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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I don't know much about lawn mowers but am looking for a 38" or 42" mower. I found one on craigslist that is a 2003 LT150 that looks intriguing. It has some wear and tear it looks like from the pictures. I am wondering if it's alright to approach the local John Deere shop to ask if anyone would be interested in going with me to look at it. It looks like a good price otherwise I would buy a new one from the dealership. Thanks! This is the link to the listing John Deere riding lawn mower.
 

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To me that ad makes no sense.

It's well used, but was a house warming present that is too big.
Dad bought it new? So we're did all the use come from?
Ripped bags and unsure of the year his dad bought it new?

Something is not right. But I think you might have trouble getting a dealer to help.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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To me that ad makes no sense.

It's well used, but was a house warming present that is too big.
Dad bought it new? So we're did all the use come from?
Ripped bags and unsure of the year his dad bought it new?

Something is not right. But I think you might have trouble getting a dealer to help.
Just my 2 cents.
Add to the above...It is too big for his yard, yet a bigger tractor sits right behind it, in one photo? :unknown:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The dad bought it brand new, used it for however many years then gave it to the son as a house warming present. I'm guessing the mower is not sitting in his shed, I'm guessing it's sitting in the dad's shed or someone else's.

You say it would be tough to get a mechanic out there, why is that?
 

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Add to the above...It is too big for his yard, yet a bigger tractor sits right behind it, in one photo? :unknown:
That's not a tractor in the background - it's a mud bogger on (I think) 2.5-ton narrowed military axles.

Looks pretty beat up for an 11 year old tractor.
 

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BTW krusej23...

:gtfam:
 

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Sawdust and Farmgirl pointed out the inconsistencies in the ad, and they made some good points. Now a little info on the tractor itself. The LT150 was the entry level lawn tractor in Deere's lineup in that year. It will have a 15 hp air cooled single cylinder Kohler Command engine and the light duty Kanzaki K46 transmission with the foot control forward and reverse. They were good little units, build on an unibody frame, but they were still entry level. The LX200 series were better quality lawn tractors in the day. You can find more info here in the 7th post.http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/lawn-garden-tractors/3229-just-few-brochures.html The LT150 was made from 2002 to 2005.

The K46 transmission has garnered a bad reputation over years as being weak and there been reports of early failures. I think mostly from being used beyond the design of the unit. I haven't heard much trouble though with this transmission in the LT series as much as I have the L-series. The Kohler Command engine is commercial grade and are real good engines. These are nice little tractors that have held up well over the years. That one looks to be used judging by the torn seats, and the dirt accumulation on the overall unit. In my opinion price is about right, but getting it for less isn't a bad idea. If your'e not sure what you're looking for when checking this unit out, find a good friend who is knowledgeable in mechanical issues and can hear when there are unusual noises in engine and transmission. Check the oil level in the engine (the K46 is a sealed unit therefore you can't check the fluid lever in it). Warm it up a few minutes, drive it around, engage the blades, listen for whining in the transmission under load, noises in the engine under load and at idle, etc. Check to see if the steering is tight, but not too tight. The LTs should have great turning radius with easy to steer feel when turning. Check to see if the park brake holds. Check to see if the deck blades aren't wobbly or noisy. These are the usual things that can go wrong on all lawn tractors.

Good luck and :wgtt:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sawdust and Farmgirl pointed out the inconsistencies in the ad, and they made some good points. Now a little info on the tractor itself. The LT150 was the entry level lawn tractor in Deere's lineup in that year. It will have a 15 hp air cooled single cylinder Kohler Command engine and the light duty Kanzaki K46 transmission with the foot control forward and reverse. They were good little units, build on an unibody frame, but they were still entry level. The LX200 series were better quality lawn tractors in the day. You can find more info here in the 7th post.http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/lawn-garden-tractors/3229-just-few-brochures.html The LT150 was made from 2002 to 2005.

