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· Tractorholic
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One of my married daughters is looking for a riding mower to take care of her yard. She need something basic and dependable. I'd like her to find an oldie but goodie John Deere or Cub Cadet, etc. but her budget won't allow for that, and I can't help her much for a while with maintaining it or keeping it running due to my knee replacement.

I'm not a fan of anything with a vertical engine with the possible exception of a zero turn model. It's a pain to replace belts and work on them, but it looks like that's about what she might be able to afford.

So, are there any newer makes/models of <ahem> lawn tractors from the big box stores that you all would recommend?

Thanks,

Smitty
 

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One of my married daughters is looking for a riding mower to take care of her yard. She need something basic and dependable. I'd like her to find an oldie but goodie John Deere or Cub Cadet, etc. but her budget won't allow for that, and I can't help her much for a while with maintaining it or keeping it running due to my knee replacement.

I'm not a fan of anything with a vertical engine with the possible exception of a zero turn model. It's a pain to replace belts and work on them, but it looks like that's about what she might be able to afford.

So, are there any newer makes/models of <ahem> lawn tractors from the big box stores that you all would recommend?

Thanks,

Smitty
Am old bolens, newer style cub cadet, newer husqvarna
 

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Definitely not new big box store. They are not worth bringing home. Everything is light duty on them and nothing is built to last more than a few years. Expensive mowing. Like what was said, try and lawn mower repair shop and see if they will let you try it out first. Ton of used mowers around here and nothing is selling right now. I have had a Bolens with a deck that runs and mows good for sale for $250 for over 6 months. Not one call. Couple others I talked to the same way. One guy has about 10 push mowers running and nothing is mowing. A friend in a repair shop siad they are run under with repair work but machine sales is dead right now.
 

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I had a brand new John Deer lt110 ,biggest pile of gooey brown stuff I have ever owned. I spend way less then half that on my old vintage sears and love them.

What I really love about the sears suburbans is that they are as simple as simple gets. You get real levers to engage the implement not wimpy cables. All common hardware nothing fancy and or hard to find. The belt is on the side, so access to it is easy.

What I don't like about them is the Tecumseh engines , parts are obsolete , but with an engine swap its the best tractor I can think of for someone that don't like to tinker.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Plant


Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Tread


Find someone to put a brand new (quality) engine in an old sears and your done, I mean done done, like maytag man kinda done.

Peaked cap Cap Sleeve Gesture Collar


Cost 150.00 for the tractor 613.00 for the engine. 763.00 total investment and I can't for see anything needed in the future besides maybe a belt.

I did have to put in some work to make it but I would put the old Sears against any box store tractor any day of the week.

I had a simplicity too,but it was not as simple as these older sears. Plus it was not as light and nimble feeling as the sears.

My son is buying a tractor for his yard and we been through some options, he is on a budget and needs something turn key, so I told him to buy an old sears and a brand new engine and I will guarantee he will be set for a long time.
 

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· Fixer of Broken junk
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Cheap Reliable mower would be an 90s to mid 2000s MTD made mower with the 2 blade 38-42" deck, CVT transaxle and OHV briggs vanguard. Kohler command equipped if you can find 1.

Be prepared to put a head gasket in a OHV briggs powered one and some tubes in the tires but other than that they are a very reliable cheap mower.

Those Aluminum cased single speed CVT trans-axles last 2-3x longer than the hydros of that era.

Stay away from the Troy Bilts, Husqvarna and Noma mowers and anything with a Hydro transaxle. They are prone to several steering problems, Junk Kohler Courage engines and weak hydro transaxles and weak frames that can crack and a whole slew of problems with the decks.

