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I was just starting to kinda sorta start looking fir an old tractor with a snowblower and mower, something under $1000 like an old Simplicity to move trailers around, mow maybe when we didn’t both want to tackle it with two walk behind 21 inches, etc. well, I happened upon a very good condition maybe mint 817 with 50 in deck and blower. It looks like that model was made only in 1977 and has an Onan engine. Are these hard to find parts for and/or expensive to repair? It looks commercial and very heavy duty. What might it be worth? Asking is $1500. Could use some advice. I know nothing about garden tractors. Was going to look for a used XMark 48-52 in. hydro walk-behind but those are like $3000+ and so are zero-turns, although you can cut grass in a couple hours.
 
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My 817 is my favorite tractor. Don’t forget you are dealing with a roughly 45 year old machine. The Gravely parts are mostly available but the Onan parts can be scarce. I think the price you mentioned was high. It is hard to say with out a pic or seeing it run. How many hours does it have?


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Yeah, I know it's old, the other one that interested me but was a state away (4 hour drive) was a restored 1964 Simplicity Landlord with a mower deck but no snowblower, for $900...if I could find a blower for that. Looking for something like that. Anyway, these are the two pics of the 817. How come this one is all orange? Is it not original? The white hood and striping on yours looks correct. But this one looks either original or restored. Going to talk to the seller today and find out more.
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Someone surely repainted it. Those decals are not original either. There are eBay sellers etc that sell home made decals but those are not even made to be period correct..


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Nice looking machine. Even allowing for the repaint. They did a good job on that, it's just not the correct color scheme.

It looks to have been pretty thoroughly cleaned. Except the front wheels show dirt/wear apropriate for a machine that old. New tires, looks like a new seat.

I think it has the wrong rear hitch; IIRC all the 816s and 817s had the liftable hitch, that's the solid one like an 812.

Hard to tell in that pic, is that the 44" blower, or the smaller 38"? The 817 will handle the larger one. Mower deck included? Probably a 50"

A nice-running 816/817 with a big blower and a deck is a pretty good package. Depending on location, 1500 might be a bit steep, but not radically so. Around here (new england) 1200 would be a good price, 1000 would be a great price. You've already got the front drive setup for the blower, that goes for several hundred all by itself.

Part for the tractors are readily available. Parts for the CCKA are getting hard to find, but can often be found with some scrounging. Those engines are pretty reliable if you don't abuse them, and they can be rebuilt. See kyavion's thread about rebuilding his blown-up CCKA.

I'd say this one is definitely worth looking into more. Good luck!
 
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817’s did not come with a liftable rear hitch. Only the 816 did.


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Ah. Well, ok, I stand corrected :)

I thought the main reason for the 817 designation was to differentiate it from the 816S. It's the same 16.5 hp engine and all as the 816. But I guess there were other detail differences as well.
 

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Gravely1964
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Im betting its a 8171 or equal early 8000. I've used my 817 a fair bit both mowing and plowing and blowing snow. still will be very similar set up
DSC00226.JPG DSC00271.JPG DSC02914.JPG DSC00827.JPG
 
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The main difference between 816 and 817 is just the hitch, the 817 has rack and pinion steering and the 817 has a seat riser. Other than that they are the same. Some old 816’s may have a different differential, I can’t remember. Both have the same Onan CCkA


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Ah. Well, ok, I stand corrected :)

I thought the main reason for the 817 designation was to differentiate it from the 816S. It's the same 16.5 hp engine and all as the 816. But I guess there were other detail differences as well.
Thanks for all the good info guys. I like old things. I have old outboards and boats from the 60s and 70s, some outboards from the 50s. I don't mind having to scrounge for a hard part here or there like for the engine or tractor if there's something worn or missing or a failure, but as for maintenance stuff like engine air filter and oil filter I assume are readily available. Like I said, I'm new to tractors of any kind and bigger property, all I've ever had were 21 inch walk-behind mowers and trimmers/blowers/single stage snowthrowers, so this is completely new territory for me. I just really don't want some light duty plastic garden tractor from Home Depot. I'l1 use my old Lawn Boys versus that! I'm sure you know where I'm coming from. I like period correct. If I bought this, what would I need to repaint to make it look correct? Just the hood (white)? Are the correct hood decals available? Anyone have some pics of a correct one, maybe some original brochure pics? I'm the type that it would drive me nuts knowing it was wrong! What is the correct size for the original mower deck and snowblower? Thanks again!
 

