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Duratrac GT 1800


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#1 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2017 - 07:31 PM

Looking at buying one of these.  It is a trade in at our local mom and pop dealer.  Currently not running, fuel issue suspected.  Seems pretty clean, just a little banged up and the worst factory paint scheme ever.  500 hours.  Anything to look for on it?  What do these compare to in the other Bolens tractors?  What is the attachment interchange situation?  Never owned a M18 Kohler Twin, any preventative things that need done?  It had a short block put in years ago by this dealer.  Thanks.


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#2 tractorskipper OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2017 - 11:07 PM

I have a couple of these, one B & S, other Kohler. Both run fine. a beefy tractor & the power steering is nice if it has that.  Don't own any older Bolens, I doubt many of the implements exchange.  Had a leaky oil seal on the Kohler wipe out the electric clutch but other than that no problems'  Rock solid hydro.  Wouldn't want to comment on price.  I didn't pay over $300 for mine but they were pretty well used.  I've seen really nice ones go for over $1K.

 

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#3 nsengineer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 01:04 AM

Very solid tractor. The are essentially an eliminator 1800 series with newer fenders and hood. All of the eliminator 1700 1800 1900 2000 as well as all of the Troy Bilt GTX series attachments interchange with Duratracs. Big thing with the Kohler engines is to keep the oil full at all times or it starves the rods of oil when on slight grades. I have bought about 7 Bolens tractors to repair and resell over the years with Kohler magnums or Kt series engines and every one of the had broken rods. I own an Eliminator 1800 (5018H) with a magnum and it runs strong and smooth. I just always check the oil and run 10w30 synthetic in it.
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#4 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 06:02 AM

Thanks.  It does have power steering.  I know the orginal and the second owner, it would have been well cared for by both of those individuals.  Second owner just traded for a zero turn to be easier to get on and off.  Looks mechanically sound, other than not running.  Little dinged up from close contact, but not bad.  I have a son with one arm that has started mowing, thought the hydro and power steering would make it easier on him.  I just have to get over the looks and paint scheme.  I know styling and paint doesn't mow the grass, but man this series is ugly.


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#5 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 07:12 AM

The electric PTO clutch is a problem area. Make sure it works OK as the replacement parts aren't cheap.

Edited by Canawler, August 11, 2017 - 07:12 AM.

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#6 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 10:59 AM

Thanks.  It does have power steering.  I know the orginal and the second owner, it would have been well cared for by both of those individuals.  Second owner just traded for a zero turn to be easier to get on and off.  Looks mechanically sound, other than not running.  Little dinged up from close contact, but not bad.  I have a son with one arm that has started mowing, thought the hydro and power steering would make it easier on him.  I just have to get over the looks and paint scheme.  I know styling and paint doesn't mow the grass, but man this series is ugly.

 

Seems like a good one from your description.  Plus if you have issues down the road, sounds like the dealer will help you sort it out.  PS and foot pedal hydro is tough to find in an old GT.  That combination is usually found in $10k scuts on the used market.

 

I used not to like the late Bolens colors, after owning one for a while it grows on you.  Forest green and off white, what's not to like.  If after a year you still don't like the color you can always look for a Troy-Bilt GTX, they interchange.  AFAIK the implements only interchange between the DuraTrac and GTX models and not the earlier XL series.  But they made everything for them, rear 3pt and sleeve hitch, tiller, snowblower, power angle plow.

