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Yard full of tractors


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#1 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2019 - 11:28 AM

I've been reading here for years, finally signed up.

Last fall a neighbor of mine passed away who was sort of the neighborhood small engine guy.
The place sat empty till a few months ago when a relative moved in.

There's at least 50 garden tractors there, all lined up in rows in the back. The guy liked Allis Chalmers, Simplicity, Cub Cadet, Bolens, and John Deere.
Not wanting to seem like a vulture after the old guy passed I didn't go knock on the door right away. Then last week I saw a truck there loading up all the Bolens tractors, about a dozen or so of them. Most were complete tractors without decks, all from the 70's or so. I walked over and the guy there said he sold them for $200 each, the guy who bought them came out from Indiana to get them .

He then tells me the rest are all for sale, same deal, $200 each with a motor, $100 without.

If I were still working, I'd be all over that and the majority of them would be in my yard but money is tight right now. I was only able to swing buying one. A Simplicity 7117 that was missing a starter.

I ordered a starter off ebay and this morning I cleaned the carb, replaced the fuel hose and battery and its up and running. Next i'm going to make a rear hitch for this so I can move my trailer around with it. He's got no decks, only tractors. The attachments and decks all sold fast. For me, I don't need a deck, I don't have enough grass to worry about. No one does around here, There's two types of houses, those with fancy sod who pay a lawn care service to take care of it, and those with sand and crab grass.

 

I was trying to come up with a way to get hold of some of the other tractors, especially another 7117 or similar, he's got a half dozen there that look like they'd be good machines with some minor work.
What is an early 80's 7117 really worth? I'd have figured that he'd be getting even more buyers but they've been sitting now for a few weeks with only the big Bolens stuff and the Cub Cadet stuff being sold. I think he let all the Cub Cadets go for $100 each, about 15 or so of them. Most were newer, larger machines. I tried to buy just the 2072 he had but he already included it in a huge package deal to someone. If I had some spare cash laying around I think I'd try and buy the whole lot and see if I could make a few bucks but being retired I don't have a ton of cash to toss around like that.


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#2 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2019 - 01:25 PM

Your going to have to do some research and see if that older stuff is even selling in your area. There is a discussion going on right now on another site about the fact that it is getting harder to sell older tractors. The younger generation is lacking in people who want to work on that stuff and the older guys are getting to the age where they no longer have an interest. Best to know what your getting into so you don't get burnt. 

PS

Your 7117 is a good tractor. Personally I would be more inclined to have one of those than a Simplicity SunStar. 


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#3 Leonard VanCamp ONLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2019 - 03:54 PM

What did he have in the line of John Deeres? Me and my uncle have a bunch and are always on the look out for more.  Are you in south Jersey or north?



#4 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 03:42 AM

About an hour south of Philadelphia in S. Jersey.

 

I think he's only got one or two bigger John Deere's left, one may be a diesel. He had a bunch of smaller JD's but I think someone from out of state bought all of them. I don't think many have sold locally. Its mostly all Simplicity and Allis Chalmers,with a few Cub Cadets and John Deere's left. .

 

There are no places to buy parts around here anymore, all the old small engine shops are gone, there used to be a hardware store that kept parts but they sold out to a big chain and they dropped the parts department. Its online or nothing now.

The JD dealer closed up or got consolidated with one in another area. The Simplicity, Cub Cadet, and Wheel Horse dealers are all gone, and have been for years. The big box store junk took over and the older well built equipment is forgotten.

I've got a guy next door that built a new house on a double lot with about 1/2 acre of grass. he didn't have a mower yet this spring and I offered to let him use an old Cub Cadet 100 I've got in the shed. Its not pretty but it runs and cuts grass. He looked it over, and said he'll pass on the offer. After paying some lawn service for a couple months, he finally bought the cheapest thing he could find new at Home Depot. He told me that 10hp wasn't enough to cut grass with and that he wasn't comfortable having to shift gears. The shiny red thing he brought home is already missing most of its hood, the seat is torn, and he's filled all the tires with Fix-a-Flat several times now. The day after he bought it he had to haul it back to the store after the engine seized up. He was upset that it didn't come with oil in the engine and 'no one told him that he had to put oil in it'. He's destined to become one of their best customers because I can't see him making it more than a year on one of those cheap mowers. Last weekend he somehow got a tomato cage all wrapped up in the front end, and the week before that he managed to get about 20 feet of garden hose wrapped around the deck spindles. Yesterday, he was over here asking me if I could take a look at his mower, it won't start. Apparently he was mowing the front yard and he had to run inside, so he left it running out front, with a block of concrete on the seat so it didn't shut off. He tells me he forgot he left it running and it must have run out of fuel and died.
The battery was stone dead and the tank was empty. It ran out of gas, then sat all night there with the key on with the headlights on. I trickle charged his battery for him and got it started. It was almost out of oil, one headlight was burned out, and the lawn was bald under where it sat. The deck must go too far down and he left it all the way down when he went inside.

