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#1 Redbeardlawn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 06:45 PM

My name is Ryan and I'm new to the site. Started by saying the help I've received from the guys on this site is tremendous. I'm a young man and I hope to be as knowledgable as the people that have helped on here. Anyways...I just purchased my second garden tractor, first was Massey ferguson 12. The Massey was awesome. I bought it at an auction for $70. It came with mf plow, mf wheel weights, tire chains, deck attached and worked. I sold it to a man that had another and he wanted to restore. I made quick money but boy did I want to keep it. So my recent purchase of my second is a John Deere 314. I started a thread in the John Deere forum about my progress as I repair this thing. So with this thread I wanted to talk and get some advice about the future of this project. This is my first restoration of a garden tractor and it is something I have found to enjoy as I've gotten a little older. So my first thought was to put a little money in to make this tractor run, drive, and look good and then sell it for a nice profit. The more I continue on, the more I am getting attached to her though. I am like that with all my toys. So I guess I just look for some advice from people that may have more experience with this. Thanks
Ryan
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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 07:24 PM

Most of us here are addicted to tractors. Parting with them is hard. I have 80+ tractors and have been trying to cut down to under 30 but, interesting new ones keep coming along.

 

It sounds like you are trying to do this as a business. That is fine but most of us found there wasn't much money in it. If you can buy a good one cheap. Do the repairs and then turn around and sell it for a profit.  That is the way to make money but often the profit ends up less than minimum wage. Play with it abit before you sell it.

 

Restoring a GT is not a profitable endeavor. You will be lucky to get back what you paid for parts and materials. Often it will cost over $1000 to purchase and buy the parts for restoring a GT. The one I'm thinking of sold the deck for $300 and the GT for $450. He lost $250 and over 100 hours of time.

 

Most of us do this for the fun of it and keep what we have. You can make money but you have to be carefull  and lucky.  The intangible benefit to you will be the education you get from working on the tractors and dealing with the people in the business. The fun is the satisfaction of completing the project and using the tractor. If you take it to a show and it looks good, you will recieve compliments and questions(acknowledgement of your skill). Post pics and ask questions. We are all in this together.  Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, August 25, 2015 - 07:39 PM.

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#3 Bmerf ONLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 07:54 PM

Most of us here are addicted to tractors. Parting with them is hard. I have 80+ tractors and have been trying to cut down to under 30 but, interesting new ones keep coming along.

 

It sounds like you are trying to do this as a business. That is fine but most of us found there wasn't much money in it. If you can buy a good one cheap. Do the repairs and then turn around and sell it for a profit.  That is theway to make a little money but often the profit ends up less than minimum wage. Play with it abit before you sell it.

 

Restoring a GT is not a profitable endeavor. You will be lucky to get back what you paid for parts and materials. Often it will cost over $1000 to purchase and buy the parts for restoring a GT. The one I'm thinking of sold the deck for $300 and the GT for $450. He lost $250 and over 100 hours of time.

 

Most of us do this for the fun of it and keep what we have. You can make money but you have to be carefull  and lucky.  The intangible benefit to you will be the education you get from working on the tractors and dealing with the people in the business. The fun is the satisfaction of completing the project and using the tractor. If you take it to a show and it looks good, you will recieve compliments and questions(acknowledgement of your skill). Post pics and ask questions. We are all in this together.  Good Luck, Rick

 

Could not have said it better. Finding one cheap usually means lots of work and $. It is not out of the realm to invest over $1000 on a machine and not even have paint. Small parts, tires, straight metal all add up. Then there is the 'not enough' time factor. That is why I don't restore my machines to sell. All of my tractors are workers. For me it is the satisfaction of taking someone's junk, fixing it to use, and having fun along the way.  


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#4 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 08:04 PM

My name is Ryan and I'm new to the site. Started by saying the help I've received from the guys on this site is tremendous. I'm a young man and I hope to be as knowledgable as the people that have helped on here. Anyways...I just purchased my second garden tractor, first was Massey ferguson 12. The Massey was awesome. I bought it at an auction for $70. It came with mf plow, mf wheel weights, tire chains, deck attached and worked. I sold it to a man that had another and he wanted to restore. I made quick money but boy did I want to keep it. So my recent purchase of my second is a John Deere 314. I started a thread in the John Deere forum about my progress as I repair this thing. So with this thread I wanted to talk and get some advice about the future of this project. This is my first restoration of a garden tractor and it is something I have found to enjoy as I've gotten a little older. So my first thought was to put a little money in to make this tractor run, drive, and look good and then sell it for a nice profit. The more I continue on, the more I am getting attached to her though. I am like that with all my toys. So I guess I just look for some advice from people that may have more experience with this. Thanks
Ryan

Welcome Ryan and good luck in your endeavors!. I guess we're all a lot alike in the area of getting attached to our projects. I have no good advice to avoid that pitfall, but just enjoy the heck out of the process. To quote a line from an old Deep Purple song, " it's not the kill, it's the thrill of the chase...".   


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#5 bbuckler OFFLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 10:20 PM

I got a little over a $1000 in mine and haven't finished painting it or decals.


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#6 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted August 25, 2015 - 11:31 PM

I have never done a quite "factory" restore but have taken apart, painted, sandblasted and rebuilt a few over the years, and looking at it from the "business" aspect I lost my shirt every time. Even if I price it below others that "run and drive" but don't look as nice, everyone wants to beat it down to give a way level.

