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Simplicity Landlord 3410 - Value?

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I am looking at buying a Simplicity 3410 from an elderly tax client of mine. Garaged, looks fair overall though well used. Not running at this moment, but this may only be battery. Very little slop in steering, etc.

44" mower deck, 3sp trans.

My client will look to me to set price. I want to be fair, and would prefer to err a bit on the high side if I must err.

What is this thing worth???

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Brian, I would say this trac. is not worth too much,3400 series,early 70's vintage,10 hp,only 3 spd trans, and it dosen't run? I would offer only a couple of hundred for it. Regards. dlc

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Brian, If you think it might just need a battery you should try to jump start it. There's also a safty switch under the seat pan that could be open, this would keep it from starting with the starter even if the battery was good. If it was running when parked it probably has no serious engine problems. The deck could have worn out bearings and that could cost you a little. With the deck on the tractor and the tractor not running it won't be easy to check the bearings. Maybe someone else can tell us how do it. I think if you want to give the owner a fair deal then $300.00 would a good price to offer. Tim

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First, MANY THANKS for the timely and helpful replies. I am truly impressed, and greatly appreciative.

Second, thanks and kudos also to Jack Cumberland of Jack's Small Engine, Jarrettsville MD, who took time to look at it and advise me before I got it running.

Next, some more info. I got the beast running tonight. Nothing wrong but the dead battery and an open safety switch (now temporarily bypassed) on the transmission linkage. Started readily, engine runs well. AWESOME mowing machine, no obvious present bearing problems on mower.


1) Lots of vibration from the starter/generator, and a fair amount of noise. Bad bearings, I'm afraid. I'm told you can't buy a new one, but that the existing one can be rebuilt. One local Simplicity guru even tells me I could replace the bearings myself. (Maybe he forgot I'm an accountant . . . ) What do the rest of you do for starter/generator problems on this old machine?

2) Even more disturbing: I must mow steep slopes. At the moment, the drive belt slips on steep downhills, letting this heavy machine almost freewheel toward the bottom. Got scary the first time, as I wasn't expecting it. Is belt tension seriously intended to be adjusted, or would a new belt help? If the latter, for how long (and about how much cost.)

3) And then there's the brake. My first impression was that it was pretty good, much better than my old Craftsman machine. (On that one, transaxle seeps just enough lube to lubricate the little toy brake disk in about two mowings!) But, with the old Simplicity, I apparently lack adequate traction between tires (which, on rear, are in very good shape) and ground to actually stop. Sometimes both wheels merely lock up; even more often, one will spin BACKWARDS, permitting the other to continue FORWARD.

So at the moment, I have no real control on steep downhills 'till I get to the bottom. Which I find rather frightening. Would wheel weights help? Are they readily available, and at what cost? What about any old tricks re. filling the tires with something to add weight, and how could I accomplish this?

Pardon my dumb questions. And thanks again for all the input. But at the moment (and given my lack of budget for a NEW Simplicity or similar machine), I'm almost afraid I'll have to pass on this one and suffer with modern, flimsy garbage . . .

Brian Lutters
Forest Hill, MD

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Regarding your questions:
1. The starter/generator bearings are replaceable and are.
a common type available from most parts stores and
bearing houses. Any competent home mechanic or starter/
generator/alternator shop can replace the bearings.
Look in the SimpletrACtor classified ads. I think Jeff
Nemes (sp?) has a new starter/generator for sale in them.
2. I don't see how the drive belt can be too loose but
suppose it is possible. There is a limited amount of
adjustment on the clutch/brake linkage and mounting
holes for the idler pulley. I generally set the belt
for minimum looseness that will still allow the clutch
to disengage properly. Belt condition is important. If
the belt is excessively worn it might slip but I have
never had that problem. New belts tend to grap too good
and won't release properly until they have worn in some.
3. Traction is obtainable with wheel weights or addition
of fluid (water with alcohol or calcium chloride) in the
tires. I had the local Firestone Tire store fill my
tires with water and calcium chloride some years ago.
The water fill solved my B-1 traction problem when
climbing really steep banks. You may also want to check
the non-slip axle adjustment (assuming your tractor
has one). If the adjustment bolt is too tight the
tractor doesn't like to turn; if it is too loose the
non-slip won't work. Adjusted properly it works it will
transfer the power from the left slipping wheel to the
right hand wheel when needed.
Hope this helps,

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Brian, last year I bought a 3414S Baron with a 42" deck. It was very dirty but it ran. I paid $300 for it from a JD dealer (he had it tagged at $650). After cleaning it up and all new belts it looks and runs like new. I know this was a great deal but I hope this helps you with your decision. Good Luck!


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Oh no - you can't go and buy one of those "cheapys" now - you will never forgive yourself. Sounds like you may need a clutch and brake adjustment. The clutch rod should have about 1/4"-1/2" of free play. Do this by backing off the double nuts on rod under the seat. This allows full tension on the belt and some additional allowance for belt stretching. If it already has this then a new belt will be in order. (Do yourself a favor and get an OEM replacement belt)After making this adjustment lift up the seat and step down on the clutch pedal with the engine running at least 1/2 speed and make sure the belt comes to a complete stop so that you don't grind gears when shifting. Once this is acheived tighten up the brake rod and check the drag by trying to push the tractor with the brake pedal down - it should begin to grab about an inch or so before bottoming out. Test run on a flat surface - preferably blacktop. You should hear or see a tire lock up at full speed so you know the brake is OK. Be aware that tightening the brake too much can limit the clutch throw to the point where it will not disengage the belt. Do not attemt to opertate until this is working properly and never attempt to climb a hill that you think could be unsafe. It is not a good idea to stop on a hill unless you have to. Even a tractor in proper working order can fall over if the grass is too slippery or the operator lets the clutch out too fast or the grade is too steep or something unpredicted happens - so please be very careful! We need to gain more members - not loose them :)

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