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Discussion Starter #1
I have 3 tractors,
4610 hydro with flail mower, FEL and grapple.
a X300 lawn mower
and a '70's vintage Wheelhorse 16hp Kohler.

I use the old Wheelhorse the most and it died Wednesday.
Piston skirt broke away from top of piston.

Ideally I'd like to replace the 3 but in reality if I get one HEAVY DUTY lawn tractor that I could use to mow lawns with and the other stuff I use the wheel horse for I'd be good.

I use the wheel horse for getting firewood in a 20 cu ft trailer out of the woods. Its nice that it can snake into where ever without damaging or having to make a trail to get to the wood. But the big kicker is I use it to pull a drag thats 4 ft square with hundreds of small spikes on the bottom to rough up soil for seeding areas.

So I'd need something that has a strong transmission that will hold up. Seems all the newer tractors are Hydro. Will a hydro hold up as good as a gear tractor for ground engaging stuff?

Any recommendations?

I'd probably would look to buy used.
 

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I would just get something to replace the wheel horse...:greentractorride:
 

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Yes, hydro trans will hold up to ground engaging equipment, though I dont think Id consider a drag exactly ground engaging. Generally I think tiller, single bottom plow, sub soiler, etc.
For that you want a garden tractor, NOT a lawn tractor.

I cant say what you should replace it with, but I can say Id probably look into a rebuild of the wheelhorse engine, as a good quality rebuild kit for that engine will be fairly inexpensive compared to any other options.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What about a Gator (side by side UTV)? Some smaller ones like the the Kubota and Kawasaki have very small ones. Something you could get even more use out of.
I've thought along those lines. But I'd like to also use it to mow the lawn. I then could dump the X300 which just for mowing the small lawn I have.
Less stuff to maintain and store, keep things Simple as possible.

Ideally it would have to the following,
Mow lawn,
Tow trailer (20 cu ft) full of firewood, rocks, topsoil, mulch etc.
Pull drag.

Shouldn't be too hard to get something to do those tasks

My wheelhorse is small, 3ft wide x 5 ft long.
I'll look into Kubota and Kawasaki 4 wheelers and see about size.
But lack of lawn mowing ability forces me to have 3 tractors/UTVs

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would just get something to replace the wheel horse...:greentractorride:
No problem replacing the wheel horse, but while I'm at it I can reduce the amount of "stuff" I have and therefore the amount of maintenance and storage space I have to have is always a bonus that should be seized upon when possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, hydro trans will hold up to ground engaging equipment, though I dont think Id consider a drag exactly ground engaging. Generally I think tiller, single bottom plow, sub soiler, etc.
For that you want a garden tractor, NOT a lawn tractor.

I cant say what you should replace it with, but I can say Id probably look into a rebuild of the wheelhorse engine, as a good quality rebuild kit for that engine will be fairly inexpensive compared to any other options.
I read that the Hydro in a X300 is "light duty", can be used for mowing lawn and pulling a trailer. Even that if your mowing alot of hills that the trans will suffer a short life span.
Is this not true? Do you think that a X300 could pull a 4' x 4' skid with 5 1 x 4's screwed to bottom of it with approx 200 3/8 x 1 spikes dragging in the packed clay/loam soil? Oh and the skid has about 100lbs of weight on it to keep it from "bouncing". If so I'll pull the mower deck off and I'm off to the races.
I've read that a Garden tractor has a heavier duty hydro than the lawn tractors. Trouble is with the wording. Lawn & garden, lawn, garden use those words and to the salesman at the local place they all mean the same.

If a garden tractor is what I'm needing give me some examples. What does JD make that would work for me? Do they still make anything with gear drives in Garden tractors?

I like the gear drive, I think its heavier duty than a hydro and when I'm in the woods with a load of firewood and the tires start spinning I can leave the tractor in gear, get off and push it till it starts moving on its own. My little Wheelhorse has 6 speeds, the first 4 are so slow that walking will keep up the tractor.

Am I wrong on the gear drives?

I don't follow latest info on any of this stuff. I've had the wheelhorse for over 25 years and only got the X300 cause my wife outsmarted me. Its a long story.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My first thought was along the same lines as IndianaJim's - either rebuild that Kohler or find a used one to replace it on CraigsList.
2 downsides to rebuilding the kohler,
1) time, I don't have the time to wait. I have to get 2 acres roughed up and get the seed bed prepped for planting. Maybe 3 weeks at most to get it roughed up, seeded and covered with straw before the growing season gets on the short side.
2) At a certain point I think I'm throwing good money after bad. Even if I rebuild the Kohler I'm stuck with a almost 50 year old tractor that has lots of other wear and tear on it but with a "new" engine. What do you think the cost of rebuilding the engine would run? $1000 or more? Cost for a Piston and ring set is $330. Some parts are not available "new" from kohler anymore. I know there are ways past that but always at a cost.
Right now the front suspension/steering is loose, the rear diff has a leak, the whole clutch/belt/pulley system is getting loose so that the clutch grabs right at the top. I'm used to it, doesn't bother me but its not right. Its not like it was only used by a little old lady to mow her 1/4 acre of flat lawn at her summer cottage 3 times a year.

