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post #1 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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First Garden Tractor

After spending the last few month viewing the different forums, I recently joined and am hoping members with more experience with garden tractors can guide me in the right direction. I am going to look at my first garden tractor this weekend, a 2007 GT2542 that has 142 hours on it, and wondering if there are any areas of the tractor I should pay close attention. The tractor with bagger, Agri-Fab spreader, and some sort of rake is priced at $1600 which seems reasonable although in the PNW I don't see many of these machines up for sale so don't have much to compare it to. My biggest concern is that this being my first garden tractor, I'm not sure which areas of the machine I should pay close attention to determine if it's in good condition and worth buying; any help in this area would be appreciated.

I'm also wondering about electric sleeve hitches for this machine. I have a neighbor who has a NOS 190-824-101 he would sell for $550 and I see the Johnny Hitch is available for $650. and wondering if one of these stands out as a better option.

thanks

Darcy
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 03:46 PM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

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Originally Posted by Saddleman View Post
After spending the last few month viewing the different forums, I recently joined and am hoping members with more experience with garden tractors can guide me in the right direction. I am going to look at my first garden tractor this weekend, a 2007 GT2542 that has 142 hours on it, and wondering if there are any areas of the tractor I should pay close attention. The tractor with bagger, Agri-Fab spreader, and some sort of rake is priced at $1600 which seems reasonable although in the PNW I don't see many of these machines up for sale so don't have much to compare it to. My biggest concern is that this being my first garden tractor, I'm not sure which areas of the machine I should pay close attention to determine if it's in good condition and worth buying; any help in this area would be appreciated.

I'm also wondering about electric sleeve hitches for this machine. I have a neighbor who has a NOS 190-824-101 he would sell for $550 and I see the Johnny Hitch is available for $650. and wondering if one of these stands out as a better option.

thanks

Darcy
Make sure the Neighbors electric lift sleeve Hitch was for the early 2000 or 2500 series and Not the 1500 series Garden tractors Because they are different John at Johnny Products does Make a electric lift sleeve Hitch That is Purposely made for the Pre 2011 2000 & 2500 series. That is very close to the OEM Cub Cadet Sleeve Hitch It Mount Just Like the OEM he also Makes a universal One which is the Only One available for Use on the 2011 & after 2000 & XT3 series Universal Sleeve Hitch. Congrats on the 2542 Wish I had Bought one when they were New But the 2206 was still only 3 years old when they came out Just double check hitch to see if it fit's before You Buy

John Deere Models:X748,GX335,140H3,112,Sabre 1542,TX Gator
Cub Cadet Models:0riginal,70,106,2206 & Experimental Non Production Rear engine rider
Ingersoll Model:3016PS
Simplicity Models:Wonder Boy
White Model: GT2055

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Last edited by Sergeant; 04-12-2017 at 06:38 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Thanks for the reply Sergeant. After seeing your reply I did some looking around the web and found that the 190-824 hitch is for the earlier 1500 series and that the 2500's had the 190-827 hitch. Now I'm wondering if the 824 could be modified to fit or if the Johnny Hitch would be less of a headache for the extra 100 bucks.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 05:07 PM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Nice tractor...

Late 50's Bready... aka, "The WoodRat"

1969 John Deere 110 w/front blade

1998-99 MTD/AYP "Black Thing" 18hp Briggs MUTT-Mower 42 inch deck

2002 Cub Cadet 2166 (in process)

2006 Cub Cadet GT2544
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Thanks Greybeard,

I'm going to look at it on Saturday and if it's in as good of condition as the pictures suggest, hopefully be coming home with it.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-12-2017, 06:42 PM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

I suggest Going with John Scheeles Hitch then Cub Cadet Sleeve Hitch In some ways it's better than the OEM at least for the 2500 series I like the way the Hitch Part removes compared to the OEM 190-827. I have a Universal JP Hitch on my JD GX335 But the Version he make for the 2500 series fits the Tractor just like the OEM