Something like this one. But I wouldn't pay a dime over $250 for this particular one just because it looks like it was kept outside. It says it has a new carburetor so I suspect that it will need a head gasket. Those 2 things go hand in hand on an OHV briggs.

https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/ace-42-riding-mower/6589873057.html

This one isn't bad but priced a little high. 12.5hp briggs flathead CVT transaxle 38" deck with bagger and new tires, battery, blades and starter. Looks pretty clean.

https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/38-inch-riding-mower/6593583557.html

Another one with flathead briggs and a bagger. And priced to high.

https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/coast-to-coast-riding-lawn/6592686443.html

And another. This one is super clean. Not a horrible deal if it runs and operates the way it should.

https://spokane.craigslist.org/grd/d/yard-man-42-16hp-c-riding/6587207611.html

Another clean example.

https://moseslake.craigslist.org/grd/d/riding-mower/6596014829.html

The old Square hood craftsmans with the 5 speed are pretty reliable if you can find one that doesn't have a billion hours on it.
 

· My projects take longer so I enjoy them more...
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4,914 Posts
Deere gear drive - 110/112 over 250,000 or 200 series (I think the 212 is the sweet spot) but I suspect those are scarce in your part of the world
 

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568 Posts
That's a good Daddy for ya!
The new husband is probably not handy (just cause most kids nowadays aren't)
Maybe I'm wrong
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Cough cough, I'm pretty handy thank you very much
 

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Cheap Reliable mower would be an 90s to mid 2000s MTD made mower with the 2 blade 38-42" deck, CVT transaxle and OHV briggs vanguard. Kohler command equipped if you can find 1.

Be prepared to put a head gasket in a OHV briggs powered one and some tubes in the tires but other than that they are a very reliable cheap mower.

Those Aluminum cased single speed CVT trans-axles last 2-3x longer than the hydros or that era.

Stay away from the Troy Bilts, Husqvarna and Noma mowers and anything with a Hydro transaxle. They are prone to several steering problems, Junk Kohler Courage engines and weak hydro transaxles and weak frames that can crack and a whole slew of problems with the decks.

Something like this one. But I wouldn't pay a dime over $250 for this particular one just because it looks like it was kept outside. It says it has a new carburetor so I suspect that it will need a head gasket. Those 2 things go hand in hand on an OHV briggs.

https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/ace-42-riding-mower/6589873057.html

This one isn't bad but priced a little high. 12.5hp briggs flathead CVT transaxle 38" deck with bagger and new tires, battery, blades and starter. Looks pretty clean.
https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/38-inch-riding-mower/6593583557.html

Another one with flathead briggs and a bagger. And priced to high.
https://boise.craigslist.org/grd/d/coast-to-coast-riding-lawn/6592686443.html

And another. This one is super clean. Not a horrible deal if it runs and operates the way it should.
https://spokane.craigslist.org/grd/d/yard-man-42-16hp-c-riding/6587207611.html

Another clean example.
https://moseslake.craigslist.org/grd/d/riding-mower/6596014829.html

The old Square hood craftsmans with the 5 speed are pretty reliable if you can find one that doesn't have a billion hours on it.
I'd say no to a lot of side discharge baggers, them mtd are incredibly easy to find in Northern Ireland, we must have about 20 of them in the gusinesss scrapyard! I'd say look for the ones with the i/c engines
 

· Premium Member
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7,310 Posts
Hey Smitty how's the knee treating you?

If it were me (you didn't say how big the yard is) I'd find her a used 12hp Wheel-Horse. I would without hesitation give one of them to anyone looking for a good solid mower. Very easy to maintain and about bullet proof. With the hydro you get hydraulic lift. They are easy on fuel and easier to steer. I have one in about this condition setting in the hangar that I only paid $200 for but is a manual tranny and lift. Need to get it running for the grandson.

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/grd/d/toro-wheel-horse-classic-312/6597805149.html

00S0S_2EdtB9BC9n9_600x450.jpg
 

· Tractorholic
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That's a good Daddy for ya!
The new husband is probably not handy (just cause most kids nowadays aren't)
Maybe I'm wrong

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
most young folks aren't my grandson is 20 and he knows how to use a smart phone
 

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1,360 Posts
You don't say how large or smooth her lawn is. If she's got a small lawn that is fairly smooth she might get a few years out of a big box lawn tractor.

If she can do that though, I'm not sure why budget is an issue. I'd think she could get a decent older quality tractor for less $$ than a new box store one.
 
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