Don't get me wrong, I like my old wheelhorse, its been a work horse for many years. I've used the crap out of it. But at a certain point its time to move on. I won't shed a tear when I pull the plug, its just another tool in the tool box.

If in the process I can get something that does the lawn mowing chores while being able to do the other chores its a win all around for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
View attachment 624154
Add a FEL :thumbup1gif:
And thats where the title of this thread comes from. I have thought about getting rid of my 4610 and getting a smaller tractor to replace it along with my X300 and Dying Wheelhorse.

I bought the 4610 to do a couple of certain jobs while we were building the house we live in now.
1) Build a rock wall with all the stones dug up from construction (DONE)
2) Landscape around house in 3 acre field by moving soil as req'd. (Done)
3) mow fields with native grasses (approx 4 acres) maybe once a year after established. (may end, might switch to burning)

So now I rarely use the Big JD. I have entertained buying a 3 pt chipper for it. I do have use for the mulch and lots of brush piles are constantly being made from making firewood. I have a Alamo 6ft flail mower, woods 6ft tiller, grapple, FEL, and some smaller 3 pt stuff.
I'm going to sell the tiller as I have no use for it anymore.

So if I could get a smaller tractor that could power a wood chipper, tow a small trailer and run a mower I might be set.

So I think I'm going to get the wheelhorse running to get me done with my planting, hopefully it'll last that long with a new piston in it. Then look into trading in the 4610 and the X300 on one tractor for everything.

My yard is not that big, less than 1/4 acre and its relatively flat, maybe I should just do it with a push mower. I don't mow the lawn much at all, its a "no mow lawn". I have not mowed it all yet this year, although its just getting established. Was put in last fall.

Might have to make a trip to the JD dealer and see whats available.
 

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I've had the wheelhorse for over 25 years and only got the X300 cause my wife outsmarted me. Its a long story.
I want to hear that story. :mocking::munch:
 

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For gear tractor, I'd look at/for a JD 650. They have a little 17HP diesel, 2 or 4wd, you can get a mower deck for it, but hard to go from a hydro to mow to gear tractor. Maybe keep the x300 to mow and replace the 4610 and wheelhorse??

Is your 4610 2wd or 4wd? Hydro or gear?
 

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Unless I missed it I haven't seen a budget. It is all fine and dandy to recommend something but if it is way out of the price range then it is wasting time. Sure you could trade in the other machine to make something more affordable.

Can hydro do ground engagement? Sure people plow fields with the X7xx machines. That is way more work than a drag. I really haven't seen any comments about what your yard is like. Sure 1, 2 and 3 series machines can cut grass. As you go up in size they get heavier, are harder on the yard. If you have limited time then you may not have time to wait for the yard to dry out to cut the grass with a 3 series. A 1 might be fine though. A 1 is more maneuverable so it might be a better fit. The X7xx could to most of this but you are limited for FEL options if you want one of those. If I was you I would be looking at a 1 at a minimum. Something like a 2025R might work well to. It has a bit better ground clearance for the woods.

All of this is for nothing though if you are looking used and not new because the new stuff is out of budget.
 

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$500 or so

Yes, hydro trans will hold up to ground engaging equipment, though I dont think Id consider a drag exactly ground engaging. Generally I think tiller, single bottom plow, sub soiler, etc.
For that you want a garden tractor, NOT a lawn tractor.

I cant say what you should replace it with, but I can say Id probably look into a rebuild of the wheelhorse engine, as a good quality rebuild kit for that engine will be fairly inexpensive compared to any other options.
I just got a quote on rebuilding a Kohler 12 hp. The high end was about $500 and that depended on how much machine work was required. I will admit it's a retired Kohler mechanic and that's all he does now is rebuild Kohler engines at his own time and on his schedule. However, it's done right and he's not afraid to tell a customer that the engine isn't a candidate. If the rest of the WH is good, I second just getting it rebuilt. If it is too shot, send me a PM and I'll give you a link to the rebuilder as he sells a few rebuilt engines as well.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I want to hear that story. :mocking::munch:
In a nutshell I used to own my own business, worked lots of hours.
When I came home my wife as most tend to do, she would "gently" remind me to mow the lawn as the grass was getting too tall.
My wife was a stay at home Mom which is a job in itself but I felt she had more time to mow the lawn than me.
So I asked her why she didn't mow the lawn.
She said "If I got a decent lawn tractor that was not a hunk of junk", her words not mine, she'd mow the lawn.
So we sprang for a new X300 with a Hydro and mulching deck that she picked out.
Well she mowed the lawn for about a month then she just refused to mow the lawn at all.
So I was stuck back mowing the lawn but with a new lawn tractor.
My pocket was lighter and I gained a month off of lawn mowing duties.

