"New" GT17 Owner
Posted September 08, 2017 - 09:29 PM
We moved to a new house this summer that required a tractor for lawn care duties. I snagged a new Craftsman Pro tractor which does an admirable job on the lawn. Weak hydro and all around lack of suitability for attachments, however, has steered me towards a more substantial machine for snow blowing a long and very steep driveway and doing other more heavy duty yard work (pulling a cart and roller, dethatching, etc.) that the craftsman isn't going to handle without meeting an early demise.
This evening I picked up a GT17, 48" deck, 48" snow blower, rear tiller, plow blade, and ariens 3 point hitch. The tractor starts easily, runs well, and drives fine from what I can see. The engine is the series 2 kohler. Both PTOs turn on/off. Front and rear lifts work. The snowblower runs and the other attachments seem free and look to be in good shape, though some wire brushing and primer/paint are in order.
Tractor included the owners, parts, and service manuals, as well as a couple of maintenance receipts, and the original invoice for the package back in '79!
Initial concerns are:
-tires are cracked and looking a bit rough. One may be leaking (suspected to be the sidewall). Is there a preferred aftermarket tire and/or source?
-Should the deck lift move with the selector in the front position? I saw the front brackets moving, and could make the rears move too, but didn't see anything in middle moving.
-I suspect some "custom" wiring has been done. As I said, it runs fine, but the head/tail lights don't work, and at least the seat interlock doesn't work. Still checking on what else has been modified there.
-there is quite a bit of slop in the steering. Looks like there is an adjustment procedure in the service manual for taking care of this.
I was planning on doing a round of fluid changes and hitting all the lube points before putting her in service. Anything else major that'd be worth checking right away?
I ended up settling at $1100 for the whole package. From what I've seen on here, this was neither a good or bad deal. Assuming I end up with reliable snowblower that can occasionally pick up some heavier work in summer, I think I'll be happy with it at that price.
Any other pointers or tips would be appreciated!
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- Xrperry and Scrapr65 have said thanks
Posted September 09, 2017 - 04:44 AM
Sounds like you got a nice package deal. With all the attachments it is a good price. One thing to check with the age of it, would be the flex joints on the driveshaft. I learned the hard way what happens when they let loose. Not a pretty picture. When you say that the front lift moves some when you have the rear lift selected. It uses the same cylinder for front and back using a teeter totter style latch to latch one side or the other. And it will lift up off of the resting position to free the latch causing the side not being used to lift also. If it wasn't switched back and forth much, rust could make tough to switch.
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Posted September 09, 2017 - 05:07 AM
Welcome to GTTalk ! Please post some pictures of both your tractors . We all like pictures of all types
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Posted September 09, 2017 - 07:26 AM
Welcome to GTT. The steering looseness should be checked thoroughly. Tie rod ends, king pin bushings, and steering boxes wear. Then do the alignment. You don't say where you are but, if you get alot of snow, you will find that a cab on the tractor will help you stay more comfortable when snow blowing. When preparing for snowblowing, if you have a gravel driveway, be sure that it is as smooth as you can get it. Adjust the blowers' shoes so that you are alittle above most stones. A stone can damage a blower, have spare shear pins on hand. Post pics when you can. Good Luck, Rick
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Posted September 09, 2017 - 08:22 AM
Welcome to GTTalk,
Theres a lot of knowledge here, And you got a great deal on your tractor.
Posted September 09, 2017 - 08:59 AM
I bought Terra-X for mine there a little more aggressive but doesnt to tear up my lawn, 4wheeler tires work also. But its up to you how aggressive tire you want. Theres all types of tires for these tractors. Also when it comes to blowing snow you will want counter weights on the back and chains also. I have about 250# on the back of mine and my tires are loaded with RV antifreeze it takes 7 gallons a tire and adds about 120#. I used RV antifreeze because its not toxic or corrosive its a little more pricey but I got it on sale and loaded my tire for about $30. I also put tubes in them. If you go too You Tube there are a bunch of vids to watch on how to do it. I also forgot to tell you that they make weight boxes for them that mount to the back if you can find one but if your a fabricator you can make one. These little tractors are built like tanks and easy to find parts for. Good luck and enjoy. They sure dont make them like these anymore!!!!!!
- oldedeeres said thank you
Posted September 09, 2017 - 09:53 AM
yeah, youre finding out early the overcomplicated idiot proof system that Ariens used is their weak spot..... other makers of cheaper tractors don't have (as many) issues in that department... maybe because on those less expensive brands the rest falls apart and dies before the safetys can? these things take some common sense to run and be safe with, whether they are loaded with idiot proofing that is supposed top protect us from ourselves, or not.... I have 2 of these tractors collecting dust as I deal with "life," and they await their turns in the garage to have their safety systems dealt with.... in my case, I'll just say my electrical system is going on a heavy diet.... with a garbage can that will start out empty, right besides me as I work on them..... I don' think the site likes us telling "how to" do away with those sort of things. so I won't be giving a "how-to" thread as I go along. but as I have a 3rd one of these tractors that is much older that will act as a template.
Edited by dodge trucker, September 09, 2017 - 09:53 AM.
Posted September 09, 2017 - 11:58 AM
- Scrapr65 said thank you
Posted September 09, 2017 - 04:13 PM
Upon closer inspection it looks like the hydro cooling fan is missing most fins and I'll definitely need new tires.
Like mentioned above, everything could use some TLC, but appears to be solid, complete, and moving freely. Can't complain too much for a '79!
Now to get to work. I'm sure I'll be dropping in with questions and to share progress.
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Posted September 09, 2017 - 05:03 PM
Posted September 09, 2017 - 07:16 PM
A few discoveries:
Friction materials on the brakes are nearly gone. Looks like fasteners loosened up and things cocked at some point. Has anyone relined these? Two new pairs will be nearly 25% of my initial price!
I got the rock shaft selector freed up and working correctly now. Seemed like the selector wasn't making it completely through its travel, keeping the linkage from engaging from moving the opposite end.
Shorty: what should I be looking for on the shaft joints? They seem solid, but I haven't taken a close look to see how they actually "work". I can definitely see how losing the joint adjacent to the hydraulic lines could do some serious damage in a hurry!
The rear PTO shaft rattles like crazy when the engine is running (PTO not engaged). Seems the bearing it rides in really bounces around within hole in the back plate. Is that typical?
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Edited by distephano, September 09, 2017 - 07:28 PM.
Posted September 09, 2017 - 09:37 PM
It sounds like the mount for the rear bearing is loose or worn.
Posted September 10, 2017 - 09:06 AM
I see you have chains and a box. Off to a good start. Some threads on here are about rebuilding your ujoint they call it block and pin.
Posted September 10, 2017 - 10:59 AM
You are going to love that snow blower. I have a large (10'-12') one for my J.D. 4040 that I couldn't be without. Be sure the spout on yours is freed up and moves easily. Mine runs off the hydraulic but I still grease it regularly in winter , you don't want it to bind and break the cable. Nothing like a change in wind direction and having the snow directed right at you, lol.
Posted September 10, 2017 - 05:07 PM
I'd like to find a snow blower for one of my Ariens tractors....a tiller would be nice just to have but would not actually use that very much. (unless I find a house with a lot more green space)