He asked me how many mowers have I gone through since I've been here for 40 years, I don't think he believed me when I said I still use the push mower my father bought new in 1968. He told me for next year he's going to buy a tractor from Lowes because the one he's got from HD is junk.


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#5 Doug E. ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 06:15 AM

Ah yes, thanks Bubbajunk, this is why those of us that can fix things will always have something to do!  :thumbs:

 

Regards,

 

Doug


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#6 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 01:24 PM

I can't imagine being one of those guys who go through life not knowing how to use even a screwdriver, let alone having to pay someone to change the oil or sharpen the mower blades.

 

This morning I got myself a new project chainsaw compliments of the same new neighbor.

He's got an above ground swimming pool in the back yard that sits half under a flowering tree. I guess after having to clean tree dirt out of the pool a few times he decided to trim back the tree. It started out with him buying a cheap pole saw but that wasn't going fast enough or couldn't cut what he wanted to cut. After trip two to the big box store  he brings back a brand new Echo chainsaw. He walks over the my fence and asks me if it needs oil in the gas or just in the oil tank. I told him to go get the gas, and the bottle of oil it came with and i topped off the bar oil from my jug here. It started on the second pull. I had to go someplace so I wasn't watching from the start but when i got back, he had a makeshift rig atop the pool made out of two 1 1/2" cyclone fence poles and half a sheet of plywood. He made a bridge across the one edge of the pool nearest the tree. He had the pool ladder moved over to get up on the rig he made. I shook my head and went in the house. Ten minutes later I hear the saw stop suddenly all sorts of screaming and cursing. I look out side and he's in the pool, and there's a huge gush or water running from under the pool heading towards the road. Seconds later as he's trying to climb out of the pool the one side of the pool folds inward and it bursts open. Out comes him, the rig he was standing on and the chainsaw in one big tidal wave of pool water. The pool is trash, the saw went swimming, and he's mad that he killed his cell phone. An hour goes by and he's back outside, in fresh clothes, and now trying to start the saw. He sees me in the yard and walks over with the saw. He tells me the pipes rolled out from under the plywood he was standing on, dumping him and the saw in the pool. The saw went in bar first and ripped a gash in the liner on the bottom. Then he collapsed the the pool trying to pull himself over the side. The saw was still turning over, it didn't seem hydro locked or full of water but it had no spark and the fuel tank was full of water. I dumped out the tank, blew off the saw and pulled the plug but no go. After it wouldn't start back up he boxed it back up and headed off to return it. He comes back saying they wouldn't take it back, but recommended he take it to one of their approved service centers. He then showed me a brand new rechargeable saw, and handed me the Echo that went swimming.

 

I pulled the cover dried out the electronics with a blow gun, oiled up the cylinder real well and changed the plug. I dunked he carb in a can full of gas and shot it full of WD40. The plug was cracked, likely from going into the pool hot.
I put it all back together and its up and running again. While I was test running the saw I noticed him back out in his yard now cutting roots around the same tree in the dirt with the new battery powered saw. When he went in for lunch, he buried the running saw in the dirt and left it there stuck about a foot into the dirt.

 

Another neighbor had walked over while this was all going on and said I should buy a good camera and just leave it pointed in that direction. He says what it records over there could win us some money.

 

The part that I really can't grasp is how he could just blow a few hundred bucks on the saw, plus what ever he spent on the pole saw and just give it away the same day. Then there's the damage to the pool, plus going back and buying the new battery powered saw, which by now is junk too and likely to be in tomorrow's trash out at the road. I'm going to feel funny asking him for the charger after I trash pick his new battery saw tomorrow.


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#7 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 02:54 PM

You could hang a mower deck under a Sherman tank and your neighbor would destroy it. People like that need to have a background check before buying a hammer. 