It worked out better in the end as I stripped the mower deck off the wheel horse cause I didn't need two lawn tractors to mow with. So it worked much better for going into the woods to get firewood.
I had a tractor for beating around doing yard/firewood stuff and a tractor just for mowing.

And she hasn't mowed the lawn since, that's been about 10-12 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For gear tractor, I'd look at/for a JD 650. They have a little 17HP diesel, 2 or 4wd, you can get a mower deck for it, but hard to go from a hydro to mow to gear tractor. Maybe keep the x300 to mow and replace the 4610 and wheelhorse??

Is your 4610 2wd or 4wd? Hydro or gear?
my 4610 is a 4wd Hydro.

I don't think a gear tractor would be hard for me, the wheelhorse is gear, I have been drive manual trans cars for the last 45 years.
I used to mow the lawn with the wheelhorse, which is why I bought it in the first place.
New Lawn is kinda small. I may just time myself using just a push mower. If I can do it in less than an hour I might just use a push mower.

It would be nice to thin the herd down to 1 tractor instead of 3. I'd gain more storage for the important things in life like my fishing boat!.

Thanks for the tip on the JD650, I'll look into them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Unless I missed it I haven't seen a budget. It is all fine and dandy to recommend something but if it is way out of the price range then it is wasting time. Sure you could trade in the other machine to make something more affordable.

Can hydro do ground engagement? Sure people plow fields with the X7xx machines. That is way more work than a drag. I really haven't seen any comments about what your yard is like. Sure 1, 2 and 3 series machines can cut grass. As you go up in size they get heavier, are harder on the yard. If you have limited time then you may not have time to wait for the yard to dry out to cut the grass with a 3 series. A 1 might be fine though. A 1 is more maneuverable so it might be a better fit. The X7xx could to most of this but you are limited for FEL options if you want one of those. If I was you I would be looking at a 1 at a minimum. Something like a 2025R might work well to. It has a bit better ground clearance for the woods.

All of this is for nothing though if you are looking used and not new because the new stuff is out of budget.
My budget? wow, hard to say. If I wanted to I could afford to spring for a new tractor in the 20-30K range. But I don't think I'd really need to.
As far as mowing my yard, its rather small, easily less than .2 acre. Relatively flat, I think it would be easy for push mowing, altho I haven't push mowed a lawn in something like 25 years and I ain't getting any younger. I'm retired so I have time to mow the lawn.

What do you think I'd get for selling my 4610 with less than 2000 hrs, FEL, grapple, flail mower, tiller and some other small attachments and a used X300 with less than 200 hrs on it? They gotta be worth 20Kish?, maybe 15K at the worst case? Whats a new 2025R? In the end I don't think I should be out more than 10K?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just got a quote on rebuilding a Kohler 12 hp. The high end was about $500 and that depended on how much machine work was required. I will admit it's a retired Kohler mechanic and that's all he does now is rebuild Kohler engines at his own time and on his schedule. However, it's done right and he's not afraid to tell a customer that the engine isn't a candidate. If the rest of the WH is good, I second just getting it rebuilt. If it is too shot, send me a PM and I'll give you a link to the rebuilder as he sells a few rebuilt engines as well.

Treefarmer
I don't think the engine is bad except for the broken piston. It really ran great up until the piston let loose. Maybe the drag work was too much on the old beast. The cylinder, valves, bottom end all look pretty good.

$500, for a rebuild? It would probably cost me $200-$300 to ship a the engine to VA from WI. I know an engine rebuilder around here. He does good work and he likes to do odd stuff. I'll ask him what he thinks. I'd be very surprised if it was less than 1K. Your retired kohler mechanic must work cheap, $500 at even $25/hr only gives a guy 20 hours, 2 1/2 days to pull it all apart, machine the cylinder, grind valves, lap seats, check crank etc etc etc and that doesn't include any parts.

The rest of the wheelhorse is sketchy as my son would say.

Another story about the wheelhorse. At one point I tried to get my 2 sons to mow the lawn. The oldest one was doing OK when he didn't turn sharp enough, ended going off the lawn and down a steep hill side, he would of been Ok but once going down the hill he tried to turn the tractor sideways on the hill. Well that resulted in tipping the tractor over on its side. He was lucky in that he was tossed off above the tractor and the tractor slid for aways down hill till it stopped. When it stopped slidding it was still running, blades turning and all. Well that the wife absolutely refused to allow her sons to mow the lawn after that. So I was back to mowing the lawn. This is before the wife bought me a new X300:laugh:
 
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