We've had a Craftsman DLT2000 (husqvarna) since 2002 which served us well for 15 years mowing 3 acres and snow blowing a dirt driveway with a 24873, especially considering that in that time I believe it saw a grand total of 5 oil changes (I was young and stupid... won't happen again). That deck took a lot of abuse too. Very glad for aftermarket mandrel housings.
It currently has a hard time starting. The battery reads a full 12v via my multimeter but it won't turn over unless I add on jumpers. Even then it turns over quite a bit (10 seconds?) before it really starts. After it starts it runs fine. The ammeter doesn't read anything at all (and by that I'm pretty sure it's busted outright - with the battery reading 12v on the multimeter I would expect it to show something, and negative when trying to start)
We've had a paid plow the past couple years as the snow thrower PTO pulley unit came apart and lost a pulley key and I was too lazy to get that sorted out (especially since having someone else plow your driveway does nothing but encourage laziness). I took care of that recently so it should be good for next season. We recently moved to a house with a long drive with slopped sides, so it doesn't lend itself well to plowing (no place to put the snow).
So with all that said.... we're looking to replace this tractor. Either with something that can use the same snow thrower or something better if we can find a good deal including a snow thrower.
I don't have any brand loyalty.
Would prefer a 48" deck. New house has a "hilly" lawn so any wider is just going to scalp.
Is there a cross reference sheet for what the 24873 snow thrower will fit? All I can find is the sears 2014 up-fit chart, which is now 3 years old and doesn't cover non-craftsman tractors. I saw a picture of a 42" john deere snow thrower for a LA175 and it looks *very* similar (even the PTO attachment), so I find it hard to imagine that the 24873 only fits 917.x craftsmans (and similar husqvarnas).
Our budget is variable but up to $4000 if it's a significant upgrade that will last a long time. We realize we could get away with $1500-2000 for a new 917.x compatible craftsman. That's our fall back plan. Though I've seen some used John Deeres with snow throwers that seem appealing if they're really going to last.
Any thoughts on these as good or bad deals?
Other than being old... Any trouble finding parts for a 318? I love that it has hydraulics and can handle a small front end loader but hesitant to invest in something that old. Snow thrower looks very rusty as well. Owner says via email "1987. Moving to retirement community. The John Deere dealer came to house every year to perform the maintenance. No issues or quirks."
Short on details but it is nearby and I plan to go see it in the next week or so.
Price seems high.. I saw a x300 with snow thrower, 42" deck, bagger, and winter cab sell for only $4k yesterday (this doesn't include the bagger or temp-cab), so if I look at this some more I would expect to talk them down. If this really is priced too high, what *would* be a fair price?
Thoughts welcome and thanks in advance.
As a newbie to this site I poked around looking for the best place to post this and settled on this sub-forum. If I was off on that please point me in the right direction.