John Deere Models:X748,GX335,140H3,112,Sabre 1542,TX Gator
Cub Cadet Models:0riginal,70,106,2206 & Experimental Non Production Rear engine rider
Ingersoll Model:3016PS
Simplicity Models:Wonder Boy
White Model: GT2055

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-13-2017, 01:54 AM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Hello-

I have a GT2550 which is the same tractor with a bigger deck and a couple detail differences. I have owned mine since 2008 and in addition to mowing and hauling, it has been my snow blowing tractor since new. In my opinion:

PROS:
• Rugged, definitely a real garden tractor.
• Very reliable, with no mechanical breakdowns that took it out of service since new.
• Excellent major units; reliable & powerful Kohler, flawless Hydro Gear BDU-10, HD cast iron transaxle.
• Absolutely trouble free Shaft Drive – one look underneath at all the stuff you don’t see tells the story.
• Really good mowing platform (after I upsized rear tires).
• Strong enough to handle heavy snow removal duties.
• Horizontal shaft engine is service-friendly.

CONS:
• Hood setup is awful, both inconvenient and breakage prone – I canned it and converted to front hinges.
• Very poor seat pan/foot pan support – I am replacing mine now with fixes to prevent future reoccurrence. Not everybody has this problem, but if you are a bigger boy like me (200 lb.), you might.
• Tiny fuel tank, with the filler in the middle – lots of fun to fill with an attachment on.
• Undersized tires. A tractor this heavy should have 10.50’s on the back.
• No ducting around the Kohler cooling air intake. Clean after every use!
• Flimsy cowl support. Admittedly, I may be the only one who has complained about this on MTF (however, if you poke around inside, you will question the wisdom of hanging a hood off it!)

Bottom line is I would buy another, but I would even sooner buy the 1st 2500 series (different hood set up, etc.) or the successor to mine (ALL major issues fixed!), even though Cub never offered the rear attachments like the earlier ones had. None of my gripes are deal killers and as they say in the ads “your experience may vary”, so for those hours I would go for it – you may even be able to knock the (not bad) price down a bit. If it follows you home, remember, PICTURES!
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-13-2017, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Thanks Sergeant, I've heard nothing but good things about John Scheeles hitches and will probably order one if I get the GT2542 this weekend.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-13-2017, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Pfreiburger,

Thanks for taking the time for the pros and cons list, very helpful. After reading every thread I could find on the GT2542, your list seems to cover what many people have said about this tractor. I've also seen a few people mention their results mowing... some bad but mostly good. I'm guessing that may have more to do with their choice of blades and how they're set up. Overall I haven't seen any issues that are "deal breakers" and think it'll reliably do what I want to do with it. I'll post pictures if it "follows me home"!
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-14-2017, 08:37 PM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Agreed on the tire sizes, I'd up the front ones as well. To me, that era Cub always looked like it had casters on the front instead of proper wheels/tires.

1971 IH Cub Cadet 147 Restoration Series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FhmC8Mk9Lw
...........................................

1967 Sears Suburban Restoration Series: http://youtu.be/NSBSzP9Aio4
...........................................
Equipment
...........................................
2004 Massey Ferguson/Legacy w/FEL
1984 Cub Cadet 882 Diesel
1971 Cub Cadet 147 [Under Restoration]
1967 Sears Suburban 12 Orange & White [Restored]
1993 Troy Bilt Gardenway Hydro
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-19-2017, 11:57 AM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

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Originally Posted by Saddleman View Post
Pfreiburger,

