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What they got right vs. What they got wrong.

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#1 637Yeoman OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2016 - 01:13 PM

This is a topic where you can express what a certain manufacture, Be it Bolens JD or Simplicity, etc, or a certain model, Landlord, 70, 318, etc. got right and what they got wrong. So im gonna start out with a tractor near and dear to my heart, The Simplicity Landlord. All in all a GREAT tractor with its rugged desighn and many options for attachments, but it lacked in one aspect. The transmission. Now this dosen't mean that its a bad transmission, but its a bad design. The most fatal flaw is the BGB or bevel gear box. They tend to wear out. If properly maintained they last for a long time. Its just a bad design. All in all great job Simplicity! :thumbs:

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Posted March 20, 2016 - 01:39 PM

Just sold my 64 , not because of the BGB, tired of manual lift but got a handsome price for it. And yes a great little GT.
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#3 larrybl ONLINE  


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Posted March 20, 2016 - 02:43 PM

Sears Craftsman II 1988 Series. Solid machine, All metal except for the dash, dash has not been a real issue, Solid Briggs 18 hp opposed horzontal, and Bullet proof Pearless transaxle. The one common weak point is the steering bushing. For some resion they changed from a steel bushing bracket to plastic. OH and I hate deck belt covers!

Overall an easy machine to work on and maintain.

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Edited by larrybl, March 20, 2016 - 02:44 PM.

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#4 LilysDad ONLINE  


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Posted March 20, 2016 - 03:01 PM

I love Wheel Horse from the 70s. They are simple, strong, have a classic style, a powerful engine that was top of the line for it's day, offered a large variety of options, & a rugged 8 spd trans. The down sided?; they have a mule drive adjustment knob that makes a terrible bumper!

#5 Cat385B ONLINE  



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Posted March 20, 2016 - 03:32 PM

Every single one I have owned has been nothing but good, and the 'bad ones' are all because I haven't owned those yet.

#6 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted March 20, 2016 - 03:45 PM

The Springfields are tough as nails, and easy as heck to work on. However, Springfields from 1961-62 the transaxles always come to me damaged, so they werent the greatest early on, but they changed that in 1963. However, in 1965 they started using fiberglass for fenders and hoods, and those get too abused. Additional maintainance issues is the steering because those are never adjusted or serviced, and parts arent available. As simple as these things are it really wouldnt have killed someone to maintain them. I have never mowed with one either, every mower deck drive wobble coupling is worn out... Still like the Springfields, just tough to catch them up on their maintainance schedules when they were rode so hard and replacement components are not available easily. I have found some parts new, of common variety though.

#7 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2016 - 06:56 PM

Wanted a Bolens Large Frame for quite some time.  Finally got one, a non-running tractor with blade.  It is still a non-runner, mainly due to that confounded electronic ignition Wisconsin played with.  Junked the motor, head went out East so I would not be tempted again.  I have several other Bolens tube and medium frames and love them.  Will never look twice at any S series Wisconsin again, don't care what it is in.

Edited by chieffan, March 20, 2016 - 06:57 PM.

#8 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted March 20, 2016 - 07:28 PM

I really think the Kohler K series is the best small engine ever.   Durable as heck, easy to work on and parts are cheap. 

Only thing Kohler couldda done better is to put a bearing insert on the rod from the factory.  Be extra insurance for those that "change the oil once a year whether it needs it or not".


Edited by Gtractor, March 20, 2016 - 07:28 PM.

#9 mtoney OFFLINE  

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Posted March 20, 2016 - 07:45 PM

Onan, wrong: adjustable valves and cylinder jugs one piece with block.  Right, excellent torque curve, much better than equilivant Kohler twin and an exhaust roar that is like no other.  Not going to complain about parts prices, Kohler OEM parts are right up there with Onan now.   John Deere 318, pretty much everything one could want in a gas powered GT, power steering, 2 spool hydraulic, coolers on the hydro system, proper U jointed drive shaft, turning brakes, adjustments to take up slack in front axle pivot wear points ect.  They pretty much looked at what was done over the past models, then delivered us the 318.  Onan high performance engine with excellent torque rise and throaty roar, a bit of a maintance hog if done properly though.  Hard to top a 318 in a gas GT.  Only the later 332 and larger 400 series models outdid it.