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taxhoncho

Boy am I a newbie

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taxhoncho
My old riding mower died. Well, not died. But started leaking gas out of the engine block. I prefer not spending money to find out how much work is involved to fix a MTD 12.5/38 riding mower that is 20 years old. I am impressed that it lasted as long as it did. I see there are 2 Ebay auctions ending soon near me. One is a A-C 916H. Probably from the early 80's by the amount of rust on it. The other is a S 12.5 LTH from the early 90's. I assume that the A-C 916H, being a full frame tractor, will be able to do more work after I get it cleaned up. And hence is worth whatever extra cost might be involved in fixing it or the time involved cleaning it up. So I guess I am saying better to get an older bigger tractor that runs but might need more work vs. a newer smaller tractor that also runs and might need slightly less work initially. Comments? Am I correct that parts for a 916H are still available? I found a web site that says the A-C 900 series has been made since 1979 and is still in production. Is that correct? Wow, that seems a long time to keep a model line going. Much thanks for any thoughts on what tractor to get and how much I work should be willing to put into a 20+ year old 916H.

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HubbardRA
That 916H will work circles around most "lawn mowers" from today. I have a Simplicity 7116H (same as 916H), an AC716H, and AC713S and a 1961 Wards (Simplicity 700). With all four of these tractors, I still have not invested what a single "riding lawn mower" of a decent size costs nowadays. A little elbow grease, some paint, a few parts, and that 916H will be good for another 20-30 years. You will also be amazed at the attachments that tractor can handle, and no other brand mows better than the Simplicity/AC tractors. That B/S 16 Hp engine is one of the best ever made, and is rebuildable, if necessary. No comparison between the MTD and the 917H.

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cwm1276
Tax, You could not got wrong with a 916. I can not speak for condition of the one you are looking at, but they are a workhorse. They discontinued production about 5 years ago, as the factory's machines were wearing out. Similar tractors were made for 40 years, which mean many attachents can be moved from one decade of tractor to another. Kent has all the history of these tractors on the site. 2 years ago I repowered my 7117 simplicity which would be about a twin to the 916 (different motor, horse power) for more than I paid for the tractor and it should give me 20 years, unless I some how abuse the machine, which I have not found out how yet. I have 20 years of trying with a AC 716, the generation before the 916. PS. if you get the 916 this is place to find all resources to bring it all the way to show quality. The best $10 membership for that information.

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Tacey
Other than mowing, you don't say what kind of work you want to do. If all you do, and want to do, is mow, than the 900 is quite a large machine. I have owned a little Broadmoor (made around 1976) for 4 years. 42" deck, cutting around an acre. Paid $300. Paid $150 since for belts'n'such. Works and cuts Awesome. As a bonus, I plow snow in the winter with it. Which tractor is best for you is determined by the job you want to do. Tacey

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lndscpr
is this one near you. looks like a lot less trouble. of course not as versatile as the 916. http://cgi.ebay.com/Simplicity-lawn-garden-tractor-like-John-Deere-HYDRO_W0QQitemZ7740534212QQcategoryZ66761QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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taxhoncho
Besides mowing, I would get a tiller. I now have a medium sized walk behind tiller. I am turning the back yard into a meadow bit by bit. The soil needs to be turned if I want anything to germinate. You can't just drop seed on rocky New England soil and expect it to grow. And of course tilling brings up all those lovely "potatoes" that need to be hauled to the rock pile around the French drain. I have some stumps that I might pull with a larger tractor that I would be afraid to pull with a lawn tractor. I would like to get a brush mower. I am losing the battle between me and the woods. The woods wants to reclaim my lawn and meadow. And the trees have allies, the pricker vines. Can't go after them with a trimmer, the stems are longer than the trimmer. Right now I use a pole mounted pruning saw. Then I go back and pull up the roots with a fork. There must be a way to mechanize these tasks, no? One of my neighbors heats his home with wood. We rent a wood splitter every fall to chop up the trees that fell over the last year. He would go in with me on a wood splitter if they made one that hooks up to my tractor. And then there is my "pie in the sky fantasy" of getting a post hole digger attachment. I have a 2-man gas powered post-hole digger. But with our rocky soil it is quite an effort to coordinate 2 guys and get a hole dug. And with a shovel, it is a nighmare. The good part is that when I planted 5 apple trees, I dug up enough big rocks to make a border for the raised flower bed I put in outside the bedroom window. I could use some more trees (ones that don't mind getting their feet wet - I am leaning toward white birch and red maple) in one part of the back woods. I despair of digging the holes by hand. Oh, and last but not least, I have 160 feet of driveway. Plus the 40'x40' parking area next to the garage. If I got a big tractor and a snow blower, I could fire the guy I pay to plow. Half the time, he never comes until after I leave for work anyway. Oh, as long as we are posting links to Ebay, here is the 916H: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7740147026

