I've been looking for a (super) garden tractor that can do some grading work, can fit 26x12x12 tires, has an excellent reputation, is (VERY) cheap, and isn't the same machine that every man and his brother has, like the typical John Deere or Cub Cadet.....no offense guys, they're great tractors but I like more of the odd ball stuff). A little while back here on GT talk I saw a Snapper 1855 and loved it and said I'd love to find one if the price was right. A short time later one popped up here locally on Craigslist for $850 and it was kind of rough, but not too bad, but I couldn't justify spending that much. Then I saw one a couple weeks ago on Craigslist only a couple of hours after it was listed and I offered the guy $500 for it and we made the deal and I picked it up later that night. I heard they were big, but this thing seemed HUGE when I saw it in person, I was impressed! It ran great, it drove, but there were some cob job hacks done to it, but nothing major that I couldn't undo. The worst was the awful spray bomb paint job, but mechanically it was very good and didn't seem to have that high of hours on it.
I was buying other tractors like Sears Suburbans and Sears GT's, but really wanted a deal on a super garden tractor like a Sears FF, so that I could put big ag tires on it, a sleeve or 3 point hitch, etc, etc, but this latest Snapper 1855 purchase was the real deal and it has a 3 point hitch that I can use a box scraper on. But first I'm going to get it looking good and I want to do it like I do all my projects, the work being done by me, on a budget....shopping around to get the highest quality parts at the lowest possible price, and making it look great. Here's the rundown of what I have so far:
I'm going to do it up as a Massey 1855 because I like the looks of them and I have a matching vintage Massey dump cart that my friend gave me for free.
-The rear tires are shot, so I'll be painting the wheels and putting on some 4 ply Goodyear Super Terra Grip Ag tires that I have left over from some of the 6 wheel Amphibious ATV's that I work on. Cost- Free
-The grille was pretty dinged up and it didn't have the headlight panel, lights, wiring or mesh, so I got a complete front grille assembly with all those parts.
-New Decals from Maple Hunter
-Someone put some weird semi-triangular shaped steering wheel on my tractor so that has to go
Cost for a replacement from a Massey 1200 $25
-Another townie cob job artist stripped the brass high speed screw in the carburetor, didn't screw down the choke cable retainer so I got it out and secured the choke cable
-The tractor, when I was steering it in the snow, didn't go where I was steering with the front turf tires, it just kept going straight, so after reading all about the Vredstein V61 tires I decided I'd go for a set. They were WAY more than I wanted to spend but I got them for a little more than $135 shipped with all my ebay discounts and stuff.
It will still need the correct ignition switch (another townie hack put a toggle switch to spin the starter motor), a nice (and correct) paint job, the engine tin for the right side cylinder head on the Onan engine, a new seat because someone put a crappy old incorrect one on there, and all the fluids and filters changed. It does have a new battery though, which was nice to see. So right now I have $500 in the tractor and roughly $275 in parts. I really didn't want to spend so much, but I hope to have it all done and looking good for just under $1,000 hopefully. A somewhat low hour, Snapper/Massey 1855 that's all done up like this with three 3 point hitch for under a grand seems as though it can be justified. I highly doubt it'd be possible to find a very nice John Deere 420 or Cub 982 for that kind of money.