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#16 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2017 - 12:32 PM

I'm really surprised that someone hasn't brought up Cub Cadet yet. Well, I will. I'm a huge fan of Wheel Horse, but if life had gone differently . . .        Cub Cadet, pre MTD has every thing going for it. Strength, power, looks (sounds like a Russian woman). Take that indestructible  transaxle, add a Kohler K engine, a great steering box, classy sheet metal, great resale value and you've got something there. My personal favorites are the Quiet Line and the 82 series.


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#17 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2017 - 02:57 PM

I have a sweet 108 also!


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#18 EricR ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2017 - 08:44 PM

Ok than LilysDad, My father and I own 6 cubs prier to MTD, and 2 cyclops, a 2084 and a 2086 and can tell you I have been pounding all of our IH ones and only once have they let me down, I ran my dad's 102 out of oil but later found out it wasn't my fault so they just keep going and going!!!!! 


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#19 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2017 - 09:20 PM

personal favorites are the Quiet Line and the 82 series.

 

 

I have to agree with you for the most part. The Hydro controls are prone to being worn making it difficult to control your speed. I thought it was just me but the neighbor's family used to own an IHC dealership and he says his 1250 has the same problem. Noticed he always has his hand on the hydro control so I asked. Makes tilling with one very difficult.  Otherwise they are a  tough machine.  

Edited by Cvans, April 18, 2017 - 11:15 PM.

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#20 old coot OFFLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2017 - 08:06 AM

i guess my choice would be my bolens 1886 ,,that thing just wont stop  45 years old now and she sure doesnt look as good but still does what I need it to do .well see how long the  JD holds up  so far 17 years and all is well 


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#21 toppop52 ONLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2017 - 08:56 AM

I'm really surprised that someone hasn't brought up Cub Cadet yet. Well, I will. I'm a huge fan of Wheel Horse, but if life had gone differently . . .        Cub Cadet, pre MTD has every thing going for it. Strength, power, looks (sounds like a Russian woman). Take that indestructible  transaxle, add a Kohler K engine, a great steering box, classy sheet metal, great resale value and you've got something there. My personal favorites are the Quiet Line and the 82 series.


I've got a 3208, it's as good a mid size garden tractor as I've ever owned, they ain't pretty, but for a modernist MTD, it's very stout. For pure toughness it's hard to beat the 70's Simplicity 4041, and MF/Snapper1855's, but there are other tractors just as good.
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#22 eastcreek OFFLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2017 - 06:33 PM

I grew up with a MF7- gear, so that  is kinda my favorite, I was a bit annoyed when I came home from college and found out it had been sold to a landscaper with all the attachments for $100. I mowed and plowed snow for 15 years with it, never an issue ever.

 

Then a Sears custom 6, that was OK but a friend gave me a Ford 120 so the Sears went on eBay. The Ford was pretty good but mine had been a state tractor and had fallen out of a dump truck at some point in it's life and had just a slight twist in the frame that made belt life an issue. 

 

Replaced that with a CC 129 and a CC 128. I thought those were great! They were up there in hours when I got them but found them to be very reliable and heavy duty after a few initial repairs. They've both been replaced by JD diesels but I wouldn't hesitate to buy another older CC, pretty bullet proof. So, not much of an answer, I guess whatever tractor you've got that you like and gets the job done is the best.


Edited by eastcreek, April 19, 2017 - 06:34 PM.

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#23 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2017 - 08:37 PM

I like the Ariens 931 series for rugged simple design. Attachments are easy on and off. Drive over mower deck is awesome.
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#24 schweitz OFFLINE  

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Posted April 19, 2017 - 09:47 PM

Well, after a quick survey of responses this far, and not seeing my brand mentioned, I guess I'll have to jump in here with a word for John Deere. At 9 years age in 1950 I was harrowing and cultivating with a "B" JD in Nebraska, so I suppose that may have had some influence on my preferences. Now at age 75 after a career in ag research I have 5 JD garden tractors.

 

My first was a '78 JD312 that is still my go-to mower. Also have a '68 JD112 (with belly blade), '73 140 h3 (with Johnson loader), '76 JD214 (with tiller), '91 JD265 mower with bagger. 

 

All are routine workers around my 3 acres. The 214 is a complete rebuild/restoration from two junkers. The 140 is the most consistent easy starter.


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#25 Doug E. ONLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2017 - 09:47 AM

I did not have any exposure to garden tractors when I was younger, so have no emotional attachment to one brand over another. 

 

My heaviest use for the GT is snow blowing, and experience has dictated that I prefer a minimum of 16hp for that task, more hp being better. 

