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First off let me say that I know little about yard/garden tractors. The next one I buy will be my first one. With that said...
I recently purchased a 2.75 acre lot with house and need something to mow with and, as the spirit moves me, move some mulch, firewood, debris, etc. I'll be mowing about 1.5-2 acres of that land and it is largely on a gradual but consistent slope ( front to back of lot approx. 400' probably drops about 5-6'.).
So I started looking for a riding mower and initially started with the green and yellow (do I need to dodge the tomatoes??). Was looking at the x300-x500. Didn't really want to pay$5000. Saw that this CC was offering similar build and abilities and started researching.
I found a used Cub Cadet GT3100, 2007 or 2008 model with 90 hours on it. It's about 2 hours away, so haven't seen it in person (which makes me nervous). Talked to the gentleman selling it and has said no damage to the deck and no cosmetic issues besides the headlight lens is missing.
He's asking $1,800. Any opinions? I was thinking at least with the shaft drive to trans and blades, I should consider it. Might be harder to damage in the hands of a nooooobie.
Would appreciate any thoughts, help, suggestions or insults that are appropriate. Thanks.
 

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That's a great price for a 3000 Series Cub with 90 hours! The 3000 Series are great tractors, and will be capable for what your needs are - however, they are a more complicated machine as well. Are you comfortable with doing your own maintenance and some occasional wrenching?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a great price for a 3000 Series Cub with 90 hours! The 3000 Series are great tractors, and will be capable for what your needs are - however, they are a more complicated machine as well. Are you comfortable with doing your own maintenance and some occasional wrenching?

I am currently (to be read as "eternally") restoring a 1967 Mustang convertible, so I'm comfortable with trying. Guess the question I would have regarding the maintain. is how steep is the learning curve? With effort and a forum like this to turn to ( and a CC dealer right down the road) think I can work it out.
Would you suggest I reconsider the JD x300 or CC SLTX 1054?
...and thanks for your reply.
 

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SLTX 1054? Not really. 1.5-2 acres of decently sloped terrain, hauling wood, mulch, etc...you at least need an entry level GT that has a strong drivetrain to handle that kind of use. The x300 is a step up, but still an LT.

I think that actually a happy medium for you would be a 2500 or older 2000 Series Cub. You get a strong trans, shaft drive, solid V-Twin Kohler Command, and a decently well built mowing deck. There's less tractor in a 2500/2000 Series than a 3000, but that also means there's less to go wrong :)

Most of the issues that arise with the 3000 Series are entirely repairable with a modicum of skill - if you're at all mechanically inclined, I'm sure you could handle it. The argument for the 3000 Series is that it never hurts to buy MORE tractor than you need (especially at that price). :)
 

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I would have no second thoughts about buying that tractor. It will be more than capable of handling all of your posted chores and then some. In addition, if you find that you aren't satisfied with it after using it for a while (maybe it's too big, needs more maintenance than you were expecting, etc) you should have no problem selling it for close to the current asking price. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

Oh, and I almost forgot the two most important words: power steering. Once you have a GT with it, you won't want another.
 

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2.75 acres could be a whole lot of grass - how big is the deck?? how fast is the tractor?? how long will you be mowing? Deck size translates to time and this may be important to you.

With my 3225, I mow 60,000 square feet (1.5 acres) of grass in 75 minutes using a 60" deck.

You also mention moving mulch. A Johnny Bucket Jr. is a wonderful thing on a machine with power steering! They come with electric actuators as lifts and dumps so that you won't need to add hydraulics. (I have a hydraulic lift, but use the electric dump.)

If you buy, I'd suggest that you get the parts you need to repair the cosmetics as these are "technically" no longer current models.
 

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You can't go wrong with a 3000 series. Once you experience the power steering you'll never be able to own a tractor without it.
 

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First off let me say that I know little about yard/garden tractors. The next one I buy will be my first one. With that said...
I recently purchased a 2.75 acre lot with house and need something to mow with and, as the spirit moves me, move some mulch, firewood, debris, etc. I'll be mowing about 1.5-2 acres of that land and it is largely on a gradual but consistent slope ( front to back of lot approx. 400' probably drops about 5-6'.).
So I started looking for a riding mower and initially started with the green and yellow (do I need to dodge the tomatoes??). Was looking at the x300-x500. Didn't really want to pay$5000. Saw that this CC was offering similar build and abilities and started researching.
I found a used Cub Cadet GT3100, 2007 or 2008 model with 90 hours on it. It's about 2 hours away, so haven't seen it in person (which makes me nervous). Talked to the gentleman selling it and has said no damage to the deck and no cosmetic issues besides the headlight lens is missing.
He's asking $1,800. Any opinions? I was thinking at least with the shaft drive to trans and blades, I should consider it. Might be harder to damage in the hands of a nooooobie.
Would appreciate any thoughts, help, suggestions or insults that are appropriate. Thanks.
That's a great price for the model and it sounds like you are the sort of person willing to keep it up properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A great deal of good information. Thank everyone who has responded so far. Plan is to go tomorrow and make the purchase. Sounds like quite a few knowledgable people think this is at least a fair price on a quality tractor.
A few comments and questions.
Deck size is 50". Not sure what the Johnny bucket (?) is, but I'm sure I'll want one. Any info regarding where to look for any cosmetic parts for Ellie May (your tractor has to have a name right?) would be appreciated. Also a place to start researching maintenance and repair would be great. Really appreciate any input. Think I'm seeing the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
 

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Here's a link to get you started. You'll need the model number and serial number.

