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RodStayner

New to the club and need some advice on a Sunstar

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RodStayner
I am new to the club and think that this website is great! I have 2 tractors and I'll probably keep just one eventually and need some advice. I just purchased a 1988 Sunstar 16 HP Hydro tractor (with 48" deck) that only has 280 hours on it and is in good shape (except for a little problem with the front clutch). I work with the previous owner and he didn't have a need for it so he sold it to me for $650! The problem is that I already own a Craftsman 20 HP garden tactor (6 speed with a 46" deck) that is only 2 years old (with 130 hours on it). It is a decent tractor for the $$ ($2600 total with blade, weights, etc,), but I have had several issues with the deck clogging up and always cutting terrible. I cut a plate out of the deck last week, and it seems to help the discharge problem the 1st time I used it. Of course Sears has been of no help, telling me I need to mow slower (I have 3 acres and it would take me all day at the rate they told me to go!) I think that the Simplicity is definitely the better tractor, but don't want it to break down the moment I sell the Craftsman. The funny thing is that I have 6 people already who would buy the Sunstar off of me tomorrow for a lot more than I paid for it. And not one of them is interested in the Craftsman.... I'd keep both, but I spent a lot of $ on that Craftsman and hate to see it just be my snowplow for the winter. Of course my oldest daughter (who's 5) thinks that Craftsman has "neat paint" and I should sell the "ugly orange one". What does anyone think? I am planning on keeping both of them for now and am leaning towards trying to sell that Craftsman. Thanks! Rodney

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SimpleMan
Once you've mowed with a Simplicity...there's no turning back. You can't beat the mower deck on them and you will run circles around that Sears of yours. Also, the Sunstar is much more tractor than the Sears unit. My opinion ( and opinion only) is that unless the Sunstar is in a state that you'd be spending excessive amounts of money to fix it....you'll get a lot more out of it in the long run than the two year old "department store special". Please remember, this is only my opinion. GordU ps. Don't forget, the Sears unit can break down too.

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powermax_paul
I don't know that much about a Sustar, but I do know that a Simplicity made unit will give you a better quality cut than a Craftsman. I'm fairly sure that you can still buy Snowblower & Plow attachments for the Sunstar so you could sell the Craftsman. I would think that the Sunstar is a heavier unit and would handle snow removal better and probably have better traction on a wet lawn. Keep in mind that we here are (a little) biased. I would consider a Craftsman over say an MTD or John Deere though. I can say that because I've had both of the latter. Powermax_Paul

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RodStayner
Thanks for the replies! I knew right away when I brought the Sunstar home on my trailer that it was much heavier than the Sears. You are also right in saying that the Craftsman can break down too (especially since the warranty's over!) If I can get a blade for it, then I'd be all set.

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christopher
You could get a price on a new Simplicity and figure out what the difference would be if you sold both the Sunstar and the Craftsman.

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swood
I just recently bought a deutz-allis 1920. it is similar to your sunstar.. In 1989 the guy i bought it from spent a shade under 9200 dollars for the 20hp tractor with 48" deck and snowblower... They are ultimate mowing tractors... I use Commercial grade mowers all day... Ferris , woods etc. I still come home to my AC/Simplicity tractors. SUNSTAR IS AN EXCELLENT TRACTOR< for the money you spent on it, you can afford to fix it and still be miles ahead. ps.. watch the electrical system on your sears, we just had 2 catch fire in about 6 months because of bad wiring harness. Those two owners had enough and now use 20-25 year old AC's I sold them and they cannot believe they ever spent the money on a NEW tractor...

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dmcluckie
Your Sunstar new today would cost about $8,000 to replace and if it had the 20 hp engine it would be closer to $9,000 or about the price of Simplcity's farily new Legacy. I have had 2 Sunstars and they are a decent tractor if taken care of. For the $$ you paid with the hours on the tractor you can't go wrong period. You mite have a few problems here and they but just wait untill the Sears get a few more on it and it also will have them. You should be able to tell just by runnning and driving the 2 tractors which one is the more solid of the 2 along with the mowering differnce. I would try to find a blade for the Sunstar and take the chains and wheel weights off the Sears for it also providing the tire and wheel size are the same. One thing to take into account is just how many people want the Sunstar verse's the Sears and that should tell you something right away. Best of luck which ever way you go, >>->happyjack<-<<

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MichaelGT
Rodney Do not worry about what the girls say regarding the "ugly orange one". You need to teach them about the "inner beauty" of things. (I have four girls, and three orange tractors. I keep trying to teach them why the orange tractors, and why we need three!)

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RodStayner
Thanks for all your advice! After mowing with both tractors last weekend, I decided that the Sunstar is definitely the one to keep. I will probably keep the Craftsman while I work on getting the Sunstar back in top-notch shape. I ordered 4 manuals for it today and removed the mower deck last night. That deck probably weighs more than 2 Sears decks!

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