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Turning down work

bad neighbor jd 318 refresh

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#1 Cat385B ONLINE  



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Posted November 19, 2017 - 06:23 PM

A neighbor approached me about redoing his JD 318. The engine leaks oil out of every seam on it, there is less paint than rust on the pan, it needs all new hoses, seat, headlight, tires, and the short chute 49 blower has seen better days. The 50 deck is fairly straight.

Budget is not an issue. He is well aware that spending a couple grand on this is very probable. I told him straight away I wouldn't touch the engine. There is a guy in St. Cloud that will work on Onans, and also there is Boomer down in Hastings, MN. Not sure how busy Boomer is or if he would even want to do it. I would not touch the hydro beyond a flush, filter, and refill.

I see no upside to doing this. I wouldn't charge a 1/4 of the labor I put into it, and you know who forbid if it broke down next year. He is a good guy and we get along great. Not sure if that would change if something went awry. I really don't want to find out. I even asked what would happen if the hydro decided to eat itself. He responded he would have a pretty lawn ornament.

I suggested we do it together, in my garage, on weekends. He, who leaves an hour and a half after I do and gets home an hour earlier, claims to have zero spare time.

I am going to suggest he look at the X700 series and check out current promotions from JD Finance.

And then hope they really lowball him on the trade-in offer.

What would you folks do? I could easily squeeze 10-15 hours a week into doing this. I do not need something to 'keep me busy', nor do I need his money.
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#2 tater195 OFFLINE  


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Posted November 19, 2017 - 06:37 PM

I worked on a friends B110 a few years ago. It had sat in an old chicken coop for 10+ years. The engine was stuck and needed tires, battery and every thing else that goes to crap while sitting that long. He didnt want it painted, just cleaned up good and running with a working deck to mow with. His budget was $1000. After spending virtually every free minute I had on it for 6 weeks, it ended up with $500 in new parts and I quit counting at 100 hours. That puts my labor at less than $5 an hour. I would have made more money getting a 2nd job at McDs 

Edited by tater195, November 19, 2017 - 06:39 PM.

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#3 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:07 PM

I do not need something to 'keep me busy', nor do I need his money.[/quote]

I think you answered your question, i have been approached to restore garden tractors by some people I know I have turned every one down I know what is involved.
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#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:30 PM

I'm doing a snowblower for my best friend and a GT for my son. I don't do anything for people that I would charge anymore. I'm too busy and they don't appreciate the time and effort. Big jobs just aren't worth it. Small quick one can be okay. Good Luck, Rick

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#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:34 PM

Unless its for family I don't touch anyone's machines anymore, labor & Parts exceed what someone is willing to pay with the countless hours it takes to do things right. Then like you said what if the hydro craps out a month or two later.

People are just too weird today , and I give the guys who do take in work a lot of credit, I know the crap you have to endure..........

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#6 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:38 PM

Its not worth charging people to do stuff anymore....As you said, the matter of if it breaks down again, its your fault.....There is also the liability if someone gets hurt on it in the future, you may be liable.....Never know in this sue happy world these days.

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#7 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:44 PM

Just say no, it really is that simple. Explain that you just don’t want a major project that you’d feel some pressure, real or imagined, to get it done in some reasonable time frame.
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#8 Cat385B ONLINE  



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Posted November 19, 2017 - 07:48 PM

Did I mention my neighbor is impetuous?

The reason I thought to start this is because his kids were over playing with our youngest. He came over to pick them up a bit ago. First thing he asked, 'You ready to start working on the 318?'

'No, not interested.'

'Okay, get the oil leaks patched up and running good. We'll sell it and split the money.'

'No. The engine work needs to be farmed out. You'll never recoup the money spent, sell it as-is and keep it all to yourself. What are doing for snow removal this winter?'

'Already hired a plow service. Going to hire the lawn mowing out next year, too.'

We live 8 miles out from the nearest town, and our lots are 2-3 acres.

Stayed tuned, next time he'll offer me the whole setup for $400!
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#9 Cvans ONLINE  



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Posted November 19, 2017 - 08:56 PM

'No, not interested.'


Sounds like the perfect answer to me.  :thumbs:

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#10 Xrperry ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 09:36 PM

After I get a trailer load done,1 carb away from being done,im telling my friend that dumped all of it off, I am done fixing other people's stuff, I have plenty of my own to tinker with, and sometimes I don't even feel like fixing my own.if somebody brings me another machine with a gummed up carb i am going to strangle them.even with stabil in the gas it's plugging them up.you can almost bet your life the reason something don't run it's carb related.it seems the only carbs that live thru it is Briggs flojets.they can buy a China made carb off eBay and fix the damn thing themselves. I have had good luck with them, so they can take a chance like I did.sorry for unloading but everybody here knows what it's like.

Edited by Xrperry, November 19, 2017 - 09:50 PM.

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#11 bbuckler ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 09:38 PM

I can't say anything because I make money to fix my stuff but fixing everyone else stuff. 

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#12 shorty ONLINE  



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Posted November 19, 2017 - 09:47 PM

Fix for family and strangers. Never for anyone considered a friend!
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#13 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted November 19, 2017 - 11:35 PM

yup. I got a hornets nest waiting for me to do something with... a 95 Park Ave that needs all new brake lines bent up and run.... just did the same job on my mom's car 2 weekends ago, this one is just someone  know from a former job we worked together at....

#14 LilysDad ONLINE  


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Posted November 20, 2017 - 08:18 AM


a 95 Park Ave that needs all new brake lines bent up and run....

If they can put stainless steel exhausts on a car, why not brake lines???

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#15 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted November 20, 2017 - 08:28 AM

If they can put stainless steel exhausts on a car, why not brake lines???

Volvo's lines are copper......Also aftermarket lines are available in copper at your local auto parts store. I helped a buddy run copper lines on his Chevy pick up. 

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