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MF 12 restaurate or not

mf12 restaurate

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#1 cebe11 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:23 AM

Hello I just bought a MF12G and I am not sure if I only overhaul the technical parts like bearings and belts or if I should do a complete Restauration. It comes with a 16HP Briggs & Stratton, not with the Tecumseh but in view of the age it is in a very good condition. I am in the "oldtimers" (cars a bikes) since about 20 years, so there is enough experience to do it but also enough experience to know how hard it is to use a thing wich is better than it was when it came from th factory. I really want to use it for about 2000qm of lawn (about 2400sqyd, 0,5 acre) What's your opinion?

#2 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 04:55 AM

:wave: Welcome to the forum! someone will be along that can answer your questions.

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#3 Cat385B OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:38 AM

My view is that a machine should be restored to it's former glory. All mechanical aspects replaced, repaired, or rebuilt; then a cosmetic restoration using factory colors. Then use it like it was meant to be. Mow the yard, plow the garden, remove snow. It made it 45 years out the gate from the factory. Let's see how long it makes it coming out of your shop.


Welcome to the forum, and  :wewantpics:

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#4 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 07:05 AM

:welcometogttalk: & :wewantpics:  please.

I would at least get it mechanically usable, then decide if you want to restore it. 

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#5 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 07:17 AM

Welcome to GTT. You should do what makes you happiest. I repair what needs to be and do all maintenance. Clean it thoroughly and polish the hood and fenders. Then stand back and look at it. If it looks okay then use it for a while. After using it for awhile, look at it again. Decide if you like it enough and if it really needs to be restored. If you don't like it, there is no sense to restore it because a good restoration will cost more than the tractor will be worth(around here anyway). Many people like leaving as much original finish as possible and running it that way. That is called a "survivor" and is what many of us collect.


Check in our Manuals Section for 3 free downloads per day. Post some pics. Good Luck, Rick



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 07:17 AM

So unds like an interesting machine.
If you're going to make her work for a living, I would do the restore, emphasis on the mechanical and plan on having to make the occasional touch up.

#7 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 07:37 AM

If your just going to use it to mow .5 A of lawn you won't be asking a whole lot out of it.  Make sure the deck is good and solid with bearings, belts, etc.  If that Briggs starts and runs good and has good power why spend the money on it prematurely?  Unless your wanting something to do in the off season.  You can be just as proud of a well maintained tractor that does what you ask it to do and with a whole lot less $$ and work to end up with a "restored" tractor.  True restored tractors are for show, not work.

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 10:24 AM

Welcome aboard , I agree with Chieffan,  I have my workers and my non workers its all about what you want . If I were you I would probably buy more tractors , that's what we do .lol

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#9 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted November 01, 2015 - 11:41 AM

First....is Restaurate a real word?? :D  Would be new one I can use to sound smarter if so.  Another European, seems to be a few on here. I often wonder how you guys find parts for these American machines. Guess Wheelhorse was popular over there, maybe MF is too then?  These are very strong tractors. Biggest issue is the variable speed if you have that. They rust and stop working. Usually just a bearing and clean up needed on pulleys. There are a few special procedures for working on these, for that drive and then the workings under the dash tunnel that you should read up on, Before starting, or you may break some of the small linkage parts if taken apart wrong. Some are left-hand threads and have lock nuts and etc. Think there are service and parts manuals here, or if not, epay always has something offered.  Go slow, get stuff blasted if you can. The whole frame on this thing is one piece and best to blast it clean and start from there. Briggs engine should work fine, no ignition problems like Tecs had.  Send us some start pictures, let's see what you got! 

#10 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 01:57 PM

I wouldn't replace parts just because they are old. If the pulleys aren't seized, then lube the bearings and mow away. Get it running, ocean it up, tune it up, change the fluids and filters. Sharpen the blades and mow away. You can always tear it apart later.

Good luck and have fun.

#11 larrybl ONLINE  


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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:17 PM

I agree with getting it running first to see what you have. Then the question "enough experience to know how hard it is to use a thing wich is better than it was when it came from th factory" which is exactly where I am with my Roper 20T, luckily I have other GT's to handle the mowing chore.....but I love running the Roper and she is towing the 6 X 8 trailer when needed. Yes, please post pictures when you can! Welcome.

#12 cebe11 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:26 PM

Just a few pics made in the dark... Yes, restaurate is the correct word...if I follow dict.cc :-) I grew up with the MF100 Series but until last year I didn't know that there are the MF7-16 lawn mowers. Then I saw one on a Oldtimershow (sorry, classic car and tractor show) a I wanted one. 2 weeks ago I wrote a small advertise at eBay-"kleinanzeigen" and now I bought it from a guy who is importing cars from the US. If there is a bit space in the container he fills it up with MF lawn mowers. I don't think that parts should become a problem. On the one hand I am not focused on the original engine. Parts for B&S are available at every second street corner. Bearings, seal rings and belts are standard parts available at every farm machine mechanic. Other parts can be made by my friend. The God of the metal sheets. Or we mill it out of a full block of steel :-)

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#13 IHCubGuy OFFLINE  



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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:35 PM

That's more than enough tractor for a half acre.  I would fix what it needs and get it going and then use it and see what you think of it.  I have an MF12 Hydrostatic that I restored.  Nice little tractor but I hardly use it now and like was already mentioned I have more in it than it's worth.  Good luck and welcome aboard from across the big pond.


Under edit:  That looks to be in great original shape.  Should be an easy fix whatever way you go with it.  As for the word "restaurate", we would use the word "restore" but I did look up the word and it has the same meaning. 


Again  :welcometogttalk:  glad you're here with us.

Edited by IHCubGuy, November 01, 2015 - 05:47 PM.

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#14 larrybl ONLINE  


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Posted November 01, 2015 - 05:58 PM

That looks very restaurateable <---- :wave: My spell check just had a heart attack :rolling:

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Posted November 01, 2015 - 08:13 PM

Welcome from the Black Hills---a half a world away! I have been using a 1975 12G for over 4 years now on my one acre lot for mowing. It's nice to operate and hasn't been difficult to work on. The original Tecumseh HH120 engine was still running well but to rebuild it properly to solve a severe smoking problem would have cost too much so it's currently getting a new engine. There is a thread going on about it here.


I'm in the situation and budget that I need this for a workhorse so a restoration just isn't practical. The fact it's not restored does not diminish how much I enjoy mowing with this machine! I hope to try to plow some snow with it this year if needed.


It sounds like parts and fabrication are no problem for you so just do this the way you desire and have for a budget. Great looking tractor!