Thanks for taking the time for the pros and cons list, very helpful. After reading every thread I could find on the GT2542, your list seems to cover what many people have said about this tractor. I've also seen a few people mention their results mowing... some bad but mostly good. I'm guessing that may have more to do with their choice of blades and how they're set up. Overall I haven't seen any issues that are "deal breakers" and think it'll reliably do what I want to do with it. I'll post pictures if it "follows me home"!
I just came across this thread. I echo most of Pfrei's sentiments regarding pros and cons of my 2542. Although I've not had the seat and floor pan issues that Pfrei has (I think Pfrei mows forward standing up in the stirrups, and backwards standing on the seat. Never been able to figure out how he does that ) I had to replace the hood early on because of flimsy mounts. Dealer covered. No trouble since but I'm VERY careful opening, closing, and working under hood. As a con I would add the incredibly stupid plastic crankcase oil drain plug/valve (Pfrei and others here know "exactly" what I'm talking about). Although it hasn't failed on me over the past 8-9 years, it makes a mess every time. I overcome that by parking on a slight grade and simply letting it drain out over a corner of the motor plate and down into a catch pan directly underneath. Cub Cadet fixed that issue in later models.
Can't upsize front tires of tractor with the 42" deck without relocating the deck's front left hand caster wheel and wheel bracket (welded on), which is very close to left front wheel of the tractor. Though I must admit I've always liked the "look" of the larger front tires on the 2544 and up, "looks" never motivated me to alter the deck just so I could upsize the front tires. They've been just fine as is.
Tractor has been a solid and dependable work horse for me and I WORK it year-'round here. I've "made due" with the flimsy 2 stage Cub Cadet 42" snow blower attachment these past 9 winters because I paid good money for it when I bought the tractor, but will be replacing it with the Bercomac 44" Northeast before next winter, (while the Cub blower is still working and worth something for sale). I've yet to find anything that I can't do with this tractor (within the bounds of common sense ). It's a true GT with power to spare, and a transaxle that seems to have no limits.

So... Didj-yeh git it?!

Renster

Renster



'08 CC GT 2542 With;
(42" mowing deck, 75# Wheel wts, 4 Suitcases, Chains, 42" 341 two-stage Blower)
'98 Yardman 10hp 30" Walk Behind Snow blower
'98 Craftsman 18" chainsaw
'09 Husky 5500 watt gas generator
'16 Kobalt 40v cordless string trimmer
'16 Kobalt 40v cordless pole saw

Last edited by Renster of N.H.; 04-19-2017 at 12:05 PM.
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-19-2017, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Renster,

I picked up the tractor last Saturday. I honestly don't know how people put up with the traffic from Tacoma to Bellingham; what should have been about two hours each direction turned into a seven hour, epic journey. I got all the way down to Tacoma to find out the tractor wouldn't start... got that sick feeling in my gut. Turned out the guy hadn't started it in over a year and after checking the fuel filter we thought there was moisture in it. Started fine after draining the filter but I think the real problem was it didn't have enough gas in the tank; when I got it home it wouldn't run smoothly so I decided to disconnect the fuel filter and drain the tank. I got almost nothing out of the tank and started wondering if the fuel line was clogged, that's when I realized the tank was almost empty. Filled it up and it started right up and ran beautifully. I ordered new filters and some G5 Gator blades and plan to change all the fluids this weekend. I also have an electric sleeve hitch on order from John Scheeles. My next task is to build a ripper bar to tear up about 1/8th of an acre of compacted soil.

As for the cons that everyone mentioned, i'm starting to understand some of the complaints now. The hood really is second rate and even though this unit had the hood replaced with the recall, it has a small three inch crack in it. I saw a thread on how to modify the oil dipstick to a screw in type and will probably try and change mine over... can't believe how hard you have to pull to get that thing to get it out. The stock tires seem like they'll be adequate for my lawns (these ones still have about 70% tread) but for pulling a ripper I'll definitely have to come up with something more aggressive; maybe ags or chains plus weight. I've heard about the crankcase plug issues and I guess I'm going to find that out for myself this weekend!

For it's few deficiencies I think this tractor will be a reliable machine for my needs. I'll post some pictures after I get it cleaned up this weekend.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-19-2017, 06:35 PM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Congrats on the tractor...

