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Looks like a nice find.... Ive had two similar Sears thru the shop in the past year... a gt18 with snowblower and a gt19.9 with mower and 3pt/cultivator... I tried to stick some 25" ATV tires under them but they wouldnt quite fit so 24" is likely the max height without wheel spacers... they steer nice and turn fairly sharp... plenty of torque for heavy chores... the Peerless 633 transaxles seem pretty tough and the Onans are nice engines but can be a bit pricey to work on... the fuel pump integrated into the carb can be a problem but its pretty easy to put on an addon pulse or electric pump.

Good Score!!
 

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those old tires are thicker and have a harder compound but there is more to a tire than simply holding air... modern tires are made with softer compounds and have far better traction and ride comfort.

AG tires are designed for soft soil where they can dig in a little.... on basically any other surface they have very little traction so unless the main purpose of the tractor is to pull a furrow plough or tiller in a garden an AG tire is simply the wrong choice and even then at 10.5" wide a garden tractor does not have the weight needed to make good use of the tread pattern so you would most likely end up adding chains..... if you need chains the tires are not doing what they are designed to do.... plus chains beat the crap out of axles/hubs and transaxles in general.

I have a small engine service shop... if somebody brings in a 40+ yr old tractor with axle/trans problem I think was caused by using chains I wont work on it or sell them parts... parts for these older machines are hard to find and I wont sell them to people that are going to abuse them
 

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Asking prices and Selling prices are not the same thing.... and if you only look on sites like kijiji or craigslist then you only see the most absurd prices... those sellers dont get those prices and the ads only disappear because the seller gives up and then goes on forums bitchin about all the so-called lowball offers he received..... you need to watch auction results to get a realistic value on what these old tractors sell for.
 

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Something else thats very common on kijij type ads is that many of the tractors are advertised as restored in which case the sellers often think they are going to get their investment back or even make money..... but that doesnt work out even for those that restore classic autos and muscle cars... you can repair them and get them roadworthy and still make a profit but once you start restoring something it becomes an expensive hobby.... same thing with these GTs.

Ive made some decent $$$ fixing/flipping GTs but Ive never even considered restoring one... at least not to my definition of "Restored".... for me that means every nut and bolt has been removed where as some people will clean it up and throw a rattle can paint job on it and call that restored asking an absurd price.

I dont hardly ever buy anything off of kijiji..... I find more tractors in the local buy/sell facebook groups and newspaper... yes newspaper.... many of these old tractors still belong to old people who cant be bothered with internet dealings. The two Sears tractors, gt18 and gt19.9 were never on the internet... I paid $125 for the pair of them, both run and only needed minor repairs.... I also picked up the Case 446 last year for $120 and that included an old two wheel tractor with a sickle mower.... granted Ive been in the biz since before the internet existed so I do things differantly. Lol
 

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I would like to rebuild another GT but then I would paint it like a Cockshutt so it still wouldnt be a restoration... my Bolens RaM is rebuilt but no where near stock so that isnt restored... lots of die hard Bolens fans hate me for that one. Lol

I often chuckle when the ads say "Rare" and/or "Collectable"..... tractors such as these Sears I think Ive had 7 of them, 10 or 12 old Fords, Im on my 5th big wheel case, more than a dozen old Cubs... even my '57 RaM might be considered a bit rare around here but in the states they are still fairly common if you know where to look.

Unfortunately Im sure some people do believe such claims and pay waaaay too much money but I dont believe thats the normal... I know a couple guys around here that "restore" tractors and advertise them for top $$$ but they rarely sell anything.... one old timer that recently passed away had 3 or 4 Case big wheelers and he was always asking for $3500+ for them... well he died with all the same tractors he had when I met him about ten years ago.. now those tractors will probably be auctioned off and go for less than $1500 each.
 

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I believe those big wheels are actually a dis-advantage because they require more torque to turn them and they have a larger contact patch so they reqiure more weight aswell.... and when you consider that the hy-drive system uses 15% of your available HP the Case tractors have never impressed me. They are good looking tractors, the 16" wheels and longer wheelbase offer a smoother ride, they are plenty capable enough for most any yard/garden chores, and they often do sell for top dollar but they are not overly impressive imo and they use alot of fuel.

The MTD 990 is another big wheeler with a hydrostatic trans but Ive taken one to the pulls it couldnt come anywhere close to my 960 with 12" wheels and a gearbox. Doing chores around the yard the 990s ride smooth but they use alot of fuel so I was never tempted to keep one of them around for long either. For me a tractor needs to pull heavy loads and push alot of snow.. how it looks is not very high on my list.... after owning some 227+ tractors to date an MTD 960 is still the one I keep in my shop;)
 

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the clutch is the best part of a 960 imo... the disc is still available from partstree for about $90... the pressure plates can be cleaned up on a lathe, and the rest of it never needs attention.... I rebuilt the clutch in my Columbia over ten years ago and it still looks and works as new. ... but they dont like to be left out in the elements, if the plates gets rusty they will wear the disc in a hurry so my tractor is never left outside over night.