 

I currently have a Swisher 44" tow behind "trail mower" that I will be trying to sell once it is back reassembled; it is at the neighbor's 2 doors away for paint, currently in pieces. This one I paid to have blasted because my big compressor that can handle my blaster is down; so that is more $ "into" it,

usually I do my own blasting (I have a 100lb "pressure" pot, and not a tool-sale-in-grocery-store-parking-lot "special") and so in that case a little bit of Black beauty and time.

I saw one identical to it on Ebay last week with a listed price of $900 I never did look to see if it sold. And it was also in my home state too. Brand new they go for ~$1900, unless you are buying one in Cali (emissions BS) that version seems to be a couple hundred more.

In the spring/early summer I was seeing them on CL for $650-ish. Without totalling up what I have in it "exactly", just rough figures in the top of my head say I can let it go for less than that and still make a little bit. but going by past "investments" my guess is I will wind up with half that or less which will put me in the "red" (and not leftover paint from having totally repainted it either,LOL)

Like everyone else I picked it up thinking it was "such a deal". I have had it over a year and never touched it last year, other than to put it onto sawhorses and tarp it good.  I finally got going on it like a few weeks ago. I will have it up n running here this year but will probably hang onto it til next spring and then put it up for sale.

Some guys do make money on their stuff/ but my experience is that you could have a machine legitimately "worth" (hypothetical situation here, no particular machine in mind here) $1,000, you could list it for $50 (you'd be either crazy or desperate to do so) but even at that someone will come and offer you $10 thinking you'll happily take it.


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#7 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2015 - 07:18 AM

Rick is right on in his advise to you I have several tractors I have restored and have spent more than a thousand on each I enjoy bringing them to shows and watch the reactions of the people you cannot price that. I'm often asked if I want to sell them and have been offered the right money but no is always my answer. I love the ones I own and could never part with any of them .
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#8 Redbeardlawn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 26, 2015 - 08:35 AM

Thanks for the responses. I'm definitely not surprised by the response. In my heart I feel the same. It's a strong bond between man and machine at least for me it is. Right now I am a one man mowing/handyman/farm worker/junk collector. I still live with mom and dad so I hear plenty when I get home with a trailer full of new to me deals, only from mom though, dad collects too. So I guess at this point I look at everything as an investment, planning for my future. I think the way to make money with a gt is to buy cheap and sell right away or part it out. When you start to restore, it becomes about the build and the product rather than the profit. This 314 might just become my first gt in my collection. Might even be able to get her to steam o Rama and putt around for a little, always wanted to do that at a show. What are some of your first GTs? And do you will have them?
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#9 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2015 - 11:16 AM

I would differentiate what we do into a couple categories:

The full on, bring it back to like it came off the assembly line would be what I call a restore. I used to restore cars (British sports cars mostly), and have done a couple GTs that way. Restores take a lot of money, time, money, patience, money, love, money..... Get the idea?!?!? smile. I think the market for making money commercially for full on restores of GT's is very small and you have to choose your project carefully and start out with a really good condition tractor to work on. Most of the hunks that we bring back from the dead are poor candidates for a restore, in my opinion. As most have said, you usually end up with 2 or 3x the value of the tractor tied up in it and won't break even selling it. But if you are doing it because you want to, and don't care about the money invested, that's another matter.

Most of what I do are what I prefer to call "refurbish" instead of restore. I am more concerned about functionality than authenticity most of the time. For example, at one time, International Harvester stamped their logo on their bolt heads. New comparable bolts are fine for a "refurbish", but I need the IH stamped ones for a "restore". On my Ford LGT, I replaced a blown K341 with a kohler command twin - not authentic, but a better functional tractor in my opinion. I try to use original COLOR paints, but not necessarily OEM brands. And sometimes I use what I have on hand (if it works well), instead of buying what was on there originally.

There have been technological advancements since these older tractors were made (engine design, lubrication, paint chemistry, etc.), and I have no problem using them for a refurbish IF IT MAKES A BETTER FUNCTIONING TRACTOR.

A lot of folks want a reliable heavy built GT and are not concerned with authentic, but function. I rebuild quite a few GT's that end up this way. Neighbor's box store MT-Cub-Deere-avarna craps out after 2 seasons and he wants a better tractor for the same or less money. I sell "one of the herd" to him and make a few bucks to pay for the next "project". I enjoy the find and rebuild, but have more machines than I need, so sending one of mine to a good home opens up space to buy another rescue! I make "hobby money" off them - sometimes!

At any time I have 8-10 around in various states of assembly. Right now have 5 running, 2 being rebuilt, and 3 waiting for attention. It's really hard to have just one....

I respect and admire the work of restorers. Some of the guys on here have beautiful restored tractors. We also have a bunch of guys on here who have modified their machines to be much more than they were originally designed to be. It's your HOBBY so do whatever makes you have fun with it!
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#10 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Rick is right on in his advise to you I have several tractors I have restored and have spent more than a thousand on each I enjoy bringing them to shows and watch the reactions of the people you cannot price that. I'm often asked if I want to sell them and have been offered the right money but no is always my answer. I love the ones I own and could never part with any of them .


I think that's about as good you can put. It's the fun and chase. Not the profit. I do it for my kids too they love riding and get them used to using tools and fixing things so they don't grow up to be helpless
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#11 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2015 - 11:26 AM

Sorry! Wrote a book and forgot to answer the question!!!!!

First GT's;

Deere 316 kohler - long gone

Ford LGT 165 open side - gone

3 Square fender Deere 110's - 2 gone, 1 still have and a primary mower.

Ford LGT165 closed side - still have, modified, use a lot


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