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cwm1276
quote:
Originally posted by taxhoncho
Besides mowing, I would get a tiller. I now have a medium sized walk behind tiller. I am turning the back yard into a meadow bit by bit. The soil needs to be turned if I want anything to germinate. You can't just drop seed on rocky New England soil and expect it to grow. And of course tilling brings up all those lovely "potatoes" that need to be hauled to the rock pile around the French drain.
Once you use a tiller on the tractor you will never want to do it again by hand
quote:
I have some stumps that I might pull with a larger tractor that I would be afraid to pull with a lawn tractor.
I would not try this with anything else than a small utlity tractor, a 916H hydro will most likly not want to pull a stump
quote:
I would like to get a brush mower. I am losing the battle between me and the woods. The woods wants to reclaim my lawn and meadow. And the trees have allies, the pricker vines. Can't go after them with a trimmer, the stems are longer than the trimmer. Right now I use a pole mounted pruning saw. Then I go back and pull up the roots with a fork. There must be a way to mechanize these tasks, no?
Search here and you wuill find guy who have mowed in the there wooded areas to keep down under growth, but remember it is a finish mower, not a brush mower. Simplicity did have a front mounted mower but they are hard to come by.
quote:
One of my neighbors heats his home with wood. We rent a wood splitter every fall to chop up the trees that fell over the last year. He would go in with me on a wood splitter if they made one that hooks up to my tractor.
Don't know if they made one. You would be on your own in building one.
quote:
And then there is my "pie in the sky fantasy" of getting a post hole digger attachment. I have a 2-man gas powered post-hole digger. But with our rocky soil it is quite an effort to coordinate 2 guys and get a hole dug. And with a shovel, it is a nighmare. The good part is that when I planted 5 apple trees, I dug up enough big rocks to make a border for the raised flower bed I put in outside the bedroom window. I could use some more trees (ones that don't mind getting their feet wet - I am leaning toward white birch and red maple) in one part of the back woods. I despair of digging the holes by hand.
Utility tractor time
quote:
Oh, and last but not least, I have 160 feet of driveway. Plus the 40'x40' parking area next to the garage. If I got a big tractor and a snow blower, I could fire the guy I pay to plow. Half the time, he never comes until after I leave for work anyway.
The snowblower on the AC and simplicities do a wonderful job. Many here blow or plow that much with our tractors. [/quote]

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taxhoncho
Utility tractor is way beyond my price range. If I have to give up some stuff on my wish list, well, I did say it was pie in the sky, didn't I? Oh, and we have a gravel drive. So I could probably use some attachments to move around gravel and smooth it out. When the dump truck leaves 25 tons of pea gravel, it is a very impressive pile! But if that takes a utility tractor also, then I guess I'll just keep renting a Bobcat the Saturday after they dump the gravel. And as for pulling stumps, if I get any more dents in the back of my 1992 Chevy Caprice station wagon, I'm gonna tie a rope/chains around the tailgate and use it to pull the stumps. It would be doing me a favor if the whole banged up tailgate got pulled off and I had to buy an undented one.

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cwm1276
If you have your gravel spread out, just a few inches thick on your drive a garden tractor will smooth it out rather well. There were some posts here recently about moving piles of materials with a garden tractor, I think most would say would save a lot of time with the bobcat then.

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ambler
You have to watch out for those New England members they claim to worship a something called FTDs. The 916 is a RBT with a a K341 Kohler engine, it may be an anathema to them since they are briggs fans. My first tractor was a Dynamark and I fixed it two to three times a year. Then one of the boys around here said hey you need one of these. It was a 7117H hydrolift. I fired that bad boy up and start mowing at full throttle and the hydro wide open. What a rush, sliding through the turns and spraying a rooster tail of grass from the deck. You'll love it. Especially if you get a snow thrower.

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HubbardRA
I apologize for misstating the engine on the 916. I have the sister tractor a Simplicity 7116H. It has the B/S engine. The K341 Kohler in the 916H is also a very good engine. Throughout the 70s and 80s the Simplicities used B/S and the ACs used Kohler for their single cylinder engines.

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ehertzfeld
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
I apologize for misstating the engine on the 916. I have the sister tractor a Simplicity 7116H. It has the B/S engine.
Which makes it an "almost real tractor!":o):o):o) Elon

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ehertzfeld
To be serious I would have to say, that if you go with the 916, you will be very happy with it. I to live in CT, just on the other side of the state. If you do get it and need anything, just get a hold of me, and I'll try to help the best that i can. We have a bunch of members in CT so if I can't help you, they most likely will. Elon

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HubbardRA
Ambler, don't count me as one with a Briggs fetish. I have a K321 14 Hp in my 61 Wards, and four other Kohlers just waiting to be freshened up to replace some of my B/S engines. I'm not really partial. I like both.^^

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taxhoncho
quote:
Originally posted by ambler
You have to watch out for those New England members they claim to worship a something called FTDs. The 916 is a RBT with a a K341 Kohler engine, it may be an anathema to them since they are briggs fans.
Well, I did say I was a newbie. :I8) So what do FTD and RBT mean? ? Thank you.

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cwm1276
quote:
Originally posted by taxhoncho
quote:
Originally posted by ambler
You have to watch out for those New England members they claim to worship a something called FTDs. The 916 is a RBT with a a K341 Kohler engine, it may be an anathema to them since they are briggs fans.
Well, I did say I was a newbie. :I8) So what do FTD and RBT mean? ? Thank you.
FDT - Foot dragger tractor NO Running boards RBT - Running Board Tractor The FDT just pegs to rest your feet on and are otherwise open below, the newer tractors have a complete running board so RBT. There are 2 camps here just like Kohler Vs Briggs, it is RBT owners vs FDT owners. Many here really like one particular verision.

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HubbardRA
FDT = Foot Dragging Tractor. (The older ones that only had foot pegs, or small foot rests.) RBT = Running Board Tractor (self explanatory, the newer ones) Just an ongoing, running joke, on the site, that has been here since nearly day one.

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taxhoncho
Well, I don't yet have a stake in the Kohler vs. Briggs debate (my recently deceased engine is a Tecumseh, which I guess explains everything). My only side in the engine debate is that I prefer running to not running. As for FDT vs. RBT, I think I am clearly a RBT kind of guy. My Dad used to call the electrician to replace light bulbs. I am proud that I mow my lawn and sharpen my mower blades and replace belts and filters myself. I replaced the front axle more than once when I was first learning to drive the riding mower around my back yard that has 2 or 3 narrow paths among the trees. But I am still enough of my father's son not to want my feet anywhere near the undercarriage of a moving tractor with an operating belly mower.

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