The K46 transmission has garnered a bad reputation over years as being weak and there been reports of early failures. I think mostly from being used beyond the design of the unit. I haven't heard much trouble though with this transmission in the LT series as much as I have the L-series. The Kohler Command engine is commercial grade and are real good engines. These are nice little tractors that have held up well over the years. That one looks to be used judging by the torn seats, and the dirt accumulation on the overall unit. In my opinion price is about right, but getting it for less isn't a bad idea. If your'e not sure what you're looking for when checking this unit out, find a good friend who is knowledgeable in mechanical issues and can hear when there are unusual noises in engine and transmission. Check the oil level in the engine (the K46 is a sealed unit therefore you can't check the fluid lever in it). Warm it up a few minutes, drive it around, engage the blades, listen for whining in the transmission under load, noises in the engine under load and at idle, etc. Check to see if the steering is tight, but not too tight. The LTs should have great turning radius with easy to steer feel when turning. Check to see if the park brake holds. Check to see if the deck blades aren't wobbly or noisy. These are the usual things that can go wrong on all lawn tractors.

Good luck and :wgtt:
I appreciate the help on this. Would it be able to pull an aerator behind it? I will see if I can get someone to help me when I go there. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am trying to decide between this LT150 or a brand new D110 that is listed for $1700. I have about a 1/3 acre lot that I mow and then I would like to be able to aerate with it too. If the LT150 is in decent shape, I would like to save the money and then I can fix it up with money saved.
 

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The others have offered some great input on the tractor, not much I can add there. :good2:


Your original question was about hiring a JD tech to come along for a pre-purchase inspection. That's a great question in general, because it applies to any used purchase.

The outfit I work for will gladly do pre-purchase inspections for customers. We've inspected equipment for existing customers that were looking to add on, and folks we've never heard from before that are looking at buying a used machine that's the brand we're a dealer for. Everything from one unit sitting in the back of a construction company's yard to 40 machines going up for auction when a company closed down. Dealers and shops differ though, some may not want to pull a tech from an existing customer with multiple machines to go evaluate a lawn or garden tractor.

The trouble right now, and for the next couple of months, is that ag shops are generally pretty busy. There's new equipment being setup, and they have existing customers that are commercial farms that require on-site field repairs, plus all the clients of every size that have the dealer do their maintenance. They may be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks before they have a field tech with an opening in their schedule to look at the machine you want evaluated. It will probably be costly as well, expect to pay a 'trip' or 'service call' fee in addition to the regular hourly rate for a field tech. Hourly rates for field techs are sometimes more expensive than shop rates, and the service call or trip fee can be an extra hour's labor or so. With shop rates anywhere from $60-80 per hour or more, it can add up.

Depending on your mechanical abilities, it can certainly be worth having a tech come out to look at a machine. I just wanted to give folks an idea what that may involve. :thumbup1gif::greentractorride:
 

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Where are you located within Iowa - Did a quick CL search for Cedar Rapids area and it looksd like there are quite a few good candidates.

The 17hp Kawi motors are solid (I still have my 1986 180 and it doesn't even seem to burn any oil and starts up immediately despite being almost 30 years old.)

$500 for a 214
John Deere 214 Lawn Tractor

Oops - missed the part where it said it had a thrown rod,.

JD Model 70 for $850 - looks clean
http://cedarrapids.craigslist.org/clt/4590092121.html
 

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Here's a 318 for $1350 - MUCH nicer machine than that $1700 new one....

318 John deere lawn mower


LT155 for $650 (supposed new motor in 2014 - although I'd wonder why the engine went so fast if not due to poor maintenance.)
John Deere LT155 / w bagger
Since we're spending your $, I vote for the 318 :good2:
Great machine, if its taken care of, and it'll hold that value and then some!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The others have offered some great input on the tractor, not much I can add there. :good2:


Your original question was about hiring a JD tech to come along for a pre-purchase inspection. That's a great question in general, because it applies to any used purchase.