Cub Cadet Operator's Manual

I have a .pdf copy of the 3000 Series Tractor Service Manual if you would like to browse through it as well. Just let me know :)
 

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Definitely a good buy! I don't think you'd want to "step back" to a 2500 series, get the 3000 series with power steering and a bit more heft and you'll be happy in the long run.

If I had that much grass to cut I'd want a 54" or 60" deck. It never sounds like much, 48" to 54" to 60", just 6" increases each time, but it makes a world of difference in time of mowing. I'm not sure if the 3100 can take a 60" or not, but I'm pretty sure a 54" GT deck will work fine on it. Unless the specs changed in the later years I think the deck on the one you are buying is 48". It's possible a dealer would swap a used 54" they get in trade for your 48" at some point if you are willing to wait for them to get one. In any case, go for it!

I don't agree that stepping up to the 3000 series means more complication and more maintenance. With regular routine maintenance you can buy that tractor at 90 hours and run it to well over 1,000 hours and I bet you never do more than maybe clean a few wire connections, replace a deck spindle, little stuff like that. These tractors last a long time when taken care of.
 

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Deck size is 50". Not sure what the Johnny bucket (?) is, but I'm sure I'll want one. Any info regarding where to look for any cosmetic parts for Ellie May (your tractor has to have a name right?) would be appreciated. Also a place to start researching maintenance and repair would be great. Really appreciate any input. Think I'm seeing the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
I think the standard deck sizes are 48", 54", and 60". I mow 2+ acres with a 48" deck, but it's not a chore. I may be biased, though. I find that having power steering makes it easier to recruit my wife in the spring when you have to mow every other day.

I will send you digital copies of the Owners Manual, Technician's Service Manual and the manual for the hydrostatic transmission.

When you talk to the seller, find out what you can about the maintenance history. You can do the engine oil change and hydro fluid change at 100 hours and then be right on schedule with maintenance. There are approximately 1 million grease zerks on it. You'll want to hit all those initally if they haven't been kept up. They are on the deck, wheels, front axel ( read this - http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=122391 ). They are listed in the manual - I can't remeber all of the locations without it.

There are a few common issues-

The hydraulic steering on the left side tends to work the bolt holding the drag arm loose. An eighth of an inch of slop there makes the steering feel terrible and makes it more likely to break the ball joint there. Tighten it down at minimum, add Loctite if you are so inclined.

The forward and backward pedals are both connected to the same linkage and work in opposition to each other. There are nylon bushings that will eventually wear and finally, fall out. When that happens the pedals get sloppy and reverse doesn't work well due to the reduced travel. I imagine the tractor you're looking at should still be in good shape.

The seals in the deck lift cylinder will eventually leak. If you lift the deck and drive into the garage, the deck will slowly drop to the floor. You can judge the condition by how long it takes. Some will do it overnight, some in a few hours. Mine is about 20 minutes. It doesn't leak externally, so I haven't done anything about it yet. If I mow with the deck suspended(rather than on the wheels) I have to adjust it periodically, or the cut height slowly drops.

There are several 3000 series owners around and Jsoluna works at a dealership, so there's good information around. We do want to see pictures, though. Lots and lots of pictures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the great information. A lot of reading to do. Y'all have been more than helpful. Got Ellie May home. After laying eyes on her, more details are:
2006 Cub Cadet GT3100 "Power Shaft" ( gotta love that designation). 50" mowing deck with no scrapes or abrasions to it to mention. 90 hours showing on dash. Previous owner states regular maint., just low hours from very little use recently from the severe drought we've had here in Texas. Otherwise, looks like she will clean up really nicely.
Will be sure and send pictures as soon as I figure out how to do so.
Just out of curiosity, if I decide to try to garden, etc., is there some sort of tiller or similar I can run off this machine.
Thanks again for the info. Learned more about this subject in the last week than the previous 30 years.
 

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Right on! Welcome to the wonderful world of GTs, you're gonna have a blast! And yes, you can hook up to a hydraulic tiller, a 42" model 190-004-100. They are a beast of a tiller :)
 

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Just out of curiosity, if I decide to try to garden, etc., is there some sort of tiller or similar I can run off this machine.
Yes, but it's fantastically expensive and hard to find. Like $2000-$3000 expensive. Plus it requires the three point hitch which is also quite pricy. For me at least, if I'm going to do any small scale agriculture, sleeve hitch and standard implements are the way to go. I could get several nice walk-behind tillers for that price.

A couple of people here have them if you want to see pictures.
 

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Congrats on your GT and looking forward to some pics of it. slkpk
 

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Lone Star, you got a heck of a deal on that machine!

On my initial reading of this thread, I was about to reply with; This has got to be a scam. Under 2 grand for a '07-08 3K series with 90hrs, deck included with it didn't sound right at all.

I would have figured it to be no newer than a ~2004 and beat up looking for that price. That's a $5-6K machine new! You did really good. I would have been on that like a bum on a baloney sandwich.

Joel
 

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Wow, cant wait to see the pictures! congrats.!

,.........like white on rice,!
 

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..."like flies on sh--"

but seriously, though, that is a heck of a deal. Still keepin my eyes peeled for one around me. My next Cub is either gonna be a 3200 Series or a 1650 :)
 
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