

1962 Bolens left side front.JPG

1962 Bolens left side rear.JPG

1962 Bolens steering wheel and dash.JPG

1962 Bolens tiller mower deck drive shaft.JPG

1962 Bolens tiller.JPG

1962 Bolens tractor rear and rear hitch.JPG

 

PS I'm not in to this hobby just to buy and resell, I can honestly say I haven't sold anything yet!  But since this is in poor condition if I could get the price down is there enough demand for parts that I could sell some of the good parts to support my current tractor projects - rebuilding the two 1970's vintage Wheelhorse tractors I'm currently working on?


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#27 gunstuff1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2015 - 06:03 PM

I would say you did good to walk away. From the pictures I would say it is in rough shape and a huge project to undertake The tiller is worth some money but if it's locked up then I wouldn't bother with it The tractor is missing the belt guards which is another big negative and the guards don't interchange from 61 to 62 $500 is just way off the mark in my opinion I have dealt in these ride-a-matics for awhile now honestly this is the least desirable of all the ride-a-matics with most people I actually like this model it has some character
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#28 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2015 - 06:13 PM

I would say you did good to walk away. From the pictures I would say it is in rough shape and a huge project to undertake The tiller is worth some money but if it's locked up then I wouldn't bother with it The tractor is missing the belt guards which is another big negative and the guards don't interchange from 61 to 62 $500 is just way off the mark in my opinion I have dealt in these ride-a-matics for awhile now honestly this is the least desirable of all the ride-a-matics with most people I actually like this model it has some character

 

Same as what I was thinking.


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#29 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2015 - 08:11 PM

I agree with the others, looks like a Nightmare and I have tackled my fair share of rust bucket resto's to know your likely looking at thousands to bring her back to original operating shape!

good idea to walk away IMO

 

Always sad to see things this far gone, especially with the deck and tiller :(


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#30 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 11:50 AM

I am looking to buy a Ride a Matic at some point and have potentially been offered one. I see that the exhaust have been cut into the front and that the Kohler engine is possibly sourced from a WheelHorse. I welcome your views on this example but please keep it constructive as the seller may be a member of this forum. Thanks.

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