 

My second criteria was what is available?  Around here, there was a pretty active Bolens dealer, so I do see them come up occasionally for a decent price.  The other common brand, actually more common, is John Deere, but for what you get, they are over priced, imho.  Some of the other brands I see mentioned on this forum, I rarely or never see locally.  This includes Wheel Horse, Simplicity, Power King, Colt-Ingersoll-Case, etc..  I do see some Cub Cadets and Sears tractors, but not in higher HP's, or there is not much availability of attachments. 

 

Locally I see mostly the tube frame Bolens for sale, and occasionally a large frame.  I rarely see a medium frame (1 in 5 years), and once in a while one of the "Eliminator" series.  I have never seen a Q series for sale here. 

 

Attachments have shown up for the Tube and large frame tractors, but are rare for the others.  I am still looking for a tiller and drive line for a medium frame and Eliminator series tractor.

 

My 3rd criteria is stoutness and maintainability. Will the machine hold up, and can I get parts to keep it running. 

 

That pretty much sums up my choice of Bolens large frame or large Tube frame as my GT of preference.  I would be happy with the Medium frame and Eliminator if I could find the attachments I am looking for.  I do look at other tractors, but have not seen any that I thought had enough advantage over what I have to pick up anything else. 

 

Even though the used prices that I see for these Bolens tractors locally are higher than what I see in other parts of the country, I still consider a good used Bolens a bargain compared to the price and lack of quality/robustness of the new machines offered today.  I'm sure that is also true of other brands of vintage tractors, but we just don't see them here.  The "bones" of these older Bolens are good, and I am considering doing a repower in the future when needed.  I have been investigating the used market for older small diesel engines to swap in when the current PM's fail, or the parts availability ends. 

 

Just my thoughts and reasoning. 

 

Regards,

 

Doug


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#26 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2017 - 10:08 AM

My favorite GT tractor is the only one I still own-  JD 425 AWS..

 

I've owned just about every brand/ style and I'm spoiled by the power steering and smooth running Kawasaki engine..  The AWS makes mowing my hilly obstacle filled lawn a breeze..  Maybe I'll grab another tractor to tinker with but I've always got lots to do..

 

Next up is the JD 4310 w/8' loader..  Just because!


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#27 CraftsmanGT OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2017 - 04:03 PM

I'd have to say my two favorites are Allis Chalmers/Simplicity and Bolens. I like my Allis 611 cause it cuts like a dream and is easy work on. I like my Bolens 1000 cause it's a steel and iron tank that does any task I ask it too.
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#28 Clippnalawn OFFLINE  

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Posted April 23, 2017 - 01:40 PM

Hello all, I do a lot of reading here but haven't posted in quite a while. I like these kind of threads, I like to hear other people's point of view and experience. I have a couple wheel horse, bolens, cub, massey, panzer, bantam, and a john deere. The John Deere is a '73 140 H3, it is the "youngest" tractor i own and is by far the major work horse. The kohler is extremely reliable, easy to work on and get parts for. The hydrostatic is a easy to use, plenty of power and speed control, and has individual right and left brakes. The thing that really separates out the 140 from the rest is the attachments. The front blade is hydraulic and goes on and off in 30 seconds, tiller takes less than 2 minutes, belly blade takes about 5 minutes. The attachments are all well built, heavy duty, and seem to be engineered with ease of use as a top priority. I don't have a mower deck for it so I can't give an opinion on that but would assume it would follow suit with the other attachments.

The comparison isn't real fair though because the 140 is almost 10 years newer than the other tractors I have and the only hydrostatic....i would love to be able to line up a cub, JD, wheel horse, bolens of the same year, same HP, and same attachments to really see who the winner is.
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#29 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2017 - 09:15 PM

Montgomery Ward/Gilson S series. Because my Grandpa bought a MW 16 new in 1974. I still have it, mows my yard every week. 16hp Briggs on it would rival any Kohler for longevity. They also have a decent steering setup that does not get the slop in it most tractors were prone to, Gilson was smart enough to use bushings at the wear points. Only real Achilles heel is the variable speed setup leaves a little to be desired.
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#30 karel OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2017 - 04:27 AM

I like a panzer tractor,for what I do. you can't beat the repair aspect. chain,sproket, shaft and bushings. No Hydro, I like that. unless you break something cast iron, all repair parts are available at the indurtrial supply store. Any machine work, cutting slots for keyways, I take to the vocational school. Price paid for work done? price of stock, And enough donuts for the class!


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