Not sure what your concern might be with the rag box... those are used on everything from mower decks to grain augers and Ive never seen one go bad. I would rather have a real clutch with rag box than a mickey mouse clutch with a pulley on a spring any day.... especially if its connected to a 2300 trans... other than a couple minor issues with the shift forks Ive never seen them have any problems... its the biggest / heaviest manual transaxle that Peerless ever built and uses the same differential cluster as the 2500 hydro.

In stock form the 960 has more weight over the rear drive wheels than any other tractor Ive seen to date, part of that is the 2300 trans but tractors frame is where most of the weight is... the back half of the frame is a single c-channel of 3/16 steel about 10" high, 13" wide, and 20" long with a 12"x13"x1/4" plate rear cap on the back end... there is more weight in the rear half than most other complete tractor frames and it puts the 960 up to 910# without any attachments.

There is alot of people who love to hate MTD... for me thats become part of the fun... I love it when such people show up at the pulls with their attitudes bigger than their tractors.... the MTD 960 are not real nice tractors to operate, not very comfy, hard to steer, and most of the attachments are pita... but if you need to hook a chain to a stone boat thats the kind chore where they really shine... taking it to the tractor pulls is an easy day compared to what Ive been putting it thru at home for the last 10 years or so... if I ever find a tractor that will beat the 960 then it will be up for sale but Ive tried/tested alot of whats available and I dont see that happening anytime soon. ;)
 

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Lol... I bet Noel hates my comments on the Case big wheels.... dont ya??.... but yours does look ALOT better than mine... and I do think they are nice tractors but after owning as many tractors as I have it takes alot for any tractor to stand out and really impress me.. for general yard work both the Case 446 and Brians SS16 are much nicer tractors than my MTD but they wont haul 20+ bales on the stone boat out to cows or pull a pickup truck out of the ditch in a foot of snow--- that guy looked at me like I had three heads when I pulled out the Columbia but if I had tried that with the Cockshutt 40 it would have been stuck right along side his truck... the Columbia doesnt even notice a foot of snow - thats play time!

I was very tempted to keep the Sears GT19.9 but it wont allow for 25" atv tires so that ended that thought right there... the tires are a big part of why the Columbia pulls like it does... I tried AGs on it once... lasted about 3 hours, got stuck in the mud near the dugout and had to walk back to the yard to get another tractor and a long rope... those are show tires imo

Ive never really become bias towards any brand name... I think most all manufacturers have made some good and some not so good models and some tractors shine at certain chores but suck at others... I might lean a little towards the Jake built Fords as a personal favorite altho I dont even own one atm.. but Im lookin;)
 

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the 800 series is a much newer and light duty transaxle which wouldnt have been available when the MF8 were built so if it was a Peerless then it was more likely a 600 series but without hi/lo... but... back then the MFs were built by Dura and Im not real familiar with them... after Snapper began building the MF tractors they definately had Peerless transaxles.
 

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Transaxles are not fussy so you can pretty much use anything with a similar viscosity... personally I look for non detergent oils because detergents can loosen up old crud that has collected in nooks and crannys over the years... its best to leave that stuff where it is unless you dis assemble the trans for cleaning... after which you can use oils with detergents if you like.

1200 3 spd is still a pretty stout transaxle and IMO is quite capable of ground engaging equipment such as a furrow plough or snowblade.
 

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MF8 is a fairly small tractor but furrow ploughs can and have been pulled with as little as 3hp walk behind units back in the 40s/50s... furrow ploughs and snowplows were both OEM options for my '57 Bolens with 6 hp but even that is far more capable than a JD LT160... if you want a hydro you need a pretty good one... gearbox tractors of comparable weight are far more capable and back in the 60s/70s those gearboxes were generally pretty tough... Im sure there is a few exceptions but most of those old timers are far more tractor than your lt160 was... and your Sears is getting pretty close to the top of the list as far as capable tractors from the 70s... its not real user friendly but when it comes to pulling heavy loads or pushing snow it will easily keep up to an MF1650 hydro and in some cases even out perform it. Once you get into the late 80s and 90s those hydro transaxles are nothing like the bigger hydros used back in the 70s and early 80s... just the hydro pump alone on some of those old tractors weighed more than the entire transaxle in your LT160
 

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Ive had a few early JD 300 series... those have the same Peerless 2500 with foot control hydro like the MF 1650 and Ford LGT 165.... all of which are pretty nice stout tractors that usually sell pretty quick. The 70s/80s era tractors is kind of what I specialize in but I get all sorts of customer equipment in the shop... anything from weedwhackers to grain augers and I maintain equipment for two landscape companies with excavators and skidsteers. I pretty much grew up in Pops Cockshutt dealership in the late 60s/70s so tractors are in my DNA. Got my mechanics ticket in the CAF but never wanted to work at that once I left the military so I got into metal fab for 35 years. Ive owned street bikes since I was a kid and still ride an 1100 Honda Shadow, had a few quads, a few sleds, couple golf carts but no side x sides.

and now I drive a schoolbus.... FK IM GETTIN OLD!!!!!
 
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