Late 50's Bready... aka, "The WoodRat"

1969 John Deere 110 w/front blade

1998-99 MTD/AYP "Black Thing" 18hp Briggs MUTT-Mower 42 inch deck

2002 Cub Cadet 2166 (in process)

2006 Cub Cadet GT2544
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-20-2017, 03:30 AM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Saddleman-

Congratulations on the new equipment! Glad the problem turned out to be nothing. I use the Gators on mine and I have been very satisfied with them. Also I am very interested in seeing the new sleeve hitch.

Regarding the hoods, there have been three versions, each with different mount towers. After the third did not fix the problem (I know, I got number 3 under warranty) they came up with a hood brace kit. It bolted from the hood mount bracket to an area further forward, where it was secured through the hood vent slats. It transferred the load further up the hood structure – I don’t know if that finally fixed the problem.

Ditto regarding the dipstick. Both my horizontal shaft Command engines had the really-tough-to-remove dipsticks and I put the Kohler screw cap kit on both. It was probably my post you saw. That kit really is the way to go.

The stock 9.50’s would probably work well with chains for your purpose.

There are a lot of oil drain solution examples on MTF; Drainzit hose, pipe thread set-ups and add on valves (what I did). A couple of changes with the standard lash-up may be enough to convince you that you want something different.

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences – have fun!


Renster-

I do appreciate the ‘alternate pan breakage theory’ you offered, as it does sound much better than “Yer jus to dang heavy”. Regarding the Bercomac blower, alright, alright, you have convinced me – however it does not matter too much as the 3000 blower has replaced it anyway. Funny thing is, I still don’t want to part with the little one yet. I am beginning to understand how guys end up needing a barn or two at some point!
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-20-2017, 09:59 AM
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Re: First Garden Tractor

Outstanding Saddleman!

Sorry to hear of your epic journey and troublesome start. We all certainly can relate to the sinking feeling you initially felt in yer gut. Seems all turned out well in the end. Yours has approximately the same number of hours as mine (158), which is very young for these Kohler Commands and Hydro-Gear BDU's... But, of course use and care is more relative to condition than hours. I'm positive you would not have brought it home if you thought it was not worthy of your long trip.
You're spot on in replacing/refreshing all of the basic maintenance items. The Gators are good blades. I do use Kohler air and oil filters. After the 1st 50 hours with dino oil, I've used full synthetic motor oil ever since. I change the motor oil spring and fall, which some would find excessive but, I use the tractor year-round. I changed the hydro fluid and filter at 50 hours as well and keep a quart of Rotella handy but, have never had to add a drop. It also remains crystal clean but again - only 108 hours or so on it. Should be able to safely and comfortably get at least another 150 hours out of it as long as nothing unexpected happens. I "may" change the Hydro filter this year just because, but it's not really necessary.

I have NO traction issues with chains on the stock Carlisles and 4 suitcase weights for snow blowing. WITHOUT chains, I've hauled as much gravel, loam, wood, and wood pellets as I can mound into my large, heavy Rubbermaid Cart (another great product!) and pulled mature shrubs right out of their nests root and all! (I even pulled my shed back onto it's support blocks when a family visitor accidentally backed into it while turning around in our driveway) However, when it comes to actual ground-breaking duty with this tractor, I can't offer practical opinion. The Kohler and hydro are certainly up to it, but you're on track with the possibility of using weights and chains or AGs. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to give 'er a go at it 1st, then experiment with weight/chain/AG combos if need be.

Can't wait for the pics!

Renster

Renster



'08 CC GT 2542 With;
(42" mowing deck, 75# Wheel wts, 4 Suitcases, Chains, 42" 341 two-stage Blower)
'98 Yardman 10hp 30" Walk Behind Snow blower
'98 Craftsman 18" chainsaw
'09 Husky 5500 watt gas generator
'16 Kobalt 40v cordless string trimmer
'16 Kobalt 40v cordless pole saw
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