The outfit I work for will gladly do pre-purchase inspections for customers. We've inspected equipment for existing customers that were looking to add on, and folks we've never heard from before that are looking at buying a used machine that's the brand we're a dealer for. Everything from one unit sitting in the back of a construction company's yard to 40 machines going up for auction when a company closed down. Dealers and shops differ though, some may not want to pull a tech from an existing customer with multiple machines to go evaluate a lawn or garden tractor.

The trouble right now, and for the next couple of months, is that ag shops are generally pretty busy. There's new equipment being setup, and they have existing customers that are commercial farms that require on-site field repairs, plus all the clients of every size that have the dealer do their maintenance. They may be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks before they have a field tech with an opening in their schedule to look at the machine you want evaluated. It will probably be costly as well, expect to pay a 'trip' or 'service call' fee in addition to the regular hourly rate for a field tech. Hourly rates for field techs are sometimes more expensive than shop rates, and the service call or trip fee can be an extra hour's labor or so. With shop rates anywhere from $60-80 per hour or more, it can add up.

Depending on your mechanical abilities, it can certainly be worth having a tech come out to look at a machine. I just wanted to give folks an idea what that may involve. :thumbup1gif::greentractorride:
Thank you very much 56FordGuy. That is the answer I wanted.
 

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Does a LT 150 have the stamped front axle or a cast iron axle? I would find another, with cast axle. I too find the story unbeleivable. Around here that would be about $200
 

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Just my .02 here about a JD dealer helping you out on buying used from Craigs list. I don't deny that there may be a dealer out there or someone who works for a dealer who might help you evaluate an item. However I think a dealer who does this is maybe a super nice person, or a inept business person.
You asking a dealer to help two strangers make a buy/sale. From strictly a business perspective, that would be helping you the buyer and the seller to put me out of business. Did you ever see a used car lot dealer help the guy across the road sell you a car from his lot? But I could be all wrong here. Just my .02

P.S. If someone working for me, did this, I would consider them a disloyal employee & a traitor. I would fire him on the spot.
 

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They may do it to drive future parts sales - mark-up on service parts is a lot higher than on the machines themselves.
 

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Just my .02 here about a JD dealer helping you out on buying used from Craigs list. I don't deny that there may be a dealer out there or someone who works for a dealer who might help you evaluate an item. However I think a dealer who does this is maybe a super nice person, or a inept business person.
You asking a dealer to help two strangers make a buy/sale. From strictly a business perspective, that would be helping you the buyer and the seller to put me out of business. Did you ever see a used car lot dealer help the guy across the road sell you a car from his lot? But I could be all wrong here. Just my .02

P.S. If someone working for me, did this, I would consider them a disloyal employee & a traitor. I would fire him on the spot.
AG / tractor business is not the same as the used car market. As a vet of retail sales I know you make money when you get people through the door. The dealer in the situation is getting a two for one special.

1. The buyer gets a good idea of what the used tractor is worth. If the tech finds somethings wrong with the item he has already built good rapport with the buyer and will likely get the business if the buys buys.

2. If the buyer walks on the deal the dealer may get a sale out of it because again the tech built good rapport.

3. The if the buyer doesn't buy the seller may decide to fix any of the issues before pressuring further sales of the tractor. In this case the dealer may get parts and or labor cost to fix the tractor.
 

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Does a LT 150 have the stamped front axle or a cast iron axle? I would find another, with cast axle. I too find the story unbeleivable. Around here that would be about $200
Cast iron front axles are more of a marketing trend that started about 15 years ago by Sears and CC. A stamped axle, welded properly using high strength metal, will last a long time, and isn't prone to breakage like a cast iron one. The last a few years, buzz words like cast iron axles, hight hp engines, bolt on rear wheels, drive shafts, etc. are all marketing schemes which some doesn't really make sense in a lawn tractor.
 

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Mechanics will do a pre-buy inspections on many types of equipment. Shops get paid for this all the time. It's super common place in aviation. I highly recommend it when buying a used vehicle. A tractor? Sure. But expect to pay for the transportation and for the service call. That's business. But I would look at it as a tiny insurance policy.:good2:
 
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