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#8 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 04:33 PM

He doesn't own many tools, the few he does are usually laying all around the yard. There's a cheap dollar store hammer rusting away in his driveway. Its been the for months along with the crate his floor tile came in.

What's worse is that he's got several degrees in business and engineering but he's working for some finance or mortgage company.

The guy across the street says he's educated but not very smart, or educated beyond his intelligence level. With all of today's technology there's no excuse for not knowing how to do something, we have videos online showing how everything is done and what not to do, this guy must only remember the what not to do part.

 

Back to the original topic, my other neighbor said he had four people actually show up today to look at tractors but none of them wanted to pay more than $50. He said he had nine no-shows. Myself, I've got a super clean 8x6 tilt deck trailer for sale but haven't had a single person interested at $450. All I get is $50 offers or emails saying they'd be interested if I were closer to them. This sort of stuff all started with the last governor's election, Ever since the last governor's election all signs of cash has dried up here. Even the flea markets are empty, very few sellers and fewer buyers.


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#9 Leonard VanCamp ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 08:04 PM

Guy sounds like my uncles gay neighbors, he's gotten two nice Toro push mowers from them because they couldn't fix them. The guy knows damn little about maintaining equipment. He asked us to look at a chipper shredder they had that they could'n't get to start, he thought it might have locked up. We pulled it over to my uncles and I started to go over it. Went to start it by pulling the pull start and could barely budge it. Then I noticed oil coming out of the muffler, checked the dipstick, yep, over filled, way over filled. Drained it down and got it running, didn't have to worry about bugs for awhile, smoked like a old steam engine under load. I find common sense isn't very common now.


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#10 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 13, 2019 - 09:51 PM

The guy across the street says he's educated but not very smart, or educated beyond his intelligence level. 

 

He's also very lazy. He hasn't got the ambition to look on You-tube for the answer. It's takes less effort to ask you for help. Those kind of people make a garbage mans job interesting.  


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#11 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2019 - 01:38 AM

I was down at the guy's place with the tractors last night. He had some yahoo there that was pissed off because he advertised a bunch of $100 tractors and none of them ran.

The ad I saw he had up said $100 w/o motor- $200 w/motor and they're listed for parts or repair.
The guy expected to get a turn key 7117 or 7119 Simplicity turn key ready to mow for $100 and wouldn't go away.
The idiot kept looking at the guys JD diesel CUT with a loader as if he was going to buy that for $100.

He was one of those who show up with the whole family in tow to look at a tractor. He was driving a small Japanese something or other, with three or four kids in the car and a few dogs, and a wife that didn't speak English. He kept going back to the wife and coming back insisting to see one that ran. She kept hollering out the window to him and he was going back and forth. My neighbor finally got tired of it all and told the guy to go away, there's nothing for sale for $100 that runs. He sat there and finally drove away, only to come back a few minutes later and started it all over again.
He's got more patience than I do, I'd have gotten rid of him a lot faster. Years ago I had the perfect solution to those types, I had a rottweiler/pit-bull mix that couldn't bark, he couldn't make a sound. He just showed his teeth and drooled a lot when he got agitated. At 120 lbs he got their attention fast even without making a sound. He never bit anyone that I know of but he scared the crap out of strangers. I never kept him chained, if I did he'd run break free and run off. If I let him run loose, he never left the yard. He did bite through a few car tires and he dragged home a horse saddle once that he tore to pieces. I just realized there's a full moon Saturday night, that ought to bring out the crazies in full force.


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#12 bubbajunk OFFLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2019 - 02:12 AM

Guy sounds like my uncles gay neighbors, he's gotten two nice Toro push mowers from them because they couldn't fix them. The guy knows damn little about maintaining equipment. He asked us to look at a chipper shredder they had that they could'n't get to start, he thought it might have locked up. We pulled it over to my uncles and I started to go over it. Went to start it by pulling the pull start and could barely budge it. Then I noticed oil coming out of the muffler, checked the dipstick, yep, over filled, way over filled. Drained it down and got it running, didn't have to worry about bugs for awhile, smoked like a old steam engine under load. I find common sense isn't very common now.

I had a guy bring me a string trimmer once that he said he was giving up on because it wouldn't start. He had just bought it, it was one of those propane powered four stroke models. He hands me the thing and its just soaked with oil, and not 2 stroke oil, its motor oil or gear oil.