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That's a nice looking machine. You are right, these are heavy duty tractors, and were way overbuilt. They are all gear drive. The blower is pto/driveshaft driven. The only belt used is found on the mower deck, and that is only to turn the three blades. The deck itself is also pto/driveshaft driven.
The Onan CCKA is a great engine. It's smooth running, and long lasting. As for parts, there are two MTF members who carry Onan engine parts. Their sigs are "boomers_influence", and "Onan Parts". I have bought parts from both of them over the years (tune up, points box, starter, etc.). For Gravely parts a lot of us get them from "Richards(Lawn and Garden). They are a small family owned business in W. Virginia. Nice people, and they know older Gravelys.

A nice feature is the shuttle shift forward/reverse, and external clutches. Instead of having to shift a regular shifter from forward to reverse, and back again, you just select a gear with the shift lever, then just use the shuttle shifter back, and forth to move forward, and reverse.

Looking at the pic, it looks like it's a 44 inch blower, which weighs about 300 lbs., just to give you an idea of how overbuilt these machines are.

If it runs as good as it looks I think that jrd's numbers would be about right. You can always start a little lower, and then take it from there. I hope it all goes well for you. Good luck!

rw3dog, you're probably thinking of the 1972-very early '73 816s which had LSD differentials.
 

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A 50 inch deck, and the blower that is on the tractor are correct.
It may actually be an early 8000 series tractor that's missing a number on the hood as Steve said. They looked just like the 800 series tractors (red, and white), but were painted all red with new graphics. The paint could actually be original after all, which would be pretty amazing, given it's age.

If needed, the color would be what we call "New Gravely Red' (Gravely Touch Up p/n 8700 rattle can).
 

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The main difference between 816 and 817 is just the hitch, the 817 has rack and pinion steering and the 817 has a seat riser.
Hmmm. My 816 has the seat riser, and the R&P steering. But it has the liftable hitch. It does not have an LSD (until I get around to swapping in the rebuilt transaxle). IIRC it's a '74 model (at least that's what my sig says).

I shouldn't be surprised. We all know gravely did a bunch of fiddling over the years. And maybe somebody previous to me screwed around and mixed parts on it.
 

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what would I need to repaint to make it look correct? Just the hood (white)? Are the correct hood decals available? Anyone have some pics of a correct one, maybe some original brochure pics? I'm the type that it would drive me nuts knowing it was wrong! What is the correct size for the original mower deck and snowblower? Thanks again!
Steve may be right, it might be an early 8000 series. If that's the case, the color scheme is correct, and probably original. A fairly rare find! I don't know exactly when they changed over to the 8000s, it might have been as early as 1977.

If you do decide it's an 817 (not an 8171) the hood and seat pan would have been white. You can find manuals and brochures at www.gravelymanuals.com (ignore the warning about expired SSL certificate) which would show you what it looked like.

Those machines could have been sold with either a 40 or 50 inch deck, and either a 38 or 44 inch blower. So any of those would be correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tracktortag, thanks for all the additional info about sources, I have a lot more confidence knowing there are people and places out there I could turn to to get support for this guy. My new house only has a 2 car garage but it’s a large one where I could probably squeeze this in between the pickup and other half’s suv. We’ve got a bunch of snow on the ground and I’d never put something like this outside. You have me very interested in the rarity and heavy-duty-ness of this guy, much more than a garden tractor really.
So anyway, I talked to the seller today. He has had it about a year or not quite. His 100 year old uncle left it to him when he passed. Maybe he was a collector? He said the blower measures 44 in and deck is 50 in, so that matches what you’re saying. He said it’s a 8171, but I didn’t know what he really meant. Now I’m thinking because of your comments, that’s an 8000 series you’re speaking of? What year d you think it is? Do you think it’s the correct paint colors and decals? With my job and moving, I won’t be able to go look at it until sometime next week but it sounds like it may be rather cool.
 