 

One day i would like to step up to a Duratrac with the PS and just being newer than my old XL.  Here is a pic of the gtx so you can see what i mean

1996_bolens_troy_bilt_gtx18_heavy_duty_garden_tractor_30231815.jpg


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#7 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 12:16 PM

Probably not " Bolens" best effort thou it and it's immediate predecessors are "Garden Way's" children.
Have a GT2000 bought new in '92, MSRP with 60" deck was $6200. As much as I respect and admire the old Kolher cast iron K twins IMO they were asleep at the wheel on the magnums. I still own two, I've never seen a Magnum with a broken rod, plenty of the KT17's thou, the early model did suffer from a week pin-to-shaft on governor gear, I bought a GT1800 and passed on another both with holes in the aluminum block that the governor gear came loose and spit it out the block, there is a service maintenance bulletin somewhere that addressed this and gave the serial numbers it effected . I have it somewhere.
It was early production models.
Again this is IMO, owning and wrenching on them the most common problem is the ignition module or magneto they fail all mine have, starts with hard starting when hot to backfiring then complete failure. Real PITA because you have to pull the engine to access it, change out is a 15min job, getting to it and back in operation is an all day-r !
Next is the voltage regulator (easy access), then the starter, with all the engine shrouding it's inaccessible,mostly suffers from a dry bendix a strategic hole in the shroud will allow access to lubrication but it's hard to guess location ,when the engine is out because the mag failed that's the time to put a hole in it.
The Oruga electric clutch , poor engineering or design because the engine heat will smoke the coil which function is basically an electromagnet. Fortunately there is a gentleman in the N.E. rewinding them at a fraction of the cost of new. My 20 is on its forth coil at 400 hrs, to be fair though I didn't discover the bearing curse associated to the Oruga till my last COMPLETE electric clutch (talking 5 bills) remove the POS bearing put a Made in USA Timken in it and the last 140 hrs have been problem free.
Power steering : well I read where some feel this is "real power" steering say compared to the old HT's but again IMO same thing, Duratracs have the hydraulic control valve on the steering shaft instead of on the cylinder (like an HT) is all , basically its the same function , some call it power assisted
Either way it's an improvement over manual but not as easy as say on my Simplicity Legacy XL which has almost a rack and pinion and you can turn it with your pinky.
The Tractor itself is well designed, the Eaton rear came with a lifetime (original owner) warranty! They mow nice , the 60" deck (as was mine) now days would be touted as "fabricated" it's a beast at if memory serves close to 400# but I believe to much for the tractor.
Without it running check for spark, no spark , money is on mag. Make your offer based on that. I like the color scheme, looks, and the way it mowed,what I don't I've described. Given a choice I will mow with my Bolens 1669L that has a bullet proof Briggs and none of the above ailments and it's knocking on 1000 hrs door.
Hope this helps your decision making. Good luck.
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#8 blackjackjakexxix OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2017 - 01:37 PM

WrenchinOnIt summed it up pretty well,I have one of my own and really do like it,I have the 48" deck on mine and must say it is the nicest cutting machine I have ever owned, so far no major issues with it,knock on wood
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#9 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2017 - 05:41 AM

Got it bought. Paid $400 delivered. Runs sweet, but have to keep the rpm down, the fuel pump can't keep up. Got a pump on order. Everything works as it should. Was even completely serviced last year, then never used. My boy is super excited, loves the hydraulic steering. Thanks for the run down folks.
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#10 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2017 - 10:39 AM

You did good.  There is a newer bolens flipper guy near me, he sells Duratracs for $1800 with just the deck.  Right now he has one for parts "Well worth $450" here is a pic

gt1800.jpg

https://maine.craigs...6258213024.html

 

Others mention a lot of things to watch for with these, good to know.  being yours was rebuilt by the dealer, maybe while the motor was out it got a new pto or starter, who knows, mine did.


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#11 Cvans OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2017 - 10:53 AM

Should make you a really nice tractor. I've been using a GT2000 with a loader for years and still use it almost daily. 


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#12 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2017 - 02:08 PM

Hopefully the pic came through. Obviously needs a seat.

#13 Sprint 6 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 16, 2017 - 08:36 PM

I need to work on the picture, was trying to do it from my phone.  Anyway, got the fuel pump on.  Now it will run for 45 minutes instead of 2, so it looks like I am going to be putting a coil on it.  Anybody have an industry cross for a Bolens engine mount 1725856.  If I am going to pull the engine, the two rear need replaced, hoping to source them from my local Napa I have an account at.  Thanks


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