I tried to pull the cord and it wouldn't budge, so I checked the oil, and the fill plug/dipstick wouldn't turn. I had to grab a pair of pliers to get it out. When I did oil ran out, bu I smelled gas. I checked the gas, and that too was full of oil. When I asked if he added oil and he say's "Sure did, put almost both containers in it". He then said he wasn't sure which hole the oil went in so he put a little in both, the same with the gas. I cleaned it all out and all was fine with the oil and gas where it belonged. He was also good for just throwing away string trimmers when the line ran out, he couldn't figure out how to refill one once so he never bothered again.Lucky for me he didn't buy cheap stuff, it was always Stihl, Echo, or Shindawa and Honda mowers. The propane trimmer was a Lehr.

I realized early on when I moved here I'd never have to buy lawn equipment or tools, all I need to do is watch the neighbors trash pile each week.

I've got another guy who just moved in about three houses down across the street that buys tools, uses them once to do a job, then throws them away.
I got a brand new Estwing hammer, two Cresent wrenches, a bottle jack, four jack stands, and a circular saw the other day. When he moved in he threw away a 6" vise that the last owner left in the garage. He bought a pressure washer to clean his sidewalks and foundation, when he was done cleaning and repainting the foundation of the house, the pressure washer went out to the curb. He don't own a mower, they take up too much room. He pays a lawn service instead. They had a barbecue on the fourth of July, he bought four huge coolers for beer and soda, a few days later, three of the coolers were in the trash. He didn't even bother to dump out the water and ice, or remove the case and a half of beer and half a case of soda.


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#13 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2019 - 09:18 AM

I don't know where you live but it sounds like an entertaining place. 


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#14 Doug E. ONLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2019 - 11:35 AM

I'm with your neighbor on this, you need to place some cameras toward this guy.  Sorry you missed the pool episode, I suspect that would have been fun to watch since he didn't hurt himself!

 

I'm with the others in the respect that "you can't fix stupid".

 

D.


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#15 makeitfit OFFLINE  

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Posted September 14, 2019 - 12:36 PM

I think I had looked at a couple of your neighbors tractors a while back, but I needed a mower not so much a work tractor.

The Simplicity tractors he has there all had a lot of potential, they just had some parts taken off them.

 

One problem these days with some of those larger tractors, the battery alone can be a major expense. The larger batteries start around $90. So right off the bat you have the expense of a new battery, then maybe a starter, a tune up, an oil change and filters, maybe a tire tube or two, likely a new seat as well. Then that $100 tractor quickly turns into a $300 tractor, and that's only if you can do the work yourself. Good luck finding a shop that'll work on anything older.

Most shops employ young kids to work on small equipment, if your lucky they're at least mechanically inclined or tech school trained but most are just doing double duty between working on mowers and sweeping the floor. Most charge anywhere from $65 to $100 per hour, more if its a major brand dealer.
I was looking at a JD 430 that didn't run a few months ago, when I started pricing the basic items to revive it I was looking at over a grand in just filters, belts, a pair of tires, a battery, and some touch up paint. I called the local dealer and couldn't get them to quote me a labor rate, but when the found out it was an older model that had been sitting for a few years they told me they weren't interested in working on it and that they didn't stock much for it, if anything at all.

 

Even so, if your after a good project and do your own work then compared to what's out there today, buying something older is the only option, but its not going to be $100 cheap for a turn key machine but no doubt it'll be half the cost of anything even half as capable made today. A guy I work with bought one of the $100 Simplicity 7117's that guy has for sale a few months ago, he bought because he had a suitable motor for it. Its now powered by Briggs Vanguard he took off something they junked where he worked.

He added a seat he found on CL, a pair of new rear ag tires, a fresh new paint job, and built it a hitch and plow and he plows over an acre of garden with it. He's got only the cost of the parts in it, but he did it all himself. Its nice to have a garage or a place to work inside as well. Its tough if you come home from work and its dark outside, it limits anything you do to one day a week if it don't rain.

 

When I was there he even had a load of Brinly attachments, dirt plows, discs, and a few grader blades but no mower decks, but I don't think anyone would be buying one of those to mow their lawn with anyhow. I always looked at the Simplicity and AC tractors more as work horses than lawn mowers. The deck just gets in the way of other tasks. Besides, a gallon or two of cheap weed killer will take care of the grass, no need to mow then.


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