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Gravely1964
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Tracktortag, thanks for all the additional info about sources, I have a lot more confidence knowing there are people and places out there I could turn to to get support for this guy. My new house only has a 2 car garage but it’s a large one where I could probably squeeze this in between the pickup and other half’s suv. We’ve got a bunch of snow on the ground and I’d never put something like this outside. You have me very interested in the rarity and heavy-duty-ness of this guy, much more than a garden tractor really.
So anyway, I talked to the seller today. He has had it about a year or not quite. His 100 year old uncle left it to him when he passed. Maybe he was a collector? He said the blower measures 44 in and deck is 50 in, so that matches what you’re saying. He said it’s a 8171, but I didn’t know what he really meant. Now I’m thinking because of your comments, that’s an 8000 series you’re speaking of? What year d you think it is? Do you think it’s the correct paint colors and decals? With my job and moving, I won’t be able to go look at it until sometime next week but it sounds like it may be rather cool.
Steve for the win again. Very early 8000 maybe made only one or 2 years. Which in all honesty its just an 800 painted red. 8000 changes didn't really take affect till 82 and 83. So its some where in the 78 to 81 range. 8000's rolled out in 78 or 79.

Saying all that its a very good machine. And even if you have motor issues. Any motor off another 800 or newer rider can be swapped. Onans are good motors, but can try even a seasoned mechanic sometimes
 
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Yes, the 8171 is an 8000 series tractor. With 8000 series tractors the two middle numbers represent the horsepower rating of the engine, so the 17 means 17 HP. The Onan CCKA engine (which is on this tractor) is really 16.5 HP. And yes, from what I can see in the pic, the color, and decals are correct. The paint could be original too, which would be neat, and indicate that this is a well cared for tractor.

Overall, the paint on the blower looks good too, which is a good thing.. This looks like it could be a very good tractor. I would try to get over there as soon as possible to look at it. It might be worth trying to make the time sooner so that you don't chance losing it.
 

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Well thanks for all the great infornation. I’m very excited about it. I should be able to go look at it tomorrow night after work. I love the idea of owning something rare and original. I’ll have to see if I can tell if the paint is original. I’m not great at that especially if people do good restorations or it’s an older repaint. But I’m geeked about this thing. I like old equipment and owning and using something unique. I’m the type that uses something and doesn’t put it in a glass case, but I do the maintenance and clean it off after each use, so it will stay looking like that pretty much forever. Should last me the 40 years I have left on this planet if I make it that far. Then I can will it to my one niece who likes anything mechanical that makes noise!
 

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Well thanks for all the great infornation. I’m very excited about it. I should be able to go look at it tomorrow night after work. I love the idea of owning something rare and original. I’ll have to see if I can tell if the paint is original. I’m not great at that especially if people do good restorations or it’s an older repaint. But I’m geeked about this thing. I like old equipment and owning and using something unique. I’m the type that uses something and doesn’t put it in a glass case, but I do the maintenance and clean it off after each use, so it will stay looking like that pretty much forever. Should last me the 40 years I have left on this planet if I make it that far. Then I can will it to my one niece who likes anything mechanical that makes noise!
Steve for the win again. Very early 8000 maybe made only one or 2 years. Which in all honesty its just an 800 painted red. 8000 changes didn't really take affect till 82 and 83. So its some where in the 78 to 81 range. 8000's rolled out in 78 or 79.

Saying all that its a very good machine. And even if you have motor issues. Any motor off another 800 or newer rider can be swapped. Onans are good motors, but can try even a seasoned mechanic sometimes
Also, I looked up some of the 817 manuals on that Gravely manual site yesterday, I’ll look up the 8171 manuals and engine manuals today if they’re there, awesome resource! I like to have manuals for everything I have so I know how to do all the adjustments and what to lube and maintenance intervals. Also how to operate it honestly because I’ve only driven an international farm tractor a few times before and big road trucks but nothing like this and there could be quirks and cool features like the shuttle shifting that one of you explained. Sounds like it may be quite nice to operate.
 

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I’ll have to see if I can tell if the paint is original.
Given the way the story has evolved, I'd say it is. It's unusual for somebody to repaint one of these things and get it that accurate.

These machines are fun to run. I was out yesterday with my 816/plow combination, doing some remedial snow clearing. Very satisfying. In the summer, I can mow my approximately 1 acre of lawn in 45 minutes, instead of the 3 hours it used to take me with crappy 21 inch Honda mowers.

Go grab it :)
 
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