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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I am looking at an older simplicity for sale. Its a regent with the 16hp kohler and 44" cut. The guy is asking $550. Seemingly in good shape. Am I asking for trouble looking at mowers this old? What should I look at on it? It seems nice and sturdy.

I currently have an very old white 38" mower. I have had it 3 seasons and keep piecing it together to keep it going though I am no mechanic. Its getting old.. We have about 3/4 of acre to cut, mostly flat.

I am having trouble finding something used. Everybody around here wants $1000 for a 7 year old craftsman and I dont have $1000 or more for new mower.

Thanks, Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

As long as the unit is in good shape, has been treated well and maintained regularly, there is no reason to shy away from a vintage machine.

Things to look, ask, listen for and keep in mind:

-Look for welds

-Condition of paint and body- This can an give a good indication of how the machine was valued by its owner(s).

-Has it been stored inside or inside?

-Any rust?

-How does the engine sound? Does it smoke, tick, or knock? How does the oil look? Any leakes that you can tell?

-Check the wiring. What is the condition? Any splices, corrosion etc?

-Listen to the mowing deck. Do the bearings sound OK? With the machine off, check for play in the pulleys. Check the belt wear.

-How Does the PTO engage?

-How do the brakes work?

-Ask as much as you can about the maintenance history. How often was it serviced?

-How was the tractor used? Have him show you the areas where he used it.

The real key in my opinion is that a vintage machine can be more work to maintain in the long run vs. a newer unit, but as long as it has been properly treated and had regular maintenance performed, there is no reason not to go with it if you can appreciate using a machine of yesteryear.
 

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Ditto to what the other fellows said.

Ask the seller for the owner's manual. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but if they still have the owner's manual, there's a good chance they took good care of the tractor. Most of those things go missing.
 

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These are nice machines. One are to watch is the electronic ignition for the Kohler. They are a problem, we took it off and changed over to normal ignition. The machines seem well built. Austen is correct,oil and condition of welds tell tails. Also how worn the tires are helps tell hours.
Here is two I own right now.


 

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Sold the bagger one today. Guy coming from CT for the bagger unit. The guy who bought the tractor didin't want it. The guy from CT begged me for bagger last week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
mower

THanks everyone, points taken about the oil and welds.

I will be looking at it Tuesday evening. I just dont know. For some reason, the age scares me no matter what. 15 years is pretty old. Then again, do I buy a 7 year old craftsman for the same price? Or does a person save up a few more hundred dollars and get a el cheapo new mower? Ugh....
 

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15 years isn't that bad-as long as it's been well taken care of. The newer big box tractors are definitely a cut below, with very cheap construction and a ~5 year design life in my opinion.
 

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THanks everyone, points taken about the oil and welds.

I will be looking at it Tuesday evening. I just dont know. For some reason, the age scares me no matter what. 15 years is pretty old. Then again, do I buy a 7 year old craftsman for the same price? Or does a person save up a few more hundred dollars and get a el cheapo new mower? Ugh....
Bill, the machines of today are NO comparasion to the heavy steel machines of a few years ago. The better brands have parts still availible. Motorhead is right. The only new machine we have had was so cheap compared to our old steel. The Troybilt tractor I bought was so light, we could unload it by hand. The engine was exploded,with block so thin a hammer took a chunk out of it! Look for a well cared for John Deere or Simplicity like the ones I pictured. All of the major brands were well built. Murrays of the early years, non MTD were quite well built. Try Ebay, Craigslist, or the trade in's at your local dealer! Bet you can find a real good machine! The end result is whatever makes YOU confortable. If you would prefer a warranty and no hassles in your thinking, go new. The machines in Home Depot or Lowes are of lower quality than the name brand sold by the dealer network. Good luck and God bless!
Eric
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
looked at it

Thanks again

I took a look at the simplicity. Not in bad shape for being 15 years old but not great. Sounded a little choppy running. Oil and deck all looked good. The seat is torn to shreds and a couple tires leak air. Not a big deal, but I want something with no issues.

I found a john deere L110 for sale close to me. The simplicity is about an hour away and I didnt have a trailer last night. Anyway the JD is a 2005 17.5 kohler. Very very clean. Seems to be in almost new shape. The seller claims someone left the key on at one point and ran the hours meter up, not sure if thats possible. Its has something like 250 hours be he says that a little hi. Got it from a dealer, not lowes. Asking $950 but it comes with a bagger which he said was $350 alone. Does that price seem in line for a 8 year old JD or does it seem a little high? How would this compare to the simplicity?

Sorry for so many questions, its just nice though to have knowlegeble people to ask.
 

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Looking at tractorhouse.com it might be a little on the high side for the hours but not way off the average.
 

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The L110 is more of a Home Depot special, and probably won't be as rugged as the Simplicity. It's from JD's big box 100 series, which are definitely a cut below the higher end dealer line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
deere

Well I bought the john deere. I ended up paying 850 with the bagger. I wouldnt have paid that much except it really seems to be in nice shape. Looks almost brand new. The deck doesnt even have a rust spot like most of the yellow jd decks do.The way our spring is going here in wisconsin I might not be able to use it for a long time though!
 
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